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Sony DSC-F828 8MP Digital Camera with 7x Optical Zoom
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Electronics
list price: $999.99 -- our price: Too Low To Display
(price subject to change: see help)
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France

Features

  • Stores images on either Sony Memory Stick media or Microdrive
  • Powered by InfoLithium M battery (included with AC adapter/in-camera charger)
  • 8-megapixel 4-color Super HAD CCD captures enough detail to make 22x16-inch prints
  • 7x optical zoom with a Carl Zeiss T* lens system(28 - 200mm, 35mm equivalent); 14x precision digital zoom
  • Captures images in both raw and TIFF modes; MPEG movie; advanced accessory shoe
Reviews (83)

5-0 out of 5 stars Best Power for the Price
I love this camera. Once you learn the different shooting modes and features you'll be taking pro-quality shots. The night-framing feature is excellent for nighttime without the overbright characteristics of using just the flash. You can take roughly 300 pictures using a 1 gig compact flash card at 3264x2448 (highest resolution).

I also purchased this with the Sony accessory kit. The extra battery, multi-coat protector lens, and carrying bag have been very useful from the start.

Considering my old Sony F505v lasted me 5 years this one will probably last at least 10 more! A decade worth of high resolution memories is worth the price of admission!

5-0 out of 5 stars A Tempramental Masterpiece!
I have owned my 828 about a year now and I have been amazed at the bashing this camera has and still does take. Even to the point of 828 online clubs devoted to the pictures and defense of this amazing camera! And yes this camera is amazing. As I have stated in my other reviews I sell cameras for BestBuy as well as work as a professional photographer so I will give you the straight and narrow on this camera. Ready? The fringe thing-I have taken about 2000 pictures with my 828 and in only one of them was I able to reproduce the famed purple fringing effect, this was using a long shutter exsposure on a city street at night, 1999 other shots in as many situations and not a trace. I even tried pointing the camera directly at the lights in the the bestbuy store (you know what those look like!) and guess what? "Nada" I just got a great picture of the bestbuy ceiling. So the conclusion on fringe? Get over it, it is such a rare occurance that it hardly warrants concearn. Noise: here is where a tend to agree with most critics your pics will get mad noisy at the 800 ISO setting, but few digital cameras wont, hell even Canon's 20D starts losing luster at a 800 ISO setting and that camera will go all the way upto 3200!! So turn down the ISO and take your pictures or learn to use photoshop or something and fix them. I mean this is a DIGITAL camera right? The thing these bozos don't tell you is that removing ISO noise from an image is an extremely easy thing to do, again, get over it. Having addressed the two main gripes about the 828 what are you left with? Lets start with the four color CCD. I have said this before and I'm saying it now: The 828 has the best color of ANY digital camera out there today! If your into outdoor pics, close ups, night shots (turn that ISO down) your pictures and thier color will be amazing! By the way touching on low light pics and the 828, I do alot of long exsposure shots with the 828 and they are always top notch! Battery life on the 828 is an impressive 240-300 minutes on a full charge! (no kidding)The Lense- the biggest part of the camera and the biggest attraction if you like focusing your camera yourself (with a little digital help). The lense is a Ziess made with little to no barrel distortion (flower lense hood is included! BONUS!!) and quite versitile as far as the focal ranges it will cover, this also brings me to the cameras construction, this baby is heavy but damn! it sure feels good! The 828 is the 2nd largest in its class, so if your into pocket toys you best be looking at Casio or HP cameras (sorry that was mean) The 828 is really a SLR camera with a lense on it you can't take off. End of story. The body reminds me of my Sony F-707 wich I loved ( probably the best 5MP camera ever made) The tilting body is a Godsend for the pro and joe shmoe alike! The eye piece is among the best out there and id diopter adjustable, the LCD screen is a little small 1.8 inches but is extrememly clear and sharp so it works for me. The 828 like its little brother the V3 shoots on Memory stick as well as Compact flash type I & II, and unlike the V3 the 828 can use micro-drives (I have a 4 gig in mine) All the controls on the camera are well placed and easy to master even for the beginner. However I found i got slightly better pictures in the "P" mode than in full auto, but a novice should always start in the auto mode. The 828 boasts the same range of shutter speeds and apatures as the DSC-V3 (see my review) wich as I have said before I think is a sane selection of ranges! All your options are useable so play, play, play!! The scene modes are pretty run of the mill: Landscape, night shot, low light portrait, snow, tropical sun, and candle light. The white balancing features are pretty dead bang but watch out for the blues- I leave mine set to auto unless im shooting outside then I'm pretty safe. Sonys X-32 flash and this camera are a match made in heaven but thanks to the ACC port your old one will work too, but I can't stress enough the benefit of Sony's. Sony still has the on board crop feature. (other cameras do this but only Sony lets youdetermine the resolution of the cropped image!I have just barely touched on the features and capabilities of this camera ( I don't want to use up all of amazons web space) so let me leave you with these thoughts. Currently I own and run the following digital cameras: F-828, DSC-V3, Nikon 8700, and the Nikon 8800, all four of these are eceptionally high rated cameras, out of all the 828 remains my right hand camera. I will say in all honestly this is not an easy camera to use, It will make you think about your shots, make you work for them. This is NOT a point and shoot camera, it was never meant to be (people who love this camera will tell you this) So why all the bad press? Well, with this camera Sony made an awful lot of professionals toys run of the mill, this camera broke down alot of technology barriers (still does in fact)So alot of people went on the offensive looking for the fly in the ointment, wich can be found with any camera on the market today. So why the fuss? this is a genuine technology breakthru people, the real deal, and there ain't no going back. I apologize for the lack of technical data in this review I love this damn camera so much I tend to spend more time defending it than specing it out! But the proof is in the pictures so with that I'll rest my case. Because the strongest feature of the 828 is the most important one "the pictures are fantastic!!" If you want an easy to use camera, move on. If you like to fuss with things and tinker or play with your camera, have fun with your camera, create with your camera then add this puppy to your shopping cart. cause this is your beast.I have heard Sony is working on a successor to the 828 I can only hope it is half the camera! Bottom line... don't believe the hype or sour grapes folks this is the state-of-the art and has been for nearly 2 years. Thanks for reading, good luck in pictures!!

