Attention vacuum lovers: there’s a new robot cleaner in town, and if the product’s price tag and features list are anything to go by, it’s certain to please fans of the iRobot Roomba line or of the Neato Robotics XV models that it seeks to replace.
The product in question, the BotVac 70e, is the least expensive vacuum in a new line from Neato Robotics, and it has only recently arrived on the market. There is still not a whole lot of reviews out yet, so we wanted to get under the hood to check it out.
In this Neato Botvac 70e review, we will be taking an in depth look at what this model has to offer. Read on to see how it measures up to older Neato vacuum models, as well as to the other robotic cleaners currently available from competing companies.
What’s New with the Neato Botvac
For all intents and purposes, the new Neato BotVac 70e is an update on Neato’s own XV-12 automatic vacuum cleaner (which was itself an overhaul of the XV-11). In other words, the BotVac 70e is taking its place as the most general robot vacuum cleaner in the Neato arsenal.
While higher-end cleaners target allergens and pet hair more effectively, the 70e can handle most home environments and can be used on all types of floors.
- Aesthetics: The most obvious difference between the BotVac 70e and its XV line predecessors can be seen in pure aesthetics. Where the XV-12 and especially the XV-11 looked a bit like obsolete Nintendo consoles crawling around your home, the BotVac 70e offers a sleeker and smoother appearance. Each cleaner in the BotVac line is built from durable white plastic with different color accents. The color accent for the 70e robot is orange, which doesn’t make that big of a difference either way, but which makes the cleaner look a bit nicer than previous models.
- Same Technology, Better Efficiency: Beyond appearance, the BotVac 70e retains all of the definitive features of the XV-12 while adding a few factors that will make it a more effective cleaner for your household. The best thing about the XV series was the laser scanning system that the robotic machines used to navigate around a room. The same technology has returned here, but it is aided and abetted this time around by bigger, better, and more efficient interior components.
- Side Brushes: One addition is that of side brushes, which have never been included on a Neato vacuum product before. These brushes essentially allow for a more thorough cleaning job than previous models, since the robots from the XV line would usually clean in a perfectly fine fashion when moving in a single direction, but had a tendency to leave behind traces of dirt and debris when they changed directions. This drawback was natural, since the same thing tends to happen when you sweep up dirt with a broom. However, by adding side brushes to this BotVac 70e, Neato has successfully circumnavigated the problem and built a more effective vacuum cleaner in the process.
- Interior Brushes: In addition to side brushes, Neato super-sized the interior brushes that do the bulk of the cleaning for. In fact, the interior brushrolls are supposedly 50 percent larger than they were on the XV line models, meaning that the BotVac 70e can cover more space at any one time than most other robot vacuums on the market. On open floor spots, that may not make that much of a difference, but when it comes to cutting corners and cleaning alongside walls, the BotVac certainly does a more thorough cleaning job.
Overall Vibe: Essentially, Neato took a “bigger is better” approach with the BotVac 70e, not only maximizing the size of the brushes, but also providing a larger dirt filter and dirt bin. The extra size means that the BotVac 70e can go for longer without needing to be emptied or without requiring a filter replacement – both factors that can help save you time, money, and hassle in the long run.
Top Features to Like
So which of the aforementioned factors are the best reasons to buy Neato’s BotVac 70e?
While all of the new features are welcome additions to what was already a pretty effective robot vacuum cleaner, we still think that the definitive facet of the product is its laser-scanning capability.
A robotic vacuum is really only as good as its laser-scanner, and Neato has undoubtedly built one of the best on the market with this product.
The navigation software is codenamed “BotVision” and is cut from the same cloth that Google used when it was experimenting with self-driving automobiles a few years back (the system is called SLAM, or Simultaneous Localization And Mapping).
In other words, it’s high-tech, high-quality stuff, and it makes the BotVac 70e competitive as one of the best robot cleaners on the market.
However, while BotVision is certainly still the defining feature of the Neato vacuum cleaner line, it isn’t the only thing that makes the BotVac 70e a worthy investment.
The side brushes are another interesting addition, as they address the main qualm that many buyers had with the XV line (that the robots left behind small amounts of dirt and debris).
Now that Neato has produced a vacuum cleaner that not only knows its way around, but which can also clean as efficiently as any robot on the market, they may truly be able to compete against more well-known brand-names like iRobot’s Roomba.
How the Botvac 70e Compares to the Competition
Speaking of the Roomba, the additions and improvements that Neato has made for the new line of BotVac devices have the potential to bring the company in step with the iRobot Corporation for the first time.
Currently, the iRobot model that is most similar to the BotVac 70e is the Roomba 770, which is comparable to the Neato model in both price (the Roomba is the slightly more expensive of the two, while the BotVac is just a hair cheaper) and features
In the feature war, the BotVac bests the Roomba in terms of navigation technology, with the BotVision software allowing the robot to scan and map rooms before it starts vacuuming (unlike the Roomba 770’s tendency to wander around in a more aimless fashion.
Neato’s vacuum cleaners also can best iRobot’s in terms of cleaning effectiveness, a fact that is only made more pronounced now thanks to the BotVac’s side brushes and bigger brushrolls.
NOTE: This is generally in comparison to the Roomba 700 series and earlier (which was the competition at the time of publication). The Roomba 860, 880 and 980 are significant upgrades over both the 700 series and the Botvac.
Products from iRobot, on the other hand, are generally heavier on additional perks and features than Neato’s, and that difference is also portrayed in a comparison between the BotVac 70e and the Roomba 770.
The 770 is by no means the most feature-heavy iRobot vacuum cleaner, either (that title goes to the Roomba 880), but it still boasts superior battery technology, multiple HEPA filters for eliminating allergens from the air, infrared remote control capabilities, and what iRobot calls “Virtual Wall” – in case you want to keep the 770 away from certain areas of your home by default. You can read our full Roomba 770 review here.
The Roomba is also a bit quieter than the BotVac, which could be a deciding factor for those who are extremely bothered by white noise.
Final Thoughts – Where to Buy the Botvac 70e
Hopefully this Botvac 70e review has helped your decision-making process. Ultimately, those who want fancy special features like virtual walls or additional air filters will want to look elsewhere, but as a bare-bones robot vacuum cleaner, the Neato BotVac 70e will get the job done with aplomb.
With free shipping on Amazon, it’s a solid mid-price option with top-of-the-line functions where it really counts (namely in navigation and cleaning ability).
Sure, iRobot and their Roomba may have the market cornered with brand-name recognition, but in many ways, the Neato BotVac 70e (and the rest of the new Botvac line) is a superior robot vacuum cleaner for a lesser or equivalent price. See the product listing below for the latest prices and savings deals: