Buyer’s Guide: The Best Electric Unicycles for 2017

It’s no secret that unicycles have always possessed a comedic factor, but there are some that actually use them for more than post-clown school interactions. Much like the hoverboard sensation...
electric unicycle at train station

Buyer’s Guide: The Best Electric Unicycle

It’s no secret that unicycles have always possessed a comedic factor, but there are some that actually use them for more than post-clown school interactions. Much like the hoverboard sensation, the best electric unicycles are ones that use weight as a primary component for movement. While they’ll take a bit more practice to use than your standard hoverboard, they’re fun to fly on when you get it down pat. In this article, we’ll discuss the benefits of owning an electric unicycle, the factors you should consider before purchasing, as well as tips to know before diving in and purchasing.

How an Electric Unicycle Works

Within the wheel of the electric unicycle, there’s a CPU component that performs much like a brain does – sending signals for movements and using weight to balance. In fact, it even controls any lights or sounds that emits from the electric unicycle. As for the movement aspect, the gyroscope picks up on the weight and translates this into fluid movement. Beyond this, the wheel has a sensor on it to measure the wheel spin and rotation, as well as the direction, along with FET power transistors. The gyroscope, CPU, and motor combine into one working movement to translate the weight into movement as a whole. Without one, the other cannot work.

Electric unicycles differ from hoverboards in two major ways:

Speed – a hoverboard cannot go any faster than 8 or 9 miles per hour, while some unicycle units can go as high as 22 miles per hour.

Wheel size – generally, the wheel size is a huge differentiating factor. Unicycles typically have larger wheels, which is a huge advantage in comparison to the standard 7-inch hoverboard wheels.

Let’s take a look at some of the benefits your standard electric unicycle has to offer.

The Benefits of Buying the Best Electric Unicycle

You may be thinking to yourself, “what other benefits could there be besides having a great conversation starter?” In short, those that want to actually use this as a method of transportation will be happy to know that they’re generally more compact than your average hoverboard. Because of this, you’ll be able to slip this in virtually any bag that you wish, and begin your daily transportation journey.

While fun, electric unicycles are futuristic and provide you with a seamless experience that won’t pollute the air. Instead of using a bus or gas powered by gas, you can now ride the waves of electrical charge to work. In doing so, you reduce your carbon footprint by a lot.

Now, there are those who are more on the extreme side and aren’t using a unicycle as transportation, and are using it to help them adjust their balance and core strength. Since a unicycle is much harder to balance on than your average hoverboard, you’re going to need a lot more centering. While we don’t suggest those with vertigo to take part in using one of these, those that have other balancing issues may be able to work on bettering their balancing act.

Did we mention how fast unicycles generally go? We’re not talking about your average, and the electric ones go much faster than your standard hoverboard. In fact, there are some that can go upwards of 25 miles while going as fast as 18/19 miles per hour! It’s worth mentioning that this entirely depends on how well you can use it, and if your balance is wobbly, you probably won’t be getting the full speed out of it.

skateboard vs hoverboard vs electric unicycle

Comparing the footprint and maneuverability of a skateboard vs hoverboard vs electric unicycle. (Source)

A hoverboard is seen as a lesser when it comes to practicality in comparison to an electric unicycle. This is due to the fact that unicycles are capable of curving around corners, whereas hoverboards are not. For hoverboards, you have to use weight to back it out a bit, and then turn, or you have to make a really wide turn that’s basically not considered a “turn”. Beyond this, unicycles are larger wheels, which are much more efficient for tougher terrain, whereas hoverboards aren’t meant for such rough surfaces with their wheels that are less than 8-inches in diameter.

This may go without saying, but unicycles are fantastic for their portability factors. You don’t need any crazy long chords, and you don’t need a bag as large as a hoverboard’s storage. You’ll only need something large enough to fit one wheel that has a little motor inside. Beyond this, these are generally rechargeable with a lithium-ion battery, and can last for quite a long time before requiring re-charging.

Factors to Consider Before Buying an Electric Unicycle

Depending on the brand you’ve purchased, or the type of battery included, there are varying charging times; however, below, you’ll find a basic guide on how long each type of battery takes to charge. This is great for those that have to use their potential unicycle every day, and need a time frame to charge it.

