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Neato has been coming up with robot vacuums that seem to be in direct response to iRobot’s Roomba releases. The company recently came out with the Neato Botvac D4 Connected, which features laser navigation technology, virtual no-go lines, and some connectivity options – all for a price tag of $500. At first glance, the new D4 Connected offers the same features as the Roomba 960. However, it does seriously undercut the $700 price tag on the two-year-old Roomba.
Contents (Jump to)
- 1 Neato Botvac D4 Connected
- 2 Roomba 960
- 3 Neato Botvac D4 Connected vs. Roomba 960
- 4 Neato Botvac D4 Connected vs. Roomba 960: Which One Wins?
Neato Botvac D4 Connected
The Botvac D4 Connected has Neato’s familiar D shape that allows the robot vacuum to clean closer to wall edges. The black D4 measures 13.2 by 12.6 inches with a height of 3.9 inches. It weighs 7.4 pounds. This makes the new D4 taller than most robot vacuums available now, primarily because of the turret you see on the top of the device.
You can see a start button and two indicator lights right on top of the device. One light tells you whether the robot vacuum is connected to your Wi-Fi and the other one indicates how much juice is left on the battery.
Features and specifications
You would love the longer brush that theD4 Connected uses. Neato claims that this brush covers the entire width of the robot vacuum.
The D4 is 70% bigger than the Roomba 890, which is around the same width as the Roomba 960.
You will notice that the D4 Connected sometimes bumps into furniture or walls. And when it does, you will most likely cringe at how rough it looks. You can turn on the Extra Care Navigation feature so that the robot vacuum will be able to avoid bumping into things. This is especially useful if you have a lot of antiques and fragile items inside the room.
Battery life on the Neato Botvac D4 Connected will last for up to 75 minutes, which is enough to clean a space of around 850 square feet. But if you have a bigger house or if the D4’s battery runs low during a cleaning session, the robot vacuum will calculate the amount of time needed to finish the job and then charge itself accordingly. This Quick Boost Charging feature will launch the robot vacuum off the dock once it has enough battery juice to finish a cleaning job. This helps you save time because rather than wait for the D4 to fully recharge, it will only need time to get enough charging to finish where it left off.
Suction power on the D4 is quite impressive. It leaves very little dust, hair, and debris. That is if it leaves any at all.
Smartphone app and other connected features of the Neato Botvac D4 Connected
The Neato Botvac D4 Connected lives up to its name. It connects to your Wi-Fi network, allowing you to pair your robot vacuum with a companion mobile app that allows you to control the device with your smartphone. You can now start your robot even when you are not home.
You can also use voice commands to operate your robot vacuum. Using Google Home or Amazon Alexa, you can just tell the D4 Connected to start, pause, or resume cleaning, to check battery levels, or to go back to its dock. The D4 Connected also works with IFTTT recipes, and you can download its Apple Watch app that allows you to operate it from your wrist.
The companion mobile app also allows you to see a map of your floors and lets you know where it has cleaned. It will also show you where your robot is, for instance, you will see a red dot when it is docked, or a yellow icon when it is stopped somewhere and needs your attention.
The more useful feature is the virtual No Go boundary lines. With the D4 Connected, you can just draw lines on the virtual map to block off areas you don’t want the robot vacuum to clean. The Neato Botvac D4 Connected has a laser navigation system that scans your floors and creates a map that it uses to plot the best course to take to clean your room. It follows a very methodical, back-and-forth pattern
What could be better
The Neato Botvac D4 Connected has some flaws. It does not connect to 5GHz Wi-Fi, which means it would be competing with most of your devices that are using the 2.4GHz band. Also, the virtual no-go lines only work if you use your phone to start cleaning.
Furthermore, the D4 Connected only has a 0.7-liter dustbin, which is quite small if you have a big room to clean. You might need to empty out the bin more often. The good news is that the robot vacuum will notify you if the dustbin becomes full. The D4 Connected is also louder than most robot vacuums, and there are times when the robot vacuum dies before reaching the charging dock.
The Roomba 960 is a Wi-Fi-connected robot vacuum from iRobot. This Wi-Fi feature allows you to operate your robot vacuum from your smartphone. The Roomba 960 has some of the latest cleaning and navigation technologies offered by iRobot. It uses the iAdapt 2.0 navigation technology that uses a camera to map your floors and methodically clean it.
