Swagtron T580 Review
Pros: Solid customer support, Bluetooth connectivity
Cons: Severely underpowered, short battery life
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Swagtron T580 did not fare well in our rigorous evaluation process. The T580 received below-average marks in every category except the support metric. Unfortunately, this metric says more about the manufacturer than the product itself.
To determine which hoverboards are the best in class we buy all the top products on the market and pit them head-to-head in an identical series of tests. Having completed the battery of tests, we score and rank each board's performance relative to the class. Our tests are divided among four weighted metrics that we have found to be the best evaluation of a quality hoverboard. The details of the T580's performance and ranking are elucidated below.
Accountable for a whopping 50% of a board's total score, our fun factor metric is by far the most important of the evaluation categories. As the name implies, fun factor evaluates the aspects of board performance that contribute to it being amusing and pleasurable. These aspects are the availability of aftermarket accessories, Bluetooth connectivity (including onboard speakers), weight, max speed, and dexterity in our built-to-purpose obstacle course. The T580's performance in this important series of test forces us to say that this board is far from what we'd describe as fun.
While this board has some fun features, it just doesn't have the motor power to deliver in the speed and dexterity that the fun factor evaluations require. This board does sport Bluetooth connectivity, allowing you to pair it with a smartphone and use its companion app. This app shows your current speed and battery level, as well as a few other riding metrics and some basic mapping functions. Additionally, you can also play music through the built-in speaker.
This board is on the lighter side compared to the rest of the group, earning it a few points.
However, this board is much slower than the others — significantly reducing the amount of fun one has while riding.
This board lacked the power of other products, making it more sluggish and less responsive. It lacked the acceleration for quick turns and couldn't keep up if we changed directions abruptly. Additionally, its max speed is 7.4 mph which is quite slow for the class.
Accounts for 20% of the overall score, outdoor capabilities tests for a board's ability to traverse challenging terrain. We take each board up and down a 14% grade, as well as running each one on grass, packed dirt and sand, cracked and bumpy roads, and over thresholds. The T580 delivered another poor performance.
This hoverboard lacked the power to get up the hill, frequently stalling and stopping. When it was driving up the hill, it moved at a snail's pace and was not stable. However, it did reasonably well going down the hill, which was somewhat surprising given the troubles it displayed on the ascent. However, this was an isolated bright spot.
The T580's lack of power was again revealed when traversing off-road terrain. The board faltering on both grass and packed dirt. However, when it came to crossing a threshold or crossing a crack in the road, the T580 did about average — the same as the other small hoverboard models.
The support metric, which accounts for 20% of a board's total score, is the only group of tests in which the T580 delivered an above-average performance. However, it should be acknowledged that this is more of a measure of Swagtron's customer support department than the T580 itself. This metric includes an assessment of a board's warranty, ease of contact with the manufacturer, and the helpfulness of the manufacturer. Additionally, we evaluate the durability of the board as exhibited by any damage at the conclusion of our testing.
This hoverboard includes a 1-year limited warranty, and it is straightforward to contact Swagtron, either by phone, email, or various social media accounts. To evaluate each customer support team, we sent in a common issue to each manufacturer and asked for assistance in troubleshooting. Swagtron responded within 48 hours to our technical inquiries and were clear and helpful in their response.
Additionally, this board also seems quite durable. After our demanding array of tests, the T580 sustaining only minor scrapes and scuffs. This is not the case for several other, burlier-looking hoverboards.
The battery metric is weighted to fill out the remaining 10% of the T580's overall score. To assess the battery on each board, we measured the maximum range, the runtime, and how long it took to recharge fully depleted power cells. Again, the T580 delivered a lackluster performance.
To test runtime, we ran a series of obstacles with each board, requiring multiple starts, stops, turns in both directions, and rapid back and forth direction changes. We timed each board and scored them based on when the battery was drained to the point that it rendered the board inoperable. At 50 minutes, the T580 had one of the shortest runtimes in the class.
For our range test, we ran each hoverboard on flat level ground, scoring based on the distance traveled. As expected based on the previous tests, the T580 also performed very poorly here as well. At 2.6 miles traversed, this was one of the worst performances we've seen a hoverboard deliver.
The T580 does charge relatively quickly, taking a little over an hour to completely recharge in our tests. This outcome is good news because whoever buys one of these little underachievers will be plugging it in frequently.
This board isn't a great value as there are similarly priced products that perform much better across the board.
While we have great respect for the products that Swagtron produces, we are far from impressed with the performance of the T580. It isn't much fun to ride, you can't ride it for very long, and it couldn't handle variable terrain. While this board might be suitable for children or a petite rider, our adult testers found it to be too weak to make it worth an adult's while.
— Nick Miley, David Wise and Austin Palmer