The iPong Original table tennis robot was, as the name suggests, the original iPong robot. When first released in 2011 it was a revolutionary idea and a completely new style of table tennis robot. Here is our review.
iPong is a US brand that specializes in producing low-cost, tabletop table tennis robots. iPong robots are sometimes rebranded as “Joola Buddy”. iPong robots are made in China.
Here’s everything you need to know about the iPong Original table tennis robot…
The iPong Original has some advanced features. It is able to produce two different types of spin (topspin and backspin). It can hold up to 110 table tennis balls, which is a lot more than the iPong Mini or Expert. It also gives you the ability to change the frequency of ball delivery.
The following description comes directly from iPong…
The iPong Original is the perfect training robot for practicing without a partner. With quick and simple assembly, get ready to play table tennis in seconds! It holds up to 110 balls and casts at an adjustable frequency ranging from 12 to 70 balls per minute. With the wired remote control, ball frequency and spin control are easily adjustable from your end of the table. The possibilities are endless, from playing with friends to playing solo, eliminating the need to fold up the other half the table. Choose between topspin and underspin, set your own pace, and start training like a champion! This simple, affordable, and fun table tennis robot brings recreational table tennis to a new and higher level of competitive play.
And here’s a promotional video from iPong…
This is a basic table tennis robot that is aimed at new players looking to use a robot for developing simple stroke technique.
The iPong Original table tennis robot is small and lightweight. It is made of plastic and designed to be super portable.
I think it’s best to say right from the start that this is a fairly cheap robot. Some robots, like the Butterfly Amicus Professional, cost close to $2,000! The iPong Original is on sale for less than $100. Therefore, you can’t really expect the two robots to be anywhere near comparable.
However, if you are looking for something simple, and don’t want to spend loads of money, the iPong Original could be a very good option.
I like that it is big enough to be able to hold a decent number of balls. Nobody wants to have to keep stopping to refill the robot every 30 seconds. I also really like that it can produce both topspin and backspin balls. Learning to loop against backspin is one of the best uses of a training robot – as it’s difficult to find beginners you can chop or push backspin consistently. I personally would always advise players to buy a robot with the ability to create backspin balls.
The iPong Original is also a great way to “test the waters” when it comes to training with a robot. If you find you enjoy it, and you keep up the motivation to practice, then you can always upgrade for a fancier robot. If you decide training with a robot isn’t for you, or you lose interest – at least you haven’t wasted too much money!
Finally, I’m pleased to say that the iPong Original table tennis robot works well with both the old celluloid 40mm balls and the new plastic 40+ ones. For a while, I know a lot of players were worried that the new balls wouldn’t work in their robots due to the small increase in size – but they do. You can read our ball reviews here.
The iPong Original is a bit dated now. It has since been replaced by the iPong V200.
BUY THE ROBOT
You can buy the iPong Original from Amazon.
- Amazon.com: Buy the iPong Original for $85.
Or why not check out our favorite table tennis robot, the Newgy Robo-Pong 2050. The Robo-Pong 2050 is the top-of-the-range robot from US company Newgy. It is very reasonably priced and can do everything you might want from a table tennis robot.
- Amazon.com: The best value at $749 (roughly £500).
- Amazon.co.uk: Available for £650. It is imported from the USA.
- Tabletennis11.com: Available for €890.00, with free shipping worldwide.
You might be interested in reading Ben’s popular article The Best Table Tennis Robots, which is available on his Expert Table Tennis blog. And don’t forget to check out all of our other Table Tennis Robot Reviews as well.
Have you used the iPong Original robot yourself? What did you think of it? Please share your experiences and leave a review below in the comments.