Neato (Botvac) vs Roomba:The debate on Neato vs Roomba has warmed up with the popularity of robotic vacuum cleaners that rise rapidly. Probably the two best brands on the market, I will judge them from head to head.
I almost start the start of robotic vacuum cleaners (starting with my Roomba 400 Series). I have owned both Roomba and Neato‘s and loved their models and struggled with others. For the original comparison series we have opposed the Roomba 770 versus Neato XV-21, but we also have updated “reviews” for the last series at the bottom.
Quick Take A Look: If you just want to take my word (without reading the whole detailed reviews) ….
If Money is not an item (and you just want the best) … Go here to Grab the Roomba 980 .
If you want the best MIX of Value + Features … Go here to Grab the new Botvac D3.
If you want the most reliable BUDGET (Cheap) robot … Go here to Grab the Roomba 650 .
Giving a brief Details about the two companies …
The company behind the Roomba – iRobot – was originally created in the early 1990s with the creation of robotic solutions for the removal of bombs. Since then, the company has expanded into a wide range of both defense industry and domestic product offerings. Their robots range from robust military devices to automatic pool cleaners and vacuum cleaners. Here at All Home Robotics we follow the company’s domestic quotes.
Neato Robotics is a much smaller company than iRobot, but draws from the Silicon Valley expertise of technicians and engineers specially focused on robotic vacuum cleaners. Neato Robotics has released a number of generations of their best-selling Neato vacuum in 2010. What Neato Robotics lacks in size is the focus and technology implementation.
Neato vs Roomba
For the application of this comparison, we use the latest models of each line. While Neato Robotics has issued a “signature series” and “botvac series” since then, the latest best-selling version is still XV-21 and we’ll compare it to the 700 Series vacuum cleaners, still the best-selling series of iRobot.
Neato XV-21 vs Roomba 700 Series
In order to compare these two brands, we will break through the following categories: Design, Cleaning Technology, Charging, Maintenance, Accessories and Price.
Neato vs Roomba Design
Both the Neato and the Roomba are proud of a sleek modern design. It’s just about the territory if you’re a vacuum cleaner. What really matters is the functionality of the design. Here is where the two vacuum cleaners contrast.
Both robots have about the same size, a sensitive touch pad around the front and two steering wheels on the lower abdomen. However, there are some important distinctions between the two devices.
Neato: The Neato XV-21 has a square front with a rounded back (see pictures above). This helps to make corners more effective and put this small device apart from its competitors. In terms of the “curb appeal”, the Neato seems to be built with some cheaper plastic; While the Roomba has a more industrial finish shade. In short, the Neato is the largest leading dust compartment for robotic vacuum cleaners.
The Neato is about 4 centimeters long, which can fall under a bit of low-hanging furniture.
Roomba: One of the complaints about the Roomba is that the circular design offers less curvature than the Neato. Nevertheless, the Roomba has a sleek modern design with a relatively small footprint. The exterior finish comes in two gray tones, which softens visible scratches against the device.
One of the biggest drawbacks for the Roomba 700 and 800 series is the significantly quieter engine and relatively advanced touchscreen controls. This is exactly the point the Roomba becomes more distinctive tech.
One of the advantages of the Roomba circular design is that it can change directions to a dime, while the Neato has to change to the front (a light time heater).
Another small bonus is that the Roomba has a height of 3 which can only get 3 centimeters including varieties of furniture other than the Neato.
Winner? It is quite close. But in this category, the Neato has a functional design. While the fast direction changes with the circular Roomba design and the low clearance is good, the lack of dusty corners of Neato’s horizontal backside is more convenient. If you have to go back with the vacuum cleaner to get the corners, it will take time and effort. Similarly, a larger trash can simply mean less work for you. One point Neato.
Neato vs Roomba Cleaning Technology
This is the most important test of a robotic vacuum. How well does the technology work? Behind all frills, this is the ultimate test of a good device. Fortunately, both the Neato and Roomba are the market leaders when it comes to the latest technology. Unfortunately, this also makes it difficult to compare them.
Neato: The Neato has the best suction power of any robot-like vacuum on the market. Including the Roomba. With this powerful suction power, Neato plays a role as a market leader. The rotating silicone brush also means less cleaning for the user. The set-up, pet lighter, dander and dust do not easily close the cleaning mechanism.
Video for Neato D80 Cleaning Technology
Perhaps the only drawback of Neato cleaning technology is the noise it makes. It is significantly louder than the Roomba and similar machines.
Roomba: Although the Roomba does not have the suicide of the Neato, it tries to make it in different ways. If the Neato has the best suction, the Roomba is a second second. The Persistent Passing technology provides the less powerful suction power, using the traditional vacuum cleaner (and vacuum cleaner) method by moving over repeated parts to make sure they are cleaned. Update: The new Roomba 800 series takes some good steps with the new AeroForce patented cleaning system. It’s about 50% better to get debris than the 700 Series models. Although we have not been able to prove this, we have seen a noticeable improvement.
