Your rating(Clear)Rate this item


There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.

1,442 of 1,465 people found the following review helpful
on December 22, 2010
Item Package Quantity: 1Verified Purchase
For months, no years, my wife has been asking for a robotic vacuum. She does most of the house work and I do most of the fixing. I have followed the progress of the Roomba and decided to have another in depth look at the reviews and how it performed to date. What follows is NOT a Roomba/Neato comparison. I have never owned a Roomba nor do I think I ever will, but who knows. I purchased a Neato Robotics XV-11 about four weeks ago. What follows is a detailed look at what the Neato XV-11 is and how it performs. I will try to be as objective as possible and share my journey of how I decided which robot vacuum to buy.

First, a bit about me. I am an avid Amazon buyer and use them heavily for both personal and work related purchases. They are simply the best at the online experience and I typically only purchase items that they ship. They have the best pricing on a regular basis and ship promptly with a great online experience. I have only had two issues with Amazon and they recovered nicely. I am a former network and systems engineer in the field of technology. I am now a science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) teacher and a coach. I have coached sports, but mostly coach middle school and high school robotics team. Suffice it to say, I do my research on techie stuff and push the envelope in robotics.

The environment: a family of four (two boys) and a yellow lab (2yrs). I will leave the bird and rat out of it...no...I won't actually. They get rat nest and bird seed all over so they are included too. We live in a single floor house of about 2k sq ft. The floor is a combination of wall to wall carpet, tile, hard wood floor and rugs on top of the hard wood floor. There are a myriad of transitions for the Neato to traverse between tile and hard floor, between rugs and the hard wood floor. We also have floor to ceiling windows with no trim at the bottom of the window. We also have some furniture that inclines backward to the ground. Meaning the opening in the front is higher than at the back.

After researching the Roomba I looked at what else was available. I could not get over that you have to clean the Roomba vacuum brushes a lot, especially for those with dogs. I also could not get over 50 minutes to vacuum a room of say 12X12. The Neato had some complainers about its performance, but I was the head of a Quality Assurance department in a past career and know you get some people that want the world and complain if they do not get it. While I do not think the public should beta test, that is the reality people. Lots of beta testing can happen and does happen prior to a product shipping, but until you have experienced a product build cycle you will never understand that all testing cannot be done to exacting standards. Especially with a new company with limited resources. If you don't believe me, look at Apple and the iPhone 4 antenna. I digress. I took a leap at the Neato due to its intelligent mapping system and the fact that Amazon has a great return policy.

Here is what I found:
1. The neato cleans my 16X12 den in 11 minutes on average. It is wall to wall carpet and full of obstacles and dog hair. I empty the easy to remove from the top dust bin. It did say on two of the cleanings that its brush was stuck and I disassembled the brush on the bottom. Basically it is like a regular vacuum brush, but has squeegee like brushes so no hair gets into a "brush." It turns out that it was in fact not tangled with something in its brush. My dog and sons playing had broken two loops of carpet and the Neato had found them and tried to vacuum them. one end of the loop was still attached. Now I know to look out for these and not take the brush off when it happens. The brush is easy to take off and put back on.
2. I can push the big green button and off it goes...to clean the entire house. It comes back and recharges as necessary and then goes back to where it was working and finishes. I have noticed it does not always restart exactly where it was, but it does get all areas at least once and often twice. Just now it returned to base, bumped into something, but got around it and is charging.
3. Not much to maintain. I think we will be replacing the filter and I imagine the belt for the brush eventually, but it pretty much just gets emptied by us. We are not doing the scheduled cleaning as the house needs to get picked up by teenagers first and that requires some whip cracking on my part.
4. My wife loves it. In the beginning she followed it around and would report back frequently on where it was and how it was doing. "This is the best birthday present I have ever gotten!" If we could just figure out how to get it emptied automatically. A docking station with a vacuum that sucks the Neato dust bin dry would be cool. Come on Neato troops...you can do this!
5. It traverses the carpets, throw rugs, various transistions perfectly. I put the magnetic strip down around the problem couch with underside that slopes to the floor. It actually went under one piece of furniture and disappeared vacuuming...only to emerge a minute or two later.

One thing to consider is where to park it. While you could bring it out only when you need it and place it in a room and then hit the green button (this will clean that room only and then return to where it started) that does not use it to its full potential. To use its full potential you need to put the little base station next to a wall somewhere in the house so it can travel back and charge up etc.

After four weeks, we love our Neato and have no regrets. I will check in again six months from now and update. I am also going to update a little video.

