How football is turning to videogames to stay relevant

As World Cup fever can attest, football is in its prime at the moment. The matches have never been better (arguably), the players more famous or indeed expensive. But the beautiful game is facing an ugly problem: younger fans are being swayed elsewhere because of rising ticket prices and the changing face of where they get their media. 

TV watching is down, streaming and YouTube viewing is up. Without these fans, the future of the game could be in doubt. 

But football broadcasts are adapting to the needs of its younger audience, taking cues and inspiration from their direct competitors and one of the reasons it is doing this, is because of esports.

The rise of esports

Competitive gaming has well and truly hit the mainstream. Services such as Twitch have made it easy to follow the myriad gaming tournaments happening at the moment. Whatever your esports quirk – from Fifa to Fortnite – you can log on and stream the action. 

According to Campaign, some 385 million followed esports in all its forms last year and by 2020 that number is set to grow to 589 million.

The money for those participating – not to mention those streaming – is incredibly lucrative and the fan bases that have appeared are incredibly loyal. 

For those who dismiss esports because it isn’t a real sport are missing the point. Take, for instance, the recent Fortnite league that happened at this year’s E3. This was a precursor to Fortnite’s $100 million tournament bounty which is already underway. 

Fortnite

It was a charity tournament where 50 Twitch and YouTube personalities and 50 celebrities played it out to win a $3 million prize pot. The final took place in a packed-out stadium, and the Twitch feed at one point had 700,000 concurrent people watching. 

Yes, you get more people turn up to watch two teams kick a ball around but for something that’s in its infancy, this is impressive stuff. 

Leagues and legends

The Premier League in the UK has taken notice, too. Manchester City and West Ham United already have esports players on their books and this has got people speculating that an esports Premier League is about to happen.

And why not, given esports is a sports offshoot after all? Well, that’s where the problem lies. Not even esports fans know if what they are watching is a sport, despite the name. A study by Nielsen found only 53% consider esports to be an actual sport. When asked if it should be in the Olympics, only 28% agreed. 

A big advocate for calling exports a sport is League of Legends developer Riot Games. It made a superb video that puts the argument to rest. 

A sport needs competition, dedication and a fan base – there’s nothing better than watching people on the top of their game compete against each other. 

Eli Gallagher is a professional Overwatch gamer who plays with the Evil Geniuses esports team. Speaking to TechRadar about how he prepares for a tournament he explained: “The way I practice is I try to get ten hours of serious game-play in a day, where I’m taking the game 100% seriously. 

“That means I’m playing to win, I’m playing to do the best I can in each of those games. That wasn’t always easy when I started, because I had high school. Balancing playing Overwatch and sleeping and going to school was a really tight fit.”

This type of dedication is a familiar story for athletes the world over, whether their game is football or darts and it is now the same for esports. 

No wonder the fan base is growing.

The Fifa effect

As much as you would think that a game such as Fifa would bring people closer to football, it has actually given many a skewed version of what watching football is like. The instant replays, quirky camera angles and truncated match times have all created an immediacy to football that may not always be there in the real game. 

Forget England expects, football fans that have grown up on a daily diet of Fifa expect a premium slickness to the game that you just aren’t going to get on a rainy day in Stoke. 

The brilliance of football sims has made the beautiful game better to watch on television though. 

Broadcasters have learned from computer games and adopted some of their style in how they approach the filming of a football match and the analysis that follows. Long gone are the days when a scribbled circle on a piece of paper suffices as match analysis. 

Now pundits are fast-forwarding to key moments, using tablets to rotate camera angles, zoom in on the action and cut out and physically move players from parts of the pitch to other areas, seamlessly, 

Sky’s the limit

Sky, in the UK, is undoubtedly the star at doing this and it’s currently using tablets and gaming technology in its game analysis.

“Tablets continue to be at the forefront of broadcasting, powered by ChyronHego and Piero technology,” explained Sky Sports Head of Football Gary Hughes at a recent event

“They allow our pundits to cover every aspect of the game and break down key moments. Opta data is fed directly into those screens, allowing pundits access to touch-maps and positions, providing our customers with extra detail and depth to analysis.”

