A few big names in the smart home space, iRobot and Shark in particular, have jumped on the robot-vacuum-and-mop bandwagon as of late. The two companies recently came out with their first 2-in-1 devices, and now you can pick up Shark's at its best price yet. The Shark AI Ultra robot vacuum and mop is 36 percent off at Amazon right now, bringing it down to $450, which is less than it was during the holiday shopping season last year. If you're an iRobot fan, the Combo j7+ is also on sale, but it's much more expensive at $899.
It's important to note that we at Engadget have not had the chance to test Shark's new machine yet, but we have had great experiences with all of the Shark robo-vacs we've tried to this point. Shark devices make appearances in both of our robot vacuum guides, with the standard AI Ultra vacuum taking one of the top spots on our list of overall favorites. The new 2-in-1 device seems to take a lot of notes from the standard model: you're getting a disk-like robot vacuum along with a bagless, self-emptying base into which the machine will dump the contents of its dustbin after every job.
The big difference here is the included water reservoir and the washable, reusable mopping pads that come with the 2-in-1 machine. It'll employ those when cleaning hardwood floors using a sonic mopping technique that supposedly scrubs floors up to 100 times per minute. If you have a mix of carpet, hardwood, tile and other flooring in your home, a 2-in-1 device like Shark's will make it more convenient to clean all of those surfaces in one go.
In addition to that new feature, this Shark robot vacuum has improved suction power, flexible silicon "fins" on its underside that help pick up more dirt and debris, obstacle avoidance and smart home mapping. Like most other robot vacuums, you can set cleaning schedules within Shark's companion app, which we think will be easy to use for both the tech-savvy and newbies alike. And we especially like that its base is bagless — that means you don't have to buy proprietary trash bags to fill it with like you do with some competitors.
Shark's device joins a number of other robo-vacs on sale right now. As we mentioned previously, iRobot's Combo j7+ is $200 off right now, plus you can get the Roomba s9+ for $200 off as well or the much more affordable Roomba 694 for only $179.