Last updated on August 31, 2017
If you’re looking for a new hobby or a fun game for the whole family, then this is one product that should be on your radar. Once again, the Germany-based JOOLA has produced a top-shelf game table for us to enjoy and the Inside model is tighter than ever before. With tables manufactured in China and shipped around the world, it’s no wonder these products are the leading line-up in the table tennis industry. Following is an in-depth analysis of JOOLA’s Inside table tennis table with pros, downsides, and my personal experience with it.
Table Of Contents
What to Expect
JOOLA has been a huge American manufacturer since the 1950s and cited itself as the “top of the line in table tennis equipment.” JOOLA also made the table tennis tables of choice for 3 consecutive Olympic Games from 1996 to 2004. Time and time again, the company reveals better and better products that cut straight through the market, and the Inside table is no exception. It has provided my friends and me with insurmountable fun and has been a great source of fun when alternative activities were not readily available.
- The tabletop itself is competition quality and is offered with a choice between 15mm thickness and 18mm thickness, which can affect the way your games might feel, though 15mm is pretty standard for most tables manufactured for recreational use in private homes and business offices. The table comes in two separate halves that can be folded to provide a one player practice setup as well
- The table’s 8 small 3-inch casters allow for easy movement over most surfaces such as thick carpet, asphalt and more. The locking mechanisms on the wheels ensure that the table won’t shift during play or slide around while in storage and the extent to which the table folds makes transportation and storage incredibly quick and simple. Safety latches are also in place to keep the table from unfolding itself while it is mobile
- The table’s steel framework lends itself a good bit of strength and longevity, and I’m confident that, with such material and structure, this table will last at least a decade.
- For a company with such prowess in the industry, it’s surprising to hear stories of its lackluster customer support when things go wrong. Numerous buyers reported having parts damaged in delivery, which were usually met with a lukewarm apology and offers for more free products, though many of the issues were easily remedied in the end through warranties
- Aside from that, it should be noted that the individual tabletop boards do not physically latch on to one another in any way, shape or form. They’re simplistic at best and are designed to press against each other. Though I didn’t experience many issues with this aspect of the table, I understand that this may be the nail in the coffin for many potential buyers
JOOLA’s Inside table may have some glaring downsides hanging off of it, but it also has some fantastic aspects to it as well. First of all, I’d like to point out that when this table goes for the high notes, it really hits them. Everything from the speedy delivery of a mostly-assembled product to the feeling you get when playing on this table, everything is just really satisfying. The high rate of mobility and easy storage are a nice touch and the ability to fold the individual pieces to practice your skills alone was an excellent function that every great table tennis table should be able to perform. The net was easy to manipulate to the proper position and tension and the game was never hindered by the lack of unity between the two boards, though it was a common worry expressed by several potential buyers.
My first thought upon opening the box was that it’s rare to receive large shipments such as this as near-fully assembled pieces. It was definitely a welcome change to skip past the tedium of doing it yourself style furniture building, especially since I buy a lot of my furniture from IKEA. It was difficult to lift the table onto its feet by my lonesome, and so I ended up having a friend come over to help me set the table up and we celebrated by playing a couple rounds and it was an incredibly smooth experience.
It honestly exceeded my expectations as we finished our third game and packed it up for storage in my closet. I appreciated the architecture of the table and I felt that the safety features on this table were good compared to the other tables I’ve dealt with before that didn’t take transportation or storage space into consideration.
Not only is t compact and easy to handle once it is finally setup, but it is also durable and long-lasting. I wouldn’t recommend it being used extensively outdoors or even being stored there, but I played a few games outside with friends as well and it was always a fun time for all.
Design and Materials
While the casters and framework were manufactured from welded steel, the board itself was made from composite wood, with the net being made of a light and flexible cotton. JOOLA is clearly aiming for a professional competition standard design here and, as far as I’m concerned, the Inside table does this fairly well to achieve this through its ergonomic design.
Although it is relatively simple, the design is well executed and the decision not to include any mechanism for the two tabletop surfaces to formally connect with each other turns out to be not as counter-intuitive as it initially seems. Beyond that, I’d say that the flaws that are there are mostly overshadowed by a number of things that are done right.
Delivery was quick, as I received the package two days after placing my order, and the table was almost completely assembled right out of the box, which was good because the instruction manual, if you can call it that, was vague and unhelpful. The table was heavy and required more than one person to lift and carry it properly. Once the package made it up a flight of stairs and through a narrow doorway, though, it was perfectly fine. Included in the instruction manual was information on the company’s warranty, which I’ll be covering in more detail a little further into this review.
User Experience and Performance
After a solid two months of constant use, I think I’ve gained enough experience to accurately discuss this table’s performance over time. I’d like to start out by saying that this is one of the best ping pong table I tested over the years and it is not a table that shows wear easily over time. I’ve played a game or two on this table every other day and it still looks and performs as if it were fresh out of the factory.
I often played with friends who would come over for some relaxation, and we would play this to simply pass the time. Every game was consistently smooth and the fact that the boards don’t really come together was never a major problem. The structure of the metal supports also allow for adjustment to accommodate for uneven grounding if you decided to play a game or two outside.
It was the life of the party during a Valentine’s Day shindig and was a great ice breaker for bringing people together in a fun and engaging way. It may have a design based on competing competition-level tables, but it provides an excellent play experience for those of all skill levels. The table was always smooth and the sound was crisp and satisfying as the ball would bounce across of the tabletop. There was never a dull moment or any hiccups with the build and the parts that I did assemble held up fairly well.
There is a one year warranty on this table that covers most potential damage that may be caused by transit, misuse, abuse, negligence, acts of nature and even accidents (including any damage caused during assembly). The warranty also applies to any table intended for use in commercial settings, as well as rentals. Though this isn’t the longest warranty I’ve seen, it is one of the most comprehensive for a product of this type and acts as great coverage for unforeseeable accidents and issues that may occur within the first few months. Keep in mind, however, that accessing these warranty benefits may prove to be a challenge due to lackluster customer support.
Overall, I think this is a fantastically designed table tennis table and that JOOLA has really outdone themselves. From the extensive versatility of the individual tables to the tight and unmatched game experiences that it provided, I would say this is one of the best tables that I’ve played on in recent memory.
A purchase from JOOLA will get you quality and top-shelf equipment as long as you can put up with the hot and cold customer support and the questionable warranty. I believe those can be overlooked in lieu of the many pros that, in my experience, outweighed the downsides.
I would recommend this product for any family home, any office break room, and any player looking to improve their game and take a step up to the next level, and any potential buyers should now be able to make this purchase with confidence. I hope this review has helped you and that reviews like this will always be available to delve deep into the big purchases in life and get you the facts you need.