Pros / This robot recharges very quickly so there is little downtime.
Cons / With no remote control and no screen it was harder to control.
Verdict / The Botvac D4 Connected is pricier and harder to learn than some but it does an excellent job of cleaning and almost never gets stuck.
The Botvac D4 Connected is one of several excellent Neato vacuums we tested. This robot is impressive for many reasons, but it is also relatively expensive and hard to use. It is quite good at cleaning, though, so once you get past the learning curve and initial investment it could be a great fit for your household.
One wonderful feature on the D4 is its speedy recharge capability – it can get back to cleaning in just over an hour and a half. Most machines take more than double that to get back to cleaning. It also is smarter about recharging than most. It can do just a mini-recharge, gaining just enough battery power to finish a cleaning job. Once the job is done it will go back for a full recharge. That is one way it is very self-sufficient, which is the main reason you buy a robotic vacuum in the first place.
Another great feature with the D4 is its large cleaning head, much larger than most of the competition. That makes it possible to cover a lot of ground quickly and it makes it more likely to replace your upright or canister over time. It also has strong suction. In our suction tests it collected more debris than over half of competitors. It left behind only one Cheerio. It also got almost all kitty litter. It was less impressive on pet hair, even compared to competing Botvacs, so it will not be the best choice for pet owners.
This robotic vacuum also is smart – almost too smart. It uses lasers to map your entire house and creates a floor plan for the robot to follow. Lasers will even allow it to clean in the dark. It is controlled with an app on your phone, though you can get it to do basic tasks with just the buttons on the machine. We had some trouble getting the robot to pair with our phones in testing, though, and without a remote control or a screen on the actual machine it is a little hard to control without the app. Earlier Botvacs had a screen that indicated status and errors. Sometimes it was hard to know what this Botvac needed.
At my house, the D4 was an absolute powerhouse. It charged over very large transitions in flooring types, including from hardwood onto one rug that stopped a lot of competing robots in their tracks. It also conquered one transition from hardwood to tile that is over an inch high. This one will be very self-sufficient in that way. It was not confused easily so you won't have to babysit it. You won't really want to because it was one of the louder ones. In fact, this is the only vacuum that my cat actively ran away from.
The Botvac D4 Connected requires a larger initial investment than most and the technology will take some getting used to, but it does a good job of cleaning. It is very self-sufficient once you figure out how to get it going. It can map and efficiently vacuum a room with very little human intervention and that is the reason you get a robotic vacuum in the first place.