Sky also uses data from EA Sports to help with their coverage. 

“Our partnership with EA Sports allows us to recreate any moment from any game, to provide additional views and perspectives from officials or player points of view,” Hughes notes. 

“Then there’s our studio technology, where an Ncam and VR tracking system brings team line ups, formations and social media interaction into the studio environment and also allows us to create a virtual window into our studio.”

It’s not just in the UK where this gamification of football broadcasting is happening. TechRadar spoke to Roger Brosel, Head of Content and Programming, at La Liga – the Spanish football league – back in March about its approach to broadcasting football and it is also looking to videogames for inspiration. 

“Someones first experience with football isn’t on the television. Right now many kids get into football through videogames, they have played as their favourite players in FIFA,” said Brosel. 

“They may not have experienced seeing these players live so they get used to videogame-style shots of the game – close-ups of the ball, cameras behind the player about to shoot a penalty – instead of the typical camera one angle. 

“We want to update how we deliver football to our fans and we think that Sky Cam helps us a lot.” 

The Sky Cam Brosel mentions has been around since the 90s. It’s a camera system that’s suspended by cables and zips around above the players’ heads when the game is on. 

It’s fast, nimble and can offer some brilliant shots that a static camera just can’t achieve. Two people remotely control it: a pilot that moves the device and one that controls the camera. Brosel believes the use of this offers up a videogame sheen to their broadcasts. 

“We wanted to make La Liga look cool and you can get some great shots with the Sky Cam,” said Brolis. “Before we used it, it was only really used in top games but we wanted it to become standard in La Liga. It makes the broadcast really beautiful and makes the angles spectacular. 

“We have worked with the clubs and installed a Sky Cam permanently in their venues. It’s currently available in eight stadiums.”

Another piece of technology used in La Liga is Intel True View. Favoured by the NFL, this technology uses 38 5K cameras to stick together a 360-degree view of the match, so it can be replayed at any angle – even from the point of view of a player. 

This means that a highlight reel of a football match will be as interactive as any videogame. La Liga is hoping it’s these innovations that will entice younger viewers to put down the controller and watch their matches.

Videogames aren’t the enemy of sport, but the present and the future. There are certain commonalities between putting on a pair headphones and a pair of boots – the pitch may look different but the will to win is the same. 

TechRadar’s World Cup coverage is brought to you in association with Honor.

Create on the go: Photoshop coming to iPad

Since the release of iOS 11 and the iPad Pro, Apple has been asking “what’s a computer?” And, now that Adobe is bringing Photoshop over to to the iPad as well, many more people might be asking themselves that same question.

We don’t know when it’s going to happen, but Adobe is planning on bringing Photoshop to iOS later this year, as part of the process of porting more Creative Cloud apps to the mobile platform, according to a report from Bloomberg.

The full details of the app will be unveiled at the MAX creative conference in October, according to people close to the plan. We don’t know what the compatibility will be like, however Belsky did mention that “Newer versions of the iPad Pro are now powerful enough to support Adobe’s apps”. So, perhaps it’ll require an iPad Pro to work – and maybe the 2018 student iPad as well. Apple has previously been rumored to be unveiling new iPad Pro 2018 tablets. 

This shift in strategy is due to hobbyists demanding the ability to make edits to their creative projects ‘on the fly’ according to Scott Belsky, Adobe’s chief product officer of Creative Cloud. He’s aiming to get Photoshop, along with other Adobe products “on the market as soon as possible”. An iPad version of Illustrator is apparently also on its way, but it will come along later than Photoshop for iPad.

Adobe’s mission here serves two purposes, then: to cater to professionals on mobile platforms, and to win over casual users, who may never have even tried a full-fledged photo editor like Photoshop.

Racing for the prize 

While Apple has generally been at center stage when it came to creative-focused applications, the Microsoft Surface Pro, thanks to its native Windows 10 support, has recently become the go-to device for creatives on the go. 