  • A 130W battery can become full recharged in 1.5 hours.
  • A170W battery takes between 1.5 and 2 hours
  • Batteries between 300-500W battery take around 3 to 4 hours to fully charge.
  • A 600W battery can take as long as 5 to 6 hours.

Of course, your battery level will also be a varying factor of how long it takes to charge, and if you have more power left, but want to charge it just in case, you won’t have to wait as long. We do suggest letting the battery drain before recharging, as when you don’t, you’re encouraging the battery to drain in the future. Reducing the longevity. While not always practical, sometimes necessary to prolong the life of your electric unicycle.

Another factor you should consider is the area you’re riding in. If you aren’t planning to go to and from work, but want to have a bit of fun, you should consider a low to moderate speed. Since you aren’t going crazy on speed and don’t need to rush anywhere, a nice and casual speed will suffice. It’s worth noting that manufacturers of unicycles have set speeds on their models, and these can be as low as 8 miles per hour (the hoverboard maximum), to 18 miles per hour, with some online having 22 MPH capabilities!

electric unicycle on bricks

If you aren’t experienced, you shouldn’t be riding on anything that goes faster than 11mph. Start off slow, and if you enjoy it, invest in a more reliable model for getting to and from work or around your school campus. It’s said that those in the 11MPH to 18MPH range are for more intermediate and experienced riders, and are great for those that want to have a bit more fun, too and get some speed. The unicycles that go this fast generally run on batteries that are 300W and higher, which allow the unicycle to climb up slopes of 25-degrees.

Another question you may ask yourself is how long a charge usually is, and this depends on the distance, not the time. When you see various listings, you’ll notice that it may measure the battery longevity on time like 25 miles, 18 miles, etc. This number is NOT the speed!

There are maximum speeds on unicycles, much like hoverboards. While the unit itself can weigh as much as 17 pounds or as high as 28 pounds, they do have a weight limit. You may see that the general range is between 200lbs., and 264 lbs. Always be sure to find this out if you’re on the huskier side, or if you’re taller, but healthier on weight.

Continue reading to dive right into the reviews we have of the best electric unicycles! NOTE: Many of the best models are not available on Amazon, so you may only be able to find them on exclusive vendors like ewheels.com.

The Best Electric Unicycles on the Market

King Song 16S, 1200 Motor/840Wh Battery

The King Song 16S is top contender that boasts a number of useful features for those that want to get the most out of their cruise. Whether you’re someone who is serious into riding unicycles, or you’re someone who’s a casual hobbyist, you’ll want to check out the 16S with a powerful 1200W motor. Features include the following:

  • Maximum cruising speed of 22 MPH
  • Total unit weight of 38.5 pounds
  • Charging time of 3 hours to reach 80%
  • Maximum weight limit of 300 lbs. – higher than mostly all other unicycles
  • Range is between 38-50 miles on one charge, depending on speed

Right off the bat, you can see why many people prefer the 16S model, as you’re able to ride it an extremely long time on one charge, and you can charge the battery up to 80% within three hours. Beyond this, those that want to ride a unicycle, but haven’t been able to before because of weight limits, will be able to do so on this King Song unit, as it allows up to 300lbs.

King Song 16S Top View

The Advantages of the Product

For those who like to always be on the edge of technology, the mobile app features include being able to view your speed, volume, temperature and the range, while being able to change parameters such as the speed limit, firmware upgrading, headlights, response mode, and overall calibration. With such versatility and control in one product, it’s no wonder that it’s a popular purchase. Let’s not forget to mention that this electric unicycle is actually self-balancing, with a stereo speaker sound system.

The Disadvantages of the Product

We can’t find too many disadvantages, as the weight limit has improved, the mileage range has also increased immensely, and the speed is much faster than others on the market. With that being said, this electric unicycle isn’t that great for beginners, as it may be a bit too heavy (almost 40lbs.), and a bit too fast for their liking.