UPDATE:
One week after this review the Neato started making a strange noise. Kind of like a grinding roar. Very loud. We called support and they said they would send out a new Neato at no charge. They did ask for a credit card to go on file in case we didn't return the original. Access to support was very quick and the new Neato arrived in two days. We actually continued to use the original Neato which, aside from the noise, did a good job. The Neato arrived and we did not miss a beat. I can only speculate what the problem was. We are now on month three of our experience with robot vacuuming and our Neato is awesome!

Update 8/15/2011:

Time for another update. Unfortunately, I do not have more to say other than the Neato has passed the test of time! We continue to use the Neato in this fashion:
1. Pickup stuff on floor (no robot for that yet).
2. Double check magnetic strip under our couch that inclines to floor. It sometimes gets bumped by humans. This strip prevents the Neato from going into what I call a furniture wedge where the sofa bottom slopes to the floor.
3. Double check that the Neato dustbin was emptied after last time.
4. Open doors to rooms that I want cleaned in entire house (our house is one level). Neato will find the doorway, finish the room it is in, go back to the doorway and enter the room to clean it. Multiple doorways? Not a problem, Neato will clean each one and go back to recharge if necessary.
5. Press the big button to turn on.
6. Press the big button to start cleaning house.
7. Go away or continue to be in house and be careful not to walk on robot.
8. Neato finishes and returns to base and I empty dustbin.

A commenter recently asked about cleaning the brush. Another commenter already responded and I will add that I have only had to dig thread and hair out of the brush twice in about 100 operations. Keep in mind that each time I run the Neato it is usually cleaning about 1500 square feet of house.

At one point, I was going to connect the Neato to the Internet to see if there was an update. Do I really want to? Not sure. Why would I fix something that works great already? Maybe I will take a look at their website.

Go Neato!

Update 4/11/2012

Neato died. Or, started making noises that were not Neatoish and we humans got concerned. It was scary, thinking of life without Neato. My wife called Neato central support and described what was happening to our Neato. I apologize for sounding so corny, but the whole crisis started out feeling so Orwellian. Neato support responded with a new Neato on its way. Almost as if the little robot was phoning home or being watched by a rescue squad.

This is now our third Neato and I am happy to report that robots do in fact evolve. We have the latest firmware and Neato continues to zig and zag through our busy lives vacuuming up all kinds of crud. We have gotten lax with our pickups lately and the little cleaning bot does not care. It will bump around shoes, push electrical cords out of the way (this I may have to video, can't figure out why it does not get tangled), dodge yellow labs, and take ownership of a room. I actually hate it on when I am home, my wife tends to put it to work regardless.

The third bot was a refurb and free of charge. We ended up with a new brush (more like a rubber rotating squigee). I figure a brush is good for at least 350-400 cleaning sessions of about 1500 sqft. Maybe more. After pressing for the proverbial "why?" our Neato had a close encounter with death. I was told some had a gear not quite right.

I have built my share of bots and the fact that such a device, with so many moving parts, can last many times longer than your average $150 upright simply amazes me. Not to mention that you don't do the pushing.

Neato, and the support team, are our vacuum heroes!

1/27/2013
Sad news on the vacuuming front. A vacuum has passed away. Our upright! Our Neato continues to vacuum automagically! Our upright is still needed for occasional deeper cleanings, especially in furniture, corners etc. The Neato is great, but we still need an upright. In my quest for a new upright I looked high and low. I am sick of paying lots of money, but also sick of buying a new vacuum every 2-4years. How hard can it be right? And what of these pricey vacuums from Electrolux, Miele, etc. etc.?? Suffice it to say, I decided to go past the $200 price point and see if these pricey machines really do last five times longer and do ten times the job. The vacuum story continues in an upcoming review of a Miele. Go check out the review if you are in the market or just want...the rest of the story.
7777 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
319 of 333 people found the following review helpful
on September 10, 2010
Item Package Quantity: 1Verified Purchase
I really like this robotic vacuum. It cleans a ridiculous amount of pet hair and dust from my carpet! I used a Roomba, which was fairly good but the drawback was it couldn't navigate to other rooms and back as well as the Neato does. The other drawback was it couldn't figure out how to get onto area carpets without the spinning brush on the front getting stuck. For the Neato, this is no problem at all. Instead of bouncing all around looking for light houses it will detect doorways and move from room to room in a more logical fashion.

