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Neato introduced a new range of Botvacs for summer 2015, from the baby of the range D75 (see our review) to the uprated filtering power of the D80 and D85 models for those with pets, or who are more sensitive to dust and allergens.
In this comparison we see how the new D80 compares with last year’s plain old Botvac 80 model and see if any of the improvements, new features and other upgrades make it a worthwhile investment, especially as the price of the older models is sure to go down.
The 80 models feature a single high-performance (HEPA) filter to trap more of the dust and particles that might irritate asthma sufferers or those with hay fever. They also feature a combo brush to work on multiple surfaces like wooden floors and carpets with best results.
UPDATE: Both the Botvac 80 and D80 are now considerably older than the latest generation. While you can still find the D80 available here, the regular old 80 has largely been discontinued. I’d highly recommend checking out the new WiFi enabled Botvac D3 here, as it’s a similar price point (but updated features).
Of course, you can also check out our top robot vacuums this year at this page.
Contents (Jump to)
Key Features Between the 80 and D80
The Botvac 80 and D80 are broadly similar in their smart features with a similar screen to set up the cleaning runs, similar laser technology and smart programming to efficiently guide the unit around the rooms with a minimum of wasted time or power.
Both can be upgraded by using a USB cable to download a firmware update, these can add increased smarts to the units, from better battery management to other performance improvements.
Both come with a black plastic dock that plugs into the wall, and they do a neat little wiggle to plug themselves in, which while probably not strictly necessary does give them a neat bit of personality.
The Botvac D80 benefits from a redesign that makes it look more modern, and slightly less like an old bathroom heater. The coloring is also a bit more of a statement, the older model’s aesthetic made it look more more like a sewing machine, while this one will look good in any modern home.
Similarly, the new Neato buttons looks like it belongs in a smart home, replacing the piece of plastic tat on the old model. Beyond the looks, the new design of the brush will help pick up more fluff and dust, while the rest is pretty much a repeat of last year’s model
The D80 wins largely through the new brush and the better styling, but with only one practical feature different between them. There really isn’t much in it.
Installation: Both devices are plug in and play. You charge them up overnight before first use, and let them run to figure out the best route. All you have to do is set the marker tape up to prevent them going anywhere they shouldn’t.
Setting the timer is the matter of some taps on the feature buttons, it’s a shame there’s no smartphone support yet, but that can’t be far behind. Upgrading is just a matter of plugging in the USB cable and connecting to the website, registering your Vacbot and seeing if there’s new firmware.
Recent updates have added better battery management, and could add more features in the future, but there is hardly anything mission critical they can change. Clearly there’s little differentiation here, so this section is a tie.
In use, they’re both great at getting into the corners with their side brushes and have powerful motors to really suck up the dust.
Despite the lasers and markers, they can bump into the odd piece of furniture, so be on guard the first few times you use it, to ensure nothing valuable gets knocked over by their nine bound bulk.
Pros and Cons of Both
The Botvac 80 is now the cheaper option (only $435 here), with many retailers knocking around $80 off the original price, you can probably find a better bargain by digging around or waiting for a major sale.
Since its mostly the looks that have improved on its successor, there’s little reason to ignore that saving if you’re after a good quality robot vacuum on a budget.
Both models have the side-spinning brushes to get dust into the machine from beyond the edges, and even though the newer model has a better brush, you’d be hard pushed to tell the difference through a visual inspection.
The Botvac D80 does look better, with a hint more styling, it’ll look great in any room a bit of black styling to the furniture. In practical terms the new brush design could help those who have a serious problem with dust and pollen, otherwise this is a modest upgrade from the original edition.
In theory it is also the quieter option with improved brush design to lower the noise, but since most times it will be running while you are out (surely the aim of buying these gadgets), that’s probably not as much a bonus as Neato thinks it is.
Comparison – Botvac D80 vs 80
|Specs||Botvac 80||Botvac D80|
|Dimensions||12.7 x 13.2 x 3.9 inches||12.7 x 13.2 x 3.9 inches|
|Price||click here for latest||click here for latest|
|Features||High Performance Robot Vacuum
Spiral Blade Brush
Integrated Charge Base
Brush & Filter Cleaning Tool
High-Performance Filter, Combo Brush, Side Brush, Integrated Charge Base, Power Cord
Blade Brush, Boundary Markers, User Guide, Important Information Insert
Final Recommendation – Which is the Better Purchase?
If you like a bargain, as in half the price of a Roomba, The original Neato Botvac 80 is probably the one to go for.
However, if you want the latest and the best, or have real issues with allergies, or just want your floor to be the cleanest it can be, then the D80 – or its even more over-filtered D85 cousin – will be the one for you.
For not much more money, the power and subtle redesign of the D80 is really pretty impressive and with slightly quieter operation, it may be more practical around a busy house.
Of course, if you always wanted one for upstairs and one for downstairs, you can get the new one and have a perfectly clean house with even less effort.
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!