What is the Vorwerk Kobold VR200?
Thanks to its coverage of promoting direct, there’s each probability that you just haven’t heard of vacuum cleaner agency Vorwerk. Yet, it’s a big firm. Large sufficient, the truth is, to have purchased Neato – the robotic vacuum cleaner firm. Thus, we now have the Vorwerk Kobold VR200, a robotic vacuum cleaner that has greater than a passing resemblance to the Neato Botvac Connected.
This isn’t any unhealthy factor, since Neato makes among the greatest robotic cleaners available on the market, with good navigation and succesful cleansing. With the Kobold VR200, nonetheless, it’s the comparatively excessive value and lack of Alexa assist that barely let the facet down.
Related: Best robot vacuum cleaners
Vorwerk Kobold VR200 – Build high quality and design
The Kobold VR200 has the distinctive D-shaped design of Neato’s robotic vacuum cleaners, which signifies that it may well extra simply navigate into corners.
As with Neato’s equipment, the Kobold VR200 is skinny but huge, versus the thicker and narrower in the best way of the Dyson 360 Eye. Both designs include their benefits and drawbacks. The thinner design signifies that the VR200 can squeeze underneath furnishings extra simply than Dyson; the huge physique, however, signifies that it may well wrestle to navigate by tighter spots akin to chair legs.
As with different robotic vacuum cleaners, the Kobold VR200 makes use of a mix of suction and rotating brush bar to select up particles. The brush bar isn’t full width, so there’s a spinning nook brush on the entrance right-hand facet that sweeps mud from the sides of rooms into the suction path.
At launch, the Kobold VR200 wasn’t network-connected, so the contact controls and LCD present entry to all the things from beginning a daily clear to the scheduling device. It’s easy sufficient to make modifications, though I needed to faucet slightly tougher at instances to register an enter.
Fortunately, a latest firmware replace has added Wi-Fi and app management, so there’s no want to make use of the on-robot controls.
One of the problems with Neato’s design was that the carry deal with and the bin launch couldn’t so simply be distinguished. As a consequence, it was far too straightforward to flip the bin out relatively than selecting up the robotic.
Vorwerk has made an important design change: there’s a transparent pop-up deal with for carrying, and a separate push-button to launch the bin.
Vorwerk Kobold VR200 – Features
From the management panel on the entrance, you can begin a daily clear (the robotic cleans so far as it may well get) or a spot clear (1.5m x 2m). You can do the identical factor utilizing the distant management, though that additionally provides you the choice of a guide mode, the place you possibly can drive the vacuum cleaner round. The latter is enjoyable for about two minutes, however slightly fiddly to make it a sensible cleansing choice.
More usefully, with the latest firmware you get full management over the robotic through your Android or iOS smartphone. This supplies entry to the entire modes above, and you may activate the VR200 from wherever. Scheduling is way simpler from the smartphone app, too, letting you programme a daily clear.
Sadly, there’s no Amazon Alexa or Google Home assist inbuilt, so you possibly can’t begin the VR200 cleansing with a voice command. And, there’s no IFTTT assist both, so you possibly can’t pause cleansing whenever you get a telephone name, for instance. These options can be found on Neato’s vary of Connected merchandise, nonetheless.
Related: Amazon Alexa guide
If there are locations that you just don’t need the VR200 to go – akin to a prized rug – there are magnetic strips that you would be able to lay down.
There are two cleansing modes: Eco and regular. In Eco mode the VR200 is quieter, and battery life is prolonged to 90 minutes. However, battery life isn’t actually a lot of an issue, because the VR200 can return to its charger half manner by a clear.
Emptying the VR200 is as straightforward as opening up the robotic’s lid, eradicating the bin, pulling out the filter and tipping out the particles. There’s additionally a small indent on high, across the identical measurement because the crevice device for the Vorwerk Kobold VK200. It’s a better, if not vastly costlier, manner of emptying the VR200. The VR200’s dustbin is relatively small, so that you’ll almost definitely must empty it after every use.
Under the highest flap is the USB port for firmware upgrades, too. Firmware must be downloaded to a USB drive after which plugged into the offered extension cable, which connects to the VR200’s micro-USB port. It’s a straightforward sufficient process, though it might be higher if future updates have been dealt with over-the-air.
Related: Google Assistant guide
Vorwerk Kobold VR200 – Performance
Neato’s energy comes from its glorious navigation – it makes use of laser navigation to map a room sensibly. Vorwerk has inherited this intelligence for the Kobold VR200.
Starting a clear, the VR200 moved neatly across the room, avoiding any obstacles. Sensibly, it navigates in order that its nook brush strikes towards edges.
While the VR200 may match underneath my sofas, it struggled to navigate my eating room chairs; it couldn’t make it by the legs. Getting round different obstacles was usually simpler, though the VR200 did mount the cat mattress and have become caught – the tank-tracked Dyson 360 Eye is a bit more highly effective.
Use the VR200 close to stairs and also you don’t have to fret about it falling to its doom because it has an edge sensor that stops this from taking place.
To check it, I unfold a flour combination towards the sting of a room, positioned a cross in the course of the ground, and did the identical factor on a check little bit of carpet.
Starting the VR200 off on Eco mode, cleansing efficiency was glorious, with the cleaner getting proper up towards the sides of our room. Our spilt flour was largely picked up, though some was pushed into indents within the ground. Switching to regular mode, the VR200 nonetheless failed to select up these bits.
In the center of the room, a lot of the flour was eliminated, with solely hint quantities left behind.
Carpet efficiency was related, with the vast majority of the flour picked up, with the VR200 leaving solely a small quantity behind.
That’s superb for a robotic cleaner, but it surely’s necessary to keep in mind that any such vacuum is for upkeep, relatively than a substitute for corded or cordless cleaners. Realistically, for bigger spills you’ll nonetheless want to show to a daily cleaner.
Vorwerk Kobold VR200 – How loud is it?
Running in Eco mode, I measured the VR200 at 68.5dB on onerous flooring. This isn’t quiet, however I may fortunately interact in a dialog over the VR200 with out an excessive amount of bother. On full energy, the VR200 is slightly louder at 69.7dB.
Why purchase the Vorwerk Kobold VR200?
A strong and good robotic vacuum cleaner, there’s lots to love concerning the VR200. There are two predominant points to concentrate on, nonetheless. First, there’s the excessive value; it’s cheaper to purchase the Neato Botvac Connected. Second, in the event you purchase a Neato Botvac Connected, you additionally get Alexa management and IFTTT, with Google Home assist additionally obtainable within the US.
If you’re shopping for the Kobold VR200 as a part of a package deal with the VK200, it is smart; in the event you’re shopping for a standalone product, go together with the Neato Botvac Connected, Neato Botvac D7 Connected or Dyson Eye 360.
A sensible and highly effective robotic vacuum cleaner, however the Neato merchandise with which is shares its tech supply higher worth and have extra options.