The suction and cleaning ability is amazing. I would place the suction power closer to an actual upright vacuum. The noise level is a bit quieter than an upright and maybe a little louder than the whine of a Roomba. There is significantly less bumping, which overall, makes the Neato quieter. It still bumps into things (mostly table legs) from time to time but nowhere near as hard or as frequent.

Battery life is adequate. About an hour to 90 minutes I've seen. I have several large rooms for it to work on and it doesn't do them both in a single charge. The nice thing about the Neato is it will recharge itself (2-3 hours) when the battery runs out then it will resume exactly where it left off to complete the job.

Coverage is very good. It does seem to miss very small parts of the room but nothing major. I have debris from a litter box for it to clean up and it does get nearly every single scrap that comes out. I have it scheduled to run nightly and it picks up way more dust and fur than the Roomba.

If you don't want the Neato to go somewhere your only choice is to close the door or place down a black magnetic strip. Very ugly compared to Roomba's lighthouse solution.

Another thing to mention is there is no option for it to clean a small area. It has to do the entire job.

I've taken a star off because the customer service is HORRIBLE. Mine was broken from day one due to a known defect (the battery is buzzing and not charging when connecting to the dock). I spent FIVE days and FIVE CALLS on the phone with customer support and it got me NOWHERE. First they said they'd give me a next day shipping label which sounded reasonable. That never came. After more and more calls getting nowhere they then wanted me to ship it ground and CHARGE MY CREDIT CARD AGAIN FOR ANOTHER ROBOT??? Again, I still don't know if I would ever get a shipping label. Truly frustrating.
1818 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
287 of 313 people found the following review helpful
on October 20, 2010
Item Package Quantity: 1Verified Purchase
I have had the Neato vacuum robot for a few weeks now and I am just now getting the time to write a review. I don't write reviews for everything I buy just the things I think people need to be warned about or things I think people should really buy.

Compared to Roombas
I have owned 6 different Roombas starting with the original red one. The thing about Roombas is they don't really know where they are or where they are going they just start going and when they come to a wall or furniture they change course. They travel in a pattern that is designed to cover the whole room but is some cases where there is an odd shaped room or furniture in the room they can end up going around in the same spot and not covering all areas evenly. Also the pattern that is left on the carpet looks like someone gave a monkey a vacuum and let it loose as there are lines going everywhere. Roombas don't always get all the rooms in the house either and if they do get into a remote area of the house they often don't find their way back to their charging base and you have to play hide and seek with them and start looking under beds and furniture to find where your Roomba died. In my case this happened about half of the time.

Neato -The Good
The Neato is different with its laser eyes it looks at its surroundings and plots a course and cleans in straight lines and covers all rooms completely. My house is large enough that the Neato is not able to clean the whole house in 1 charge but it returns to its base and charges up and then finds its way back to where it left off and finishes the job. It has a stronger vacuum and has picked up more dirt than the Roomba did. I find the dirt bin to be easier to empty and holds more dirt. When I first got my Neato I scheduled it to run everyday. The first week the dirt bin was packed full and backed up into the brushes. I even emptied it between on its break when it was recharging to clean the whole house. Since then I haven't had to empty it on its break and it is not even completely full when it is done but it still finds dirt. I am not sure where since everything seems to be spotless now but the dirt is still out there somewhere. The Neato also only uses a rubber type brush like the one that is on the roomba and it doesn't have a bristled brush like the Roomba has but I like this feature as I spent way too much time cleaning hair and carpet out of the Roomba brush. The Neato still picks up my cats hair with its powerful suction.

Neato - The Bad
I think the Neato creates a map of the room and then stores this map and references it to navigate around so any changes to its orientation is not handled well. Let me explain. When the Neato first starts up it does a little dance looking left and right and you hear a whirling sound. This is the laser spinning around on top of the Neato. I think it is creating a map when this happens and it knows where it is on this map and moves accordingly. If you pick up the Neato and put it back down and it is facing a different direction then its reference to itself on the map has changed and totally freaks the Neato out and it starts to cry for help says it is unable to navigate or something like that. The only solution I have found is to hold the big button down until it powers off and then start it back up again. This clears its map and allows it to create another one. The down size is if it had already cleaned half the house it doesn't know that it did anymore and will start all over. I had this happen when I emptied out its bin a couple times as well so it seems very sensitive to orientation changes so don't touch it when it is cleaning just let it do its thing. If you don't touch it this rarely happens. That is really the only bad thing that I have found with the Neato and it is not so bad that I don't like it I just can't give it 5 stars because it is not perfect.

