Swagtron T380 Review
Pros: Stable at speed, nimble, inexpensive
Cons: Limited range/battery life, performance limited on soft surfaces
Compare to Similar Products
|Price||$350 List||$460 List|
$399.99 at Amazon
|$230 List||$230 List||$200 List|
$199.99 at Amazon
|Pros||Stable at speed, nimble, inexpensive||Fast, stable, all-terrain crusher||Playful, inexpensive, long run time||Inexpensive, stable at speed, onboard Bluetooth speakers||Budget-friendly, Bluetooth speaker, stable on smooth ground|
|Cons||Limited range/battery life, performance limited on soft surfaces||Limited maneuverability, heavy||Poor on rough roads and off-pavement, a little sluggish||Limited battery life, long charge time, limited off-pavement capabilities||Not versatile, low weight limit, average run time|
|Bottom Line||Fun, fleet, and fiscally feasible, this board will leave you smiling both at check out and while riding||This top of the line hoverboard delivers power and stability both on and off the pavement||For those looking to save some money, this is a quality product with a long run time||A fun, decent quality, inexpensive hoverboard that is better for recreation than commuting||Great for kids to use around the house, this hoverboard is as basic as it is inexpensive|
|Rating Categories||Swagtron T380||Swagtron T6||Swagtron T1||GoTrax SRX PRO||Tomoloo Q2C|
|Fun Factor (50%)|
|Outdoor Capabilities (20%)|
|Specs||Swagtron T380||Swagtron T6||Swagtron T1||GoTrax SRX PRO||Tomoloo Q2C|
|Measured Run Time||50 min||120 min||87 min||50 min||60 min|
|Measured Weight||22.1 lbs||31.7 lbs||22.8 lbs||28.9 lbs||16.3 lbs|
|Measured Speed||8.6 mph||11.9 mph||8.7 mph||9 mph||7.5 mph|
|Measured Range||4 mi||12 mi||7.9 mi||4.7 mi||3.9 mi|
|Weight Limit||44 - 220 lbs||220 lbs||44 - 220 lbs||220 lbs||165 lbs|
|Bluetooth||Yes; App & Music||Yes; Music||No||Yes; Music||Yes; Music|
|Warranty||12 months limited||12 months limited||12 months limited||3 months limited||12 months limited|
|Measured Charge Time||1 hour, 25 min||2 hours, 20 min||1 hour, 20 min||3 hours||2 hours, 20 min|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Scoring top marks in our metrics for fun and customer support, Swagtron nailed the design of the T380 for non-commuting, all ages recreational cruising. That said, this ride does come with limitations — namely, it lacks range and versatility and has short battery life. However, it excels when kept on smooth surfaces, so if you're looking for something for around the house or office, this is a nimble and fun choice that we recommend.
There are a lot of electric modes of transportation out there these days, but none eschew utility for fun to the same degree as hoverboards. Accordingly, our fun metric is weighted as much as the other three metrics combined! To drill down on what makes something fun, we looked at features or characteristics that, when satisfied, produce what we consider to be a good time. These sub metrics included top speed, traversing an obstacle course, weight (lugging around a heavy board is NOT fun), available color options, Bluetooth connectivity, and if there were easily accessible accessories such as aftermarket skins and bags.
Despite its middling max speed, the T380 delivered a level of dexterity in our obstacle course that eclipsed the best of its peers. While not the lightest in its class, it is still reasonable at 22.1 pounds. There are many fun colors available, though there are no aftermarket skins or bags available for purchase as of this review. Finally, this sweet chariot comes Bluetooth-ready and has onboard speakers to bump your favorite tunes while you cruise. Swagtron's app records stats such as speed and battery charge. All and all, this product is a veritable fun factory on two wheels.
Okay, so we know that the T380 is fun. But what are its limitations? All of our fun factor tests were performed on a smooth concrete surface. What happens when you take these machines out into the wild? To get at this question, we tested the hoverboards on a variety of surfaces such as inclines, grass, dirt, sand, and cracked tarmac. Additionally, we assessed the ability of these boards to cross thresholds like those found at the base of industrial double doors.
In the outdoor capabilities category, the T380 renders an average performance. However, this isn't the whole story. If one looks at the tires of the products that outperformed the T380 (which are quite a bit larger), then the capability of this model rightfully looks pretty good. Regardless of the reasoning for the mediocre performance, if you want to go off-roading on one of these machines, then there are better options to be sure. However, if you have to, you can off-road this model in moderation.
Support is a somewhat vague title for this paramount metric which evaluates what happens when things go wrong with your hoverboard. To get at this concept, we asked ourselves what could go wrong and what would be the easiest solution to our hypothetical problem. First, we researched the options a customer has to contact the manufacturer. Next, we contacted said manufacturer (in the case of the T380, with an email) and recorded the response time. Once we received a response, we rated how helpful it was based on whether it resolved our problem. Because we have reviewed several Swagtron products over the years, we have run this test several times. While response times have varied (a week being the max time we have had to wait), the responses are generally helpful. Additionally, these guys list a telephone number, a rarity these days, and they offer a one-year limited warranty.
One aspect of the support metric that isn't hypothetical is the crashes that occurred on these machines as we attempted to push them to their limits of speed, cornering, and range. The T380 proved to be quite tough, as it withstood the battery of tests we ran it through with aggressive adults in the cockpit. The only complaint coming from our test team was that, in the event of a crash, the rubber bumper would fall off. However, the bumper did what it was designed to do — namely, mitigate impacts — and it quickly snapped back into place.
Battery is obviously a key metric. It assesses how long you can cruise on your board, how far you can go, and when it's all said and done, how long you'll have to wait for a full recharge. Our range test was conducted on a flat track that we looped continuously until the hoverboard could no longer propel the tester. Run time was measured in the obstacle course, as navigating turns and speed changes is a more realistic use of how a hoverboard is typically used. Lastly, charge time was measured by timing how quickly the board charged from zero to full.
The T380 didn't do super well in this metric. It just doesn't have a large capacity power cell. Its maximum range is about four miles, its run time is around 50 minutes, and it recharges in about an hour and a half.
While not necessarily "cheap," the comparatively more moderate price tag on the T380 still makes it a value purchase. This board is noticeably cheaper than many others, and it can take most of its peers to task. For the right user, this is a steal.
If you'll primarily use your hoverboard as a means of recreation and not transportation, then look no further than the agile, fleet, and affordable Swagtron T380. We enjoyed the ride, and we think you will as well.
— Nick Miley
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