Review Lenovo X1 vacuum robot: New top manufacturer?
Every tech or household manufacturer would like to have vacuum robots in his portfolio at the moment. The Chinese computer and smartphone manufacturer Lenovo is now also producing round household helpers. The first one is the now available Lenovo X1. Does the robot live up to the manufacturer’s good reputation – and is the robot even “made by Lenovo”?
A few words of praise first: Lenovo is one of the few manufacturers that (as of now) proceeds chronologically with their model names and also christens the very first model “X1”. The X1 would probably have been called X37 by the competition…
Technical specifications of the Lenovo X1
|Lenovo X1||Roborock S6/T6|
|Suction power||2000 pa||2000 pa|
|Navigation||Laser space measurement||Laser space measurement|
|App||Lenovo Cleaner X1 (Android, iOS)||Xiaomi Home (Android, iOS)|
|Operating Volume||50-67 dB (lowest suction level at 50, highest at 67 dB)||58 dB (at highest suction level)|
|Battery||3000 mAh||5200 mAh|
|Dust chamber/water tank||0.57 l/ 0.17 l||0.48 l/ 0.16 l|
|Charging time||3 h||3 h|
|Working time||1.5 h||2.5 h|
|Weight||3,68 kg||3,6 kg|
|Dimensions||35 x 35 x 10 cm||35,3 x 35,0 x 9,65 cm|
|Inclines||20°, over 2 cm||25°, over 2 cm|
The data sheets make it clear: The X1 does not have to hide from strong models. From our point of view, you can expect the same. Nevertheless, something happened during the test phase which we wouldn’t have expected…
Okay, I can’t stand it that long and don’t want to keep you guys in suspense too long – even if only vacuum cleaner nerds might find this exciting. Let’s skip the usual budgetary overpoint of the scope of delivery and provide you with some information:
Lenovo vacuum cleaner = Qihoo 360?
Now we have certainty: Lenovo has its first vacuum robot produced by Qihoo 360 (all information about the manufacturer). How did it come to this conclusion? When you register in the app, you also have to confirm your email address. And lo and behold, what ends up in the mailbox? A joyful message from Qihoo 360 that you have just registered in their universe. Further confirmation: The app of the Lenovo X1 is almost identical to that of Qihoo 360 and the models S5, S6 and S7. More about the app in the following.
Crazy, I actually assumed that Lenovo produces itself. But enough of that, what can the Lenovo X1 do?
Scope of delivery
The vacuum robot is delivered in a standard brown cardboard box. Besides the vacuum robot itself, this box also contains:
- Charging station (we know it from the Qihoo models, identical in construction)
- Eye stickers for sticking on (cool!)
- Charging cable with four different adapter attachments
- Water tank with attached microfibre cloth
- Water catching mat (exemplary)
- small filters for the water tank
- small cleaning tool under the flap
- Operating instructions in English
A special highlight in the scope of delivery should actually be the water catching mat, with which one prevents puddles on the floor after using the wiping function:
But the real highlight from my point of view is this addition in the form of two Minion eyes for the Lenovo X1:
In fact, I find the X1 a bit too fancy to put a complete vacuum robot sticker on it. But the two Minion eyes don’t take up quite so much space that it would destroy the whole design. To be glued on after the test phase!
Design and finish: Identical in construction with 360 S7?
Answer: Almost. To be able to say it one hundred percent, we are still waiting for confirmation from one of the manufacturers. In fact, the colors of the X1 are chosen differently (black-gold vs. white-rose), otherwise there are no differences to the Qihoo 360 S7 in terms of construction. With all advantages and disadvantages. Advantages: high-quality workmanship, 0.57 l dust chamber, CE mark and the material used is high-quality. The charging contacts are accordingly also at the back of the robot.
Disadvantage: With the dimensions 35 x 35 x 10 cm the vacuum robot is not only comparatively wide but also quite high. Accordingly, with some pieces of furniture you have to measure before buying to see if the robot fits under the sofa, the dresser etc.
But the – at least very similar – construction method also opens up possibilities: Lenovo also sells its laptops and other products in this country – maybe you can simply buy the robot or accessories and spare parts for the 360 models here in the shop. We will see.
Charging station and working hours
Since the charging station is identical in construction to the 360 S7 (albeit in black instead of white), we’ll keep it short here and send you to the 360 S7 review for more information. Let’s rather let a few picture impressions speak for themselves:
On the bottom of the charging station there are rubber coatings that prevent the station from slipping away. At least when the robot parks backwards at its station.
Operation and sensor technology of the vacuum robot
Although the laser tower and laser distance sensor (LDS) installed on the top of the robot makes it slightly higher than models using other navigation methods, the premises are scanned much more precisely than with comparable navigation methods. The integrated SLAM algorithm (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping) makes it possible to create a visual map in the app. This includes the outlines of the premises, furniture, obstacles etc.
The collision sensors installed on the underside prevent frontal and lateral collisions and also prevent falls from heights such as stairs. As in the Qihoo, Roborock and Xiaomi models, the Lenovo X1 works with only one brush head on the bottom. As long as the navigation is correct, it’s irrelevant whether one or two brushes on the bottom “brush” dust and dirt in the direction of the feed hood and central main brush. The dirt to be vacuumed up then passes through a filter and ends up in the dust chamber.
The X1 drives down the outer walls and obstacles before it then drives down the area thus framed. Thus it leaves out only a few areas, in corners it has naturally a few difficulties due to the construction. A cordless vacuum cleaner provides a remedy.
Because the X1 can also drive backwards, the legs of the laundry rack were also no problem for him. He decided smartly against overcoming them and manoeuvred out again backwards.
