Just wanted to get users' feedback on these two rackets. Tried searching the threads but I couldn't find detailed reviews. I saw some older thread about the ZAR technology not actually being good. Would appreciate getting your views, thanks!
I have owned the 800 but haven't had any chance using it since I am injured. Judging from swinging it only, it is faster and more agile than my Cab rackets including 8200/8600LT & 35, especially for backhand. I feel it is faster than the Ti10Gen3 too which I once owned but am not 100% certain.
Like you, I have been unable to find any useful info on these 2 rackets. The only piece of info I was told by the local distributor is that the 800 is slightly more flexible and head light. Though I have been playing for 2 decades, I consider myself weak on power so I picked the 800 just on the safe side. Also, I was attracted to the design of the 800 more but this has nothing to do with its actual performance and unfortunately, I cannot give you anything more useful since I am unable to play for now.
I saw some feedback that the ZAR technology in the 900 wasn't actually good i.e. too much noise, potentially weakens the shaft. The logic of the poster seemed practical but then I would have thought the engineers at RSL also did their homework. I thought I'd ask here for actual feedback from users. Thanks again.
Too bad I do not own the Ti7 light. To compare I inserted the Ti10 1st gen in 3U-G5 strung with BG85 at 10.5 kg. It’s closer to these rackets in the Ti range.
The main reason I bought these rackets is because I like the unique wood paint on it. The Laser 800 comes with a more light colored wood, and the Laser 900 more dark heavier type. Both are painted asymmetric as it was a natural product, but they are both made from Carbon. They came as 3U-G5 and prestrung with an RSL string which I don’t recognize. Problem is that it was strung too soft and after testing, I decided they come close to the Arcsaber series, especially the 7 and 10. So I restrung them with NBG98 at 11 kg, just like my ARC7 and ARC10 with 3U-G4 spec.
First the optical differences. The grip of the Laser 800 and 900 are the short type. For todays standards, it means that they are more suited as singles racket, but they are just about the same as the Ti10, which was a racket loved by many Asian double players.
The cone is also rounded, like all classic rackets.
Moving more upwards, the Laser 800 and Laser 900 features a Taper shaft, which means they are thinner near the T-Joint. It goes from 7.5 mm to 6.5 mm.
The T-joint is also classic, except for the Laser 900. Here you can see the hole called the Z.A.R. system which stands for Zero Air Resistance.
Moving upwards to the frame, there are some terms printed like Wrinkle Free Technology:
And the frame can hold 28 LBS. Not very special also.
The frame is boxed shape and shares the same design as the Ti10.
Alhought the heads look very thick, its about the same size as the Arcsabers. It’s just that the roundings are not as aerodynamic as the Arcsabers. The frame is closer to the Ti10.
So far the optical differences. Many of you are also interested in the stiffness and balance. From soft to stiff:
Ti10 < ARC7 < Laser 800 < ARC10 < Laser 900
It must be said that the stiffness of the ARC7, Laser 800 and Arc10 are very close. The Ti10 is very soft compared to the other 4 and the stiffness of the Laser 900 is very well above the other rackets. Balance wise from head lightest to head heaviest:
Laser 800 < Ti10 = Laser 900 < ARC7 < ARC10
The Laser 800 and Laser 900 are categorized as even balanced to head heavy. So it comes as a surprise that they are light head balanced compared to the Yonex range. When you hold the rackets, they don’t feel that way.
I have played for almost a month with the Laser 800 and 900, because I had a problem with the grip. The gripsize is G5, but they are more like the G4 from Yonex. Another problem is that the grip of the RSL rackets are more rounded, as it has impact on my feeling of direction. Also, the bud cap is very small compared to other rackets. So it took a while to manage this. If you swing to the air, the Arcsabers also has less air resistance. The swing feel is about the same as the Ti10.
Time to play. First the Laser 800. This racket has been rated even balance and is also lighter overall compared to the Laser 900. Althought it’s head lighter than the Ti10, it felt stiffer and more solid. The feel of the Ti10 is just too soft, but can be due to the feel of BG85. I don’t think there is much difference in power between the Ti10 and the Laser 800, but the control of the Laser 800 is better. Even the speed of the Laser 800 is a tat faster. Playing with the wrist, the Laser 800 also holds a surprise. The feeling of the Taper shaft holds extra power when you accelerate it and bend it with just the right timing. You can feel it when playing hard smashes and return smashes with the wrist. With the Laser 800, I could get the shuttle easier to the back court. This is only the case when using wrist to return. If you like to swing, there is not a lot of difference between the two.
To compare the Laser 800 to the ARC 7, I like the ARC7 more. The ARC7 felt even more solid but above all, the Arcsaber 7 was faster and more accurate. The power of the Laser 800 was a little better than the Arcsaber 7, but the flex from the Taper Shaft has it downside on this one. At high power, the Laser 800 loosens it accuracy and it became more difficult to play on the lines and just above the net. Compared to the Arc10, the Laser 800 will have the same power at his top, but loses in speed, accuracy and control.
Can the Laser 900 change anything? Yes and no. The Laser 900 is more head heavy, and although the balance stated otherwise, the Laser 900 felt the heaviest. Because it’s also stiffer than the other rackets, it had more power and control than the Laser 800. I believe that the Laser 900 is on par with the ARC10 in terms of specifications and playability, when it’s not using the taper shaft flex. If you smash really hard, the Laser 900 also has this extra for more power. I think it has even more power than the ARC10, but it's no VT80 or VT-ZF. Still the Arcabers are the winners when it comes to speed due to lesser air resistance.
To my conclusion, I would have wished the Laser 800 was my favorite because I like the look of this racket over the Laser 900, and it’s even balanced. But the lack of stiffness and control, did not made me play with it a lot. When I was losing, I grabbed the Laser 900 for that extra control and accuracy and my confidence in this racket grew. The only issue I have with these racket was the roundings of the grip which took a while to get used to it. As for the Z.A.R. system, I did not notice anything of it. It did not had that whistle sound and it did not had any lesser air resistance. Makes me wonder how they stiffen the T-joint instead of weaken it. Nevertheless, the Laser 900 is very welcome in my bag to play with and it’s highly recommended, as for the Laser 800 which I love so much for it’s painting, it’s best to store it as long as it’s 100%. I would say that the Laser 800 will find it's way to compete with the head light rackets with medium flex but holds extra power, as for the Laser 900 as a medium head heavy top range racket like the Armortec 900 Power.
Last edited by CarbonexFan; 08-26-2012 at 10:34 AM.
Much appreciate the detailed review and the photo comparison was a nice surprise, very helpful indeed! Since I'm comfortable with the Ti7 and prefer a ligher racket, the 800 may be more suitable for me based on your review (and yes, really like the wood paint as well). It's also encouraging to know it provides better speed and control so should be an upgrade from my Ti7. I normally use BG65 string at 24 tension (so I think same as 11kg).
Perhaps later on I can look at the 900 again but I am just concerned on the weight if you assess it to be the heaviest. Initially was concerned on the ZAR but as you mentioned, it doesn't seem to be an issue.
Much appreciate your detailed review and the pictures were a nice surprise, very helpful indeed!
Since I prefer a lighter racket and I'm comfortable with the Ti7, likely I will go for the 800 first based on your assessment (and yes, I really like the wood paint too). In any case it looks to be an upgrade for me based on your experience of the better control and speed vs. the Ti10 while the weight is similar. I use BG65 at 24lbs (so I think same as your 11kg).
Perhaps I'll look at the 900 later on but I'm just concerned on it being heavier. But good to know the ZAR is not a big distraction or possible issue based on your experience.