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Neato's latest robot vacuums are much more affordable

Engadget Engadget 1/09/2016 Jon Fingas
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If you like the concept of Neato's WiFi-linked robot vacuum but feel that $699 is too rich for your blood, you're in luck. Neato is unveiling two more affordable Botvac models, the $399/£399 D3 Connected (above) and $599/£549 D5 Connected, that promise WiFi and the core cleaning features at better prices. The D3 still has mobile app access and laser-guided navigation, but trims costs through a lower-capacity battery, a basic filter and fewer features -- you won't get the high-end model's boundary markers, eco/turbo modes, manual drive, spiral and side brushes or on-robot scheduling. Move up to the D5 and you'll get the battery, brush and filter upgrades as well as boundary markers. Also, only the D5 has in-app cleaning stats and a Find Me locator right now. Those are coming to the Botvac Connected flagship later, but won't be available at all for the D3.

Both new robo-vacuums will go on sale in Europe and the US in early October, with China and Japan coming later in the year.

As before, Neato's main advantage over rivals remains its laser navigation. The new models continuously map your rooms and detect objects in real-time, helping them adapt to room conditions and clean in straight lines. We found the high-end Botvac Connected roughly equal to the more expensive iRobot Roomba 980, albeit prone to catching on cables and furniture. The lower prices make those quirks a little more forgivable. While the whole point of a robot vacuum is to clean while you're off doing something else, you might not mind babysitting the D-series Connected models for the money you're paying.

Neato Robotics

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