Pros / The display is bright and easy to read so you don’t have to guess what is going on with this machine.
Cons / This vacuum doesn’t have mopping capabilities.
Verdict / The Neato Botvac Connected was very self-sufficient as it navigated around our test house, and its superior suction cleaned more debris than any other vacuum we tested on hard floors.
The Neato Botvac Connected behaved like a mini tank as it conquered almost every obstacle to keep vacuuming during our testing, and it moved quickly. It was like watching an Olympic athlete perform after amateur hour. We had seen so many vacuums get stuck and shut themselves off or fail to pick up much of anything, even when they were in motion. The Botvac Connected picked up a lot from our test floors. In fact, it had the best performance overall on our hard floor suction tests, picking up more cereal, kitty litter, sawdust and pet hair than all others in our laboratory. It struggled a little on carpeting, in terms of maneuvering around on it and in suction power, but even with its few weak moments it was better than competing units. With superior suction and agility, this robot vacuum offers the best value overall, making it our pick for the Top Ten Reviews Gold Award.
- Cleaning Performance - Hard
- Cleaning Performance - Carpet
- Run Time
- Charge Time
The Botvac Connected was good at getting around obstacles and great for overall suction. Certain vacuums removed more of this or that, but when we added up the grams of all debris recovered in our testing the Neato Botvac Connected dominated on hard floors. It was fast to scoop up the Cheerios, sawdust and pet hair that we sprinkled in its path in our laboratory. In home tests its bin was absolutely full at the end of its run. We did not see that with other vacuums.
There was only one competitor better at getting around obstacles than this unit. The Botvac Connected was almost unstoppable. It conquered a nearly 2-inch-high transition from tile to wood floors in our test house gracefully. Most of the competing units did not conquer that threshold at all, let alone gracefully. A few got over it after multiple attempts. This one was also more graceful when nearing obstacles. Other vacuums would run into them at full speed and then correct, but the Neato would sense something in its way and glide around it.
The Botvac Connected struggled some on carpeting, though, and at one point got stuck by a pair of sneakers in its path, stuck enough that it never found an alternate route and shut itself off. That was a little disappointing, especially since other vacuums seemed unfazed by that obstacle. It was mostly amazing in how it maneuvered around our test house, though. It was way better than most of the other units in our robot vacuum comparison, which were constantly getting stuck and requiring human help to get started again.
This machine was easy to use in all of the important ways. A little digital screen on the top lets you read all of the information easily, and it makes sounds to indicate when it needs attention – emptying or charging, for example. You can control this robot vacuum from an app on your phone if you prefer, but you can also use it offline with just the buttons on top.
This robot vacuum was pretty loud. There was only one louder. However, there are ways to get around the noise if it bothers you. There is a quieter, eco-friendly mode that applies a little less suction and moves a little more slowly. Also, this one is self-sufficient enough to run unattended in most environments, so you may not even be around to notice it noisily cleaning up. If you have a little clutter you may want to stick around as it works, and it’s best to set it to the eco-friendly mode so you can hear yourself think but still help it if it gets stuck.
This unit is relatively lightweight and compact, especially when you consider its capabilities. There are vacuums that weigh more and have a much bigger footprint that didn't clean up nearly as much as this one. It was also one of the easiest ones for all the maintenance tasks. It took very little time to empty the bin and clean the filter and brushes.
The high-quality screen is something that really stands out on the Botvac Connected. A few competitors have screens but so many are too dark, of low quality, or have only symbols. This one tells you what is going on in clear language.
It also has a carry handle, which mattered often during testing as we carried vacuums back to their charging bases. Surprisingly few had an integrated handle. This robot vacuum was great at running itself and avoiding obstacles for the most part, but the handle was still nice for the few times it was needed for repositioning, or if you need to take it up and down stairs.
Warranty & Support
Neato offers only a one-year warranty on this unit, which is underwhelming but on par with most others we compared. You can contact support staffers via live chat, email and phone if you have questions about the warranty or anything else.
A good robotic vacuum is one you do not have to babysit constantly, and the Neato Botvac Connected was impressively self-sufficient in our tests. It only got stuck once. Most of the time it was making its way over every obstacle to keep cleaning on every different surface. Its suction was impressive, too. It picked up more of our testing materials than any other on hard floors when we tallied the total grams. Most of the units we compared in our robot vacuum reviews have at least one good quality, but the Neato Botvac Connected has all the best qualities and capabilities, including the two most important – great suction and self-sufficiency. You buy a robot vacuum so that some cleaning tasks can be taken off your to-do list. This one is up to that challenge, more than any other we compared.