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Gotway Monster 22” – 1600Wh/4200Wh

gotway monster 22

Another great option from eWheels.com, the Gotway Monster boasts a number of features that are attractive for even the most serious of buyers. These specifications include:

  • 100W motor
  • 30 miles per hour maximum speed
  • 2400Watts per hour battery
  • 2volts
  • Maximum rider weight of 350lbs.
  • Bluetooth capabilities

While there are Bluetooth capabilities, there aren’t any speakers attached to this unit. With riders mentioning a maximum cruise speed of 30MPH, it’s strongly advised to wear wrist guards of the sort. There’s a powerful 100W motor, and a 2400W per hour battery to ensure longevity in your fast ride. The weight of this mini-cycle is around 72lbs., so for those that aren’t beginners, you may want to learn on something a bit less monster-like.

gotway monster 22 handle

The Advantages of the Product

One of the better advantages of this electric unicycle is the fact that the maximum rider weight is 350lbs! There’s only one other we’ve talked about on this list that’s even near that weight, and is great for those who don’t meet the 220lb. maximum that others boast. Beyond this, the maximum speed is an incredible 30 miles per hour. This model is much larger, more durable, and features a 22” wheel – allowing you to use it for getting between work and home, or getting around campus with a heavy set of books in your bag.

The Disadvantages of the Product

While we think the overall product is great, including the maximum speed and rider weight, unfortunately there’s no retractable handle or speakers. This means that those who want to transport easily when not riding can’t retract a handle and store away, and you also can’t listen to music, unlike other models on the market.

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King Song 14D

Next up is a product from the King Song series, that is an upgrade from the Inmotion V5F reviewed later in this article. There are quite a few specifications to this upgraded model, some of which include the following:

  • Weight limit of 220lbs.
  • Battery capacity of 420W per hour
  • 15-20 miles on one charge
  • Short charge time of 1.5-2 hours
  • Cruising speeds of 18.6 MPH
  • Integrated handle
  • Four speakers and side rings for LED effects

Those who are more advanced in riding an electric unicycle will be happy to know that you can get even more speed out this new unit, but going up to cruising speeds of 18.6 miles per hour until you reach 40% battery. After you reach this, your speed will reduce gradually, so you don’t experience short stopping or jolting. The 14D King Song electric unicycle features a sustained 800W motor, and a new control board known as a MOSFET. There are quite a few improvements on this unit versus the Inmotion, like better delivery of power, connectors that are upgraded, and more maximum power. There are also a ton more LEDs to be programmed and used on each side of your wheel, for a visual impact that can’t be touched. Lastly, the telescopic handle is not only lightweight, but composed of durable alloy metal and is retractable for optimal portability.

King Song 14D Side view with lights

The Advantages of the Product

This product features greater power and an upgraded motherboard, along with contouring and side padding that’s ergonomic for long-term comfort. There are two shells constructed within this unit for ultimate durability, and boasted “years” of use. Beyond this, the upgraded design allows the 14” wheels of the King Song 14D to be much easier to transport, and is around 10lbs. lighter than other models, such as the KS16S.

The Disadvantages of the Product

You won’t be able to use the maximum speed of this unit constantly, as it will drop down slower after 40% of using; however, those that don’t like to go that fast, or those who don’t mind slowing down, will not suffer from this. The only other disadvantage that strikes us is a lower maximum weight – which is noted between 220 and 240lbs.

 

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Segway One S1 – Self-Balancing Personal Transporter

segway s1 front view

Yes – Segway has inevitably launched a unicycle. While expected from such a brand, there are quite a few attractive features that are much less clunky than your average Segway. One of the more well-known brands, this product is the One S1 model from said brand, and is composed of a type of hard plastic that boasts a glossy white appearance. Other specifications include the following:

  • Features mobile app control
  • Boasts being self-balancing
  • Reaches top speeds of 12.5 miles per hour
  • 15 miles on a single charge
  • Weights around 25-pounds and is extremely compact
  • Maximum weight of 220 pounds

The minimalistic design that comes equipped with this unit is capable of holding 220 pounds, and reaches top speeds of 12.5 miles per hour. In having the speed in the mid-range, there are some beginners that are able to use this with ease. Beyond this, it’s certified to UL 2272 standards, for those that enjoy the quality assurance aspect of buying a product. The aforementioned unit is powered by a lithium-ion battery that’s capable of going a distance of 15 miles on a single charge. It’s worth noting that anyone between 16 and 50 years old can use this with ease, and the mobile app has quite a few features that allows you to monitor the speed of your device, enable lock mode and carry mode, as well as playing around with various light patterns. Want to be the coolest teen on the block? You may want to invest in this electric unicycle.

