Dartman Smart dartboard review



Video link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ss8LvnHesO0

Well I finally got a soft tip board! Woohoo!!!

Sorry! Ahem Blush

When I seen this board a few month ago I thought it would be great to have it, after waiting so long to get a Dartslive board and been annoyed that they were not coming to the U.K. I seen this and thought I would rather have the Smart dartboard.

I liked the look of it and the fact it had a built in LCD screen was kind of cool, so glad I got one! Smile

Anyway lets start from the beginning with some info. The company Dartman was very new to me but they have a number of boards available and also the very cool looking Gran Board. They are based in Hong Kong which is where I got this board from and you can buy the board direct through Antony Chan if you wish, price is around $160 - $180 in the U.S. but around the $240 buying direct for us in the U.K. with import tax and shipping. But there is also agents in Germany and France but depending where you are the price will likely be around the same in Europe. The board will be available to buy in the U.K. soon too which will be great!

Here is the Dartman site link: http://www.dartman.hk/ But your best off checking Antony's facebook page here: http://www.facebook.com/dartman.antony

There is also a seller in France, you can get in touch on their FB page here: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dartman-F...38?fref=ts

Firmware updates: http://www.dartman.co/

Now I have to admit that playing on a soft tip board is a completely new experience for me so as this is the first board I have owned and played on I don't have any other board to compare this to and can only give my account of how I perceive the product and its also as much a review of my experience as the item itself. So I apologise in advance if I leave out something or misunderstand something relating to the soft tip game and hope that if I do you can comment and correct me or if you need to ask a question then please do so.

Right lets have a look at the features of this board first.

According to the info on the box:

The board is 15.5 inch Worldwide Standard Size Target Area

It has a 7 inch LCD Colour Screen

It is Firmware Updateable

It has a board versus human I Match software

It works by mains power, no batteries option.

BOX AND CONTENTS:

The board is in a fairly large box which is slim and has a handle fitted so easy to transport and light too. Inside you will find:

Smartboard Electronic Dartboard

Operating Instructions (very easy to work out without it though)

1.2m mini USB Cable ( I also got a 3 pin adapter plug for it)

6 Flights

6 Shafts

30+ tips

6 barrels (think they are nickel silver)

Throw Line

Screws and Raw Plugs for fixing board up

I also got a round foam mat which I presume is for the back of the board to deaden the sound, but don't see it mentioned on the box contents.

Here is the pics of that lot:

[Image: 1smartboardbox1_zpsde5796c5.jpg]

[Image: 2smartboardbox2_zps506aaaa4.jpg]

[Image: 3smartboardcontents1_zps4b201601.jpg]

[Image: 4smartboardcontents2_zpse2493359.jpg]

[Image: 5smartboardcontents3_zps8b1fd622.jpg]

[Image: 6smartboardcontents4_zpsd2de3b26.jpg]

[Image: 7smartboardcontents5_zps82b6cb91.jpg]

PICS OF THE BOARD AND ITS FEATURES:

The full dimensions of the board are:

Height from the outer case above the 20 to the bottom = 23 inches - 59cms approx.

Width from outside of case across 11 to 6 = 18.5 inches - 47 cms approx.

Depth of case = 1" 2 16ths - 28mm approx.

Front:

As you can see the board uses the traditional green, red, black and white colours which is nice, apart from the bull area which is red and black but I have seen some steel tips with that combo too.

[Image: 8smartboard1_zpscd36db05.jpg]

Back:

[Image: 9smartboard2_zps927d1cd9.jpg]

The rocker On/Off switch, USB power connection, Micro SD slot with micro SD pre-fitted:

[Image: 10smartboard3_zpsb03c34b2.jpg]

The menu navigation buttons:

[Image: 11smartboard4_zps424cfcff.jpg]

LCD screen with the big red button used for entering options and indicated when you have completed your throw etc:

[Image: 12smartboard5_zps374080d6.jpg]


[Image: 13smartboard6_zps5e671992.jpg]

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MENU OPTIONS:

I have not taken pics of everything as I have gone through all the menu options in the video above but here is what the first screen of options is:

[Image: 18smartboardmenu1_zps4a2f9300.jpg]

You can enter your name in the Career games mode and assign a picture for yourself to use, if you select your name each time you play a career game it will record your stats for those games:

[Image: 19smartboardmenu2_zps6b398e3c.jpg]

The options screen lets you set various options in relation to the display/volume and game settings, see the video above for more detailed info:

[Image: 20smartboardmenu3_zps751e5aed.jpg]

The board all set up and ready top go:

[Image: 21smartboardsetup_zpscd7f1502.jpg]

[Image: 22smartboarddartsinbull_zps97ba98cb.jpg]

Conclusion:


Although I have thrown soft tip darts at my steel tip board, playing on a proper soft tip board and throwing from an 8 foot oche is a new experience to me but I have really enjoyed it so far! Smile

There is some things that still puzzle me a little bit but first I want to talk about the board.