However, now that Photoshop and other Creative Cloud programs are coming to the iPad, it could put a dent in the Surface Pro’s market share – especially since even the iPad Pro is much less expensive and it’s always improving with iOS 12 and yearly updates. 

This wouldn’t be the first time that Adobe has toyed at iOS. Recently, Adobe previewed Project Rush, now in beta, which is a video editing app that works across all platforms. Rush is a “test bed” for this new platform, according to someone familiar with the Adobe software program. 

This news that Photoshop will be coming to iOS seems to suggest it was a successful test, after all – even if it’s still in beta. 

Via The Verge

  • Check out our list of the best photo editors for Android and iOS 

Best cordless vacuum cleaner 2018: the top wire-free vacuums you can buy

Finding the best cordless vacuum cleaners has gotten oh-so-much easier considering some of the best overall vacuum cleaners today have done away with the cord entirely. 

After years of being just ‘OK’, cordless vacuum cleaners are now very good indeed. And, they’re taking over, with brands like Dyson and Shark offering lightweight vacs engineered to perfection and packing in more sucking power than an arena full of talent show rejects.

In fact, Dyson is so over wires that during the launch of its Cyclone V10, it vowed to never make a corded vacuum again. The cord, it seems, is going the way of the dodo in the vacuum world. 

Of course, there are now many robot vacuum cleaners on the market, which are free to roam and tidy your home without you so much as lifting a finger. These certainly have no wire holding them back. 

So, if you’re on the market for one of the best cordless vacuum cleaners in 2018, you’ve come to the right place as we count down our favorites. We’ll have your home spotless in no time at all.

[Update: The Shark IONFlex 2X DuoClean is now on our list. It’s beautifully designed and extremely powerful, so it will make quick work of dust and debris in your home. It’s a bit on the heavy side and the battery life leaves a lot to be desired, but it does come with a second rechargeable battery.]

  • The best robot vacuums

Is this the perfect cordless vacuum cleaner? A few niggles aside, it very nearly could be. Dyson is so confident in the Cyclone V10 Absolute that it’s stated since its release that it will no longer be building corded vacuum cleaners – that’s just how good the Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute is.

If you’re familiar with Dyson’s other cordless vacuum models, you’ll know what you’re getting here – a stylish and transformable handheld cleaner with removable heads and an optional extender pole, making it as well suited to cleaning the car as hard to reach corners. 

You’ll get up to an hour’s worth of battery life from a single charge which is great compared to the competition – though do be aware that if you push it to its most powerful suction settings that figure drops dramatically.

Add in a larger bin size than previous models and a 20% improvement in max suction power and this is the cleaner to beat right now.

Read our full Dyson Cyclone V10 review

The Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute is superb, but it’s also superbly expensive. If you’re after something a little less extravagant, but just as well served in the sucking stakes, consider the Shark IF250UK instead. 

It can run for 22 minutes on a single charge…but also offers hot-swappable batteries, with another popped in the box essentially doubling that running time.

It’s a little more cumbersome than the Dyson models, but an articulated mid section makes the Shark IF250UK well suited for cleaning those hard to reach places underneath the sofa.

And, if you’re a pet lover, there’s an animal-focussed version available too with a selection of attachments dedicated to getting stubborn fur out of where it shouldn’t be. A worthy alternative to the Dyson elite.

Read the full Shark IF250UK review

Were it not for the Shark and newer Dyson models above, the Dyson V8 Absolute would still be our top pick of the cordless vacuum cleaners on the market. And though it’s getting a bit long in the tooth, as an older model now commanding more affordable pricing, it’s still well worth giving a try.

Another transforming cordless vacuum cleaner, like the Dyson Cyclone V10 Absolute it too features a pistol-grip power button, meaning it’s only drawing from the battery and sucking up grime when it’s actually being held down and used. As such, its 40 minute running time can feel much longer than that – though again the more powerful settings and motorized heads will see that figure drastically reduced.