Overall the Neato is a great vacuum robot and does a good job at cleaning my house and I would recommend it to anyone.
55 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
712 of 806 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon September 8, 2010
Item Package Quantity: 1Verified Purchase
I own two Roomba 560s and have now tried two Neato XV-11's. After watching the Neato produced videos, I was pretty enthusiastic. According to Neato, the XV-11 won't hit your furniture like the Roomba does, and will cover an entire room by doing the perimeter and then going back and forth across the room the way you'd normally vacuum. My experience with the XV-11 was not positive for several reasons.

1. The XV-11 WILL hit your walls and furniture: While the XV-11 doesn't hit walls and furniture nearly as often as the Roomba (which uses its bumper to detect when to change direction and thus always hits the walls and furniture), the XV-11 WILL hit your furniture and other items from time to time when the laser is unable to "see" the item. This seems to happen most often with irregularly shaped objects, where the portion at the level of the XV-11's laser is farther out than the portion that the XV-11's bumper actually hits. Thus, it is still important to prep the area by removing fragile items and furniture that might be in the XV-11's path.

2. My XV-11 missed some portions of the room: The XV-11 attempts to vacuum your rooms by doing the perimeter and then covering the entire room by going back and forth. I found that my first XV-11 created long, thin islands of missed areas as it went back and forth. As that XV-11 turned around to come back across my room, it goes just a bit too far and thus left a long thin gap in between where it went down one way and where it comes back the other way. I returned that XV-11 and Neato replaced it with a new one that they preinspected before shipping it to me. The new one doesn't miss long gaps when it goes back and forth, but instead misses areas as it does the perimeter. As a result, the Roomba, which bounces around randomly, seems to do a better job at covering an entire room.

3. The Roomba has better battery life: The XV-11 does finish the room much more quickly than the Roomba, but the Roomba's battery life is significantly better. My XV-11 did two rooms before needing to re-charge, and my Roomba can usually get through 3 or 4. Also, when I left my XV-11 off the charger (but turned off) overnight, I found it only had 50% of the battery left the next day. My Roomba has not had that problem.

4. I have serious questions about the quality control on these units. My first one missed areas when going back and forth. Although Neato initially refused to replace the unit, an executive team member contacted me after reading an earlier version of this review and shipped me a new one. The second one missed areas on the perimeter, but handled the back and forth just fine.

But, after completing the first room, the second XV-11 moved on to the middle of the second room, and then parked itself with the vacuum and scooper running. I let it sit for about 10 minutes before I finally intervened (to prevent it from damaging my carpet). At the time, the display said "Cleaning House" and the timer said "00:00". When I tried it again, the Neato got stuck trying to clean the upstairs area near my stairs. Roomba has vacuumed that same area dozens of times without any problems.

Given that the XV-11 costs almost $400, I'm surprised that the two units that I've owned have had two entirely different problems very early in my ownership.

5. I have concerns about Neato's customer support. After I experienced the missed areas problem with the first XV-11, I called Neato and explained the problem. The lady I spoke with claimed that she'd never heard of the issue I described before and she offered to let me ship the item to them so that they could check it out. However, she was unwilling to offer an advance replacement, so I'd simply have to go without while they check it out. Since my 30-day return period with Amazon.com was likely to expire during that time (and I didn't think that I should have to lose the use of the $400 vacuum cleaner while they figure out what's wrong with it), I returned it to Amazon.com and wrote a review explaining my experiences.

To its credit, someone at Neato apparently read my first Amazon.com review and had someone in their executive team contact me and arrange to sell me the second Neato. My review was one of the first five on Amazon.com, was featured prominently, and was the only negative review at the time. Many of the positive reviews appear to have been posted by people who didn't buy the product on amazon.com and who have a limited history posting reviews at all. Future buyers may not be so lucky. In any case, I feel that you shouldn't have to be the squeaky wheel just to get good customer service.

In fairness to Neato, its customer service people are located in California (not a foreign country) and generally seemed to understand the product. Also, there are lots of compaints about Roomba's customer service on various web-sites as well.

Conclusion:

My Roombas were considerably cheaper ($250 each) than the XV-11 and have been quite reliable. Also, the place that I bought them offers a lifetime satisfaction guaranty, and so I won't be out $400 if they fail two months down the road. Given that the Roomba is significantly cheaper and works better overall, if I had to pick one, I'd take the Roomba for now.
145145 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
61 of 65 people found the following review helpful
on September 16, 2010
Item Package Quantity: 1Verified Purchase
I recently got a puppy, a Sheltie, name Pennie. I love her a lot, but if anyone knows, dogs do tend to shed. It was starting to become obvious when her first shedding season hit us. You can see her fur shed as it collect under our socks. And putting it through washing machine and the drying didn't really help get out any of the fur from the socks. So i ran across the Neato VX-11 on [...] where they rank this device 8/10. After looking at their video, i was really impressed. So i ended up ordering one from Amazon.com. It took nearly 3 weeks to actually ship the unit to me....

