Both the Neato XV-11 and the Neato XV-21 are robotic floor cleaners. They offer the ability to get your flooring looking great without it taking your time to do so. These products are well made and they are less expensive than other brands such as the Roomba. That is part of the appeal they hold for consumers that are on a tight budget for such a device, but would sure like to have one.
Overall Design Features
The physical characteristics of the Neato XV-11 and the Neato XV-21 offer plenty of differences. The company has certainly listened to customers over time to offer some upgrades that allow the newer model to perform better than previous models.
The wheel springs are better designed so that the robot can move along various types of flooring without any difficulty. There are differences to the logic board design too that make it easier to program and to customize the use of the XV-21.
The Neato models are all quiet, so that you can go about your daily routine and not be interrupted by them operating. However, the XV-11 is noisier than the XV-21 model. If you are sensitive to noise, have small children, or you have pets, a quieter robotic vacuum can be appealing to you. This is also true if you plan to have it running while you are watching TV, talking on the phone, or sleeping.
Engine performance is also better with the XV-21 model, and that means it picks up more dirt. The XV-21 seems to be faster than the previous models. This is important if you have lots of flooring for the robot to cover. It reduces the chance of the battery running down before the work has been completed. The ultimate goal should be to get the flooring clean in the least amount of time.
There are consumers that feel that battery life on the XV-21 model is less than with the XV-11. It could be due to the additional brush system and the thorough cleaning system. It is recommended to purchase a second battery for any robotic vacuum so that there is always one fully charged. Most consumers though feel the battery life is more than sufficient with the upgraded model.
When the Neato XV-11 is allowed to cover a floor, then the Neato XV-21 follows, a great deal of dirt and dust is picked up. This is proof that the newer version offers better overall performance. It removes many of the elements that you simply can’t see when you look at your floors. Yet allowing those elements to remain increases the amount of dust and allergens found in your home.
The XV-21 model definitely offers better cleaning performance when it comes to the corners of any room. This is a huge selling point as consumers don’t want to have to go back and clean up the corners on their own. They want a robotic vacuum that is able to successfully take care of all of it.
It takes the Neato XV-11 significantly more time to clean floors than the Neato XV-21. With the upgraded model, the cleaning time can be less than half with the previous model. For those that have large flooring areas to clean, this is a huge benefit to consider. That information combined with the fact that it picks up more dirt, pet hair, and allergens makes it a winning concept.
Navigation and Mapping
When it comes to overall navigation, the XV-11 can be frustrating. It can get stuck in thick carpet or up against obstacles. The design of the XV-21 seems to get around without such problems. It works well on all types of flooring and doesn’t seem to have issues with the thicker carpeting. It also has a great mapping system and it gets around furniture and other obstacles without it being a huge concern.
The XV-21 also seems to clean better in tight spaces which consumers really appreciate. The mapping for the layout of the home is very good with both models. There is no need to worry about furniture and other items you have in your home being damaged. The Neato robotic vacuums are able to memorize patterns in a given room. If you add new furnishings or you rearrange items, they can pick up the new patterns.
Still, it is a good idea to move cords and other items out of the path. You don’t want to risk the robotic device getting caught up on anything. The XV-11 can have some issues transitioning from one type of flooring to the next room if the flooring is different. It could be due to sensors that believe it is in a risky area such as by stairs. The XV-21 seems to have a smarter programming in it and it is able to make the transition effortlessly in most homes.
Pets and Allergens
One of the significant differences between the Neato XV-11 and the Neato XV-21 is the filtering system. The XV-21 model is an excellent choice for anyone with pets or that suffers from the effects of allergens. This model has an updated brush and filtering system that can pick up more pet hair and remove more allergens than previous models.
However, Neato does offer a separate upgrade kit for that filter and brush system. It can be used with any of the previous Neato version including the XV-11. This is a great selling point for a consumer that has a previous model but feels they could benefit from the upgrade. It prevents them from spending money for the new model which they appreciate.
The maintenance with the Neato XV-11 and the Neato XV-21 are comparable. However, since the XV-21 picks up more dirt, debris, pet hair, and allergens it may need to be emptied more frequently. The storage bin is large on these robotic vacuums so you can empty it when the room is done. The XV-21 has a better brushing system that allows the hair to be pickup up and it is less likely to get caught up in the brushes. Still, it is a good idea to routinely check the brushes and remove anything that has gotten caught in them.
Consumers seem to be happy with the programming process and options on Neato robotic vacuums. The XV-21 model does offer more programming features than the XV-11. This enables the consumer to be able to customize the programming to very specific times, locations, and other elements. It can take some time to learn all of this, but the owner’s manual is very detailed. Once the consumer gets the process of programming down, they will be very content with the operations of the Neato product.
The touch controls though can be sensitive, and that seems to be common on most types of robotic vacuums. Take your time to identify what your Neato can do and how it performs with the various settings. This can help you to document what programming options work best for your specific types of flooring and cleaning needs.
Pricing and Warranty
There is only a price difference of between $60 and $75 for the two so consumers are better off buying the XV-21 with all the perks it can deliver. The retail on the XV-11 is considerably cheaper and it is a bit higher for the XV-21 depending on where you purchase, shipping, and other variables. Both models feature a 1 year limited warranty. Should the product have an issue, the company can decide to either repair or replace it for the customer.
There are refurbished models available that are a fraction of the retail cost. They often come with a limited warranty of 90 days. This can be a great investment for someone that would like a Neato but find the retails cost of a new one to be out of their price range at this point in time. When a product is refurbished, it has been examined and restored to the same working condition as an original. However, it may have cosmetic flaws.
UPDATE: Since writing this review, Neato has released a number of new models. The XV-21 is still a best seller, but the XV-11 is no longer being actively promoted or sold. You can find still find it in some places, but it’s not as cheap as it once was. This makes the XV-21 the obvious choice.
Both the Neato XV-11 and the Neato XV-21 are excellent products in the realm of robotic vacuums. However, the upgraded model certainly does have more to offer, cleans faster, and gets around easier. It also removes pet hair and allergens which is important. The fact that it picks up the dirt and debris the XV-11 left behind is certainly a key selling point.