3-0 out of 5 stars A Toy for those who wish to learn.
At first, the F828 is very impressive. It can take huge pictures. You can take some really awesome pictures with this but it also limits you in a way that a camera that costs $800-$1000 should not.

Problems :
- Noise gets way too noticable, even on ISOs above 100 or 200.
- Flash is way over over-powered, even at the lowest setting, 90% of the time, people still get really washed out.
- In almost any reflective or bright surfaces in pictures - the camera will create "Purple Fringe" - I cannot stand having a bunch of purple where it doesn't belong.

That being said - I have taken many excellent pictures with this camera, but I think this ended up being more a learning tool than a camera I could count on to take excellent pictures always. I personally no longer like Sony as a result of me owning and using this camera.

I recommend Canon - the 300D or the 350D(the XT) or if you're willing to save up more money, the 20D. A huge line of lenses and acceccories that you can count on not to create a big blob of purple on a jacket zipper. ... Read more

Asin: B0000C8817
Sales Rank: 676
Subjects:  1. Digital Camera (Cameras)    2. Photograph (Photography)   


Too Low To Display

Philips MCi250 Wireless Broadband Internet Micro HiFi System
by Philips
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Electronics
list price: $379.99
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France

Editorial Review

Now you can enjoy thousands of streaming Internet radio stations--as well as all the MP3 and mp3PRO files stored on your PC's hard drive--wirelessly, from nearly anywhere in your house. The Philips MCi250 Stream Internet-Audio Microsystem is WiFi-compatible and broadband-ready for wired connections, too. The system also comes with a full-featured MP3 CD player and a digital AM/FM stereo tuner for traditional stereo conveniences.

With the MCi250 you just have to select "Internet" as a source to instantaneously hear radio from around the world. Unlike conventional radio, Internet radio lets you control what you hear--you can often skip to the next track and see who the next artist will be.



See how you can use the supplied wireless USB transmitter to turn your home into a wireless network
Because its broadband connection is always available through your home network, there's no need to set up the system every time you want to listen to Internet music--it's automatically at the ready. You can also download MP3s from the Internet to your PC and burn them to a CD. This CD can now be played on the MCi250 literally anywhere you go (AC power required for operation). One MP3 CD can carry up to 12 hours of music, and the unit can play files with bit rates between 32 and 320 kbps as well as variable-bit-rate recordings.

Ever missed or forgotten an artist's name after a song has piqued your interest? Just press the handy INFO! button to receive an e-mail containing information about the artist and the track you're hearing. You can also link to retailers to buy the music. And if you're already drowning in e-mail, don't worry--set your e-mail preferences using My.Philips.com and the site will store your INFO! choices until you review them online at your convenience.

"Favorites" is a fast and easy way to bookmark all your preferred music. From the tracks of a CD to broadcast radio stations to the channels and stations offered by Philips's music services--they can all be bookmarked at the touch of the (UN)MARK button. Then press Favorites while in any music source: your list will display and you're ready to select and play a new favorite.

The system is upgradeable, too--use your Internet connection to download and install software updates for exciting new services and product features. Created exclusively for owners of Philips broadband Internet products, the My.Philips.com Web site is your personal tool for getting information and managing your entertainment choices.

As a sound system, the MCi250 delivers the goods. Its two-way speakers each contain a 1-inch cone tweeter for crisp high frequencies and a 5.25-inch aluminum-cone woofer powered by Philips's patented wOOx Technology for powerful bass response. The dual-suspension bass radiator, together with dedicated amplifier circuitry, is designed to produce and handle dynamic sound at very low frequencies.