Quality wise on first few hours (about 7 or 8 hours so far) I can't really see anything wrong with the board. The outer casing has a kind of strong but slightly flexy (at the thin edges) plastic and the spider looks to be made of a harder plastic. I think the segments look like they are made of nylon and seem to be durable so far. The tips stuck in well and quite tightly too, not sure if that's a normal thing though?

LCD and sounds so far have worked perfectly although from the oche I cant really see the number it quickly shows as your darts hit, the number in the blue circle, but I guess people with better eyesight than me can but I would prefer if it showed it a little bigger.

Navigating the menus is simple and easy but I was unsure on what some of the fames where such as double in/master out? and at first I did not know what the rounds setting was for but now realise it sets a limit on how many rounds you have to complete a match in.

The USB connection to a power adapter and the 5v connection on the board is a great idea, I think you could use a phone charger or similar if it has the same output and connection type.

Even the darts that came with it although only cheap are more than adequate and it was nice to get so many extra tips.

The only thing that I have found so far that is a very mild thing to complain about was the big red button occasionally felt a little spongy and I had to make sure I pressed more in the centre to register my action, but its a very minor quibble and hardly worth mention.

Updating the firmware was incredibly easy. You just remove the Micro Sd card and wipe it clean, download latest firmware and install on the card then re-insert into board and power up, the software will update the firmware and your good to go.

What I like about this feature of updateable firmware is the chance that more animations, sounds and games and maybe other features can be added. It may be possible at some point to add your own animations and sounds too and would be nice if you could also create and add your own games or challenges like the ones on the forum Smile

Now to some thing that I was not totally clear about, the I-match thing or computer opponent. It has a skill level of 1 - 5 and I set it on 1 which is the lowest and it seemed to be very good, scoring a 107 average (if my maths are right) in the first match I played and then it had a number of legs where it was getting 11 darters and in most cases completing 501 in less than 15 - 18 darts. I had no chance lol so I am not 100% sure if the I-Match is a specific level or if its a system that learns to match you and then plays accordingly as since then I have played it more and its gotten a little easier and I was on a finish before it a few times but incredibly missed my doubles! how can I miss such big doubles!!!! When I set it to level 5 it checked out in 10 darts lol

I think I will have to play longer and see how it goes against the computer and if it continues to be hard to beat on level 1 then I am much worse than I thought or it needs to be toned down a little, a firmware update would sort it though.

Although I nearly hit a 180 on my first match in the video above, (lost my nerve on the last dart) I found it harder than I was expecting just throwing from a few inches further but I suspect throwing with 16g darts is something I need to get used to and I have seen some improvement so far as I am finding the targets easier now or at least getting closer than I did at first.

One thing I could not find though was an option to set a match of a specific number of legs or rounds or even sets, not sure if that's the way it is with soft tip machines though?

I was also a little surprised to find that my darts actually stuck in the board! I thought that with the way my darts usually enter in a steel tip board they would have trouble sticking in the soft tip holes but on the whole I had no issues, had a few bounceouts but not anywhere as many as I though I would.

Which brings me to something I guess is unique to soft tip- bounceouts! I guess they still count, but the top navigation button is also an unthrow button, so if I throw a dart I can cancel that throw, but I am not clear on the rules as to how that works in a soft tip match, I cant throw all 3 and cancel the second one though, so I am sure if I am using that option right, may be someone can clarify. If I am going for a double though and miss with all 3 outside the wire I can just press the red button to tell the machine that I have missed and my throw is over.

One thing about the menu and character creation is that I could not see an option to delete a character or its records, it may be possible to do it on PC with the data from the card but I would like it to be in the menu, another updatable feature maybe?

The final thing is when a tip breaks in a hole, I had one break but luckily I could pull it out, what happens if you cant get it out and your segment becomes full or has a lot of broken tips stuck in? Do you have to take the machine apart to get at it which will void the warranty?

I don't know what the weight limit is for this machine but I threw my 24g soft tip darts at it and they felt much easier to throw from the 8ft oche and for the sake of testing the machines durability I am going to throw with them often but if you get the machine yourself I would probably stick to 18 to 20 gram to be on the safe side.

