Category Archives: Products

Deal Review: $688 for a Smart Vacuum Robot from Groupon

$688 for a Smart Vacuum Robot from Groupon

Groupon’s redemption centre in Hong Kong is located at 38 Russell street, right across from Times Square in the Causeway Bay (near MTR exit A). Soundwill Plaza is a large commercial building and its entrance between TAG Hauer and Swarovski is not hard to miss.

Easy to find Groupon Concept Store entrance (across from Times Square)

Easy to find Groupon Concept Store entrance (across from Times Square)

Upon entering the lobby, you will be ushered into a lineup to take a service lift up to the Groupon store on the third floor… Probably not the best way for Groupon to make a impression.

When you reach the third floor you will finally see the recognizable Groupon green colours with multiple employees ready to redeem your stash.  You are presented with a service ticket upon entering the store and with so many staff on hand, the wait was not long even though streams of customers were coming in by the tens.

The vacuum packaging, Panda faces all over it...

The vacuum packaging, Panda faces all over it…

The service that the Groupon employee gave me was mediocre.  I wanted to ensure that the robot vacuum I bought did not have a panda face on it.  I thought that was a fair question since there were panda faces plastered all over the box and I did not recall seeing even ONE panda face during my whole ordering process.  He tried many times to persuade me that the vacuum inside was one without a panda face without opening the box to show me.  All I wanted him to do was take 1 minute to open the box and the problem would be resolved!  After much bantering and him going to the back to “check” he finally agreed to open the box… with a sour face but I didn’t care because I was finally satisfied, no panda face!

I didn’t feel like being squished in a service elevator again so I took the stairs down.  I felt like I was doing a fire drill as the stairs leading down actually doubles as a fire escape.  Overall the redemption process wasn’t as grand as one would expect after seeing photos of the Groupon Concept store, however I give the entire process a pass due to the ease of redemption, and it’s accessible location.

Now onto the actual product, Miss C has always wanted a smart robot vacuum but truth be told, there’s really never enough space in HK to warrant getting one.  However to satisfy her undying fetish for cleaning, we decided that $999 was a fair price to try out a budget model.  Worst case if I accidentally stomp on and break it, we won’t feel as bad at this price point.

Contents of the box

Contents of the box

Upon opening the box, we found that the robot vacuum comes with the following items.  The robot itself, instructional manual in English (no Chinese), barrier beam, remote control, brush cleaner, some blue cloths, and a filter replacement.  You can see a video unboxing of the Groupon Good Robot vacuum cleaner here.

Now for $999 I would say that the vacuum (let’s name him Panda, and it’s a boy) is probably worth its value.  When you put Panda on automatic mode, he really doesn’t have any idea or plan on how he’s going to clean your room.  He just kind of bumbles around like a drunken idiot, and when he hits an obstacle, he will randomly pick another direction to go without really giving thought to its current relative location.  The result is that some parts of your room may be cleaned repeated, while others are never touched.  However the battery life is strong so this drunken cleaning act can go on for a few hours and hopefully all spots are covered.  Click here for a video of Panda vacuum robot live and in action.

 

The barrier beam

The barrier beam

The package includes an instrument that I have dubbed the “barrier beam”.  What it does is that you put 2x D cell batteries in there, and place it somewhere to act as an invisible barrier where Panda cannot cross.  Say you don’t want to vacuum the bathroom, then you would put this white box at the bathroom doorway, and Panda will not cross that line.

One thing to note is that Panda does not work well on carpet.  Actually it doesn’t work at all on carpet.  The carpet that we tested has longer tufts than usual, but every time Panda went on it he immediately got stuck and threw and error code.  What did impress me however was how Panda was able to find his way back to the charging station with pinpoint accuracy.  Once he’s low on energy or you press “stop” on the remote, he thinks for a couple seconds then makes a bee-line for his home, which is actually quite entertaining to watch.  See the Groupon smart robot vacuum in action.