An auxiliary input (stereo analog audio) accommodates a cassette deck, external MP3 player, DVD player, or other device, and a dedicated subwoofer output lets you hook up a powered sub for extended bass response. Bass and treble controls allow sound adjustment to personal preferences, and Incredible Surround employs psychoacoustic methods to widen the perceived stereo spatial image for full-impact home entertainment--especially helpful if you're not using surround speakers.

What's in the Box
The MCi250 Internet radio microsystem, a multifunction remote control, remote batteries, FM/AM antennas, a user's manual, and warranty information.

Note: Broadband Internet service and a gateway router including DHCP/NAT support are required for full use of this product's features. ... Read more

Features

  • Upgradeable; easily access and manage your favorite songs via My.Philips.com
  • 50-watts-per-channel microsystem with CD, AM/FM radio, and Internet radio playback and wOOx Technology for deep bass
  • Plays CD, CD-R, CD-RW, MP3 and mp3-PRO CDs, offers Wi-Fi compatibility for wireless streaming music from your PC or the Internet
  • Connect to multiple online music services, thousands of Internet music channels, hundreds of musical genres, personalized radio stations
  • PC Link lets you listen to all the MP3 and mp3-PRO music files on your PC
Reviews (20)

1-0 out of 5 stars Zero stars
I was completely flummoxed by this complicated product with an absolutely impenetrable instruction manual.I have 3 college degrees, I consider myself computer literate, but this was beyond my imagination.Simple instructions were nowhere to be found.During the set up, the screen said to choose one of two options, I knew which one I wanted but I could not find out how to make the selection.The instructions for making selections must be far separated from the actual tasks described - I could not find it.This product is made in China and I believe the instruction manual was written there also.Avoid this one like the Chinese plague.

5-0 out of 5 stars It rocks!

I have the Streamium MC-i250 and people who come over are always amazed at the sound quality. It plays CDs and MP3s and pretty much any streaming radio station straight from the Internet.

5-0 out of 5 stars Best in Class
I looked for quite a while before I leaped and the previous reviews were very helpful.I actually have two MCi250's and they are both working great off the same PC as server.One is ethernet wired to the network, the other off a Netgear b/g WLAN.The wired version was piece of cake to hook up and had no problems with the firmware update or setting the clock.Using Musicmatch 8.2 with the "Streamium" option checked as others described.Did have some problems getting the other hooked up as wireless to work with 128-bit encryption, but after setting it up without any encryption and getting the firmware updated (again no problem) was able to turn back on 128-bit and after the tedious process of entering the key with the remote again got it up first time.Note there ARE both small and capitals of the alphabet when entering the key and despite others on this site swearing it doesn't matter or that Alphanumeric means only numbers, it does matter what case the letters are in.All that being said, these are great little stereos, the WOOX sounds good, the PC-Link and Internet usually works fine and they are a great value. ... Read more

Asin: B00009RTBU
Subjects:  1. mc-i250; mci-250; broad; band; hi fi    2. mini; phillips; stereo; mci25017    3. Accessories (Accessory)    4. Executive Microsystems    5. Compact System    6. Mini System    7. Mini Shelf System    8. Micro Component Stereo    9. Digital Audio Receivers (Stereo)    10. Portable Audio    11. MP3 MP 3 Player   


Segway Human Transporter (HT) i Series
by Enroute Solutions Inc.
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Electronics

US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France

Editorial Review

Early Adopters Pick: November 2002. World's first dynamically stabilized Human Transporter; forward and backward maneuvering guided by rider's natural motions.

The Segway Human Transporter (HT) is a truly 21st-century idea. A two-wheeled electric vehicle that's practical, efficient, slightly miraculous, and an undeniably fun way of getting around, it's as different from a bicycle or motorcycle as the original personal computers were from their lumbering, mainframe predecessors.

Control
In our tests, we rode the Segway HT in a variety of indoor and outdoor environments. Zipping along on the little platform was so steady and comfortable, we quickly forgot how much technology was at work to keep us balanced. The Segway HT moves forward with cues from your body language--the subtle leaning you use to balance yourself while walking or running. When you lean forward, the Segway HT goes forward. A walking lean produces a walking rate, a steeper running lean can bring the machine to its top speed of 12.5 mph. The Segway HT stops when you right yourself again.

Steering is controlled separately with a small twist-grip on the left handlebar. The Segway HT's two-wheeled design makes it quite agile--it can do sharp turns and turn completely in place. Sharper turns require slight leaning into the turns, as you'd expect, but the Segway HT helps by actively regulating turn responsiveness based on your speed. One small complaint: using a throttle-like control for turns instead of acceleration did take some getting used to, but the inconvenience was minor and went away over time.

