Neato Robot Vacuum: Neato Robotics XV Signature Robotic Vacuum Review

Neato Robotics XV Signature Robotic Vacuum

$306.44($399.99 23% off )(169 customer reviews)

  • Powerful; The strongest suction available in a robot vacuum; Blade brush for superior cleaning on carpet
  • Intelligent; Advanced laser guided navigation featuring Smart Sensor technology; Robot software can be upgraded when new features become available
  • High Performance; One high performance filter; Best choice for reducing dust and allergens
  • Automatic; Control center makes it easy to schedule daily cleanings or spot clean instantly

Go to Amazon.com

Neato Robotics XV Signature Robotic Vacuum Customer Reviews

Neato XV Signature Review (By Il Directore)

Yes, the Neato does occasionally get hung up on floor cables. It can wedge itself into tight spaces and get caught. It is rather noisy, especially when it cleans bare floors. But who cares? This thing cleans as well as a powerful upright (I have a Dyson and a Miele), and it does so with very little human intervention.

The thing is programed and equipped to be tenacious. It really digs in to extract dirt and fur. While it will gently recoil from furniture, it will gamely push aside pillows, slippers, small pet bowls and other light-weight items that might lie in its path. (Once we understood its determination, my wife and I did a much better job of tidying the house and gathering up cords and cables.)

I have three cats. They are terrified when I pull out an upright vacuum. But for some reason they don’t mind the Neato. I guess they see it as just another benign creature in the house.

Our unit seems to run for nearly 45 minutes. That’s enough to clean a hallway and three rooms. Then it will return itself to the base unit for additional charging to complete the rest of the house. With two cleaning sessions and one intermittent period of charging, it can take the Neato three hours to finish the 1700 square foot house. Most of the time we schedule the thing to clean while we’re at work. That way we miss the noise, yet come home to carpeting brushed in regular patterns and to fur-free floors.

As for daily maintenance, we have to empty the container of course. It has the largest capacity of any robot vacuum, but it still holds only two cups or so. It also helps to swab the laser guidance eyes with a q-tip now and then.

We have a new 8 x 10′ wool rug that freely sheds. On this rug the Neato really pulls out a lot of loose material.

I mean a frightening amount. So when it cleans this sucker I know I’ll have to unclog the intake, remove fibers from the roller brush, and dust the outside of the unit, not that that’s a big deal. To prevent clogging entirely, I use the “spot cleaning” setting, which limits the Neato’s range to about 25 square feet. A quick emptying of the dirt cup, and it’s ready for another section of the rug.

Overall, we are very pleased with the Neato and can highly recommend it.

UPDATE: I’ve had the Neato XV Signature for two weeks now and used it everyday. Pleased with the thing, I purchased and installed the pet and allergy upgrade kit for it, which I think raises the model from a Signature to a Signature Pro. The kit includes a so-called allergy filter, but it’s the same filter the one that comes standard on the XV Signature. So now I have a backup. The best thing about the kit is the roller, which includes real brushes, not just plastic cleaning slats. The roller is a bit of a pain to install (I had to use a screwdriver to loop the rubber belt over the end cap), but it’s worth it. The noise level of the unit when working has decreased by half, especially on bare floors. So if you are trying to decide between the Signature and the Signature Pro, I’d recommend the latter.

Best Vacuum I could have bought! (By Philip Mills)

I’ve bought a lot of products, but this if the first I have left a review for. If you are considering a robot vaccum, then look no further then the Neato. I did a lot of research (including talking to several friends that own the Roomba vacuum, and Neato seemed to come out on top. Now that I have been using it, it’s better then I expected from the reviews. Suction is fantastic. Navigation is smart (I have a 2,000sq ft home). It has no problem navigating between rooms.

Overall, if you can afford it, buy. I don’t think you will be disappointed.

UPDATE (7/7/2014): I’ve now had the vacuum for almost a year, and have been very happy with it! Just replaced the batteries, and called support to help step me through the process. Lady on the phone was excellent, and helped me through it. Would give this 6 stars if I could.

This thing is AWESOME! …and a comment about NOISE level (By Lisa)

This is my first robo-vac and I’m so glad I chose this brand. The suction is amazing, much more than I expected. It goes around the entire room and does a fantastic job. It might get stuck every now and then, usually at the front edge of my couch because it’s just high enough for the vacuum to get a little wedged under it, but it’s no big deal since I’m usually home and I can just help it along. When it’s in the dining room, it actually goes in and around each chair leg one-by-one.

It comes with just enough of the magnetic stripping to fit across two doorways, but I ordered the extra roll and it came in handy. I read another review where someone hid the strip under the edge of the carpet and it works, so that particular strip is not even visible.

You can even pick the vacuum up and set it in another room, away from its base. When you push the START button, it scans the room and proceeds on its merry way. For some reason, I was under the impression that it had to stay in the same room as its base, but it doesn’t. The base is simply for charging. When it’s cleaning a room away from the base, it simply returns to the exact same spot you started it. When it’s in the same room as the base, it makes it way back to it, and wiggles up to recharge.

My kitchen/family room is rather large so it will clean what it can, return to its base to charge, and then resume cleaning on its own when it has a full charge (about a 20 minute charge time). This thing is so cool. Just remember to lift your cords and drapes up if they pool on the floor or else the vacuum will suck them up and turn off until you pull it out.

I have a lot of turns and corners in my kitchen, dining, and family room and I assumed that would throw it off, but it does not seem to affect the vacuum’s ability to assess the entire area, navigate, and do its job. As a matter of fact, it’s vacuuming for me now as I type this, LOL.

NOISE: I have one critique with this model though… it’s VERY LOUD when it’s on hard floors! I read other reviews that mentioned this, but I wasn’t it expecting it to be as loud as it was. It sounds like a small propeller plane is in your house. The problem is the brush that comes with this model. The brush blades are made of soft rubber and they slap the hardwood floor as they spin. Solution: I ended up replacing the brush roll with the one from Neato’s “pet and allergy kit” which has soft bristles, and now it sounds like any other high-powered vacuum, with no additional obnoxious slapping noise. If I had known this, I would have ordered the Pet and Allergy version of this vacuum, but no big deal. I just wanted to mention that to you in case you have a lot of hard flooring.

Overall, I LOVE this little vacuum. I wasn’t expecting it to be as nice as it is. I’m totally blown away by the technology and performance of it. Very happy I did my research first. Apparently, some of them are more like floor sweepers, but this works like a real vacuum. Very cool technology.

What a great vacuum (By GMac)

This little guy is great. Very smart, it configures the room and then starts cleaning in rows, like mowing, and gingerly avoiding objects (except my feet, it loves to ram them, not kidding…weird little guy, lol). It also knows when it’s going to another part of the house or another room. It will back out of there and finish cleaning the room were it came from. Then it will move on to the next area, very smart, love it! When the battery is low (about 20 minutes, strange for I thought it was suppose to be longer) it goes back to its base (moving around objects and corners). After it charges itself up it goes back were it left off and continues. Awesome. :)
I had a iRobot 500 series and that was better made, but really dumb. It would just go everywhere and bump into the walls (scuffing them up). It took 45 minutes to clean my room, we’re the Neato took 15 mins. Also, the iRobot would not move up onto my heavy dense long cut wool throw rug. The Neato jumped up on it and cleaned it…good little guy.
Now I was contemplating buying the Signature or Signature Pro. What I gathered was the only difference is the brush and the filter. The Signature only had a brush with rubber blades, which made a lot of noise when they flap themselves on your carpet. But they would pick up equally as well as my iRobot (which had bristles and rubber blades). Also the Signature’s filter was standard, not Hepa rated. The Signature Pro had the Hepa filter and a brush with bristles and rubber blades. But you can buy that upgraded kit for $50. So your saving $50 by going for the Signature and buying the upgraded kit, over the Signature Pro. Now, my experience with brushes the contain bristles, is that they pick-up hair…but they don’t release it.

They like to keep it for themselves and wrap it around them. Slowly collecting hair until the brush becomes useless. My iRobot came with a tool to remove the hair with one swipe, I don’t think the Signature Pro gives you one, not sure. So I see this problem with the Signature Pro and I don’t want to deal with that. This is the reason why I bought the plane Signature over the Signature Pro.
I recommend this product to my family and friends.

Go to Amazon.com

Neato Robot Vacuum: Neato XV-21 Pet & Allergy Automatic Vacuum Cleaner Review

Neato XV-21 Pet & Allergy Automatic Vacuum Cleaner

$249.99($429.99 42% off )(1,459 customer reviews)

  • Neato XV-21 Pet and allergy automatic vacuum, charging base, boundary marker
  • Features: Powerful cleaning system specially designed for pet owners and allergy sufferers
  • High performance vacuum removes all kinds of dirt and cleans all floors: carpets, rugs, hardwood, laminates, tile, and stone
  • Schedule automatic cleanings while you’re away via simple user interface
  • Automatically returns to charging base when vacuuming is concluded

Go to Amazon.com

Neato XV-21 Pet & Allergy Automatic Vacuum Cleaner Customer Reviews

After 7 months I STILL LOVE THIS LIL MACHINE (By TERRY BUFFINGTON)

I’ve been meaning to write a review on the Neato XV-21 pet vacuum since I got it but never got around to it. It’s been 7 almost 8 months since I got him and I still love him its the best household appliance I have ever gotten and that includes my kitchen in stand mixer which comes in at a close second. Now for some details:

I got Neato because I fractured my back and could not push the vacuum around or sweep easily. I would recommend him ( yes mine is a he yours might be a she but you’ll have to get to know yours to find out. Ask nicely and maybe it will tell you.) for elderly or disabled people that have issues with those kind of tasks.

I have 5 yes you heard right FIVE Pug dogs. If you have a Pug you know they shed enough fur each week to make up whole new Pugs, my husband jokes that that is how we’ve ended up with 5 they keep multiplying via furball reproduction.

My house is 4200 square feet give or take. It’s all either hardwood floors or porcelain tile I have NO carpet or throw rugs so can’t speak to how it would do on carpets. My layout is mostly open concept but is divided among 3 floors. The main floor which neato does every day is about 2400 sq ft. Neato does an excellent cleaning all of it. It does take about 3 charging cycles to do the main floor but that is okay with me he basically does about 800 square feet per charge. To do the other levels I simply carry him to that floor set him down and start him up and off he goes. On those levels he of course can’t get back to his charger on his own so I put him down in the middle of a room so I can find him easily once he has finished and is asking to be charged up. Yes I lost him one day when i forgot I had carried him upstairs so learned leave him right in the middle of an easily visible room.

