Neato XV Essential

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Neato XV Essential

I was expecting something totally new, but Neato only brought a new color to CES. I am very disappointed about Neato now.

Neato Robotics very rarely comes to CES. As far as I can remember the last time they were here was when they released the original Neato XV-11. They didn't have a booth at the CES exhibition area this year either, but they had a little spot at one of the warm-up press events. Foolishly I hoped that they had something important to show to the press.

I was totally wrong. There is still no real development at Neato, they only keep creating new models by changing the color of the device and the accessory list of the bundle. Of course it doesn't make the XV series any worse, but there is certainly room for some improvement.

The new Neato XV Essential is targeted to those buyers who cannot afford to pay $400 - $600 to a robotic vacuum cleaner. To provide a cheaper model Neato decided to rip the extra accessories and the fancier parts from the XV Signature model. They got rid of the brush + blade bar and replaced it with a simple blade bar (similar to the one in the original XV-11 but with the newer construction that was used in the Signature line) and replaced the HEPA filter with a normal filter also known from the XV-11.

Everything else seems to be the same as in the $30 and $70 more expensive Signature and Signature Pro models. With the help of the laser range finder on its top the XV Essential continuously monitors the distance of the surrounding objects. With the help of this information it draws a map of the house and very precisely navigates within that map.

To be fair to Neato I have to acknowledge, that although the robot (apart the color) looks just like the original XV-11, the company has managed to solve lots of early issues that managed to cause lots of frustration with the owners of the early models. Due to these hidden improvements, currently available models (Signature and Essential line) are a lot more reliable than the original XV-11 was.

The Neato XV Essential will be available from March, exclusively in Wallmart. Although the $379 price is lower than the price of the currently available Signature series, it is only $20 (5%) cheaper than the original XV-11 was four years ago. But even if the price is not dropping as quickly as I would like to see it, the Neato XV series robots are still among the best when we talk about value / price ratio.

Neato XV Essential
Neato XV Essential
Neato XV Essential
Neato XV Essential
Neato XV Essential

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