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Roomba E5 Review

Updated September 20, 2018 by Derek Hales

Roomba e5 Robot Vacuum review

Overall Score: 93%
Design: 94%
Performance: 93%
Quality: 93%
Usability: 93%
Value: 93%
See how we score here.

Roomba e5 robot vacuum thumbnail

The Bottom Line

The Roomba e5 robot vacuum is one of the newest models introduced from iRobot. This robot vacuum offers a powerful performance, smart home capabilities, and a mid-range price tier. The Roomba e5 feels like a re-skinned Roomba 890 to us. Its specs, software, and price point are the same as the 890. The e5 is a great choice if you don’t need bleeding edge features, but still want a robust and quality robot vacuum.

Pros

  • Has WiFi connectivity, allowing users to control the vacuum from their phone or compatible voice device.
  • Offers a powerful cleaning performance and a mix of neat features.

Cons

  • Does not have an onboard camera that is used to map out your home.
  • The e5 does not have the ability to recharge and resume. After the battery is dead, the vacuum will charge and remain on the base.
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Roomba e5 Design

The Roomba e5 carries a similar design to all Roomba robot vacuums. This model is also built in a circular shape with a software / hardware build that’s extremely similar to the Roomba 890.

First stop, the buttons on top:

As you first take a look at the top of the Roomba e5 robot vacuum, your eyes gravitate towards three buttons. All three of these buttons are located in the center of the vacuum. The main button is the “CLEAN” button, which acts as both a power button and an automated cleaning button.

Roomba e5 robot vacuum

Roomba e5 robot vacuum

The buttons on the left and right are the home and spot clean buttons.

  • Home button – By pressing this button, the e5 will return back to its home base and begin to charge.
  • Spot clean – The spot clean button places the Roomba in spot clean mode, as the name suggests. This means the Roomba e5 will travel in small circles over a particular space until it feels it has completed the cleaning cycle.
Roomba e5 buttons

Close up of Roomba e5 buttons

How about the bottom of the vacuum?

Once you turn the vacuum over, the bottom of the e5 is virtually identical to the new Roomba i7+. The only difference is the Roomba e5 does not contain an automated suction vent but the i7+ does. There are still two rubber brushrolls, three wheels, a spinning brush, dustbin, and battery.

Roomba E5 brushroll and spinning brush

As noted above, the e5 does not have an automated suction slot. The new Roomba i7+ robot vacuum has the ability to drive onto its charging base and empty its dustbin, hence the need for the vent.

On the other hand, the Roomba e5 utilizes a charging base similar to most other Roomba vacuums, therefore, there is no need for the vent on this robot vacuum.

RELATED – Want to see what else Roomba has to offer? Check out their robot vacuums here.

Size & Dimensions

With regard to the size of the Roomba e5, not much has changed. Roomba seems to stick closely to a particular shape and size.

How big is the vacuum?

The Roomba e5 is:

  • 13.3″ diameter
  • 3.6″ tall
  • 7.2 pounds

When compared to previous Roomba models and most other robot vacuums, this size is within the norm.

iRobot Roomba e5 size and dimensions

Accessories & Parts

The Roomba e5 includes the following parts and accessories:

  • Charging base
  • 1 Virtual wall

Charger included with the Roomba e5 robot vacuum

CHARGING BASE | The Roomba e5 includes a standard charging base. Like all Roomba vacuums, when its battery gets low it will try to find the charging base and start charging itself automatically.

Wall barrier included with the Roomba i7+ robot vacuum

VIRTUAL WALL | A dual-mode virtual wall barrier is also included with the e5. This wall barrier helps to block the Roomba off from certain areas of your home by creating invisible linear and radial lines. The linear line extends up to 10′ ling while the radial line reaches 4′ in diameter.

Features

The Roomba e5 does not offer a ton of features, but there are a few that will be of use to most users.

Scheduling

Scheduling the Roomba e5 robot vacuum is one of the neatest features.

How does it work?

Let’s say you’re an extremely busy person who just doesn’t have time to deal with the robot vacuum at all. No problem. The e5 has your back.

iRobot Roomba scheduling setup

Interface to setup Roomba scheduling

With this robot vacuum, users can set a daily / weekly schedule, in addition to a one-time schedule.

