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When you hear the words robot vacuum, you would probably think of a round contraption that looks like an overgrown puck, right? Most people are familiar with Roombas and countless of other similarly-shaped robot vacuums. Not the Neato Botvac D79.
The Neato Botvac D79 has a D-shaped design, making it stand out visually from the typical robot vacuum. Does it stand out in terms of features and functionalities as well? Is it good enough to compete against the Roomba
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Neato Botvac D79 Features
The Neato Botvac D79 has the following features:
- Laser smart mapping and navigation system. The Neato Botvac D79 uses lasers to create a map of your floors so that it would know if there are any objects that it should avoid in real time. After scanning the room and creating a virtual map, it will then plan how it will cover the area. As a result, the Neato Botvac D79 looks like it knows what it does, rather than just randomly bump their way around the room like other robot vacuums do when cleaning your floor.
- Spin flow power clean technology. The Neato Botvac D79 can clean your floors thoroughly using a combination of powerful suction and combo brushes. The brushes agitate and sweep the dirt so that the powerful suction can suck it into the bagless dustbin.
- Extra large dustbin. The big dustbin can hold 0.7 liters of dust and debris, which is equivalent to around three cups! The bigger dustbin means that it takes longer to get full and that it will be easier to empty.
- High-performance filter. The Botvac D79 delivers great cleaning performance that is augmented by its use of a big high-performance filter. The filter traps particles, dust, pollen and dirt that are as small as 0.3 microns. That means the air that you breathe is a whole lot cleaner and is free from pet dander and mold. The filter you find on the Botvac D79 traps three times as much fine dust particles as a standard filter.
- Bigger brush. The D shape of the Neato Botvac D79 enables it to accommodate a bigger brush. In fact, Neato claims that their brushes are 50% larger than that of their competitors.
- Best at edges. The flat side on the Neato Botvac D79 helps it get closer to the floor’s edge. Unlike circular robot vacuums that only tangentially touch wall edges and have to fully rely on side brushes to pick up dirt, the Neato Botvac D79 can run closely along walls, its side brushes can sweep the dirt, while its wider main brush and powerful suction work together to ensure that wall edges are clean. Its design and CornerClever technology make the Botvac D79 ideal for corners, too.
- Scheduling is very easy with the Neato Botvac D79. You can create different schedules for each day with just a few button presses. You can also disable the schedule for the day, or turn off the schedules you have previously set.
- Nickel metal hydride battery. The Neato Botvac D79 uses NiMH battery to power itself. It takes around two to three hours to fully charge the battery, depending on the charge level or the temperature and environment of the room.
- Easy-to-understand error messages. The Neato Botvac D79 has a wide screen that displays text error messages. Rather than using error codes, you get easy-to-understand instructions and messages such as “Please dust me off so that I can see” or “Please put my dirt bin back in.” No more guessing what the errors mean or keeping the instruction manual within reach for you to figure out how to troubleshoot your robot vacuum.
- Two cleaning modes. The Neato Botvac D79 offers two cleaning modes. House mode will clean the entire room, while spot mode would clean a smaller area of around 1.2 meters by 1.8 meters.
- Auto-recharge and auto resume. The Botvac D79 will find its way back to the charging dock when the battery runs low. After charging, it will automatically resume cleaning until the job is done.
What’s in the box
- The Neato Botvac D79
- Charger base
- Power cord
- Combo brush
- Side brush
- High performance filter
Unlike other Neato Botvac models, the D79 does not include the boundary marker, which you need if you have areas in the house that you do not want the robot vacuum to go to or if you want to keep it inside one room.
Boundary markers cost $29.00 on Amazon. There is also no extra filter, no extra side brush, and no brush cleaning kit.
What you would like about the Neato Botvac D79
If you have bigger rooms, you will appreciate how the Neato Botvac D79 divides a room into smaller virtual rooms with a dimension of 15 square meters. The Botvac D79 will first work within this smaller virtual room before it goes to the next virtual room.
The robot vacuum will use Simultaneous Localization and Mapping (SLAM) technology to know where it has already cleaned and where it needs to go next. SLAM technology helps the robot vacuum come up with a layout of your floors as it continuously sends out laser beams to know where it is.
This means that even big rooms get a thorough clean, unlike with other robot vacuums that only randomly go from one wall to another.
Whether you are cleaning a big room or a small room, you would love just how disciplined the Neato Botvac D79 looks. It first cleans along the edges of the virtual room and then zigzags its way inside. This cleaning pattern ensures that it does not miss a spot.
Lastly, the Neato Botvac D79 retails for $480 on Amazon, (For the latest prices and discounts, check here) definitely giving you value for your money. Even with its relatively low price, it has some nifty features that you can find only on more expensive robot vacuums.
For example, the visual localization and mapping technology, as well as the auto-resume and entire level cleaning capacity, is present in the Roomba 960 and the Roomba 980, which retail for $700 and $800, respectively.
What could have been better with the Neato Botvac D79
If you are one of those people that like the convenience of having a mobile app to work with their robot vacuums, then the Neato Botvac D79 is not for you. The Neato Botvac D79 does not connect to the Internet, and it does not offer a companion mobile app.
That means you won’t be able to control the Neato Botvac D79 when you are not home, and you need to use the onboard keypad in order to set the schedules. The Botvac D79 also does not work with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
If you are looking for this connectivity feature, you can choose from the current Roomba line up: the Roomba 980, 960, 890 and 690. Or, if you want to choose another Neato robot vacuum, you can just get the Botvac Connected series.
The Neato Botvac D79 also uses a nickel metal hydride battery. It would have been better if it uses a lithium ion battery, such as the one you will find in the Botvac D3 Connected and the Botvac D5 Connected.
Having a lithium ion battery would mean less handling hassles and longer battery life and running times. As it is, you need to keep the Botvac D79 from hot rooms and away from direct sunlight if you want optimum battery performance.
Furthermore, the Neato Botvac D79 needs a lot of maintenance and preparation. You need to clean the filter and empty the dustbin after every use. You also need to clean the brush, the bearing, and the drop sensors.
You should also clean the top of the robot vacuum, ensure that it does not come in contact with water or with harsh chemicals, and keep it away from hanging cables, curtains, and tablecloths.
The Neato Botvac D79 might feature a different design from other robot vacuums, but that is due to the fact that Neato wanted to put in a larger main brush and allow the robot to get closer to the edges. The unique design helped make the robot vacuum more efficient in cleaning.
On top of that, the Botvac D79 also features SLAM technology, which helps it map out your floors so it can find its way around. It has rotating brushes and a powerful suction, as well as the ability to automatically resume cleaning or the ability for entire level cleaning.
In short, it is well equipped to clean your floors efficiently and it rarely misses a spot. At less than $500, you would be hard-pressed to find a better robot vacuum that is just as affordable.
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!