Neato Botvac robotic vacuum cleaners: What the critics think


It’s uncanny how a manufacturer of vacuum cleaners either wittingly or unwittingly gave a new verb to the English speaking world to describe the chore of vacuuming. “Hoover up” became the chosen verb, rather than “Dyson up” or “Numatic the carpets”. Could it be that a brand new verb lies just beyond the horizon to replace our now rather antiquated associations of using a vacuum?

Thanks to the arrival of a family of Neato Botvac Robotic Vacuum Cleaners, the arduous chore of doing the vacuuming is made easier. But exactly how much easier?

It’s true; the Botvac range can swiftly clean your floors whilst you are out at work or play. The family of robotic vacuum cleaners include the Botvac 70e, the Botvac 75 and the Botvac 85. You can programme the robotic cleaners to set themselves to work at whatever time you want. The most sophisticated of the range is the Botvac 85, which has laser vision that maps out the furniture and the most logical way, in order to clean the floor as quickly as possible. The mechanical aspect of the Botvac 85 is impressive as well, with a large brush that has already received the top vote from the likes of CNET for its ability to pick up pet hairs.

In a hands-on review CNET’s editor rated the Botvac 85 an impressive four out of five stars.

“The $600 Botvac 85 outperformed the other Neato models we’ve tested and offers more robust accessories and features,” writes CNET.

CNET’s only quip of the Botvac 85 is its price tag, which it deems as definitely verging on the high-end and that’s without a remote control.

A closer look
A closer look

In the ‘Battle of the Robot Vacuums’ the Wall Street Journal tested the limitations of the Roomba 880, the Botvac 85 and the Rydis H68 Pro. It has to be said that despite citing the Botvac’s strong suction power and the fact it has the largest bin out of the three bots tested, WSJ weren’t too impressed.

“Even medium-pile carpet caused it to slip” grumbled WSJ, which also claims the Neoto Botvac 85 has difficulty docking on the charger.

Though it seems the Wall Street Journal is a tad pessimistic of bot vacuums in general, concluding:

“No robot is good enough to replace a manual vacuum.”

Lauren Goode of the review site ReCode also recently had the pleasure of comparing the new Botvac 85 with her tried and tested Roomba Robotic Vacuum Cleaner. The ReCode reviewer was impressed by the Neato Botvac 85’s laser sensors, which by surveying its surroundings the smart way, doesn’t “bump into things like a drunken sailor the way the Roomba does”. Despite its advanced surveying capabilities and large dustbin, Goode concludes her report by saying she would personally still go with a Roomba.

The Neato Botvac range of vacuum cleaners varies from price, beginning at £380 and rising to £450. Despite fairly mixed reviews we cannot help but feel that the Neato Botvac 85 with its combo brush that removes pet hairs with gallant and vigour and patented laser guided technology, may prove to be a winner.