Overall, we were surprised how quickly we were able to get comfortable on the Segway HT. A novice can be underway in seconds (with supervision) and ascending ramps and turning figure eights in minutes. After training and a few hours of use, a rider should feel comfortable with a wide range of activities.

Riding
The Segway HT moves briskly along on both paved and rough terrain, taking ruts and potholes bumpily but with no loss of control, even for the beginner. Modest hills were ascended with ease and without much discernable effort. All things told, the Segway HT seemed rugged enough to provide reliable transportation in pedestrian environments ranging from rural trails to the sidewalks of a congested city. And utility aside, it's worth stating that the element of machine-assisted balance was a continuous delight. We simply had more control over our movements than we previously could have imagined possible. This was particularly true on downhill rides, where our body language had a degree of command over gravity so unusual that it produced a dreamy, floating feeling.

The Segway HT is not a medical device; if you can't easily stand upright or endure some jostling on varied terrain, it will not solve these problems for you. But while the Segway HT cannot provide balance that the rider doesn't already have, its responsiveness brings a subtle beauty to the rider's movements. We watched more experienced riders start, stop, swoop, and turn as gracefully as figure skaters. In fact, the machine's ease of use could create some overconfidence. The Segway HT has not suspended the laws of physics--its wheels need traction. While the machine will keep itself level under almost any situation we could imagine, a careless rider who drops a wheel over a curb, or tries to turn too quickly on a slippery surface, certainly could take a tumble. Segway advises that riders wear a safety helmet (like a bicycle helmet) and start out in the Beginner mode before moving on to the faster settings.

User-Friendly Design
The Segway HT's controls are simple. A single round display on the handlebars shows either a smiley face (meaning "get on") or a frown face ("get off"). A graphic surrounding the face indicates the battery level. The Segway has no brakes--slowing down involves the same process as acceleration--and its gentle rate precludes any need for a speedometer. We timed its startup speed from the off position to ready to ride: pressing an encrypted "key" to the key port (the key looks like a large watch battery on a plastic fob), hitting the start button, and waiting for the smiley face to come up took a little more than one second.

This machine is clearly designed for close interaction with pedestrians. Its footprint is only a bit wider than a large man, so we were able to do things like ride comfortably in an elevator with another Segway HT rider and a pedestrian, with an almost disappointing lack of bustle or incident. The machine can haul 75 pounds of cargo and still support a 250-pound person, though you'll need touse the HT's soon-to-come mounted accessory bags for any serious buying trip.

Usability
Having ridden a Segway HT, we think almost anyone would be delighted to try this machine. Inevitably, however, one must ask about how usable it is. Clearly, it isn't a car: it won't carry multiple passengers or much luggage, go long distances, or protect you from the elements. Still, we thought of many circumstances where the Segway HT could be a fun and practical alternative to other modes of transportation. We can see potential users as regular folks traveling to and from work each day, students and professors in college towns, city dwellers who take many short trips, retirees in Sunbelt resort communities, vacationers traveling with RVs, and people with easy access to nature trails and walkways.

Well-Built Construction
We had the opportunity to look into the guts of the Segway HT in its pre-assembled state. Inside it was clean and simple, and the few moving parts, such as the gears, struck us as rugged and well made. There are no cooling fans; the circuits and engine are cooled through their contact with the platform's heat-drawing aluminum casing. Each finished HT is tested both at the software level and for quality riding on an obstacle course in the assembly plant. See the technical specifications for more information.

Conclusion
We're convinced that anyone who tries a Segway HT will be smiling in minutes. The other advantage is that early purchasers will certainly be the first on their blocks to have one. But for how long? We think we'll all be seeing much more of the Segway HT in the future. --Erik Hammen

Pros:

  • Very high build quality
  • Environmentally friendly, extremely energy efficient
  • Requires little storage space
  • Newness factor--you've never ridden anything like this before
  • Fun to ride, and looks cool

Cons:

  • Purchase price may be prohibitive for many potential users, though the cost is partially offset long term by nominal upkeep
  • Laws regarding legal riding areas (sidewalk versus street) vary from state to state
  • Minor inconvenience: rubber plug-in protectors on the machines seemed a bit loose, flopping around a bit on the more rigorously used machines, inconsistent with generally excellent build standards
  • Accessories, like carrying bags and lights, will not be available until spring 2003

From the Manufacturer
The Segway Human Transporter is the first transportation product to stand, balance, and move in the same way we do. It harnesses a unique technology called "dynamic stabilization"--the result of more than a decade of research, development and testing, and tens of thousands of hours in field trials--to constantly monitor and balance the Segway HT and rider.

The Segway HT allows riders to travel short distances in dense environments that would be prohibitive to other transportation devices. An amazingly elegant design makes the Segway HT a part of you, sensing subtle changes in your balance and responding immediately. The Segway HT has a level of maneuverability never before seen on wheels--it can balance in place, move forwards and backwards, and turn in place.

