2-Kyvol Cybovac E30 Robot Vacuum
CNN  — 

Vacuuming is one of those chores that needs to get done, but it always feels like one that gets tossed in the pushed back category. That’s why robot vacuums were invented, right? At least that’s what we keep telling ourselves.

But, for the most part, these small robots that blindly wander our homes, sucking up dirt and debris as they go, are expensive. Look at the Roomba S-series and its starting price of $899.99 — ouch.

The Kyvol Cybovac E30 Robot Vacuum, at just $219.99, however, breaks that mold. It offers long battery life, a strong motor and an always-on Wi-Fi connection so you can control it using Alexa or the Google Assistant. It even comes with a remote that you can use to drive the vacuum to the exact spot you want it to clean.

We’ve been testing the E30 Robot Vacuum for the last week, and it gets the job done. There are some caveats you deserve to know about, but before we get to those, let’s take a closer look at what Kyvol got right with the E30.


1-Kyvol Cybovac E30 Robot Vacuum

If you’ve ever used a robot vacuum or watched one of those funny clips of a cat riding on one throughout a house, you know that they seem to take an almost erratic route as they clean. The $349.99 Roomba E5, for example, drives around like it’s lost, which can feel as if the vacuum is missing sections of a room as it randomly turns and darts down a hall. The E30 doesn’t do that. Instead, it takes a zigzag pattern, going row by row, overlapping, in the same fashion as you would when mowing the grass. This not only leaves pleasant lines in your carpet, but it also ensures that the E30 doesn’t miss a section of your home.

You don’t have to worry about the E30 falling down stairs, thanks to sensors on the front of the housing. Similar sensors are also used to detect magnetic strips that come in the box, telling the vacuum a specific area is off-limits. For example, you can place a magnetic strip across an entryway if there’s a room you want it to stay out of or under a couch if it can get stuck.

Kyvol touts up to 150-minute battery life, but we never reached that number in our testing. In fact, the longest single cleaning session we monitored was 75 minutes, with the battery at 16%. In comparison, the Roomba 675 (a $249.99 robot vacuum) lasts for only about 70 minutes before needing a recharge. We also found the Kyvol to be a bit quieter, although it’s not silent; a vacuum does need a motor to work.

Now, a final result of over half the battery life estimate may seem like a disappointment, and to some extent it was, but that’s far longer than we’ve experienced from Kyvol’s competitors, which are more expensive.

The dustbin was full after every cleaning session, with the vacuum traversing over roughly 1,700 square feet of a mix of carpet and linoleum, leaving very little, if anything, behind.

Also included in the box is a remote that you can use to actually drive the robot to the exact spot you want to clean, set a schedule and start or stop it from across the room.


3-Kyvol Cybovac E30 Robot Vacuum

Everything sounds good so far, and it mostly was. The magnetic strips that are supposed to act as barriers to prevent the E30 from going into a specific area are a good idea in theory, but unless you tape them to your floor, making them a permanent addition to your home, the vacuum can — and did during our testing — just push them out of the way.

Additionally, the E30 does create a map of your home as it cleans, which you can view in real time in the mobile app, but that map is deleted the moment it’s done cleaning or if you move the vacuum because it got stuck. If the app saved the map and allowed you to create digital boundaries of where it can and can’t go, it would solve the magnetic strip issue and add functionality that’s normally reserved for higher-end devices.

To be fair, the Roomba E5 lacks any sort of mapping feature at all. However, it is compatible with iRobot’s virtual wall accessories that create an invisible barrier when you need to block off an area, like the dog’s water bowl.

Bottom line

The Kyvol Cybovac E30 Robot Vacuum is an affordable, automated vacuum that will certainly keep your floors clean. It’d be great if it remembered the map of your home, allowing you to set boundaries, but that’s something we’d expect from a more expensive device.

If you’re willing to live with some of its quirks, and possibly a magnetic strip or two on your floor, it’s well worth the asking price.