While the Roomba in many ways yields the Neato’s power suction benefit, the Neato still wins this category, especially when revealing the newer models. Of course, this is a subject with much discussion and it can easily change with the upcoming models. For the time being, suction power counts. One point Neato.
Video for Roomba 860 Cleaning Technology
The video below tests some of the Roomba 860 features: including the scheduling feature, negotiating tricky obstacles such as chair legs and coping with different flooring types.
Neato vs Roomba Scheduling Feature
This may not be the first feature that comes into mind when considering a robotic vacuum. From a long-term user’s perspective (Yours Truly), it has become one of the most important specifications I’m looking at. Not all home robots have automatic scheduling. Fortunately, both the Neato and Roomba have the ability to do automatic planning, but they are not at all equal to the task.
Neato: The Neato offers a bad 15 minute interval presets. Meaning that you can set it at 12:00, 12:15, 12:30, 12:45, 1:00. This is probably enough for most users; However, compared to the Roomba, it seems an unnecessary restriction.
Roomba: The Roomba offers you complete freedom to schedule how often you want. Therefore, Roomba draws this category. One point Roomba.
Neato vs Roomba Charging / battery life
As with any other remote control, the battery life can cause or break another good installation. Similarly, robot vacuum cleaners with a longer battery life are of course more desirable if all other things are equal.
Neato: The Neato can automatically find its power “dock”, which in theory means that owners should not worry about charging their device. Navigating to the dock is, however, a skill of itself. The Neato can get stuck when it tries to navigate to the dock, which can be a big discomfort. When it finds the dock, the process is actually faster than the Roomba (but this can be little comfort if your Neato is often stuck). During my tests, I received my Neato for almost 70 minutes on a load.
Roomba: Although the Roomba takes longer to dock itself, it has much better path-finding ability. The Roomba will always find its docks because it uses a “virtual lighthouse” that constantly communicates with the Roomba to solve the problem and find the best path. This creates peace of mind, which is a nice bonus. Finally, I was about to get a load of almost 4 hours. It is clear that the Roomba has the edge here. One point Roomba.
Neato vs Roomba Maintenance
The maintenance of a robot-like vacuum must be optimal. A device that’s clever enough to clean your house needs to be smart enough to take care of yourself, right?
Neato: The larger trash can on the Neato immediately gives a head start in the Roomba vs Neato head-to-head test. However, the Neato is particularly problematic when the capacity is reached. It will continue to spread dark stripes around your carpet. This is counterproductive to say the least. Curiously, the larger bowl does not mean you have to leak it less often. In my experience, you need to empty it once a week (average).
Another problem with the Neato is that you probably need to clean the sensors every 8-10 applications because they can be blocked by dust particles.
Roomba: The new AreoVac garbage bin on the 700 series is actually not too foolish. With regular daily use, you probably do not need to clean the bowl more than once a week … even with the smaller bowl. This is probably due to superior technology; However, the explanation is far from clear.
With the Virtual Lighthouse, you never have to touch your Roomba (except to change the bin). Both the Lighthouse and the Roomba are automatically enabled in the schedule you have set.
Base on the technology and quality control – the Roomba is basically more reliable as commpared to the Neato. The Neato is not a chomp, but just can not follow the Roomba in this area.
Neato vs Roomba Replacement Parts
Fortunately, both the Neato and Roomba have a fair selection of replacement brushes, batteries and filters (and more) to choose from. Whether due to market share or other reason, iRobot has the widest range of replacement parts. For example, there are almost literally dozens of replacement batteries to choose from. You can even find selections that are better than the standard batteries that are shipped with a new Roomba.
One point for Roomba.
Neato vs Roomba Accessories
Both the Neato and the Roomba come standard with a few similar accessories. Namely, they both come with a pet and the various user guides to familiarize yourself with your device.
Neato: The Neato comes with magnetic marker strips to define the no-go zones in your home. The neato is also standard with two replacement brushes.
Roomba: This basically comes standard with virtual wall. It gives an invisible radius that tells Roomba to not clean certain areas (you can order additional Virtual Walls if you need them). The beam can cover up to fourteen feet of open space. Fortunately, the car kit can start automatically when the Roomba starts, so you can keep them in place.
The Roomba also comes standard with three replacement filters. The Virtual Wall only makes the Roomba the clear favorite. One point Roomba.
Neato vs Roomba Prices
Let’s not hit the woods Price is often the determining factor.
Neato: The Neato XV-21 returns for $ 429. However, you can save 25% by ordering through this offeron Amazon. That brings the tag price to about $ 320 with free shipping included. The high end Neato “Botvac” 85 canbe offered here for around $ 599.
Roomba: The Roomba 760, 770, 780 and 790 are gradually scaled up with slightly better features. The last 790 can sell up to $ 600, which is the most expensive price tag. The 780 usually goes for about $ 500-600, but you can find it for $ 500 on Amazon. The lower base model 760 can he have for Amazon even. More recently, Roomba has introduced the 800 series, which makes a number of improvements, including a noticeably more powerful cleaning suction technology. You can now find the Roomba 880 on Amazon, as it’s hard to find.
