Hoverboard Powerboard Review
OK, before I say anything else. Why, oh ,why is the product called “Powerboard” and the company called “Hoverboard”?
Hoverboard is a dumb, inaccurate name. That’s a widely held opinion, but the fact is that people are calling them hoverboards in the same way that people in South Africa call traffic lights “robots”, despite the obvious fact that they’re not robots.
So come on, call the company Powerboard and call the board something else. I mean, this is like calling your car company “Car” or your boat company “Boat”. OK, OK, let’s see if the Powerboard is any good.
Make Up Your Mind
It’s hard to know with which products I should compare the Powerboard. The original list price for it is a cool grand, but in practice the price you’ll actually pay is closer to half that. I think the days of people paying over a grand for any hoverboard are now over and that’s probably why Hoverboard sells for the $500 now. That’s the sweet spot that divides good products from junk products at the moment. That’s also where the formidable Swagway X1 squarely sits. The X1 is my middle-class hero – the benchmark by which I judge newcomers and the competition.
Clearly this is another clone or rebrand of the Chic Robotics S1, which is fine – everyone is doing it. This means it looks the same as 80% of self-balancing electric scooters. That said, the shell in the marketing material looks to be a bit better molded than the X1’s, but it’s all glossy. Personally I prefer some of the matte shells I’ve seen on some models like the Leray. Matte always looks a bit more expensive to me.
According to Hoverboard the front LED lights are extra bright and they certainly look that way in the marketing photos. Users don’t mention it, but there you have it.
The party piece for the Powerboard is the fact that it fully charges in 60 minutes, something people who have bought it confirmed in their feedback. That’s way better than most other products. Claimed battery life is six hours, users say it’s closer to three or four hours. Top speed is about six miles per hour, not eight as the descriptions claim. So it’s far from the fastest board on the market at any price. Like most boards it can handle 220 lbs, so nothing special there.
Hoverboard is quick to point out that it is US-based, ships from the US, and provides customer support in native English. All good things, since it seems there’s a chance you’ll need the 1-year warranty enforced sooner rather than later.
Danger Will Robinson!
More people than I’d feel comfortable with have reported short-circuiting, smoke, and a few outright fires. A fragile charger and Powerboards that are broken in the box suggest that there is (or was) some sort of quality control issue.
That said, the people from Hoverboard seem to be actively looking for anyone with issues and assisting them with replacement and repair. So that’s a point in their favor.
Spin the Wheel of Fortune
The Powerboard seems OK on paper, but customers are not so happy with it. It’s priced directly against the Swagway X1, which does not have reported quality issues to this extent, and the Swagway X1 is better in terms of specifications, specifically speed. Sure, the Powerboard charges a bit faster, but overall I’d spend my money on the Swagway.
I wanted to like the Powerboard, but in the end there can be only one mid-range hoverboard worth buying.
Sorry about the Highlander joke.