The Roomba 960 uses this map, along with a range of sensors, to find its way around your floors. The sensors help it avoid obstacles and keep away from steep drops. The Roomba 960 also uses iRobot’s patented three-stage cleaning system that uses a side brush, a debris extractor, and an extremely powerful suction to clean your floors thoroughly. This robot vacuum is a two-year-old device, having been around since August 2016.
Neato Botvac D4 Connected vs. Roomba 960
How does the Roomba 960 compare with the Neato Botvac D4?
A side-by-side comparison between the Neato Botvac D4 Connected and the Roomba 960
To make it easier to compare these two robot vacuums, here is a side-by-side comparison.
|Neato Botvac D4 Connected
|Price||$499.00 (Check out the latest price here!)
||$699.99 (Check out the latest price here!)|
|Dimension (inches)||13.21 x 12.56 x 3.92||13.78 x 13.78 x 3.58|
|Navigation system||LaserSmart mapping||iAdapt 2.0|
|Dustbin capacity (liters)||0.7||0.6|
|Coverage map in the app||Yes||Yes|
|Cleaning History in app||Yes||Yes|
|Virtual no-go lines||Yes||No|
|Extra Care Navigation||Yes||No|
|Maximum runtime (minutes)||75||75|
|Maximum charge time (minutes)||100||120|
What the Neato Botvac D4 Connected and Roomba 960 both deliver
Several features are present in both the Roomba 960 and the Neato Botvac D4 Connected. For one, they both connect to your Wi-Fi network and give you access to companion mobile apps. You can start a cleaning run remotely, and even use the app to change the settings or schedule cleaning.
You can use voice commands with either robot vacuum if you have an Amazon Alexa or Google Home speaker. Also, both use a lithium-ion battery that allows these robot vacuums to run for up to 75 minutes. Lastly, both robot vacuums have a way of telling you when the dust bin is full.
What the Neato Botvac D4 Connected and Roomba 960 do differently
There are also features that make these two robot vacuums different from each other. For one, the D4 Connected’s D shape allows it to get close to wall edges and giving it a better clean. However, because it gets closer to walls, it can bump against it too much. So much so that Neato added the extra care navigation feature.
On the other hand, the Roomba 960’s round shape lessens the surface that can bump against walls. But it has the side brush to compensate for the space between the circular vacuum and wall edges. This side brush effectively that sweeps the dirt into the path of the debris extractor and the vacuum.
Another area where these two robot vacuums differ is their mapping technologies. Roomba 960 uses a camera to scan your floors and create maps. Meanwhile, the D4 Connected uses laser technology. While one technology is comparable to another, it does mean that you can use the D4 Connected in darker rooms than the Roomba 960, which needs sufficient light for its camera to work correctly.
Where does the Neato Botvac D4 Connected win?
The virtual no-go lines are a big win for Neato Botvac D4 Connected. They provide a very convenient way for you to block off the robot from entering the rooms you do not want it to clean. With the Roomba 960, you need to set up the dual mode virtual wall barriers to do the same thing.
The Roomba 960 has a slightly smaller dustbin than the D4 Connected. Consequently, the D4 Connected can accommodate around 100 milliliters of dust and dirt more than the 960. This fact will mean that you will have to empty your Roomba 960 dustbin more often than the D4 Connected. This also makes the Neato robot more appropriate for larger homes.
The D4 connected can also work with more connected devices with its IFTTT recipes. It even has its own mobile app on Apple Watches.
Lastly, the D4 Connected’s lithium-ion battery only needs 100 minutes to recharge. The Roomba 960, on the other hand, takes around 20 minutes more. Furthermore, you can also invoke the Quick Boost Charging feature if you want the robot vacuum to have enough charge just to finish one cleaning session.
Neato Botvac D4 Connected vs. Roomba 960: Which One Wins?
When the Roomba 960 first came out, it was hailed for delivering most of the features of the Roomba 980 without costing as much. The Roomba 960 is one of the best mid-range robot vacuums available. However, since it was launched, there have been a lot of changes in the robot vacuum market.
The Neato Botvac D4 Connected had a lot of time to catch up with the Roomba 960. It took two years, but Neato has come up with a robot vacuum that is not only more affordable than the Roomba 960 but also does things better.
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!