  • Daily / weekly scheduling – This method of scheduling literally means you have the option of scheduling your Roomba e5 to vacuum your home at a specific time, every day of the week. Whether you are there or not, the Roomba will automatically take off to complete its cleaning cycle without you lifting a finger.
  • One-time scheduling – Unlike the daily / weekly scheduling, a one-time schedule is for when you need to have your floors vacuumed on a specific day and don’t want to forget. For example, you may have company coming over, therefore you set a one time schedule a week in advance in order to have the Roomba remember to vacuum your floors before your guests arrive.
iRobot Roomba app scheduling cleanings

iRobot Roomba app to schedule and monitor cleanings

App Control

Users do have the option of using the iRobot smartphone app as well. The app gives users the ability to set a schedule, send the e5 off on a one time clean, put it in spot cleaning mode, or send it back to its home charging base.

iRobot Roomba smartphone app

iRobot Roomba smartphone app

Cleaning Performance

The Roomba e5 hasn’t arrived at our home testing lab yet, so for now we’re providing estimated cleaning performance data.

That said, we’re quite confident in our cleaning performance estimates, which are based on our testing data from the Roomba 890. The 890 and Roomba e5 seem to be almost identical in terms of materials, hardware, and software.

The E5 has a different color brushroll and a different aethsetic, but otherwise, it seems to be exactly the same as the Roomba 890.

  • Overall 92%
  • Hardwood Cleaning 98%
  • Low Pile Carpet Cleaning 91%
  • High Pile Carpet Cleaning 88%

Hardwood Floor Cleaning

The similarities the e5 has to the 890 are undeniable (in our view). From what we have seen, the Roomba 890 is being phased out of iRobot.com, which leads us to believe that the Roomba e5 is the replacement for the 890.

New brushrolls used on the e5 - one is used to lift while the other is used to loosen

New brushrolls used on the e5 – one is used to lift while the other is used to loosen

We would expect results from the e5 to mirror what we experienced below on the 890.

Roomba 890 robot vacuum hardwood cleaning test
During these tests, the Roomba performed extremely well. Each of the four debris types were cleaned up to a level of 92% or higher, with kitty litter being the toughest test.

  • Hardwood – Rice 100%
  • Hardwood – Cereal 100%
  • Hardwood – Kitty Litter 92%
  • Hardwood – Sugar 100%

Low Pile Carpet Cleaning

Performance on low pile carpet was solid overall, with 3 of the 4 tests scoring 100%.

However:

Sugar tests were a struggle, only removing 63% of the debris. Sugar on carpets is one of the most difficult tests we have, as we see most robots struggling on this test.

Roomba 890 robot vacuum low carpet cleaning test

While the sugar cleaning score is certainly less than ideal, it is fairly typical for robot vacuums in this price tier. In most cases, you will need to spend considerably more money to see a substantially higher performance score for the sugar removal tests.

  • Low Carpet – Rice 100%
  • Low Carpet – Cereal 100%
  • Low Carpet – Kitty Litter 100%
  • Low Carpet – Sugar 65%

High Pile Carpet Cleaning

Cleaning performance on the high pile carpet tests were similar to what we experienced on the low pile carpet tests.

Flawless performance across rice, cereal, and kitty litter, all of which scored a 100%, with sugar falling behind at only 50% removed.

Roomba 890 robot vacuum high carpet cleaning test

Bottom line:

Robots within this price tier just don’t seem to have enough suction power to remove 100% of sugar that has become deeply embedded within carpet fibers.

The best sugar cleaning performance we’ve seen in a robot vacuum comes from iRobot’s Roomba i7+. See our performance tests here, or check out more of the best vacuums for carpets here.

  • High Carpet – Rice 100%
  • High Carpet – Cereal 100%
  • High Carpet – Kitty Litter 100%
  • High Carpet – Sugar 50%

Usability

While using a robot vacuum may sound complicated, most are not. The Roomba e5 certainly falls under the category of being easy to understand and use.

There are no complicated processes involved in using this robot vacuum. Simply press clean and let it run or download the iRobot app and do all of the not so hard work from your phone.

What about setup?

As crazy as it sounds, there is basically no set up required with the Roomba e5. Simply unbox everything, plug in the charging base, place the e5 on the charging base, and you’re good to go!

The Roomba will charge up and be ready to clean your home in a few hours.

Best way to manage the battery initially:

As with most Roombas, they come at least 50% charged, right out of the box. Therefore, you could technically put the vacuum to work right away. That said, Roomba does recommend that you charge the vacuum fully before using it for the first time.

This method will supply the battery with a strong start, allowing it to run for up to 90 minutes at a time.

The e5 will drive itself onto the charging base to charge up for its next cleaning session

The e5 will drive itself onto the charging base to charge up for its next cleaning session

In addition, you may want to go ahead and run the Roomba e5 for the full 90 minutes after it has reached a full charge. Fully using the battery and then fully re-charging helps break-in the battery, establishing good battery longevity.

Next:

Next up, press the cleaning button and set the Roomba e5 free. The robot is designed to drive around your home, detect dirt and debris, and vacuum it up. There is not much required out of the user with regard to actually using the Roomba e5 robot vacuum.

