Favorite Neato Features

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Favorite Neato Features

Postby glnc222 » December 2nd, 2012, 9:16 pm

With so many topics devoted to repairs, breakdowns, or solutions to usage problems, how about what you like about the Neato? Obviously I like it, or wouldn't do so much to improve it.
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Re: Favorite Neato Features

Postby JEfromCanada » December 2nd, 2012, 10:14 pm

Not to get technical, but besides the incredible mapping system (that doesn't need an external point of reference like the Mint) and the way it keeps its brushes relatively clean (compared to my old Roomba) minimizing cleanup time, I like the idea that it does a decent job cleaning.
Current robots:
Roomba Discovery 4210 (not connected)
Roomba 560 (not connected)
Neato XV-11 SW version 3.1.17844, LDS version 2.6.15295, with Pet Brush and Vic's filter
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Re: Favorite Neato Features

Postby stainedsteelinc » December 3rd, 2012, 7:32 am

Well, to be honest, my favorite feature so far has been the allure of a true "set it and forget it" robot.

I'm a professional computer engineer, and a while ago (read: at least a year and a half) I did the rounds with Neato. When I first read about it, I was so excited I bought one the same day. Open floor plan woes, wide door room detection problems, dirty corners(!), RPS errors, snapped wheel spring clips, bad wheel drive motors, melted charging contacts, a very unusual vacuum current detection problem, and even a dive down my staircase...twice...convinced me I had gotten excited too soon. After 6 months of trials, and 7 replacement robots, I took Neato's offer to refund my money instead of send yet another new robot. I also got to know the Neato staff pretty well.

I just spent half an hour chatting on the phone with the overnight neato customer rep who told me some interesting things that I haven't seen mentioned here yet:
-Firmware 3.1 release has been pushed back to at least Feb 2013
-Firmware 3.1 will be released at the same time as the Mac updater software
-New colors are coming! She "didn't know" what the new colors were, but when I wondered out loud if they would be a let down after the crazy purple-on-white surprise of the XV-21, she told me not to worry about being let down. Bright pink with sparkles or deep forest green with rhinestones here we come! Haha. She just laughed when I requested, yet again, that the clear-top debris bin they used in the promo videos be released to the general public.
-As before, any warranty replacement you are sent restarts the 1-year warranty period. Go Neato for keeping customer's interests above profit margins. I am really happy to see this hasn't been chopped to limit bottom line erosion from future defects.

Now with firmware release 3.1 around the corner, new colors coming out soon, and many hardware, manufacturing and software fixes, I am yet again getting excited. So like I said above, my favorite feature has been the hope that I feel when I think about that crazy new rainbow colored Neato coming...always "just around the corner"... promising to make everything better and my house perfectly sparkling clean.

However, I must say that back in grounded reality, my favorite feature is the way the Neato has a personality, especially with my dogs. I have a pug who is very stubborn, and will not move when he decides to sit down. Its awesome to watch the Neato realize my pug has obstructed its way, wait for just a second (I know its analyzing, but I like to think of it as a polite gesture to give my pug the "right of way") and then zoom around my pug. Its one of the most amusing things I have seen from any of my robotic household helpers.

Anyway, I've prattled on long enough. Anyone else going to chime in?
I graduated college and got a full time job plus a marriage. All projects on permanent hiatus.
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Re: Favorite Neato Features

Postby glnc222 » December 3rd, 2012, 5:48 pm

XV-11's currently listed at Walmart at $239 including delivery; also carries XV-21. That says more about customer satisfaction than stories of multiple replacements etc. If you throw money at the problem more advanced machines can be supplied for thousands, but the present functionality comes at a practical price for what it does. Few people are taken in by exaggerated marketing hype. It's become an expected ritual. Now if they could just fix my interocitor.
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Re: Favorite Neato Features

Postby BravoRomeo » December 3rd, 2012, 6:33 pm

Hmm... favorite features - brand new XV-21 from Amazon's Black Friday sale (also just noticed Walmart now has it for even less).

Room mapping == Less bumping/knocking/pushing (always worried my Roomba would eventually get smashed by something falling over onto it, let alone the annoying sounds of clunk, clunk, smack, knock, bang).

