What’s not so good

The app. The companion app has some helpful information, like how fast you’re going and the board’s remaining range (though you probably shouldn’t be looking at that while riding.) You can also use it to remotely control the board, if you’re so lazy that you don’t want to walk to wherever you’ve left it. (It’s not nearly as easy to control as you’d expect this way, mind you.)

Ridding the app of spelling errors is the only ridding I want to do.
Ridding the app of spelling errors is the only ridding I want to do.
Image: Ninebot app screenshot

But the app has a lot of issues—it looks like it was designed for a mid-2000s Windows computer, and is riddled with confusing spelling errors. It also forces you to sit through an educational slideshow before you can ride the device, and you have to wait for 5 seconds on every slide before you can swipe to the next one. While educating riders isn’t the worst idea, the slideshow inexplicably reappears once you’ve completed 1 kilometer of riding, and the app forces you to read through the safety instructions again.

Not cheap. The miniPRO costs $1,000—far more than many of the hoverboards from last year. That being said, it’s less likely to fall apart or blow up.

Hurts your knees. The knee-height steering pole both looks and feels awkward. I’ve ridden it a lot this past week, and I’m getting a dull pain on the sides of my knees that hit the padded part of the pole—a very similar pain to the feeling of getting back on a bicycle after too much riding the day before.

Incessant beeping. It beeps far too much—it’s almost like an “everything’s OK alarm.” It beeps when you turn it on, when you turn it off, when you step on, when you step off, when you go too fast, when you back up too quickly, when you connect the app, when you remotely control it, when you don’t ride it for a few minutes, when you pick it up, and when you put it down. Chances are, if you touch it or its app, it’ll beep.

No short people. You have to be at least 4″ 3’ (1.3 m)  to ride the miniPRO, so this won’t top the Christmas lists of many children. You also can’t weigh less than 80 lbs, or more than 220 lbs (36-100 kg).

It’s heavy. Unlike the average hoverboard, it’s not something you can pick up when you’re finished using it. It’s heavy, and the awkward extending arm built into the knee pole doesn’t really help much.

Should you get one?

Even with all the beeping, the confusing app, the heft of the price tag and the board itself, it’s still a hell of a lot of fun to ride, and it’s the first hoverboard-shaped object I’ve seriously considered getting. But I can’t ride it on the street in New York City, and if I keep zipping around colleagues at the office with it, I might find it at the bottom of the East River one of these days.

Much like an Apple Watch or an Amazon Echo, no one really needs one of these. But if you live somewhere relatively open, where personal transporters are legal, the miniPRO might be the hoverboard for you. Just make sure you can put up with all the beeps.

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