Neato Botvac D4 Connected Review

We're seeing more and more robot vacuums under $300 these days, and there even some good options out there under $200, like the iLife A4s. So why spend more? At $499.99, the Neato Botvac D4 Connected certainly isn't cheap, but it gets you some features you won't find in budget-friendly models, including laser navigation, virtual boundaries, and personalized cleaning maps of your home. Throw in app control, robust scheduling, smart home integration via IFTTT, voice assistant compatibility with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, and smart charging, and you get a ton of value for your money. That makes the Botvac D4 Connected our new Editors' Choice for midrange robot vacuums.

Design and Features

Like all of Neato's vacuums, the D4 Connected sports the company's signature D shape. It comes in black, with a subtle textured finish on top, and measures in at 3.9 by 13.2 by 12.6 inches (HWD) and 7.4 pounds. That's a good bit taller than many of the vacuums we've tested lately, due to the raised turret in the rear that houses the laser technology. So while you might not be able to get under some low-clearance furniture, you do get an excellent navigation system, which seems like a fair trade.

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On the left side, near the front bumper, you'll find the start button and two indicator lights. The top light is for Wi-Fi connectivity, and the bottom indicates battery life. In the center you'll find the top-loading dustbin. While it's less finicky to remove and empty than on predecessors like the D5 Connected, it's on the small side at 0.7 liters.

Neato Botvac D4 Connected Review

Flip the D4 over and you'll find a wide combo roller brush, two main treads, and swivel wheels. The charging contacts are located on the back. As far as accessories go, you get a charging dock, an extra combo brush, and a spare filter.

Setup and App

Setting up the D4 Connected is easy. All you have to do is download the Neato app for Android or iOS, register an account, and follow the prompts to connect over Wi-Fi. Make sure you're connecting to your home's 2.4GHz network, as the vacuum doesn't support 5GHz.

Hooking the vacuum into your voice assistant of choice is also easy. Simply enable the Neato skill in the Amazon Alexa or Google Home app, then link your accounts. From there, you can issue commands to start/stop cleaning, return the vacuum to its dock, or check on its battery level. As for other integrations, the D4 also supports a number of If This Then That (IFTTT) applets; for instance, you can set it to start cleaning automatically when you leave the house. Neato even has its own Apple Watch app, so you can control the vacuum right from your wrist.

The Neato mobile app is straightforward and easy to navigate. The main screen has buttons to view battery life, start cleaning, toggle through cleaning options, and view cleaning maps/statistics. If you hit the three-bar icon in the top left, you can access scheduling, as well as floor plans to place virtual boundary lines.

Maps Your Home

Neato's cleaning maps are fairly straightforward. They show you a floor plan of your home, and the areas highlighted in blue indicate where the robot has been. If successfully docked, it's indicated by a red D-shaped dot. If it encountered issues or ran out of battery, it's marked by a yellow icon in its last known location. You're also able to see the date and time of cleanings, the total area covered, and how long the session took.

The D4 supports Neato's No-Go boundary lines, which were introduced with the D7 Connected, the company's flagship bot. Once the vacuum goes through an initial exploratory clean to create the aforementioned map, you can draw red lines on your floor plan to indicate areas where it shouldn't enter. This feature worked well in testing, but keep in mind it only works when you start a vacuuming session from your phone.

I took the D4 Connected for a whirl in PC Labs, a veritable obstacle course thanks to tangled power cord setups, flash drives, and desk chairs galore. Despite these challenging conditions, the D4 Connected handled itself with aplomb. I was especially impressed when it managed to trawl over a mess of power cords in our video studio without getting stuck or knocking over any lighting rigs. As for handling different floor types, the treads helped the D4 crawl over carpeting, vinyl, and raised edging with little difficulty.

The D4's laser navigation means it cleans back and forth in a precise, methodical fashion. It's a bit rough when it bumps up against walls or furniture, but you can toggle the Extra Care Navigation feature in the app if you have lots of antiques or delicate pieces you don't want damaged.

Suction power is also impressive. The D4 was able to pick up tons of hair, dust, and various other detritus in testing. Because its dustbin is on the small side, it might fill up and loss efficiency while cleaning a very large area. On the plus side, it will send a push notification to your phone when the dustbin is full, allowing you to empty it before sending it back out to finish the job.

Battery life is just average. The D4 ran 75 minutes in testing before it ran out of juice, cleaning about 875 square feet. We prefer to see at least 90 minutes of running time, but to make up for this, the D4 supports Neato's new Quick Boost charging feature. This means once it runs out of power, the D4 will return to its dock and charge just long enough to get back out there and finish cleaning. It can do this up to two times in a single session. On a subsequent run, the D4 was able to clean for a total of 2 hours and 18 minutes, for a total of 1,191 square feet.

However, this feature relies on the D4 successfully making it back to the dock each time. While it consistently did a good job navigating, there were a few instances where it died just a few inches away from the dock. This probably won't be an issue in smaller homes and apartments, but it's something to keep in mind in very large spaces.

And while no robot vacuum is truly quiet, the D4 is on the louder side. You'll definitely be able to hear it from other rooms, and in a smaller space, you might have to crank up the volume on your TV or stereo to mask the noise.

The Best Midrange Robot Vacuum

The Neato Botvac D4 Connected combines advanced features like cleaning maps, virtual boundary lines, and laser navigation for a relatively moderate price. That said, it's increasingly common to find more budget-friendly bots with features that used to only be available on high-end vacuums, like app control and voice assistant compatibility. For example, the Ecovacs Deebot N79S, our Editors' Choice in the budget category, features app control, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant compatibility, and powerful suction for just $229.

For the extra cash, the D4 Connected gets you cleaning maps, No-Go lines, a better app, and a higher-quality build. You're basically getting the same features as you would with even pricier robots like the $700 iRobot Roomba 960. So if you're looking for top-of-the-line features at a midrange price, the D4 Connected is your best bet and earns our Editors' Choice.

Neato Botvac D4 Connected

4.0Editors' ChoiceSee It$299.99 at WalmartMSRP $499.99


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The Bottom Line

The Neato Botvac D4 Connected isn't cheap, but it offers virtual boundaries and customized cleaning maps for less than any other robot vacuum.

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