Top critical review
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Good solid table
on 28 December 2014
Overall: Good solid table, once you get it built, but has design flaws that disappoint and spoil the fun.
Delivery: Very quick, courteous driver, table is packed well.
Construction: The table has some issues. Some screw holes are not pre-drilled, and some others don't line up with the holes, and , given this is MDF the screws cannot be driven in with pure force. I needed to drill 17 holes for the leg braces, disc holders and scoring unit. Not so easy to do quietly on Christmas Eve night with the kid asleep upstairs! Otherwise, the table is fairly solid and I'm pretty sure it will survive many years of use.
Air Hockey mode - The good
Excellent fun in air hockey mode, good air flow from the electric fan, the discs glide smoothly and the bats are solid. There are four bats and four discs, plenty of spares there for lost discs in the future. The goals have electric sensors and add up your score when it detects a disc entering the goal mouth, which works great, and the disc is returned to a little pouch, just like the large professional machines do. The digital scoring system is impressive, and plays cool sound effects, such as cheering and calls out "Winner!".
Air Hockey mode - The bad
The discs are a little light, and with a hard hit they tend to fly off into the air, so gameplay has to be kept mild. My 7 year old has enough strength in him to easily overhit these discs. The scoring system sometimes triggers when you move the bats too close to the goal mouths, so you get false points, and there's no way to subtract a point from the digital scoring system. It's also possible to accidentally trip it when you retrieve the disc from the pouch on the back if you're a little careless.
The digital scoring system also counts the points on the wrong side, when you score a goal the opponent's score is upped, so you just have to remember to mentally reverse the score when reading it. Might be possible to reverse some wiring underneath to fix this, but I haven't checked.
Table Tennis mode - The good
Table tennis is played by placing a large solid surface on top of the air hockey table and attaching a net. The surface is very solid, the bats are a good size and there are two ping pong balls. The balls bounce ok and it can be used fairly well for playing table tennis, if you're just kids looking for some semblance of ping pong.
Table Tennis mode - The bad
Unfortunately, there's a lot to write here. The table tennis board is literally just balanced on top of the air hockey table, there's been no engineering or design put into this, and it doesn't sit well. Why? Because of the goal mouths! The air hockey goal mouths sit proud of the table, so the table tennis board is pushed up at both ends. They also frequently snapped off the little red plastic scoring tabs.
The nets are held in place by two plastic supports which attached to the sides. On one side the support conflicts with the digital scoring system, even though it bends backward on a hinge it still gets in the way and stops you placing the table tennis board centrally. Consequently the board is off centre and with the imbalance caused by the proud goal mouths it tilts and drifts as you play. I'm pretty sure the manufacturers must be aware of this so I'm very disappointed that they haven't designed the board to fit better.
The bats, although a good size, are very poor quality. and one of them disintegrated within 10 minutes of play. I know this product is a toy, not professional sports kit, but that's no excuse for cheap quality, especially at this price.
It's a good solid piece of kit, but lacks some sensible design that could make it a much better product. In air hockey mode it's good fun, and table tennis mode it's not so good. We'll probably place the table tennis board on another surface, like the dining room table, and buy ourselves some new bats, and keep this in air hockey mode. I'd say that if you're happy to spend this much on a good air hockey table then you'll be satisfied, but the table tennis part is worth nothing so don't think to yourself "It's a bit expensive, but we're getting table tennis with it too", because you're really not getting table tennis with it - you're getting an ill-fitting board of blue plastic, a little net, and some cheap bats.