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Ipong vs Newgy 540

Ipong  vs Newgy 540 Review

Is the Ipong good value? Are there better options? Are there other robots in same price bracket, and how do they compare? Is this robot suitable for me?

The IPONG robot, also known as the I-Pong or Joola I-pong Robot Buddy, is a new-comer on the market, and appears to be targeting the recreational table tennis market, as it's simple to use and low cost for a table tennis robot. The only real competitor to this robot is the Newgy Robo-Pong 540 robot, which has been around for decades, although not as heavily promoted as the IPONG. Both robots are American designed and made in China, and retail at around the $250 to $290 mark. How do they compare?

Features comparison:

  IPONG Newgy Robo-Pong 540
Max balls/min 70 63
Min balls/min 12 13
Max ball capacity 110 86
Top-spin/Back-spin Yes Yes
Side-spin No Yes
Vary ball speed No Yes
Net weight 2.5 lbs 5.6 lbs

Just looking at these stats, the Newgy 540 seems to be a little ahead, but if we look in more details we'll find that the 540 is actually miles ahead:

  • Max / min balls - not really an important feature as most people will use setting somewhere in the middle of these numbers anyway.
  • Max ball capacity - IPONG is ahead here, although it's simply related to the bucket size, and the 540 could easily be expanded with a few pieces of carton and some sticky tape.
  • Top-spin / Backspin - Very important to most people! Yes the IPONG can do both, however  what they don't tell you is that there is only one setting for backspin, and it's so weak it's almost not worthwhile. There are 2 setting for topspin, heavy and light and nothing in between. The Newgy 540 allows you to adjust the full range, from light topspin to heavy topspin, and light backspin to heavy backspin!
  • Sidespin - Sidespin is used even by beginner players and used extensively by intermediate to top level players. IPONG does not offer this feature at all, where the Newgy 540 offer an adjustable range of light to heavy sidespin in both direction, as well as any combination of side and topspin or backspin!
  • Vary ball speed - Once you've matered the lower speed balls you need to progress to higher speed (and spin). Ipong only has 1 speed, whereas the Newgy 540 has the full range of speeds from slow (just over the net) to fast.
  • Adjustable elevation angle - IPONG does not have this, unless you tilt the whole unit. Newgy 540 allows you to change the head angle to simulate many different ball trajectories. This is an important feature to simulate different heights and angles on the ball.
  • Net weight - IPONG is lighter, but the Newgy 540 is  heavier as it's very sturdy. Both are easy to pickup and transport.

This comparison makes it pretty clear that the Newgy 540 is far superior unit, and since the cost difference between the two is very little, the choice would seem pretty clear to most. In addition to this, Newgy has a great reputation for Robots ranging back several decades, with many users worldwide. So by spending just a little extra, you're getting a much better unit.

NOTE: IPONG has recently released the new IPONG Pro, which is basically the same robot, but with an added oscillation feature, although at a significantly higher price tag as well. It has the same features and limitations as the IPong as illustrated above. The Newgy 1040 is an enhanced version of the Newgy 540 with additional capacity and features, and also with added oscillation features, so if you require oscillation, the 1040 would offer a better comparison.