Robotic vacuums make life a lot easier, since they take all of the actual work out of vacuuming your floors. But until recently, it’s been difficult to find affordable robot vacuums that actually deliver quality performance.
As one of the world’s leading robot vacuum companies, iLife manufactures innovative robot vacuums that cost considerably less than higher end models like the iRobot Roomba.
The iLife A4S is designed for deep carpet and floor cleaning, and its no-frills design keeps the price lower than other options. If you’re looking for a robot vacuum that gets the job done on a budget, keep reading to learn more about the A4S.
The A4S has a sleek round design with a titanium gray finish and looks much more expensive than it actually is. Instead of a full control interface, there’s only one button on the top of the unit. This button allows you to turn on the vacuum in auto mode.
This vacuum is also on the small side compared to other robot vacuums, at 3 inches tall and about 12 inches in diameter. The dust bin holds 0.4 liters, which is decent considering the vacuum’s overall size.
The bottom of the vacuum has a double V-shaped bristle brush that’s designed to prevent tangles, as well as two side brushes that sweep dirt and debris into the suction path.
This robot vacuum keeps it simple by nixing more expensive features like a map, navigation, or Wi-Fi and app connectivity, but it still gives you plenty of options.
In addition to the vacuum and charging station, you’ll get a remote control that lets you start or stop the vacuum, select a cleaning mode, or schedule a cleaning. You can also use the remote to steer the vacuum forward, left, or right.
It also comes with spare parts like two extra side brushes, a cleaning tool, a charging adapter, and a filter.
The iLife A4S doesn’t have a built-in navigation system, so it cleans in random patterns when in auto cleaning mode, but it does have decent infrared sensors that keep it from falling down stairs or bumping into furniture too hard.
You will have to pick up clutter, loose cords, etc. to keep it from getting caught while it’s operating, but that’s normal for most robot vacuums.
There are several cleaning modes to choose from, including auto, edge cleaning, spot cleaning, mini-room mode, and max cleaning.
The vacuum can handle just about any type of flooring except for high carpet, but it does just fine traversing hard wood, tile, area rugs, and low carpets. One thing to note is that the vacuum isn’t compatible with very dark floors, since the sensors register them as drop-offs.
The battery life on this vacuum is very impressive, since it can provide up to 140 minutes of continuous cleaning without the need for a recharge. Of course, this depends on the cleaning mode that you choose.
Another thing to note is that the vacuum doesn’t always make it way back to the charging station before the battery runs out, so you might have to go looking for it. This is more likely to occur if you have a larger home with a lot of obstacles, since the vacuum doesn’t have any sort of mapping system to find its way back.
When it comes to suction power, this little vacuum does a great job at sucking up dirt, crumbs, and pet hair without anything getting tangled in the brush. Max mode provides even better performance, but it does wear down the battery faster than other settings.
Edge cleaning is pretty decent, too, but corners are somewhat lacking because of the vacuum’s round shape.
The vacuum is also somewhat quiet during operation, which is definitely a plus considering that a lot of other robot vacuums are very loud.
As far as maintenance goes, this robot vacuum is similar to most others. You’ll need to empty the dust bin after each use, and occasionally wipe dust or dirt off the sensor window and charging ports.
You can remove and clean the bristle brush as well as the side brushes with the cleaning tool that’s included with the vacuum.
The primary and HEPA filters are washable, and iLife recommends cleaning them once every 15 to 30 days for the best performance. You can use the cleaning tool to brush the dirt off of the filters, but you’ll need to do a deeper clean occasionally by rinsing them with water and letting them dry.
The HEPA filter should be replaced every 6 months for the best performance.
This video shows you how to clean the dust bin and filters with the cleaning tool.
The iLife A4S is relatively inexpensive compared to high-end robot vacuums, at around $200.
It comes with a 12-month warranty that covers any type of issue, which is a good deal considering the price of the unit.
We’ve found that iLife’s customer support tends to be quite helpful and responsive to any issues, so you can rest assured that any problems you might have will be taken care of.
The iLife A4S might lack some advanced features of more expensive options, but this little vacuum provides a lot of bang for your buck. Between the long battery life, multiple cleaning modes and scheduling options, excellent suction power, and HEPA filtration, it definitely doesn’t fail to deliver the goods.
The only occasional issue we’ve found is that it doesn’t always find its way back to the charging dock, but this isn’t very common. Overall, vacuum is a solid performer in every category except for navigation and WiFi.
If you’re new to robot vacuums or just want to save some money on your next robot vacuum purchase, the iLife A4S is certainly worth its price.
iLife A4S Review
- Overall - 9/109/10
The iLife A4S is a compact, quiet robot vacuum that delivers impressive performance with exceptional battery life at an affordable price.
Writer and Product Researcher
Spending the last 10 years researching and writing about various home, garden and electronics topics, Shelley is more than qualified to write for Meccano Home. Her work has been featured on eBay, Pottery Barn, SFGate, TheKnot, Williams-Sonoma and various other blogs and websites.