The XV-11 was the first robotic vacuum manufactured by Neato to challenge the Roomba for market dominance in the robot vacuum niche.
Neato has come a long way since the XV-11 and now improved technology such that it is a viable option versus the Roomba. You can check their latest robot Botvac series vacuums that now have better navigation, longer run times and better cleaning performance.
In a lot of ways, it did things differently than the Roomba, first it uses a laser scanner to map out a 360 degree angle of a room that’s why you’ll notice the video reviews it’ll take around 10 seconds or so before it moves forward.
And unlike the Roomba that primarily uses brushes to pick up dirt, the XV-11 uses suction which is augmented by a single extractor which is made from silicone.
- Neato vs Roomba, how are they different?
- Neato BotVac comparison – see the latest and best Neato robots
- It has a more predictable pattern
- Won’t bump into objects as much as a Roomba
- Good suction for a robot vacuum (claims to have the best suction)
- Upgradable firmware
- Silicone beater bar doesn’t need as much cleaning
- Dirt cup is sealed shut which makes it less messier and this prevents dust from seeping into the motor
- Won’t clean edges or corners
- No HEPA filtration
- No remote
What to expect from the Neato XV-11?
Feature wise this is similar to the newer XV-21, the difference is it doesn’t have the HEPA filtration and the pet hair brush. Surprisingly the XV-21 is $30 cheaper in Amazon!
Despite not having the pet hair brushroll, it still is capable of removing pet hair. Other features include.
- Uses their patented RPS or Room Positioning System to map out the room and possible obstacles
- Starts out cleaning the perimeter before cleaning the interior area in straight predictable lines
- Boasts of the most powerful vacuum motor in the market that uses centrifugal force similar that of a jet engine
- Can clean various surfaces such as hard floors, carpet and rugs
- Returns to its charging base once battery is low or it has finished cleaning
- Programmable to clean on its own once a day, 7 times a week
Complete specs can be found here.
Like all Neato vacuums, the XV-11 uses a laser mounted on top to map out the room before moving an inch forward.
This lets the robot know the possible obstacles and also determines the perimeter plus location of doorways. It does have a cliff sensor to protect it from falling on stairs.
It starts of by scanning the whole area or room (rotates 360 degrees to do this) then moves toward the perimeter cleaning this area first before moving towards the inner areas cleaning in a straight line going back and forth.
Here’s a diagram of its cleaning pattern
Bumping into objects is minimized because if the laser detects an object on its path it goes around it, the downside is if the object is below or above the laser’s line of sight it won’t detect it and will bump into that object.
Even though technically it can clean multiple rooms, several consumers have suggested closing the door and clean one room at a time because it tends to get “lost” and not find the charging base once it leaves the room.
Will it Clean Stairs?
You can schedule this robot to clean once per day, 7 days a week.
Neato did not say how long it takes for this robot to recharge. But if you look at reviews, consumers say it takes between 90 minutes to a few hours.
Filter clean up
The dirt bin is at the middle of the body and the filter as at the end of it. To access the bin, just remove the bin then the filter.
You cannot wash the filter since has a paper element. Neato recommends using a another vacuum to occasionally clean it.
Take note that you will need to replace the filter every 2 to 3 months.
A video on how to maintain this robot…
Again, Neato does not specify run time numbers but based on reviews, expect around 45 to 90 minutes per charge.
Customer service and warranty
Based on consumer reviews, Neato will send a replacement for lemon or units that break down before the 1 year warranty period expires.
I’ve read reviews wherein they mentioned getting 2 or even 3 replacement units in a period of months because they got defective robots.
It is good to know though that this manufacturer standby it’s product and will even give you a refund if you’re not happy with the product within 30 days.
Bare floor cleaning
It excels in cleaning bare floors such as tile, wood and linoleum because it uses a motorized brush plus suction to clean dirt and pet hair.
Neato claims that it also picks up large bits like cereal and dander and based on reviews, a lot of people will agree with this though it’ll take hours to finish the whole house with several recharges along the way.
