Neato Robotics is a relatively new company that was founded only fi ve years ago and specializes in robotic vacuum cleaners. The XV Signature Pro is the company's flagship and it is apparent from the get-go that Neato approaches robotic vacuum cleaners a little differently.
While circular-shaped robotic vacuum cleaners have always been the norm, the XV Signature Pro and even its predecessor have always had a square front design, allowing it to clean close to walls and corners. Interestingly (or annoyingly depending on your point of view), it is the only robotic vacuum cleaner in this shootout to not have a remote control.
This can be a bit of a hassle to some users especially if you decide you want it to stop and return to the dock while it is in the midst of cleaning. Also, this also means that there is no way to manually direct the device to areas that require cleaning - you would need to pick it up and place it.
Fortunately, the XV Signature Pro features Neato's Smart Sensor technology and we found it to be a competent navigator. Unlike other robotic vacuum cleaners, the XV Signature Pro uses lasers to scan and map the room and then plans how best to clean it, which is why users can often see it spinning around as it attempts to map out the area.
Like the Roomba, the XV Signature Pro has only "Clean" and "Spot" modes, "Clean" being its auto mode where the XV Signature Pro maps out the house and proceeds to clean it in the way that it deems best, while "Spot" mode focuses the device on a specific area.
In our experience, we found that it was able to navigate logically and systematically, and was able to avoid obstructions, even low-lying ones that some others have missed.
However, like its competitors, it had trouble negotiating light rugs as its brush rollers would often get tangled in them. Also, we noticed that there were some instances where it would inexplicably get stuck in corners.
We can only surmise that it was trying to clean as close to the corner as possible and got stuck while doing so.
The XV Signature Pro also has very strong suction power and this means that despite not having sweeping brushes, it could clean just as effectively. Of course, as a result of its strong vacuuming ability, we also found it to be the loudest.
Cleaning and maintenance is easy. The XV Signature Pro's dustbin is located top side, which we prefer as it reduces the chance of dirt falling out, and can be easily removed. Its brush roller also has to be regularly cleaned for optimal performance.
AT A GLANCE
Navigation: Laser sensors
Size: 33 x 10.1cm
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