I reviewed an earlier version of the Powerboard a year or so prior to this review and at. the time I warned people away from the product because there were simply too many reports of smoking, burning Powerboards. Clearly we were playing with a little too much power.
Now the great online purge of poor-quality hoverboards is over and major online US retailers will only stock items that have passed the right certifications that they won’t burn down your house.
Miraculously the Powerboard is is one of the models that has made it through this process and it is now fully-certified. I have to believe that Powerboard made some changes to this and that the old model could not have passed certification as it was.
Powerboard now flat out says that it “guarantees” that their board will not flame out on you. That’s a little over optimistic since even the top tech companies in the world could never the same thing. No matter how much safety you build into a lithium system, the chance is always there that something will go wrong. Still, when done properly the chances are very low and so I must assume that what the company actually means is that they never expect it to happen again. So rather interpret it that way.
The other bold claim is about the speed. Hoverboard says that the Powerboard is “faster than others”, which is rather non-specific. However, the stated speed of 10 kilometers per hour only translates to 6.5 miles per hour. I’m sorry guys, but that’s clearly slower than most boards in this price range that will hit 8 miles per hour.
It seems however that this speed limit is intentional, their site states that the 6.5 miles per hour limit is an electronic one. I’m not sure why they have this sort of mixed message, but there you have it.
The range of the board is not explicitly stated, but the stated run time is six hours. That doesn’t help much, since we don’t know at what speed or with what rider weight they got that figure. In fact, I can’t find what the maximum rider weight is at all.
The design hasn’t really been updated in any way that matters, While companies like Swagtron now have a generation of products that don’t look like clones of those first-generation Chinese hoverboards, the Powerboard still looks like a first-gen product. There’s nothing wrong with that, since it is a very functional design, but don’t expect something fresh from this newer, safer version.
At least it is not as expensive as it used to be, but it still feels like a bit much for such a basic and now rather outdated-looking hoverboard.
Previously it was a saving grace that the Powerboard had US-based support. Yes, it might have gone up in flames, but at least you could get a brand-new fire hazard in short order. Unfortunately since then all the worthwhile providers now have local support and so this fact doesn’t help the Powerboard as much as it did.
There is a standard limited warranty local to the US for one year. You can also blow another $100 or $139 on extended warranties that add another year or two. In general I don’t recommend spending money on extended warranties, since the house always wins and if there is something seriously wrong it will usually show up in the first 12 months of normal use.
The Lack of solid info about the Powerboard is a bit frustrating, but unlike on their first outing, the customer reactions to the product are mostly positive.
Most importantly, there are NO accounts of this new Powerboard catching fire. The worst I’ve seen is that it can simply stop working or refuse to charge, which is likely thanks to the new protection systems and therefore by design. Those scant problem can be sorted with a warranty return.
I have to say that I’m pretty astounded. Just 12 months ago I would have slapped the credit card out of your hands, but now I feel like I can recommend the Powerboard. It’s not fancy, but it is safe, functional, looks OK, comes in a few basic colors and works as advertised. It also helps that the price has come down enough that the saving is worth it over something like the Swagtron T3. The Swagtron is without a doubt a much more attractive product, but this Powerboard is not inferior, simply lower-end, if that makes sense.
So congratulations Hoverboard, you cleaned up your act, fixed your product and I can only take my hat off to you.