Talking about robotic vacuum cleaner, you might first thought of the famous iRobot Roomba. It is fantastic but it is quite pricy too.
There are many other robotic vacuum cleaners available in the market now, but not so many can perform as good as the iRobot Roomba. I found Neato as the one which is much cheaper than iRobot and also many people commented that it performs even better than iRobot.
Neato has several ranges of robotic vacuum cleaners. I purchased the basic one called Neato XV-11 from Corvan Asia at the online price of RM1,732 only. This company normally selling this model at the price of RM1,888, so you have to patiently wait for special discount occasion to get the RM1,7xx price tag.
Unlike most other round-shape robotic vacuum cleaners, the Neato robots are D-shape, specially designed to clean the wall and furniture lining better.
The Neato XV-11 consists of 2 main parts: the robot vacuum itself, and its charging station. The robot is intelligent enough to be able to find this charging station provided there is no obstacle (leave at least 3 feet clear space) at the right, left and front of the charging station.
The robot will automatically find its way to this charging base whenever its battery is low, or when it has completed its vacuuming job. It will then recharge itself and get ready for the next mission.
When operate, the robot sounds like a hair dryer. Some people might find it a bit noisy, but thinking on the positive side, the noise enables us to locate the position of the robot easily. Sometimes it might need a little bit help from us to escape from being stuck in places with a lot of obstacles.
I noticed one interesting thing about this cute robot. It is able to step down from dining area to my kitchen floor, which is a bit lower. However, it is unable to climb back up to the dining area later to return to its base. It will keep on trying to climb up the level. A little help from me to lift it up, then it will continue with its journey.
Unlike most of the dumb robot vacuum you see in the market, this Neato XV-11 is really intelligent with a laser based navigation system. It has eyes to scan through your house layout and furniture position, then plan its path to vacuum in a systematic way. You won't find it wandering randomly like those dumb robots. It will seldom knock on something too, and it won't fell down from staircase, since its eyes are able to tell it to avoid hitting on walls and things, and not to fell down a cliff. I believe this is where I paid for its price, compared with those dumb robots that you can get at a few hundreds ringgit only.
The Neato XV-11 can be scheduled to work automatically at a user defined time. Its scheduler is by day of the week, so you can set different schedule for Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The limitation is only one schedule can be set for one day. Anyhow, you can always press the Start button for it to work immediately outside the scheduled time.
The dust, dirt and debris collected are stored in its transparent plastic container, which is pretty easy to take out and clean.
Like some other robot vacuum, we can use magnetic stripe to block it from going to the region which it not suppose to go, such as the bathroom. Note that this Neato XV-11 works indoor on dry floor. Excessive water on the floor might cause damage to the robot, so bathroom with potential wet floor is its forbidden place.
One thing I don't like about this Neato XV-11 is that its battery is of NiMH type, which is considered old battery technology. Neato does produce robots that use Li-ion battery for its higher end models, at more expensive price.
Corvan Asia is giving a generous 5 years warranty plus 5 years of free yearly service to Neato robots, which I think is irresistible to bring home this robot vacuum at such a good price. Currently, the seller is also giving an upgrade from normal brush to combo brush to its online buyers, and an upgrade from normal filter to HEPA filter to buyers who reviewed and rated the Neato product at the e-Commerce website where it was bought.