Shark includes 9 feet of botboundary tape with the vacuum. This is flexible tape that can also be cut. The robotic vacuum will not pass over this tape. When it detects the tape in front of it, it simply turns away and moves in another direction. Shark also provides “botboundary connectors”. Pieces of botboundary tape can be placed into either side of these connectors which can be rotated to create angles (see video below).
The top of the vacuum has three buttons. Clean, Dock and Spot. Pressing Clean starts the vacuum cleaning. Pressing Dock sends the vacuum back to the charging dock. Pressing Spot starts the vacuum cleaning for several minutes in a spiral pattern.
The App has lots of features and they are well organized and easy to use. We have tested the scheduling and it works great, allowing you to control your vacuum anywhere you have an internet connection. You can also setup voice control using Amazon Alexa and Google Home through the App.
Gets about 1 hour cleaning on a full battery
The Lithium-Ion battery provides approximately 1 hour of run time on a full charge. When a recharge is needed the vacuum will head back to the dock to recharge. To recharge a fully depleted battery takes about 3 hours.
The dust canister is very easy to remove and to empty. You simply pull it out, open it, empty it into a waste basket, and reattach it to the vacuum (it just slides back into place).
To access the filter you first remove the dust canister. The filter can be found in an insert on the backside of the dust canister. The filter can be removed, tapped over a waste basket (to remove loose debris), and cleaned using a brush provided by Shark (comes with the vacuum). Note that this filter cannot be rinsed in water.
We put down several fruit loops on our low pile carpet and our tile floor and ran the RV750 over them. The vacuum picked up everything in each test.
We were not too surprised that the robotic vacuum moved well on tile or low pile carpet. But we were pleasantly surprised that it didn’t really get bogged down on our very deep pile carpet. It moved rather well on all surfaces. It also transitions from one surface to another without any issues.
We tested the cliff sensors by placing the vacuum on a tabletop. They performed perfectly, stopping the vacuum from tumbling over the edge. The vacuum will most certainly stop itself from going off any edge or from tumbling down a set of stairs. You do not need to use any botboundary tape to block off edges.
The front of the robotic vacuum has a rubber bumper which ensures no scratching of marring of table/chair legs or walls. The bumper also compresses which helps minimize impact.
While the unit performed fairly well on larger debris, it struggled some with small-to-medium sized debris. In our tests it left debris behind on each pass. While repeated passes over the same area helped to increase overall percentage of pickup, you cannot rely on the vacuum to pass over the same area repeatedly – especially in large cleaning areas with multiple rooms.
All robotic vacuums require you to prepare the cleaning area carefully before running the machine. You have to remove wires, block certain areas, pickup things off the floor, etc. We were a little disappointed that we had to make an effort in this regard every time we ran the vacuum. This is, to some extent, because we are a little disorganized and the cleaning area does get cluttered in-between cleaning sessions. Some people may have this issue while others may not.
The machine moves towards an obstacle and it either:
- bumps into it and moves away in a seemingly random direction
- detects it (before an impact) and moves away in a seemingly random direction
The approach to navigation leaves a very helter-skelter pattern on carpets (see video below).
When the vacuum is heading back to the dock it can sometimes have a hard time finding it. It seems that it will only recognize the dock when it gets within a certain proximity, then it will go ahead and dock itself. But, given its random-like navigation, we found that it sometimes never gets close enough to the dock to recognize it. This can cause the vacuum to wander about the house until the battery runs out.
We placed several fruit loops on our deep pile carpet and ran the vacuum over them. Pickup was not great and the unit left a number of fruit loops behind. Many of the vacuums we have tested – including some full size units – struggle on this test, so the shortcomings here were not unexpected (especially for a robotic vacuum).
Spinning brushes can scatter debris
The two spinning brushes on the front of the ION 750 are helpful in getting debris out of corners and away from walls, but they also have a tendency to scatter debris – especially on hard surfaces.
In the course of a cleaning session, we ran the vacuum over both short pet hair and long human hair. The spinning brushes on the front of the vacuum are like magnets for hair and frequently get tangled, requiring some effort to pull the hair off. The main part of the brushroll does a reasonably good job of staying hair-free but unfortunately the hair gathers at the two ends of the brushroll (where it attaches to the vacuum). This will require constant cleaning if you have a significant amount of hair in your home.
Shark provides a list of maintenance for the ION 750 and frankly it is more than we expected. See list below:
- Main brushroll: Check once per week
- Side brushes: Check once per week
- Dust bin filter: Check once per week
- Front caster wheel: Remove and clean once per week
- Main brushroll: Replace after approx 6-12 months
- Side brushes: Replace when visibly worn
- Dust bin filter: Replace after approx 2 months.
- Front caster wheel: Replace after approx 12 months.
- Brushroll door: Replace after approx 12 months.
- Battery: Replace if you see the "replace battery" light on the robot.