Anyway the reviews:

I tested it on first floor of my house, which is probably 50x60 feet in dimension and covers about 4 rooms fill with furniture and obstacles for the little bugger. It was able to cover every square feet of house in about an hour on the first complete charge (2-3hrs). After 3 runs, and i wont lie, i havent vacuumed in months, it filled the canister about 2.5x in its volume. I just couldn't believe that it actually picked up that much dirt around the house!?!?! And you can defiantly feed the difference when i walk around the house barefoot. Even my girlfriend was impressed how clean the floor felt.

When it came to obstacles, it handled them very well. From low level legs, to tight corners, to ledges, to 0.4'' bumps to and from the kitchen, the Neato managed to surmount the challenges. It has always returned back to the charging station every time. The only time it had trouble was when it caught a 6'' strand from a carpet. The unit shut it self down to wait for the operator to resolve the problem. If you have children with a lot of toys, i suggest you to clean the floor up first. I will be honest and say it'll have some difficult cleaning perfectly with a lot of irregular objects laying around the house. And if you have wires or strands laying around, i would suggest you to hide them or cover them because it'll jam the robot.

How did it do with the dining table with all its chair? well, not to great. but it tried at least. It did manage to find a small opening to actually get beneath the table. Then again, the width of my chairs were probably a little shorter than the width of the Neato. I would recommend to hang the chairs upside down on the table the next vacuuming cycle.

one user here mentioned that the vacuum left a large 2-3 inch gaps when it went up and down a room, but when i reviewed my videos, it overlapped very nicely in its laps.

here's an actual video of the Neato VX-11 cleaning a small portion of my house in 12 minutes
[...]

here's the youtube version of the demo i posted on amazon.com
[...]

this automated vacuum robot is defiantly a keeper. It certainly won't pick every piece of dirt on the floor on the first try, but over time, it'll keep your house very clean. Of course how well the Neato VX-11 operates depends on how well you tidy up your living space for the robot to work.

Update: 9/27/10 (2 weeks)
i've own this for two weeks so far. i already registered this device with neato robotics and gotten my free air filters within a week. The device still works perfectly as design. I set it to vacuum 3x a week after lunch time. it has always came back to its charging station with a bin filled of dirt. The floor feels so smooth. My family members don't sneeze or cough as much as they do. that's a good thing for Pennie our pet Sheltie lol j/k! My gf loves the device and has had mentioned it to all her friends. It's certainly a great life saver, especially pet owners.
88 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
77 of 85 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 2010
Item Package Quantity: 1Verified Purchase
I don't typically write reviews on products, but I needed to with this one.

If you've tried roomba and it's just not successful in your house for whatever reason, this one is might do the trick.

I've had many roombas, and was never 100% satisfied. They would get stuck, run out of battery, or many other problems.

I have lots of stuff on the floors in several rooms. This robot manages to go to each room and find it's way around. It has an LCD screen on it to tell you want's wrong instead of having to remember what beep sounds mean what. I like how it can come back from 4 different rooms and still know where it's base is to charge.

It's still not perfect, but with my experiences with roomba, this will work 10 times better, and I don't need any stupid IR walls to keep the roomba in check.

I've had it get suck a few times, but most of those were my fault or could be prevented.
1) it'll eat half a sock and get jammed.
2) it'll eat my bathroom rug, but I think I can fix it by using carpet tape to sick down the edges.
3) it'll eat wires like earbud headphones left on the floor.
4) it can change from hard surfaces to soft almost all of the time (hardwood to area rug etc), mine gets stuck when leaving the bathroom, going onto a high ply carpet. I think it's just spinning it's tires and I might be able to solve this with a little ramp, or preventing the xv-11 from going into that bathroom. by a little ramp, I mean one of those thresholds that go between rooms when changing flooring styles. The threshold that's there now is very tall.

A few of my concerns are:
1) Will the battery last for more than 6 months (roomba sucks)
2) cleaning out the dust pan seems a bit dirty of a process (you need to shake it and then figure out how to clean the filter which my method of banging on the trashcan seems to kick dust in to the air)
3) you can only schedule one cleaning per day at one time.

