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Neato BotVac 70e Review: Budget Neato Option

A few months ago I wrote a review about the Botvac 80, the latest of Neato’s robot vacuums where they added a side brush to match the Roomba.

Neato BotVac 70e Review

That particular model is specifically designed for pet hair because it comes with a combo brush that works well on pet hair.

Related: You can also find the best Dyson deals here to get the best price possible on various Dyson products.

The BotVac 70 does not come with that brush. But everything else is the same – motor, side brush and dimension.

This would be a great option for people who do not have pets at home. But still want the same back and forth organized pattern that Neato is known for because it is $100 cheaper.

It only comes with a standard filter and blade brush so this won’t be as effective on carpet compared to the BotVac 80 but on bare floor surfaces like hardwood it will work great.

A quick look at the features

  • Powered by a Nickel Metal Hydride battery that will take around 2 hours to charge
  • Run time will be around 60 to 90 minutes (based on reviews)
  • Comes with a standard filter and blade brush
  • Equipped with a side brush
  • Uses a boundary marker to block it from areas you don’t want it to go to – these are basically strips of rubber with magnets inside
  • You can schedule it to clean on its own once a day, 7 days a week
  • 1 year on the robot, 6 months on the battery

Pros

  • Cheaper than the BotVac 80
  • Predictable cleaning pattern is more efficient that the random pattern of the Roomba
  • Wider and bigger brush roll covers more area and has better pick than the previous XV series
  • Bigger dirt cup picks up more dirt with less trips to the bin
  • Side brush improves edge cleaning

Cons

  • Noisy
  • May not perform well on carpet as the BotVac 80 with the combo brush
  • Wide cleaning path may not fit in between smaller chairs
  • NiCad batteries are still old tech, I hope they’ll use lithium batteries in future models

What to expect from the Neato BotVac 70?

The BotVac 70e is basically the same as the other BotVac robots, the difference lies in the accessories included in the package.

This one is pretty bare in terms of accessories – it only comes with the standard blade brush and filter. The combo brush and the HEPA filter are not included.

NeatoBotVac70Features

The lack of a combo brush means it won’t be as effective on carpet but you can that brush separately in Amazon for a little under $40 so that you can use it on carpet.

This is one way to save on the cost if you cannot afford the top of the line BotVac.

Warranty is pretty standard – 1 year on the robot and 6 months on the battery.

Navigation

All BotVac robotic cleaners use the QNX OS which Neato claims has improved navigation and reviews have seemed to agree on this claim.

Now as with all robot vacuums it may miss a spot here or there. But since it is a robot, it will not tire out.

That’s the point of buying this type of product.

Now watch this video and see for yourself how it navigates between rooms in a small home and go back to home base again.

Here’s another time lapse video…

A short video on its navigation between chairs…

Bare Floor Cleaning

It will go a decent job on bare floors because it has good suction and the brushroll complements the suction. For fine dirt such as dust and dust bunnies it will do a very decent job but try to avoid this on a large pile of dirt like crackers or cereal because it will struggle.

Think of this as your maintenance cleaner in between deep cleaning sessions. It does not get tired and will follow your command all the time.

One important note about the beater bar, it does not give you the option to turn it off so if you have expensive flooring, avoid using this and opt for the Roomba 880 instead.

Carpet Cleaning

It won’t do as well on carpets because it lacks the combo brush found on higher end BotVacs such as the 80 and 85 but the easy work around is buying the combo separately for just under $40 in Amazon.

Now don’t expect this to deep clean but for cleaning surface dirt.

It will hold its own against any robot out there and it has done well in controlled tests done by CNet, outperforming the Roomba 880 and Infinuvo 510 picking up 2.45 ounces and 2.38 ounces of rice grains on low and medium pile carpet respectively out of the 2.5 ounces scattered.

If you have high pile carpet, forget about using this as it will struggle cleaning it, stick with your upright or canister vacuum for the job.

Rugs

Similar to what I said about the 70e’s performance on carpet, it will work pretty well on low to medium pile rugs but you have to upgrade the brush to the combo variety to get this performance.

If your rugs have long tassels you’d be better off using a more traditional vacuum to clean this because those tassels can be eaten up by BotVac’s brush and get stuck.

It has a safety feature though that stops the brush from spinning once it detects that but it is better to be on the safe side.

Pet Hair Removal

To get the best pet hair cleaning, you’ll need to upgrade the standard blade brush to the combo brush that has both the blade and bristles to pick up most of the hair.

Remember that you will need to clean the beater bar often if you have a lot of pet hair to clean as strands of hair will get wrapped up on the brush.