Fitted with a large bin and sold complete with a ton of accessories, it’s a great package and, best of all, it’s fun to use – its sci-fi aesthetic will make you feel like a Ghostbuster while you’re doing your chores.

“AirRam” sounds almost like too cool a name for a white goods product – it could be a special move in Street Fighter or something like that. But the Gtech AirRam MK2 backs it up with respectable sucking action, and at a palatable price point too.

Designed like an upright, you’ll get about 40 minutes out of the AirRam MK2 per charge, giving the Dyson V8 Absolute a run for its money. It’ll run off a mains power supply too, though don’t expect to go very far with the short cable that’s supplied.

Gtech Airlock technology adapts the head for different flooring types which guarantees a good suction seal whether tackling carpet or hardwoods, while a removable cylinder bin lets you easily dispose of any collected grime.

But though it’s not too heavy, the lack of a hose or different attachments makes it less versatile than some of the other products on this list. Still, it gets the job done, and at a far more affordable price than the competition to boot.

Not content with just building traditional vacuum cleaners, Dyson has also tried dipping its toes into the world of robotics too. And with the Dyson 360 Eye, it’s made one of the most impressive robot vacuum cleaners on the market.

Run a relatively smooth app-driven set up process, allowing the Dyson 360 Eye to map your home, set a cleaning schedule for the bot, and you’re away.

Dyson’s robot is intelligent enough to avoid table legs and clothes left on the floor, as well as damaging drops like stairs. Its camera and AI smarts still get caught out at times, and it’s too chunky to slide comfortably under most sofas, but you can reliably let it get the job done for you, provided you’re prepared to do some of the bigger jobs that occur every once in a while.

What is intimidating though is the price – Dyson products already command a premium, and with all the smart connected and imaging technology crammed in here, it’s one of the priciest items they offer. An extravagance then, but a very cool one.

Read the full Dyson 360 Eye review

Another pricey, but super-cool bot is iRobot’s Roomba 980 robot vacuum cleaner. It’s neck and neck with the Dyson as to which robot cleaner is our favorite at the moment.

Like the Dyson, it’ll intelligently map your home and keep an eye out for problem zones, and will know exactly when to jump between high and lower power modes depending on whether or not its on carpets or hard floors.

It has a few advantages over the Dyson alternative, with a lower clearance letting it get under more types of furniture, and a two hour battery that will let it clean for longer before needing to return to its charging station. You can also set up battery-powered “Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barriers”, which send a signal to the Roomba preventing it from passing between two points – perfect for blocking off doorways to areas you’d rather it not disturb.

It’s pricey, and has a particular dislike of cables on the floor, but if you’re after a luxury robotic cleaner, and don’t much fancy the Dyson competitor, it’s definitely one to consider.

  • Shark IONFlex 2X DuoClean is $308 at Amazon

The Shark IONFlex 2X DuoClean is truly eye-catching. It’s main tube is a lovely a metallic blue and it has all the looks of a futuristic cleaning machine. You may be hard pressed to believe this is actually a vacuum for your humble home.

The IONFlex 2X DuoClean easily switches from hardwood floor cleaning to carpet with the push of a button. The detachable motor lets you use it as a handheld, too, letting you clean furniture or other surfaces very easily. 

The package includes an assortment of attachments for different kinds of cleaning, such as a head specifically designed to clean fabric. 

In handheld mode it’s on the heavier side due to the lithium-ion batteries, so you’ll definitely get an arm workout when using this vacuum. But, you’ll be cleaning a lot of surface area because it moves so fast and efficiently. 

The bin is big enough, so you should have plenty of room to clean a large room or a few smaller ones before needing to dump it out. Dumping the contents of the bin is as easy as holding it over a garbage bin and pressing a button.

The biggest knock against the IONFlex 2X DuoClean is the battery. It doesn’t last long at all, probably close to 10 minutes or so, before you need to swap out another one. The good news is that the batteries are rechargable; the bad news is that they take a lot longer than 10 minutes to recharge fully. 

