Did you like Neato’s neato Botvac Connected robot vacuum from last year, but found it just a bit outside your price range? Well, they’ve got good news at this year’s show — they’re releasing two new robot vacuums with the same remote control technology. The D3 and D5 aren’t as fully-featured as the Botvac Connected, but they’re a little easier on the wallet while retaining the tech that made the Botvac Connected so interesting in the first place.
Neato has beaten iRobot and their more famous Roomba to the punch in a couple ways over the years, being the first to add Wi-Fi app control (including scheduling) and a mapping system that allowed their vacuums to create paths and methodically vacuum floors, instead of bouncing around randomly (iRobot caught up with the Roomba 980). The cheaper D3 and D5 vacuums do all that, too. Both use Neato’s LaserSmart technology to actively detect obstacles and continuously update their room maps, making them much more energy- and time-efficient vacuums. They also both retain the same D shape as the Botvac Connected, which is better suited for corners than the round Roomba.
But, being cheaper, some features had to get the ax. Both new vacuums lack the spiral blade brush of the Botvac Connected, while the D3 will also lack the extra side brushes. They’ll also lack the multiple performance modes of the Botvac Connected, which could be switched into a battery-friendly eco mode or a clean machine turbo mode. The D3 will only have a standard filter, while the D5 will share Neato’s ultra-performance filter with the Botvac Connected. Battery life will also be different — the D3 only lasts about a third of the Botvac Connected’s 90 – 120 minute runtime, while the D5 will get nearly as much battery life as the Connected. The D3 will also lack spot cleaning and boundary markers, which allow you to create zones where the vacuum shouldn’t go (say, the place where your pet usually does their business).
The D5 does have a couple little features not found on the more expensive vacuum, though. The Find Me feature allows you to view where your vacuum is remotely. Better yet, you can actually view cleaning stats if you have the D5 on the companion app. I can’t wait for that to become as competitive as daily fitness goals.
Both the Botvac D3 and D5 will be available in October for $400 and $600, respectively, while the Botvac Connected will remain $700. We think they look pretty solid — they aren’t as good as the Botvac Connected, but for the price, you’re still getting their great mapping system and Wi-Fi control. The comparative lack of cleaning prowess on the D3 might be a non-starter for some, but the D5 looks like a good way to shave $100 off the price tag of a pretty great robot vacuum.