Robotic Vacuums

Neato XV-11 Review – Robotic Vacuum Analysis

(Last Updated On: May 21, 2015)

neato xv-11 reviewWith the hectic schedules most people have nowadays, it can be difficult to find time for routine tasks such as cleaning and organizing a home. Sure, most people have perfected the art of speed cleaning so their home looks well kept by most peoples’ standards, but looks can be deceiving! One of the tasks that is often overlooked or continuously put off is vacuuming.

Proper floor care is a vital part of your home’s cleaning rotation and ignoring it can not only make your carpet or other flooring look older than it is, but it can also affect the health of your family and the people that come into your home. You’re probably wondering how something like a floor can be dangerous to someone’s health: take a moment to think about what it gets exposed to each and every day. The floor in your home is subjected to every bit of dirt and every group of germs you walk through outside, at work, at your child’s school, at the gym, and anywhere else you happen to go. This is magnified significantly if you have children or pets! In short, vacuuming should be a priority for the sake of hygiene if nothing else.

To help make this task easier for the modern day schedule, a new type of vacuum has been created. These vacuums are essentially small robots that clean your floors for you. They run on their own to vacuum your home so you don’t have to, going wherever you set their perimeter. One of these amazing robotic vacuums is called the Neato XV-11. In this article, we will conducitng our comprehensive Neato Xv-11 review.

Leading Features of the XV-11

Superior Suction Power: The Neato XV-11 has several wonderful features, especially if you are looking for an easy way to clean the floors of your home. First, and perhaps most important of all, the XV has as much suction and cleaning power as a full size vacuum. This means you don’t need to worry about your floors not being cleaned well. If a full size vacuum would pick it up, so will the Neato XV-11!

Solid Navigation System: This vacuum also features a state of the art laser navigation system. This means it can figure out where your cabinets and furniture are, and won’t get stuck on them. Instead, it will effortlessly vacuum your home’s floor surfaces, maneuvering around any obstacles in its way. You have the ability to dictate where it goes with the markers that are included in the package (at least this is what it advertises…. see the “Cons” section below for more details).

Smart Barriers: The neato comes with magnetic borders, however the type of barriers or markers that you get will depend on the type of vacuum it is. These create a barrier that tells the machine it isn’t allowed to go into the next area. This is a great feature if you have pets or children you want to keep it away from.

Scheduling Feature: The XV is also extremely efficient. In addition to the laser navigation, it has an auto schedule option. This means you can set the vacuum to go to work whenever it is convenient to you. You can have it run each day after you leave for work or when you leave to take the children to soccer practice. When it runs is completely up to you.

Automatic Battery Recharge: The vacuum is also intelligent enough to know when it needs to charge. If you have a large home, it will simply do as much as it can, then return to its charging base until the battery is fully charged, then it will continue its job. It has a back and forth motion while it is cleaning to make sure your home is as clean as possible.

Pros and Cons of the Neato XV-11

Like all products, the XV has good points and some areas that could use some improvement. Here are the main note-worthy pros and cons that are experienced by most users.

Pros:

  • Works on all types of flooring from carpeting to vinyl and hardwood
  • Does not require a bag— this makes cleaning hassle free and is also great for sustainability!
  • Comes with a One Year Warranty
  • Automatically charges when the battery is low
  • Works when you want it to, as often as you schedule it to run or it can be started manually
  • You can purchase an upgrade kit to improve the cleaning power if you have pets or allergies

Cons:

  • Some people find it is loud when working on hard flooring such as wood—if you have hard flooring you may not want to run it while the baby is napping
  • Like any vacuum, it can jam. Hair is the most common culprit (particularly the human variety)
  • Because it is technologically advanced, some people experience software issues and get error messages
  • Some duds do exist. Although many people have great luck with the product, others find it just won’t work for their particular home lay out, flooring, or other needs. In some cases the product simply refuses to work, but this is covered under the warranty. Quality control doesn’t appear to be as tight on the older models as for the new “Botvac” series.
  • It gets close to the edges of the room but occasional detail work may be needed to keep your home completely clean
  • UPDATE: Some people experience difficulty with the Neato XV-11 navigating around furniture/obstacles in their homes. I personally have not quite been able to replicate these problems, but I do think that the Roomba has a better navigation system than the Neato XV series. Particularly, if you have a “cluttered” home, this is something to consider. It also might be worth watching how the Neato navigates on its maiden voyage, just to get a sense of how it’s navigating. Then, you can either return it if it’s unworkable or take a few items out of its path (if this is the issue).

How it Compares to Others in its Class

The Neato XV-11 is not the only automatic vacuum on the market today. There are several other models and several other brands available to consumers. Perhaps the most well-known is the Roomba. The Roomba is often thought of as the original robotic vacuum cleaner and many people view it as the best for this reason alone. However, when you compare the two side by side, it is usually the Neato XV-11 that ends up standing out. Of course this will depend on your exact needs, as no two homes or consumers are the same.

The Roomba has a circular design, making it very agile and it is able to spin around completely to avoid obstacles. On the other hand, the Neato is square in shape, which makes it able to clean corners more efficiently. The Roomba simply cannot get into a corner at all because of its shape; even though it does try it’s very best to do so. The Roomba also has an almost haphazard way of cleaning the floor. It often wastes battery life because of this and it will pass over the same section of floor numerous times while completely missing some areas. This may be fine if you use it every day and it changes paths every day, but not ideal if you want to be assured the floors are completely cleaned when it runs. On the other hand, the Neato has a spectacular laser mapping system that makes it very efficient, especially when compared to the Roomba. This high-tech system means the Neato can clean your home intelligently and efficiently.

Both the Roomba and the Neato have bumpers along the edge as part of their navigation systems. The main difference between the two is that the Neato does not have a reason to use the bumpers, or at least very rarely needs to use them. The Roomba uses the bumpers as its guide when it is cleaning. When it bumps into something it knows it needs to change direction, but often gets confused about where it needs to go and where it has already cleaned—not something that happens with the Neato’s laser mapping system.

Final Thoughts – Is the Neato XV-11 Worth It?

If you like classics and sticking to classic brands for the sake of them being—well classics, then the Roomba is the one for you. However, if you want a vacuum that is reliable, does a good job, is efficient and convenient, the Neato XV-11 is a good logical choice. The prices aren’t as expensive as Roomba’s, but it offers a very similar standard of cleaning.

Robotic vacuums are certain to become a common appliance in the modern day home. They offer convenience that far surpasses any other cleaning tool. The vacuums that offer auto scheduling, such as the Neato XV-11, are an excellent choice because you can set them to run when it is most convenient to you and your family.

Perhaps you want it to run while you pick the kids up from school so the house is ready for your dinner party, or you want it to run while you walk the dog or while you cook dinner in the kitchen while it cleans the living room. No matter what your schedule is, you can still have clean floors! If you’re not sold on the concept, you should at least remain open minded as the technology continues to improve and the pricing becomes more and more reasonable for the average home and family.

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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!

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