So, you’ll likely find that you’ve burned through two batteries quickly, then need to wait a few hours before both are back to full charge. You can, of course, use one after it’s only charged for a short while, but it won’t last very long. 

Still, this cordless vacuum has a lot going for it, so it’s well worth considering adding to your cleaning collection. 

  • The best smart home devices
  • Happy with a few cables? Then check our full best vacuum cleaners guide

Best vacuum cleaners: 11 best vacuums from cordless Dyson to robot Roomba

The best vacuum cleaner is one that busts dirt and dust, leaves your floors and carpets looking shimmery and doesn’t add any more stress to an already tedious chore. In fact, some of the best vacuum cleaners do all the work for you. 

We want to help you find the best vacuum cleaner of 2018, which is why we’ve tested every one of these machines in our own dusty abodes. We’ve vetted every vacuum on this list, so you now you’re getting the best of the best recommendations. 

With these vacuum cleaners, it’s easier than ever to snipe up unwanted dust and debris. Spending less time cleaning means more time to enjoy your home with family and friends. 

The best vacuum cleaners have gotten smarter, lighter and easier to use, and that’s made adding them to this list a breeze. We’ve set out to find the best vacuum cleaners 2018 to make choosing one less of a chore. We can tell you first-hand that these vacuums suck, and we mean that as a good thing.

[Update: Two more Shark vacuum cleaners have been added t our list: the Shark ION Robot 750 and the Shark IONFlex 2X DuoClean. Both vacuums offer incredible power and truly eye-catching designs. We wish the battery life on the DuoClean was longer and the bin in the ION Robot 750 bigger, but aside from these drawbacks, both are worthy considerations for adding to your cleaning collection.]

  • The best cordless vacuum cleaners and best robot vacuums around! 

One important note is that many of the best vacuum cleaners these days have done away with the massive cord that was always a tripping hazard, and instead feature a cordless design. 

As a sign of how outmoded corded vacuums have become, Dyson, one of the biggest vacuum manufacturers on the planet, vowed to stop developing corded vacuums all together after the release of the cordless Cyclone V10 (which sits on our list). 

Not only are vacuum cleaners today much slimmer than the monstrous vacuums of yore, but some even have brains of their own. These robot vacuum cleaners will work their magic without you living a finger. In fact, you don’t even have to be home for a robo vac to do its thing.

Whether it’s a lightweight cordless, a super-powerful upright or a “who needs humans?” robot cleaner you’re after, these are the best vacuum cleaners TechRadar has used. Now no more excuses – it’s time to clean house!

Dyson’s newest cordless vacuum cleaner is so good, the company is no longer producing new corded vacuums. That’s how confident Dyson is that the Cyclone V10 and the vacs that follow will meet all your cleaning needs. 

Simply put, the Cyclone V10 is the best vacuum Dyson has ever made. Dyson has redefined its cyclone technology to produce more suction power than ever; the new V10 digital motor is 20% more powerful than the previous V8, and, we can assure, it sucks a lot (we mean that as a compliment).

You’ll notice a number of crucial changes between the V10 and older V models. For example, the barrel is now front-facing, and all attachments connect here directly. The design allows for greater suction efficiency, according to Dyson. The V10 is smarter than ever before, too, and can even detect differences in altitude, air pressure and temperature, and adjust itself for maximum performance. 

Prices and models vary across regions, but needless to say, you pay for the Cyclone V10’s souped-up suction. And while the Cyclone V10 is more powerful than ever and boasts a more energy-dense battery than previous models, putting it on the highest setting will drain the battery in about five minutes. At the lowest setting, however, you’ll get up to 60 minutes of use, and that should be plenty for your everyday messes. 

Read our full Dyson Cyclone V10 review

Don’t want a Dyson? This Shark IF250UK is a cheaper and suitable alternative to some of the top end products from Dyson that sit in this list. It’s another cordless cleaner that can run for 22 minutes from a single charge – but the best bit is there are two batteries in the box, so you can just hot swap out mid-clean and get 44 minutes in total.