Purchase of a Segway HT includes a training session on its operation and features, in order to properly prepare a new rider for safe and enjoyable operation of this new technology.

See Segway HT Advantages.

About This Offer
Because of the unique and revolutionary nature of the Segway Human Transporter, we advise you to read Segway's Purchase, Safety, and Ownership Guidelines when considering placing a deposit. The guidelines describe the terms and conditions of sale, the product warranty, and the details of the Segway HT Early Delivery Contest. Also, the guidelines will help you understand any restrictions or regulations relating to its use in your state. After placing your deposit for the Segway HT, you will receive an e-mail from Amazon.com on behalf of Segway that has the contest entry form. ... Read more

Features

  • World's first dynamically stabilized, self-balancing Human Transporter
  • Forward and backward maneuvering is guided by rider's natural motions
  • Easily navigates most walkable areas, including paved surfaces, dirt roads, grass, and inclines
  • Emissions free, powered by rechargeable NiMH battery packs
  • Fun to ride--a unique experience
Reviews (104)

5-0 out of 5 stars Pure transport JOY!
Let me tell you, there is no better way for a human to be transported than the Segway Human Transporter.I was getting tired of walking on my legs, then I got an iSeries Human Transporter for my birthday.That day changed my life.I now can have any girl I want and have made millions on the stock market.How many human tensporters can do that for you?

There are many fake Human Transporters out there.This is the only Human Transporter that will fulfill all of your wildest dreams.

Keep an eye for the Segway Rocketpack Humanoid Flying Modulus.It is in the near future.

4-0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Tour + Toy but...
It's not very functional.

I had the opportunity to tour Chicago downtown on one of the city architecture tours with segways for about three hours. I can't tell you how giddy I was to get on one. I had seen policemen patrolling around parks and airport with them. It took me about two minutes to get into the balance of it. The controls were very intuitive and easy to use. The whole system is sorta dummy proof. It shuts down itself if you get off it, it refuses to go past a certain speed limit (in fact, almost pushing you off of it after you reach a certain point), and it can stop on a dime.

After using it for a couple hours and after reading a couple reviews here, I have to agree- the segway isn't really intended for more than an expensive toy. It's not comparable to a mopeg or a bike. Our tour was about two hours and half long and at the end of it, my battery was almost at its end. We only went around the Lakefront and to Millenium Park and back to the Adler Planeterium, a mere area of a couple miles. And our batteries were dangerously low. The only way I can see myself using a Segway in an every day environment is if I happened to live like ten minutes from work. Past that, and the segway is pretty much a waste. It would take too long to charge and too expensive to replace the battery for it to be cost-effective. I could take a bus, train, or even bike to a destination for cheaper and faster.

This is not a rip on the Segway technology. I just think the machine isn't made to be very functional. On our ride around the parks, I noticed how poorly it performed on uneven ground (gravel, water, grass). Every little bump was almost a thud when I crossed them. I had to be watch out for cracks and crevices when riding it. Things I wouldn't have done if I was riding a bike. This is all based on my experience with the iSeries. I haven't used the rugged version of the Segway and can imagine it would be better but at a thousand more, it's kinda a moot point.

Overall, I'm glad I got a chance to ride a Segway. I was dying to try one. I couldn't contain the smile I had, as I zoomed past staring strangers and an embarassed girlfriend. But, I couldn't see myself buying one, even though, I work and live in downtown Chicago.

5-0 out of 5 stars This human transporter is alright by me
Well, let me be the first to tell you that The Segway Human Transporter is a wonderful innovation. I'd been waiting a good while for a quality human transporter, and finally, I felt my waiting had paid off. This baby hit the market, I quickly dished out the 5K needed, and the transporting began. Everything was great, laziness was at an all time high, I really felt like the future was now. "Look at me and my transporter" I'd shout, then I'd turn and mumble to myself, "You fools and your walking and non-space age way of transporting." Life was peachy. Then it came, my boss, Gargon IV, said there was a dilemma on the planet Xaoton 99. I was all over it. I had my Segway transport me, (bet you didn't know it was capable of galactic transport) all the way to Xaoton, with the Segway making the trip quite comfortable and relaxing. I arrived at Xaoton and things were all messed up. I soon found myself in a sticky situation, but it was nothing that the Segway couldn't get me out of. Things got ugly. To make a long story short, the Segway overcame a highly advanced Xaotion army with highly highly evolved technology and all kinds of super high tech lazer guns. So the planet of Xaoton 99 came to peace in the end and everyone was happy

And boy was I glad that my knees didn't catch a lazer because I just wouldn't look as cool anymore on my Segway without the lower half of my legs. The Segway is an amazing improvement in human transporting, it's amazing we can look ahead to the wonderful world of hover transporters travelling warp 10. The Segway Human Transporter is a great start, now lets keep the ball rolling.
... Read more

