iLife A4s image

Great Starter Robot Vac

iLife A4s

4.4 Avg Rating
  • Description

When we started to work through the vacuums in this price range, most of us were pretty skeptical of what kind of results we would be getting. In the bargain price range of any product category you will absolutely be making choices about what is and is not important to you and most importantly, what are you giving up when you make the decision to opt for the low-end.

From a high level, the great majority, 79% of customers gave the A4S either a 4-star or 5-star rating for the product. You will always expect there to be negatives, but the 9% of customers giving this vacuum a 1-star rating was roughly equal to the 2 iRobot machines we reviewed, one of which costs almost twice as much as this one and the other costs 4 times as much.

This vacuum is programmable and comes with an IR remote control, which means that if you want to be able to control the vacuum with the remote, you will have to be able to see it. This vacuum does not come with a phone app nor does it require wifi to work. Remember, buying this product will have you making sacrifices. Since there are fewer bells and whistles with the iLife, the battery life is rated a hair better than the other products, coming in at 140 minutes as opposed to the typical 90 to 120 minutes of the other devices.

Most reviewers of the product really loved the product, including pet owners. The lions' share of verified owners were really pleased with the fact that they could run the vacuum every day, when nobody was around or even awake and that all they needed to do was empty the bin and their house was clean. Many users also do a more thorough job with a hand-vac weekly or every other week, just to make sure things are really clean. The vacuum has good suction and will clean up all of the stray fur in your house, it has a good sized bin to collect dust, hair, small objects in. As with any vacuum, it will stop when the bin is full, that's actually a feature, not a problem. Most people that we spoke with loved the fact that a very inexpensive price completely changed things for them. Much happier with their less cluttered and dusty house.

Now, while the percentage of users that were dissatisfied was low, there seem to be some frequent issues with the device. Here's where the low price point starts to come in. A lot of customers indicated that the product was great, but for a period of time. Then the vacuum just stopped working. Most of these complaints were accompanied with descriptions about cleaning and maintenance rituals were followed and the thing just didn't work any more. This was actually a disturbingly consistent theme, to the tune of hundreds of people.

There were a few other problems with the vacuum getting stuck under things, but the A4S actually has a lower height than the either iRobot products we looked at as well as the Neato D7, so while it may have been a problem for some users, any product would also be a problem for them. There was one customer however that got the vacuum as a gift, it got stuck under the refrigerator edge and proceeded to eat a piece of their linoleum kitchen floor.

The bottom line is that the iLife A4S is a really good starter robot vacuum and will do a good job for you. You should also expect to replace the product far more quickly than you may really want to, so don't expect to get a decade out of this like you would expect to get with a well-made Kirby.

  • Bottom Line
  • Pros
  • Cons
The bottom line is that the iLife A4S is a really good starter robot vacuum and will do a good job for you, at least for a time.
Affordable, good suction force, programmable, long battery life, good transition from carpet to hard wood
Longevity is a definite concern, some of the parts feel a bit fragile as if they could break during a fall
  • John Doe

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