I have him run EVERYDAY seven days a week for at least 2 cycles but mostly 3 so he can do the whole main floor or the other 2 floors combined.

I love neato BUT he does have his quirks and somedays his nickname is dumdum but here are a few things I have discovered that help and or that you might have to do to help him out at times.

1) During the winter when he was doing most of his cleaning in the dark I found that after about a month he started getting really stupid and chirping, bumping, circling and acting like a complete idiot. I swear he got dyslexic there for awhile attempting to turn right and go through a wall rather than left through the door. BUT I realized it was like his internal map of the house was getting corrupted. I think he has a harder time in the dark and if he cleans in the dark week after week with no daylight or lights on his internal map gets jumbled especially say if he encounters changes like say Christmas decorations that he has to account for. I solved his issues by making sure at least once a week to let him clean during the day this seemed to keep his map updated and his brain clear.

2) He has only tumbled off a step twice once right after we got him and then just this week, it was maybe a 4 inch step and he survived with no issue other than maybe his pride. My husband said the first time he did it was because he took one look at five Pugs and tried to make a run for it. To solve this problem I just gently clean his drop sensor with a q-tip, the manual tells you where and how it takes 30 seconds and he’s all bright eyed and chipper ready to get back to work.

3) he hated my breakfast nook and consistently got hung up around the table until I made a slight adjustment by sliding the table out a few more inches from the wall. That tiny change which did not affect the room or table made all the difference and now he zips around in there with no issues.

4) my living room furniture was a hair too short for him to go under so simply bought a set of those rubber glides and put them under each leg. You can’t see them, neato gets under them now and a bonus they don’t slide around so much on the wood floors anymore.

5) I had to gather up all the cords dangling around my entertainment console because he kept finding that one tiny cord that would pull all the others free. I think he’s very smart and felt up to the riddle of unwinding all those cords my husband had other opinions. All I had to do was get some of the plastic zip ties bundle the cords up and shove them behind the console. On a good note it looks way better than before and neato is happy as well. Easy thing to solve.

6) locating his charging stand or should I say "bedroom" since he also sleeps there. My homes layout did not works for it to be right in the center what with everything being open there simply were no wall or outlets. I also did not want him to be the first thing people saw when they came to visit. I put him along one wall in my breakfast nook. It’s about 3 feet from either corner and has about 4 feet in front of him from the table, most of the time he finds it no problem BUT…. sometimes he does not and kinks out and then goes waa waa waa please charge me in a very sad tone. I have found it to be an issue mostly when he has been cleaning the far side of the house and simply gets too tired to make it all the way back to his bed. I simply pick him up and tuck him in his charger and everyone is happy.

7) climbing things. He will at time try to climb the strangest things, like the corner of a room or a bench or BEHIND the toilet (how he manages THAT I have yet to figure out) why I do not know but usually he rights himself and continues on. Rarely he will get himself hung up and then cry for attention and have to be rescued but this is only rarely and to not have to vacuum the floors everyday myself I will rescue the lil critter every now and then.

8) closets, oh my walk in closets can be a challenge for neato. My husband claims he is a cross dresser since he seems to like my dresses better than his pants. I think he just has better taste in clothes. But really it’s my fault since I do occasionally leave something hanging a little too low and neato is just doing his job. Having him around has made me keep my closet much more nicely organized.

9) shoes… Do not leave shoes laying about, neato has a thing for shoes we caught him… Ehem… Having his way with one of my husbands shoes. We blushed and Neato beeped and we simply don’t talk about the incident preferring to pretend we didn’t see what we saw. Neato has helped teach my husband to put his shoes on the shoe shelf in his closet something 30 years of marriage I have never been able to do. I secretly think its because he is afraid neato might overpopulate the house with vacuum/shoe hybrids. It could be worse at least they would clean up after themselves.

10) the beeping is annoying. I mean ANNOYING. when he gets lost, hung up, confused, tired, or just plain ornery somedays and goes beep beep beep waa waa waa beep beep beep I want to smack him silly. Somedays it seems as if he doesn’t want to work and just sets out to annoy the heck out of us until we put him back in his charger base. On the other hand when he gets lost, tired, stuck, what have you and you can’t see him the beeping leads you to where he is and 2400 sq ft is a lot of space to search without his little cry.

11) the filter and dirt container could be bigger. I run him every day and most of the time only have to clean it out once a day. He does not tell me while in the middle cleaning Hey lady my tummy is full please empty it. I have to remember to check it. He does ask once he is in his charger to please check his bin to see if it needs emptying. He is VERY polite and thanks you once you have done so though. Neato has manners. If he encounters a large furball his little mouth will get clogged and he will keep trying to clean even though he isn’t getting anything through. That is irritating you’d think he could have a sensor that would stop him and have him ask you to clear his throat. This does not happen often since I run him every day but occasionally he will encounter something under the recesses of the furniture and get more of a mouthful than he can handle.

12) The filter lasts a LONG time. I am in fact still using the same one I started with. I clean it regularly by vacuuming out the pleats and every couple of months rinsing it out with water. If you rinse it out make sure it is completely dry before you put it back in; Neato does not do water. I plan to purchase a new filter and most likely a battery shortly just to be sure I have them on hand since he will most likely need a new battery around his birthday any way. I think a new battery and filter would make a nice birthday gift for him.

13) I have only had a stuck brush message once when yes his brush was stuck he tried very valiantly on his part to suck up a sock. I think he is a hero for trying so hard that he tied himself in knots doing it. I simply removed the sock from his roller bar and sent him on his way with an apology for not being a better house keeper.

14) He will sometimes bump into stuff but as he learns the layout he does so less and less UNLESS you have a little Pug that sees him a competition and purposely stands in his way to make him stop start and jerk about trying to find his way around her. I have tried to teach her not to do this as it just confuses neato but I can always tell when she’s been torturing him because when I come into the room and neato is toddling across the open floor like a drunken sailor I know it’s because he has been trying to dodge her and his temporary memory is holding all the the places he remembers bumping into her at. No permanent damage is done though since the next time through he recaps the area and goes back to a nice neat grid pattern.

15) I have updated his software twice since getting him and it is VERY easy. You just need a min USB cord and your computer. You plug him in and Neato does the rest.

I hope I have answered some of the questions you might have and maybe even some of your concerns. I would buy Neato again in a heartbeat. I did buy the extended warranty protection plan from Amazon for him so if anything goes wrong with him for the first 3 years they will replace him, after that I figure it’ll be time to buy a new one anyway. If I get 3 years out of him it will be one of my longer lasting vacuums as Pug fur is notoriously hard on vacuums and the only one I have had last longer than that is a shop vac, yes I used it to vacuum the whole house since every other vacuum died within months of getting them. Neato is not a Jetsons vacuum, I don’t think the technology is there yet for a completely independent cleaning machine. If I could get one that would mop wood floors and another one that would climb shelves to dust I would be in homemaker heaven, sigh maybe someday they will invent those as well.

I hope you too will one day have a neato in your life I know mine has changed mine for the better.

Love this vacuum (By Jchap)

As someone who has owned many models of the Roomba over the years it was time for another Robotic Vacuum. I have 3 dogs and 4 cats so I have constant fur balls and toy shreddings around my house. I have not been impressed with some of the newer Roombas compared to the older ones as believe it or not the newer versions would get stuck on rugs easier. I did some research since there are now many brands of Robotic vacuums on the market to choose from.

I have tile throughout with occasional area rugs. I got my Neato last night and already I’m in love! Compared to the Roomba, it is smart! it scans my rooms, knows where to go, when it’s time to charge it returns to it’s base remembering where it left off. All the while it hasn’t gotten stuck on anything and it’s not constantly banging against my furniture and cabinets. It has suction which none of my roombas have ever had. Already between playing with it last night, and then again this morning I can see what a superior job it’s doing at picking up the furballs and toy shreddings and navigating through my house. And as far as cleaning the machine it’s a snap compared to keeping the Roomba clean and fit. I think even my dogs are appreciating the fact that it’s not constantly running into them!

Absolutely love this vacuum!

The combination of an upright vacuum’s beater bar with robotics (By Michael R. Eisler)

I did not realize how big my XV-21 would be until the package arrived from Amazon. Unpacking it, I realized that the robot is essentially the base of an upright vacuum cleaner combined with suction pump, sensors, computer, and battery. The beater bar is as large and powerful as any upright vacuum cleaner. I think this explains why previous generation XVs got such great reviews, and those reviews drove me to pre-order the XV-21.

Startup was fast; I just plugged in the dock to an wall A/C outlet, brought the robot near the dock, and discovered that the robot’s batteries charge wirelessly. Very cool.

After fully charged, I pushed a button on the robot, and it proceeded to clean one floor of my house, requiring several re-charges (it automatically returns to base when it needs to recharge).

The robot is very user friendly. It tells you when it needs its dust bin cleaned, its brushes unclogged, when it is blocked, etc. It emits chirps to tell you when something is amiss.

It is much quieter than a conventional corded upright vacuum or a central vacuum that has a power beater bar. Turn the TV on the volume a little higher and you can watch TV while it works.

As heavy as the XV-21 is, it isn’t as heavy as an upright vacuum nor as bulky as the hose and attachments for a central vacuum system. So it is easier to carry up and down stairs to clean other floors.

I bought the robot because I don’t wear shoes in the house and was tired of stepping on crumbs or food scraps in the kitchen. The robot keeps the kitchen floor clean, and does just as well in other parts of the house.

Some things to keep in mind:
- Allow for plenty of clearance between the base and and any obstacles. The manual says 3 feet; I’ve had better luck with 5 feet.

Otherwise the robot will have trouble returning.
- The beater bar is very effective, and on a new carpet or rug it will be picking up lots of carpet fibers. This requires frequent cleaning of the dust bin. The first time you use the robot on a carpet, I suggest pausing the robot once in a while to inspect the dustbin, and empty if needed.
- Related to the above point, I wish the passage way from the beater bar to the dust bin was wider; hair often gets clogged in the passage way. I have found that this problem diminishes as the robot cleans a floor each time. Frequent cleaning is goodness.
- Place your base as close to center of the floor the robot will be vacuuming so that it has a higher chance of finding base when it is done, or it needs to re-charge. Note that the robot does not get a “fix” on the base until it swings by the base on a cleaning run, so this is another reason to aim for center.
- Whenever the robot gets stuck or can’t find its way back, if a human doesn’t attend to the problem after a few hours (such as when setting the robot to vacuum a large area over night or while at work), the battery will drain. The robot will then forget the time of day and how much of the area it vacuumed. In addition, after bringing the robot to the dock, I’ve yet to master the trick for getting the robot to reliably sense the dock and start charging.
- Yes you need to pick up off the floor stuff like socks that might get jammed in the brush. Well dirty laundry belongs in a washer or bin, so think of this as discipline, at least until engineers invent a robot that picks up laundry. That the robot drives you to keep your house tidy is a good thing.

