Neato XV Signature Review

Then people think about robot vacuums, the first word that probably comes to mind is “Roomba,” the signature offering from Massachusetts manufacturer iRobot.

Take a look at today’s market, though, and you’ll find a variety of robot vacuums to choose from, all of which would love to make a run at the Roomba’s robo-reign over the living room. One particularly worthy competitor is the Neato XV Signature Pro, the latest model from a smallish, California-based manufacturer called Neato Robotics.

The first, most obvious contrast between the Neato and other robot vacuums we reviewed is the price. Despite being Neato Robotics’ newest and most advanced robot vacuum, the Signature Pro only costs $449.99. In comparison, the top-of-the-line Roomba 790 costs $699.99, while LG’s Hom-Bot Square costs $799.99. Those are some substantial savings, making the Neato an attractive choice for buyers who might have been curious about robot vacuums in the past, but who found the higher price tags to be a deal-breaker. But still, $450 is a lot of money — is the Neato worth it?

We say yes. After dozens of cleaning runs across multiple surfaces, and with multiple variations of debris scattered in its path, the Neato emerged as the clear favorite. In almost every situation we threw at it, the Neato picked up more debris than the competition, often in significantly less time. It’s an efficient, powerful little machine, and its laser-guided navigation system is one of the smartest you’ll find in any robot vacuum. It performed best on standard, medium-pile carpet, and impressed us with how well it picks up pet hair. If you’re a dog or a cat owner living in a carpeted home, the odds are good that you’ll love this vacuum. As for me — a non-pet owner who loves hardwood floors — it’s still unquestionably the robot vacuum I would buy for myself.

Read also:  iRobot Roomba 980 Vacuum Cleaning Robot Review

Neato XV Signature Review

Construction and design

The Neato is sturdy and well-built, with a tough outer shell capable of withstanding the inevitable barrage of gentle bumps against the legs of your dining-room table. It sits low to the ground, too, for greater access beneath furniture and cabinetry. The bin lifts conveniently out of the top of the machine – you won’t need to flip it over or yank a drawer out to empty it, which makes for faster, easier cleaning than other models we tested. The backlit menu is easy to use, with a simple interface that makes scheduling a cinch. At first glance, the Neato resembles the bottom section of your typical upright vacuum, at least in terms of its shape.

It’s a design approach that might help the Neato feel familiar, but it’s also one that fails to highlight its modern, forward-thinking appeal. Throw in the black-and-white LCD menu that seems lifted from the very first generation of iPods, and the Neato actually feels downright dated, and certainly not as fun or quirky as other machines we tested.

Simply put, for all its smarts, the Neato feels a bit soulless. This might sound like an obtuse criticism, but for a machine that relies on artificial intelligence, subtle, playful touches of personality can really go a long way — something that iRobot seems to have mastered in the Roomba after several generations of development. The closest the Neato comes is when it offers text asking you to put it down on the floor or thanking you for cleaning its bin. It’s a polite machine, for sure, but not the life of the party.

Neato XV Signature Review

Usability

For such a sophisticated device, the Neato is surprisingly simple to use. Just press the power button to wake it, then press it again to set the vacuum off on a floor-cleaning expedition. When it’s finished, the Neato will automatically find its way back to its charging station for a well-earned nap. It will also return home in the middle of a run if its battery is running low; once charged, it will automatically return to the spot where it left off and resume cleaning.

Read also:  iRobot Roomba 650 Vacuum Cleaning Robot Review

Even more convenient is the Neato’s scheduling ability. Just turn it on and tell the Neato what days and times you want it to clean, and it’ll take care of the rest. You can program it to skip days if you want, and you can even program it to run at different times on different days, a nice feature that you won’t find on a lot of other robot vacuums. The scheduling feature is particularly useful if you want the Neato to tidy up while you’re away at work during the day, or overnight, while you’re asleep. I wouldn’t recommend late-night cleaning runs, as the Neato was the loudest robot vacuum that we tested. While not as loud as a full-size vacuum, it’s still noisy enough to wake you up.