Will it Clean Stairs?

No.

Scheduled Cleaning

All BotVac robots can be scheduled once a day, 7 days a week.

Charging Time

It will take around 2 hours to fully charge. Initial charging time is around 12 hours.

Robot clean up

Similar to a standard vacuum, you’ll need to do due diligence and keep the brush roll clean. Watch this short video to see how it’s done. Don’t worry it won’t take long.

Run Time

Since Neato did not give a specific number here, I’ll base it on user reviews. Consumers are getting between 60 to 90 minutes per charge and because of the more efficient cleaning pattern it does cover a lot of ground.

Warranty

It comes with a 1 year warranty on the robot and 6 months on the battery. Warranty does not cover consumables such as the filter and beater bar.

See it in Action

Youtuber Earthling1984 tests this on his house and results were positive…

It did not get stuck under chairs and it was able to clean under the bed, it did not however clean the area under the couch because it was slightly taller than the Roomba.
Cleaning a 60 square meter apartment…

Product Specifications

Features
Battery typeNiMH
Charger typeCharging Station
Charge time60 to 90 minutes (based on reviews)
Cleaning path10.9 inces
Run Time approx. 60 minutes
(based on reviews)
Net weight (with battery)9 pounds
Shipping weight17.8 pounds
Dimensions
(Length x Width x Height)
12.7" × 13.2" × 3.9"
Multi Room
Yes
Self docking
Yes
Remote control
No
Hepa filtration
Yes
Cliff detection
Yes
Self adjusting
Yes
Edge brushes
Yes
Full bin indicator
Yes
Stair Cleaning
No
Cleaning sessions per week 7
Extra Filter
No
Containment It uses a magnetic strip instead of a virtual wall.
Brush cleaning toolsN/A
Accessories includedCharging base

Charging cable

6-foot magnetic strip

Combo Brush

Blade Brush

1 High-Performance Filter

Boundary Markers
Voltage110/220-volts
Manufactured inChina
Warranty1 year on robot
6 months on battery

Customer Reviews

Consumers were happy with how the BotVac 70e navigates. They say that it was able to go around with relative ease. But you’ll need to do your part and remove any potential obstacles that could hinder the robot.

So tips to get the most out of this robot

One in particular advised that for the first 5 uses you should be around to see the potential trouble spots that the robot might run into like rugs or curtains.

Also make sure that you place the charging base in an area that has 3 feet of clearance on both sides.

And it should sit against a wall so when the robot backs up to it, it does not push the charging base backwards.

Potential issues according to reviews

Some people complained about the magnetic strips not being effective. But remember that you have to use something like a double sided tape so that it does not move because the robot might push it out of place.

If you have small rugs to clean, you have two choices, either remove them and clean them with a more standard vacuum or use a non-slip rug stuffing underneath it to prevent it from moving.

Consumers say charging time is around 2 to 3 hours and running time is around 90 minutes. On a 1,900 square foot home it may take 10 hours and 2 recharges to clean – this is according to one review.

A bit noisy

Performance was pretty good on hardwood but the blade brush was a bit noisy. Some suggested upgrading to the dual bristle and blade brush because it’s quiet and works great on carpet.

Like with all robot cleaners there are reports of lemon units but Neato was kind enough to send them replacements.

Consumers suggested that instead of buying the more expensive BotVac 85, you can buy this and buy the extra filters and pet brush separately.

Where can I buy this?

The best price online would be in Amazon where you can buy this for under $300 (depending on the seller). You can also upgrade the beater bar and filter and pay roughly $50 (more or less) – cheaper than buying a BotVac 80.

If you buy now you can get an additional $50 rebate (this expires on May 30, 2015 so if you want to buy this the time is now!).

To wrap up

This is a great option if you don’t want to spend a lot of money. But this variant is currently not available in Amazon. You can check any of the Neato BotVac variants to see what’s new.

This is a robot vacuum that is pretty efficient in terms of how it goes about cleaning. It scans the room and cleans in a back and forth pattern.

Some potential issues

Unfortunately, it may miss a spot here and there. But all robot vacuums at this price range have that shortcoming.

In terms of cleaning performance it will do a pretty good job removing surface dirt off bare floors and carpet without you doing anything.

It also cleans areas under furniture, as long as it fits under them.

Not a deep cleaning vacuum

It will not, and I repeat will not deep clean carpet because it does not have the suction or agitation.

But that’s not its purpose. It’s main purpose is to help you keep your homes clean while you’re doing something else.

If you’ve decided to buy this, I’d highly recommend that you also buy the combo brush if your home has carpet on it to get the most out of this product.

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