Robot vacuum cleaners have gone from something of a novelty to a viable alternative to doing your own floor cleaning. While iRobot’s Roomba may be the most recognizable name in the field, it’s by no means your only option, and from our time with it so far, the Neato Botvac D7 Connected should have Roomba worried. Seriously worried.
Essentially an upgrade to its previous flagship robo-vac the Botvac Connected, the Botvac D7 has taken everything that we loved about the previous model and improved upon it. Well, almost everything, but we’ll get to that.
Neato really sold the Connected using the fact that it ‘intelligently’ mapped out rooms and guided itself using an array of sensors, rather than just pinballing around a room until it was clean. With the D7, it’s taken this a step further by giving you access to the maps it creates, and allowing you to draw ‘no-go lines’ that your D7 won’t cross during a clean cycle.
Neato markets this as a feature for avoiding children’s play areas and your pet’s zone that it may be protective over. For us, it instantly fixed a massive problem that we have with robot vacuum cleaners generally; they try to eat cables and so often get stuck under desks and sofas chewing on power leads.
By creating a no-go zone that surrounded our desk, it meant the D7 didn’t even go near the cables. It also meant that if we forgot to close the door of a room we didn’t want it to go into, it’s no problem as you just put a line across the door on the app and the D7 ignores the room.
These upgraded smarts don’t come cheap; the Neato Botvac D7 Connected comes in at a hefty $799 (£799) and is available now in the US and UK.
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