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
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.
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.
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.