Overall I have really enjoyed this experience and found it to be much more fun than expected. Playing the computer brings out a competitive nature too and I am itching to keep playing until I beat the fecker! Soft tips is not as easy as I was expecting lol!

The board seems like great quality and has nice features but I think the menu system and possibly the computer AI need a little refining and updating. Its nothing major though and as it stands it is very very good.

A great board and a very enjoyable experience to play on, a huge thumbs up from me! Smile
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Pardon me if this is a stupid question, but how do you fix it up on the wall? A must to nail it in?
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Great review... board looks quite nice, the segments are very similar to the Dartslive 100s.

I find I throw darts differently at my soft tip board than I do the steel tip... In the back of my head, I think if I throw as hard at the soft tip board I will break it... So I feel like I lay off them a bit

Did you find yourself using the same throw on the soft tip board?
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Just curious Jugger what shape are the holes on the Darts live board ,,,I took this pic to compare with the dartman board and and any others that I run across,,,This is a pic of the Arachnid Galaxy board,,,, They were the pioneers of soft tip back in the day ,,, notice the holes are square ,,,


[img][Image: f659a606-10fd-4cff-9084-9098e6fcee88_zpsd919045b.jpg][/img]
[Image: w3A1Oz5.gif]
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Great review thanks. I think if the dart bounces out but the computer scores it, it counts.
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Great review ,,,Cant wait to see what the grand board looks like ,,,and if they come out with an all English android option,,,
[Image: w3A1Oz5.gif]
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(01-13-2015, 06:34 PM)The Big Roberto Wrote: Great review thanks. I think if the dart bounces out but the computer scores it, it counts.

You are correct,,,at least here in the league I am in ,,The boards I throw on have a sensor built into the face of the cabinet ,,not just the round board but the whole square top portion of the cabinet,,,,the registers a missed dart as a thrown dart ,,also a built in timer after the third dart is thrown for the player change without having to hit the big red button,,, default time is 6 seconds,,,,

I have seen very few instances of having thrown 2 darts into the bull and the third dart ricochet off the other darts and stick into the board ,,but not hard enough to trip the trigger,,,,then the player tap on the back of the flight to score the dart then pull his/her darts,,,,
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(01-13-2015, 06:00 PM)hermynog Wrote: Pardon me if this is a stupid question, but how do you fix it up on the wall? A must to nail it in?

The screws that I posted in the pic above go into the holes near the numbers 9,4,16 and 15 Smile


(01-13-2015, 06:00 PM)Jugger Wrote: Great review... board looks quite nice, the segments are very similar to the Dartslive 100s.

I find I throw darts differently at my soft tip board than I do the steel tip... In the back of my head, I think if I throw as hard at the soft tip board I will break it... So I feel like I lay off them a bit

Did you find yourself using the same throw on the soft tip board?

Thanks Jugger, my throw is quite soft which is why I found it a bit harder to throw from 8 foot with the lighter darts but seem to be getting better now, I am hoping that will help with my steel tip game too Smile

(01-13-2015, 06:34 PM)The Big Roberto Wrote: Great review thanks. I think if the dart bounces out but the computer scores it, it counts.

Yeah I thought that was the case but having the option to press the "Un throw" button got me a little confused.

(01-13-2015, 06:35 PM)0ldjoblo Wrote: Great review ,,,Cant wait to see what the grand board looks like ,,,and if they come out with an all English android option,,,

Cheers! Smile
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(01-13-2015, 06:44 PM)0ldjoblo Wrote:
(01-13-2015, 06:34 PM)The Big Roberto Wrote: Great review thanks. I think if the dart bounces out but the computer scores it, it counts.

You are correct,,,at least here in the league I am in ,,The boards I throw on have a sensor built into the face of the cabinet ,,not just the round board but the whole square top portion of the cabinet,,,,the registers a missed dart as a thrown dart ,,also a built in timer after the third dart is thrown for the player change without having to hit the big red button,,, default time is 6 seconds,,,,

I have seen very few instances of having thrown 2 darts into the bull and the third dart ricochet off the other darts and stick into the board ,,but not hard enough to trip the trigger,,,,then the player tap on the back of the flight to score the dart then pull his/her darts,,,,

I think the time option is in the menu I show on the video above but was not 100% sure what it was.
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nice review as always and nice looking board +1
[Image: 15772798406_680313104f_c.jpg]


Member previously known as Daveheald

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