The Neato is the clear winner Here. If you’re on a budget but are desperate for a good robot-like vacuum, it’s a safe bet. One point Neato.
Neato vs.Roomba My Final Conclusion
I will say that, the Roomba is a better device when comparing head to head. It is close, but the Roomba wins the head-to-head equation 4-3.
To get a good sense of the most important features of all Robotic Vacuum Cleaners currently on the market, you can view this comparison review and chart here.
Roomba 800 Series vs Botvac
With the release of the next generation of robots vacuum cleaners from both companies, I decided to write a little of these series .
Roomba 880 vs Neato Botvac
Both the Roomba 880 and 870 have some beautiful improvements in the 700 series. Although none of the improvements were groundbreaking or game-changing, they were sure enough to upgrade me to the Roomba 880. To begin with, it’s up to 5x more effective to rub debris than the 700-series vacuums .
The Neato Botvac Series also has improvements. Namely, a 50 percent bigger brush, a larger garbage bin and an improved filter. Overall, the improvements are not as impressive as the Roomba 800 series. I think the release of the Botvac series was more about a rebranding effort. Nevertheless, the improvements are good and core technology is still very similar to the Roomba. If you save a few hundred dollars on a Botvac vs Roomba, it’s probably worth it.
The marker strips are okay, but not as “sexy” as what the Roomba can offer (below).
Bottom line: The improvements in both new generations do not fundamentally change my evaluation. You still give Roomba the slight edge.
You can read our head to head comparison of the Botvac 80 vs Roomba 880 here.
Roomba comparison chart Alternatives
- iRobot Roomba 870 vs 880-whats your Pick?
- Roomba 960 vs 880-Which One will You Buy?
- Roomba 960 vs 980–Which One is the Best for You?
New Botvac”D”Series and Roomba 880 Pricing
Neato released their Botvac “D” series shortly after re-branding to “Botvac” from just “Neato” in a relatively surprising move. At first I though this was just another gimmick to drive sales with a new release. While some of this is certain, there are some noteworthy improvements.
The Botvac D80 that I tested featured a sleek design, but I was more interested in the inner workings. The main improvements? 1) Better suction power and 2) a revamped main brush. With the plain Botvac series, the vacuum featured a non-sealed bearing at the end of the brush. This led to frequent problems with hair (pet and human) getting tangled and jamming the device. The new mechanism is a simple brass bearing which has alleviated this problem. The additional suction power and better brush ARE a improvement, but not necessarily a game changer. When compared to the Roomba 880, it’s a lot closer now.
Roomba Pricing Adjustment: While Roomba has been quiet on a new series release, they have just recently dropped the price on the top line Roomba 880 by about $ 100 (see here for details). This is likely to prepare consumers for the holiday season, which probably does not have a new Roomba. A price reduction is appreciated, however. My main gripe with the Roomba 880 to this point had been the cost. Now it’s a bit more competing with Botvac and others.
A New “Connected” Roomba 980
For Irobot 980 reviews, Roomba released their new flagship Roomba 980! It has a WiFi enabled device that can be controlled from an external web app? So, now I can press “clean”, monitor the battery / dust bin, etc … from work. This is the next evolution in home robotics. Rumor has it that other brands will be moving in this direction soon as well (see Neato press release here). Still, the Roomba 980 is the first to market with this feature.
It also boasts a stronger, longer lasting battery (good for up to 2 hours), recharge and resume (automatic), a better navigation system (VSLAM), and better suction power especially for carpets. You can read my full Roomba 980 review here .
The Main Downside? As always, PRICE. It’s a $ 900 investment right now (available exclusively here). In my estimation, it’s the best Roomba yet. Until the competition catches up (the Dyson Eye and New Connected Neato Botvac), the 980 is the best in class.
A New “Connected” Neato!
It did not take long for Neato to release their own WiFi enabled robot. Like the Roomba 980, it offers an app to schedule, monitor, and start / stop remotely, as long as you have a WiFi connection. You can read my full review of Botvac Connected right here.
Here’s a quick summary ...
Other notable improvements are the “eco mode” and “turbo mode” which can either extend the battery life or clean a specific area more quickly and thoroughly (2x). Other benefits include the ability to operate in the dark (not using an on-board camera), although this has some limitations on the mapping page. The new Botvac claims to clean “up to 50% more” than competitors, but I have been unable to verify this in many tests.
Bottom line: The Botvac is still better at action corners than the Roomba, mainly due to its “D” shaped design. It’s also uses the same methodical approach to cleaning and mapping. In other words, it’s not bumping around – seemingly – randomly like the Roomba’s. Most importantly: It’s about $ 200 cheaper than the Roomba 980 (check this price listing here for live data).
Where to Buy and Neato vs Roomba
It can be incredibly difficult to find Neato or Roomba models in stores. Of you go with the Neato or Roomba, you will find the best prices online. I have purchased both my Neato XV-21 and my Roomba 770 and 880 online. You can find almost all of the latest Roomba versions (and a number of 600 and 500 series) to Amazon for a great price. Similarly, you can find Neato Signature Pro for a reasonable price. Fortunately, both can qualify for free shipping.