Neato has renewed its range of robot vacuums and offers a new model called D9. According to the manufacturer, this device with its characteristic D shape is supposed to offer 40% more suction power than the D3 and D5.
The Neato D9 is the latest addition to the American manufacturer's family of robot vacuum cleaners. This model still has the D shape typical of the brand, which allows it (theoretically) to collect dust in corners and nooks. This new product has most of the characteristics of its predecessors, except for the autonomy which is singularly increased: this time it should reach more than 3 hours.
Convenience of use
As we said, the D9 can't deny its origins since it has a very particular D shape that is dear to the manufacturer. This robot can therefore fit into the corners of walls and suck up waste that a simple round robot would not be able to eliminate.
On the cover, we can see a button that allows us to manually operate the robot or to stop it. By pressing the button with an "i", the D9 talks to us and informs us about its status: on, charging... Next to these buttons are two light signals. The first one indicates the remaining battery level, while the second one informs about the connectivity status of the device to the home wifi network. Indeed, the D9 can be connected to wifi and linked to the MyNeato app.
Connectivity and application
Pairing the Neato D9 is not rocket science, but it takes about 15 minutes for the robot to be connected to the My Neato app. During this time, which turns out to be quite long, the app updates the robot and performs some routine checks. The interface is simple, even a little too basic, and the features are quite limited. Only two cleaning powers are available, Eco and Turbo, while most models offer four. Of course, it is also possible to stop the D9 in its tracks or to restart it remotely.
In addition, the user can create weekly cleaning routines or consult the history of the last cleanings.
On the mapping side, the My Maps tab allows you to select the map of your choice, which the robot will have previously made and saved. However, the Neato D9's maps are not very clear and it is impossible to differentiate one room from another. Note that the D9 does not have real-time mapping. In fact, it is not possible to know in which room the robot is sucking at the moment, which is unfortunate.
Once the map is generated, the user can decide to create No Go Zones that are drawn by hand on the map so that the robot cannot access certain areas of the home. On the other hand, it is possible to select the areas where you want the vacuum cleaner to go exclusively. Of course, this is a tricky exercise due to the erratic mapping of the D9.
The maintenance of the Neato D9 is not particularly complicated, but it is not very hygienic. To remove the collector from the robot, you just have to unclip a small part of the cover. We particularly appreciate the large volume of the collector, which does not require the user to empty it too regularly.
Fortunately, the process could have been better thought out. Indeed, the filtration system glued to the collector must first be removed before the waste can be disposed of in the waste garbage can. And if the filters are very dirty, your hands will be full of dust.
As with all robot vacuums, we conducted our "spilled cocoa" test. After sucking up 20g of chocolate powder, we weighed the filter to see what it had retained. At the end of the operation, we found a large quantity of this powder, almost 3 g. It will be necessary to think of regularly dusting it so that it does not influence the suction performance.
When we position the D9 on the belly, we notice that it is equipped with a mini side brush - which brings the waste back to the suction mouth -, as well as a main brush. The latter is quite large and made of nylon and silicone bristles. We advise you to remove it from time to time by unclipping the grid that covers it in order to remove hair or pet hair that has become entangled in it.
We won't dwell on the suction performance of this robot as the time spent on our test areas was long, due to the inefficient navigation system of the D9. The suction performance is obviously very disappointing.
As a proof, the robot took 20 minutes to vacuum all the detritus on a hard floor, making it the slowest robot of our comparison. In comparison, the iRobot Roomba J7+ took 5 min 30 s to swallow all the garbage on the same test area.
On thick carpet, the D9 took a little more than 15 minutes to suck up only 60% of the material.
It is important to specify that, sometimes, the machine stopped in the middle of the test area or asked to return to its base while there was still detritus on the floor... We therefore spent a lot of time trying to make the robot vacuum cleaner move forward.
As we observed in our lab news dedicated to the navigation system, the D9 is unable to find its way in space and to ensure an orderly navigation.
It passes over and over the same areas, sometimes stops in the middle of the room to observe its environment and manages on average one time out of four to reach its load base.
In short, the D9's navigation has serious shortcomings, and it's because of this that the other rating points are penalized, especially the autonomy and suction performance.
The Neato D9 is not the quietest of our comparison as it emits 59 dB (A) when set to Eco mode and 63 dB (A) on Boost mode. In comparison, under the same conditions, the Ecovacs Deebot T9 emits 55 dB (A) and 58 dB (A) respectively.
It was difficult for us to determine the exact duration of the autonomy of the D9 so much it stops, blocks, wants to return to its base constantly.
Based on our tests, we calculated an autonomy of about 1 h 30 min on the Eco mode, to be compared with the 3 h promised by the manufacturer in this mode.
As for the charging time, the Neato D9 needs a little more than 3 hours to fully charge its batteries.
Obviously, we cannot recommend the Neato D9. Its navigation system is so haphazard that we suspect that there are serious software problems that do not allow the robot vacuum cleaner to do its job properly. This is not the model that will upset the top spots in our comparison.