Links to related vacuums here:
Neato D7 on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2LvLZHS
Roomba i7+: https://store.irobot.com/default/roomba-vacuuming-robot-vacuum-irobot-roomba-i7-plus/i755020.html
We put the Roomba i7+ and the Neato D7 though a bunch of tests, and in this video, I will summarize those results and pick which one I think is the best.
Links above for current prices and reviews, and let's get started.
We will get to the cool new features on each of these robot vacuums later on in this video, which I think will be the deciding factors in choosing a winner in this competition, but, first, I want to jump right in to the tests.
Starting out with the power specs - we tested the airflow of both robots and found that the Neato D7 was more powerful than the i7+. The i7+ only has one power setting which we measured at 17 cfm, while the Neato D7, which has two power settings, actually has the same power as the Roomba i7+ in its low power mode (17cm), but the Neato D7 jumps up to 20 cfm in its high power mode.
I should mention that, either way, those numbers are pretty high for a robot vacuum, and it showed in the pickup tests we did.
They both were absolutely great with carpets, picking up everything we put down, from fine debris to pet hair to extra-large debris. We tested the Neato twice since it has 2 power settings and found that it did just as good in its low power mode, with no noticeable difference.
On hard floors, where airflow is a bit more important, we found that while they both picked up all the debris in the test, The Neato tended to pick up more on its first pass than the Roomba did. The Roomba does have what IRobot calls dirt detect where it makes several passes when it detects large amounts of debris, but, in general, I found the Neato D7 to be slightly more effective on hard floors, and it tended to kick debris around less than the Roomba did. So, although the Roomba did better than 99% of robot vacuums out there, the Neato D7 was slightly better at cleaning, at least on hard floors.
As far as navigation, they both are top of the line smart navigation robots, meaning that instead of randomly pin-balling around the house like cheaper robot vacuums, they have other sensors. They use cameras in the case of the Roomba i7+ and invisible lasers in the case of the Neato D7 to clean in efficient straight lines while using various sensors to navigate around obstacles.
In practice, we found that there was no significant difference in that they both were very good. They had terrific obstacle avoidance and were very efficient in cleaning all the areas in the house.
The main difference was that because the Neato uses lasers instead of cameras, it does not require the lights to be on in a room like the Roomba does. Also, as we will see in a minute, the laser Navigation does allow the Neato D7 to do some pretty cool things with the app that the Roomba i7 can't do, but, in general, I would say that as far as navigation, it is a tie as they both were extremely good.
With battery life, the Neato D7 wins as it has 120 minutes per charge on its low power setting and 75 minutes in its turbo mode while the Roomba i7 has 75 minutes in its only power setting.
Both of these robots will automatically return to the dock to recharge and will resume cleaning where they left off.
With the dust bin tests, it gets a little complicated. The Neato D7 has one of the biggest dust bins on the market which we measured at a whopping 2.5 cups, while the I7+ has one of the smallest at about 1 cup. But the Roomba i7+ also comes with the clean base which is an absolutely amazing feature that automatically empties the bin every time it docks. I'll talk more about this later, but I absolutely loved the clean base and think it was probably one of the best features on a robot vacuum since their invention. So, I have to give the dust bin category to the i7+ despite the Neato having a much bigger dust bin.
Alright, so, let's get into all the cool features that these vacuums have.
Let's start off with what they have in common.
They both have apps where you can schedule cleanings from anywhere and are compatible with Amazon Alexa and Google assistant.
They both are capable of having multiple floor plans for multi-floor homes, though Roomba i7 will remember ten floor plans while the Neato D7 will remember only three. But seeing as how these are the among the first robot vacuums to ever offer more than one floor plan, it's pretty cool.
They both now have a feature that allows you to choose which room to clean. So, if you have a high traffic area, you can have them clean that room more.
Finally, we have what I think are the deciding factors - the two best features on each each vacuum. Let's start with the Roomba i7+ which has the clean base. This is a large charging dock which has a bag inside that pairs with the dust bin on the robot whenever it docks. When it docks, a suction motor kicks in and empties the dust bin into the bag. Irobot says the bag can hold up to thirty full dust bins worth of debris.
This really is revolutionary. With other robots vacuums I have owned, it never really felt like I had a truly automated cleaning system, because I would have to basically babysit the vacuum during its run and empty the bin several times. So, yeah, I'm pretty excited about this feature, and I didn’t have a single problem with its operation during our tests.
But the Neato D7 has what it calls FloorPlanner with No-Go lines.
This is where you can use the app to draw unlimited lines to prevent the robot from going certain places. So, you never have to worry about the Neato getting stuck or going somewhere it shouldn’t go. Its laser navigation makes it incredibly accurate, and I honestly think this is a must have feature, especially if you have a somewhat cluttered house where the robot is likely to get stuck in multiple places. When you compare it to the Roomba-included virtual wall barrier which can only keep the robot from one area at the most, it really shows the value of the no-go lines.
So, the bottom line is that I think the Neato D7 is the better robot by itself, but it's not that big of a difference as the Roomba is a fantastic robot in its own right. But they both have something the other doesn’t that could make all the difference to you, whether that is the Roomba's Clean Base or the Neato's No-Go lines. So, I guess it depends on what is more important in your situation.
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