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Ecovacs Deebot N79 Review

This budget 'bot is better than not vacuuming at all, but don't expect very much from it in terms of cleaning performance
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Ecovacs Deebot N79 Review (The Ecovacs Deebot N79.)
The Ecovacs Deebot N79.
Credit: Ecovacs
Price:  $230 List
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Manufacturer:   Ecovacs
By David Wise and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Sep 21, 2017
  • Room Navigation - 30% 5.0
  • Carpet Cleaning - 20% 3.0
  • Hard surface Cleaning - 20% 4.0
  • Corners and Edges - 10% 6.0
  • Pet Hair - 10% 3.0
  • Ease of Use - 10% 6.0

Our Verdict

Earning the second-lowest score of the entire group, the Ecovacs Deebot N79 didn't walk away with any awards. However, it did score the best and is our favorite of these products in the approximately $200 price range. It does a barely acceptable job at cleaning hard floors and definitely falls flat when it comes to cleaning carpet or picking up pet hair, but it can be an alright choice in certain circumstances. If you live in a small house or apartment with primarily hard floors and are willing to spend the cash to reduce the amount of time you spend sweeping, then this might be the product for you!
Easy to use
Mediocre at cleaning hard floors
Sub par at cleaning carpets

Our Analysis and Test Results

Scoring slightly better than the ILIFE A4s, the Deebot is roughly comparable in performance when it comes to cleaning power. It is the ability to be started remotely and the superior scheduling ability that earns it a few points more than the ILIFE. The next highest scoring robot, the Roomba 650 does clean significantly better than the N79, but this improvement in performance is accompanied by a significant price increase as well.

ecovacs deebot n79 - the deebot n79 by ecovacs didn't score particularly well in our tests.
The Deebot N79 by Ecovacs didn't score particularly well in our tests.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Performance Comparison

To find out which robot vacuum swept the floor with the competition, we bought the best 'bots on the market today and put them through a series of challenging, head-to-head tests to find the winners, comparing everything from how nimbly each robot navigated to how competent it is at collecting Cheerios. These tests were divided up among five weighted rating metrics — Room Navigation, Hard Surface Cleaning, Corners and Edges, Pet Hair, and Ease of Use — with the following sections describing the Deebot's performance.

ecovacs deebot n79 - the n79 was reasonably adept at escaping from confined areas, but we...
The N79 was reasonably adept at escaping from confined areas, but we had a hard time telling if it is skill or luck.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Room Navigation

Earning the most weight out of any of the rating metrics in our test, Room Navigation takes credit for 30% of the overall score for each vacuum. This metric consisted of assessing how well each vacuum did at clearing common obstacles, such as a rug with tassels, a laptop power cord, and a lamp cord. It also evaluated each robot on its ability to clean multiple rooms, exceptionally large rooms, and navigate around a common furniture layout without becoming trapped and requiring assistance. The Deebot N79 delivered an alright performance, meriting a 5 out of 10 for its average showing.

This vacuum actually did a good job escaping entanglement, traversing some small cords and strings without any major difficulty. It did suck up a shoelace and drag it around for a bit before ejecting it, but it never required our assistance to free it.

However, its score dropped when we assessed the N79's navigation ability. This product used a wandering, semi-random method of navigation that is very poorly suited for cleaning large rooms or multiple small rooms. It eventually will clean the entire area, but it can take an incredible amount of time as it bounces around between rooms. It is definitely worth considering a robot that more strategically maps out its course if you are trying to clean multiple rooms automatically.

This robot actually did do a decent job of escaping cluttered areas, though it is hard to tell if the robot is just getting lucky and bouncing its way out from under a chair or if there is some method to its madness.

ecovacs deebot n79 - the ecovacs struggled with cleaning carpet, both flat and fluffy.
The Ecovacs struggled with cleaning carpet, both flat and fluffy.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Carpet Cleaning

Ranking second in terms of importance, our Carpet Cleaning metric comprised 20% of the total score. To rank each vacuum, we spread oatmeal, Mini-Wheats, rice, and flour out on a section of both medium and low-pile carpet, then scored each product on how much debris it collected. The Deebot didn't do particularly well, tying for the lowest score out of the entire group with its 3 out of 10.