By: Ry Crists / cnet.com

Neato XV Signature Pros And Cons

Pros of the Neato XV Signature

  • Highly effective navigation system
  • Manages obstacles very well
  • Easy to programme, can be programmed independently for each day
  • Gets the job done quickly
  • Practical magnetic strips for delimiting cleaning space
  • Practical design and accessories (charging base, handle, virtual wall system)
  • Cleans all surfaces well

Cons of the Neato XV Signature

  • Really quite noisy
  • Only one filter supplied, which soon gets dirty
  • No side brushes
  • Quite tall, so doesn’t fit under all furniture

Neato XV Signature Features

  • Charging station
  • Charging cable
  • 6-inch boundary marker
  • 2 brushes
  • 2 pet and allergy filters
  • Quick start guide
  • User guide

Neato XV Signature Specifications

Product Dimensions
Metric U.S. Standard
Length 31.8 cm 12.5 in
Width 33 cm 13 in
Height 10.2 cm 4 in
Weight 3.9 kg 8.6 lbs
Technical
Battery NiMH (nickel metal hydride)
Charger Voltage 110V, 220V
Neato XV-Signature Review

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Comments

  • K. Boyce 29.04.2015 at 10:08

    I received the Neato signature PRO today.. Setup was easy. Found a place to put the base that didn’t get in the way, put the Neato next to it, waited for it to charge and then pressed start. And it started. I kept an eye on it first time so i can trust to leave it alone. Basically on the first charge it did a lot of my living room where the base is. It went places no human would have spent time vacuuming if the human was a robot. It went through the legs of my dining table chairs.. I never would have expected it to get under there but it did. I was quite impressed. Went under the sofa. And I’ve seen reviews it doesn’t go over same area twice. That’s simply not true. It seemed to go over areas more than once in my opinion.

    When it seemed to be running out of juice it puttered back to the base and started charging.. Pretty neat (pardon the pun).

    So it continues after charging and we went out. When we got home it took us a while to find the thing in our 1413 sq ft apt. We found it in the closet that we should have obviously shut. It got stuck on some bag on the floor of the closet.

    Next day I pressed start when going out.. This time it got stuck navigating a power cord. When I got home I re-positioned the cord and pressed okay and it continued eventually getting to bathroom, Here it got stuck on a clothes drying rack. I re positioned the rack oressed start but slightly after it just shut down presumably running out of batteries. Never appeared to try to make it back to base.

    This time charging I empties dust bin.. It got quite a lot of dirt and I had cleaned the place (I thought before beginning). So that’s a good sign.

    I’ll continue again tomorrow.. It’s not clear to me this will every finish my entire apartment and return to base. But it seems to be doing something so I’ll going to only reduce from 5 stars to 4 stars.

    Reply
  • the_elliott_ness 25.04.2015 at 06:44

    Fantastic robot vacuum! Love the fact that it actually has a suction system like a traditional vacuum as opposed to being a “sweeper” like the irobot roombas. Very intelligent and logical navigation with its up and down action, slower moving than a roomba, but more efficient and gentle on furniture and walls. Very robust high quality unit.

    I purchased the upgraded brush and filter kit separately and in effect you end up with the Signature Pro at a cheaper price. The upgraded brush (bristle and rubber finned contoured brush) is significantly quieter than the using standard rubber straight finned brush, particularly if you have hard floors.

    I am using this robot vacuum in Australia. It has a switching transformer in the charging base station, so all you need is a US to AUS travel plug.

    I use this vacuum once a week and spot clean function where needed in between. On occasion a manual vacuum around the edges of the room and tops of skirting boards is still required.

    I bought the robot vacuum as I am a new mum and simply do not have the time to look after a newborn and manually vacuum the house and I am one who simply can’t stand dirty floors under foot. I have also teamed the Neato up with a robot floor mopper irobot braava 380t. Together these have been the best buys to keep my floors spotless and will be even more useful once baby is crawling!!!

    Reply
  • Kit 23.04.2015 at 09:09

    I bought this guy over a month ago and since then he’s become my favorite invention ever! I have a medium size dog with medium length fur who sheds a lot causing me to vacuum at least 3 times a day and still only picking up half of her fur. After I bought Alfred (what we named our little butler) I haven’t had to vacuum at all. He gets every where including under the couch and the cabinets. The best part is I bought this guy without the pet brush, only using the pet filters and I wish I could show you the dander he picks up out of the carpet! I just purchased a brand new home and the downstairs is almost all carpet. The very first time I scheduled him he picked up a lot of the fuzz from the new carpet that my old vacuum didn’t get.
    When I initially purchased him I was worried about barriers and programming but there really wasn’t any. He uses sensors to find out how big the room is and where he wants to go.
    The only thing I have found that is a slight problem is that if he gets stuck and you pick him up he acts as though he’s lost. He normally recovers his position after a minute or two but during that time he acts drunk and runs into things.
    I love this thing! I’d recommend it to anyone, it’s great!

