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Neato Robotics XV-12 Automatic Vacuum Cleaner
- Automatically vacuums in methodical back and forth patterns
- Laser guided to avoid obstacles and furniture
- Automatically adjusts between carpets and hard floors
- Automatically returns to base to recharge
- Large, bag less dirt bin
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The Neato XV-12 Automatic All-Floor Vacuum Cleaner is ready to take on the task of keeping your floors neat and clean. It's Smart-using RPS (laser guided Room Positioning System) the vacuum sees it surroundings and creates a map of everything, including furniture, objects and doorways. It's Powerful-features an advanced high-performance vacuum system. It's Simple-one button operation and you can schedule it for daily cleanings and the vacuum will automatically return to its charging base.
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Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
If my Neato were a maid, I would fire him (I haven't named him but I've decided he's a he, probably because I am being reverse-sexist) due to these CONS:
- He misses spots near corners and along edges (walls or low furniture).
- He can't handle getting everything under the dining room table (has trouble getting around all the chair legs)
- He has trouble transitioning from wood to high pile carpet (extra cushy carpet in our daughter's room). He actually got stuck once and I had to give him a little nudge
- He generally leaves a line of crumbs along the perimeter of our area rug, I guess from the change in elevation.
- The apparent "automatic door detection" seems a bit buggy because he seems to be doing 2-3 rooms at the same time, even though the manual says that he's supposed to finish off one room before moving onto the next. This may be because some of our doorways are on the wide side. I don't know.
However, my Neato is not a maid. My Neato is a slave who works for free. So, given that, he does a pretty okay job, given these PROS:
- Suction seems strong - picked up a lot of loose fibers left behind by my vacuum
- picks up hair off carpet better than my vacuum (we are part Italian and very hairy and we shed a lot so this is very important to us)
- I haven't had him lose himself in the house yet. He always seems to find the base when he's done (just make sure you leave him alone and don't move him around while he's cleaning or he'll get disoriented). Also, I always start him at the charger unless I'm using "spot clean" mode.
- finishes 1st or 2nd floor on a single charge (around 900 square feet each, I think)
- detects the stairs so he doesn't fall down
- the bin can hold a surprisingly large amount of dirt
- has nice vacuuming lines, not random, but methodic - generally does the perimeter of the room then the middle in straight lines
- appears to handle oddly shaped rooms and furniture decently well - even got under one of my nightstands and then back out without issue
- his back wheels are like little feet and he is able to go on his little tippy toes to get unstuck or around uneven floor surfaces
This product is for:
- people who want their house vacuumed periodically, in between weekly/monthly/quarterly more thorough cleanings (depending on how clean you keep your house - I myself am probably going to do quarterly or less)
- people who actually pick up their crap off the floor before turning the little guy on
- people who read the instruction manual
- people whose main floor messes are hair, crumbs, dust, dirt, etc
This product is not for:
- people who want to throw away their old vacuum, broom, swiffer, etc and never clean their house themselves again
- people with only hard floors. Because dirt tends to collect in corners and along the wall on hard surfaces, you're probably not going to get much out of this guy.
- people who want to keep Neato away from the charger between uses. This thing does not keep a charge when on standby. Even if you go through the menu and shut down, the battery will still drain a little bit. Some people have given Neatos negative reviews for this, but I don't see why, because they're not meant to be put away. They're meant to chill on the charger. The instruction manual says that the battery life will be better if you follow the directions on this.
- people whose main floor messes are sticky or wet
- people who want to watch TV or be on the phone within 2 feet of the Neato while he's vacuuming
P.S. Neato - please invent a robot that will do pick-up for me. My daughter needs a role model.
1. It doesn't beep if it needs help. It just stops. If you're far enough away that you don't hear the motor stop, you won't know that it's stuck or its sensor is dirty until you happen to go check on it. I would appreciate a nice loud beep to get my attention.
2. In my house it doesn't really recognize separate rooms and clean one before moving on, even when it seems like it should be really obvious. At the end of my hall there are two bedrooms, one on each side, with standard doorways. It will go into one, clean a little, then come back out, clean the hall again, go back to the bedroom, clean a little more, go to the other bedroom, clean a little there, and back and forth repeatedly. It does eventually clean both entire rooms (and the hall several times) but it takes a LONG time and a lot of battery power. In the rest of my house, where the floor plan is relatively open, it's even less methodical.
