It's great to see a new robot coming out at such a cheap price, and let's
hope they continue bringing out new ones! Judging from people that have tried
it, this robot does seem to function well, and is no doubt excellent value.
People that are after an entry level robot should seriously
consider whether it's not worth spending a little more and get the
Robo-Pong 540 instead though.
The lack of sidespin of the IPONG is not that big a deal, but the fact that you
can't vary the speed is quite a drawback for anyone that want to use for
something more serious. Newgy also has a proven track record and tons of
support, so a higher price-tag is justified... but if you're on a real tight
budget, than the IPONG looks like a decent choice.
I would guess this robot is aimed purely at the recreational
market, and can be a lot of fun and does have the potential to improve some
aspects of your game, but more seriously players should probably look at
something with a bit more flexibility.
Review 1: Dec
'09 author unknown:
Used this extensively over the weekend at my club. Moderate topspin on "heavy"
topspin setting. On underspin setting very little if any underspin. Useless for
Speed of the ball is moderate and unchangeable, though the
time between each ball can be turned up to an extremely fast level.
The robot is easy to load, though it never uses up all the
balls in the hopper. When reloading or moving it around the table (the best
thing about it), if a ball falls down into the chute it causes a jam about 1 out
of 5 times that was difficult to clear.
The balls are delivered quite long and the only way to adjust
this is to put something under the back edge to tilt it a bit forward. It seems
to be set up for cross-court shots. Setting it up to go square to the table
(such as a down the line shot) will result in about 1 out of 4 shots going long
off the table.
The machine is also quite noisy and since it is plastic,
returned balls hitting it (which happens often) make a loud and annoying ping.
If I owned one myself I'd wrap the thing in sponge or bubble wrap.
Overall, not bad for practicing off the bounce blocks against
topspin or slow loops off the table. For the price, that may be good enough, but
don't expect much more.
Review 2: Jan '10, author unknown:
The iPong is the best $129 I've ever spent.
I read a review which was not exactly a rave, but bought it
anyway. The review complained that it doesn't finish all the balls in the bin,
it gets jammed, it's noisy and it overshoots the table on the heavy top spin
setting. Well, it doesn't finish _three_ balls out of 110 in the bin, it has
never jammed for me and the noise is not bad at all. (About as loud as a
household fan.) It does overshoot on the heavy topspin setting if you are going
down the middle, so aim it corner to corner, or slide your cell phone under it
to aim it down a bit.
That's the bad stuff. I wouldn't ask iPong to fix any of that
if it meant it goes a penny over $129.
The good stuff is, number one, if I forgot to mention, it's
$129! Next, it holds a ton of balls, it shoots predictably so you can practice
your strokes, it has three spins and a wide selection of ball frequencies. It
took me two minutes to take it out of the box and start playing with it, and
when I was done I picked it up and moved it. No screws, no neoprene rubber, no
disassembly. Beyond that, it simply looks cool. Really cool. It has a bad-ass,
sleek design in all black, a killer metallic silver logo, and no exposed moving
parts. Even the _box_ it comes in is beautifully designed. Frankly, I think it
raises my coolness factor as a table tennis enthusiast to use it.
Bottom line, thanks to iPong, I can practice every day, and
next time I play Tom, I'm going to destroy him.