The robotic vacuum industry is highly competitive. Many industry surveys put Neato at or near the top in almost every category listed. Consumers, overall, consistently rank Neato well, with positive comments outpacing negative comments by a wide margin.
Neato’s commitment to offering the best efficiency and superior cleaning technology across its product line is undoubtedly the reason for this overwhelming positive reaction by users of the Neato robotic vacuum.
Neato is a US company based in Newark, California. The first Neato robotic vacuum, the Neato XV-series, entered the US market in 2010. Since that time, the company has continued to grow and acquire increasing market share as they have innovated their robotic vacuum cleaners.
The BotVac D Series of robotic vacuums first appeared on the market in 2014 and has evolved into one of the most popular series of robotic vacuums. In 2018 studies show that Neato held about 3 percent of the worldwide market for robotic vacuums, ranking in the middle of the pack of ten companies for which data was available.
Conceptually, Neato came to life at the Stanford Entrepreneur’s Challenge. The idea that technology could enable robots to perform everyday household tasks and free the homeowner’s time for more productive work has driven the company’s constant innovation.
The leaders at Neato are focused on providing products that fill their customer’s needs and make sophisticated technology affordable and straightforward. Neato’s ability to combine current technologies with an eye to innovation has led to a marriage of engineering technology with the continued growth of smartphone and cloud technology.
Neato – Industry Technology Leader
Neato has a long list of accomplishments, including several industry-first innovations. Among these notable accomplishments and recognitions are:
- First Smart, laser navigating robotic vacuum
- First D-Shaped Robotic Vacuum
- First Wi-Fi connected and app-enabled robotic vacuum
- First to support Smart Watch applications
- First robotic vacuum to support Amazon Echo connectivity
- First robotic vacuum to enable Facebook Chatbot technology
Neato BotVac Features
The entire line of Neato BotVac robotic vacuums includes several features that make them outstanding choices for any size home or apartment. These features include:
D-Shape and CornerClever™ Technology
Neato introduced the D-shape robotic vacuum form based on the realization that round robotic vacuums could not adequately fit into corners to clean. The D-shape design solves the problem of cleaning corners as well as allowing the Neato robotic vacuums to clean closer to edges and along walls.
Wider brushes allow the Neato robotic vacuums to clean close to walls, and the low profile allows the vacuum to get under lower edges and overhangs. Tight spaces and corners are no longer a problem with Neato’s CornerClever™ technology that gets within 14mm of walls.
SpinFlow™ Power Clean System
Neato re-envisioned the cleaning system used in their robotic vacuums. Interchangeable brushes offer a versatile selection of cleaning options. The combo brush design provides the best overall cleaning solution, even handling pet hair on the carpet. The Spiral Blade Brush is the solution for dirt and larger debris, especially on hard surface flooring.
The D-shaped design allows the Neato robotic vacuums to house a larger dustbin that many of their competitors and the Ultra Performance filter traps particles as small as 0.3 microns. A large dustbin means fewer dumps, and the high-performance filter means a cleaner home with fewer allergens in the air.
Moving air is the key to a vacuum’s success or failure. The Neato robotic vacuums depend on a powerful motor to provide high suction and maximum pickup of dirt and debris. Turbo modes provide a quick increase of suction when the vacuum senses extra heavy accumulations of dirt that require more intense cleaning.
LaserSmart™ navigation allows the Neato robotic vacuums to move from room to room, cleaning methodically, and efficiently quickly. Neato vacuums feature 3600 scanning technology that enables the vacuum to plot the most efficient course around your house in the shortest amount of time.
The laser system sees objects and adjusts as it moves about your home. Utilizing SLAM (Simultaneous Localization and Mapping) technology, the Neato vacuums maps the room and learns the location of furniture and other objects.
The navigation system also includes a charge and return feature that keeps the vacuum on the job. When the vacuum senses the battery is low, it returns to its docking station for a quick recharge. Once the battery is topped off, the Neato vacuum returns to the spot it stopped and continues vacuuming until the job is complete.