3. The "clean spot" option is erratic. Supposedly it will clean an area of a few feet square, but it moves so randomly about the area that it misses stuff. Rather than run it repeatedly over the same spot, I just break out the ol' dustbuster for much quicker spot cleans.
4. I wish it had a "clean room" option, rather than just "clean spot" and "clean house." If it actually did recognize a doorway, I'd love to put it in one room and tell it to clean just that room without having to lay down rubber strips. The Roomba's virtual walls are easier to use and more discreet than these thick bumpers.
I got mine for $300 on woot.com and I don't regret buying it, but I'm glad I didn't pay $500 here. It's slightly better than the Roomba in terms of suction, dustbin access, and (if reviews prove right) battery stability. But it doesn't entirely live up to the description.
When I first got it, I vacuumed my home office - really slowly and carefully - using the central vac. I then took the Neato from it's charger base (stationed in another room), placed it in the office and fired it up. I closed the French Doors to the office so it would stay there (I could have used the magnetic strip to keep it in there but this was merely a test and I could close it off with the doors) . When it stopped (in the exact same stot I started it from), I checked the dirt bin. OMG - it was close to being filled. I was happily shocked. What a great job it did and the carpet looked even fresher than when using the central vac. So, I let it loose in the main house to see how it would work there - after I vacuumed that too. I had to empty the dirt bin twice (it beeps and tells you to empty it when full) and it did an amazing job. This little thing is great. Yes, it does not get every little corner of the rooms, dam close though, but I now am a true believer and am absolutely glad I bought this. The dogs don't mind it either. They're first curious when it starts up looking at it nose-to-Neato, then when it begins it's task, they merely walk away.
When I leave the house, I set it in a room, close the door and when I return, the rooms looks great. When started from it's charger base, it will go everywhere it can (unless the magnetic lay-down strip is used, a door is closed or blocked off with something else, it also knows not to go down steps, Unbelievable. If it does not have a full charge to complete the cleaning process (it maps your rooms like a GPS) it returns to its base by itself, recharges, then heads back directly where it left off. It'll do that for three charges - more than enough to do almost any house it those cycles (our house is 3300sq. ft.) I truly think that the rotating brush, which consists of 6 rubber like blades - not bristles - picks of pet hair better. Nothing ever gets bound around the bristle type beater like on the central vacuum head. It did a great job in every room of our house so I'm convinced.
I love this thing and now I only have to do a central vac event every two to three weeks. I really don't think I "have to" but I need the central vac to to get the carpeted stairs and a few other minor spots - mostly tight corners.
So in closing, don't hesitate to buy this if you're thinking about buying it and whether it's worth it. IT IS! If you do buy it, check the software version (easily done using the menu screen on top) and update it via a Windows PC. Visit their website - neatorobotics.com - it's great and informative....with numerous videos to watch.
I bought this because I was hoping it would cut down on cleaning time around my apartment. I was not expecting this cleaner to be perfect, I've read about spots of dust that this might leave in the corners, or near chairs. I would not have a problem if it performed moderately well and left a few small spots here and there... I've run the Neato only a couple times, and though I may update my review, so far this is nowhere near a 5-star product.
The following was my experience:
-When it runs it's LOUD. That's good in a sense, because the suction power is strong, but it also means that I'd be reluctant to have on any time that I'm at home. This would still be fine if it were reliable, and I could trust it to not get stuck when I'm not present...
-Despite the 'mapping' functionality of the robot, it has a hard time navigating around regular household objects. I have a rolling office chair in my apartment. The neato had trouble 'seeing' the chair with its rangefinder and kept running into it. It would push the chair around my room slightly. It would also push a small wastebin around my room as well. It didn't tip over, however I could imagine a situation where it might...
-Around electric cords it also does poorly... To be fair they warn you about this, but from a practical standpoint I can't imagine anyone who would unplug everything, or move cords each time the vacuum is in use. As a work around, I might consider laying down strips of their 'no-go' tape, but its a little ugly and I'm not enthusiastic about leaving the tape semi-permanently on my floor.
-It found its way into my bedroom closet (I left the door open), navigated its way around the door and got stuck. For 15 minutes it cleaned the same spot, going back and forth, but could not find its way out. I had to re-position it finally before it eventually found its way out.
-The mapping feature, doesn't handle re-positioning well. After leaving the closet, the power went low so it attempted to find its docking station. It went in the completely wrong direction across different rooms for about 10 minutes or so, until finally I manually just placed it back to dock.