Despite the above, providing both minimal supervision over the robot and cleaning its dustbin between charges or cleanings together beat vacuuming manually. Overall, I think the robot does a better job than manually vacuuming since the robot is designed to clean every surface it can see and access. You can be doing something else, whether it is another chore that engineers haven’t yet figured out a robot for (e.g. vacuuming stairs), or something fun. And it is simply fun to watch the robot do its thing, whether it is setting up for a series of parallel cleaning runs, finding and turning corners, avoiding obstacles, extricating itself from a tangle of chair legs, or returning to home base.

Testing Vacuum Robots for a week … iRobot 770 … VERSUS … Neato xv-21TOP 500 REVIEWER (By Frank Peters)

I was very SKEPTICAL about Expensive vacuum robots on my tile floors. I bought the Neato XV-21, & the iRobot 770. I tried the iRobot 770 First, & it did such a good job, that I figured nothing could be better. After trying the Neato, I did like it better for the 1st week.

(1 Week update: my NEATO Died.. ‘LEFT WHEEL STUCK’ LCD message (found they have history of this).. it actually means that the Wheel Motor gets tangled and busted on it’s own internal parts. I looked at the parts with my eyes.. they appear to me to be low-end Chinese. In examining star ratings.. Roomba has tighter 5 stars, but the Neato has about double sales.

I suggest you go (right now) to the current “Facebook” pages for each company and READ comments there for satisfied customers for each unit. When I did that after my experience, it supported my decision. When I scanned the FACEBOOK pages of both companies.. it re-iterated my proof that the Roomba has more happy operators, was a safer buy, and gave less malfunctions… the Neato FACEBOOK page was flooded with constant issues at the time of this review & months later after re-checking.

The 770 is like a Sweeper Robot w/ a small vacuum under it’s long brush compartment. The Roomba cleans hard floors very well (except sometimes w/ dark floor mats), but it is less as sophisticated in navigational operations than the Neato is. It goes over itself a bit (sometimes inefficiently), doesn’t always know where it’s base is (until it sees it), and is more time-consuming (must clean brush roller more) than the Neato is. It is not as powerful as the Neato (but doesn’t need to be regarding hard floors). The 770 is a lot better than it’s predecessors (older model performances didn’t seem worth it to me).

The Roomba is more pleasant if you are in the room while it’s cleaning, due to less noise. The Neato can seem more ‘practical’ in it being more methodical when you want to set it and leave home (if it’s working without mechanical failure). The iRobot (HEPA) filtrates down to .3 microns, and the Neato’s non-HEPA filtrates down to only 3 micron filtration. I tested both in separate rooms for 2 days w/ large glass plates to see if one dusted the air more.. both equally did not spread recordable dust around the room (zero filtration difference, regardless of specs claim).

Neato’s Smart Navigation vs Roomba’s Dumb Navigation doesn’t necessarily conclude what one might think: The iRobot (3,000 mAh) battery needed a charge at around 1.5 hours of operation. The Neato (3,500 mAh) battery needed a charge at around 45 minutes of operation (possibly due to vacuuming power differences). Therefore.. the iRobot is faster at completing large areas requiring 45 minutes to 1.5 hours, simply because the Neato has to go back to charge after 45 minutes, sit docked for another 2 hours, and then go back charged up to finish. So.. when people focus on 1 thing.. how the Neato has better navigation.. it does not actually make the unit finish sweeping a large area faster (nor does it pick up more dirt w/ the one-pass method).

The Neato knows where it’s base is a little better. The Neato butts up to furniture and corners with it’s square edges & precise maneuvering well, but still manages to miss debris in side-lines & corners a tad. Some other reviewers noted that they broom such areas once per month. They both do appear to pick up about the same amount of debris in bin tests on tile (the Roomba a teeny bit more due to it going over itself by say 40%). The rotating brush on the Roomba appears to me to get some of the dirt out of side-lines & corners a tad better.

One problem with the Roomba is it’s issue with black floor mats, or dark carpet.. it can stall sometimes on my Black floor mats (known issue, & many folks tape the sensors). No machine is perfect. The square-ish Neato hugs walls & chair feet (software) better than I had imagined. Cleaning bots opened up a whole new world for me. Humans can do a better job by hand, but we try to clean so fast that we do it TOO FAST, AND ALSO INFREQUENTLY. With the Robots, ‘Cleaning Infrequency’ becomes something of the past.

The Roomba 770 looks cooler in black, and w/ it’s round design, and it is better quality/ more reliable versus the Neato (as of currently… around 7% of Neato’s report total breakdowns, and need replacements, and sometimes customers have had to repeat the tragic process if you read some PAST experiences). The Roomba is much easier to listen to noise-wise. The lighthouses (780+ model) have a secret worth you taking note of: they make Roomba’s clean for A SET TIME OF 25 minutes per room. That is not always enough for enormous areas. For the iRobot to clean a small room better by about 4% (due to it’s high overlapping & corner bristle brush system), it needs to run for 30% more time than that of the Neato (which is more of a highly methodical one-pass robot). The Neato can go over large obstacles (things laying on the floor accidentally/ broom stick) probably by about 15% better (like a Mars Rover), but the Roomba cleans under tighter spaces slightly better due to being shorter.

The newest Neato Pro coming out around May of 2013 may have slight improvements, and it will be in black. I hope that these have different wheel motors, because that’s the main problem with Neato Now (has more low-star ratings due to slight percentage of failures). I recommend using your upright vacuum cleaner hose once a week on the pleated filters on either machine. Once again, check out the CURRENT negative reviews for the Neato to see if failure issues are higher than iRobots. At the time of my purchase & checking a few months afterwards, the Roomba was clearly a better long term, more secure buy/ investment. You decide. My tests and decision lead me to what I believe was the safest choice for value. Roomba has tighter 4.5 stars for a reason.

(initial short review of the iRobot 770 before I tried the Neato XV-21): I keep a very clean home and live alone. Before trying out the 770, I moved ALL furniture and swept in high detail with a fine broom. I used a commercial Hoover Wet Floor Extraction Machine on my floors 7 DAYS prior to testing the iRobot (so my ENTIRE floor was clean of dirt). I could see no dirt on my floors when I started the iRobot 770 for the first time. The unit finished with a 40% full container when done. I was surprised at the machine’s effectiveness. It picked up very small speckles of dirt, teeny-tiny rocks, hair, lint and other fine particles (Update: The Neato did this, too).

[2 Month Update 6/11/2013: Roomba 770 working with no issues.. I only use it about 2 times a week; my floor is already not that dirty, but they say you don't want to let it sit on the charger not being used; the issue of it stalling every once in a while on dark carpet has gone away; I have not had to babysit the unit at all for over a month.. zero stalls; it still won't climb up or down stairs, so I do move it around physically and sometimes into specific areas like bathrooms and then move it out.

[7 Month Update 11/1/2013: Surprisingly.. Roomba 770 is still working flawlessly in my 2,000sqft townhouse. It has gotten stuck 2 time in the last 5 months when I placed a new mat poorly at my back door. I truly thought the robot would rather operate worse over time. My confidence & sense of value in this model/ company is now somewhat long-term.]

These new ‘appliances’ will be in Every Household in the way future.. like owning a microwave or a TV.

Please click the ‘Yes’ if this was helpful in some ways to you.

Go to Amazon.com

Neato Robot Vacuum: Neato Botvac 70e Robot Vacuum Review

Neato Botvac 70e Robot Vacuum

$352.85($429.99 18% off )(15 customer reviews)

  • Patented Neato Technology-Laser-guided navigation system scans and maps the room, plans and methodically cleans-instead of just bumping around
  • Square and proud; Neato Botvac has a thoughtfully designed square shape, so it can edge along walls and go deep into corners
  • Comes with heavy-duty blade brush and a standard filter
  • Cleans where you don’t and others can’t; It can even see in the dark; It goes under cabinets and furniture to spot and capture hiding dust bunnies
  • Gets smarter over time; As new features become available, you can download them right into your Botvac; It’ll love the extra boost!

Go to Amazon.com

Neato Botvac 70e Robot Vacuum Customer Reviews

Everything you’d expect from a robot vacuum … (By Alexander)

I’ve had the Neato Botvac 75 for one week. I probably researched robot vacuums for a few months … =) … I couldn’t get past the practical design of mapping a room vs randomly bouncing about like a drunken village idiot. One comment I’d like to make that I verified with Neato support is that every model of the Botvac line is 100% identical with the exception of the accessories, but ever accessory (combo brush, extra filters, etc) are install-able after the fact … there is absolutely nothing unique about the botvac 85 vs the lowest end model (70e) other than color. So far the experience has been awesome, the dust bin fills less and less everytime I run the botvac. Obviously, the botvac has issues with area rug fringe, but every vacuum does. I’m going to post some videos soon of how it handles tight spaces and how well it maps an 800 sqft apartment filled with furniture and stuff.

Definitely a better vacuum cleaner! (By Don D.)

Compared to the XV-15 model, this model picks up more, goes further on a charge, and is quieter (but not ‘silent’). It also has a bigger dirt bin but, as it picks up more, it has to be emptied at least as often). The BotVac is actually closer to a regular vacuum in terms of picking stuff up. The XV-15 would often miss small pieces of tissue ground into the carpet for example. The BotVac gets them in one pass (it also bellows the drapes as it travels around – pity it does not clean them. The XV-15, with a new battery, would do about 2 1/2 rooms – the BotVac does 3=4 (both then go back to recharge and pick up where they left off). The BotVac is somewhat better at finding its base (and the base is less fussy about being at a straight up vertical wall).

On the down side, the BotVac is slightly thinner and narrower than the XV-15, so you have to be a little more careful to block off low tapered chair edges and such. The BotVac also appears to be slightly less sensitive to the magnetic area blocking strips (especially if the strip is just beyond the edge of a carpet where the floor level drops so you may have to move, double up, or raise the strip in some cases.

