I’m not sure if there is a hotter word in the tech space right now than “drone” so my gadget of the year plays right into the search engines.
While this may not be the moment you are waiting for, it’s the moment I work all year for- my last review column of the year and the naming of my “Gadget of the Year.”
For 2014, it’s the Atom RC Mini Drone.
Available on Swann.com, Xtreem’s Atom Mini Drone is gadget that will keep all generations entertained in 7 -minute intervals. More on that in a minute.
Now when I say my “gadget of the year” is a drone, you might think I’ll “drone” on all about about what a great device it is, but it will take a person with a commercial pilot’s license or an aerospace engineering degree to decipher the instructions and actually put it to use.
Not the case.
It’s as simple as remove it from the box, charge the quadcopter, add 4 alkaline AA batteries to the remote control and flip the “on” switch to start flying and piloting this mini drone.
I say “mini” because it’s about 3 inches in size with rotor diameters of just 1.25 inches and a weight of less than 0.5 ounce.
Don’t let the small size fool you into thinking this is a children’s toy. It isn’t, it takes someone with touch and dexterity to successfully pilot this around the house or yard. Yes I said “yard” even though the instructions say it’s for indoor use.
In fact, a backyard is where this little powerhouse really shines. It has great range and if you know hat you are doing, it can fly up to 100 feet.
The reason I say “keep it in the yard” is because if it comes sailing back down to earth, your lawn or pine straw will cushion any impact.
For an inexpensive drone, it has speed, maneuverability and power. The Atom RC Mini uses current 2.4GHz frequency and has 8-way multi-directional capability for Up/Down, Forward/Backward, Left/Right turns, 360 degree flips and the ability to hover.
It takes a little getting use to, but once you get the hang of it, it’s the best seven minutes you will have with any $50 and under gadget that was released in 2014.
I mention that seven minutes again because that is what you get on a full charge with the Atom RC Mini.
I understand it with a device this small, but I sure would love to have more than seven minutes of flying time each time I use it.
Oh well, it’s still a great gadget and you’ll love the price point, so go out and purchase two units.
It’s available at Fry’s for $29.99 or check out more details at www.swann.com.
Per Swann, here are the exact specs:
4 x AA for Remote Control* Built-in 3.7V 150mAh Li-poly battery in Quadcopter
1.25″ / 33mm x 4
Dimensions (L x W x H)
2.75″ x 2.75″ x 1.06″ / 70mm x 70mm x 27mm
Weight (minus guards)
0.5oz / 14g
Happy New Year and go and have some fun!