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10BL120 vs. XR10 Pro ESC
Product Comparison

Every now and again, as with any industry, you come across some products that frankly make little sense when placed side by side. This is just such an occurrence.

HW 10BL120 ESC
10BL120XR10 Pro
Scale: 1/10th
Sensored: YES
Power: 2-3S LiPo/4-9 Cell NiMH 120A
Programmable: YES
Size: 43 x 36 x 33mm
Weight: 105g
Scale: 1/10th
Sensored: YES
Power: 2-3S LiPo/4-9 Cell NiMH  160A
Programmable: YES
Size: 37.5x30.9x31.6mm
Weight: 95g
Approx. Cost: $55
Approx. Cost: $199

Looking at the details above, you can see that these ESC's are incredibly similar. The only real differences being the size, weight and Amps. They both handle the same batteries, are programmable (although I believe the 10BL120 has a large amount of locked options when compared to the XR10 Pro) yet, the cost is radically different. Why?

Now, you could say that the price difference comes from component quality. The 10BL120 is clearly a budget option and the very name of the XR10 Pro suggests that it's aimed towards enthusiasts and pros. Could there really be a 340% difference in quality? Oh lord, I hope not! That would suggest the 10BL120 could be made or cardboard, or the XR10 Pro is made of solid gold. Another point of view could be the size and weight, but I personally have a difficult time accepting that. In most 1/10th scale applications, I rarely run into a situation where the difference between the two has caused any real issues for my builds. I do acknowledge that the size and weight difference could be a large selling point for 1/10th scale buggies that have a very restrictive layout for electronics, yet I still have a difficult time accepting that someone in a situation where every millimeter counts would be forced to pay over three times the amount for something that is only slightly smaller.

Having seen both of these ESC's in action, there was no noticeable difference between the two which only hammers home the confusion at the price point difference. If they both perform at/near the same level, why spent $199 when $55 will do the same thing? Had Hobbywing included the Wifi module with the XR10 Pro, the price would have been easily justified: $55 for wifi module, leaving approx. $90 difference between the two, which seems much closer to being acceptable.

Perhaps I am alone in this, but I feel as though we're missing a middle-ground ESC that would serve to fill the colossal price gap between these two models. The only other explanation I can see at this moment is that Hobbywing thinks no one will notice just how ridiculous the price is on the XR10 Pro, and being a fan of Hobbywing components I'd rather not see greed leave a mark on one of the few true competitors in the ESC market left.

If you are a Hobbywin fan or not, I think we can all come to an agreement that the price on the XR10 Pro is hardly justified and will likely serve to push faithful consumers to less insulting pastures. My only fear is that the same thing is happening with other RC component manufacturers and this could be the start of a very negative trend that will end up doing more harm to the RC hobbyist, and the industry, than good.