Works tirelessly until the job is done (By Ron)

My wife is thrilled with this robot. We have a Mint that mops the laminate, but doesn’t do carpet or vacuum. This filled the gap. We did have some learning curve in that base station placement is important if it is to find it when complete or for a recharge. three ft to the units right (your left when looking at it) is vital. And having the base station back angle at 90° is important (ours is on carpet with a bottom molding, so I put a piece of wood behind the top of the back to keep it at 90°. Noise – we do not think it makes much noise at all, much less than a conventional vacuum, and way less than a dust buster. Impediments – low overhangs that are barely taller than itself but wedge down (like a couch with higher front legs than back), and beds or couches with loose underlining that can drape around the robot after it gets under and confuses the sensor (it has an “I can’t see” message).
I solved the couch wedge, by adding a bit to the leg height (yes I am a woodworker). The draping thing was as easy as using a staple gun the secure the bottom cover tightly.

It is obsessive about getting in to every crevice. If you watch it for very long this can drive you crazy, but it doesn’t seem to mind and just keeps on trying every possible attack at odd shapes. Ours lasts at least 90 minutes on a charge and goes back and charges itself if necessary to complete the job. Recharge time is about 3 hours. The book says that it will recharge once to complete, but that is not true. It will keep recharging as necessary to finish the job. First time out it found the entire house (1900 sq ft. 3 bed, 3 bath) and took two recharges and 10 hours to complete.

Next day we ran Gracie again and she finished with one recharge (had only 1/2 a bedroom to complete), so apparently, it maps the house and is much quicker after it learns. It gets a LOT of dirt and hair. Don’t be surprised if you have to clean it out once or twice before it completes the first few times. Remember she goes under everything she will fit under: beds, dressers, couches, etc. We have two dogs and the boxer especially wanted to follow it around to scope it out. It was amusing to see the robot encounter him where she didn’t expect an obstacle and go around his legs to complete the job. Day two the boxer is now confident that it is harmless and goes to another room. Some have reported a lot a banging, but perhaps the software has been updated, as our is pretty gentle. Corners – it does as well as any vacuum can do. It doesn’t just round corners, it does try to line up against a side wall to get it’s square nose in as far as possible. The magnetic strips work perfectly if you lay them down flat, she will back off like it was an overhang.
12/13/14 – A few things I have noticed. The logic of her pattern seems to be to go through the entire house in strips. So, she may enter a room, do half of it and go to the next room and do half of that. She will be back later and do the other halves. The brush is WAY quieter than the rubber paddle, especially on hardwood floors. You can hardly stand the noise of the rubber one if you are in the same room you would have to yell to carry on a conversation. The down side is the brush does collect stings that come from (clothing?), and you have to clean the brush about every second time to keep it efficient. I have found that a metal dog comb does this very well and takes about 5 minutes to do a thorough job.

Great robot, poor quality control! *updated* (By Dtho)

UPDATED!!

Received my Neato Botvac, charged it up overnight, when I went to run it it said “My bumper is stuck, please free it” it could not be fixed, I called Neato and they said the Botvac was defective and got me set up to received a new one in the mail. This will be my first Neato, and so far they are living up to their name of poor quality control, will update once I receive a working robot.

Requested replacement on Friday, received it Tuesday, fast turnaround! Kudos! Also when you call Neato customer support there are no annoying menus, you go directly to the next available agent, love it.

So, the new robot charged up overnight, ran it the next day. It completed the entire main floor of the house without any assistance, it runs the outline of an area in detail, then zips through the middle of it in zigzags like a champ. It’s navigation is excellent, I would say as good as the LG Roboking and LG Hom-Bot 3.0, which I own or have owned both. The only bot I would like to see it compete against on navigation is the iClebo Arte (which I believe from videos is a very good navigator). Anyway, this thing really blows air out the back, strong vacuum, great brush design. It seems to be well put together, the brush uses a good bearing that just slides on the end of it, much better than having the bearing built into the robot or the brass things the Roombas have traditionally used. It picked up a lot more than the roomba 560 does, more than the LG Roboking, and slightly more than the Hom-Bot 3.0. Overall, the best performance I have seen in a robot.

I am leaving a star off because I received a junk robot to begin with. Perhaps some day if this little guy lasts for a long time, I will come back and give it 5 stars. The support seems very good, so I am tempted now… but really… who wants to receive a lemon? No one.

Go to Amazon.com

Neato Robot Vacuum: Neato XV Signature Pro Pet & Allergy Robot Vacuum Cleaner Review

Neato XV Signature Pro Pet & Allergy Robot Vacuum Cleaner

$388.26($449.99 14% off )(324 customer reviews)

  • Works on all different floor types – wood, tile, carpet, vinyl
  • Easily schedule daily cleanings or just push a button for spot clean or instant multi-room cleaning
  • Two High-Performance Filters reduce dust and allergens
  • Blade and brush system offers the best performance on any floor type and picks up tough pet hair
  • Strongest suction available in a robot vacuum
  • Easily schedule daily cleanings or just push a button for spot clean or instant multi-room cleaning

Go to Amazon.com

Neato XV Signature Pro Pet & Allergy Robot Vacuum Cleaner Customer Reviews

The good, the Bad and the Ugly! (By Mark A. Workman)

I have had my Neato XV Signature Pro vacuum for about a month now. In short, I am very happy with it, and it has exceeded my expectations. Is it absolutely perfect? no. Is it worth it? yes! My wife rolled her eyes when it arrived, but I think she has grown to respect and admire our little robotic vacuum.

Pros:
Good vacuum strength and cleans well
Does a good job around furniture, along walls and in corners.
Covers a large area,
Requires very little attention.

Cons:
Smallish dust bin.
Likes to eat cords and rug fringe.
A little noisy.
Chases the dog. (ok just kidding on that one)

For us, it vacuums an area of about 2400 sq ft (configured as six rooms). These rooms include a kitchen/dinning, entry, family room, hallway, bedroom and one and a half bathrooms. The flooring is a combination of tile (with area rugs) and carpeting. We are a family of four with one long haired dog (the dog’s name is Molly. The vacuum’s name is Toto).

I have set Toto to run twice a week. On vacuum day, he runs in the morning, and returns home for a recharge just before lunch. At this point, Toto has vacuumed just over half of the house. ( I typically empty the dust bin during lunch. Sometimes it needs it, but not always). Then Toto finishes the rest of the vacuuming sometime after lunch. He always seems to remember where he left off, and he returns to that spot to start again.

In the beginning, I thoroughly vacuumed our house with our old vacuum. Then I let Toto vacuum. I was shocked by the amount of dust Toto picked up on his first go-round! I was also amazed by how much stuff he vacuumed around and under. I lifted the skirt on the couch, and under he went! He went places where normal vacuums rarely go!

I dropped some dry dog food on the floor; he gobbled it up too! Dust bunnies tried to run, but there was no place to hide! With his new software update, he really hugs the walls, and he gently taps our furniture before backing up and going around.

To me, Toto has become our little vacuuming super hero (minus the cape). However, like any super hero, he has his share of enemies! (Mainly cords, chairs and long fringes on rugs) Toto handles most chairs without a problem. (Slowly working his way around their legs) However, sometimes, a chair’s legs will be too close together and he cannot back up. He tries to free himself, but alas, he will give up and cry for help. He handles rugs with short fringe (about 1.5 inches long) with no problem. However, one rug has a fringe that is about 3 inches long. Sometimes, he will get some of the long fringe caught in his roller. Although, he is smart enough to detect this condition and he will stop and try to free himself. However, even a super hero vacuum cleaner can’t escape the clutches of a long fringed rug! I started laying the magnetic strip along the fringe, and that has fixed the problem. Amazingly, Toto always finds his way back to the charging station. Only once have I found him lost (cold, shivering and looking for a charge). I wasn’t home, so I don’t know why he couldn’t find his way.

He has very impressive suction, and I would say the he cleans better than our regular vacuum. He is a little bit noisy (less noisy than kids), but I can certainly watch TV or talk on the phone while he works away.

UPDATE: 10/14/13
I ran a performance test today. Here are the results. Our vacuum (Toto) cleans our 2400 sqft in three cleaning cycles and two recharge cycles. It could probably complete the work in only two cleaning cycles, but we have a lot of odd angles and a lot of chairs. It takes a while to work around all those angles. If I put all our chairs on tables, it takes less time.

Test Results:
- 1st Cleaning Cycle: Toto cleaned for 1 hour and 25 minutes before returning to its station to recharge.
- 1st Recharge Cycle: Lasted 2 hours
- 2nd Cleaning Cycle: Toto cleaned for 1 hour and 10 minutes before returning to recharge.
- 2nd Recharge Cycle: Lasted 2 hours
- 3rd Cleaning Cycle: Lasted 10 minutes before finishing cleaning and returning to its station.

I hope this helps.

UPDATE: 12/2/13
I am very disappointed to say that my Neato robot has died at a very early age. It had led a very ordinary life, and it had not seen anything but very normal floor cleaning. (Perhaps it died of boredom.) It was cleaning a patch of open floor, when it stopped and gave me a “My vision is blocked (3000)” error. I called Neato. They had a very nice lady help me. She had me check several things. I checked the sensors, blew out the “eyes”, power cycle, etc. None of these items helped. Neato agreed to send be a replacement, but they are charging me to ship it back and forth, and it is going to take several weeks. Now, in my opinion, I spent almost $500 (tax included) to buy a vacuum just over 90 days ago. I took good care of it, and treated it well. So, I am disappointed that it did not last very long, and that I am going to pay to get a replacement, and it is going to take a while for it to arrive. (I believe they call that “Insult to injury”) Thus, I am knocking down my rating from a 5 star review to a 3 start review. If Neato had stood behind their product for at least a year, I would have left the review unchanged. I am not encouraged about the potential long life and durability of this machine.

Neato vs. Roomba vs. Hom-Bot (By Rob Chang)

Here is my comparison review of the Neato Signature Pro, iRobot Roomba 780, and the LG Hom-Bot Square. I bought and tested all three, and ended up keeping the Neato and returned the other two. Here are the details of our comparison and review of each model:

iRobot Roomba 780 – It is one of the dumber vacuum robots on the market, because it lacks the more advanced navigation abilities that competitors have, while costing more than some of them. It uses brute force blind navigation of bouncing around in a room randomly until it cleans the whole room. Watching it running around like a chicken with its head cut off can really try your patience. You can’t help but think if it was smarter in how it navigated, it would get the job done much quicker and more efficiently. It also went over many areas multiple times because it has no memory of where it’s been (iRobot says these’s an algorithm to its randomness, but you can’t tell by observing it). It doesn’t get caught up by power cables or get stuck on raised surfaces too easily, but it will get stuck at some point if your home isn’t totally flat. Its little corner spinning brush helps it clean corners pretty well, and its overall cleaning power seems fine. It does bump into things though–that’s part of its navigation method.

