The Neato Botvac D80 - Is It As Neat As The Name Suggests?

Neato Botvac D80 Robot Vacuum Review

PROS

  • LaserSmart technology gives it advanced eyes
  • Draws a map to avoid bumping around
  • Designed for removing pet hair
  • Precision brushes are gentle on floors
  • Automatic resume feature picks up where it left off
  • CornerClever allows it to get into corners

CONS

  • Unusual shape may not fit into edges well
  • Some internal parts are unreliable
  • Customer support is lacking
  • Error reports aren't very useful
  • Chews up anything even if it shouldn't

Doing a Neato D80 review is an interesting proposition because the unit is so different from the other robotic vacuums on the market. It looks quite odd and many consumers have found that Neato's unique design ethos challenges what they think smart vacuums should look like. This might be one of those cases, though, where true genius is so drastically unusual that it turns heads.

Remember that many other products that dominate the market today were initially met with a mix of cheers and jeers. While compiling this Neato Botvac D80 review, we found some rather surprising things about an already surprising piece of hardware. 

Key Features

​SpinFlow Power Clean technology, as Neato's engineers refer to it as, marries a combination of precise brushes with a powerful suction motor. This feature supports swappable combination and blade brushes, which help it to support a wide variety of different flooring types.

The automatic resume feature puts the Neato Botvac D80 in a separate category from most other units. While most robotic vacuums return to their charging base when they run out of power, the D80 will pick up right where it left off if it had to stop cleaning to get some juice. This makes it more autonomous than most competing vacuums, which have to restart the entire cleaning process once they're done charging.

LaserSmart mapping technology scans an entire area so that it can plan the right route. You may have seen other vacuums that wander around while making multiple passes over the same areas in order to ensure that the whole room gets cleaned. The D80 avoids these additional passes altogether by sticking to the shortest route all the time.

What Did We Like?

We liked how the unit doesn't loose suction over time, which helps it to clean up things like crumbs and dirt much better than a lot of other units. You shouldn't see any degradation in performance over even several months. Easy-to-use boundary markers ensures that the D80 won't bump into furniture or fall down the stairs. You don't have to program support for any boundaries into the unit, either. Just use the markers that come with the robot to mark off all the areas that you don't want it to go.

What We Did Not Like?

Third-party accessories may damage the robot, which is something that we didn't like. Some manufacturers have deals with third-party companies to develop compatible add-ons. Since Neato doesn't have these sorts of connections, there are a number of knockoffs in the market that look like legitimate equipment. This isn't the company's fault exactly, but it does make it difficult to order additional parts for.

Neato Botvac D80 Review

Carpet Cleaning Performance

The D80 is very quiet on most types of carpeting, though like many other robotic vacuums it doesn't do very well on carpets with high piles. It simply won't ever be able to navigate shag carpeting at all, but fortunately this type of floor covering fell out of fashion decades ago. Few homeowners should experience any problems with this as a result.

Most users notice that the unit can transition well from laminate or tile over to carpeting without missing a beat. It seldom gets stuck between rooms as a result. It may struggle to get over any large inclines that mark the transition to carpeted areas, however.

Sometimes the light that indicates that the bin is full doesn't work when it tends to pick up a lot of debris on carpet. At this point, the D80 will keep trying to pack more and more dirt into the dust cup until it starts to spew it out again over the carpets. If you make sure to keep your unit empty, then this shouldn't ever be an issue. This usually happens if you live in an area where a lot of dust or sand gets ground into Berber carpets.

Performance On Hardwood And Laminate Flooring

Performance on hardwood, tile and laminate floors is usually better than on carpeting. A few specs of dirt may remain, but this device will more than likely eliminate the need to vacuum for most homeowners who don't have carpeting. You'll need to make sure that you don't have anything strewn about, however, since the D80 will switch itself off if it starts to pick up something large like a dog toy. Dining room sets should be positioned to offer the robotic vacuum enough room to move around so that it doesn't get stuck next to them.

Some users have mentioned that if they don't configure their furniture plan just right, then their vacuum will circle around for a long period of time before giving up. As long as the chairs are positioned in a way that gives the unit enough room to move around, then it should work just fine on these kinds of floors. You may wish to set out boundary markers so that it simply avoids these areas. A few users say that they don't have to vacuum even after they do this since the Botvac picks up more than enough dust.

Pet Hair Removal

Pet hair is an area where the Noto D80 really shines. The unit is rated for what the manufacturer calls maximum hair pick up. They remark that the D80 doesn’t discriminate between pet and human hair. The rollers are tuned in such a way that they can power through pretty much any type of hair they come across without getting tangled up.

While some pet owners might not realize it, they could have a good bit of their own hair lying around mixing with that of their pet. Normal vacuums might pass over this. They might also struggle with hair from breeds that don't have fur, like some poodles and spaniels. The Neato D80 can power right through hair from these dogs as well without any noticeable difficulty. You won't even have to clean off the rollers because of the way they're designed.

Hair gets processed and ejected into the cup for eventual disposal. Since the D80 is good about packing it down, it should be able to hold plenty of hair before needing to get emptied. This makes it useful for those who have pets that shed on a monthly basis.

Some users have actually said that the D80 packs in the pet hair better than bagless upright vacuums, but your mileage may vary. One thing that pet owners should notice that if the Neato unit ever gets trapped somewhere, it could start to make noise to indicate that it needs help. This beeping noise could bother dogs and cats, but as long as you make sure to properly block off everything that could get it stuck you'll never have this happen anyway.

Ease Of Use

While it doesn't feature a skeuomorphic display or anything that makes it look like a traditional upright vacuum, the Botvac D80 does feature controls that are designed to be easy to figure out. You simply push a specific Select button to go to a menu where you can set your language and change the clock. Regardless of which language you choose, you may swap between the 12-hour and 24-hour clock. This doesn't sound like a big deal, but some units won't let you customize the schedule this way without switching out some of the language features.

Scheduled Cleaning

Making a schedule is every bit as easy as setting the clock. Use the Select and Scroll buttons to select the right function on the menu. Once you do, you'll be able to pick the time and date you'd prefer to have the Botvac vacuum for you. It might not have the wireless functions of other vacuums, but it works well enough.

Maintenance Tasks

Emptying the unit, changing the filter and cleaning the rollers is as easy as releasing a few clips and turning it over. The maintenance process is simple as a result, though this is also a point of concern because the clips that hold the dust cup in place may eventually wear out. If you ever needed to order replacement parts, then Neato makes it easy to find out which model vacuum you have.

Warranty

Some online Neato Botvac D80 review content focuses mostly on the warranty because there have been claims that Neato shipped a number of products that were defective when the D80 was first released. All the bugs were worked out with the manufacturing process, though, so units shipped after 2017 should work fine. Neato backs all of their current devices with a one-year limited warranty.

In spite of some of the criticism the company has taken when it comes to customer service, Neato's warrantyseems to cover almost everything except for batteries, filters and brushes. Customers who need replacement products should find that these are covered under a new plan that lasts for a month. If the remaining time on their original warranty period is longer than this, then Neato will honor the rest of this time. Use of any unlicensed third-party equipment with the unit will more than likely void the warranty, however.

Conclusion

Overall, you could sum up a Neato Botvac D80 review by saying that this is a unit that features decent performance on carpeting with great performance on hard floors. It's gentle enough that it won't scratch anything and it could run fairly often without damaging the battery pack. This makes it great for those who are looking for a robotic cleaner to replace their current canister or upright vacuum, but it might be missing some of the features that more experienced users expect their smart home equipment to have.