Gadgets neato-xv-signature-pro-review-1

Published on April 23rd, 2014 | by Greg


Neato Robotics XV Signature Pro: An Affordable RoboVac

Despite the promises and potentials- and serious warnings from science fiction writers- the robot revolution hasn’t yet hit home. We’re still far from having robot companions, and androids aren’t yet a threat to even the most menial job. Industrial robots are certainly here to stay, and some other businesses like restaurants might see an occasional additional application for robots. But the Jetsons seems far, far away, leaving any good technofuturist looking at more limited models.

Of course, one of the most prominent current uses is the robotic vacuum. Vacuuming isn’t a favorite task, as it’s repetitive and constant, especially if you have pets. The Neato Robotics XV Signature Pro is designed for exactly that scenario, and perfect for an urban cat or dog owner with a single-story space and a desire to minimize housework.  Part of a line that includes a few even less-expensive models, the Signature Pro still comes in a budget-friendly price, far easier on the wallet than the major competitor that you’re probably familiar with.

And, in our tests, it’s better at picking up pet hair as well (at least cat hair, as tested). We primarily tested on wood and tile flooring, not carpet, but most robotic vacuums aren’t made to handle deep-pile carpets anyway. Much like others, this one features scheduling so you can set it and forget it, and at only four inches high, is low-profile enough to fit just about anywhere you need. It’s louder than some, but quite powerful, and that’s a trade-off we’re happy to make (since you probably won’t be around during cleaning time anyway). It’s also heavier, at about eight and a half pounds, though felt sturdy and durable. Though it moves a bit more slowly and seems to take it’s time, the Neato XV is impressively efficient- it maps out a path and the space first, and then decides how to conquer it intelligently, instead of random pathing. Watching it move around obstacles and navigate layouts is a lot of fun actually!

The box also comes with an interesting addition, a small strip that you can use to create a virtual boundary. No batteries needed, it’s simple to use, and worked well. We missed the cleaning modes, though, found in some more sophisticated models- this one felt pretty simple, and less “friendly” than some others, and lacks a remote control. There are a pair of brushes included, a spiral one for carpet and one for flat surfaces, but they seem fairly good at handling either type, so it’s not a big deal if you forget to switch them out. We loved how easy it was to clean out the bin; though small, it was very accessible, and has a filter to prevent dust and dander from escaping when you empty it. Expect a 30 or 40 minute cleaning time for an average NYC apartment, but with a battery life of 90 minutes or so, it can certainly handle larger spaces too. And, yes, it automatically docks and charges.

Overall, the Neato XV Signature Pro is easily the best value in robotic vacuums that we’ve seen- effective, efficient, and smart. Available now, for under $450 online and in stores.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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