The Neato Robotic Vacuum has been receiving great reviews since its recent introduction to the market, and promises to be the first robot vacuum to give the Roomba some serious competition in the popular robotic vacuum cleaner market. The Neato seems to do everything the Roomba can do, and possibly better.
The Neato relies on powerful vacuum suction and a Room Positioning System that allows the Neato to map out a room and plan the best approach. This eliminates the need for 'Lighthouse' units such as with the Roomba vacuums to tell the robot vacuum to finish one room before moving to the next. Neato recognizes the wisdom of this for itself.
While the Neato lacks a sidebrush -a lack much touted by the Roomba diehards- the Neato's powerful vacuum suction and ability to get right into corners may make the purported lack irrelevent. An additional benefit of Neato's reliance on vacuum power as opposed to brushes is less maintenance. The bane of the Roomba is the frequent need to clean the brushes.
Neato does move slower than the Roomba. Combined with the high vacuum power, this allows the Neato to deep clean in a single pass, rather than needing to go over each area five different times as the Roomba does to get it clean.
The squared-off front of the Neato allows it to vacuum right into the corners, again using its single brush, slow deep-cleaning movement and powerful suction to draw in corner debris much as an upright vacuum cleaner would. To be fair, an upright vacuum doesn't typically do a phenomenal job cleaning along wall edges and in corners.
The Neato robot vacuum starts off with a superior concept than the Roomba. The Roomba is a random creature, humming mindlessly along and vacuuming floors clean mostly by luck. The Neato is a smart robot.
The Neato robot vacuum seeks input on its own, interprets the data it discovers and reacts accordingly. It adapts to its environment and remains constantly aware of changes in that environment to which it must re-adapt. If the Neato is busily vacuuming a room and an obstacle is suddenly placed in front of it, the Neato will simply go around it and reroute its course.
The Neato isn't a blind robot randomly bumping its way around your house doing its thing. It knows what it has to do, where all it has to go, and the Neato plans its mission intelligently.