The N79 actually collected the majority of the rice from the flatter, low-pile carpet, but left behind plenty of residual grains in the fluffier, high-pile carpet. The N79 just doesn't have the cleaning power to extract rice that is trapped deeper in the fibers, limited to only cleaning the surface. It did much worse at collecting flour, barely picking up any and leaving a ton behind.

ecovacs deebot n79 - the n79 left plenty of residual flour behind.
The N79 left plenty of residual flour behind.
Credit: Austin Palmer

This product's performance boosted slightly in our oats test, collecting a fair bit of the flakes, but still leaving behind a small trail of fragmented oats. Finally, the Deebot hugs the floor very closely, lacking the clearance to clear larger particles and pick them up. This meant that is failed to collect any Mini-Wheats, only pushing them around.

ecovacs deebot n79 - this robot did do much better on hard surfaces, but left plenty of...
This robot did do much better on hard surfaces, but left plenty of flour in the cracks between boards.
Credit: Austin Palmer

Hard Surface Cleaning

On the whole, the Ecovacs did better at cleaning hard surface than carpet, earning a 4 out of 10 for its performance in this metric, worth 20% of the total score as well. We used the same sample types of debris as the previous metric, with the tests being conducted on a section of hardwood laminate floor instead of carpet.

The Ecovacs didn't do an amazing job at collecting rice, with its dual rotating brushes tending to fling rice about the room, rather than collecting it. A similar event occurred when we tasked this vacuum with collecting oats, creating far more mess than we originally started. This vacuum did an acceptable job at sucking up Cheerios, but failed to collect any Mini-Wheats — again plagued by clearance issues. The N79 finished out this metric with an acceptable showing when it came to collecting flour, picking up a fair bit from the surface of the boards, but completely failing at extracting any from the cracks between boards.

ecovacs deebot n79 - the ecovacs does an alright job at cleaning along a wall, but leaves...
The Ecovacs does an alright job at cleaning along a wall, but leaves a decent amount behind in the corners.
Credit: Austin Palmer

Corners and Edges

This metric — responsible for 10% of the total score — evaluated each product on how well it could clean in close to the edge of a room of suck up a mess in a tight corner. The Ecovacs did well in this performance, earning a 6 out of 10 for its performances.

ecovacs deebot n79 - the deebot again struggled with carpet in our edge and corner test.
The Deebot again struggled with carpet in our edge and corner test.
Credit: Austin Palmer

This model did better at cleaning close to edges, with its round shape precluding any stellar performance at cleaning carpets. However, this vacuum would fling a non-trivial amount of debris into the middle of the room, especially with messes like rice or oatmeal, sometimes creating just as much mess as we started with.

Pet Hair

This metric, also worth 10% of the final score for the Ecovacs, ranked each vacuum on how well it did at picking up Fido's or Fluffy's pet hair. We spread out a measured amount of hair donated from the local groomer, then tasked each vacuum with picking it up. The Deebot did a slightly subpar job, earning a 3 out of 10 for its performance.

ecovacs deebot n79 - most of the pet hair would become entangled in the bristled...
Most of the pet hair would become entangled in the bristled extractor, rather than being collected in the collection bin.
Credit: Austin Palmer

The Deebot would pick up a decent amount of hair, but the majority of it would become trapped in the main extractor head, rather than making its way into the collection bin. This means that the effectiveness of collecting pet hair definitely decreases the more hair is collected, making it a poor choice if you are looking for a robot vacuum to clean up pet hair.

ecovacs deebot n79 - the deebot is quite easy to use, with buttons on the robot itself...
The Deebot is quite easy to use, with buttons on the robot itself, an included remote control, and a mobile app all being available to control the robot.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Ease of Use

Our final metric of our review, Ease of Use, takes responsibility for the remaining 10% of the total score. These products are intended for day-to-day use and shouldn't take an advanced degree to operate. The Deebot is reasonably easy to operate, earning a 6 out of 10 for its performance.

This robot is very easy to start, either through the remote, mobile app, or on the device itself. You can easily set a schedule through the remote or the mobile app, but you are limited to the same schedule each day, rather than setting a different cleaning schedule for weekends and weekdays.


This bargain robot didn't impress, but it offers the best performance in its price range.


The Ecovacs Deebot N79 is not a product that we would recommend to most people. Period. However, if you only need to clean 1 or 2 rooms with hard floors and it's only a light amount of mess, then this might be the robot for you. Otherwise, it's prudent to spend more for a better model or forego getting a robot vacuum at all.

David Wise and Austin Palmer