Asin: B00007EPJ6
Subjects:  1. Computerized cart; iseries;Two-wheeled platform; ht;h t;    2. Motorcart; Motion machine ;htiseries;Standing vehicle; transport    3. segwue; sague; sigue; sigway;sigwey;thingy;transportation    4. i-167; dean; kamen; kaamen; kaman;deka; first;167;    5. invention; new;self-balancing;travel;navigate;eye167;pedestrian   


iRobot Roomba Pro Intelligent Floorvac Robotic Vacuum
by iRobot
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Kitchen (15 October, 2003)
list price: $229.99
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France

Editorial Review

An intelligent vacuum that uses robotic technology to deliver barefoot-clean floors in-between more thorough cleanings, iRobot’s Roomba Pro follows in the footsteps of the original model (the first automatic vacuum available in the U.S.). But it also adds some great new features, including Spot Clean. Selecting this option sets the Roomba Pro spiraling around a small area up to three feet wide, great for cleaning up dry spills or extra dirt. Thirteen inches in diameter and lighter than your average bowling ball, this innovative vacuum will roam a room devouring dust, dirt, pet hair, and tidbits left behind from everyday living.

Setting up the Roomba Pro for its first sashay through the living room is fairly easy. First, the battery needs charging for at least 12 hours before its maiden voyage; simply plug the AC adapter into any outlet and it will shut off automatically when fully charged. After that, the indicator light’s different colors will show the battery’s charge status. The Roomba Pro can clean two to three medium sized rooms on one charge, approximately 60 to 90 minutes, depending on floor surface. Although it may look more like a Frisbee than a vacuum, the Roomba Pro cleans carpet, wood, linoleum, and tile, transitioning smoothly between those surfaces. It even senses and avoids stairs, and glides easily under beds.

Next, remove any clothing, papers, cords, and fragile items from the floor. You may choose to set up one or both of the fist-sized Virtual Wall units, which emit a beam to redirect the Roomba Pro, keeping it out of unwanted areas. Set the Roomba Pro in the center of the room, and press the green power button to turn it on. Then select the corresponding button for a small (10 by 12 feet), medium (14 by 16 feet), or large (15 by 20 feet) room. The Roomba Pro plays a few musical notes of greeting, then begins moving.

When the Roomba Pro starts cleaning, it travels around the floor in a spiral pattern. When its non-marring bumper touches a wall, the Roomba Pro follows the wall for a short time, then crosses the room in straight lines. It repeats this pattern until its cleaning time has elapsed, providing maximum cleaning coverage.

The Roomba Pro’s breakthrough three-stage cleaning system uses side brushes, two main counter-rotating brushes, and a high-efficiency squeegee to pick up everything from fine to large particles. The particle bin removes for emptying. The unit comes with an easy-to-follow manual and two replacement filters. Additional Virtual Wall units, battery packs, and a rapid charger can be purchased separately. Two D batteries (not included) are required for each Virtual Wall. The Roomba Pro is covered by a 180-day parts and labor warranty. --Rhonda Langdon ... Read more

Features

  • Measures 13 by 3-1/4 inches
  • Automatically vacuums floors without supervision
  • Transitions between low-to-medium-pile carpet, hardwoods, tile, and linoleum
  • 3-stage system cleans wall edges, under furniture, and concentrated spots
  • Includes 2 virtual walls to keep Roomba contained; 1 rechargeable battery
Reviews (55)

5-0 out of 5 stars Love it!
I love everything about this little dynamo because I hate everything about vacuuming!It's so cute, and even beeps when it is finished.I love how you can use the guides to keep it contained in one area.The only con is that it doesn't do windows!;)

3-0 out of 5 stars It Depends On...
It's usefulness depends on a few issues.I have a rapid charger so that helps.I do not depend on this to do my deep cleaning, but it's great for surface stuff.It's also GREAT if you're back is killing you or some other handicap prevents you from using a real vacuum.Mine runs forever and picks up a lot of dog hair, though not ground-in hair.I cannot leave the house and come back and expect it to be done, 'cause it's always getting caught on something (a throw rug or piece of furniture), but works out great if I'm at home doing other chores. It saves no time due to the fact I must spend 15 minutes cleaning out the dog hair once it's finished. But I use it when I'm lazy or hurting and save the cleaning out part for when I'm up too it.

2-0 out of 5 stars Low power, short life
Hi,

The battery in my iRobot Roomba Pro Intelligent Floorvac died after eight months of using it twice a week on hardwood floors.I might consider buying a new battery, but to spend $60 to keep the little guy working just isn't worth it because it won't clean my carpets.