We really like the design of the Shark IF250UK, although it is a little on the heavy side. It comes with Shark’s Flexology technology that means you can bend the cleaner at the mid-way point so you can get those hard to reach places like under your sofa without having to get down on your hands and knees.

It’s not as lightweight as the Dyson above, but we still found it easy enough to carry and suitably portable. 

This thing is powerful too. If you own a pet, you can get a special edition version that comes with in-built pet cleaning features, but in an animal-free home we found the Shark IF250UK cleaned up easily when using its maximum suction mode.

For a lower price than the Dyson above in this list, the Shark IF250UK is suitable as your next vacuum cleaner as it’s just as powerful as the competition and easy to use.

Read the full Shark IF250UK review

Formerly the best cordless vacuum experience that money could buy, the Dyson V8 Absolute is still a top-of-the-line battery powered vacuum cleaner, even as the Cyclone V10 has dethroned it as the very best. It also remains an absolute joy to use.

First, the design. With a removable extender pole and equipped with six different heads for different surfaces and use cases, the V8 Absolute is lightweight and easy to run around the house. But with the suction motor in the pistol-grip handle area, you can easily clip a head directly onto the main unit, turning the whole thing into a portable cleaner, perfect for going up the stairs of de-crumbing the car.

A full-charge will give you around 40 minutes of use, which is really impressive for a cordless cleaner – though mileage will vary once you start using on the motorized heads, or switch on the V8 Absolute’s MAX mode. You’ll rarely need it though – for a handheld, this cleaner will rival even an upright for sheers dirt-sucking power. Its large bin will take in plenty of trash too before needing emptying – another convenience not often seen in a cordless.

Best of all though, it genuinely is fun to use. The sci-fi aesthetic makes it one of the few “white goods” gadgets you’ll happily leave on show in the house, with the transforming design as useful as it is clever. It’s worth saving the cash for.

The Gtech AirRam MK2 blends the flexibility of a cordless vacuum with strong suction performance and easy use, making it a great choice for those looking for a vac they can quickly whizz around the home.

It’s super easy to setup out of the box, and after the the initial charge (it takes four hours to fully charge from flat) you’re ready to go. The need to charge however can be a hassle, especially if an accidental spillage has occurred and you want to quickly clean it, only to find the AirRam MK2 is out of battery. You could use it if plugged into the wall, but with such a short charging cable supplied that’d be wholly impractical.

An hour on the charger will give you a short burst of power to address a spillage, but if you’re planning on doing a general clean you’ll want a fall charge, which gives you around 40 minutes of use – similar to what you’d get from Dyson’s V8 Absolute.

While charging may be a little inconvenient at times, it means you’re never tethered to a cord when using the Gtech AirRam MK2 and that is where is comes into its own. It’s lightweight and highly manoeuvrable body allows you to quickly and efficiently move round your home.

Gtech’s Airlock technology automatically adjusts the head for different flooring types, and suction is generally very good – but it’s not the best on offer.

The collection bin may be a bit on the small side too, but it’s incredibly easy to empty and ensures you don’t get your hands dirty, with the removable cylinder featuring a sliding lever that pushes out all the nasties.

It’s easy to carry up and down stairs, but with no hose or attachments you can’t easily vacuum stairs with it, or hard to reach areas of your home. It’s price tag makes it a more approachable option than the Dyson however, so if you’re on a budget it’s well worth a look.

If you want serious suction from your vacuum cleaner, Dyson is the market leader. Its cyclone technology has long been touted as the best sucker around, and on the Light Ball Multi Floor we can safely say; this thing sucks big time. In a good way.

With 90AW of suction power the Dyson Light Ball Multi Floor tackles carpet, wood floors, laminate and more. Each pass hoovers up dust, hair and other particles struck inside your carpets too, not just those sitting on top.

We were surprised, and impressed with the amount of stuff it picked up during the first few trips around our house – clearly our previous vacuum wasn’t doing the job as effectively.

