NEATO BOTVAC 85

Australian T3 - - RATED - $999, NEATOROBOTICS.COM.AU

{DE­TAILS}

1

BUILD QUAL­ITY This is a gen­tle gi­ant that is built tough but doesn’t

like it rough

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SCREEN Low-res colour LCD screen will make you long for an

OLED re­place­ment

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AD­DI­TIONAL FEA­TURES Mag­netic strip in­cluded to pre­vent es­capes, plus spare fil­ter and brush bar

It’s cheap(ish)! It’s got lasers! Shame about the noise

A bar­gain (of sorts) but Neato, like LG, hasn’t scrimped on the tech. BotVi­sion, Neato’s nav­i­ga­tion soft­ware, is ac­tu­ally based on SLAM (Si­mul­ta­ne­ous Lo­cal­iza­tion and Map­ping), the same tech­nol­ogy used by the Google self­driv­ing car. It also has a laser scan­ner which, aside from be­ing good at dodg­ing fur­ni­ture, is pretty darn cool. Do­mes­ti­cated robots with lasers – it’s the fu­ture to­day!

Botvac has a se­vere case of OCD. In­stead of clum­sily bump­ing into stuff and tak­ing its time to cover ev­ery inch of floor, it works out the most me­thod­i­cal path and gets the job done. And fast. Ac­cord­ing to Neato, it is four times faster than the Roomba, but in re­al­ity that isn’t par­tic­u­larly dif­fi­cult.

As for clean­ing, the square-nosed de­sign has an ex­tra-wide brush bar and tiny – almost point­less – sweeper arm for edges. The brush it­self has stan­dard bris­tles and rubbery strips that help cling onto pet hair. There’s also a sec­ond brush bar with only rub­ber for ex­treme pet moult­ing. The com­bi­na­tion works well, and while not quite as ef­fec­tive as the Roomba on hard floors, it picks up more pet hair on car­pets. It’s also full-size vac­uum loud, but lacks the suc­tion power of the Sam­sung.

The colour LCD in­ter­face is sim­ple to use and de­spite be­ing woe­fully low-res it does ev­ery­thing you need it to. Day/time sched­ul­ing is quick and easy and it no­ti­fies in­stantly of any clogs or is­sues (a bit too fre­quently if we’re be­ing picky). It does, how­ever, take an age to power up, but again, as­sum­ing you’re at work when it does, this should only in­con­ve­nience the cat.

But we were thor­oughly im­pressed with Botvac’s per­for­mance. It out­per­formed the Miele, worked faster than the Sam­sung and, if it wasn’t quite so me­thod­i­cal (rep­e­ti­tion reaps re­wards!) it could have kept up with the Roomba, too. LOVE Larger ca­pac­ity. Im­pres­sive dust col­lec­tion. Prag­matic ap­proach to vac­u­um­ing. Almost af­ford­able HATE Louder than the Sam­sung. Gets con­fused and clogged eas­ily. Tiny sweeper arm T3 SAYS Laser-guided tech-laden dust bot with­out the scary price tag

{SPEC­I­FI­CA­TION}

CA­PAC­ITY 0.7 litres

BAT­TERY LIFE Up to 4.5 hrs

CHARGE TIME 2-3 hrs COV­ER­AGE PER CHARGE Up to 250m²

NOISE (DB) 69dB POWER/SUC­TION 40W FIL­TERS 3 MODES 2 COL­LI­SION SEN­SORS N/A

STEP CLIMB

1.5mm (ap­prox.)

HEIGHT 100mm LENGTH 321mm WIDTH 335mm WEIGHT 4.1kg

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