This review is sponsored by Neato Robotics. They were kind enough to send out the Botvac D3 Connected Robot Vacuum for me to review. All opinions are my own and were in no way influenced.
About 2 months ago, I received a Botvac D3 Connected Robot Vacuum from Neato Robotics. While I’ve become more familiar with Robotic Vacuums, this was only the second one I’ve used in my home.
I’ve previously reviewed the Shark Ion Robot and loved it. I was anxious to see how the Botvac D3 Connected would stack up against it.
One of the first things I noticed about the Botvac D3 is that it’s built like a tank. I don’t think durable does this thing justice. I’m a stickler when it comes to build quality of the things I use and there isn’t a single complaint I can raise about how this is built.
Something else I noticed right away was the shape. While many Robotic Vacuums tend to be round, the Botvac D3 Connected is “D” shaped. This design seems to allow the vacuum to get closer to walls. This is important as the this model doesn’t have spinning bristles that extend beyond the vacuum itself. Instead, Neato has chosen to use a larger, centralized rotating brush to do the cleaning. You can see in the images below, what I’m talking about.
In my time with the Botvac D3 Connected, I’ve found that it does an amazing job of keeping the floors clean. When you first turn the unit on by either pressing the only button on the top of the vacuum or through the app, it sorta reminds me a jet engine revving up. It’s not very loud but the suction revs up before the vacuum itself engages and being its journey of cleaning my house.
I’ve found that the Botvac navigates obstacles very well. In fact, there’s also an option that puts the vacuum into an extra careful navigation mode. This slows the vacuum down a little and seems to make its movements more deliberate.
The guidance system on the Botvac D3 does a really good job of avoiding collisions with things like table or chair legs. It even navigated around our ferrets while they were running around the first floor.
I did find that this vacuum didn’t seem to transition as well between the carpet and hardwood as the Shark Ion Robot but we have rather unusually high transition plates.
If the vacuum does find itself in trouble, it will send a distress call both audible and through the app itself. Addressing the problem is as picking the vacuum up, relocating it and pressing the clean button. I’ve not run into many instances where the vacuum need human intervention.
Neato claims that the Botvac D3 Connected can clean up to 1,800 sq ft in a single cleaning cycle. While I couldn’t test that due to the layout of my house, I can say that it cleaned my entire first floor on single charge. As a special needs parent who struggles to keep up with things like this around the house, the idea of a robot vacuum is really cool.
One of the most impressive things about this particular robot vacuum is that Neato is regularly updating the app and the firmware for the vacuum itself. In fact, a recent update gave the Botvac D3 Connected the ability to physically map out the room and show exactly where it cleaned.
It really does a thorough job and I can’t say I’m disappointed in its ability to clean.
Having said that, there are a few things that I found frustrating and a bit cumbersome. There’s no quick way to return the vacuum to the dock. With the Shark Ion Robot, you simply pressed the Dock button on the top of the vacuum or within the app itself. The Ion Robot would immediately stop and make its way back to the dock.
With the Botvac, it’s a bit of a process. I actually had to reach out to support because I couldn’t figure it out. I don’t know why it’s this complicated but here’s the process. The vacuum needs to run for at least 10 minutes. You can then press the pause button in the app. After about 30 second delay, the dock button in the app with finally become active and you can send the Botvac back to its charging dock.
To me, it just seems like too much work but again, there may be a reason for this and I wasn’t able to ascertain.
The only other complaint I have is with the length of the cord on the charging dock. It’s really short and even the lowest outlet in my house just barely accommodated the short cord. This is something to consider if you need to put some distance between your outlet and the charging dock. You could always run an extension cord but it just seems weird that you would be put in that position in the first place.
I really like the Botvac D3 Connected. It’s got a lot going for it and I’m really picky about my electronics. The D3 is built like a tank and does a great job cleaning on both hardwood and carpet.
In my opinion, what sets this apart from the Shark ION Robot is the ability to upgrade the vacuums firmware. This means that features can be added and things like the docking process could be addressed without having to wait for a new model. Trust me, the ability to upgrade the firmware is a big deal.
Like the Shark, the Botvac D3 Connected clocks in at just under $400 and honestly, if you’re in the market for a robot vacuum and don’t want to spend $800 on a highend model, you can’t really go wrong.
You can check out the Botvac D3 Connected on Neato’s site.
- Amazing build quality
- Powerful suction
- Upgradeable firmware
- Excellent support
- Decent price point
- Clunky docking process
- Extremely short cord for the docking station
- No spinning brissles