Robotic Vacuums

Neato Signature Pro vs Botvac 80 – Which is a the Better Robot?

(Last Updated On: January 10, 2016)

botvac 80 vs signature proRobotic vacuums have become a nice little addition to the home for many people. Gone are the days of dragging the large sweepers out of the closet, untangling the hoses, and running an extension cord just to clean up a few oatmeal cookie crumbs. Instead the robotic workhorses can be pre-programmed to purvey the floor at a set time each day or just wait in the wings to be dispatched at your manual command.

While the general concept of the robotic vacuum product is generally the same, as with any product there are differences in individual models. In order to find the ideal robotic vacuum for your home or business, it’s important to analyze personal needs such as programmable features, sweeping size, and the ability to clean various types of surfaces.

Two products available from the same manufacturer are the Neato Signature Pro (reviewed here) and the Neato Botvac 80 (previously reviewed here). Both of these robotic vacuums are very popular with consumers but have some slight differences. In order to help narrow down the choice from these two finalists to the one bundle of joy befitting your home, check out these Botvac 80 vs Signature Pro comparisons.

In a hurry? Check out my high level advantages for both below, for a quick decisions:

Neato Signature Pro AdvantagesBotvac 80 Advantages
Many of the same core features of the Botvac 80Slightly improved design (more aerodynamic)
About $50 less expensive (see here)Slightly better for pet owners (better hair collection)
 Quieter than the Signature Pro
 Better battery life
 Only $50 more expensive (see here)

For the full details, read on!

Neato Signature Pro Features

The XV Signature Pro from Neato is the ultimate design in versatility. There are a number of factors that contribute to make this robotic vacuum a great asset to virtually any home regardless of how often the residents are home, the floor types, whether pets live there or not and more.

Not a Clumsy Robot

There are some robotic vacuums out there that appear as if the first thing they cleaned out was the wine cabinet as they run repeatedly into furniture or walls end on end. The Neato Signature Pro employs a laser guided navigation system that not only helps it avoid running into furniture or tumbling down a set of stairs, but also to move effortlessly from room to room while cleaning as close to wall edges as possible. Neato has developed a technology known as mapping where the robot creates a detailed layout of your room and the surroundings in it’s brain and remembers it for future reference – updating for when a new Ottoman is added to the fray.

An Interesting Look

Most consumers’ familiarity with robotic vacuums takes them to a design of a round device spinning and circling carefree around the room. Since the Neato Signature Pro has such an innovative guidance system it can be designed more aerodynamically to sweep closer along walls and under furniture. The front is sleek, square, and low profile which gives it a very unique look in the robotic vacuum marketplace.

It’s All About Performance

Whereas some robotic vacuums kick up more dust than they suck up, the Neato Signature Pro features dual air filters to not only clean the rug but the atmosphere as well. This makes the product perfect for households with pets or a family member who is prone to allergy attacks. The Signature Pro also features multiple brushes to make it ideal for multiple flooring types. The blade brush picks up dirt and dander from carpets with ease whereas blade and bristle combo cleans up hardwood floors without damaging them. There is a central command center where users can program the Signature Pro and software upgrades are available for when updates are released. Another hardware feature that many consumers relish about is a bagless dirt bin which makes the Signature Pro easier to empty when full.

Some Possible Drawbacks

According to some reviewers, the Signature Pro is not without it’s own set of issues. One of the main gripes is that the vacuum often registers a ‘path needs clear’ error even though there is nothing in sight. Then when the vacuum does run it has a tendency to trek over cords or get snagged on blanket or bed skirt fringes. The charging time is about 3 hours but is automatic anyway which shouldn’t be too big of a problem. Other than that some consumers feel the dust bin could be bigger but for the most part people have been thrilled with the XV Signature Pro.

Neato Botvac 80

The Botvac 80 has many of the same features of the Signature Pro, if anything because they’re both built using Neato technologies. Perhaps the biggest integration that’s featured in Botvac 80 as it is the signature pro is the laser mapping and guidance controls. This enables the robotic vacuums to methodically remember a room and create a blueprint of in instead of just bumping around walls until an open space is encountered. The Botvac 80 has the same low profile, squared off front design that is a staple of Neato products and enables smooth cleaning up tight along walls and around corners.

Brush With Greatness

One of the biggest assets beyond the laser guidance system of the Botvac 80 is the versatile brush system. Because every home has different cleaning needs, robotic vacuums should take into account these differences or at least provide the option to embrace them. The Botvac 80 does just this as it offers an interchangeable brush system for those with carpet, hardwood, persian rugs, tile, etc. The heavy duty blade brush digs deep into carpets to rustle loose pet hair and dirt and send it packing whereas the combo brush is sued to wipe clean smooth surfaces.

