Neato XV-11 Review

Neato XV-11 Review

Hi Justin here,

Due to popular request I have decided to write a review of the Neato XV-11.

If you would rather skip the review and get straight down to reading real customer reviews then just click on the link below and read what hundreds of people are saying about the Neato XV-11

Neato XV-11 Customer Reviews and Testimonials

Why would anyone want a Neato XV-11 robotic vacuum cleaner?

I used to think the same thing. Owning a robotic vacuum cleaner was not something that I ever imagined I’d do. To be honest I didn’t hink that the technolgy was up to cleaning any of my rooms, messy as they are. It was not until one of my friends got one that I got to see first hand how efficient they were at picking up dirt, especialy pet hair.

I have to admit that housework has never been one of my favorite hobbies. There is just too much interesting stuff that I could be doing instead. What’s the point in cleaning a room just to find it covered in dust a day later. It’s a viscous circle of cleaning.

Anyway after seeing it in action, at my friends Dave house, I asked him if I could borrow it just to see how well it coped in my house. Obviously Dave wasn’t too pleased that he’d be losing his beloved floor cleaner for a day but eventually I twisted his arm.

As soon as you set eyes on the Neato XV-11 you can see that it is a quality product that is well designed and robust.

There is a small dome on top of the vacuum that contains the laser that maps the rooms. The laser mapping performed well in my rooms but they were not too cluttered as I had a little tidy-up first. I have heard that it can leave some parts of your floor untouched if it is very messy with electrical cables on the floor as it can confuse the sensitive laser. I did find that you will need to lift up any skirting around your bed if you want it to clean under it. I don’t see this as too much of an issue and I’d rather have a robotic floor cleaner that was gentle rather than keep ramming into my furniture. Navigating through a maze is difficult for anyone so if you are leaving clothes and toys around on the floor all the time then any robotic vacuum cleaner will get into a little difficulty.

The brushes are designed to be easy to clean and can be removed in seconds if need be without any special tools. The Neato will also tells you when it needs cleaning.

Operating the Neato XV-11 couldn’t be any easier. Once it’s charged you just press the big start button on top, it then makes a 360° turn to map the room before starting. Running along the edges of the room first before beginning a back and forth cleaning path across the room.

If you want to prevent the cleaner from venturing into certain areas or stop it leaving the room then you’ll either have to close doors first or use the included magnetic strips which you lay down on the floor. This may not be as elegant a solution as the virtual walls used by the iRobot Roomba but I believe that patent issues prevent other manufacturers from using this concept.

Good Points

The Neato XV-11 does have a lot of nice features about it.

  • Intelligent Laser Mapping to clean your room in the shortest time
  • Powerful Vacuum Motor to suck dirt from deep in the carpet
  • Scheduling function so that you can wake up to a clean home
  • Robust Design
  • Square front to get into tight corners
  • Auto docking so that it can recharge itself automatically
  • Stand alone robotic cleaner that can move from room to room freely
  • LCD Display for Status updates- Backlit makes it easier to read.

Bad Points

Surprise, surprise, the Neato XV-11 isn’t perfect.

  • Having to place the magnetic strips wasn’t difficult, but keeping them in position and making them look atrractive is somethings else. Luckily the Neato XV-11 is intelligent enough that for most people they shouldn’t be necessary.
  • Bin size is 660cc, which although it can hold a lot of dirt, is still considerably smaller than an upright and does require emptying more often. It filled up quickly on the first few runs, but I found that by cleaning more often the amount accumulated each time quickly reduced.
  • Sometimes it leaves a little stubborn dirt in the corners that the vacuum cannot shift. Not having side brushes does sometimes have a downside.


Overall I find the Neato XV-11 to be a very capable robotic vacuum cleaner. No robotic vacuum is going to clean carpets as deeply as a full upright vacuum cleaner and still remain this small, but the suction on the Neato XV-11 is still very impressive. It’s small size means that it can get into places that you would never dream of going with your upright and if you have pets then this is a good things. Personally I hate to see all that cat hair floating around, but at least I know that the Neato XV-11 will find it where ever it lands. It performs excellently on hard floor surfaces and low pile carpets and if you have pets in your home then you’ll welcome the difference it makes.

The Neato was very quick in its work and it did a pretty good job of not slamming into objects and walls too often. The laser positioning system worked well and the Neato didn’t have any problems finding its docking station. Being a standalone unit it was free to go to other rooms without me having to reposition the base unit.

The LCD display is a nice touch, which is rare to find in this market, and it makes the job of communicating and programming with the unit so much easier.

The Neato XV-11 isn’t perfect. If all you have to compare it to is an upright vacuum then you should remember that no robotic vacuum this small is going to compete with the power or dust capactity of your big vacuum. It’s not designed to but it will allow you to vacuum a lot less often yourself. If you need to use them then the magnetic strips are not the most elegant solution to mark the boundarys but they do work well.

Final Impressions: The Neato XV-11 is an impressive robotic vacuum system and although not a replacement for your old upright vacuum it will make the perfect addition to any home to help in the cleaning and leave you more time to o the things you enjoy.

If you want to find out more about the Neato XV-11 then click here.

Neato Robotics is the company behind the famous Neato XV-11 robotic vacuum cleaner.

Neato Robotics - Neato XV-11 Cleaning Carpet

Neato Robotics - Neato XV-11 Cleaning Carpet

When this Silicon Valley based company saw an opening for a more intelligent robotic vacuum they decided that they were the people to make it happen.

