“A pleasant surprise in a small compact package.”
The compact Neato XV-11 Robotic Vacuum System provides state-of-art features to clean all type of floors (e.g., ceramic tile, carpet, vinyl, wood) and employs a laser navigation system to prevent colliding into furniture or other obstacles in your home or office. It even handles long hair without obstructing the brush mechanism.
The Neato XV-11 Robotic Vacuum came onto the market in 2010 with an exceptional design at the Neato Robotics headquarters in Newark, California near Silicone Valley. This product represents the first model marketed by Neato Robotics and took into consideration problems with previous vacuum robots on the market. According to the company, “Neato Robotics…are smart enough to perform household chores as intelligently as a human would.…Our goal is to free everyone from the drudgery of household cleaning.”
Unique Features of Product
After turning on the robotic vacuum, it’s powerful suction sweeps in dirt, debris, dust, pet and human hair just like a regular vacuum cleaner, but unlike a traditional vacuum, the Neato XV-11 Robotic Vacuum System operates automatically and moves methodically back and forth across a room (similar to mowing grass) to cover the entire area including corners. The shape of the Neato XV-11 represents a huge advantage over round-shaped predecessor brands like the iRobot Roomba. The little device makes about the same amount of noise as a regular upright vacuum.
The Neato XV-11 contains a laser range finder located on top of the machine that scans a full 360° circle, maps the room during the vacuuming process and then returns to a charger station when running out of energy. After the initial use, the software retains the memory of the room in its memory. If the floor area being cleaned exceeds the battery power of one session of vacuuming, it returns to the charging dock, recharges and returns to the position in the room where it left off and then finishes the job. The software using the laser technology, plots out the shape of the room in a method called SLAM (simultaneous localization and mapping). The Neato XV-11 employs a Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMh) battery. The robotic cleaner also possesses sensors to avoid falling off stairs. If the bin fills up, the small LED screen on top of the device lights up to communicate a message that the brush is overloaded. The Neato XV-11 includes a storage bin and, therefore, it requires no bags to attach or replace.
For rooms or areas required to be off-limit to the robotic vacuum, the machine comes with a six foot magnetic strip. The strip can be cut into the lengths needed to block the device from a prohibited area.
After purchasing and removing the XV-11 from the box, the vacuum must be placed next to the plug-in charging block for 24 hours prior to using. If not fully charged, the machine will not function properly as it will stop before completing a room.
The Neato XV-11 contains a millennium feature with an USB port on the rear of the machine. The USB port can be used to attach to your Windows or Mac PC computer using a mini-USB cable and links to Neato Robotics for some repairs of the machine or for updates to the software in the device. Unfortunately, the mini-USB cable does not come with the machine. Owners need to purchase the cable separately.
Constructive Comments from Consumers
Most reviews of the Neato XV-11 tend to be highly positive and most owners mention how thorough the machine cleans. The few negative observations relate to the battery, emptying the bin that collects debris and the need to remove obstacles like rugs and clothes before vacuuming.
Neato XV-11 gets stuck when trying to mount throw rugs. Many owners remove throw rugs on the cleaning days. If the floor and wall possess the same color, the machine tries to climb the wall and the alert beep comes on to notify a human of the problem. According to users, “robotic vacuums are not for slobs, “as one needs to pick up after oneself and make floors clutter free.
The Neato XV-11 requires maintenance to achieve maximum functioning capability. The maintenance includes the following duties. Empting the bin after each use prevents the machine from stopping in the middle of the next cleaning job. The filters require changing every three to six months. Wiping the outside of the machine and the inside dust bin every couple weeks helps keep the machine operating efficiently. At least once a month, remove dirt or dust from the detection sensors with a Q-tip and eliminate debris from the roller brush.
The Neato XV-21 Robotic Vacuum arrived on the market in 2012 with improved features compared to the original XV-11 model from Neato Robotics. The Neato XV-21 Robotic Vacuum model features an improved performance in picking up pet hair due to specifically constructed brushes and filters. The noise level remains the same as the previous XV-11 model, though some individuals describe the noise level as less than a standard vacuum cleaner.
The XV-21 model provides an equivalent laser-guided navigation system to the XV-11 model with the ability to detect the layout of a room, to clean corners and runs next to walls to pick up debris. The laser system scans 13 feet to analyze furniture, appliances or other obstructions to determine the most effective vacuuming route.
Similar to the XV-11 model though, the XV-21 does not contain a remote control element. Both models allow turning the machine on with a press of a button and possess the programmable feature to run at various times on different days. The size of the Neato XV-21 remains about the same as the previous version, but the weight is much less with the XV-21 being 8.6 pounds and the XV-11 weighing 14.35 pounds.
The Neato XV-21 comes in a white color with a purple laser head and dust bin cover. The color provides a much nicer cosmetic look. This model contains an improved brush roll and a novel pleated filter with claims to get rid of three times more dirt than the previous standard filter before impeding flow. The Neato XV-21 picks up debris down to 0.3 microns that include spider webs, spores, pet dander, airborne mites, pollen, and material fibers. Due to the increased uptake of dust and dirt, the model is made for animal owners or individuals with allergies.
The Neato XV-21 Robotic Vacuum requires less charging time than the original model (XV-11). The XV-21 just requires three hours for full charge on the charging station. For many people, it holds a charge for approximately one hour, but if the size of the home requires a longer time period of vacuum, the little robot goes back to the charging station, recharges then returns to complete the job. The dust bin only holds up to approximately three-fourth of a quart.
Constructive Comments from Consumers
Reviews of the Neato XV-21 Robotic Vacuum come across as vastly optimistic and owners describe how pristine the machine cleans with a strong suction. Users also rave about the ability of the machine to clean under beds, tables, some furniture and dressers. Dedicated owners advise individuals with machine problems to follow the directions in the manual and the company website to obtain better customer service. A few negative comments are listed below.
One negative remark relates to comparing the little tyke to a regular vacuum cleaner, but other customers state that this comparison is like comparing apples and oranges. Why? People usually do not take the time to vacuum as often as the robotic machine can clean a home. The counter point comes from an allergic individual who raves about the hair and dust free environment with the Neato XV-21 Robotic Vacuum cleaning every day. The person can keep her pets only due to the more frequent uptake of debris and the efficiency of the robotic machine. She indicates that no individual vacuums as often as the Robotic machines function.
The Neato XV-21 on some units fails to return to the charging station. The user needs to pick it up and carry it back to the charger. Other owners complain about a “stuck wheel error” message and the need to return the machine to the company with difficulty obtaining a replacement.
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The Neato XV-11 and Neato XV-21 Robotic Vacuums share multiple equivalent characteristics. The list below highlights the similar features:
*Both share the same laser software that avoids obstacles without hitting them.
*The two models use a dust chamber and require no bag.
*Both operate using programmable software allowing one to schedule clean times.
*The machines both vacuum over all floor types.
*Both systems recharge themselves on a charging station.
*The machines clean under any obstacle with a space higher than 4 inches.
*The two intelligent models both move in a back and forth pattern to cover all areas.
The difference between the Neato XV-11 and Neato XV-21 Robotic Vacuums lies with the Neato XV-21 possessing the distinctive, pleated filter, higher suction power and more efficacious brushes. So, the Neato XV-21 represents the superior product to most people. The Robotic Vacuum truly reduces the drudgery of household cleaning.