People looking to buy a robotic vacuum to help you clean your floors, or to put your pets on, might be stuck between the iRobot Roomba and the Neato Robotics, because these are the two biggest brands for robotic vacuums.
Pros and Cons of the iRobot Roomba
There are many things good about the Roomba. You can check out my review on the Roomba 770 to see some of them. With the Roomba 800 series, you get a new cleaning system called AeroForce, which utilizes two rotating tangle free extractors, which can push hair and debris into the dust bin, and the high efficient vacuum keeps it in the dust bin, and the HEPA filter cleans out that air, releasing clean air from the back of the robot. This system is very efficient, is a huge improvement over the Roomba 770. The Roomba also uses iAdapt cleaning technology, something I would call random cleaning technology. Using the Roomba, you can tell that it knows where it is going at times, following the wall, and cleaning the edges, but other times, it will stay in an area that is clean because it has no idea as to how to get out. With no internal mapping system, this robot is pretty much blind. However, this system allows the robot to create multiple passes, ensuring that your floors will be clean, but it will take more time. Without the higher end 880 model, it wouldn't navigate a big house good. The Roomba will bounce around your house until its IR receiver finds the home base's signal, and return to home base. It can take a long time, but the battery is efficient enough and so far, it has never failed. Reliability and quality wise, iRobot is a trusted brand for manufacturing these products. I went through support once due to an issue with the handle, and the experience was great.
Pros and Cons of the Neato BotVac
The Neato BotVac takes a different approach on cleaning your floors. First of all, it doesn't have a high efficient vacuum, rather, it uses a powerful vacuum that can big up a lot of stuff, but heavier objects that the iRobot's brushes can get it would miss, for example, pet food. It is pretty loud, since it is a powerful vacuum that is doing the majority of the work. The BotVac uses laser navigation. When it leaves the base, it will scan the room, and see where the next room would be. There is no need for room markers, such as the iRobot's Virtual lighthouse. It mostly knows where it is going. It might miss more spots than the Roomba since it makes one or two passes, compared to multiple on the Roomba. It will know how to dock because of this internal map, so that is no problem. Where the Neato cuts short is reliability. My cousin has a BotVac, and it started showing error codes relating to the laser 1 month after purchase. After a repair, it started showing it again. Looking online, there are many people with the same and different issues.
Hard Decision: Which To Choose?
Simply, I'll choose the iRobot Roomba. Not only does it have a huge positive reputation, it also is more efficient. Sure, it might not be as smart, but at least it won't break down as easily as the Neato.