Easy emptying and maintenance, so it actually gets done

Better suction to actually work well on rugs and heavier debris

White noise whoosh sound is easier to tune out than Roomba's whirring, knocking noises

Handles my entire 1400 sq ft. house on one push of the "Clean" button without setting up virtual walls/lighthouses (which invariably need fresh batteries, as there is no warning on them aside from the absence of a blinking light).

The docking base is brilliant! Great cord management and skinny out-of-the-way profile when Neato is not docked. Less likely to get errantly pushed around during docking.


I won't mention my least favorite features since that is not the topic of this thread. I'll post that separately.
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Re: Favorite Neato Features

Postby Boomerang » December 3rd, 2012, 9:55 pm

JEfromCanada wrote:Not to get technical, but besides the incredible mapping system (that doesn't need an external point of reference like the Mint) and the way it keeps its brushes relatively clean (compared to my old Roomba) minimizing cleanup time, I like the idea that it does a decent job cleaning.


I second all of the above and add the price certainly is right plus the option of online software upgrades improving its performance. This Happy Customer is making an XV-21 Christmas Gift to a lucky relative....hopefully they'll enjoy it as much as I do. :thumbup:
"The Boomerang" - iRobot Roomba 580 - Neato XV-21
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Re: Favorite Neato Features

Postby glnc222 » December 4th, 2012, 3:40 pm

The odd thing I especially like is taken for granted, that the filter is the cover on the bin and removes to open it, so there is no hinged door on the bin and the filter is out for cleaning. I found it hard to handle the fittings on some other vacuums. Sometimes design is wrapped up in unrelated engineering problems, and convenient use is ignored.
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Re: Favorite Neato Features

Postby Wing Nut » December 4th, 2012, 4:41 pm

Ditto on all the plus points above and one more. Owning a Neato means you can respond truthfully to someone calling on your cellphone that, despite the pub noises in the background, you're presently vacuuming your house and can't talk right now.
#1 Neato XV-11 SW 2.0 Board Rev 113 / 3500mAh battery pack installed May 2013 / Pet & Allergy pack installed Sept 2013. In July 2014, received and repaired a faulty #2 Neato XV-11, which also runs perfectly now
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Re: Favorite Neato Features

Postby mfortuna » December 4th, 2012, 8:39 pm

When I saw $239 I decided it was too good to pass up. But once I put it in my cart the price was $329. (typo?)
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Re: Favorite Neato Features

Postby metabflux » December 4th, 2012, 10:56 pm

mfortuna wrote:When I saw $239 I decided it was too good to pass up. But once I put it in my cart the price was $329. (typo?)


That is curious. I see two xv11 models listed at Walmart:
9450029 $329 (you have to put it cart to see the price)
9450067 $249

Two xv21 models listed:
9450068 $299
9450041 $375 (you have to put it in your cart to see the price)

I don't know what the differences are.
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Re: Favorite Neato Features

Postby Gourd » December 6th, 2012, 4:14 pm

Let's see.

I love that it actually picks up more dirt than I do with an upright vacuum. This is probably due to the fact that I find running the upright vac to be a very mind numbing task, and probably regularly miss spots when I attempt it.

Neato is thorough and doesn't get bored.

I love that the bin and filter is very easy to access. Kudos to that.

I love that my Neato sports a stylish white bow tie decal with polka dots.

I actually find the noise it makes almost pleasant. Something about the noise tends to make me sleepy, which makes lying on the couch as it runs feel that much more decadent.

I really like that when it gets into trouble, it gives escape a few good honest tries. I also like that it eventually gives up before it has destroyed something or possibly eaten an entire sock.

I also want to say thanks for the heads up on the walmart sale, as I keep missing Woot offs for Neatos (and most recently the Amazon sale.) Really want another one for the second floor of our house.