One really disappointing aspect of the Roomba is it’s lack of ability to resume cleaning where it left off. It can return to base for charging battery or after it finishes cleaning, but it cannot continue cleaning after charging the battery if it had to return to base to charge before the cleaning was finished. The other two models are able to finish charging and then navigate back to where it left off and then continue.

The Virtual Wall Lighthouse is iRobot’s attempt to catch up to competitors, but it’s not that useful because the Roomba isn’t capable of going home to charge and then return to where it left off, and the Virtual Wall/Lighthouse only allows 25 minutes before it stops and lets the Roomba out of the room. What if you have a big room? The way the Roomba bounces around like an idiot takes much longer than 25 minutes to clean a large room.

For the price you pay, the Roomba 780 should be far smarter and more advanced in every way, but it’s essentially a dated technology from the previous century that iRobot overcharges for.

LG Hom-Bot Square – On paper and in video demonstrations, the Hom-Bot Square seemed like it would do the job. We really wanted it to be “the one,” but despite its pretty looks and great specs on paper, it ended up being a big disappointment.

It turned out that smarter isn’t necessarily better. I had already read other reviews mentioning this, but I wanted to be sure, just in case our house and furniture is laid out more efficiently for the Hom-Bot. But other reviewers were right–it got stuck constantly (15 times in one room) and would also turn itself off for no reason. My wife and I are very tidy and we don’t have children or pets, nor do we have clutter in our house. It should have been easy for Hom-Bot, but it couldn’t even clean one room properly. Protruding corners were especially problematic for Hom-Bot–it kept getting stuck, and even if we moved it, it would go back to the same corner and get stuck over and over. When it’s not getting stuck, it seemed to be pretty smart and efficient, but what’s the point if you have to constantly babysit it? You might as well vacuum clean yourself.

We did like the two corner spinning brushes though–it is the best solution we’ve seen thus far (versus just one corner brush on the Roomba 780). We also liked how quiet it was, and how well designed the internal/removable parts were. But none of that matters when it couldn’t even navigate around corners.

In the end, the other reviewers were right. Even though the iRobot Roomba series is a lot dumber, it at least got the job done and didn’t get stuck all the time. it might take its sweet time going over the same areas over and over, but it eventually gets the job done and you don’t have to babysit it as much. We were unsatisfied with both the Hom-Bot and the Roomba, and we were about to give up on robot vacuums altogether, when I decided to give the Neato a shot.

Neato Signature Pro – Third time’s the charm, as they say. We were ready to give up on robot vacuum cleaners and just stick to normal ones, but I wanted to leave no stone unturned, so we bought the Neato Signature Pro and tested it out. We’re so glad we did.

The Neato’s navigation is superior than the other two by far, because it uses a 360 degree scanning approach that allows it to see the entire room’s layout and updates its internal memory/image of the room’s layout constantly. It can sense when someone walks near it., or moved an object in or out of the room, and then adjust its navigation accordingly. It is also able to go home to recharge when low on battery, and then navigate back to where it left off and continue.

The Neato can navigate from room too room by itself, but we’ve noticed that it sometimes might miss a room, so we use the barrier strip it comes with to section off our home into separate areas of two rooms or so (you can buy additional barrier strips from Neato), and it worked perfectly. With less rooms to navigate to, it cleaned every room in each of the areas we divided.

The Neato almost never gets stuck/caught on anything. We’re really good at removing cables and making sure our furniture all have their bottom edges high enough for the Neato to get under. We’re also very clean/tidy, so we would never have clothes and random objects on the floor like some households. If you want to use a robot vacuum, you really should help it operate in an environment that’s suitable for robot vacuums. If you have random loose items on the floor everywhere and with furniture that has low bottom edges for the robots to get wedged under, then don’t blame the robot because you didn’t do your job as the owner.

The Neato isn’t perfect though. It’s battery runs a lot shorter than the Roomba (they say it’s because it’s suction is a lot stronger, and I would agree–you can see/feel/hear the difference easily), so it has to return to home to recharge more often. (EDIT: It turned out the battery we had was faulty, and Neato sent us new batteries, and it runs much longer now.)

The Neato is a bit louder than the other two models, but it really isn’t so loud that it drives you crazy, although it would force you turn up your TV a bit. The Neato has no corner brush, which is a bummer because its corner cleaning performance is obviously inferior (youtube has videos showing this). Neato actually was contracted by Vorwerk Kobold to make a higher-end model called the VR-100, and it has a corner brush and a better battery. It sucks that those features are probably exclusive to Vorwerk Kobold, since Neato did not add them to the later domestic models. The Neato also has the tendency to blow stuff around with its exhaust vent, and that means it might blow something to a spot it’s already cleaned. It doesn’t happen all the time, but it does happen.

One thing that rarely gets mentioned in reviews is the Neato’s menu has multiple languages, and for any household with members that don’t know English well (we’re an immigrant country after all), this is a blessing. My wife’s Chinese is far better than her English, and Neato’s Chinese menu makes it much easier for her to use the robot.

I kind of wish Neato provided a remote control like the other two companies did, since having to chase down the robot and press the button on it while it’s moving is a little annoying. I also think the barrier strip it comes with should be at least double in length, and the extra ones you can buy should be a lot cheaper than what the company charges.

The Neato beat out the Roomba and the Hom-Bot by being smarter and not requiring nearly as much babysitting. It won’t clean 100% of your home (more like 85%), so you’ll need to touch-up the corners and clean the stairs yourself (we highly recommend the Dyson DC44 Animal Cordless Vacuum for that). But for regular maintenance to keep your home looking good, the Neato does its job well and without much hassle.

Still won’t clean the whole area, but there’s hope (By Teresa J. Hulvey)

I couldn’t find any reviews anywhere for this model when I purchased it and am surprised there still isn’t a single review showing up on Amazon.

Info in the box – There isn’t any information specific to this model on the box, in the paper manual, or on the disk. No mention of how long it runs on a single charge or about the suction compared to other models. It does mention that charging time is 2-3 hours.

Charging Station Placement – As with the other models, you need to place the charging station along a wall 3 feet from corners or obstacles on either side and the area 3 feet in front of the charger should be clear of obstacles. Luckily, I found a place like that, but there are probably lots of people who can’t.

Menu – The menu is extremely simple to use. It asks about the language you’d prefer, asks you to set the time, and then you can schedule up to one cleaning time for each day of the week. You can also set it to spot clean a 4 x 6 area.

Testing Area – I tested it out on my very dusty dark colored hard wood floors. All of my furniture is high enough off the floor for the Neato to scoot under. We have two wool rugs in the area to be cleaned. The dining chairs were put up on the table to make it easier for the Neato to get under the table.

Speed – It’s definitely not fast, but at least it does use a well defined pattern instead of going over the same spot again and again. It takes 15 minutes to clean my large dining room.

Sound – It has a rather throaty low pitched sound that I don’t find annoying. The volume is at a reasonable level for a vacuum cleaner. TV can be watched while it’s running if you turn the volume up a bit. It didn’t scare the dog much.

Run Time – When started from it’s base, it will run for 20 minutes then return to charge. Once it’s charged, it will to back to where it left off and clean for another 20 minutes then repeat this one more time. If it hasn’t finished after 3 sessions, it just goes back to the base and it’s done. No where in the literature does it say it runs for 20 minutes, but I’ve timed it through several rounds and it’s always the same. It charged overnight and still only ran 20 minutes. I’m not positive, but I thought I read somewhere that other Neato models ran 90 minutes at a time.

Area Covered – I’m disappointed that it can’t complete my dining room, kitchen, and family room in 3 charges. My rooms are large, but I would expect it to be able to do at least 1500 sq ft. What this means for me is that it can’t automatically clean this area. I’ll have to pick it up off the charger and carry it to the areas it doesn’t normally reach, take it back to charge, and then carry it back to finish up.

Navigation – Overall, navigation is good but it’s far from perfect. In 2 days of messing with it, we’ve had the following issues: it got lost in a spot of bright sunlight once, it failed to find it’s base once (found it 5 times), it bashed into a few things while neatly going around others, it got stuck under the entertainment center (I suspect the legs confused it) a few times, it didn’t clean an odd shaped area of the room (sort of an L shape going off to a short hall), it tried to climb up the china cabinet, and it left good sized circles of dust around some pieces of furniture. The ceiling in the rooms we ran it in are 15 ft high and that didn’t seem to cause it any trouble.

Dust Bin – Our wool rug under the dining table sheds horribly. The dust bin filled up completely several times, but only once did it notify us that it needed to be emptied. Once the bin is full of fuzz, it starts jamming the intake. Once it starts filling up, the Neato starts barfing up a pile of fuzz every time it goes over an obstacle. The edges of my rugs and the areas where it drove over the flat part of the chair legs (flat metal piece lies on the floor) are surrounded by piles of fuzz.

Suction/Exhaust – Suction seems reasonable, but not stellar. Maybe I’m being unfair comparing it to my Dyson canister vac, but it’s not remotely in the same league for suction. Several times I noticed it blowing dust from uncleaned to previously cleaned areas.

Things I still haven’t tried:
Tile
Kitchen/food messes
Carpet
Drops

We’ve never had a robot vac before, so can’t really compare it to others. So far I’m really disappointed that the vac won’t be able to clean this section of the house on it’s own (it doesn’t cover enough area), that it misses dust along the walls in places, that it leaves big dust rings around furniture, and that it barfs up fuzz around the rugs and anything it drives over.

I’ll update my review when I’ve had a chance to check out more, but figured since there are ZERO reviews available, people might want info ASAP.

_______________

5/7/2013
I eventually gave up on the battery and called Neato (open 24/7). They shipped me new batteries which greatly helped the situation. I can’t tell you if it runs 90 minutes now, but I know it runs at least 45 minutes. Unfortunately, other issues have prevented it from running longer than that. For some reason I don’t understand, it sometimes gets stuck under the entertainment center even though it’s just fine other times. Several times now I’ve found it asking me to clear the path when there’s only one thing in front of it and all other directions are open. It’s also just plain got lost several times.

The shedding rug is still an issue, though I guess it’s probably more on the rug manufacturer than Neato. Just yesterday I received a longer magnetic strip which was just barely long enough to block off the dining room. That seems to have done the trick to avoid the rug (but the room isn’t getting vacuumed).

Not once has it made it through a full 3 round cleaning run or completed the rooms on that level (kitchen, dining, family, small hall). Even with the dining room blocked off, it never made it to the kitchen. I’ll eventually figure out how to make that happen, but it may require one or two more of the long mag strips. My house is extremely open and the furniture is well spaced. If it doesn’t just work here in what seems an ideal setting, I don’t see how it would clean multiple rooms successfully for anyone.

