When I first saw that the brand name of this vacuum was Neato, I have to admit I was a little skeptical. Still, I have pets and kids with allergies, and have also been wanting to try a better automatic vacuum cleaner for a long time.
The idea of setting the vacuum, leaving for work or errands, and returning to a clean house really appealed to me as it does to many business parents. I have purchased less expensive brands and models, but they were never really up to the task of handling pet hair, food debris, and tracked in dirt.
Because this model was particularly designed with pet owners in mind, it was equipped with a special cleaning brush, allergy air filter, and the most powerful automatic vacuum motor on the market. This is not the least expensive automatic cleaner on the market, but I wanted to pay for functionality and quality. In the end, I believe that a few extra dollars will actually help me save money and time if I am happy with the product.
Neato XV-21 Pros
This powerful little machine can actually scan your rooms so it knows where to goand what to avoid. When it is finished or needs to charge, it simply returns to the charging base all by itself. It the unit needs a charge before the job is completed, it actually remembers where it left off. In my opinion, these efficiency features are really beneficial.
If you have pets, you probably suffer from a couple of problems. Hairballs and just plain shedding end up everywhere, especially along the walls. This is true if your floors are carpeted, wooden, tile, or laminated. Most pets tend to shed up their fuzzy toys too, so this leaves extra debris around. This simply overwhelms less powerful automatic vacuums. To might great delight, the Neato XV-21 handles all of this.
The Neato also navigates pretty well. It gets really close to objects, including my pets, without running into them. It is not constantly bumping into the walls or cupboards either.
Yes, it does get cloggedsometimes. Also, the unit needs to be cleaned when it gets full just like any other vacuum cleaner. However, the unit makes a little chirping noise when you have to attend to it. This takes the guesswork out of wondering why it has stopped.
Neato XV-21 ConsI have tried some cheaper automatic vacuums over the years, and as far as i am concerned, this model has them beat. So when I come up with criticisms, these are really lists of my wish lists for a perfect automatic vacuum.
Here is one problem though. I have an end table that is higher than the base, but lower than the back vent. A couple of times, the machine got stuck there. If I know I am going to let it run when I’m not home, I usually move that table out of the room to avoid the problem. In order to really correct it, you can purchase additional boundary markers from the company.
The battery life is not great, but this is true of every automatic vac I have tried. It really does not hold a charge that long, but since it goes back to base and recharges this is not a huge problem for me. However, I have been told that batteries do not tend to last long past the warranty and have to be replaced. They are rather expensive. If you are used to purchasing a typical vacuum that only requires an initial investment to run for years, expect a different experience with automatic vacuums.
If you have never used an automatic vacuum before, it takes awhile to adjust to them. For example, they can navigate around a room, but they can get confused sometimes. I have never found a model that holds a charge as long as I need to in order to clean a large room. I was prepared for the differences in the way an automatic vacuum works when compared to a typical vacuum that you push or pull around the house.
Anyway, I am not comparing this unit to another type of vacuum. I am comparing it to my experiences with some less expensive brands and models. In my opinion, the Neato XV-21 stacks up fairly well against its competition.