I was very disappointed when I first got the vacuum.It just did not have the traction to keep moving on my carpet.It would go about ten feet and die.I have a plush carpet that is somewhat thick.I had heard that the vacuum did not work well on heavy carpet, but I thought they meant that it didn't do deep cleaning.I didn't realize that it would not work at all.I wasn't worried about the lack of deep cleaning.I just wanted it to handle the surface dirt and planned to do deeper cleaning using my regular vacuum.

I must say it worked fine on my hardwood floors and I used it weekly for them.It also seemed to work OK on rugs left on the hardwood floors--even those that were quite thick.

I'm giving it an overall rating of 2, but the breakdown would be:

4: hard surface
0: carpet ... Read more

Asin: B0000AHROM
Subjects:  1. Vacuum Cleaners    2. Carpet Sweepers    3. Floor Care    4. Cleaning Supplies    5. (Vacs)   


Friendly Robotics RL800 Robomower
by Friendly Robotics
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Tools & Hardware (31 March, 2003)
list price: $999.99
US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France

Editorial Review

Early Adopters Pick: May 2003. The first fully robotic lawnmower that can learn parts of your yard.

The Robomower is convenient, easy, robotic, and clean--and it transforms the world of yard work! Set up (once), turn on, and the Robomower cuts the grass on almost any surface--all by itself. Getting the system set up in your yard can take most of an afternoon, but the well-written manual makes the job easier. The biggest part of the set-up task is stringing the perimeter wire around your yard, marking the boundaries the Robomower will stay within. Once you're set, and the mower is on, the machine simply senses the perimeter wire and uses three mulching blades to cut down everything inside the wire. Thanks to the onboard computer, the Robomower can even learn parts of your yard as it mows, making it quicker next time. The mower is quiet, automatic, and the mulching blades mean that when it's done you don't need to bag or rake.

The Robomower is outfitted with safety features. It won't run at all if it's flipped over with the blades exposed. Likewise, it turns tail and backs off if its soft 360-degree bumpers encounter any foreign object (like a pet or toy or favorite rose bush). A theft deterrent system keeps the unit safe. The Robomower is very quiet compared to other lawn mowers, although because it takes longer to get the job done than a human with a walk-behind mower, what noise there is lasts longer. The mower works best on level yards smaller than 3,200 square feet, with the grass reasonably tame to begin with. It does not work well on hilly or overgrown yards. While it takes a full day to recharge the battery, a full charge is enough to mow most lawns. (The mower is definitely no lightweight, either; it takes two people to remove the machine from the box when it arrives.) The Robomower is definitely a smart idea for folks with physical conditions that make strenuous activities like mowing difficult, but it's also a great product for anyone who feels like there's always something better to do with a weekend afternoon than lawn mowing. Rechargeable power pack comes included.--Brian Trinen ... Read more

Features

  • No need to worry about theft with the new theft deterrent system
  • Runs on rechargeable power pack--eliminates the need for oil and gas
  • Press one button and mower starts working, you are not needed on the lawn while it operates
  • An excellent mulcher, so you won't need to collect and bag any grass clippings
  • Loaded with built-in safety features to protect children and pets
Reviews (39)

5-0 out of 5 stars AWESOME - Never Spend Time Mowing Again!
All I can say is that this is definitely the best purchase I have made in the past decade.

Fall of 2003 I moved from a townhouse where my grass was mowed for me to a single family where I needed to mow.Forward a few months and I began doing research on mowers.The Robomower showed up here on epionions and I thought it was to good to be true.I kept reading the reviews and started to think, "Maybe this could really work" - but I was still very skeptical.

Then, last April I decided to give it a try - but I made sure that the place I purchased from offered a 30 day money back guarantee - because I was sure I would be returning it after playing with it for a few weeks.I purchased a Robomower 850 and when it arrived I read the instructions and began laying out the wire.(HINT - YOU'LL need double the wire you expect.If you're buying via mail order, have them ship double the wire with a no restock return policy so that you don't get half way done and then have to wait 2 weeks to finish!)

I started in my fenced in back yard because I didn't want to embarrass myself in front of my neighbors.I figured I'd try it in the back yard and if it didn't work, I would return it and no one would realize my foolishness.So I wired around the perimeter and I wired around my sing/playset and gave it a try.

I was amazed.It really worked!

So I tried it a few more times and every time I was very very pleased with the results.By then I had worked up enough confidence to venture into the front yard where all would see- but I decided to set it up during a work day when there wouldn't be many around to watch (still a bit embarrassed).Again, wired around the perimeter and two trees and turned it on.I had a few mistakes that I needed to adjust the wire for, but then it worked flawlessly.

The neighbors came out in droves."What in the world is that?" they would ask.All amazed.(If I wanted some extra income, I realized I could easily sell these things - especially if setup was included in the price.)

After it was all set up, I wondered if I really saved any time.After all, it probably took me 15 hours or so to get the wiring all set up and working efficiently."Well," I thought, "if nothing else, it was a fun experiment."

