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Late last year I shared a deal on a basic VR headset, something to tide you over while you saved up for an Oculus Rift or HTC Vive. Alas, the China-based seller bungled a lot of the orders, and I know many readers came away feeling burned. (Trust me, I wasn't happy, either.)
Today's deal is fulfilled by Amazon, so it should be smooth sailing. For a limited time, and while supplies last, you can get the Battop DK-3DGLASS-001 VR headset for $21.59 when you apply coupon code BATTOP3D at checkout. Shipping is free for Prime subscribers.
Let me note straight away that, even with the discount, this is by no means the cheapest VR headset you can buy. Head to Ebay, or even other corners of Amazon, and you'll find similar options priced below $20 -- some even closer to $10.
I like the Battop for a couple reasons, but my chief goal is to get you to buy any VR headset. Because the tech is so cool, and the cost of entry is so low.
The Battop features thick padding around the viewer, so it should prove relatively comfortable to wear for long periods.
Just as important, it lets you adjust both the focal length (important for nearsighted and farsighted users) and the pupillary distance (i.e. the space between the two lenses). Any headset that doesn't have those dials (like, say, a traditional Google Cardboard) is likely to prove uncomfortable for anyone with less-than-perfect eyesight.
The headset also comes with a headstrap, of course, along with a removable, magnetic front panel you can pop off to help keep your smartphone cool.
And speaking of smartphones, the headset is compatible with models ranging from 4 to 5.5 inches.
The downside: no button for interacting with onscreen menus or the like. Most modern apps can be operated just by "look to tap" (meaning you focus your cursor on a specific spot to make a selection), but a button would still be nice.
To that end, I recommend grabbing a Bluetooth gamepad -- especially if you plan to play games. Here's one that costs all of $10.
When your headset arrives, grab apps like Jaunt VR and VRSE to enjoy some cinematic delights, InMind VR for a trippy game experience and any of the numerous rollercoaster apps if you want to test your stomach.
One more note: Many of the Battop user reviews come from folks who received the headset free or at a discount. So, yeah, grain of salt -- but many of those reviews are also very detailed, with believable pros and cons. Your thoughts?
Bonus deal: My favorite Marvel movie in recent memory? "Deadpool," by far. (Yep, even better than "Civil War," in my humble opinion, just because it was so original -- and so funny.) If you didn't catch it or just want to catch it again, you can rent "Deadpool" for free from CinemaNow when you apply coupon code DEADPOOLUSA at checkout. Regular price: $5.99. CinemaNow is one of the various UltraViolet-linked streaming/download services, so you should be able to watch the movie wherever and however you like. Note to parents, though: It's just my $.02, but this is a hard-R flick, and not for kids. Everyone else, get ready for major belly-laughs.
Bonus deal No. 2: Game time! If you're old like me, you might remember Shadow Warrior, a sort of Asian-influenced Duke Nukem. But unlike the colossally bad remake of that classic, the totally new Shadow Warrior (released in late 2013) earned high marks from critics and players alike. It sells for $39.99 on Steam, but for a limited time (hopefully not too limited -- Amazon deals like this tend to expire quickly), Amazon has Shadow Warrior (PC) for just $3.99. After your purchase, you'll receive a code for accessing the game via Steam.