When the large bin fills up, it’s just a simple one button release from the body of the Light Ball, and then another one button press to dispense its contents into the bin – although with the large flag that opens at the bottom you’ll need to angle the cylinder accordingly.

As well as acting as a standard upright cleaner, the Light Ball also comes with a built in hose and tools, allowing you to tackle hard to reach places, ceilings and stairs with relative ease.

It’s still a bit of a beast to carry up and down stairs though, and at times the long 9.4m cord does get in the way, making you wish this was a cordless vacuum – but the trade off will be inferior suction.

If you’re in the market for a vacuum cleaner that will give your floors a seriously good seeing too, then the easy to use, highly maneuverable and surprisingly quiet (considering the suction) Dyson Light Ball could be up your street.

With AI smarts improving all the time and robotics increasingly as at home as on the production line, the sci-fi dream of having a little robot helper to potter about the house is increasingly becoming a reality. The Dyson 360 Eye is the vacuum cleaning company’s first effort in the space, and makes a good account of itself.

After a relatively painless app-powered set-up process, the camera equipped Dyson 360 Eye is able to navigate your home, weaving around obstacles on a cleaning routine you again establish through the app. 

Considering its small size, it’s surprisingly capable at sucking up the rubbish in your home and, when its battery gets low and it’s time for a recharge, the 360 Eye will intelligently return to its charging station without any prompting. 

It’s a premium product, commanding a high asking price that’s best used as a supplement to your usual cleaning rota rather than a replacement. With the 360 Eye doing the rounds once every day, you’ll find that your home will need a “deep clean” vacuum session by your own hand far more rarely. 

But there’s still room for improvement if the company ever make a second generation – the tall clearance makes it difficult for the 360 Eye to fit under furniture, a bigger bin would lessen the need to keep emptying it out, and a larger battery would give it a better chance of completing a whole-house sweep in one pass without a recharge session. 

The limitations of the wider product category taken into consideration, it’s a solid luxury cleaning product regardless.

Dyson’s not the only company working with robotics in the home space, and many rate iRobot and its Roomba 980 vacuum cleaner very highly, too.

A low-clearance, dirt-sucking disc, it’s likewise intelligent enough to go about its business in your home without much prompting from its human owners. The Roomba 980 will intelligently map your home for problem spots, kicking into a high-power mode when carpets are identified, and weaving around chair legs and other potential obstacles. 

With a two hour battery life, it will manage a longer cleaning cycle than the Dyson before it too heads back to its charging dock.

Other smart features of the Roomba 980 include its battery-powered “Dual Mode Virtual Wall Barriers” which signal to the bot which area to avoid if placed across a doorway, and more granular control over its cleaning procedures through its accompanying app. 

However, the Roomba 980 too has room for improvement, with it’s app not always terrible intuitive, and the robot itself sometimes getting bamboozled by cables.

It’s another pricey cleaning luxury, and making the choice between it and its Dyson rival will be a tough one. But for those that can afford it, the Roomba 980 is another excellent cleaning convenience. 

Read our full iRobot Roomba 980 review

You may not have heard of the name Eufy before, but this more affordable robot vacuum cleaner offers some fantastic value and it comes from the sister brand of Anker, which is the closest thing to a household name in the world of portable chargers.

The RoboVac 11 has lots of cleaning settings included an automatic mode, maximum power, edge cleaning, single room cleaning or a mode that specifically focuses on one small area.

The problem is, unlike the two vacuums above you can’t connect the RoboVac 11 to an app so you can’t monitor or set your robot cleaner to go when you’re not in the house.

Instead it’s all activated through a remote control that comes in the box with the RoboVac 11. You can set it up on a timer so the cleaner will automatically head on its journey once a day, but it’s not as useful as having an app to do it from anywhere in the world.

There’s also no mapping technology built in and instead the RoboVac 11 will just make its own way around your home until the battery runs out. It uses infrared sensors to avoid bumping into furniture in your home, but it can be quite frustrating if you’re to sit and watch it work as it doesn’t clean as efficiently as some other cleaners.