We have tried it on the carpet and like how well it does. It picks up a lot of fine dust and some fuzz. It’s not fast, but it’s thorough. It does use a pattern, but the lines it leaves would probably drive an OCD owner to drink. The lines can get very strange even in the hallway. It’s very apparent that 1/5 to 2 inches around the edges do not get vacuumed. The Neato body is wider than the area vacuumed.

Again, I want to mention that the sound the vac makes isn’t annoying. Last night I turned it on downstairs and then went to bed upstairs. It was barely noticeable.

Overall, it does vacuum fairly well. It just seems to need an awful lot of intervention. Perhaps thinking that I could set it to automatically clean and come back to find the vacuuming done was unrealistic, but I think it’s fair to say that’s how it’s advertised.

If you have questions about how the Signature and Signature Pro models are different from the others, check out their Facebook page. Neato seems to do a very good job of answering questions. The Signature Pro is the same as the V21 with a different color. It comes with the new animal type roller, an old style roller, and two of the newer filters. It does not have any improvements in suction, motor, fans, body shape, etc.

Here’s the best way to explain my experience trying to vacuum the house to prep for a party.

Ideal
1)Pick up cords, papers, clothes
2)Start vac or let it run as scheduled
3)Find clean floors and vac at charger (empty bin)

Realistic (in my opinion)
1)Pick up cords, papers, clothes
2)Start vac upstairs from a charging base (necessary to charge so it can finish)
3)Find clean floors on that level and vac on charger, empty bin, and move to next level (or have one for each level)
4)Repeat 1-3 for each level

Reality
1)Put it in the master bath and shut the door – this works well if I remember to pick up the lightweight floor mat
2)Put it in the master bedroom, move it a couple of times, help it find it’s way twice, empty bin
3)Put it in the laundry room, find that it ate a hole in my Gelpro mat, pick it up and take to charger
4)Close all the doors in the upstairs hallway & place it at one end, pick it up when done (also automatically did the office) empty bin & put on charger
5)Completely skip vacuuming the kids’ rooms because they have blankets, cords, papers, etc on the floor and that junk gets stuck in the Neato
6)Do the stairs by hand with the Dyson canister vac,
7)Set the Neato on the entry level (does a good job on the thin rug, but noticed it won’t pick up the paint chips from when I was preparing to paint the front door) – it’ll do the entryway and the guest bedroom in one charge, charge the Neato
8)Run around with the Dyson and get everything left around the edges (repeat on each level)
9)Set it in the living room after moving picking up cords and moving things to prepare, after it gets confused, pick it up and move it to another section of the living room, put it on the charger,
10)Use the Dyson to vacuum the one step between the entry level and the living room and the 7 steps between this level and the lower kitchen/dining/family room, (charger is on lower level)
11)Start it from the base, help it by fixing it’s position several times, give up and just start moving it to areas to clean and using the “spot clean” function, vacuum the edges it missed with the Dyson (see #8),
12)Give up and use a broom for the kitchen.
With the time it took to charge in between several times, this was nearly an all day adventure even though I did have time here and there to do other things. Also forgot to mention that every time I picked it up I emptied the bin and checked the roller for hair.

Can’t tell you how much I want the little guy to be successful in his missions. It’s cute, the menu is great, the bin is easy to empty, the sound is good, it’s fun to watch, Neato was very nice on the phone & sent new batteries without any hassle, Neato is great about talking to customers on their FB page, the vac snuggles with it’s charger, and I don’t have to do all the work myself. It’s just not there yet.

Go to Amazon.com

Neato Robot Vacuum: Neato Botvac 80 Robot Vacuum Review

Neato Botvac 80 Robot Vacuum

$449.99($499.99 10% off )(134 customer reviews)

  • Patented Neato Technology. Laser-guided navigation system scans and maps the room, plans and methodically cleans, instead of just bumping around.
  • Versatile Brush System. Easy to swap combo and blade brushes for maximum cleaning flexibility. Perfect for all floor types and pet hair pick-up.
  • Comes with the heavy-duty blade brush, combo brush and one high-performance filter.
  • Precise edge cleaning side brush; Neato Botvac’s precise edge cleaning side brush makes sure not a speck of dust escapes its path.
  • Control Center for easily scheduling daily cleanings or just push a button for instant multi-room or spot cleaning.

Go to Amazon.com

Neato Botvac 80 Robot Vacuum Customer Reviews

Better than the old Roomba (By RobertinHouston)

We have been waiting for the Botvac to get released because we were very much in need of a robot vac to pick up the pet hair. We’ve had this one in service for three days and so far the verdict is "good, not great."
The Good:
1) Does a nice job finding its way around thanks to the laser mapping technology
2) Gentle on furniture – it bumps lightly and remembers the obstacle so it (usually) only bumps once
3) Very good at picking up pet hair and dirt
4) Works well going across different surfaces (hard wood to rugs)
5) Is relatively quiet (everyone says the old Neato was very noisy but this is not at all bad although I am not sure I would run it in the middle of the night since it is, after all, a vacuum)

The Not So Good
1) The dust bin is not very large so it often fills before its work is done (apparently bigger than the old one though)
2) It cannot cross the "fringe barrier" on some rugs with long fringe (on the positive side, it seems clever enough to unwind itself, back up, and go around)
3) It got stuck once, for no apparent reason, against a wall
4) Range on the unit appears to be about 1500 – 1800 sq ft before it needs to go back and recharge, but it does recharge and then go back to finish the job (we have it cleaning about 2600 sq ft).

Compared to our old Roomba Neato is:
1) Better a picking up pet hair
2) Much less banging into stuff
3) More efficient clean
4) Does not get confused and think our dark carpet is a "cliff" (which was the fatal flaw in our old Roomba)
5) We find the Neato magnetic strip virtual walls less intrusive and easier to maintain than the Roomba electronic ones

Overall it gets four stars.

If it can operate independently during the day and starts to more reliably clean the entire house (with a recharge in between) it will be a great investment. Right now it is finding all the rarely vacuumed places and filling up half-way through with dust and pet hair. As it cleans every day, we are hoping the dust bin will be large enough to handle the task.

The worrying thing is that as the battery degrades over time, its range will get so limited that it cannot clean the house even with the recharge cycle.

Great for vacuuming up pet fur on hard surfaces! (By nonsensical)

Before you buy, having realistic expectations before purchasing a Botvac (or any other robotic vacuum for that matter) will save you in frustration and disappointment when you see what it’s truly capable of. Low pile carpet, wood floors or other hard surfaces are the only surfaces I would recommend using the Botvac on. Medium pile carpet may be Ok, but after trying out the Botvac on my basement’s high pile carpet and watching it struggle to move about made me feel so bad for the little guy that I shut him down after only two minutes. However, where the Botvac really shines is on the wood flooring of my main level. On hard surfaces, it moves around very freely, vacuuming up nearly everything in it’s path. Having a very furry Shiba Inu dog that loves to shed like crazy was my main reason for buying the Botvac. This past week has been so wonderful not seeing any pet fur on my floor, piling up in the corners and annoying me. The Botvac eats up pet fur like it’s no one else’s business!

With its rear-exiting air exhaust port, the Botvac occasionally kicks up dust bunnies and fur-balls around as it vacuums the room. But in a way, I think this may help to dislodge those stuck dust bunnies where the Botvac cannot get to. Although I personally don’t suffer from allergies, I do wonder if kicking up those dust particles could possibly bother those who suffer from allergies.

If you have furniture with curved legs, the Botvac will likely try and climb it if the leg base is low enough to the floor. Mine got stuck several times after climbing the chair leg and one time shut itself off, telling me to help it get unstuck. I had to lift it off the leg and set it back down onto the floor.

Adding some rubber feet under curved leg furniture if possible will raise it enough to make the Botvac simply bump into it, then go around instead of climbing it.

The Botvac comes with a roll of magnetic boundary tape (Note: there is no adhesive on this tape). I find it much more handy to use this magnetic tape over my old Roomba’s battery operated boundary marker. I used the boundary tape under the floor mat of my dog’s food and water bowls to keep the Botvac from bumping into them.

A few times the botvac appeared to have some sort of learning disability. Once, after having cleaned my bathroom floor, it went into the hallway, turned around and then right back into the bathroom! Another time it became indecisive while in the same hallway by my bathroom door, acting like it couldn’t make up it’s mind where to go next. It just spun in place (scanning the area), moved forward a foot or two, spun around again and went back to where it just was. It did this about four times in a row in the same spot that day! To the Botvac’s credit, I haven’t noticed it getting stuck into a repetitive back-and-forth motion since that day. Perhaps standing close to the Botvac while it’s moving about throws off it’s navigation readings. I don’t pay as much attention to what the Botvac is doing now as I did the first day it cleaned and I’ve notice that it cleans my house more quickly than the first couple of times.

Many people prefer to schedule their robo-vacs to clean while they’re away and there’s nothing wrong with that for the most part. However, If you have pets that are left free to roam the house while you’re out, imagine how disgusting and horrible it’d be if your cat or dog puked or had diarrhea on the floor, then your trusty robo-vac drove over it, spreading the filth all over your house? For this reason alone, I’ll never schedule my Botvac to clean while I’m gone. Another good reason to be at home while your Botvac cleans is just in case it gets stuck or in a jam. For the most part, the Botvac isn’t all that loud and doesn’t get in my way, so I see very little downside by having it clean while I’m home.

Overall, I find the Botvac to be an excellent autonomous robotic dirt sucker-upper on the right surfaces. If you have pets and hard surface flooring, the Botvac is practically a no-brainer! Just buy it already! While I have no idea what long-term reliability will be like, the Botvac appears (initially at least) to be a solid successor to the old Neato XV series robot vacuums. Let’s just hope Neato has drastically improved both, quality control and build quality of the Botvac line. There have been far too many negative reviews of Neato’s old XV products for me to ever consider purchasing one. I purchased a three year extended warranty through SquareTrade just in case anything goes wrong with the Botvac. $500 is a steep price to pay for a vacuum cleaner, IMO, especially one which gets a lot more use AND with many more possible mechanical failure opportunities than your typical vacuum. With the right coupon code (just google squaretrade coupon codes), I ended up paying $45 ($25 savings) for that peace of mind.

If the Botvac turns out to be a solid and reliable performer as I hope it does, it’s competition had better start worrying!

An improvement over the XV-21 signature (By Cyberfreak)

Overall I would say it is a marginal improvement over the XV-21 signature, The larger dirt bin is more of a marketing tactic because while it is longer and the filter larger it is also not as deep so I still find myself having to empty it every day.