segway s1 side shot with people riding

The Advantages of the Product

One of our favorite advantages of this electric unicycle is that it does come with a safety certification – more specifically the UL 2272 standards, that ensures the maximum safety of this unit. Not to be materialistic, but the brand is also a fantastic and reputable one that is a frontrunner in their respective genre of products. Another great feature of this product is that the maximum speed is 12.5 miles an hour, and you can ride a full 15 miles on one charge. Other benefits include the following:

  • Has decent specifications for beginners and those on the lower end of intermediate
  • The ride experience is quite smooth thanks to the treading on the single tire
  • App integration for personalization of your ride

The Disadvantages of the Product

The maximum weight limit on this device is on the lower end in comparison with competitors, having a cap of 220lbs. Taller men that aren’t so lanky or those that are huskier may want to look into another electric unicycle just to be safe. If you’re looking to go and from work on this, and your work is kind of far away, 12.5 miles may not be optimal for what you’re looking for; however, this is a decent speed for those traveling just on sidewalks. Beyond this, you may find the following inconvenient:

  • Doesn’t have a security features, despite having carry and lock features
  • There are no retractable handles on this unit
  • The app may not work for some people, but most have been able to use it with ease

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Inmotion V5F Electric Unicycle

 

Inmotion V5F Electric Unicycle (Black)

Next on our list is a unicycle for those techies that want to light up the night and look cool doing it. The flagship design from the Inmotion brand is making waves and selling out quick. While being extremely light, other features of this electric unicycle include the following:

  • A chip on the front of the shell known as an “intelligent chip” – prevention of short stopping
  • Provides a smooth experience because of intelligent chip
  • Smart lights installed on both the front and the rear – different colors for noticing the rider
  • 550W motor, lithium-ion battery that’s 320 watts
  • Maximum speed of 15.5 miles per hour, with a maximum distance of 21.7 on a single charge
  • The battery charge time is around 3-4 hours
  • A max load weight of 264 pounds

The high-grade design of this electric unicycle is what catches the eyes of potential buyers the most. Being able to light up in many areas, including the front and the rear, allow you to be seen when riding at night. Having this as a feature is pivotal in your safety. Beyond this, the air pump is hidden under the cover of the device, and it features a wheel-locking button that’s simple to use. This button is located under the handle to ensure that your on and off experience isn’t frustrating. As we mentioned before, there is a type of intelligent chip installed within the top of the shell that faces upwards. In having this implemented within the unit, you’re going to be protected from sudden stopping that your unicycle would otherwise become a victim of, as well as allowing you to work efficiently in tighter areas. Beyond this, the ride that you’ll be experiencing is quite smooth, with the whole unit weighing only 26.4 pounds – 10% of the max user’s weight.

The Advantages of the Product

One of the nifty features of this unit is that 70% of the energy used can be regenerated once you hit that brake! Another fantastic feature goes out to the safety light implementation on this device. Whether someone is looking at the front or the rear, you’ll be able to be noticed with ease. The front lights are white, and the rear lights are red, much like your standard vehicle. The weight of the device is no larger than 26.4 pounds, and the motor is a 550W motor, that only takes upwards of 3.5 hours to charge, depending on your maximum charge. Beyond this, there’s app integration to get the most out of your electric unicycle. Lastly, we think that the implementation of the intelligence chip is fantastic for those that want to maneuver in dense areas, like large cities with tons of people.

The Disadvantages of the Features

While there is a safety feature, and many other attractive features equipped within this device, this electric unicycle is not UL2272 certified, so you’ll have to purchase and use at your own risk. Developed by INMOITION in Shenzhen, China, their specialization is in sensor controlled vehicles. Those that want something efficient, but are larger than 264 pounds will have to look elsewhere for something reliable, and those that don’t want to go as fast as 15.5 miles per hour may want something on the lower end to be safe.

