Neato XV-15 review

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Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

8

Pros

  • Efficient room coverage
  • Good dirt pick up
  • Good edge and object tracking
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Leaves 1in unclean border
  • Only so powerful
  • Still can't clean whole house

Key Features

  • Full room scanning
  • Automatic scheduled vacuuming
  • Manufacturer: Neato Robotics
  • Review Price: £399.00

We always get a little bit excited when we review robot vacuum cleaners. There's just something about using a device that can scurry around under its own steam that sets the geeky senses tingling. The latest to pass through our labs is the Neato XV-15, and it's the best yet.

To look at, there's little to set the Neato apart from other robot vacuum cleaners. With a width of 330mm and height of 100mm, it's a bit shorter and narrower than the Samsung Navibot SR8855, and less stylish too, but there's not much to set it apart from the iRobot Roomba 520.

Neato XV-11 4

One thing that does separate the Neato from both these models is that it's not entirely round. While the Roomba and Navibot use a centrally positioned main rotor, then tease dirt in from edges via a long bristled brush, the Neato uses a only its main rotor, which is mounted right at the front. As such it has a squared-off front edge to accommodate this. In practical terms this doesn't make it any larger than the competition though.

The XV-15 may look a little bland, its dark grey plastic body only broken up by the odd utilitarian looking red flash – in fact, it's rather reminiscent of the Lenovo ThinkPad range of laptops – but this is after all a household appliance so its simple rugged styling is a welcome protection against looking tatty once it has got a bit dirty and taken a few knocks. Besides which, you may want a Dyson because you want something that looks nice while you're using it, but the whole point of a robot vac is it does its thing without you watching, so it doesn't matter what it looks like.

Neato XV-11 10

As well as the rotor, the front edge accommodates a bumper. This is used as a last resort to stop the cleaner from knocking too heavily into your precious antique furniture. Helping to prevent such a collision even happening is the laser scanner that sits in a little tower on the top. In front of this is the rugged dirt collector, which is easy to remove without spillage and incorporates a replaceable filter (four for around £20) for keeping suction at its best. It's also clear so you can easily see when it's full or spy any bits that should be rescued before binning.

Neato XV-11 1

Powering the cleaner along are two chunky notched rubber wheels mounted on sprung arms. These enable it to easily traverse most floor types and transitions, so no matter how varied your floor surfaces the XV-15 should be able to cover the lot.

Also in the box you get a docking station, which consists of a housing for the power supply into which are set two large metal contacts. These are what the robot butts up to when docked to keep it charged.

A customer

November 7, 2013, 7:28 pm

The vacuum might be ok, but the customer service isn't. The unit I have is less than one year old but is malfunctioning already. It would get stuck in the middle of the room and alarm "Clear my path". Also, the battery is running low after 5 minutes. It means that the vacuum cannot complete the cleaning as expected.

When I emailed the customer support I was given some troubleshooting steps that were not helpful. The last advise was to remove the batteries and to put them back in and recharge. Since the unit is still under warranty, I found this advise unacceptable. I would expect the company service center to take care of the unit, let technicians to open and close the device, with proper tools.

So, I called the customer service. First, the person on the line told me that she has no access to all the emails I have sent/received from Neato. Second, she had no access to my profile I created on Neato website. After I explained myself, the person offered to send me new batteries that I would have to install myself. At this point I was transferred to a supervisor upon my request. I repeated myself, I received the same offer.

This is the warranty service Neato offers, this is the responsibility they take.

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