It does seem more intelligent when navigating around chair legs and other obstacles and perhaps 5-10db quieter than the XV-21. I don’t think the larger brush makes much of a difference in overall cleaning time because the more intelligent navigation seems to cause it to spend more time repositioning itself.

I live in Florida and have a 50/50 mix of carpet and tile and have two cats and two teenage boys. One of my cats seems to have noticed the new side brush and is determined to eat it. He has not damaged it yet, I am hoping he just gets bored of it.

The reason I got this vacuum is I hate the fact that the tile floor always feels like there are crumbs or dirt on it, even a day after it is cleaned and the area is large enough that sweeping or vacuuming it every day would be far too time consuming. For my purposes it works perfectly. I am amazed how it manages to collect a pile of dirt the size of both of my fists every single night (I have it scheduled to automatically clean the house every night at 2:30AM).

The biggest issues I have with it are issues that would exist with any vacuum – you have to make sure there isn’t any small stuff on the floor (like cat toys) and if you have a lot of electronics you will need to make sure there are no wires on the floor (like headphones and network cables).

I have all my cables tied up under my desk and at night before I go upstairs I make sure the path is clear – for example the random sock left on the floor by a teenager or one of my wife’s hair ties that the cat started using as a toy. Of course this vacuum goes where normal vacuums do not, so you have to make sure that is considered as well.

Overall with a little preparation and clean habits this is an awesome vacuum and it makes my life easier and saves me time, which is exactly what I paid for.

EDIT (4/28/14):

FYI – if you decide to take the plunge and pick up one of these bad boys keep in mind that it only comes with a single filter and apparently replacement filters will not be available until the end of next month. To top it off, the filters for the BotVac seem to get gunked up with dirt and dust much easier than the filter for the XV 21 Signature plus filters. The material looks the same, but it clearly is not. I am hoping that it is just a fluke.

My first contact with Neato support was less than encouraging.

Agent[11:49 AM] Hi, how may I assist you today?
You[11:51 AM] Hi, I have a BotVac 80 and the filter is already getting pretty dirty so I thought it would be prudent to order some – except I cannot find anywhere that sells them. Do you know how I can purchase filters for the BotVac series?
Agent[11:55 AM] i was looking in amazon and they do sell them but at the moment they are out of stock
You[12:01 PM] They never had them in stock, I’ve been watching
You[12:02 PM] Do you guys sell them?
You[12:03 PM] Also, it seems Best Buy carries the BotVacs now but they aren’t selling the filters either
Agent[12:04 PM] no unfortunately at this time we are not selling nothing on our website but give me one second to try and find where they are selling them
You[12:05 PM] Ok. I checked ebay too. I found that your reseller in the UK has them but they wont ship to the US
Agent[12:07 PM] ok they wont be available any where until next month
You[12:08 PM] hmm, that sucks. Ok, I guess I’ll wait until then.
Agent[12:08 PM] yeah

Amazon will be happy to know that they are the manufacturer’s first stop for user-replaceable parts :)

Even though this is irritating, there is always a price to pay for adopting any technology soon after its release and I accept that so I won’t knock off any stars.

Go to Amazon.com

Holiday Toy: ECR4Kids Softzone Foam Big Blocks, 7-Piece Set Review

ECR4Kids Softzone Foam Big Blocks, 7-Piece Set

$118.99($164.99 28% off )(18 customer reviews)

  • Vinyl-covered foam blocks
  • Set of 7 blocks
  • Stimulate children’s creativity and stacking skills
  • 3 different shapes and sizes

Go to Amazon.com

ECR4Kids Softzone Foam Big Blocks, 7-Piece Set Customer Reviews

Not the best qualityTOP 1000 REVIEWER (By Dave)

I got these to aid in some physical therapy I’m doing with one of my daughters. They aren’t bad, but the stitching looks marginal and the dye on the blue blocks comes off so easily that my daughter ended up with blue hands after only a modest amount of use. And while the dye came off the block easily enough, I’m having trouble washing it off her hands. After a lot of scrubbing I think I got all the loose dye off the block, but now I’m slightly concerned about what might be in that dye (the blocks are made in China).

Overall it’s hard to recommend these blocks to anyone. They do seem to cost less than comparable blocks, but you are definitely getting less. On the plus side the vendor claims they are made of phthalate-free vinyl and they are “GreenGuard” certified to meet fairly strict indoor air quality standards. Mine had a “chemical” smell when I opened them but the odor was gone within a few hours.

Fantastic Fun for my kids (By Daniel D.)

Great fun for all out kids. Age 6,3 and 2. They stack em toss em knock them over. Hours of enjoyment daily

Pricey But Great (By Amazon Customer)

Great product. My kids play with these on a daily basis.
So far, after months of playing, no color coming off, no torn or broken ones. Well put together and I feel safe.
Keeps them busy and great learning tool as well.

My Grandson loves these! (By Artcat)

My daughter and autistic grandson have had a blast playing with these! They are part of his autism program and are lots of fun!

Great for toddlers (By Kindle Customer)

Great quality, my 2 yr log grandson loves these foam blocks, He gets really creative with them. I would highly recommend them.

Five Stars (By Grammie B)

My grandchildren LOVE these blocks. We haven’t had any problems…just tons of fun!!!

Fun bold blocks (By Ken M)

I love these blocks! They are large yet light enough for my 15mo old to pick up and move around. The colors are bold and fun. There was no chemical smell when I opened the package. They appear to be very durable and wipe clean with a damp cloth. I recommend them highly.

Toddler loves them! (By Amazon Customer)

We purchased these for our younger son for when he starts to crawl and pull himself up on things, but in the meantime our 2-year-old has loved them – stacking them, standing on them, building things out of them. They seem well-made and are firm enough to hold our toddler, yet soft enough to do no damage if he falls on them (or they fall on him). Only downside: he is using them as stools/steps and climbing higher than we necessarily want!

Go to Amazon.com

Holiday Toy: Disney Frozen Ice Skating Elsa Doll Review

Disney Frozen Ice Skating Elsa Doll

$39.94(65 customer reviews)

  • Re-create the magical movie moment when Anna and Elsa ice skate to celebrate the end of a wintry spell, or make up new adventures of your own
  • Attach doll to base for easy ice-skating action
  • Roll her forward and her arms and legs move in elegant ice-skating form – just like she’s on real ice!
  • Features Elsa in her beautiful ice-skating fashion inspired by the movie
  • A great gift that any girl is sure to love

Go to Amazon.com

Disney Frozen Ice Skating Elsa Doll Customer Reviews

Skater Elsa (By J. Harris)

She is cute but hard to operate. My grand daughter loves her anyway.

DISPLEASED!!!!! (By patricia jack)

NOT WHAT I WAS EXPECTING AT ALL!!!!!
Does not skate. Very cheap made. Falls
over at the waist. To many cheap made
joints on the doll. VERY VERY DISPLEASED!!!!!

GRANDDAUGHTER LOVED IT!! (By ROBERT ROOF)

PURCHASED THIS DOLL FOR MY GRANDDAUGHTER’S 4TH BIRTHDAY. SHE LOVED THIS DOLL AND WOULD NOT PUT IT DOWN.
THE DOLL ITSELF WAS BEAUTIFUL. IT WAS DELIVERED IN TWO DAYS AS PROMISED. GREAT JOB!!

Frozen wins again… (By BikerDoc)

It was enough to light up the life of my 5 year old granddaughter. In my mind that makes it a successful toy.
Its attractive and well constructed so looks like it will weather the handling it will receive

Arms broke off (By Patty)

Initially, my daughters loved this doll, however, both arms have just come off, and I cannot get them to stay on :( And we only had this doll 3 weeks.

I bought it for my niece for her birthday. … (By MIchael P Gorski)

I bought it for my niece for her birthday. She loves it and carries it everywhere with her now.

Beautiful doll (By Joyce)

If you bought Anna, please buy Elsa too! Beautiful doll

Disney Frozen Ice Skating Elsa Doll (By Kinder Playtime)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfvzIN7WMcE

Go to Amazon.com

Holiday Toy: Crayola Doodle Magic Lap Desk Review

Crayola Doodle Magic Lap Desk

$21.20($24.99 15% off )(4 customer reviews)

  • Ergonomic design fits comfortable and securely on child’s lap
  • Thin profile is lightweight and easy to hold
  • Underbelly storage included for markers and eraser

Go to Amazon.com

Crayola Doodle Magic Lap Desk Customer Reviews

Great for kids who like to draw or color. (By JennyG)

My 3.5 year old loves this and will draw pictures, erase and repeat over and over again.
The first one we got was a dud with dried out markers, but the recent one works really well.

One Star (By Amazon Customer)

The crayon is so light color, its hardly seen on board which comes along with it.

My girls played with it for about 30 mins but … (By Melissa Lopez)

My girls played with it for about 30 mins but lost interest because the colors are so light you can barely see them. We tried coloring over and over the lines hoping it would be darker but it didn’t happen.

One Star (By Johnny Brown)

Markers are dry and don’t work good. Don’t buy

Go to Amazon.com

Holiday Toy: 38″ Black Acoustic Guitar Starter Package (Guitar, Gig Bag, Strap, Pick) Review

38 Black Acoustic Guitar Starter Package (Guitar, Gig Bag, Strap, Pick)

$27.95(707 customer reviews)

  • Full wood construction
  • Extra set of Strings
  • Great gloss finish
  • Carrying case
  • Perfect for beginners

Go to Amazon.com

38″ Black Acoustic Guitar Starter Package (Guitar, Gig Bag, Strap, Pick) Customer Reviews

Good Starter Guitar (By CelticRose923)

Here is what you need to know about me before you read the rest of my review: I am a pretty musical person. I play keyboards and ukulele, and decided that I would like to venture into the challenge of learning guitar. Also, you should know that I am visually impaired. I can see, but not very well at all. Kind of like Mr. Magoo.

Here is everything that came in the box and what I think of it:

1. The Guitar: Beautiful color. I thought it was going to be a lighter blue color, but mine kind of looks purple, which is nice because that’s my favorite color. I’m not sure if this was intentional or a mix-up at the factory, but I am content. There were a few dings in the finish, but that’s OK with me. I’m not taking it out in public for performances any time soon.

2. The “gig bag:” I like the straps on the gig bag. You wear it like a backpack, which is handy, actually. Also, it has a pocket on the front where you can keep your extra strings, your tuner, and your picks, if you want. It’s kinda cheaply made, but hey, I only paid $14.95 or something like that. I’m not complaining in the slightest.

3. Tuner: I was a little concerned when I saw that it would come with a tuner. I thought that it would be a visual display to help you tune the string. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the tuner in question was actually a pitch pipe, with six different pitches to blow, one for each string. Love that part of the deal! Wish I had one of these for my ukulele, but I’m not complaining.