Improvements I'd like to see: (I know I'm dreaming)
1) wi-fi connectivity option (maybe add a USB wifi card into an accessory slot) This could be used to set the schedule, get updates when the dustpan needs changing, and a lot of other hacking ideas allowing you to do some pretty neat stuff, like a camera accessory for remote home monitoring)
2) An easier cleaner way to dump the dust pan.. maybe hook your shop vac up to a port on the bottom or top that'll just remove everything from it quick and dirt free.
3) An upgraded docking station that could auto empty the dust pan into a larger receptacle or a central vac system etc).
4) A more advanced cleaning schedule system. I'd like mine to have a motion sensor and only start if some conditions are met, like there has been no motion in the house for 2 hours and it's a weekday when I should be at work)
5) Can it cook me dinner? ;)

Overall, this is the best investment I've made in cleaning my house. I have two cats who shed a lot and I hadn't run the vacuum in 6-8 weeks before I bought this thing. After 3 passes it looked as good as if I had used a real vacuum. If I run it daily which I do, it looks fresh everyday. This thing does a great job getting the lose cat hair on the hardwoods as well (not blowing it around like some vacs do)

While this unit feels expensive compared to some other units, it really is worth it.
66 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
158 of 182 people found the following review helpful
on August 25, 2010
Item Package Quantity: 1
I am the owner of 4 Roomba vacuum cleaner robots (4 different versions since September 2002) from IRobot. I received my Neato Robotic vacuum cleaner on the second week of August 2010 and my Roomba looks like toys compare to Neato Robotics. The vacuum is strong, my pet's hair doesn't get stuck in the brush (I didn't have to clean it once and I used to clean my Roomba brush after every run), it is fast (entire room in 10 minutes compare to 50 minutes with Roomba). It doesn't hit walls and furnitures like my Roomba does. This is what I called Automation at your service.
2121 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
44 of 49 people found the following review helpful
on December 3, 2010
Item Package Quantity: 1
Ok, first of all i want to mention that i live in Germany. So after a lot of information gathering about the XV11 on the internet and contacting Neato customer service several times, i ordered two units via Hammacher & Schlemmer. I ordered 2 units, since our household has several floors and i already have experiences with other vacuum robots and always disliked the act of bringing them from one floor to the other. I choose to order via Hammacher & Schlemmer due to their lifetime guarantee. The contact with neato customer service was a dream.

As soon as H&S had the XV11 on stock again they send it out via UPS Serivce. Via 3 business days (!!) the items arrived at my front door. So far all went good and the units arrived in perfect condition. Not a single dent in the packages. So obviousley UPS also had done a good job.

Finding the correct locations for the two units to stay was an interesting task. It should be a place were the robots are not obviously seeable but the place should also be nearby a power socket. The first unit got a place in my workroom (all distances to walls within specification), the second unit in the living room (very near to a wall, way under the 3 feet distance rule). Both units charged to solid green light within 4 hours. During the charging the units did not get warm nor produced a hearable noise level.

***About other vacuum robots ***
Before i literally press the start button of the two neatos for their first run, let me say that we currently have experiences with the following vacuum robots:

- iRobot Roomba 555 (cleans good, but noisy, it's a pain getting rid with hairs around the wheels and brush, side brush looses wings on hardfloor edges). Our result: Bad gear design, has to be cleaned after each run, otherwise gear can melt. Using lighthouses is terrible.
- Siemens VSR8000 (whispering noise level, cleans good, much better mechanism to remove hairs from brush). Our result: Very good device with high quality, but needs long time for cleaning.
- Samsung Navibot (whispering noise level, side brushes looses wings on hardfloor edges, needs light to work due to the camera). Our Result: Needs less time for cleaning, but needs good light conditions for the camera to work.
- iRobot Scooba 385 (noisy like an airplane, keeps our bathroom, kitchen and cellar clean, cleans with water) Our Result: Cleans good, but too loud. We only use it if we leave the house. Impossible to make a conversation (not as described on iRobots scooba website)