I proceeded to mow my yard every three or four days - CORRECTION - the Robomower proceeded to mow my yard.I usually sat on the deck with a lemonade with my wife as we watched it mow (dorky, I know, but the thing is mesmerizing!). Sometimes when I felt ambitious, I would trim with the weed whacker while Mirtle the Turtle (as my niece named it - because it moves slow like a turtle) would mow.

Week after week, the Robomower mowed and mowed and mowed.Every time I was impressed with the finished mow - while I didn't get lines, I did get a complete and even cut that looked great, didn't require bagging and best of all didn't require sweat on my part.After I set the wire up I wondered if it was worth it but once July hit and the grass was growing like crazy and the temps were in the 90's, I loved being able to push the GO button and letting Robomower do the work."THIS IS DEFINITELY WORTH THE SETUP WORK!" I told myself.

Needless to say, I would highly recommend this mower.I will never go back.

With that said, it does take a fair amount of setup work and patience (and willingness to be embarrassed).You're supposed to replace the blades each year.I bought a new set for this year, but haven't replaced them yet - supposedly you can't sharpen them, but I'm going to try to sharpen the first set once I replace them.The battery doesn't hold as strong of a charge this year as it did in year one - so I wouldn't be surprised if I needed to buy a new battery next year.(BTW - I have a decent sized suburban lawn - and it takes two charges to mow it all.I set it out one evening and let it mow (even in the dark - it's a robot after all1) and then set it out the next evening for the second half)If you lay your wire correctly, it will get as close to the edge as a regular mower (at least pretty close).

My yard is mostly flat with only a few obstacles in the middle - which I simply wired around.If you have an uneven yard or a lot of trees, this may not work to well for you.

For most suburban lawns, however, this thing rocks.Set it on it's highest setting so that the grass stays green all summer - who cares if it gets tall faster, all you have to do is drive the Robomower out and push the GO button!

Disclaimer: I don't work for Robomower, nor do I have any connection with them.You're welcome to contact me with setup or usage questions - I can send you pictures of my lawn, etc.I hope this review helps.If it weren't for the other reviews users posted here on epinions.com I would have never tried this thing, so I am very grateful to those who took the time and hope that my doing the same will help someone else!

5-0 out of 5 stars Robomower clips Houston
I've had my mower since about March 2004 and I've been very pleased with what it has done for the lawn.

Positives.
1. It mows the lawn wonderfully and the crossing action cuts and mulches as well as any mower I've seen.
2. You can stand and watch it or go lay in the pool. (important when it's 95F and 95% humidity here in Houston.)
3. You get to meet your neighbors and complete strangers who stop to ask how it works.
4. I've had good response from Friendly Robotics support (I've read some of the notes that weren't so positive, not sure why mine was different)
5. Payback is about 1 year (40 weeks mowing X $25/wk for lawn services) (although I do have to do my own edging)
6. It's quiet enough to use anytime day or night.

Negatives.
1. The perimeter switch failed 2 times, although I received a new switch within the week each time I called.
2. I waited a couple months before adjusting the perimeter wire to better cover all the areas of the lawn and the St. Augustine grass had buried the wires and made it hard to move (lesson learned, adjust right after it mows the first or second time)
3. If the grass is tall and/or wet there can be a traction problem with the mower.Although support did help and say to raise the mower to the highest setting when that happens.

Overall, it's been great and I look forward to using the Robomower for a long time to come.I saw the review from the person with St. Augustine grass and an uneven lawn.Well mine's St. Augustine and the developer certainly didn't go to any pains to smooth the dirt before laying the sod, but I've had no problems with the mower completing it's task.I have 3 zones with trees in the middle of one, a pool and 3 bush/tree areas in another and the Robomower handles them all really well.

What I've learned about the electronics is, if there is a problem where it appears to get 'stuck' I remove the battery for about 15 seconds and then let it restart,that's solved any problem in that area.

I'm almost hoping that I can move so I can sell this Robomower with this house and buy one of the newer models at the new place!

4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent product.
Would have given 5 stars but owners manual was missing, called Amazon and was told to call manufactuer. It arrive after a week. No problems with mower. Cuts grass better than the old walk-behind mower did. Set-up was a breeze and perimeter wire was a snap to lay. A bit pricey and accessories/optional items are a fortune. For price paid a rapid charger should have been included. Only concern is service, nearest service center is a couple of hundred miles away.

Would I purchase one again? Probably (Most likely if price was lower). I live in central Florida and during summer months grass requires 2 mowings per week.If I lived in a cooler/drier area price paid would have covered lawn service for a long time. ... Read more

Asin: B000087QPC
Subjects:  1. Cordless Tools    2. Landscaping Tools    3. Mowers    4. Cordless Mowers    5. (Lawn Mowers)    6. (Lawnmowers)   


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