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Shark IQ XL RV101AE VS Roomba i3 (and i3 Plus) – Comparison

It’s time to compare two best-selling models, Roomba i3 (i3+) and Shark IQ XL RV101AE model.

Note: i3+ is only one step ahead of i3, the self-emptying feature. All everything same.

What about Roomba i3 (i3Plus) VS Shark IQ? Which is the right choice? Well, that depends on a variety of factors.

Let’s bounce with the notable differences upfront:

Roomba i3 (i3 Plus)Shark IQ XL RV101AE
roomba i3 plus model shark iq model
Self-Emptying Dirt Feature?: Yes (With i3+); No (With i3, but supports attachment)Self-Emptying Dirt Feature?: Yes
Battery Life: 75 minsBattery Life: 60 mins
Dirt Detect Technology (for targeted cleaning): YesDirt Detect Technology (for targeted cleaning): No
Selective Room Cleaning: NoSelective Room Cleaning: Yes
Containment Accessory: Virtual Wall BarrierContainment Accessory: Boundary Strips
Check On Amazon (Roomba i3) and (Roomba i3+)Check on Amazon

Roomba i3

Roomba i3 model

BottomLine: Besides selective room cleaning, Roomba i3 is a bit forward in everything compared to the Shark IQ model.

And need self-emptying? Go with the Roomba i3+ model.

Full Specifications Comparison Table

 Roomba i3 / i3+Shark IQ XL RV101AE
Navigation PatternRow By RowRow By Row
Height & Weight3.63 inches & 3.4 Kg3.5 inches & 2.5 Kg
Self Emptying OptionYes (With i3+), No but supports (i3)Yes
Dirt storage30 Days30 Days
Dustbin Size13.5 oz19.2 oz
Run Time75 minutes60 minutes
Auto OFFYesYes
Auto RechargeYesYes
Auto ResumeYesYes
HEPA filtersYesYes
Onboard CameraYesYes
Tangle Free BrushYesNo (But Self Cleans)
Cleaning ModesYesYes
Spot Clean ModeYesNo
Selective Room CleaningNoYes
Drop sensorYesYes
Dirt Detect SensorsYesNo
Visual MappingNoNo
Carpet BoostNoNo
ContainmentVirtual Wall BarrierPhysical Boundary Strips
Direct Voice ControlNoYes
Amazon Alexa & Google AssistantYesYes
Customized Cleaning RecommendationsYesYes
Wifi ConnectivityYesYes
App ConnectivityYesYes
PriceCheck on AmazonCheck on Amazon

Roomba i3 (and i3 Plus) VS Shark IQ XL RV101AE Self Empty

Design (Dimensional Differences)

With a height of 3.63 in, the Roomba i3 from iRobot is relatively a decently-sized robot cleaner that pretty easily gets under sofas and furniture with low clearance.

Only a tad shorter at 3.5 inch Shark’s IQ Robot Vacuum XL RV101AE manages to glide under the hard-to-reach areas effortlessly.

In terms of mass, the i3 weighs almost 3.4 kg, whereas the Shark IQ achieves one kg lighter at just 2.6 kg.

Without a doubt, lifting to relocate the latter is much easier compared to Roomba i3.

Cleaning Path Width

Roomba i3 is physically more equipped to capture more dirt due to its 7-inch cleaning path slot.

This way, the robot achieves cleaning with lesser movements than the Shark IQ Robot since the latter’s cleaning path width is only 5.63.

Assembly is Not Required

One of the best similarities between the I3 and IQ Robot Vacuum RV101AE is that they are prebuilt units that do not require further assembly.

This makes life simpler because when you purchase the smart cleaners, they are ready to go off the box.

Suction Pressure Differences & Cleaning Similarities

Roomba i3 offers variable suction force as it is also equipped with a Premium 3-Stage Cleaning System.

On the other hand, Shark’s IQ is only offered with a standard suction system.

Nevertheless, the vacuuming pressure for both robots capably lifts stubborn dirt from the carpet and is very suitable for pet hair.

HEPA filter?

Both the vacuums come with a HEPA filter that traps micro-allergens that could cause breathing difficulties for you and your pets.

Roomba i3 navigates based on distance and floor tracking sensors while roaming your home.

The i3 travels in well-ordered patterns while mapping your house, thanks to its floor tracking sensors capable of distinguishing hard floors from carpets.

For the Shark IQ Robot, advanced navigation sensors allow the robot to map your house while moving methodically across different floor types.

Row-by-Row Cleaning

The Roomba and Shark IQ robotic cleaners are intelligent enough to evaluate a room size and construct a methodical cleaning approach.

The robots travel row by row to clean across the navigation surfaces and randomly bump and turn.

This prevents repeated cleaning and increases up to 50% better cleaning efficacy against some older models.

Selective Room Cleaning – With Shark IQ

What is more exciting is that you can use Room Select to direct the Shark IQ to specifically clean a room! This feature is not present in Roomba i3.

Sensors Similarities

Besides using state-of-the-art navigation sensors that double as mapping mechanisms, Roomba i3 and Shark IQ XL RV101AE possess accurate drop sensors.

These smart components prevent the robots from tumbling down the stairs while working off a ledge.

Dirt Detect Tech?

Roomba i3 dirt detect technology
Roomba i3 / i3+ Dirt Detect Tech. Source: Irobot

And only Roomba i3 has dirt sensors that auto-detect area for targeted cleaning where there is a lot of dust.

The Reactive Sensor Technology on Roomba I3 and IQ Navigation on Shark IQ Robot Vacuum RV101AE influences the robots’ accurate navigation without colliding with walls or furniture.