With a 0.6 Lm bin this will keep going for multiple cleans and we found the battery life to last around 90 minutes on the automatic mode and a little bit less if you’re using the maximum power suction.

The Eufy may not be the most efficient or powerful robot vacuum cleaner on the market, but considering its super low price point it’s impressive how much value for money you get with the RoboVac 11.

Read our full Eufy RoboVac 11 review

While not quite as familiar a name as Dyson or Roomba, with the Neato Botvac Connected, Neato managed to create a vacuum cleaner that definitely gives the others a run for their money. 

At 10 cm tall, it comfortably manages to shuffle under most items of furniture, and uses laser guidance to map the room. It’s very satisfying watching it figure out which items of furniture it can navigate under and around. 

A little frustratingly, it doesn’t seem to factor in the little protruding circle on top of the unit that houses the Neato logo, and so does occasionally get caught on items that it only just clears.

You can control the Neato Botvac Connected using your phone, set up routines for when you want it to clean, and even pause mid-clean. There are also convenient buttons on the unit itself; one for ‘spot clean’ that will do one room, or ‘house clean’ that will do your entire home before guiding itself back to its base station. 

At 0.7 Lm, the bin size is bigger than both the Dyson 360 and the Roomba, but is still small in comparison to a standard vacuum cleaner, and will need emptying mid-clean if you have a large (or particularly dirty) home. 

There is the option to either have the Neato clean in Eco or Turbo mode, which will give you quieter or deeper cleaning, depending on your preference. From the time that we have spent with it, the deeper cleaning mode provides a very thorough level of cleaning, although will invariably miss areas that require moving of obstacles, so you’ll still need an occasional once-over with a hand-held vacuum cleaner.

  • Shark ION Robot 750 is $308 at Amazon

We’ve been testing the Shark ION Robot 750 robot vacuum for some time now, and it never ceases to impress us. 

The first thing we noticed is its design; this isn’t a boring black puck, but rather a sleek machine with lovely accents and a mix of shine and matte elements that make it stand out from the competition. 

As for performance, the Shark ION Robot 750 cleans like a dream. We were amazed that it picked up that much dirt in our home, and was even able to pick up larger pieces of debris that other robot vacuums simply brushed to the side. 

It has a great sense of its surroundings, rarely bumping into things or getting stuck. It’s fast, too; you may be surprised to see it on the other side of your living room when you’ve turned your back for just a second. 

We wish the bin was a little bigger as it fills up fairly quickly, but then again we have two dogs, so there’s a lot of dirt, hair and other detris to lap up. The battery life is long lasting, and it’s never run out on us during our testing. 

  • Shark IONFlex 2X DuoClean is $350 at Amazon

The Shark IONFlex 2X DuoClean is a beautiful beast; it’s a lovely shade of metallic blue and shimmery black, and it is so powerful, you may be a bit taken aback. 

We love how this vacuum can switch from hardwood floor cleaning to carpet with the push of a button. The detachable motor lets you use it as a handheld, too, great for cleaning furniture. It comes with an assortment of attachments for different kinds of cleaning, such as a head specifically designed to clean fabric. 

It’s a bit on the heavy side when you slide in the lithium-ion batteries, so you’ll definitely get a workout when using this vacuum. But, you’ll be cleaning a lot of surface area because it moves so fast and efficiently. 

The bin is big enough, so you should have plenty of room to clean a large room or a few smaller ones before needing to dump it out.

The biggest drawback with the IONFlex 2X DuoClean is the battery. It doesn’t last long at all, probably close to 10 minutes or so, before you need to swap out another one. The good news is that the batteries are rechargable; the bad news is that they take a lot longer than 10 minutes to recharge fully. 

So, you’ll likely find that you’ve burned through two batteries quickly, then need to wait a few hours before both are back to full charge. You can, of course, use one after it’s only charged for a short while, but don’t expect it to last very long. 

Still, this cordless vacuum has a lot going for it, so it’s well worth considering adding to your cleaning collection. 

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