    Reply
  • Saques Mommy 19.04.2015 at 08:30

    I must say I was very skeptical about this robotic vacuum. I had a Roomba for many years and had a love/hate relationship with it. Loved that something, ANYTHING, was helping me with housework, but hated it because of how the brushes would always get tangled with hair (we have 3 females in the home) and I would have to spend about 10-15 minutes a day taking the Roomba apart to untangle all the hair. It left me frustrated and got to the point where I just stopped using it.

    In comes Neato. When I first heard of the Neato my first thought was it has to be inferior, otherwise we’d hear about it all over the place! I’m am not sure why they are not more popular. Right out of the box it was easy to use. Quite honestly the owner’s manual has never been touched. It is so intuitive to use!

    I set mine to run 5 days a week and every day the dust bin is FULL! The suction is great! It is SO easy to clean. I don’t feel like I need a PhD in Mechanical Engineering, tools and watch youtube videos just to do basic maintenance on it.The dust bin and filter only need a quick shake to empty and clean. The dust and grime just wipes off with a lightly damp paper towel and hair is barely an issue. All is takes is 2 seconds to pull out a couple of strands if they are stuck and voila!

    I also love how it calculates the room and doesn’t bump around clumsily. We have a baby grand piano and I cringe whenever anything bumps into it. The Neato very carefully goes around the legs of furniture and around the walls. Another plus is if it hasn’t finished the job before it needs charging it will go charge itself and continue to clean where it left off!

    Honestly I want to shout from the rooftops about the Neato. The only con after about 4 months of use, is 1 line of pixels on the display stop working. But it is just a thin line and everything else is still going strong and it really doesn’t bother me or affect its performance or my ability to read the display. I still wholeheartedly recommend the Neato!

    Reply
  • K. Boyce 18.04.2015 at 08:34

    I received the Neato signature PRO today.. Setup was easy. Found a place to put the base that didn’t get in the way, put the Neato next to it, waited for it to charge and then pressed start. And it started. I kept an eye on it first time so i can trust to leave it alone. Basically on the first charge it did a lot of my living room where the base is. It went places no human would have spent time vacuuming if the human was a robot. It went through the legs of my dining table chairs.. I never would have expected it to get under there but it did. I was quite impressed. Went under the sofa. And I’ve seen reviews it doesn’t go over same area twice. That’s simply not true. It seemed to go over areas more than once in my opinion.

    When it seemed to be running out of juice it puttered back to the base and started charging.. Pretty neat (pardon the pun).

    So it continues after charging and we went out. When we got home it took us a while to find the thing in our 1413 sq ft apt. We found it in the closet that we should have obviously shut. It got stuck on some bag on the floor of the closet.

    Next day I pressed start when going out.. This time it got stuck navigating a power cord. When I got home I re-positioned the cord and pressed okay and it continued eventually getting to bathroom, Here it got stuck on a clothes drying rack. I re positioned the rack oressed start but slightly after it just shut down presumably running out of batteries. Never appeared to try to make it back to base.

    This time charging I empties dust bin.. It got quite a lot of dirt and I had cleaned the place (I thought before beginning). So that’s a good sign.

    I’ll continue again tomorrow.. It’s not clear to me this will every finish my entire apartment and return to base. But it seems to be doing something so I’ll going to only reduce from 5 stars to 4 stars.

    I’ll continue when it continues

    Reply
  • Fani 13.04.2015 at 07:59

    I’ve had an older Roomba which lasted a few months before it broke down. It was very expensive and used to bounce all over the room randomly bumping into things, flying off in another direction and spinning in circles with a “Dirt detected” blue light.

    Overall, it was intriguing but ultimately it did its job somewhat in around 45mins.

    Now, enter this Neato robot vacuum. The package arrived from Amazon without any brown box covering. They just stuck a label on the Neato box and shipped it as is. The package looked okay though. It had the Neato Signature Pro, docking station (which I recall is extra on Roomba) and a leaflet guide.

    After about 30min charging, it kicked to life and started vacuuming. It felt like a Hover jet about to take off.

    Whoooooo-whoooooooooooooooooooooo… It is LOUD.