*** About the Neato XV11 ***
So lets come back to the two neato units. The first one is located in the living room that is connected through a smaller hallway to the kitchen and entrance area (app. 750 square feet). The charging station is located more or less directly to a corner in the living room. Voltage in germany is not a problem since the charging station accepts 220V. After pressing the orange button, the Neato XV 11 comes to live and plays a nice melody. Pressing the orange button again makes the Neato starts its partrol for dust and other debris. It's journey is not easy. Directly in front of the neato are 4 chairs, a table, an armchair a very small passageway behind the sofa and a few toys from our kids (but big enough for the laser to see, theoretically), a big brown rug and a lot of hardwood floor. The XV-11 left its charging station, looked around left and right once and then started like it was knowing our living room for years. It bumped into the legs of chairs from time to time but only very rarely. It moves very precicely close to the corners and navigates straight into the small passageway behind the sofa without a problem and also manages to come out again. After 20 Minutes the living room was done. 10 Minutes more also the hallway and the kitchen was cleaned. All other robots before needed 3 hour or more for this area. WOW.
Now the critical moment arrived. The Neato shuts down its powerfull engine and tried to return to its charging station. In front of the table with all the chairs it stopped for a moment, as if it was thinking "should i go through the chiars under the table or should i take the easier way beside the wall?" Two seconds later it decided to go through the chairs, very elegantly and heads right to the charging station. A nice melody claimed the successful docking. First run, no errors, all cleaned very good, except a little bit of bread near a table leg.

The unit on the second floor had a lot of more todo. About 900 square feet to clean, almost all hardwood floor, devided into 4 rooms. Same here again: The Neato unit acted as if it already knowing our rooms. It also cleaned under the beds very precicely, its sensors made it stop before falling down the stairs. 45 minutes later also the second floor was cleaned very good, even under the beds. Like in a rush the Neato units goes straight from the bedroom back to its charging station in the workroom.

Alltogether it makes the impression like a full equipped vaccum tank (also from the design it looks a bit like a tank) with a very high vacuum power. Much more power than the other robots have.

Resumé:

What we like:
+ Well designed charging station (not needed power cord can put inside the housing)
+ Powerfull suction of the vaccum robot
+ Easy to clean dusttank
+ No hairs around the brushes (Really NO hairs at all), but in the dusttank (yes, that the place they belong)
+ Finishes its work within less time
+ Returns to the base always without a problem
+ Both units can run together (on different floors) without problems.
+ It has a schedule (only used once so far, but it works)
+ It has the option to turn of the led lights (sign that the usability guys worked good at concept stage)
+ It does not bump into everything
+ It clean according to a floor map and is not wandering aimlessly around
+ Nice melodies
+ Polite behaviour (e.g. Writes "Thank you for cleaning my dusttank" on the lcd-screen if user remove tank)

What we disklike:
- it's a bit noisy. In fact they sound like a bulldozer on our hardwood floor. We contacted Neato customer care and they immediately offered to send us two modified squeegees for replacement with the original ones. As soon as they arrive i will report back here if the sound volume is getting better. Thats the only reason why i gave not 5 stars.

We currently searching for names for both units. Still we call them "Neato 1" and "Neato 2".

Congratulattions to Neato for such a great first product. We have the Neatos now for 3 weeks and i think i will put the Roomba soon on Ebay, give the Siemens to the grandparents and keep the Scooba (since it cleans with water).

*** UPDATE ***
Tataaa. Finally, the two new squeegees arrived after two weeks. I am happy that the replacements arrived since the customer service from USPS is absolutely the worst thing i ever experienced. Just give them a call and you know what i mean (lol). Not to compare with the excellent CS from Neato.

So i attached one of the new Squeegees on Neato No. 1 and give it a try. But it still sounds like a bulldozer. Then i found out, that i did attach it in the wrong way, since the squeegee can be inserted much more deeper into the compartment of the robot. But it needs a bit practice and obviousley a lot of xxx words during that process to make it finally happen. Thats why i still owe you one update of my Neato experience - pls give me time to figure out the "Squeegee replacement act" (hopefully this evening) and i will report back. Promise.

*** UPDATE ***
Ok, finally i made it to replace the squeegees. The solution was not to try to push them into place, but just to unscrew the four screws a bit so that the squeegee fits easier in. I know, sounds that easy, but in the manual nothing was written about how to replace the squeegee. Result of the replacement: the Bulldozer-Sound is gone, both units now do not bumb up/down on hardwood floor anymore. However the noise-level is still high. Thats why i stick to my 4 stars rating.

Good thing to mention: Until now, both units returned to the charging station every time.

*** UPDATE ***
Both Neatos survived the christmas messy days. The robots also had no problems with christmas tree leaves on the floor or on the carpet. (catched 95% of them). Good result.
44 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
45 of 51 people found the following review helpful
on September 9, 2010
Item Package Quantity: 1Verified Purchase
I like the Neato XV-11 very much, but it has too many problems for me to be able to recommend it.