Edited to add: Ordered a second Neato from Walmart! A XV-11.
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Re: Favorite Neato Features

Postby glnc222 » December 8th, 2012, 1:45 am

Did Walmart offer their standard appliance service contracts? They pioneered reasonable extended warranty pricing at the actual cost a few years ago when this got out of hand at appliance dealers. It would be unusual if they could offer their three year contracts on Neato's though. If they do the industry has advanced. I insured a DVR three years for $28. They rely on the mfg 1yr warranty for the first year, but still...
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Re: Favorite Neato Features

Postby Wing Nut » December 9th, 2012, 5:20 pm

My old XV-11 is great. The cat and I enjoy just watching it wander about the house. And the pet-friendly upgrade is a welcome development, but is 'pet friendly' a misnomer? Beyond the LIDAR, does our clever little 'bot need one more sensor?

http://www.youtube.com/embed/xWMkOwq2qIU?rel=0

(Yes, I know it's not a Neato, but ... :shock: )
#1 Neato XV-11 SW 2.0 Board Rev 113 / 3500mAh battery pack installed May 2013 / Pet & Allergy pack installed Sept 2013. In July 2014, received and repaired a faulty #2 Neato XV-11, which also runs perfectly now
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Re: Favorite Neato Features

Postby JEfromCanada » December 9th, 2012, 5:25 pm

Great video!
Current robots:
Roomba Discovery 4210 (not connected)
Roomba 560 (not connected)
Neato XV-11 SW version 3.1.17844, LDS version 2.6.15295, with Pet Brush and Vic's filter
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Re: Favorite Neato Features

Postby fore » December 11th, 2012, 2:32 pm

My purchase decision was based largely on the fact that it methodically works its way from one end of my house to the other. I press go and can rest assured all will be completed efficiently and in quick time.

I could not bear watching a Roomba randomly moving around, hoping that it might eventually cross a lighthouse and cover the very far corner of the house from where it was started.
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Re: Favorite Neato Features

Postby Gourd » December 14th, 2012, 7:37 am

glnc222 wrote:Did Walmart offer their standard appliance service contracts? They pioneered reasonable extended warranty pricing at the actual cost a few years ago when this got out of hand at appliance dealers. It would be unusual if they could offer their three year contracts on Neato's though. If they do the industry has advanced. I insured a DVR three years for $28. They rely on the mfg 1yr warranty for the first year, but still...


There was an extended warranty option, but I didn't even give it a second glance, honestly.

I've gotten out of the habit of extended warranties, because usually I never end up needing them. It's better (if you have the money) to just 'self insure,' by...

... having the money on hand to fix things if they break.

I tend to believe in insurance for things where the possible disaster is so terrible that the low risk of it occurring is vastly outweighed by the horror. Medical insurance and whole house insurance, for example.

If one of my Neatos breaks in the next few years, I'll try fixing it myself. Failing that, I'll just buy another one. Odds are they would break just outside Walmart's policy anyway.
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Re: Favorite Neato Features

Postby glnc222 » December 14th, 2012, 1:45 pm

agreed. Owning half a dozen different things chances of more than one going bad are small, making a warranty worth less than 15 per cent of the cost -- more like Walmart's lower fees. Extended warranties are derided by consumer advocates. By the time something does fail, new models under rapid innovation can be preferable to replacing old ones. The term of appliance warranties is also too short. The mfg warranty included is sufficient. A new monitor even had a three year mfg warranty included.

Neato is a bit special being new technology from a new company with more uncertainty than usual, though it's more established now after surviving a few years.
I buy used ones so I can modify them. Most failures are caused by my mistakes. Haste does make waste with these fragile things. Found good bargains in parts along the way, though Neato parts are scarce compared to older iRobot.

Cars, boats, houses are a different class, longer terms etc. There has been a financial innovation; instead of extended warranties insurance companies sell "mechanical breakage" coverage pay as you go along with liability, for much less overall than dealer service contracts. And you set the term, change coverage any time.
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Re: Favorite Neato Features

Postby djos » December 16th, 2012, 11:39 pm

fore wrote:My purchase decision was based largely on the fact that it methodically works its way from one end of my house to the other. I press go and can rest assured all will be completed efficiently and in quick time.

I could not bear watching a Roomba randomly moving around, hoping that it might eventually cross a lighthouse and cover the very far corner of the house from where it was started.


I had the same feelings towards my Roomba and the fact it could only clean 2 rooms and required extensive post mission maintenance was a major source of frustration for me too!
Current Robot's:
Neato BotVac 80
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iRobot Roomba 562PE w/ Aerovac Bin & Sealed-bearing CHM
Evolution Mint 4200
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