    It took about 20 seconds to spin around and “guage” the room. It was probably constructing some 3D map of the surroundings. It then started off cleaning the periphery in one line and then moved in perfect straight lines back and forth.
    Like how a garden lawn mower is usually used. Very efficient. The suction is also very powerful.

    It carefully navigated around the table chair legs. I loved how it “knew” where the obstructions were; almost scientifically precisely calculated. It was like a beautiful dance because it spun as it avoided hitting nearly every obstacle.

    In the middle, my kids added a new chair and it sensed it and powered down the vacuum and moved around recalculating the pathway. It did bump into that chair but quite lightly.

    In about 15mins the entire vacuuming was done.

    Compared to the Roomba, watching the Neato is like watching a drunk village idiot bounce around a room (the Roomba) vs a precise performer (Neato).

    It also knew how to get back to snuggled back into the docking station to recharge.

    It seemed to pick up a lot of dirt. It carefully avoided the stairs too without falling off. The room is a hardwood with carpet and it did very well on both. Especially good on carpets.

    Overall, I think besides the noise level which is very high, the Neato is the clear winner between Roomba iRobot vs the Neato.

    Highly recommended. 5/5 stars.

    Reply
  • Stephen Scott 10.04.2015 at 05:55

    I liked the unpack and setup was very easy. I liked the features and functions of Mr Suckles, but reliability may be a problem. Worked great for a couple house cleanings, but battery appears to have died after just one week. After being docked in the charging station for a couple days after the last successful cleaning, it started this morning at 9:00 AM as scheduled. I was surprised when it cleaned for just a few minutes, then turned back to return to base. Didn’t make it back, and said “Please place me in the charging stand to recharge my battery”. I have a small 2 br/2 bath patio home of less than 1200 sq ft, it cleaned it easily the first couple times, but I’m hoping Neato can resolve this under warranty soon. I’ll update this after I deal with warranty repair. Ughhhh!

    Reply
  • GMac 08.04.2015 at 18:03

    This little guy is great. Very smart, it configures the room and then starts cleaning in rows, like mowing, and gingerly avoiding objects (except my feet, it loves to ram them, not kidding…weird little guy, lol). It also knows when it’s going to another part of the house or another room. It will back out of there and finish cleaning the room were it came from. Then it will move on to the next area, very smart, love it! When the battery is low (about 20 minutes, strange for I thought it was suppose to be longer) it goes back to its base (moving around objects and corners). After it charges itself up it goes back were it left off and continues. Awesome. 🙂
    I had a iRobot 500 series and that was better made, but really dumb. It would just go everywhere and bump into the walls (scuffing them up). It took 45 minutes to clean my room, we’re the Neato took 15 mins. Also, the iRobot would not move up onto my heavy dense long cut wool throw rug. The Neato jumped up on it and cleaned it…good little guy.
    Now I was contemplating buying the Signature or Signature Pro. What I gathered was the only difference is the brush and the filter. The Signature only had a brush with rubber blades, which made a lot of noise when they flap themselves on your carpet. But they would pick up equally as well as my iRobot (which had bristles and rubber blades). Also the Signature’s filter was standard, not Hepa rated. The Signature Pro had the Hepa filter and a brush with bristles and rubber blades. But you can buy that upgraded kit for $50. So your saving $50 by going for the Signature and buying the upgraded kit, over the Signature Pro. Now, my experience with brushes the contain bristles, is that they pick-up hair…but they don’t release it. They like to keep it for themselves and wrap it around them. Slowly collecting hair until the brush becomes useless. My iRobot came with a tool to remove the hair with one swipe, I don’t think the Signature Pro gives you one, not sure. So I see this problem with the Signature Pro and I don’t want to deal with that. This is the reason why I bought the plane Signature over the Signature Pro.
    I recommend this product to my family and friends.

    Reply
  • Il Directore 03.04.2015 at 07:37

    Yes, the Neato does occasionally get hung up on floor cables. It can wedge itself into tight spaces and get caught. It is rather noisy, especially when it cleans bare floors. But who cares? This thing cleans as well as a powerful upright (I have a Dyson and a Miele), and it does so with very little human intervention.

    The thing is programed and equipped to be tenacious. It really digs in to extract dirt and fur. While it will gently recoil from furniture, it will gamely push aside pillows, slippers, small pet bowls and other light-weight items that might lie in its path. (Once we understood its determination, my wife and I did a much better job of tidying the house and gathering up cords and cables.)

    I have three cats. They are terrified when I pull out an upright vacuum. But for some reason they don’t mind the Neato. I guess they see it as just another benign creature in the house.

