Last updated on August 31, 2017
While the pool table is the most popular type of gaming table brought into households across the United States, this table is big, clunky, and a real pain to move around and store, leaving smaller homes and apartments feeling cramped. A great second-best that takes all of these shortcomings into consideration is the table tennis table. Following is an in-depth analysis of one of the top table tennis table’s out there, complete with my very first impressions and information on the delivery contents and warranty.
Table Of Contents
What to Expect
JOOLA is a manufacturer that doesn’t just make a product; they make tools to help aspiring players to reach for the stars and become champions. With a huge passion for the sport itself, you know you can trust this brand to deliver some of the best tables on the market today, and they have yet to disappoint with any of their products so far. The Rally TL 300 most definitely lives up to the high standard set by this company’s goals and by the end of this review, you’ll know exactly why that is. First, let’s jump into the exciting parts with the pros and potential downsides to the product.
- High-quality table top, 15 mm thick, with a charcoal colored medium-density fiberboard (MDF) surface
- The table folds right down the middle for quick and easy transitions between storage and play, and can be folded for one-man practice sessions
- The purchase includes four patented JOOLA brand ball holders that can be attached to the underside of the tables, each being able to hold about three balls, as well as two abacus scorekeepers and a net that matches the table’s sultry charcoal color
- Possibly one of the best of JOOLA’s policies, they will assemble the table for you upon delivery if you so choose. Otherwise, the assembly is not too strenuous.
- The dense table top material makes it difficult to move alone, but eight lockable wheels make for an easy transport
- Although this is a table that comes with score counters, ball holders and its own net, it does not include any paddles or balls in the purchase, but I didn’t find those to be much more in added costs
- The magnetic abacus scorekeepers are, unfortunately, not of the highest quality, so I ended up replacing it with my own classic wooden abacus. Those are usually pretty cheap nowadays, but if you’re looking for something else, there’s always pencil and paper
There are some aspects that I felt helped this product to stand out. For example, I appreciated how easy it was to fold it up and wheel it around all throughout the house. Secondly, the ball holders are a nice touch that helps to keep the game moving when balls go flying in unpredictable directions, occasionally getting lost in hard to reach places. The table’s ability to fold is mostly attributed to the fact that the table is, in fact, divided completely into two individual pieces of board, but I personally did not find this to have any perceivable effect on my games themselves. This is well designed and well executed, aside from the magnetic abaci which I had to replace.
At first, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to assemble the table and get it on its feet all on my own, especially since the boards themselves hold most of the weight of this product. Once I had it all figured out, though, it was smooth sailing and I absolutely fell in love with the thing. Not only is it quick and easy to set the table up for a quality longer session for honing your skills, it also just feels as good as it sounds to play on. The added features aren’t matched in many other tables and so I found them to really add to the charm and uniqueness of the table overall and I believe this to be one of the best tables I think I’ve ever played on.
Design and Materials
A strong MDF table top, albeit a thin one, makes for a smooth and satisfying gaming surface that makes a nice, crisp sound as the ball snaps off of it with every bounce. The charcoal color chosen for the board itself may be a bit bland to some, especially with the matching net, but I, personally, enjoyed the aesthetic and thought that it gave the table a sleek, nuanced look. Having the board cut into two separate pieces was certainly an interesting choice, and it never impacted the game in any negative ways. The metal supports are strong and I experienced no issues with them or the wheels and they worked well to distribute the weight evenly across the boards and tilting of the table was non-existent. In my opinion, I received a fairly well-rounded product with great design and the style to match. The Rally TL 300 is certainly one of the better-looking tables I’ve played on.
I chose to have the table delivered without the assembly option for the sake of this review and upon opening the box, I can honestly say that it was everything you might expect in the package. The two boards rested on top of the metal supports, wheels, net, ball holders, and all the bits and bobs to connect it all together. The instruction manual was easy enough to follow and I have the table up in half an hour. The warranty was sealed away inside the box as well, but we will get to that topic in a minute.
User Experience and Performance
My first several months using Joola’s Rally TL 300 were very satisfying, and I found myself playing more and more. Something that this table did that none of my prior tables have is making me want to keep going. Other tables can be big and clunky, but the wheels took out all the frustration of trying to shift it around and made for optimal space saving as I would set it up in my living room and store it against the back wall to keep the space open when it wasn’t in use. The sound of the ball hitting the table may seem off to some due to the thinness of the actual tabletop, but I, personally, enjoyed it. The magnetic abaci were a good idea, but they ended up suffering from poor execution. It would not surprise me if these were, in fact, an afterthought, because they most certainly perform as such.
Playing table tennis with friends was great fun on this table and the smoothness of the boards meant that it was a fair game every time. I experienced no wear or warping after two months of play, but I’ll definitely update this article if I experience any issues like that. Having the boards as two completely separate pieces hasn’t created any problems around the net area as of yet, but again, that will be updated if anything negative does occur.
The structure itself is sturdy and well designed and building the table wasn’t particularly difficult, and I did not experience any issues with missing parts. Customer service may not be the best, as I called with a “query” for the sake of this review and, unfortunately, I was met with a lukewarm response; however, a response I did receive.
There is a one year warranty on this table that covers any damage incurred through transit, misuse, abuse, negligence, acts of nature and even accidents (including any damage caused during assembly). The warranty also covers tables used in commercial settings, as well as rentals. Though this isn’t the longest warranty I’ve seen, it’s actually rather comprehensive and is great coverage for unforeseeable accidents and issues that may occur within the first few months. Keep in mind, however, that accessing these warranty benefits can possibly be a challenge due to customer support that seemed, in my opinion, to be rather on and off.
Overall, this is a well-built table with an ergonomic and stylish design that makes it perfect for homes with limited space. Extra features add to the appeal to a certain degree, though the magnetic abaci might as well be left in the box. The metal framework is strong and durable and the wheels at its base lend high mobility to the product that weighs, I believe, about 170 lbs. The high-quality material holds up well over time and offers a satisfying sound and feel. Although it is intended for indoor play, it performs equally well outdoors in grassy areas, but it is not meant for outside storage or more extreme weather conditions.
The table’s ability to fold is unique because of the board being split into two entirely separate pieces, which makes folding it for one player practice sessions or one on one matches is just as quick as it is easy. The ball holders are a nice feature and keep the game going, though the balls and paddles are both sold separately.
At the end of the day, JOOLA has crafted a good ping pong table. Although the Rally TL 300 may not be a big innovator, it does its job well and looks good doing it. I would recommend this table to anyone who wants a fun activity for the office or family, as well as anyone that might be looking to get serious about table tennis. With everything it’s accomplished, this is definitely a table worth considering, and that is exactly why it’s one of my personal top three.