Relatively compact and small

Relatively compact and small

Overall I would say that this robot vacuum is good value for those who want to give it a try, but don’t want to shell out $3,000+ for a Roomba, LG, or major brand.  This appliance was obviously made in China but it doesn’t seem very tacky at all.  Most importantly I think it adequately minimizes the number of times that you actually need to manually clean or vacuum the floor in your home.  Just preset it to run while you are out of the house, and you’ve saved yourself lots of time.

 

Sleeping on his charging dock

Sleeping on his charging dock

Overall Rating: 3.5/5

See more great daily deals from Groupon!

Deal Review: Graco Baby Ear Thermometer by Graco

link to the deal: http://hk.dealshongkong.com/group_buy/FunMart/56123

FunMart‘s redemption centre is located at 38 Pitt Street in the Yau Ma Tei area.  To get there from the MTR, simply take exit A1 and walk a couple minutes against the direction of the MTR exit.  After crossing the intersection, you will find the commercial building located on your left.

entrace to funmart redemption centre

After heading up to the 23rd floor, you will find that the office space is quite claustrophobic.  Quickly head left from the elevators and you will find yourself at unit 2304: Funmart Headquarters.

funmart loyalty card

Inside the redemption centre there was 1 staff, 2 other customers, and tons of products from their website showcased on shelves with price tags for immediate purchase.  Even though there was 1 staff redemption was quick and painless.  The staff also gave me a loyalty rewards card, where you can earn $50 for every $1,000 you spend with them.  Not a great rewards program by any means, but certainly better than nothing.

The Graco thermometer in it's packaging

As for the product itself I was a little disappointed with the packaging.  It was quite underwhelming for a product which claims to have an original price tag of $298.  However upon opening the product and testing it out, my opinion has changed.  It is actually quite a well-made piece of equipment.  The thermometer is easy to use and has a full set of English and Spanish instructions.  What impressed me the most was that it comes with a lithium battery that guarantees at least 5,000 measurements from the get go.

Everything that comes with Graco 5 second thermometer

The thermometer allows you to take your baby’s temperature in mere seconds, and appears to be accurate upon repeat measurements.  The measuring piece (the part that goes into the ear) seems to be relatively safe; in the case of sudden jolts or movement I still don’t think my baby would be hurt.  The thermometer is actually branded and sold by GracoBaby, a baby products company based in USA.  The thermometer itself is manufactured in China.

Overall I would rate this group buying experience a 3.5 out of 5 stars.  FunMart is a dainty but effective group buying company.  They are one of the few daily deal sites that offer lots of baby products so kudos to them for that.  The redemption process was smooth and easy, unlike my experiences with “bigger” group buying sites such as GroupBuyer.  Given the right item and price, I would probably buy from FunMart again and put that loyalty card to good use!

Ostrich Pillow – Best Group Buying Product EVER!

This is honestly the greatest product ever invented.  Have you ever been so tired that the only thing you’re able to do is sleep face first in a crouched sitting position?  Well if you’re like me, maybe you should learn to slow your pace down and get some real sleep, but for those who prefer to stroll through life a living zombie – I present to you The Ostrich Pillow!

Dream with Me Ostrich Pillow

This was available from BEECRAZY for 128HKD ($16.5USD).  Below are some of the actual marketing materials used ordered from normal to out-right perposterous…

The I’m very tired from writing in my diary so I need some sleep now.  This pillow will help shield the bright lamp shining directly about my head - OK, great!

ostrich pillow use #1   

The I waited until last minute to study, but now I’m very tired and give up.  I’ll just fail the exam tomorrow as long as I get to place my forehead on this wooden table - Hmmmm strange, promotes failure

ostrich pillow use #2

The I’m too tired to sleep like a normal person on the train.  Go ahead, go through my luggage and make sure you take my wallet while I’m entranced in my own mushroom head world - Yes that’s right, you too can be totally unaware of the outside world without ramifications

ostrich pillow use #3

This one is just ridiculous.  She’s obviously not even sleeping but prefers to wear an ostrich pillow while visiting famous landmarks.  Let’s forget the fact that she can’t see a thing, and might be arrested by the French police by looking like a lunatic.

ostrich pillow use #4

Personally I think they’re missing the one where it’s used to cover your face while robbing a bank.