New Neato Carpet Muncher: The Botvac D7 Connected

    OK, so I’m addicted! Sue me!

    This is seventh robot vacuum I’ve tested (three of them from Neato) and my dependence up them grows with each upgrade.

    The folks at Neato Robotics just sent us their new Botvac D7 Connected robotic vacuum ($799) and, so far, it has moved to the top of the list.

    Our main complaint about all of the robot carpet munchers we have used is their inability to “deep clean.” The Botvac D7 is the first one we’ve tested that gives you the option for a standard cleaning process or a much deeper – – – and louder – – – more penetrating cycle. The initial run-through picked up a ton of debris our older vacuums (including other Neatos) left behind.

    Our second pet peeve has always been the size of the dirt bin. The D7 cleaned just shy of 800 square feet of carpet before demanding that its bin be emptied.

    Third is its ability to return to its base for a quick recharge and then resume cleaning. Older models would die in the middle of a long cleaning job and sit there until you place them back into their charging base. The D7 senses a low battery, returns to its base for a quick recharge, and then resumes cleaning.

    What I have designated as “no-go strips” are also a thing of the past. You can now designate no-go areas on the cleaning map, which is accessed through the Neato app on your iPhone or Android phone.

    Lastly, the robot can create up to three floor plans, which is great for those of us that live in houses with multiple floors.

    Other key features include:

    • 120 minutes of battery life
    • LaserSmart technology that maps and scans your entire house
    • You can target certain areas of the house using the “zone cleaning” mode
    • Its so-called ultraperformance filter traps dust mites and other allergens
    • A d-shaped design that allows it to get into corners of rooms
    • You can start or stop your robot using your phone, Google Home, Amazon Echo or an Apple Watch.

    If $799 puts a squeeze on your pocketbook the folks at Neato have just announced the D4 ($499) and D6 ($699). Older models include the D3 ($399) and D5 ($599). Most of the “basic” features are available in all of the models.

    Attention Facebook users: Check out Michael Berman’s Jocgeek fan page or follow him on Twitter @jocgeek. You can also contact him via email or through his website.

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    • Michael L. Berman has more than 40 years' experience writing and editing for The Hartford Courant, The Norwich (CT) Bulletin, The Journal of Commerce and The Middletown (CT) Press. Mike's Techtalk column was syndicated by the Scripps Howard News Service from 1995 to 2000 and appeared as a computer and technology blog on www.shns.com until No. 19, 2013. You can also visit Mike's consumer technology website at www.jocgeek.com.

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