Strings: Ah, yes, well, here is the one flaw in this otherwise acceptable arrangement. I was tuning the G string when it snapped. The pitch was still too low, but the string just snapped. So I thought to myself, “OK, no big deal, I have a spare.

” Upone replacing that string and attempting to tune it, the replacement string snapped as well. I have since ordered a new set of strings, so that I’ll just replace them all so I know what I’m dealing with. I only knew that the strings were steel and I didn’t know the gage or anything else about them, so I’m just going to replace them all and then I’ll know what I have next time one breaks.

My overall opinion of this product is that it is a good guitar to start with, to learn on. It doesn’t have to be perfect if you are just learning in the comfort of your own home or in the company of an instructor who isnt’ going to look down on you or anything like that. If you are going to buy this product, I do highly reccommend that you buy a new set of strings, since there is no way to be sure what strings are already on the guitar. Thankfully, strings, even steel ones, can be pretty cheap. I got mine for $3. I also bought some extra picks, but that’s nothing to do with the one that came with the guitar. Oh yeah, did I mention the kit only comes with one pick? You might also want to buy some extra picks just in case. I got a 12 pack of blue ones for $5 or thereabouts. But this is a good product, and it shipped out really fast, even with only standard shipping. I was happy about that.

Happy playing!

I like it but…BUT…. (By Amazon Customer)

When I spend 40 dollars on a guitar I am not expecting much. Lets get all the obvious stuff out of the way: The guitar bag it comes with doesnt fit, the “tuner” is actually a pitch pipe (I mean it works but dont call it a tuner) the pick it comes with is ridiculously huge (Ironically I have very large hands so I am able to use it if I want, I just dont) and the strings it comes with are laughable and should be replaced immediately. The Guitar Strap is too short to be usable on an accoustic guitar unless you add a strap button at the base of the neck. That being said…

I didnt buy this for the bag, the “tuner”, the pick, or the strings. I paid the 40$ for an accoustic/electric guitar. So lets look at that.

the wood used for the guitar body has a very fragile feel to it (like if you dropped the guitar onto a hard surface it might not be able to take the fall. (As a matter of fact I actually did just that and the guitar survived just fine, but it still feels excessively light) The neck is made of sturdy enough wood and the action on the strings is actually remarkably easy on your fingers. This guitar does have one very DIRE shortcoming that I found: The wood glue used to affix the neck to the body came undone merely by my tightening the strings. (I dont mean it fell apart, I mean you saw it starting to seperate from the body) There is a very easy solution to this problem. I drilled a small hole right dead center where the neck meets the body and then drilled a 3 inch drywall screw into it, affixing the neck to the body. No more problems after that. (Some might complain that they shouldnt have to do such a thing…

to which I respond, its a 40 dollar accoustic electric guitar, if thats all you have to do to make it playable then its not that big a deal) If anything I think if the company started doing this themselves that would be just fine as it doesnt hurt the sound at all.

The sound is unique…it sounds like a cheap guitar. its the best way to describe it. I dont mean this in a bad way; this is actually a sound many musicians try to create (Especially handy for playing blues). The lack of dots on the fretboard can be disorienting at first but its nothing major and if it really bothers you you could add your own I suppose. Ive seen a lot of reviews saying this is only good as maybe a beginner guitar. I would disagree and if anything I would say the opposite…unless you have some decent experience with guitars I wouldnt suggest this. But if you know guitars and are looking for something with a gritty poor mans blues sound that you just want to play with for your own amusement then this guitar is fine. The equalizer actually works very well and sound comes through loud and clear on any amplifier. If you put some decent strings on it then it holds its tune very well once youve screwed the neck to the body.

I would say this is an okay guitar once you make the one modification I described. I actually get a kick out of playing it. For 40 bucks, to me it was well worth it, just know what you are getting is all.

You Get What You Pay For (By Keenan Kern)

This guitar just came today, shipped just fine, came in 2 days since the shipper was a state or two away. The guitar works. It has strings that can be tuned, there’s a sound hole, and when you strum, generally speaking, nice noise comes from it. It’s nothing special, but hey, look at the price of it. There are no markers on the fret board so if you’re a beginner or cannot easily tell which fret you’re on, you need to actually count it out. Personally, I hate the little design around the sound hole, however, it’s not any reason to poorly review this product, because again, look at the price. Anyway, the guitar also came with a second set of strings which work just fine. It came with a ginormous plectrum but I already have tons of picks so that wasn’t a problem. The bag isn’t anything special, it just holds the guitar and can be held like a backpack or a briefcase. I suppose it protects the guitar from minor things, but it’s no solid case. The tuner works just fine, you blow air into there and hear a note, then tune your guitar accordingly. Pretty simple stuff. Also, the guitar is a nice shiny black, which is just what I wanted. The only real problem is that the guitar only has one hook for the shoulder strap, so the other side has to be tied around the fret board or the head stock, however, I usually play sitting down, so not a problem for me.

Anyway, I give this guitar 5 stars simply because you cannot get better for the price. Usually a “cheap” guitar is at least $50, which is largely different than the $33 ($20 + $13 shipping) I paid for this. If you’re a beginner, poor, or just need another guitar for the occasional playing, definitely get this solely because it works as a guitar should.

Go to Amazon.com

Holiday Toy: LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham – Xbox 360 Review

LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham - Xbox 360

$39.99($49.99 20% off )(15 customer reviews)

  • For the first time ever, battle with Batman and his allies in outer space and the various Lantern worlds including Zamaron and Odym.
  • Play and unlock more than 150 characters with amazing powers and abilities, including members of the Justice League, and BIG LEGO Figures such as Cyborg, Solomon Grundy and more.
  • Surprising disguises, Brainiac’s mind control ability, and the power of the Lantern rings bring a whole new twist to characters you thought you knew.
  • Access Batman’s training modules on the Bat Computer and take part in various challenges including battle arenas, races and detective mazes.
  • Visit the Hall of Justice, the Batcave, and the Justice League Watchtower to access shops, trophy rooms, and the hero and vehicle customizers.

Go to Amazon.com

LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham – Xbox 360 Customer Reviews

Fun, but Lego Batman 2 was better (By Amazon Customer)

I preferred Lego Batman 2 for the story and the ambiance. Still, I’m enjoying the game. I just finished the main play. I’ll update and adjust as I go. I will say I enjoyed the humor of the super heroes having their personalities "switched" to be beyond cute. I thought it added some of the elements of the Lego Movie video game and Marvel video game to upgrade. I still preferred the old Lego Batman 2 Hub. I don’t find the space shuttle nearly as fun as running around Gotham in the last game.

Fun (By Madison T. Edwards)

I bought this for my 10 year old sons birthday who has been impatiently awaiting this release. He absolutely LOVES it! The graphics and colors are great, and there are over about 150 characters you can unlock to access their power and abilities. There is out of space combat with Batman and his allies. You can also visit the Hall of Justice, the Bat Cave, and the Justice League Watchtower to access shops, trophy rooms, and the hero and vehicle customizers The story lines are cool and there are so many extra things to do like training modules, challenges, races and mazes. So much fun – he a very happy kid! Plus, he actually kept this game and plays it over and over again – I myself get miffed when I spend 40 or 50 bucks on a game and he wants to return or exchange it after 4 or 5 days! So this game is a winner for me!

Doesn’t quite amaze.. (By K. Schultz)

Batman 3 threatens to be overkill at times, especially on the visual front. My goodness do my eyes hurts from the LSD-style use of color. In fact it’s so distracting at times that you’re unable to comprehend and follow the steps to what needs busted up and rebuilt to do what, etc. And there are glitches, no doubt. Glitches galore, which surprises given that Batman 2 was such a breeze (at times almost TOO breezy). I’ve had to reset a number of times. It also seems like the controller button coordination is rather rocky, like when changing a character suit when prompted. Changing characters within your team is effing exhausting, particularly when you set out to find the other Lanterns and your team goes up 5 members, making pressing the Y button unbelievably tedious and time-wasting. There was a solid way to change characters and it seems that’s been completely (and strangely) taken away in this game. I found myself cursing quite a bit here. Overall, it’s fun – but the glitches and lack of controller correspondence tends to annoy more than enjoy.

Classic (By KLR)

These games are incredible. If you love the DC universe, then you have to have this game. Go beyond Gotham in to the far reaches of the DC universe, including space, the Hall of Justice, Legion of Doom, and Green Latern’s planetary base. Play as classic heroes and villains. Explore in free play. Or flashback to 1960′s BATMAN universe, complete with Adam West. Great game. Great for all ages.

Where’s Gotham City? (By Bangles)

My grandson wants to write this review, he has all of the lego games and this one he hates! We preordered it and he couldn’t wait to get it, but what a disappointment! He says that your trapped in space, all the levels are in a space ship and they’re all alike! Not that much fun! He got his first game at the age of 4 and has enjoyed all of them! He says he’ll wait for the next one, hopefully it will be more like the last one, the marvel super heroes!

Another Success (By Pierre Ricolando)

These Lego games are clearly addicting and this is no exception. You delve in to the DC Universe to thwart Braniac and his devious plot to take over not only Earth, but the entire universe. You get to play as all your favorite DC characters, Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter,Superman, and of course Batman. The side missions to unlock new characters and gold brick are just as fun as the actual level missions. The free play world is pretty expansive as you can travel to the Hall of Justice, the Batcave, and other worlds as well. Just like all other Lego games, the gameplay is much longer than simply the levels themselves, and using each of the new characters becomes a joy in itself. My daughter likes to play as well, so it’s fun for all ages of gamers. I definitely like the newer Lego games, simply because they use talking characters, which adds some humor as well. If you have played any of the other Lego games, you will surely like this one as well.

TOO EASY FOR MY 12 YEAR OLD (By Smilie)

Was easy to finish for my 12 year old boy. He is kind of bored of it after 2 weeks. He loved the Marvel Lego still plays it for hours. THis one not so much!

Lego franchise holds true (By Btest729)

Good game, lego has always been something I’m able to play two players with my son, seems to be a few things that I don’t like…things are a little harder to find like the mini kits which isn’t all bad. The free play is bad , they hit the nail on the head with lego marvel, the open world for gold bricks was how they should have kept it. Also the split screen can be annoying at times, it’s not right and sometimes you can’t even see fully what your trying to do. They kept it true to the franchise and still family friendly and fun. Just hope they bring back the open city like marvel for future installments. Thanks again for making such a fun game for me and my family.

Go to Amazon.com