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Swagtron T5 Review

The Swagtron T5.
Best Buy Award
Price:   $400 List | $219.99 at Amazon
Pros:  Inexpensive, agile
Cons:  Sluggish, less powerful
Bottom line:  The perfect board for children or those well below 187 lbs
Editors' Rating:   
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Manufacturer:   Swagtron

Our Verdict

The Swagtron T5 is a lower-powered, lower-cost version of the Swagtron T1 and the T3, our Editors' Choice and Best Buy award winners. While this model is a step down from the top-tier models, it still has most of the maneuverability and fun. This model has a much lower maximum weight limit (187 lbs) so it is a good choice for kids or anyone who is on the lighter side and are looking for a less expensive option without sacrificing too much fun factor.


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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
David Wise and Austin Palmer

Last Updated:
Wednesday
May 3, 2017

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The Swagtron T5 is, in all honesty, a watered down version of its award-winning older cousins, the T3 and the T1. This less-expensive, lower powered model is a fantastic value for the smaller riders or would make a great gift for a kid. While this board does have a weight limit of 187 lbs, it does increase the likelihood of breaking the board the closer to the weight limit you get and feels slower and more sluggish, substantially decreasing its appeal if you are over 150-160 lbs. If that is the case, then you would be much better served by a different model, like the Swagtron T1 or the Swagtron T3.

The T5 is a great choice for smaller individuals shopping on a budget.
The T5 is a great choice for smaller individuals shopping on a budget.

Performance Comparison


To test these products, we conducted about 20 different tests, divided among four weighted metrics. We scored each product in each metric, which were then combined to get an overall score ranging from 0-100. The following sections detail the T5's performance — where it did well, and where the competition rolled over it.

Fun Factor


The most important metric in our test — Fun Factor — merited the largest portion of the overall score, accounting for 50% of the final score. We evaluated how much fun each board was to ride with a panel of expert hoverboard riders, the maximum speed, the weight, available colors, Bluetooth connectivity, as well as compatibility with easily available accessories to determine the score. The Swagtron T5 was decently fun to ride, earning it a 6 out of 10. You can see how this stacked up to the rest of the pack in the chart below.


This board was reasonably well received by our rating panel, feeling very nimble and maneuverable, as well as feeling very stable when doing turns.

The T5 is very nimble and agile.
The T5 is very nimble and agile.

For our adult testers, this model did feel underpowered and slow, only hitting a top speed of 7.1 mph in out maximum speed test. You can see how this compares to the other boards in the chart below.


However, this was the lightest model of our test, making it the easiest of all the boards to carry when you weren't hovering around. The T5 weighed in at 19.6 lbs, significantly less than most of the models in the test, as shown in the following chart.


This board will also fit in most third-party carrying cases or roller bags, making it even easier to transport when you aren't hovering around. The T5 is only available in black or white and does not have any Bluetooth connectivity. However, this board easily fits in most third-party soft skins if you want to add a bit of flair to your board, as well as fitting in a generic hoverboard carrying bag for easy transport.

Outdoor Capabilities


While the T5 is reasonably fun, it is best confined to the pavement, performing very poorly when it ventured off the road. We rode this board up and down a steep incline, over packed dirt and sand, across grassy areas and bumpy roads, as well as over the threshold in a doorway. The T5 definitely failed to impress, earning a meager 3 out of 10 for its paltry performance in this metric, which made up 20% of the final score. The chart below shows just how much better the majority of other boards did.


The T5 was not thrilled with our incline test and noticeably struggled to push our adult male tester up a 14% grade hill. The T5 would start pushing back, similar to when the board was approaching its maximum speed on flat ground. It was also a little finicky on the way back down the hill, about the same as the T1 or the Razor.

If you don't live in a flat region  then the T5 probably isn't the best board for you.
If you don't live in a flat region, then the T5 probably isn't the best board for you.

This model couldn't really traverse short grass patches, its smaller wheels and lack of power almost immediately dooming it to failure. It did a minuscule amount better at covering packed dirt or sand patches but definitely struggled immensely.

The smaller wheels of the T5 put it at a distinct disadvantage when riding off-road.
The smaller wheels of the T5 put it at a distinct disadvantage when riding off-road.

These smaller wheels also made it quite difficult to roll past cracks without getting stuck or successfully clear the threshold in a doorway.

Support


Support was on par with the Outdoor Capabilities metric, also making up 20% of the total score. The T5 scored very well in this metric — like the other Swagtron models — earning a 7 out of 10. This score was based on how well it stood up to testing, the level of warranty on the board, our experience with the support staff, and if there was a phone number available to use as a contact method. You chart below shows how the T5's level of support exceeded many of the other models in the review.


This board held up quite well to our testing regime, only sustaining minor scratches, scrapes, and scuffs from a handful of crashes — nothing that would actually impact the performance of the board, only its appearance. This model does have a phone number that you can call to contract support — that actually works, unlike some other models in the test. Swagtron provided a prompt and helpful response to our questions about changing modes. In addition, they also offer a 1-year limited warranty, the full terms of which can be found in the manual or on their site.

For such a small board  the T5 had an average battery life.
For such a small board, the T5 had an average battery life.

Battery


The fourth and final metric of our testing process was battery life, accounting for the final 10% of the score. We compared the range of each board traveling as close to the top speed as possible, timing how long each board lasted when traveling through an obstacle course, and how long it took to charge a depleted board. This smaller board had a reasonable battery life, earning it a 5 out of 10, putting it solidly in the middle of the pack, as shown by the following chart.


The T5 lasted for about 5 miles before calling it quits, about average for the smaller boards, as shown below.


It performed similarly in our runtime test, lasting for an hour and twenty minutes doing a variety of turn, spins, and direction changes. Finally, the T5 earned a few extra points for charging quickly, taking less than an hour and a half to completely top off.

Value


This board is a fantastic value for those on the lighter side but it rapidly drops in value the closer you are to its maximum weight limit of 187 lbs.

Conclusion


This board is reasonably fun, fast, and maneuverable as long as you primarily stick to relatively flat, smooth, paved surfaces. The Swagtron T5 struggles with rougher roads, steep hills, and off-road terrain, particularly for most adult riders (over 140 lbs). For children or other users below that threshold, this is a great board if you are shopping on a budget and is definitely worth considering.
David Wise and Austin Palmer

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