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One minute look back
California-based Neato Robotics has been making robotic vacuums for over a decade and is an established robotic vacuum brand. It has brought numerous innovations in robotic vacuum cleaners to the market, including the iconic D shape which is now synonymous with the brand.
It recently launched the D8, D9 and D10, all of which have improved dirt pick-up compared to previous models like the D3 and D5, and there is an improved app to guide them. Here we tested the Neato D8, which is now branded as an entry-level model. It’s the cheapest of the trio, so it’s expected to be missing some of the features you’d get if you upgraded to the more expensive D9 or D10.
The D8 has a run time of 100 minutes, which is one of the main reasons why Neato recommends it as the best model for smaller households. In comparison, the D9 has a run time of 200 minutes, while the D10 can vacuum a whopping 300 minutes before it needs to be charged.
Although it’s the entry-level model, it has most of the features you’d expect from a robot hoover, including a powerful filter, lidar for room allocation, and a simple app for scheduling cleanings and switching between eco-friendly options. and boost power modes.
It’s easy to set up, but we were disappointed that we couldn’t map all of the floors in our house and while the overall shot was good, it didn’t always cover the entire floor space or capture rough edges as effectively as we’d like.
Neato D8 price and availability
The Neato D8 costs $ 599.99 / £ 624.93 and is available on Amazon. Or in the USA directly from Neato.
As already mentioned, this is the entry-level model and therefore the cheapest in the range. The lower price means the run time is shorter, the suction power is not as strong as the D9 which is $ 699.99 / $ 749.99 and the D10 which is $ 799.99 / $ 949.99, and the filter is of a slightly lower quality.
- Flat front
- 24.6 oz / 0.7 liter trash can
- Lidar maps and navigation
The Neato robots all have a D-shaped design with a flat front, the shape makes this robot wider than some other round robotic vacuums. It measures 3.99 x 13.22 x 12.71 inches / 10.1 x 33.6 x 32.3 cm (HxWxD). It weighs 8.07 pounds / 3.7 kg, which isn’t too heavy to carry up and down stairs on a different floor.
In the box you will receive two replacement filters and a replacement spiral combination brush and a brush cleaning tool. The filter should be replaced every one to two months and the spiral combination brush every 6-8 months. The charging station is compact and understated, but you need to place it with enough space on either side for the robot to find it easily.
The 0.7 liter container is easily accessible via the top of the vacuum cleaner and has a high-performance filter that retains up to 99% of allergens and dust particles.
It offers two cleaning modes, Eco is designed for hard floors and Turbo is a more powerful mode for carpet cleaning, both modes can be accessed via the app. There is a side brush to collect debris from the edges of the chamber, it is attached with a magnet so it can be easily removed and replaced. Underneath there is a 28 cm spiral combination brush that covers the maximum floor area with every movement.
- Easy to use
- Navigates hard floors and carpets with ease
- I’m trying to assemble some furniture
In use, the Neato D8 gave us mixed results; overall, the pickup is okay in most areas. Despite the lidar and the somewhat methodical cleaning pattern, the general cleaning path seemed awkward and a bit confused at times. It was not uncommon for parts of the floor to be missing, but in everyday life this shouldn’t be too much of a problem. We found that two consecutive runs over the same ground covered pretty much everywhere and collected most of the visible debris.
Neato claims that the signature D shape makes it possible to reach areas that circular robots cannot, but in our tests the cleaning in corners and around edges was no better than what we’ve seen with circular Robovacs. In fact, cleaning corners was very disappointing on several occasions as it started spinning before going straight into the corner.
During some separate carpet cleanings, the side brush stopped rotating and the app didn’t warn us that something was wrong. Once it was mistaken for her, but sometimes there didn’t seem to be a reason and once we took it out of the magnet and put it back in, it worked again. It would also keep hitting things before realizing that it had to bypass them.
Unusually, this robot has the ability to lift itself slightly in the front or back, which will help it free itself if it gets stuck or gets stuck. But that means that sometimes he likes to try to climb things, for example he tries to step on our fire box, which is an inch above the first floor. It also tried climbing onto the legs of a stool and clothes horse. Occasionally this also happened at the charging station, which lifted the dock into the air. We also found that vacuuming blows a significant amount of air out of the back of the robot, enough to feel like a cold breeze when it is vacuuming near you.
If you move it to vacuum another floor, we recommend that you take the charger with you. We tried sucking on top and leaving the charger on the bottom. At the end of the cleaning, the vacuum cleaner was switched off and banged again and again against our closet door, probably looking for the charger, since we had started it here. It didn’t stop until we stopped it and took it back to the charger. On the plus side, it successfully avoids falling off.
The container can be easily lifted out of the top of the robot, the filter must be removed to empty it, and while simple enough it can be a messy process. Some dirt can get stuck inside too, so it has to be tapped into the trash can, which can create clouds of dust. In addition, the filter becomes quite clogged, so it has to be tapped to remove the lint, which creates even more clouds of dust.
At 64dB it is quiet on hard floor in Eco mode, Turbo mode on carpet is louder at 70dB – but that’s still the same noise as background chatter in an office, which is more than acceptable.
- Create no-go zones
- Can only store one card
- Cleaning plans
The app is intuitive to use, guides you through the installation and simply connects to the robot. During the first cleaning, it creates a map of your floor plan, after which you can use a drawing tool to create virtual restricted areas if there are areas that you do not want the robot to clean. One major drawback is that you can’t save multiple maps so you can only draw no-go zones on one floor of your house.
The app lets you choose whether you want to clean in Eco or Turbo mode, and it’s easy to set up cleaning schedules for automatic regular cleaning at any time of the day or night. It also warns you if there is a problem with the robot, and if you can’t find it, there is a locate button in the app to activate an audio signal that will help you find where the robot is hiding.
- Automatically returns to the charger
- 100 minutes of battery life
- Eco mode offers longer runtime
Neato makes no secret of the fact that the D8 has the shortest runtime of the Robovacs in this area. For smaller floor plans, however, the 100 minute runtime is sufficient and even if your home is larger, the robot automatically returns to the charger when the battery level is low and continues cleaning where it left off. So not just for smaller houses.
When we discharged the battery, it took about two hours to get back to 100%. There is a battery icon on the top of the vacuum that will be green, but when the battery is running out it will turn yellow. You can also check the battery percentage in the app. In our tests, the battery lasted 55 to 65 minutes in Turbo mode, but Eco mode offers longer runtime, closer to the 100 minutes Neato claims.
Should I buy the Neato D8?
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First review: January 2022