Most automatic floor cleaners up to this point were just bumper bots. They would trundle around your room until they bumped into an object at which point they would just turn around and head off in a different direction until they bumped into something else. Onboard software would keep track of where the cleaner had been, building up a map as it progressed until the room was finished.

Obviously this is not the most efficient way to vacuum a floor. All that running about would often mean that the cleaning robot ran low on battery power before a room was completedly vacuumed. There would then be a wait of a few hours while it recharged.

Neato Robotics approach was different because they decided to fit a laser to the top of the Neato XV-11. This way the robot could map the room before starting to clean therefore making it possible to clean a room in a much more efficient manner. Saving time and energy. No more cleaning the same spot multiple times and therefore less chance of the robot running out of power before the room is finished.

With the laser on top of the Neato XV-11 it makes the robot a stand alone unit. It doesn’t rely on any base station or beacon that has to be placed in every room before cleaning commences. The advantage of have a fully independant robotic cleaner means that it is able to navigate room to room without human interaction.

This Room Positioning System (RPS for short) allows the Neato XV-11 to see your room in 360 degrees, for total coverage. It will then methodically and quickly clean every square inch of your floor, no matter if it’s hardwood or carpet. All the time managing to avoid obstacles such as furniture and cables and without falling down the stairs.

With the Neato XV-11, from Neato Robotics, you get a robotic vacuum cleaner that is more intelligent than a Roomba and doesn’t require a separate guidance beacon like the Mint automatic floor cleaner.

Neato XV-11 vs Roomba 560 is one robot battle that everyone is talking about. So how do these two robotic vacuums compare?

Neato XV-11 vs Roomba 560

Neato XV-11 vs Roomba 560

As far as appearances go both the Neato XV-11 (from Neato Robotics) and the Roomba 560 (from iRobot) are about the same size. The Neato XV-11 is a little taller (13×12.5×4 inches) than the Roomba 560 (13.4×13.4×3.6 inches) but basically there’s nothing in it. The extra height on the Neato being from the dome of the laser guidance system on top.

Design-wise, Neato Robotics and iRobot have taken different approaches as to the body shapes of their floor cleaners. The Roomba is circular whereas the Neato has a squared front and rounded back-end. There are reasons for both designs.

The Roomba 560 has been designed so that it can spin on itself so as to never get stuck in a corner. This unfortunately means that it can never clean in a corner without some extra help. iRobot overcame this deficiency by adding spinning arms to the Roomba so that it can collect dirt along the edges and corners of a room. This may improve cleaning but it also means that there is one extra component that needs to be replaced periodically and something else to break.

The Neato XV-11 doesn’t suffer from this problem as the front of the unit is square, allowing it to get right into the corners and along the walls. The extra strong suction of the vacuum will pick up pet hair and dust right up to the edges. Intelligent software algorithms are used to prevent the robot from becoming stuck in corners instead.

As for cleaning the Roomba uses two counter rotating brushes so that it is able to clean deep into carpets whereas the Neato XV-11 utilizes a rubber brush and more powerful vacuum so that it can pick up larger debris.

When it comes to navigating their way around your room both the Roomba and Neato do it in two very different ways. The Roomba 560 takes more of a random approach, changing direction each time it hits something and mapping the room as it goes. Your room will be cleaned completely but due to this random approach the Roomba will sometimes go over the same spot 3 or 4 times and thereby increasing the cleaning time. Depending upon the size of the room it may need to recharge before completing the cleaning. The Neato XV-11 has a more logical approach and uses a laser to map the room intelligently. Using this technology ensures that the Neato only passes over a spot once and greatly reduced the cleaning time meaning that there is less chance of this robotic vacuum having to recharge before completing the clean.

It’s always nice to know if your robot has any issues but how do you communicate with a floor cleaner? The Neato has a LCD display on top that can show battery power, error messages and scheduling information. The Roomba doesn’t have a display but can beep or will sometimes talk to you when a problem occurs.

There will be times when you want to limit the area that the robot cleans in, either to avoid certain furniture and or to stop it cleaning one room before it has finished the first. The Neato and Roomba again use different approaches to solve this problem.

Roomba uses small devices to project Infra Red beams across a doorway or area, so called ‘virtual walls’. These units are very effective at blocking the robots path but they do require battery power to operate.

The Neato uses magnetic strips that need to be placed around or along the area to block. Although this approach doesn’t require any batteries it can sometimes be hard to keep the strips in place without them being knock, kicked or removed by playful pets.

Both units have an auto-docking feature, whereby they will return to their respective base units to recharge, and scheduling functions so that they can be pre-programmed to clean at certain times, such as when your are working or sleeping.

Overall, both of these robotic vacuums will reach places that you never dreamed of cleaning before, such as under sofas and beds and whilst they are not cheap and may not have the suction power of a Dyson they are both very capable floor cleaners. More importantly they get the job done with minimal human interaction, which is the reason they are so popular in the first place.

My personal preference would be the Neato XV-11 with its more powerful vacuum, quicker clean time and LCD message display. The iRobot Roomba 560 is still an excellent floor cleaner but in the battle of Neato XV-11 vs Roomba 560 my money is with the Neato XV-11.

The Neato XV-11 robotic vacuum from Neato robotics is the latest addition to a rapidly expanding home robotics market. So what sets the Neato XV-11 apart from it’s competitors such as the Scooba, iRobot Roomba and Mint Automatic Floor Cleaner?

Keep reading and I’l explain all that’s good and bad about the Neato XV-11 so that you can make the final decision and know that it’s the right one.