The Roomba e5 uses its spinning brush to clean up against edges, sweeping debris into its path

The Roomba e5 uses its spinning brush to clean up against edges, sweeping debris into its path

Keep in mind, you do have the option of using the iRobot smartphone app to control the e5 as well.

Okay, so how easy is the app to use?

Setting up the app is painless. It takes just a few minutes to connect to your phone, via wifi, and once it is set up you are able to control every aspect of your Roomba from your phone.

iRobot Roomba app

iRobot Roomba app home screen

 

The home screen of the app resembles the main user interface of the actual robot vacuum, where there is a large “CLEAN” button housed in the middle of your screen. Once again, you can press this button to send the e5 off on a cleaning mission, or you can select to have the e5 return to its base or do a spot clean.

Is the Roomba e5 a Good Value?

When it comes to value, the Roomba e5 is hard to beat.

At half of the price from some of the newer Roomba vacuums, such as the i7 and i7+, the e5 still offers a good number of features, strong cleaning performance, and a long run time.

Maintenance concerns:

Roomba e5 Robot Vacuum value

Maintenance is another area where the Roomba also excels. The only maintenance costs required are replacing the high efficiency filter, the spinning brush, rubber brushrolls, and battery.

Keep in mind, the filter is really the only piece that needs to be replaced frequently. All other parts are really dependent on the wear and tear of the vacuum.

Summing it up…

If you’re looking for a quality robot vacuum and don’t want to spend a ton of money, the iRobot Roomba e5 is a great addition to almost any home.

Roomba e5 Specifications

For a full list of the Roomba e5 specifications, check out the table below:

SpecificationsRoomba e5
TypeRobot
ManufactureriRobot
ModelRoomba e5 (5150)
Length13.3"
Width13.3"
Height3.6"
Weight7.2 lbs.
Floor TypeAll (indoor)
Battery1,800 mAh
Dust Bin Capacity~0.5 L
iAdapt NavigationYes
Imprint Smart MappingNo
Washable Dust Bin (on-board)Yes
Includes Virtual WallYes; One
ReturnsYes (usually), Varies by retailer
Warranty1-Year limited
PriceCheck Price

Who Should Buy the Roomba e5?

If you’re in the market for a well-rounded robot vacuum that strikes a nice balance between excellent feature set / performance and price, the Roomba e5 is a great choice.

I would recommend the Roomba e5 if you’re looking for the following features in a robot vacuum: 

  • Want a versatile robot vacuum: The Roomba e5 has the ability to travel between hardwoods, tile, carpets, and rugs with ease because of its powerful wheels. If you have home with several changes in floor material, the e5 could be a nice addition.
  • Want the ability to set a cleaning schedule: If you’re a fan of schedules, this robot vacuum may be a good fit. The e5 can be scheduled daily, weekly, or just one single time.
  • Want strong cleaning performance: This robot vacuum is expected to perform quite well on all indoor floor types.
  • Want a newer, less expensive Roomba robot vacuum: Although this is one of Roomba’s newest additions to their robot vacuum line, it is also one of the less expensive models. The relative performance for the price makes the e5 is a solid value overall.

For more information on the Roomba e5 see here.

iRobot's New Mid-Range Robot
  • 94%
    Design - 94%
  • 93%
    Performance - 93%
  • 93%
    Quality - 93%
  • 93%
    Usability - 93%
  • 93%
    Value - 93%
93%

Summary

The Roomba e5 is a robot vacuum loaded with advanced technology, cool features, and a strong cleaning performance. This robot vacuum is a less expensive model than some of Roomba’s newer vacuums, such as their brand new i7 and i7+. With the less expensive model does come fewer bells and whistles, but in the end the Roomba e5 is still an impressive robot vacuum on par with the Roomba 890.

Why did the Roomba e5 robot vacuum score the way it did?

  • Design – Durable body, good size, brushes work well in corners, and rubberized brushrolls all work together beautifully. Not bleeding edge, but better than most others in the market.
  • Performance – Cleaning performance was nearly flawless, the only major issue was sugar tests on carpet. Performance wasn’t great, but fairly typical for most robot vacuums.
  • Quality – Brings expected Roomba quality (which is good!)
  • Usability – Intuitive button layout on top is a plus, as is the iRobot app, which is incredibly easy to use and powerful.
  • Value – Not a cheap robot, but not over priced other. Strikes a really nice balance between performance and costs.
Derek Hales

Derek Hales

Editor-in-Chief

Derek Hales is the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of ModernCastle.com. He is a passionate perfectionist when it comes to testing and reviewing products for the home. When he is not testing new products, Derek enjoys golf, tennis, and PC gaming. Derek lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife, Samantha, son, and poodle, Tibbers.