Target Nexus Soft Tip Dartboad Review Part 1




Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNJHxVsYx5w

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UPDATED INFO FROM TARGET Nov 3oth 2018:

At present software is release version 1.  


The update button allows us to update the app in the future, we are currently working on a number of updates and have a 2 year roadmap currently of new content to release.  

Some of the key updates you can expect at some point are as follows.

-          New audio and visuals.
-          New games modes and training modes.
-          An AI match mode is in development
-          Bluetooth functionality.  


So you are correct in that the ‘brain’ of Nexus is a built in tablet.  This does have Bluetooth built in but we have disabled it currently.  

In the future we expect to allow Nexus to connect via bluetooth to other devices, e.g. a bigger screen, speakers, Headset mic for better communication.

-          Improved ranking and auto matchmaking to ensure you play people at a similar skill level

Regarding the comments about leaving the screen out and using Bluetooth to connect to other devices to cut the product cost.  The reason we opted for the built in screen was to create a consistent online experience. 


When you rely on Bluetooth to a phone or tablet separately, you have inconsistent online experiences because everyone would put their device in a different location, or not have the camera on at all.  By fixing the screen and camera in the same place everybody has a consistent experience, no matter who you play.


As the Nexus community builds, we also hope to open up the software to people who want to organise their own leagues, tournaments etc.  

There are plans for a Nexus dart stand, though not a special wall mounted bracket.  Maybe mid next year for the dart stand.  


The ID cards are bound to an account and can only be bound to one account.  

However a limitless number of accounts can use the same board.  The reason is that the ID card has a number that links the player to our server, so when they play, the server can keep track of their scores for ranking etc. 

It doesn’t matter what board you play on, as long as your account is logged onto it and your ID card is bound to your account.  

There are plans to make additional ID cards available for households who want several different accounts. 

Also, its quite common for a serious player to have 2 id cards, one for statistic tracked practice and then their main account for competitive matches.  

Currently we are examining the costs of distributing cards, most likely they will be charged for a couple of pounds just to cover the costs.



Many thanks to Target for sending this Nexus board for review!!!!! Smile

For info check the Nexus site here: http://www.target-darts.co.uk/pages/nexus/

The Target Nexus soft tip board I think was a surprise to many when it was shown at the 2019 launch.  When you look at how soft tip is growing around the world though it does make sense for one of the biggest darts brands to get a proper foothold in the online home soft tip market.  It seems like there has been some long term developing of this product and some deep thought gone into the features to make it a standout among the many home soft tip boards available but have Target succeeded?

The board is geared around the Nexus online network which is reflected in the stand out features built into the board, namely the built in interactive touch screen and the built in camera and microphone which will allow you to see and talk to your opponents anywhere in the world.

There is a variety of languages built into the system 

Its not the first soft tip board to have a built in screen but I am certain its the first to have a built in interactive touch screen.  The screen is a 7" Android device.  I think its the first to also have a built in microphone too.

The board has a gel membrane to help dampen the noise of the darts hitting and the segments are a pro level robust plastic.

There is also an in built battery which is charged when the power cable is connected and the battery can last 1 to 2 hours dependent on how much the screen is used I guess.  So once its fully charged you can still use it any where there may not be a power source if needs be.

There is no optional out puts for a larger screen or speakers but I think the in built speaker sounds fine and the screen is big enough to see from the oche.

All these extra features I think are adding to the cost of the board which is a hefty £325.  I am not sure if that makes this the most expensive home soft tip board, I think its on par with the Hi Darts board for price but I guess if you look at it another way your getting a built in tablet.

You can have 4 players locally or online anywhere in the world to play single or doubles.

I was not able to get any online games yet, guess its too early so will have to do a review part 2 when I get chance but will talk more about the board below.


CONTENTS AND PACKAGING:

The board comes in a big bold pink coloured box with all the features detailed on the back.  


The contents are:

Nexus board

2 sets of brass darts with all in one stems and flights 

A bag of soft tips

Stick down oche strip

Power supply with UK and European plug adapters

2m USB style power cable

Instructions booklet

Registration Card for creating a user profile on the downloadable Nexus app.

Raw plugs and screws

Wall Template to help fixing up board

Small spirit level to stick to template


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Setting up the board:

Its quite straight forward.  Stick the spirit level to the wall template and then set the height of the centre line to 173cm.  Level it out then stick the template to the wall and drill through the marked sections for the holes.  

I do wish manufacturers would just come out with a standard fitting though, just look at how many holes are in my wall from the various things I have attached lol! Smile

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Now here is 3 more holes  Rolleyes  Big Grin

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Board all set up and here is some dimensions too.  When I first put the board on the screws though I thought I had measured wrong, it was too high and then I realised I needed to pull it down so the screws were properly in their slots Smile

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Here you can see the enter button and the microphone and camera:
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The power button and power connector are on the right lower side:

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When you turn it on you hold the power button in for 3 secs and it comes to life:

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The very first time you power the board up you will need to connect it to your WiFi and then click the setting button and update the boards software.  That took a few minutes and in the meantime I downloaded the app.  

The Nexus app is available for Iphone and Android devices and is pretty simple to set up but you do need to be able to get a verification code via email to complete the setup.  You only have 5 mins to get the code inputted before it expires though.  

That was a bit of a pain as I was late inputting it and had to request another one.

You use the registration card to create your unique user ID but its all straight forward and no need to go through it all.

The Nexus app keeps a record of your progress and you can add more player ID's if you want I guess, but not sure what the process of getting another ID number is, probably you just need to contact Target.  

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CONCLUSION:



Well its obviously early days so I have no idea of how the online side of things will progress and as I had no one to play against I cant comment too much on that side at present so will do an update when I get chance.