It will do a decent job on carpet but do not, I repeat do not expect deep cleaning from this or you’ll be disappointed.
If you want to deep clean your carpet floors, use a full sized upright or canister then use this for succeeding cycles, it’ll do a good job for maintenance clean ups since it does it on its own which will result in cleaner carpet that doesn’t need to be deep cleaned as often.
Testing it on carpet, as you’ll notice it did miss some spots…
Because it has decent clearance it will transition well between carpet/hard floor and rugs just make sure to tuck away tassels (if there are any) just to make sure it doesn’t get sucked in and possibly get stuck.
Also make sure that the rugs aren’t slippery or the rugs too thick or this can be an issue in terms of transitioning though consumers didn’t seem to have this problem.
Pet hair removal
It does not have the pet hair brush but it is still capable of picking up pet hair using silicone beater bars that looks more like a squeegee than a motorized brush.
Just remember to regularly clean hair from the extractors, especially those near the motor as pet hair tends to accumulate in that area.
See it in Action
There were also a lot of complaints from consumers in Amazon and other online stores about the XV-11 not returning to home base. So this fella decided to test if this was true and built an obstacle course.
Part 2 – seeing it in action
Part 3 – the conclusion
RobotShop Ultimate Challenge…
Being the first product Neato introduced in the market it got a lot of reviews, close to a thousand.
A lot of the bad reviews come from consumers that got lemon units.
You’ve got to understand that this is one of Neato’s first robots and expect to have lemon units in this “beta” stage.
The silver lining is even in 1 or 2 star reviews, consumers say that it did a good job cleaning only to conk out in a few weeks.
Other complaints include the following
- RPS Error – this means sensors are dirty. You just need to clean it.
- Getting stuck under furniture
- Wheel alignment issues
- Hair wrapping around the beater bar
- Not returning to home base
Positive reviews mentioned that it had good suction power. And that it was able to suck in considerable amount of dirt on various surfaces both hard floors and carpet.
It also transitions well between different types of surfaces. Just don’t forget to move wires or tassels out of the way as it can get stuck on the extractors.
Reviews from other sites
Over 200 people left a review and majority of them were positive and would recommend it to a friend.
They gave it a high rating because did a good job in sucking out dirt and debris off carpet and bare floors though it didn’t fare too well around the corners.
They also liked that it had a predictable pattern and that it didn’t go in a random motion unlike the iRobot which a lot them compared this to.
Complaints here were due to lemon units that either didn’t move or have any suction whatsoever but they did say that customer service was friendly and did offer to send a replacement unit so that’s was very good to hear.
Reviews from tech sites worth reading
Where can I buy this?
You can buy this used from Amazon for about $145 but it won’t come with free shipping since a third party is selling it.
A better option in my opinion would be buying a newer Neato BotVac variant. These next generation Neato robots now have WiFi and Alexa compatibility that the XV series did not. It also has the latest Li-Ion battery and S.L.A.M. to help it navigate more efficiently.
Overall this is a good robot vacuum that’ll do its job cleaning dirt of hard floors, carpet and rugs so performance isn’t the problem.
The biggest question is how long it’ll last? I ask this because a number of customers have complained about this breaking down within the first few months of use.
Fortunately Neato will honor the warranty and replace any defective units.
Remember that this is a complex machine that has a lot of moving parts so maintenance is very important.
Regularly cleaning the extractor, sensors, filter, motor and everything in between will go a long way in making this last as long as possible.
Don’t expect deep cleaning from this product as none of the robot vacuums in the market will have the power to do so just yet.
This product is great for busy people with a little disposable income looking for a helper that’ll clean their floors without little human intervention.
It possesses what they claim is the most powerful vacuum that’ll suck in all sorts or dirt and debris on different surfaces indoors, it doesn’t however have the bells and whistles other brands like the iRobot or LG have but heck it’s a few hundred dollars cheaper.
Even if it doesn’t have the pet hair brush, this robot is still capable of cleaning pet hair with the silicone extractors.If you can’t afford the XV-21, this would be a cheaper alternative at just under $300, if you don’t mind not getting the HEPA filter.