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Saturday, January 12, 2013

Vorwerk Kobold VR100 or Neato XV 11/XV 15/XV 21?

What's the difference?
The Vorwerk Kobold VR100 is a german version of the american Neato. What the germans have done with this device is really "tasty" for anyone wanting a quality automatic vacuum cleaner. They added a better battery, with the Vorwerk Kobold VR100 the device now has a lithium battery. This makes it last a lot longer without having to replace the battery. They also added a new brush which compared to the XV11 which is supposed to be better at picking up dust from rugs and other fiber materials. Next they added a better filter which makes a better airflow and a less noisy device. In the end, this is the best part in my opinion; they added a spinning sidebrush.

The only problem is getting the Vorwerk. In germany and the uk it is readily available to order. If you live in the rest of europe or the US, it's quite a bit harder to get, plus handling any guarantee claims can be quite a pain.

My point and advise?
If you are on a budget or located outside Germany/UK, pick the Neato Robotics XV11 or XV15. It does a great job compared to all other robots on the market. But, if you are willing to spend some extra bucks, go for the Vorwerk Kobold VR100. It's a MUCH better choice then the Neato XV21 or XV25.

Does the sidebrush really make a difference?
Yes it does. It makes the device a lot better at picking up dust and dirt along walls and other edges. Take a look around the room you are (hopefully) sitting in right now. Where does all the dirt and dust end up? It's mainly alongside the walls, and that's also where most automatic vacuum cleaners end up missing the spots.

Here's a video to prove my point:

What about updates?
The Kobold Vorwerk VR100 also seems to be more aggressive on pushing out updates. I.e. lately they came with version 3.1 of the firmware. This makes a hughe improvement on the vacuum cleaners ability to clean edges. Take a look at the following video which shows the difference between the firmware revisions:

What's the pricetag?
The VR100 is about 650EUR on germany, or 600GBP in the uk from retailers. But if you buy it from ebay you can get it under 600EUR, and this way international buyers can also get a hold of this device. But be handling guarantee claims can be a problem. Ordering from germany is no problem via ebay.

Where can I get it if I'm not in the uk or germany?
Read the previous answer please.

Where should I buy a Neato?
You can buy it most places, but ordering online is probably the easiest way. If you want to give me a "tip" as well, please consider using my link to order the Neato XV-11 from Amazon. It won't make it any more expensive for you, but it will help me out a bit.


  1. Can you also give a link where I can buy kobold from US. I tried googling so much but can't find it anywhere.

    1. Hi.. You can buy it from here:
      Although you should check out the new version which just came out. I will be writing a review of it soon. In short, the Neato now has the additional sidebrush which the vorwerk has. Check it out:

  2. Oh man neato with sidebrush. That is actually the main thing I was looking for in the kobold. I'm REALLY looking forward to your review. Could you please also compare it to the pet allergy neato version since pet hair is what I personally intend to use it for. Thanks again.

  3. Is this product actually made in Germany?

    The article states the Neato is American. It's not. It's made in China.

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