But there is also the fact that I wont know how well the board holds up to repeated use but thats the sort of thing thats going to be a long term test and I am sure that as more people start to get one then we will hear more about that if there is any issues that arise.

So for now all I can talk about is what my initial impressions are.   So far they are mostly very positive but I do have a few concerns to talk about but lets talk about the good things first.

The board does feel like a decent quality, it feels strong and the segments are not loose like on some boards I have tried, it has a good solid feel to them.  I think the gel membrane is helping to some extent to keep the sound dampened as it was a more muted thud than the usual loud clattery sound.  But soft tippers are used to the sound being louder than a steel tip board anyway.

The interactive screen built in is for me a great idea, I much prefer it been an all in one unit than having to prop up other devices and mess about setting them up or making sure they are charged etc.

The camera and microphone is a great addition for online play but I dont yet know how well it works so not going to say too much about that yet.

Having a built in battery that can be charged is another great addition although would have been better if it had a longer life than 2 hours max.

The speaker sounds loud and clear and perfectly suitable for the soft tip experience at home.

Its very early days but the online network and Nexus software is mostly very slick and easy to understand but will no doubt grow better in time, best to see the video for more details.

Now for some concerns or nit picks if you prefer.

Firstly the power button looks a little cheap and nasty, not sure why but I think it just looks like it spoils the board a little.

I would have preferred a longer power cable but again thats no big deal.

For me the touch screen sometimes seemed a little unresponsive, I dont know if it was because my fingers were cold or what but it took a few attempts at times to register.

For people that would like to output to a larger screen I dont think its possible, there is no external output so unless there is some other way it can be done I dont see that been an option but as one of the features is the fact it has a built in screen, may be Target dont want that to be an optional choice anyway?

Regarding the software I think at this early stage there is pluses and minus like already mentioned, its fairly slick and easy and some features like been able to unthrow an errant dart and the fact that it will record a miss is great.

The parameters for setting the games up for 01 etc is all what you would expect to find but there is only a limited amount of games at present but that will surely grow.

The one thing that I could not find was an option to play against the CPU.  I dont know if its there and I just cant see it but I tried a few times.  I think it really needs to have an offline versus CPU mode though.

So just like all new boards like this I think its how they progress that determines the success or not but as there is a few established home systems already I am not sure how many will want to switch to a new one, but I would say if any one is going to make a success of it then its very likely going to be Target and from what I have seen so far it looks very promising.  I guess the price is still going to be a stumbling block but your getting a built in tablet effectively which are usually around £100 or more so may be its about right.  

Looking forward to seeing how it develops though Smile
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Nicely done on the review, looks a solid piece of kit. mint

Believe there's another here that you could tangle with online now too. Big Grin
Reply
Good review, seems like it's not to bad, the price is up there but considering all that it has built in, only bad thing i see is like you mentioned no way of putting it on a tv/monitor unless there bluetooth in the settings
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(11-29-2018, 03:08 PM)Great White North Wrote: Nicely done on the review, looks a solid piece of kit. mint

Believe there's another here that you could tangle with online now too. Big Grin

Thanks Brad, yes I was hoping Seb would be on yesterday but guess people were still waiting for their boards. Will get something organised so he can thrash me though lol Just a bit busy helping my brother at present and not good for my dodgy wrist humping all these boxes and things around while he is moving house.

(11-29-2018, 03:14 PM)Crusher17 Wrote: Good review, seems like it's not to bad, the price is up there but considering all that it has built in, only bad thing i see is like you mentioned no way of putting it on a tv/monitor unless there bluetooth in the settings

Thanks Chris! Its got a lot going for it and I think it will be popular but its still got some well established boards to compete against Smile
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Thanks for the review Darren. Not sure about getting The Nexus just yet.
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DAYTONA FIRE JP-01JP-02, DF-10, DF-11 & DF-01
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(11-29-2018, 03:24 PM)Spencerdl Wrote: Thanks for the review Darren. Not sure about getting The Nexus just yet.

Thanks, its not cheap but its early days, I think it will do well though.
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how about a review on the supplied darts darrenBig Grin
DARTS-Phase 5 purist/ Power 9fives 26g/ Unicorn RvB 25g
SHAFTS-Target Power shaft gen 1 (intermediate) 
FLIGHTS-The ones' on my signature
BOARD-Winmau blade 5 dual core
BOARD-Winmau Diamond (for practice)
BOARD-unicorn eclipse HD trainer board (for a laugh)
SET UP-Wall mounted cabinet
HA'WAY THE TOON  Smile
Newcastle United Premier League survivors 2018-19 season
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(11-29-2018, 03:41 PM)justin-tutboard Wrote: how about a review on the supplied darts darrenBig Grin

LOL they are just bog standard bar darts Smile
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(11-29-2018, 03:46 PM)Getagrip Wrote:
(11-29-2018, 03:41 PM)justin-tutboard Wrote: how about a review on the supplied darts darrenBig Grin

LOL they are just bog standard bar darts Smile

until they have aluminium shafts He! He!
DARTS-Phase 5 purist/ Power 9fives 26g/ Unicorn RvB 25g
SHAFTS-Target Power shaft gen 1 (intermediate) 
FLIGHTS-The ones' on my signature
BOARD-Winmau blade 5 dual core
BOARD-Winmau Diamond (for practice)
BOARD-unicorn eclipse HD trainer board (for a laugh)
SET UP-Wall mounted cabinet
HA'WAY THE TOON  Smile
Newcastle United Premier League survivors 2018-19 season
[Image: ZL8JXbT.png]
Reply
Thanks for the review Darren!

Looks like Target has really done their homework with the software and has created a solid base to build upon.
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