Features and Functionality

Convenience is a big attribute of any robotic vacuum and that holds true with the Botvac 80. The rugged little unit will automatically head back to it’s charging station to boost it’s battery and finish the job before the consumer gets home. Along those same lines, there are programmable functions to perform daily or weekly sweeps or manually invoked to do spot cleaning as needed. The Botvac 80 also runs a little quieter than competitive models, although it’s important to remember they are still vacuums and not lullaby machines so there will be significant noise.

Any of the “Not-So-Goods?”

What a lot of robotic vacuum reviewers fail to take into account is that these machines aren’t human. Granted they do a great job of navigating around walls and corners but there are going to be some individual issues in every home where the machine will wind it’s way into a fringe or think a dark rug is a cliff, or just get an unlucky bot with a battery malfunction. Most issues are fixable such as making sure fringe blankets aren’t hanging on the floor before leaving in the morning or utilizing the magnetic barriers to help guide the Botvac. Other issues such as the dustbin being too small or too frequent of recharging for your home size simply mean an upgrade to a bigger model is needed. The main issue is that the Botvac is about 80% cosmetic upgrade and 20% performance upgrade over the Signature Pro. If you want the latest and best, the Botvac 80 has it, but it’s not a revolutionary new robot.

Neato Botvac 80 Robot Vacuum
List Price:$499.99
Price:N/A
You Save:N/A

The Head-to-Head: Botvac 80 vs Signature Pro

By most accounts, Neato would be satisfied whether you purchased the Signature Pro or the Botvac 80 since they manufacture both of them. They are both geared towards pet owners and allergy sufferers with various floor types in their homes or apartments. Both devices offer convenient settings and automated operation to be ideal for consumers who want a clean house while they are away.

A better idea of the two models head to head:

FeatureSignature ProBotvac 80
Battery Life60-90 minutes60-90 minutes
Warranty1-year factory warranty1-year factory warranty
Motor size3 amp3.6 amp
Cleaning path width9-1/2”10-9/10”
FilterDual FilterSingle filter
Charge Time2-3 hours2-3 hours
Dustbin Size.66 liter.66 liters
Price$$see here for latest$$see here for latest

Which to Choose?

If budget is a main concern for buyers, it’s hard to beat the price tag on the Signature Pro, especially because it has the same interchangeable brush and laser navigation policy that makes all the Neato robotic vacuums one of the more pristine in the industry. That being said, there’s a few minor upgrades in the power and size of the Botvac 80 that many consumers might like, especially if they have significant pet hair problems or a house that just seems to attract dirt and debris.

Either way, the Neato company is one of the most respected in the industry and the satisfaction of their robotic vacuums are all but guaranteed. You can check out pricing for the Neato Botvac 80 here or the Neato Signature Pro here. For the excellent price, it’s hard to beat the value of the Signature Pro vs the slightly improved (but still quite similar) Botvac 80.

About the author

Patrick Sinclair

Patrick Sinclair is a geek; make no mistake about that. He runs All Home Robotics in his spare time so he doesn't have to think about his depressing cubicle and it gives him an excuse to buy expensive gadgets to review!

5 Comments

  • I’m not sure what the “size” thing is here, if the bins are the same size, as your table shows. Seems to me the main difference is the width of the brush and the strength of the motor…

  • I must admit that I was skeptical! I really didn’t expect the vacuum to perform as well as it does. As a matter of fact, I purchased the Botvac 80 with the sole intent of returning it before the 14 day return policy at Best Buy. I purchased it more out of curiosity than anything else. I’ve had the Botvac 80 two weeks now and have ran it every other day during this time. Each time, I’ve been very impressed with the amount of dust and debris picked up by this vacuum! It does a very thorough job. My choice to purchase the Botvac 80 was due to the larger cleaning path and motor size. It turned out to be a great choice.

    • Thanks for the feedback, Douglas! Especially with the current generation of Neato’s and Roomba’s, I think even the skeptics are coming off the fence…

  • Question: I have purchased 2 XV Signature models both having problems.
    The 1st one has been replaced 3 times and is now out of warranty and I’m waiting for my 2nd warranty replacement and my new one i purchased 8 months ago.

    I’m wondering if making the move to the new BotVac models would prove more reliable?
    I just have hardwood floors and no pets.

    • Hi Jim,

      I would definitely look into upgrading to one of the newer BotVac models. Each generation dramatically improves in terms of reliability. Also, look into some of the Roomba models. The price point might be a bit higher, but I know they are currently having a “Mother’s Day” sale on the Roomba 880 (about $100 savings).

      Good luck!

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