Log­i­cal nav­i­ga­tion. Strong suc­tion power. Only two clean­ing modes. Prone to get­ting tan­gled.

HWM (Singapore) - - Test -

Neato Ro­bot­ics is a rel­a­tively new com­pany that was founded only five years ago and spe­cial­izes in ro­botic vac­uum clean­ers. The XV Sig­na­ture Pro is the com­pany’s flag­ship and it is ap­par­ent from the get-go that Neato ap­proaches ro­botic vac­uum clean­ers a lit­tle dif­fer­ently.

While cir­cu­lar-shaped ro­botic vac­uum clean­ers have al­ways been the norm, the XV Sig­na­ture Pro and even its pre­de­ces­sor have al­ways had a square front de­sign, al­low­ing it to clean close to walls and cor­ners. In­ter­est­ingly (or an­noy­ingly depend­ing on your point of view), it is the only ro­botic vac­uum cleaner in this shootout to not have a re­mote con­trol. This can be a bit of has­sle to some users es­pe­cially if you de­cide you want it to stop and re­turn to the dock while it is in the midst of clean­ing. Also, this also means that there is no way to man­u­ally di­rect the de­vice to ar­eas that re­quire clean­ing - you would need to pick it up and place it.

For­tu­nately, the XV Sig­na­ture Pro fea­tures Neato’s Smart Sen­sor tech­nol­ogy and we found it to be a com­pe­tent nav­i­ga­tor. Un­like other ro­botic vac­uum clean­ers, the XV Sig­na­ture Pro uses lasers to scan and map the room and then plans how best to clean it, which is why users can of­ten see it spin­ning around as it at­tempts to map out the area. Like the Roomba, the XV Sig­na­ture Pro has only “Clean” and “Spot” modes, “Clean” be­ing its auto mode where the XV Sig­na­ture Pro maps out the house and pro­ceeds to clean it in the way that it deems best, while “Spot” mode fo­cuses the de­vice on a spe­cific area.

In our ex­pe­ri­ence, we found that it was able to nav­i­gate log­i­cally and sys­tem­at­i­cally, and was able to avoid ob­struc­tions, even low-ly­ing ones that some oth­ers have missed. How­ever, like its com­peti­tors, it had trou­ble ne­go­ti­at­ing light rugs as its brush rollers would of­ten get tan­gled in them. Also, we no­ticed that there were some in­stances where it would in­ex­pli­ca­bly get stuck in cor­ners. We can only sur­mise that it was try­ing to clean as close to the cor­ner as pos­si­ble and got stuck while do­ing so.

The XV Sig­na­ture Pro also has very strong suc­tion power and this means that de­spite not hav­ing sweep­ing brushes, it could clean just as ef­fec­tively. Of course, as a re­sult of its strong vac­u­um­ing abil­ity, we also found it to be the loud­est.

Clean­ing and main­te­nance is easy. The XV Sig­na­ture Pro’s dust­bin is lo­cated top side, which we pre­fer as it re­duces the chance of dirt fall­ing out, and can be eas­ily re­moved. Its brush roller also has to be reg­u­larly cleaned for op­ti­mal per­for­mance.

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