The Neato Product Lineup
The original Neato Product line included the XV series of robotic vacuums. The XV series remained in production until 2014 when Neato announced the BotVac series of robotic vacuums. Production of the XV series has ended. However, parts and batteries for these legacy machines remain plentiful and easy to source, particularly on Amazon.
The new BotVac™ series of Neato robotic vacuums carry a numbered designator. Two models, the Botvac™ Connected and the Botvac™ D80/85, are now considered legacy models but are still available from some sellers on Amazon.
Neato BotVac Features Comparison
Comparing Neato BotVac models can be a challenge. The challenge is figuring out just how one Neato robotic vacuum is superior to another. Every Neato robotic vacuum includes the best of their innovative technology from the BotVac D7 to the D3 models. This is a testament to Neato’s mission to deliver the best robotic vacuum technology to the consumer across their line of vacuums.
With only five vacuums in their lineup, differences from the top to the bottom are concentrated on a few limiting factors, none of which detract from the performance or capabilities of the cleaning machines. You can be assured that no matter which Neato vacuum you pick, you are getting the best cleaning technology that Neato offers.
|Recharge and Resume||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|SpinFLow Cleaning Technology||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|WIFI and Smartphone||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Alexa and Google Play||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Battery Run Time||120 minutes||120 Minutes||90 minutes||75 mimutes||60 minutes|
|Brush Roller||Spiral Combo||Spiral Combo||Standard Combo||Standard Combo||Standard Combo|
|Filter Type||Ultra Performance||Ultra Performance||Ultra Performance||High Performance||Standard Filter|
BotVac D7™ Connected – Top of the Line
At the top of the line in the Neato robotic vacuums is the BotVac D7 Connected. The D7 Connected is the flagship product in the Neato line. The Neato D7 Connected features every innovation and feature that Neato offers in a robotic vacuum.
Recommended reading: iRobot Roomba top-line S Series
The BotVac D7 is the only Neato robotic vacuum that comes with the zoned cleaning feature. The D7 does support multiple floor maps. This is a great feature if you have a home with multiple levels. A downside to using this feature is the need to purchase a docking station for each level if you want to use the recharge and restart features.
The Neato BotVac D7 leads the list in features and also in price as the most expensive Neato Robotic Vacuum. It does get all the features Neato has to offer and delivers superior cleaning power and convenience. Longer cleaning time, better filters, multi-floor and zone navigation, and a better brush roller put the Neato D7 Robotic Vacuum at the Top of the List.
- Has all the features that Neato offers
- Long run time
- Cleans all floor types
- Ultra-Performance Filter
- Most expensive Neato robotic vacuum in the line
Neato D7 vs Roomba 960
Neato uses a laser-driven technology for its navigation and mapping. This innovative technology allows the Neato robotic vacuum to create a map of your home, including barriers, obstacles, and furniture. The iRobot 960 employs camera-driven technology and a floor tracking sensor to maintain its location based on the internal map created by the software.
Further reading: Neato BotVac D7 vs Roomba 980
The laser technology works in the dark, and the mapping technology used in the LaserSmart system allows the Neato D7 robotic vacuum to work in straight lines in your home.
Both vacuums allow the designation of no-go barriers or zones. The iRobot 960 depends on infrared barriers created by a separate battery-driven device that must be placed in the room. The Neato D7 allows you to create barriers and no-go lines on the map that is displayed on the app on your smartphone. You can also create zones requiring more cleaning attention.
If you want a robotic vacuum that is easy to use, offers all the features you could ask for in a robotic vacuum, and demand the best in quality and craftsmanship, the Neato D7 deserves your consideration.
Botvac D6™ Connected – Best for the Money
If you live with pets and are in the market for a robotic vacuum, you must look at the Neato D6 Connected robotic vacuum. Compared to early generations of other models and manufacturers of robotic vacuums, the Botvac D6 excels at dealing with pet hair and pet dander.