The indicated 2200 pa suction power cannot be confirmed in the test, here we also come to the 2000 pa of the 360 S7 (maximum suction power). Nevertheless, the suction power is also suitable for cleaning slightly thicker carpets. The X1 overcomes obstacles up to a height of 2 cm, so most door thresholds are no problem. Otherwise you build/buy a small ramp. Technically experienced people can solve the problem with a 3D printer.
Suction levels and operating volume
The robot is quite quiet at the lowest suction stage with an operating volume of 50 dB, but at the higher suction stages it reaches an operating volume of 65 dB on the sound level meter. Four suction levels can be set in the app, briefly listed here with the corresponding volume:
- Quiet Mode (1200 pa suction power, 50 dB operating volume)
- Standard Mode (1400 pa, 54 dB)
- Max Mode (1800 pa, 60 dB)
- Powerful Mode (2000 pa, 67 dB)
We humans talk at an average volume of 60 dB. Since the robot is supposed to work budget-wise while we are on the move, one could neglect its values here, but experience shows that it does work in our presence. The X1 doesn’t always recognize carpets among itself as reliably as it should, sometimes it takes a few seconds until it automatically boosts to the highest suction level.
App control via Lenovo Cleaner X1
The app listens to the same name as the robot itself: Lenovo Cleaner X1 (Android, iOS). Except for optical elements such as color selection, we recognize the Qihoo app “360Smart” (Android, iOS) exactly. After registering via a disposable email address (you have to be able to retrieve mail to complete the registration process), the app demands umpteen completely nonsensical permissions from its user. Does a robot have to be able to access telephony and pictures? I think not. Fortunately, all permissions can be denied without consequential restrictions.
When connecting to the WLAN, please note that the robot must be able to access a 2.4 GHz network. At least in my case the connection was possible without any problems and without having to switch off the 5 GHz network.
Currently the app is only available in English. But since Qihoo 360 has also added other languages to its models via firmware update after a long time, one can hope that this will happen.
Settings and functions in the app
After integration into the network, we can expect a tidy interface – and a wealth of functions and setting options. It’s worth taking a look at the settings before sending the robot on its first journey. Especially being able to turn off the robot’s speech volume was quite a relief.
The most important functions and setting options are listed:
- Varying suction power (Quiet, Standard, Powerful, MAX Mode)
- Switch carpet detection on and off: Increases the suction power)
- Schedule working hours
- Zone cleaning (Go-To-Zones, send robots to predefined positions by means of “square drawing”)
- Draw no-go zones and non-wiping zones into the map created
- Specify the sequence in which the robot moves through the detected rooms
- Name rooms individually (kitchen, bedroom etc.)
- Send the vacuum robot back to the charging station
- Rotate card by 90°
- Adjust water delivery (Low, Medium, High)
- Set volume of the robot’s language, change language
- Find robot (answers by voice so that you can locate it)
- Remote control for manual control
- Switching the LEDs on the robot on and off
Mapping and selective room division
The Lenovo X1, like all LDS models with app control, comes with live mapping, allowing its owner to see where the robot is on a visually generated map and what path it has ahead of it at any given time. The mapping is not always one hundred percent live, but it is very precise. The Lenovo X1 knows its immediate surroundings after just one turn. See for yourself:
What I have missed with other vacuum robots so far, and what I like very much about the X1, is that you can specify no-go zones and non-wiping zones during the very first cleaning (draw two red and two blue squares each). Probably everyone has an area at home that is not too suitable for a robot, so you can keep it away from that area. In my case the TV cable corner.
Before you can use it, the robot must have passed ALL premises independently (without lifting or similar) from the charging station – and returned to the station autonomously. Otherwise the card cannot be saved and the associated amenities cannot be used.
Names can also be entered for the rooms, thus maintaining an overview. Now you can define a sequence for the rooms in which the robot cleans them. The Lenovo X1 can store up to three cards, so the robot can also be used on several floors. To do this, one only has to set the map as a favorite under “Select Map” so that it is not overwritten.
Performance without App
Since some users would like to use their vacuum cleaners without data collection from the manufacturer, as they do not want their premises to be passed on, we will also briefly go into this point.
Thus, the Lenovo X1 also works without WLAN and app integration, makes just as clean and doesn’t navigate significantly worse (of course, it doesn’t improve its route without a map). The problem is, however, that functions, firmware updates and thus new features are dropped.
Those who still want to use it without an app can control it using the two controls on its front.
With the power button you can switch the robot on and off, start and stop the robot. The button with the charging cable symbol sends the robot back to the charging station.
If you want to know more about the wiping function, have a look at the review of the Qihoo 360 S7 – there are no differences to be noted.
Conclusion about the Lenovo X1 vacuum robot: Is the Lenovo takeover coming?
Lenovo’s products are available in almost every electronics store. The prices are mostly low, the performance mostly good. But the market that is now being targeted is a very competitive and non-transparent one. The competition currently dominates the market, especially Xiaomi, Roborock and Ecovacs. Can the X1 survive here?
In this country yes. There’s not much to criticize about the robot – on the contrary: the functional diversity in combination with the good hardware make the Lenovo X1 a strong and competitive vacuum robot. The differences to the Qihoo 360 S7 are marginal – but due to the already existing establishment of the Lenovo brand, the average consumer will reach for the X1. Especially because they are already very close in price.
If the Lenovo X1 is also offered in electronics stores in this country, it could well become a bestseller. From a tester/nerd point of view, we were surprised by the Qihoo production, but we have to soften the initial Lenovo euphoria a bit. We expected even more than a reproduction of an already existing model. But the euphoria can build up again with the next model.
What do you expect from Lenovo in this area in the future?
To the gadget