Neato is still my favorite robot vacuum.

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I have used and reviewed a wide range of vacuum cleaners: corded, cordless, and robotic. I have found most to be somewhat disappointing and definitely not worth the price. The one consistent exception has been Neato.

Over the years, I’ve tested vacuums from Rydis, Roomba, Dyson, Neato, Samsung, bObsweep, Deebot, and more. Some did double duty as vacuums and mops, and one had a pop-up handheld vacuum. Most of it worked fine in terms of basic functionality out of the box, but couldn’t effectively cope with my “extreme environment”. That was six human beings and a veritable petting zoo to deal with (we currently have four dogs, seven cats, one pig, two ferrets, and one sulca tortoise).

Honestly, I feel like the formidable conditions uniquely qualify me to truly test drive a vacuum. Forget vendor demos or testing capabilities in a controlled environment. I put vacuums to the test in real world conditions that challenge even the best vacuum technology.

I’ve used a few different Neato models, but for almost 3 years the Neato Botvac Connected D7 has been the workhorse that keeps floors clean. The Neato D7 is a robot vacuum designed for both pet owners and people with allergies. It is equipped with a number of features that make it an effective cleaning solution for homes with high foot traffic, as well as pet hair and allergens.

One of the things I’ve appreciated about Neato robotic vacuums, in general, is that they have a large bin, which means they can hold more dirt and debris before they need to be emptied. This is especially helpful for households with pets, as pet hair can quickly fill up a smaller trash can. The dustbin is also easy to empty, making maintenance easy. Self-emptying units are available – they suck the contents of the dustbin on the robot vacuum into a larger containment unit on the charging base. That’s a great concept, but with the amount of pet hair we have in our home, it’s no substitute for having a high-capacity trash can in the unit.

Neato’s laser-based navigation and mapping system is better than many of the units I’ve used. This allows the vacuum to map out the layout of your home and create a cleaning plan that is tailored to your specific needs. She uses a laser sensor to scan the room, allowing her to avoid obstacles and navigate around furniture. This makes it very efficient and can cover large areas of the house in a short time.

The Neato comes with a number of smart features that can be controlled through the Neato app. You can schedule cleaning sessions, set no-go zones, and even track the robot’s progress in real time. You can also use voice commands to control the robot with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. Unfortunately, it doesn’t offer the same functionality with Apple Siri because we replaced our Amazon Echo units with Apple HomePods.

It seems that most competitive robot vacuums are round. The Neato line of vacuums are built around a D-shaped design that allows you to reach into tight corners and edges, ensuring no mess is left behind. It’s relatively quiet, making it easier to use than others while you’re at home.

Cost is obviously a factor, but the most important metric is total cost of ownership. At the very least, you need to consider the cost relative to the life of the device. My father bought a very expensive Kirby upright vacuum and I thought it was crazy to spend so much money on a vacuum at that time. But that was 30 years ago and you still have a perfectly working Kirby upright vacuum. In the meantime, I’ve spent thousands of dollars on all shapes and styles of vacuum cleaners in that same time.

For what these vacuums cost, they should be expected to last three years rather than notable. My experience, however, has been that most vacuums suffer some form of catastrophic failure well before the three year mark, but coincidentally after warranty coverage expires. With that being the case, it’s impressive that the Neato D7 is still going strong.

That brings me to another thing I really like about the Neato brand. They had units before the D7 and have introduced vacuums after the D7. While they continue to innovate and introduce new features and capabilities, they have essentially kept the same form factor throughout. The benefit to consumers is that parts and accessories are interchangeable between virtually all models.

This is not a “review” per se. The D7 isn’t even currently available from Neato. On the other hand, this is a much better review than most in my opinion. Most reviews are written after going through a battery of scenarios in an afternoon, or perhaps over the course of a week. It’s not a real world test, and it’s not a long enough test that many problems arise. I’ve used the Neato D7 in strenuous conditions for three years now and it still performs well. That kind of durability and longevity is not easy to find these days.

It’s notable to me that Neato is nowhere to be found in PC Magazine’s “Best Robot Vacuums for 2023.” I’m not sure if Neato units were considered, and I also don’t have firsthand knowledge of the vacuums that made the list, so it’s possible Neato just didn’t make the cut. All I’m saying is that Neato has always been the best brand I’ve ever used, and the D7 continues to do a great job even after almost three years.

#Neato #favorite #robot #vacuum

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