The Botvac D6 includes all the navigation technologies of the LaserSmart system, plus the power to pick up pet hair is unsurpassed. Turbo mode speeds up the brush and boosts the suction to make sure that pet dander and hair make it out of your flooring and into the ultra-performance filter system.
The two major differences in the Neato BotVac D7 and the D6 is the zoned cleaning option and the type of filter that comes with each vacuum. The D6 lacks the ability to do zoned cleaning and comes with the high-performance filter rather than the ultra-performance filter included with the BotVac D7.
In the end, if you don’t need the ability to have your robotic vacuum perform zoned cleaning, the BotVac D6 may be a better choice for you. It is a bit less expensive. If the filter difference is an issue, you can purchase the ultra-performance filters for the BotVac D6 to give it the same filter performance as the BotVac D7.
- High-performance filter
- 120 minutes of cleaning time
- Almost all the features of the D7
- Lacks the capability to do zoned cleaning
Neato D6 vs Roborock S6
One major difference in the Neato D6 and the Roborock S6 is the wet mop capability of the Roborock S6. However, many user comments indicate that the mopping ability of the Roborock S6 is not much more than a damp wipe. The D6 clearly meets or exceeds the S5 in features and at a much more competitive price.
If connectivity is an important feature, the Neato Botvac D6 is the heads above the winner. Neato makes compatibility almost automatic. The Neato D6 connects with all the most popular smart home equipment and has apps for the major smartphone operating systems. You can even talk to your Neato D6 through Amazon Alexa.
Botvac D5™ Connected – Best for Smaller Homes
This is not a nor frills robotic vacuum. Neato packs so many features into this vacuum that it is hard to describe them all. Of course, the Neato Botvac D5 comes with LaserSmart navigation and mapping and the broadest range of Wi-Fi connectivity on the market.
Runtime is the big difference in the BotVac D5 and its two companion models, the D6 and D7. The BotVac D5 only rates 90 minutes of runtime versus 120 minutes for the two robotic vacuums above it in the product line. This may or may not be an issue.
If you live in a smaller house or apartment, the shorter run time may not ever be a factor. The efficiency of the LaserSmart navigation technology can more than make up for the shorter run time with more efficient cleaning.
For the money, this may be the best choice for anyone wanting a top-performing robotic vacuum for medium to large homes without spending the extra money for a bigger battery. You don’t have to give up any of the features, cleaning power, or smart technology with the Neato BotVac D5. Everything is still there to make this a fantastic robotic vacuum for most people.
Further reading: BotVac D3 vs D4 vs D5 Comparison and Reviews
- HEPA grade filter
- SpinFlow suction system that works well on both carpet and hardwood
- Same cleaning results as the D6 and D7 models
- Lacks the Spiral Combo Brush
- Shorter Runtime
Neato D5 vs Ecovas Deebot Ozmo 930
The Deebot Ozmo 930 is another combination unit. The problem we see is that it doesn’t truly combine both mopping and vacuuming in the same unit. If you want to mop or wet wipe, you must change out the dustbin for the vacuuming insert. And again, the mopping not much more than a damp wipe with a cloth.
The small difference in battery run time is probably attributable to the more poser suction of the Neato D5 over the Deebot. With almost twice the suction power, the Neato D5 offers twice the cleaning power at almost the same run time before recharging.
Botvac D4™ Connected – Best Neato Botvac for Budget-Conscious Shoppers
How does the Neato Botvac D4 match up with its companions in the rest of the Neato BotVac line? Quite well. The Neato Botvac D4 Has most of the features of the rest of the Neato BotVac line. There are a few things missing.
- No Sidebrushes
- Uses the Standard Combo Roller Brush
- Smaller Battery
The lack of these features in no way reduced the Neato BotVac D4’s ability to clean. It has all the same motors, navigation, and airflow ratings as its siblings. It excels at cleaning thicker pile carpet and maintains the industry-leading connectivity technology that makes the Neato BotVacs so convenient to use.