-It never found its way into my bathroom, though I left the door open.
With all those cons, I will say that the areas it did clean (which was most of my living room, kitchen, and bedroom) it did a pretty decent job. It also cleaned certain areas (like under my bed, and certain crevices) that I personally clean much less frequently, and did a good job. At the end of the cleaning, the trap was completely full of debris, though I though I'd had a fairly clean apartment.
Here are my impressions so far:
1) There is some light prep involved before the Neato can be effective. You can't leave things lying around the floor. If you're really ambitious, you might carefully ziptie all the electric cords / cables in your house, or place no-go strips in certain spots.
2) It will get stuck in certain regions. I've set it up for scheduled cleanings. As I come home and find it stuck, I may begin closing certain doors or laying out the tape.
3) The regions it does clean are cleaned well.
I've since upgraded the software to the latest version (you have to go to the website to do this, and it requires a specialized usb cable that did not come with the robot). I'm hoping that performance will improve, and I'll learn the nuances more. Worth $400? At this time probably not... something closer to $250 would be a much more reasonable price given its current capabilities.
Certainly with software upgrades this has more potential as a time saver.
Neato does not standby its products in terms of its customer service. The worst experience I've had with any company in terms of accurate communication and following through with commitments. The company will make you spend hours to rectify their own mistake and blow past their warranty timelines without a care for honoring their word.
My family bought a Neato XV-12 Refurbished, which worked great until it started falling down the stairs repeatedly right before the 90-day warranty was up.
On October 4, Neato asked us to pay $20 for the shipping costs under warranty (both ways), but I instead shipped the Neato back myself (which was much cheaper) to save the $20 and have them ship the replacement. Be aware of the option to ship back the defective Neato yourself, as it is not advertised.
When the RMA was setup they had stated a confirmation would be sent via e-mail of the receipt of the defective XV-12 and the tracking number for the replacement. This did not happen as promised. After contacting Chat, I received the FedEx tracking showing the replacement had shipped on October 17.
FedEx showed the replacement as delivered on Friday, October 24, but we could not find it anywhere. My family freaked out as we've never had a package stolen. We immediately called FedEx and opened a case, and called Neato the same day to tell them of the situation and give the case number. They appreciated the case number and promised a call or e-mail back over the weekend, which never happened.
On October 27, I contacted Neato over chat and got in touch with Scott. After investigation, he informed me that Neato had made a clerical error and missed a digit in the address, despite having sent me parts before to the correct address. He apologized and opened up a new RMA ticket to send me another replacement. While I was glad it wasn't stolen after all, I requested them to at least expedite the new replacement as I didn't want to wait another two weeks because of their mistake. I was promised an e-mail back the next day on whether the expedited request was granted. Once again, I never heard back.
On October 28, I contacted Neato over chat again on the status of the case, and was connected to Victoria. They asked me if I had heard from FedEx, which I had not. They told me FedEx should contact me and have the Neato in my hands the next day, which I knew wasn't going to happen, and to keep calling FedEx to pursue the case. Victoria stated that as the Neato had been sent out, their commitment was fulfilled and that they were going to wait for FedEx to get the package from the wrong address and somehow give it to me. It was my responsibility to keep following up with FedEx to push this. I couldn't believe that they reneged on their commitment to send me another replacement and were instructing me to spend hours on the phone with FedEx because of *THEIR* mistake. I asked whether I had to go to an Amazon review or Twitter post to get a reasonable resolution, but that didn't help.
A few more days went by, with nothing happening except FedEx calling our family and even visiting in person once to ask if we bothered to get the package from the wrong address ourselves. Great customer service! On October 4, I contacted Neato via chat again and again was promised delivery by the next business day. I was informed that they had gone to the wrong address and picked up the Neato. I protested at the idea of having a Neato that had been opened by a neighbor in the 10+ days it had been since delivery to the wrong address. They didn't care. I asked for the information for their legal department, and was promised a call from a supervisor the next day instead. Once again, this did not happen.
On October 6, I finally did get the replacement. Thankfully, the people who had it were honest and hadn't seem to have opened it or smoked in their home. I'm surprised the other household just didn't enjoy their free Neato after having it for over 10 days.
In short, Neato is a company that will put the burden on you - the customer - if they make a mistake. I understand failures in products happen, but the customer service, or lack thereof, speaks volumes. I have the chats, tracking numbers, and RMA numbers to back up this story fact-by-fact - I only wish this review was fictional. STAY AWAY!