The iPong Topspin Table Tennis training robot is a relatively inexpensive training robot designed for beginners or casual play. While the robot can only serve top-spin shots, it does have its place for both recreational players and children alike.
The reality is that the Topspin was not designed for rigorous or intense table tennis training. With only the ability to perform topspin shots, you really can’t practice in a live setting like you could with the more advanced robots. The main drawback with this robot is its inability to rotate or swivel during shots. This means that without physically picking the robot up, every shot will be in the exact same place. The robot does have the ability to change the frequency of shots however, and because the robot is portable and runs on batteries, you can physically place the robot facing in the direction where would like the shots to land. Even with this, the cord attached to the machine is too short, and requires the player to walk over and change the settings. This can get annoying having to constantly walk over to change the speed.
The batteries have an expected life span of around 10 hours of play time, which is decent, however I would recommend a rechargeable battery pack as it will save money in the long run, especially if you think the robot will be used often. As they suggest, you have to purchase the 40mm training balls or the machine will jam constantly, and no, the balls are not included. I would also suggest purchasing a net to stop the return shots. While the robot can carry up to 100 shots, it will take around 2 minutes to empty the chamber, at which point you would have to walk around and pick all 100 balls off of the ground. This could get very annoying.
While the Table Tennis Training Robot seems inferior when you compare it to the other robots available, the quality received is just right for the price. It’s currently the cheapest option available for table tennis training robots and is perfect for children or kids who don’t need the more advanced features. I would purchase this training robot if you are buying it for a recreational player or child. It simply does not have the necessary features to realistically aide in a player’s development at the later stages and should not be bought under the impression that it will.
The next step up in quality is the JOOLA USA iPong Pro for $126 which has the ability to oscillate and shoot a topspin as well as a backspin.
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