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Published on December 15th, 2010 | by Greg

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Snakebyte Wii Fitness Board: Adds Little

Wii Fit­ness is a fun idea- and Nin­ten­do’s bal­ance board is a pret­ty sol­id pe­riph­er­al. Sure, they don’t of­fer many col­or op­tions, but it works per­fect­ly and is well-made. As with many third-par­ty pe­riph­er­als, we were thus a bit skep­ti­cal of Snake­byte com­pet­ing against Nin­ten­do, but were hap­py to see a few nifty ad­di­tions to their Pre­mi­um Wii Fit­ness Board that made us look close­ly.

What we found though un­for­tu­nate­ly re­in­forces the com­mon wis­dom- when pos­si­ble, even if it costs a bit more mon­ey, buy from a ven­dor you know and trust. See, de­spite the ‘Pre­mi­um’ la­bel, this mod­el adds a sin­gle help­ful fea­ture and ups the weight lim­it from 150kg to 180kg… but Snake­byte makes quite a few er­rors along the way. It feels cheap in com­par­i­son with the orig­i­nal- from the bat­tery cov­er to the tougher and more skid-prone plas­tic feet.

The unit weighs the same, and func­tions about the same- we no­ticed lit­tle dif­fer­ence in re­spon­sive­ness when us­ing the Wii. LEDs on the side of the unit add lit­tle, and are a bit dis­tract­ing and bat­tery con­sum­ing. But the re­al draw here is sup­posed to be the in­te­grat­ed scale, able to mea­sure your weight with­out even turn­ing the Wii on. It’s a nice idea in the­o­ry, but near-use­less in prac­tice. The read­out is hard to, well, read, with no back­light­ing and a small LCD. Worse, it al­so seemed fair­ly in­ac­cu­rate- con­sis­tent­ly so, at least, but with no ob­vi­ous way to cal­i­brate or ze­ro the scale.

At $70 and avail­able on­line, the re­tail price isn’t much cheap­er than the of­fi­cial ver­sion, which comes with Wii Fit. How­ev­er, we were just in­formed by Snake­byte that ev­ery­thing on their site is 20% off for a lim­it­ed time. Al­so, if you “like” Snake­byte on Face­book you’ll re­ceive a code for an ex­tra 20% off, bring­ing the price down to a rea­son­able $44 or so. So, if you need a sec­ond bal­ance/fit­ness board, this might be a good choice- just note that you’re get­ting what you pay for, rather than a tru­ly pre­mi­um prod­uct.

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About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.



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