The Neato is very cool. It uses lasers to "see" its surroundings from a distance. It starts by driving around the perimeter of the room and furniture, then covers the space in the middle using straight passes. (This is how I used to mow the lawn as a teenager.) The Neato is surprisingly good at following the edges of furniture. It actually uses a combination of lasers and touching to find its way, which means that it will bump into things that it didn't see, and then adjust for these new findings. It is inevitable that the Neato must be accommodated by removing wires, clothes, and other troublesome obstacles, but this is the same for a traditional vacuum.

As a vacuum, the Neato isn't quite as effective as a traditional vacuum cleaner, but that may be because it generally only makes one pass over an area. On the first day, I had to run it 2 or 3 times to see acceptable results, but I suspect that it will be effective if it runs weekly or more. It does pick up a lot of fine pet hair.

The Bad:

The Neato got stuck 100% of the times I ran it. When its battery gets low, the Neato is supposed to return to its charging base, recharge, then resume where it left off. However, over 90% of the time, it could not find its base. Instead, it would drive off erratically in a random direction until giving up. It would do this even after I picked it up and placed it in contact with the base! Eventually I would give up and reset it, which means that it would have to start over instead of resuming where it left off. This happened regardless of where I placed the base.

On the 4th run, the Neato did not try to return to base at all. It simply ran until the battery died, and it lost its schedule from memory.

The Neato also got stuck against chairs about 50% of the times I ran it. It's not very smart about navigating small spaces such as those between chair legs, and after bumping around for a minute, it will stop and wait for you to move the obstacle. Sometimes this is not possible if the obstacle is not actually a chair. Also, sometimes it will go right back to the trouble spot after being freed and get stuck again.

It sometimes misses small areas for no apparent reason, but this may be forgivable if it runs regularly.

Ultimately, the Neato fails to do what it says it will do. I had to intervene so frequently that I hesitate to call it "automated". I suppose if I weighed the time spent rescuing the Neato versus the time spent vacuuming manually, the Neato is still saving me time. But I certainly cannot imagine scheduling the Neato to run by itself without it failing every time and possibly losing the schedule again. And its inconsistent behavior gives a very unreliable feeling in general.

I believe that most of the problems could be in the software alone, so it could very well be that they will be remedied with a firmware update. But that remains to be seen.
55 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
117 of 139 people found the following review helpful
on September 17, 2010
Item Package Quantity: 1Verified Purchase
I received my unit yesterday. I fully charged it and then attempted to set the Neato into action. After moving forward about 2 or 3 inches it stopped with the error the brush was stuck on debris (which it was not in reality). After several failed attempts I removed the brush and reinstalled it. Unfortunately the error persisted. I also tried using it on my hardwood floor. This time the Neato actually moved and behaved normally until it was reached a rug. After stalling the Neato disgorged the brush then tried to climb over it before it finally died. I contacted customer service and was asked to attempt removing the brush again. Again the unit failed. The representative indicated this was the first error report of this type the company had received. No additional troubleshooting was offered.

I was given 2 options. 1. Have the company bill my credit card an additional $399 to ship me a new unit and then receive a credit once they received and inspected my defective one or 2. Have the company send me a return label, ship the unit back and then have them ship me a new unit. While I did not feel either option was ideal, I selected #2 after being promised a full refund if the second unit failed after my Amazon return period expired.

I was promised to be emailed the shipping label within 24 hours. That was at 5PM, 9/15.. No label has been sent/received as of 12:41 AM 9/17. I am going to give the company 1 more opportunity to fulfill their promise before returning the unit and moving on.

Additional Notes:

The representative mentioned the company had dramatically reduced the units of units it was manufacturing in China to better deal with the various complaints they were receiving. She said each new batch would have all to date issues resolved. It seems to me Neato has adopted the now seemingly popular and despicable practice of allowing paying customers to be beta testers to work out the kinks of not ready for market products. Neato is not Apple and does not have the customer loyalty to survive this practice long.

I can only recommend waiting to purchase a Neato until the company has worked out of it technical issues and or improves its return process.
1313 commentsWas this review helpful to you?YesNoSending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse

Questions? Get fast answers from reviewers

Please make sure that you've entered a valid question. You can edit your question or post anyway.
Please enter a question.
See all 71 answered questions

     
 
Customers who viewed this also viewed


 
     

Send us feedback

How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you?
Let us know here.

Your Recently Viewed Items and Featured Recommendations 
 

After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in.