Visual Mapping?

Given their vast differences, Roomba I3 and Shark IQ Robot Vacuum RV101AE have some similarities.

Both of them are not equipped with visual mapping.

Instead, the I3 and Robot Vacuum RV101AE rely on their sensors for mapping.

Convenient Rubbish Disposal System – Self Emptying

The Roomba i3+ and Shark IQ XL RV101AE robot come with additional features like a self-emptying bin that doubles as a charging base.

On the Roomba, when a full bin is indicated, the smart cleaner will empty its bin automatically in the compartment located at its cleaning/charging base.

For the Shark IQ robot, you have to command the robot to empty its cleaning bag.

And to say, the Roomba i3 supports this. That means you can purchase an additional self-clean base that is attachable to the robots charging bases.

Both self-empty bases can hold 30 days’ worth of dirt.

Battery Power & Charging Time

Although the battery ratings are the same, Roomba i3 operates for 75 minutes, which is 15 minutes more than Shark IQ XL Robot Vacuum, before it runs out of power.

However, the battery charging time for the Shark IQ is 300 minutes (more than 3 times) for an hour of operation.

Roomba i3 substantially overshadows Shark’s model battery performance with its 90-minute full charging cycle in terms of power utilization.

Despite their differences, the batteries and charging operation of the robots share some similarities.

Roomba I3 and Shark IQ Robot Vacuum are equipped with 14.4 V Lithium-Ion (Li-ion) batteries with Auto Shut-off, and Auto Charge functions.

When a low battery level is sensed, the robots will turn back and drive to their charging stations to dock up.


Another important similarity is Roomba i3, and Shark IQ Robot Vacuums are smart cleaners that dock up for charging if their battery levels drop midway cleaning.

Upon charging, the robots will pick up from where they left and resume vacuuming.

Comparing Their Brushes & Cleaning Efficiencies

The Dual Multi-Surface brushes on Roomba i3 are efficient and do not get tangled with pet hair.

Moreover, the i3’s brushes are designed so that it stays in constant contact with carpets and hard floors.

Self Cleaning Brush Roll with Shark IQ

On the other hand, the self-cleaning brush roll of Shark IQ Robot Vacuum effectively drives hair and dirt to the center for easier suction.

The name itself says the brush roll is a self-cleaning one; even it is not tangled free like the i3, it automatically cleans the tangled hair from the brush roll.

Furthermore, Shark IQ’s robot’s Dirt Engage fins ensure deeper cleaning on floors while preventing pet hair from wrapping.

Near Technologies

The Roomba i3 and Shark IQ Robot Vacuum RV101AE share more than a handful of similarities.

Both robots are not equipped with an onboard camera. Their cleaning patterns are more intelligent-based instead of randomized.

This means based on room size or space, the I3 and Shark IQ XL R101AE know which cleaning direction is most optimized.

Additionally, these two smart cleaners fall in the introductory region, which means they do not support no-go zones like the other market models. Keep reading.

Virtual Walls / Zone Cleaning? – Roomba VS Shark

Containment comparison

Shark IQ uses physical boundary strips to stop cleaning the taped zone, whereas the Roomba model comes with a virtual wall barrier that sets a square zone around it to stop the robot from entering into it.

Roomba i3’s virtual wall is more convenient to use than the strips with Shark IQ.

Both the models lack keep-out zones or zone cleaning (set through the mobile app), which usually available with the Roomba high-end and Roborocks top-line models.

Distinct Cleaning Modes

There are multiple cleaning modes offered in Roomba i3 and Shark’s RV101AE.

Both robotic home assistants are equipped with Normal Cleaning and Manual Cleaning modes.

As both robots fall under the beginner level, they are not featured with Repeat Cleaning and Edge Cleaning modes like with the Roomba higher-end models.

One significant difference is Roomba i3 is offered with the Spot Cleaning mode that focuses cleaning on a designated area identified by the user using the iRobot HOME app.

Shark IQ Robot Vacuum RV101AE, however, does not feature this.

Technological Aspects

Shark IQ offers direct voice control which allows you to command the robotic cleaner to commence or stop cleaning. This option, unfortunately, is unavailable in the Roomba i3.

But you can use either Alexa or Google Assitant to voice control.

Both the robots Roomba i3 and Shark IQ Robot Vacuum RV101AE are IFTTT compatible.

Despite their differences, there are some technical similarities between the robotic cleaners like Wi-Fi connectivity and Android and iPhone app support.

Furthermore, you can govern the I3 and Shark IQ models using smart home assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

Dustbin Sizes

Physically, Roomba I3 and Shark IQ have distinct bin sizes. The I3 comes with a 13.5 oz. Bin whereas the Shark’s model occupies a deeper bin at 19.2 oz.

This means you can continue cleaning your home for a longer duration with the R1001AE without emptying the bin.

But with Shark IQ and Roomba i3+, the dirt bin’s size is not an important factor when compared as both are with auto dirt disposal systems (self-cleaning).

And when compared Shark IQ with Roomba i3, it matters.


Comparison of shark iq and roomba i3 model

Both the models are mid-level robot vacuums not with extra powerful suction but with optimal suction force as required for every home.

Considering the significant differences, nearly all the features are similar in both the models except a few, making the Shark IQ more advanced than the i3.

And speaking of the self-cleaning feature, both the models i3+ and shark IQ came up with this. I3 supports this feature as well.

If you really think self-cleaning is a must, then going for other differences will help you pick one or go with the i3 model.