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Hands-on Gear Review
XtremePowerUS Self Balancing Scooter Review
Price: $250 List | $179.95 at Amazon
Pros: Inexpensive, agile, fun
Cons: Slow, underpowered
Bottom line: This economical hoverboard is the best bet for those on the tightest budget
Measured Weight: 21.6 lbs.
Measured Speed: 7.5 mph
The XtremePowerUS isn't the best board of the group, but it delivered an acceptable performance across the board. This board is a little on the slow side and relatively underpowered compared to other models, but is still quite fun to ride. It does a decent job on off-road terrain and has an acceptable battery life. However, while it does have customer support available, we found it to be a little lacking. Nevertheless, this model's performance coupled with its fantastic price make it an excellent value, earning it our Best Buy award and is our top pick for those shopping on a tight budget.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The XtremePowerUS is an economical option that didn't blow us away but doesn't disappoint. It's the best option that we have found if you are searching on a tight budget and don't want to spend over $300 on one of these. While there are some drawbacks, such as a slower top speed and a mediocre customer support experience, this is still tons of fun to ride and one of the best values you can get.
To evaluate hoverboards, we spent hours and hours researching dozens of models online, then purchased the top boards, testing them side-by-side to determine the award winners. The final scores ranged from 0-100, based on the performance of each board in our four weighted rating metrics — Fun Factor, Outdoor Capabilities, Support, and Battery Life — each with a handful of different tests. The following sections provide more detail about the performance of the XtremePowerUS, where it excelled and where it performed less than ideally.
The most heavily weighted metric of our test, Fun Factor accounted for 50% of the total score for each board. To assess this, we had a panel of riders play with each hoverboard, noting their likes and dislike. In addition, we also measured the top speed of each board and looked at what additional fun extras each model had, such as built-in Bluetooth speakers, available colors, and compatibility with third-party accessories. The XtremePowerUS was reasonably fun compared to the other models, as shown in the chart below, earning a 6 out of 10 in this metric.
This board does include a built-in speaker — a bit of a rarity for the smaller boards, with only the Swagtron T3 and the Hoverzon XLS having one as well. This board hit a top speed of 7.5 mph in our test — a little slower than most, as shown in the chart below.
Unfortunately, this board wasn't terribly stable at its maximum speed, feeling a little wobbly and overall unsteady. However, this board does redeem itself slightly when comparing the weight of each product. The XtremePowerUS weighs in at 21.6 lbs — relatively light compared to the group, as shown below.
This model is available in five colors: black, blue, gold, pink, and rose gold. We tested the rose gold version and did find that the metallic casing was prone to scratching — something you may want to consider when selecting your board. This model didn't have any protective skins available, but does include a protective carrying case.
Our panel felt that this board was quite fun to ride. It's nimble and agile, but lags slightly when doing rapid direction changes, making repeated back and forth movements a little sketchy.
Moving on to our next rating metric, Outdoor Capabilities, the XtremePowerUS did an unimpressive but not awful job, earning a 5 out of 10. You can see how this stacked up against the rest of the pack in the chart below.
Obviously, this smaller hoverboard is at a distinct disadvantage to boards like the Swagtron T6 or the Segway with its smaller wheels. However, this model did reasonably well across the board in our suite of tests, ascending and descending a steep hill, crossing packed dirt and sand, traversing grass, and cruising over cracks and rough roads.
For the first test — riding up and down a steep hill (14% grade) — the XtremePowerUS did quite well. It made it up and down without any major incident — none of the freewheeling mode or motor disengagement that we found in the Swagtron T3 or the Hoverzon.
This model did about average at crossing patches of shorter grass, but faltered a little in the longer grass, lacking the power to prevent getting bogged down. The XtremePowerUS actually did quite well at driving over dirt and packed sand, performing above average — on par with the Swagtron T3.
This board continued its reasonably satisfactory performance when driving over rough roads, crack, and bumps. It does well, but there is only so much that can be done when it has such a small wheel size. These wheels could usually clear small obstacles, such as an entry threshold or small cracks, if approached with some speed, but the experience was usually harrowing, with a non-trivial chance of crashing.
On par with the previous metric, the Support rating metric also accounted for 20% of the total score. Usually not worthy of such a large portion of the total score, Support it is of particular importance to pay attention to for these products. These products can be damaged or require service and have manufacturers that are notoriously difficult to contact. To evaluate performance for this metric, we tried to contact each company by phone and email, rating the responses and promptness — if we even managed to contact them in the first place. We also looked at how well each board held up to our testing process, noting any damage it sustained, and compared the warranty included with each board. We found the support experience for the XtremePowerUS to be slightly subpar, earning it a 4 out of 10. You can see how this stacks up against the rest of the boards in the chart below.
The XtremePowerUS held up to our side-by-side testing process relatively well, with no major damage sustained. However, the metallic casing did scratch and scuff extremely easily.
There is a phone number available to contact the manufacturer, though there was no response the first time we called. They did answer on a second attempt, though it wasn't the most helpful or professional support experience. In the end, they didn't really answer any of our questions, just referring us to the manual and providing us an electronic copy of it. This model also had one of the shortest warranties of any that we tested — only 3 months, hurting its score.
The final metric in our test, Battery, accounted for the remaining 10% of the total score. These products rely on battery powered gyroscopes and accelerometers to ride, meaning that they are essentially paperweights when the battery is depleted. We scored each board on how long it lasted when playing, completing a variety of turns, twists, and maneuvers, its maximum range, and the time it took to charge a fully depleted battery. The XtremePowerUS did reasonably well in this test, earning a 5 out of 10 for its performance, with the chart below showing how this compared to the rest of the group.
This model had about an average range, traveling for 6.2 miles on flat ground before dying. The chart below shows how this compared to the rest of the fleet.
The XtremePowerUS finished right in the middle of the pack in our runtime assessment, lasting for 1:20 before the battery was too depleted to continue operating. This put it right on par with the Swagtron T3 and the Swagtron T5. However, this model did take a significantly longer amount of time to charge, taking about 3 hours before the charger signaled it was ready. This is double what comparable models needed, with the T3 and the T5 only requiring 1:15 and 1:20 on the charger, respectively.
While there are some notable deficiencies, the XtremePowerUS is an overall fantastic value. This model performed reasonably well across the board at a price that can't be beaten.
The XtremePowerUS is a relatively generic and uninspiring typical hoverboard. However, it retails for much less than similar products and isn't terrible. The customer support could be improved, but all in all, this is a great board for the money and the best option for those that want to start cruising around on a hoverboard without destroying their budget.
— David Wise and Austin Palmer
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