I bought the Neato XV-11 w. pet upgrade from Groupon for $280 2 weeks ago. After ~1 week of use I'm already 100% happy with my purchase. The Neato does an excellent job of cleaning our small living room and attached kitchen and manages to pick up a shocking amount of dog fur every time.
I love the fact that it trundles under the sofa and merrily makes its way over pieces of wood, laptop chargers, etc. without skipping a beat. I'm pretty shocked that my dog just ignores the Neato as it goes about its business (whereas he's semi aggressive towards regular vaccuums)
Versus the Roombas. I don't own a Roomba, but I have researched them. The most surprising fact that I don't see regularly advertised is that Roombas clean by following a random walk, this means there is a lot of redundancy in the areas of carpet they go over; it takes a Roomba a lot longer to cover the same area a Neato can cover. That's not to say that the Neato does not demonstrate any carpet redundancy, it is obsessed with the underside of my sofa for some reason!
While the Neato doesn't have a side brush for baseboards, it does an admirable job of following along the edges of the baseboard and all furniture. The brush spans most of the width of the Neato so it seems to do a fine job of picking up dust along the edges. On a different board someone made the reasonable observation, if you are running a Neato or Roomba everyday you won't accumulate dust and hair at the carpet edges in the first place.
The other thing I see regularly mentioned is that the Neato has superior suction power when compared to the Roomba, but you need the pet brush to really see the benefits from that.
There are somethings about the Neato that truly astound me. I had a heavy dog toy that was below the height of the sensor so the Neato only knew about it by banging its bumper as it navigated around it. About 25 minutes later it finished cleaning (in the kitchen) and it drove back into the living room, deliberately circumnavigating the toy! This means 25 minutes of cleaning later, having gone into a different room, the Neato still remembered exactly where this toy was relative to itself. That is a feat of fantastic engineering and software if you ask me.
So far the only down sides are: 1) 1/4 times it won't dock, it goes close to the dock and then somehow gets disoriented, I believe this is because of slightly awkward dock placement. 2) My mum called me idle!
The neato is smarter but doesn't have the side brush to get all the way to walls or baseboards like the roomba, so the Roomba is my preference.
I think I read somewhere the reason Neato doesn't have side brushes is because it is patented here in the USA, but not elsewhere. Thus, apperently if you get certain european versions (for example the German version known as the Vorwerk Kobold VR100) they have side brushes. You would have to probably import them which probably cost alot. The Vorwerk Kobold VR100 is also an improvement because it has bristle brush roller instead of the rubber beater bar, a Li-ion battery instead of the Ni-MH type, and a HEPA filter in addition to the side brishes. For more information checkout
I tried the neato for six weeks. I just took it back to Costco and ordered the roomba online. The neato will go through its barrier and get into rooms you do don't want it in. The neato website says this is a known problem. The "wall" for the neato is really objectionable. It is a thick piece of black magnetic strip. Neato suggests you glue it to your floor to keep it from pushing through. I'm not gluing a black strip to my tile floor.
Other neato problems were that it only returned to its base 1 out of 7 times it ran. It does not handle throw rugs well at all. It will get stuck under dining room chairs.
I'm a roomba owner as well. It has its problems. The neato cleans better than the roomba. It does not nick you furniture by constantly bumping into it like the roomba does.
Given the pros and cons. I will take the roomba. The price reduction does not matter. Having owned both, I would not take the neato even if it were free. It required more attention than vacuuming and sweeping. I'm not anti neato. It was just more trouble than it was worth.
I do not have the problem alanand indicates, we have granite floors in our kitchen and adjacent family room . The only time you would have an issue in returning to the base is if someone actually moves the thing while it's cleaning the floor - I think that's when it gets confused.
We have started using painter's extendable polls to create barriers for other areas because the magnetic strip provided doesn't cover all the opening in our kitchen.
Just got the price adjusted at Costco, we had bought it more than 6 weeks ago. Thus far, despite high level of decibel we are happy with its performance.
thanks OP, just picked it up at the costco in Michigan. What I wish it would do is run for a set number of hours then return to its base and finish the rest of the floor during its next session. Guess none of the vacuums do that.
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