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The Lefant M300 comes to us at an attractive price point but with suction power and extra features that stand every chance of catching the eye. Anyone that wants to get involved with the benefits of robot vacuums without breaking the bank may well have cast admiring glances towards China. Lefant joins the likes of ILIFE, with its outstanding V3S Pro, as a price-conscious robot vacuum specialist that designs and manufactures in China before serving and supporting customers around the world. The nature of these robovacs means that they often represent the pinnacle of value for money, even if the overall quality cannot quite measure up to what the likes of Eufy and iRobot can boast. While corners may be cut, the robot vacuums that reside around this price point still impress in their own way and you can definitely get an adequate clean at a sub-£150 price point. The V3S Pro is evidence of that and we will cover every aspect of the M300 in the full review below to discover whether it too can make a similar impact on our list of the best robot vacuums.
- Impressively adequate suction power at 1,200 Pa
- Excellent battery life with up to two hours of cleaning on a single charge
- 0.6-litre dust box cuts down on how often the Lefant M300 must be emptied
- Free Move technology to get the robovac into and back out of tight spaces
- Very quiet operation – perfect for those that still want to hear the TV while it cleans
- Impressive selection of accessories and replacement parts in the box
Plenty of potential robot vacuum shoppers, especially those that have never owned such a device previously, focus on price as much as performance, and rightly so. The Lefant M300 is bound to enter your thinking while you browse around as it looks like a ‘proper’ robot vacuum but at the kind of entry-level price that just about anyone would be happy to pay. As covered in the introduction, this has become something of a specialist approach of the Chinese manufacturers. While you may never have heard of Lefant before, the fact that you can pick up an M300 for around half the price of highly-rated models like the Roomba 671 and Eufy RoboVac 15C MAX ensures it can serve as the perfect introduction before a possible upgrade in the future.
A crucial consideration when you eye up a relatively cheap robot vacuum is that you don’t go too cheap. The Deik Robot Vacuum, at just under £100 flat, is about as low as we would go. Anything less than that and you will not get the job done and probably dismiss the idea of robot vacuums altogether – at least until they can climb the stairs on their own.
Fortunately, there are no concerns over the Lefant M300’s cleaning capabilities. The 1,200 Pa suction here is not top of the range by any means – the aforementioned 15C MAX from Eufy almost doubles it at 2,000 Pa – but power levels are among the most obvious improvements as the price increases. Crucially, if your home consists of hard floors and low-pile carpets, this robovac will not disappoint. From crumbs and dust to pet hairs and anything the kids have decided to leave behind when they finish playing, it will all end up filtered and ready to dispose of in the dust box.
That dust box is an excellent addition too, with the kind of capacity that ensures you won’t need to empty it after every clean. The 0.6-litre capacity hits the ideal sweet spot in our benchmarks, and if you start with a relatively clean carpet in the first place, you can get away with only emptying the M300 once a week.
A fully charged battery will last for two hours, which should be sufficient for both floors in an average-sized home. The Lefant M300 lacks the mapping and intelligent navigation of more expensive models, but that can be expected at this price. Cleaning patterns are haphazard, and there is no support for virtual walls or boundary strips, but Lefant has at least made some effort with their Free Move technology. It is nice to see any boost to cleaning efficiency on such a cheap robot vacuum and, in this particular case, it gives the M300 a better than average chance to get itself out of sticky situations.
For pet owners and allergy sufferers, the clean itself does not let you down. Pet hair will hit the dust box just as quickly and efficiently as any other form of dirt. While the M300 does include a pair of filters, together with a replacement for each in the box, they are not true HEPA filters. Again, that is to be expected at this price, and we would reiterate here that pet owners should expect to skip the budget robot vacuums like this one and go for something more robust.
The M300 was designed as an entry-level model. Not only is it priced accordingly, but it is also the cheapest of the three Lefant models available at the time of this review. Even so, its connectivity is limited, to say the least. More specifically, there is no additional connectivity at all. Apps and voice controls are out of the question, and there is not so much as a remote control in the box. To start the clean, you’ll hit the main button on the unit itself. To end it early, you’ll do the same again – although the M300 will return to base when the power is low, or it considers the job done.
The lack of a remote does mean you miss out on some relatively standard features that you’d expect on even an entry-level robot vacuum, such as scheduling. Both the ILIFE V3S Pro and the Deik Robot Vacuum Cleaner, which we consider as the Lefant M300’s closest competitors, come with a remote control. If scheduling is essential or you simply don’t fancy bending over and hitting the button every time you need to clean, they may well serve you better.
Lefant M300 – Pros and Cons
- Excellent cleaning capabilities across hard floors and low-pile carpets
- A true no-frills approach – start the M300 and it will clean effectively with no fuss
- Includes a washable HEPA filter and a good selection of replacement brushes and filters
- The Lefant M300 will struggle with anything thicker than low-pile carpets
- No additional connectivity at all – not even a remote control
- Only uses a single cleaning setting, meaning it may struggle with ground-in dirt
Lefant M300 – The Verdict
The Lefant M300 is a very impressive robot vacuum for the price, and we have to compliment it on being slim, light and easy to use – perhaps even to a fault. It enters the conversation for the best budget robot vacuum and price is indeed the primary consideration. List prices change daily, and if you can get the M300 significantly cheaper than the ILIFE V3S Pro, it is worth doing. The cleaning capabilities will not let you down, and while this is nowhere near the flashiest robot vacuum in existence, it goes about its business with the minimum of fuss.
Lefant M300 Review
With that said, we do feel that the ILIFE V3S Pro is a superior entry-level robot vacuum cleaner and this Lefant model will not knock it off the list of the best robot vacuums around. In a vacuum – excuse the pun – the Lefant M300 is a highly respectable effort. However, special offers and promotions aside, it retails for the same price as the ILIFE alternative. On paper, the 1,200 Pa suction featured here outdoes the 850 Pa on the V3S Pro, but neither model can cope with anything more than hard floors and thin carpets and the real-world differences are negligible. The ILIFE’s dust box is also half the size, so you will have to empty it more often. With all that said, the inclusion of the remote control cannot be understated. Not only does it cut down on bending over, it also opens up scheduling and other handy features that we consider slightly more valuable. That’s our practical opinion, but if you value stronger suction and double the dirt capacity higher than a remote control and the associated features, the Lefant M300 does indeed win out.
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