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SWAGTRON SwagRoller Electric Unicycle

swagtron sideview

This next unit is manufactured by Swagtron, and is dubbed the “swagroller”. Great for teens and above, this unique and sleek futuristic electric unicycle boasts quite a few features. Some of these include the following:

  • Dual air-filled tires
  • App integration and Bluetooth speakers within the unit
  • Tires are multi-terrain
  • Handle is retractable for optimal storage
  • Customize LED light pattern on the unit
  • Capable of riding up 15-degree inclines
  • Travels as 12.4 miles on one charge
  • 450W motor for traveling

Instead of working about balancing on one tire, this unit comes with dual air-filled tires that have tread great enough for rougher terrain, and different types of terrain. You’ll find that this electric unicycle is capable of inclining at 15-degrees, and travels 12.4 miles on one charge. If you want to customize your lighting experience to match what kind of music you’re playing, you can do so by going into the app and customizing the lighting functions. The 450W motor takes between 3-4 hours to fully charge, depending on how much charge there is left.

swagtron rolling

The Advantages of the Product

Mostly anyone can use this device, as the maximum weight capacity is 264 pounds – the higher end of the weight limit on electric unicycle. Beyond this, the 14-inch dual wheels are great for those that have a bit of trouble balancing, and the general design and name are marketed towards younger users. Because of the stability when riding, you don’t have to worry about your teen taking a nasty fumble, but it may happen – so safety first! Also, the Bluetooth functionality is great for those that want to coast and relax to their favorite album. Another major advantage of this product is that it’s UL2272 certified, and has passed a variety of safety tests for those that want to buy this for their kids, but don’t want to put them at risk. Beyond this, it features:

SentryShield technology – multilayered protection system for dust, air, and water resistance. Known as an IP55 rated technology, you’ll be able to receive alerts via your notifications on the app if anything were to seem off-putting to the intelligence system. When you have these features implemented, you won’t have to worry about how safe the ride is – unless you have terrible balance!

Motor lock functions – You’ll be able to lock the motor via the app for reassurance as you store and transport your portable vehicle.

Retractable handle – Much like the wheeled backpacks, you’ll have a longer retractable handle so ensure transportability when you aren’t riding, or can’t ride the unit. Those who ride to and from work can make the most of this feature.

The Disadvantages of the Features

If you want a longer ride, then you’ll want to invest in an electric unicycle that goes farther than 12.4 miles. We initially thought this was the mileage per hour, but it’s confirmed that you can only ride that far on one single charge. Beyond this, the SwagRoller is not TSA compliant, and you’re not allowed to bring it in an aircraft carrier of any sort. If you wanted to bring this on vacation with you, you’ll have to take another form of transportation or ditch it at home. Because of the cost of adding regenerative breaking, this SwagRoller does not come equipped with it. Noted by the manufacturer, the cost of this device would indefinitely go up if they were to put something as such in this device. Furthermore, the sound quality of this speaker definitely isn’t for a crowd, but is average for the person riding. Don’t expect a crazy concert-like audio system, but it’s great for those that want a little bit of personalization as they ride.

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Step-N-Roll Self-Balancing Electric Unicycle

stepnroll side view

Last on our list is a unicycle that’s manufactured by Step-N-Wheel. Noted as a “high-tech” form of transportation, this compact unit features an algorithm and gyroscope to ensure a smooth balancing mechanism. Beyond this, other features include the following:

  • Brake capabilities by leaning forward or backward
  • 1-year warranty on the device
  • Climbing angle of 35-degrees
  • Speeds of 11 mph – great for beginners
  • Goes as far as 12.4 miles on one charge
  • Lithium-ion battery
  • Maximum weight of 264.5 pounds

If you want something that’ll handle your weight, and something great for beginners, you’ll want to look into this device, as it goes around 11 miles per hour tops, which is fantastic for beginners. Having a climbing incline capability of 35-degrees means you can handle slightly rougher terrains without having to worry. Beyond this, the super strong lithium-ion battery is thanks to Samsung and Step-N-Roll. Having a Samsung lithium-ion battery means you’re going to see longevity in the charging unit. Cheaper lithium-ion batteries drain easier, but that’s not something you have to worry about with the Step-N-Roll. Speaking of the battery, it’s a 60V Samsung batter, with 132Wh. For those that are shorter and interested, the pedal distance from the ground is around 4.4-inches off of the ground. All movements can be done through leaning backwards or forwards. Said movements include: acceleration, deceleration, braking, and more. With full and total control, it’s no wonder why this monocycle is liked.

