Berlin’s IFA 2016 home technology trade show event is home to a lot of smart home innovation. However, in fields where the technology is already pretty mature, all that’s left to do is widen ranges, produce budget models and wait for the next big thing.
Neato is following that trend, one year after launching its last big step forward with the Connected Botvac model. 2016 sees the Botvac D3 and D5 at the show, helping to provide more entry points, as robotic vacuum cleaners will continue to be big sellers.
Are You D2, D3, or D5?
The D3 model is a Connected version, so has all the smart features of the more expensive models, but is billed as “the most affordable robot vacuum to join the company’s award winning lineup.” To lower the cost, there’s no display, no side brushes and only a standard filter.
So you’ll rely on the iOS or Android app for all controls, apart from stop and start, which is no bad thing, especially if you have a bad back.
It does offer the usual laser navigation with SLAM-based technology, for real time object detection and constant scanning. It still provides powerful suction, and one hour of use through the lithium ion battery all packed into the familiar D-shaped design to help navigate rooms and clean more efficiently.
The Neato Botvac D5 offers a higher capacity battery for up to two hours of life before charging, and comes with high performance filters.
It makes use of the full power of the Neato App showing users their cleaning stats in a dashboard, plus a “Find Me” function if the little droid gets lots down a distant part of the home.
The D3 now forms the entry level for the Botvac family, lacking the spot clean mode of its bigger brothers, and is limited to around 1,800 square feet of cleaning per charge, so is still ideal for small homes or apartments.
The D5 fits in under the class-leading Connected model from last year in terms of price, but really only lacks the Manual Drive mode and eco power mode of its bigger brother, while saving on cost.
Given there’s no talk of better cleaning performance, we presume that the engine power and cleaning tools remain the same.
They will be available in the UK and the US in time for those big Christmas sales, when robotic vacuums should again be high on the present list.
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!