Play testers said the 400 Lite performed well from the baseline, where the racquet adapts to various playing styles. Those who need more sting on their shots found favorable pop, while flatter hitters aiming to generate more spin on their shots said the frame was a capable accomplice in spin production. The open 16 x 19 string pattern and the TruOval head shape—a departure from Dunlop’s elliptical-shaped heads; the brand says it provides five percent more string space from 3 to 9 o’clock in the hoop—are inviting for imparting more spin on shots. Anti-Friction grommets, a new Dunlop technology added to the 400 Series, enables strings to move more freely, which also aids in spin. Several play-testers said the racquet’s ability to generate spin was beneficial when they were confronted with low slices—they could bring the ball up over the net and down into the court without fear of floating shots beyond the baseline.
Dunlop says its Cx beam design, combined with the dimpled Aeroskin technology to reduce wind resistance, creates a tapered beam that is more agile through the air than past entries. Play testers with medium swings said they had ample access to racquet-head speed and some felt they could whip the racquet head through the strike zone rapidly—a feature many said was helpful when they were forced to hit off their back foot or when stretched wide to retrieve running forehands.
Racquet-head speed was a bonus on serves, where the 400 Lite’s maneuverability aided testers in their efforts to snap through kicks and slices.
The new Biomimetic 400 Series line, which launches on October 15, consists of three 100-square inch frames—the Biomimetic 400 Tour, Biomimetic 400 and Biomimetic 400 Lite—featuring Anatomic Construction, a technology Dunlop says is based on bone structures and their ability to support weight and resist twisting.
The striking black-and-lime green sticks were created to combine the familiar feel and precision of the Biomimetic 300 series with the power and spin of the brand’s 500 series. Essentially, Dunlop’s aim is to create a line that will provide more power than the 300 line and more control than the 500 Series.
Likes: The 400 Lite provides potent power easily. As one play-tester said: “I feel I can really drive the ball deep in the court without a ton of excessive effort.” This stick will generate juice for lighter players who need a power boost, yet it’s also a more control-orientated frame than some racquets with similar beam widths. While the two-point head light racquet does not carry the same mass as the 400 or 400 Tour, if you like to launch yourself up and out into the court and really attack your first serve, you can crack flat drives with this stick. Comfort is a key component of the 400 Lite: the racquet is responsive and easy to use, without a jarring feel. The light weight was a bonus when stretched out wide for running forehands as well as when play testers lofted lobs off aggressive shots; the 400 Lite is a fast frame that’s smooth through the strike zone.
Dislikes: Some play testers residing higher on the NTRP scale said the racquet’s lighter weight combined with its level of stiffness diminished their ability to dot the court with touch shots. For those play testers, the 400 Lite did not deliver the same level of definition on sharp-angled shots as the heavier members of the Biomimetic 400 family. A few advanced testers reported they felt some twisting of the frame when trying to fight off serves directed into their bodies, however that was not an issue for most testers. A few older play-testers expressed a minor cosmetic quibble: The specs are presented in such small type at the bottom of the hoop they had to reach for their reading glasses to read them.
Bottom Line: Dunlop has earned a reputation for the distinctive feel of its frames and has tried to respond to its consumers requests to add more pop and spin to the new Biomimetic 400 Series. Each of the three frames in the 400 family is designed to suit a specific playing style while providing more spin and power potential. If you're a junior seeking to step up to a stick offering more player-esque elements, or if you're a smaller adult or entry level player who favors a racquet that can add both sting and spin to your shots, the 400 Lite may be what you're looking for.