The extra-wide D-shape allows a wider brush for more efficient vacuuming with the Neato D4 Connected. The brush spans the entire front of the vacuum allowing closer to the edge cleaning, and the spinning combo brush works as well on hard floor surfaces as it does on the carpet.
In the end, it is about features and efficiency. The Neato Botvac 4 is a true program and forget cleaning machine. With recharge and return capability, the Neato D4 means no finding a dead vacuum on the floor or a half-cleaned room and a vacuum sitting in the charger.
Even with slightly shorter run time, the Neato Botvac D4 will return to finish the job if the battery runs down.
- Smart Navigation technology means a shorter runtime is still efficient and effective
- Above-average cleaning on carpets
- Less expensive with no lack of features
- A smaller battery means more recharging stops on larger homes
- No side brush so edge cleaning may be slightly less effective
Botvac D3™ Connected – Best Neato BotVac for Occasional Use
The Neato Botvac D3 is the low-end of the Neato line of robotic vacuums. Don’t let the numbers or the position in the line confuse you. There is no lack of features or cleaning capability in this vacuum. All of Neato’s features and technology are here.
From the 360-degree laser guidance system to the amazing 2000Pa suction, this little vacuum can get the job done without pause. Fully functional through the Neato app with all the smart home apps, Neato also allows you to connect to your Wi-Fi enabled vacuum through Facebook. Talk about staying connected!
You can certainly pay more of a robotic vacuum, but you won’t find more features for the money than the Neato Botvac D3 Connected. It excels at cleaning carpets and hard surface floors. The multiple modes and amazing capabilities of the smartphone app and the onboard mapping technology let you create a custom cleaning regimen to keep your floors sparkling clean
Whether your home is predominately hard surface flooring or carpet, the Neato D3 Connected can manage the job of keeping your home free of dust, allergens, and pet hair. If performance is a key criterion for you in choosing a robotic vacuum, the Neato D3 should meet your needs without breaking your bank account.
- 19CFM airflow means superior cleaning capability
- Has the same SpinFLow air system and efficiency as the top of the line D7
- Great ability on both carpet and hard surface flooring
- No side brushes
- Lacks the HEPA filter
A Word or two about the Neato Botvac D3 Pro Connected vs. D3 Connected
There is not a lot of information about the differences in the Neato Botvac D3 and the D3Pro. After some investigation, I found that the D3Pro is the same machine as the D3, but the Pro package includes the high-performance filters rather than the standard filters include with the D3 Connected.
Surprisingly, a search on Amazon revealed that the D3Pro Connected came in at a slightly better price than the D3 Connected. Sometimes it pays to do a little shopping and comparison.
Neato Legacy Models
Two older models of Neato robotic vacuums can still be found on the internet, particularly on Amazon. These models, the Botvac D80/855 and the Neato Botvac Connected are now out of production and listed as legacy machines on the Neato Website. Neato no longer sells these machines from their website; however, several Amazon sellers still have stocks of these legacy vacuums.
The Botvac Connected was Neato’s first Wi-Fi enabled robotic vacuum. The Botvac Connected featured the same LaserSmart navigation technology and the unique D-shape of its predecessors. The Botvac Connected features a small LCD screen on the vacuum and a set of buttons to enter commands directly into the vacuum.
Neato introduced the D80/85 series as the first in the D series of vacuums, which would eventually become the D-Connected vacuums. The D80/85 are not WI-FI connectable, and all programming and control are entered using the touchpads and the onboard LCD screen on top of the vacuum.
As We End This:
Neato is an up-and-coming manufacturer of robotic vacuums and the BotVac D Connected line of vacuums has expanded to offer an option for almost any consumer. Their LaserSmart navigation technology, their innovative use of social media to connect their vacuums to users, and the radical D-shaped design all put Neato in a prominent position in the industry.
I hope that this guide to the Neato line of D Connected robotic vacuums helps you make a sound decision about which of the Neato vacuums best fits your needs.