    Our unit seems to run for nearly 45 minutes. That’s enough to clean a hallway and three rooms. Then it will return itself to the base unit for additional charging to complete the rest of the house. With two cleaning sessions and one intermittent period of charging, it can take the Neato three hours to finish the 1700 square foot house. Most of the time we schedule the thing to clean while we’re at work. That way we miss the noise, yet come home to carpeting brushed in regular patterns and to fur-free floors.

    As for daily maintenance, we have to empty the container of course. It has the largest capacity of any robot vacuum, but it still holds only two cups or so. It also helps to swab the laser guidance eyes with a q-tip now and then.

    We have a new 8 x 10′ wool rug that freely sheds. On this rug the Neato really pulls out a lot of loose material. I mean a frightening amount. So when it cleans this sucker I know I’ll have to unclog the intake, remove fibers from the roller brush, and dust the outside of the unit, not that that’s a big deal. To prevent clogging entirely, I use the “spot cleaning” setting, which limits the Neato’s range to about 25 square feet. A quick emptying of the dirt cup, and it’s ready for another section of the rug.

    Overall, we are very pleased with the Neato and can highly recommend it.

    UPDATE: I’ve had the Neato XV Signature for two weeks now and used it everyday. Pleased with the thing, I purchased and installed the pet and allergy upgrade kit for it, which I think raises the model from a Signature to a Signature Pro. The kit includes a so-called allergy filter, but it’s the same filter the one that comes standard on the XV Signature. So now I have a backup. The best thing about the kit is the roller, which includes real brushes, not just plastic cleaning slats. The roller is a bit of a pain to install (I had to use a screwdriver to loop the rubber belt over the end cap), but it’s worth it. The noise level of the unit when working has decreased by half, especially on bare floors. So if you are trying to decide between the Signature and the Signature Pro, I’d recommend the latter.

    Reply
  • Lisa 02.04.2015 at 20:08

    This is my first robo-vac and I’m so glad I chose this brand. The suction is amazing, much more than I expected. It goes around the entire room and does a fantastic job. It might get stuck every now and then, usually at the front edge of my couch because it’s just high enough for the vacuum to get a little wedged under it, but it’s no big deal since I’m usually home and I can just help it along. When it’s in the dining room, it actually goes in and around each chair leg one-by-one.

    It comes with just enough of the magnetic stripping to fit across two doorways, but I ordered the extra roll and it came in handy. I read another review where someone hid the strip under the edge of the carpet and it works, so that particular strip is not even visible.

    You can even pick the vacuum up and set it in another room, away from its base. When you push the START button, it scans the room and proceeds on its merry way. For some reason, I was under the impression that it had to stay in the same room as its base, but it doesn’t. The base is simply for charging. When it’s cleaning a room away from the base, it simply returns to the exact same spot you started it. When it’s in the same room as the base, it makes it way back to it, and wiggles up to recharge.

    My kitchen/family room is rather large so it will clean what it can, return to its base to charge, and then resume cleaning on its own when it has a full charge (about a 20 minute charge time). This thing is so cool. Just remember to lift your cords and drapes up if they pool on the floor or else the vacuum will suck them up and turn off until you pull it out.

    I have a lot of turns and corners in my kitchen, dining, and family room and I assumed that would throw it off, but it does not seem to affect the vacuum’s ability to assess the entire area, navigate, and do its job. As a matter of fact, it’s vacuuming for me now as I type this, LOL.

    NOISE: I have one critique with this model though… it’s VERY LOUD when it’s on hard floors! I read other reviews that mentioned this, but I wasn’t it expecting it to be as loud as it was. It sounds like a small propeller plane is in your house. The problem is the brush that comes with this model. The brush blades are made of soft rubber and they slap the hardwood floor as they spin. Solution: I ended up replacing the brush roll with the one from Neato’s “pet and allergy kit” which has soft bristles, and now it sounds like any other high-powered vacuum, with no additional obnoxious slapping noise. If I had known this, I would have ordered the Pet and Allergy version of this vacuum, but no big deal. I just wanted to mention that to you in case you have a lot of hard flooring.

    Overall, I LOVE this little vacuum. I wasn’t expecting it to be as nice as it is. I’m totally blown away by the technology and performance of it. Very happy I did my research first. Apparently, some of them are more like floor sweepers, but this works like a real vacuum. Very cool technology.

    Reply