stepnroll front view

The Advantages of the Product

There’s nothing worse than liking the entirety of the device you’re looking at, only to realize that it’s not for your weight range. Thankfully, this electric unicycle by Step-N-Roll is on the higher end, and can fit those up to 264.5 pounds. Beyond this, there’s a one-year warranty included on the unit, and the tilt protection is around 45-degrees. Speaking of, the incline for this monocycle is 35-degrees, which is fantastic for those who want to navigate on not-so-smooth terrain. After all, not everyone has the luxury of well-paved roads on their commute (or in the backyard!) Beyond this, there’s a speed limit protection and low battery protection implemented within this device, and you’ll notice them if your battery dips below 10%, or the unit goes slower than 6.2 miles per hour. You’ll also see that this monocycle has:

  • 2 training wheels included
  • A training belt included
  • An incredibly short charging time of one hour

The wheel size is 14-inches, which is great for those that want something stronger and sturdier than your average hoverboard, which has wheels that are about half of the size.

The Disadvantages of the Product

There aren’t too many disadvantages of this unit, but If you wanted something that’ll last longer on one charge, you may have to invest in another unit; however, the charging time is only one hour, so you’ll be able to ride almost 12.5 miles and then charge it for a short period, and go out on it again! Another disadvantage is that the manufacturer doesn’t mention if it’s UL2272 compliant, which usually means it’s not, but we’re not going to totally assume. One last disadvantage of this unit is that the design looks more like something from a toolbox, and is less reminiscent of a unicycle – especially electric; however, this may be good for those who are interested in a unique design that doesn’t’ look exactly like a one-wheeled transportation device.

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The Final Verdict

There are many great products listed here, but only one can make the cut for the best electric unicycle on the market. We believe that one of the best is the King Song 14D by eWheels, as the motor is capable of a power output over 800W, with a maximum over 128 cells for the battery – which is much, much more than some of the products on this list. When you purchase the King Song 14B, you’ll be able to reap the benefits of a removable pack, Bluetooth capabilities, like music, and even LED headlights to make sure that you’re going to be seen at night. Want to go cruising? Jump on and ramp up to 18.6 miles per hour until the battery is dropped down to 40%. The best part? You can ride quite fast for up to 20 miles on one charge, thanks to the 420W battery capacity.

Tips for Riding an Electric Unicycle

Since electric unicycles depend on weight, balance, and a motor for movement, there are tips to know to ensure you’re going to safely ride the unicycle. Practice using the following tips:

  • Sometimes, there are straps on hoverboards. If you want to eventually be able to ride this without, don’t get too used to it while practicing or you won’t be able to transition well. Although, safety first!
  • Make sure to practice in an area that has something you can grab onto – any place with walls, rails, or even trees for you to hold onto in an outside area. We think the most reliable thing to have with you is a friend, as you’ll be able to practice more when you have your very own walking wall.
  • You should always practice on flat surfaces, and nothing obstructing the way. We know you want to get out there and tackle the tough terrain immediately to get used to it, but as a newbie, you can really hurt yourself.
  • Before anything, make sure you know which foot is your dominant foot. If you don’t know which foot this is, place your feet firmly on the ground and ask your buddy to push you from behind. The foot that actually goes forward first is considered the more dominant of the two, and not the only that stays locked into place.
  • Most unicycles use the general rule (like hoverboards) that leaning forward allows you to speed up, while leaning backward will allow you to slow down.
  • You should practice emergency braking on sidewalks, especially if you’re going to be using this as a method of transportation when downtown.
  • Bumpy ride: when you come to a bumpy area, you should slightly crouch and straighten as if you were going to do a small jump. Make sure to slow down when you’re coming off of shorter ledges, and ensure that your weight is kept where your unicycle’s wheel is going. In doing so, you can keep your balance on not-so-ideal terrain.
  • Always be sure to look at the waterproof capabilities to ensure that riding during specific weather isn’t forbidden.

 

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Instead of constantly gaming and not working, I’ve decided to try and work in the world of gaming. While I don’t design games, or write for them, I test accessories and gaming products out and bring quality content directly to you – in an unbiased fashion.

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