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Drones

Get a Parrot Bebop 2 FPV drone kit for $329.99

This quality quad includes the Skycontroller 2 and VR goggles. Original price: $700! Plus: A free utility for eliminating duplicate files.

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The Bebop 2 is Parrot's best drone to date. It's not perfect, but there's a lot to like about it -- especially given the price today.

For a limited time, and while supplies last, TechRabbit has the refurbished Parrot Bebop 2 FPV Drone Kit for $329.99 shipped. That's after applying coupon code CNETBBP2FPV at checkout.

bebop2fpvproductimage.png

This kit includes the Skycontroller 2 and FPV goggles.

Parrot

Don't worry: "Refurb" here is not code for "mangled remains of crashed quadcopter." The unit I received for review was labeled "Parrot Certified Refurbished" and was largely indistinguishable from new. It flew that way, too.

When it debuted last year, the Bebop 2 had a list price of $500 -- and that was just for the drone. The absolutely essential Skycontroller remote (bundled with FPV goggles) added $200. This deal gets you out the door with all that gear for less than half the original price.

Notes from air-traffic control

I spent some time testing the Bebop 2 -- as you can see from the below video in which I gape at the camera like an idiot and run around also like an idiot. Here's what I learned:

  • There's a learning curve. Between Parrot's app, the Skycontroller and the various connectivity and flight options, I strongly recommend watching all the tutorial videos you can. Find them on YouTube.
  • Speaking of the app (Free Flight Pro), it's vastly improved over earlier versions and, I think, easier to master than DJI's app. Alas, you still have to pay extra for certain features: It's $20 each (!) for Flight Plan and Follow Me. The former lets you fly waypoints while the latter includes awesome modes such as orbit and boomerang.
  • The Bebop 2 handles itself very nicely even in stiff breezes. My flights today were in 10-12-mph winds but when I let it hover, it stayed put.
  • Follow Me works extremely well. I was wearing a green MSU sweatshirt and running around on green grass, but the Bebop seemed to have no trouble keeping track of me, moving as I moved. So cool!
  • You get only one battery in the kit, but it really is good for at least 20 minutes of flight time. Parrot-branded spares will run you $50-60 apiece, but there are third-party options for less. (This one, for example, runs $42 and actually has a higher charge capacity.)
  • The bundled VR headset (aka FPV goggles) is nothing special. You could use nearly any headset with this, as it's just a receptacle for your phone. That said, it's large and comfortable, able to accommodate phones up to 5.5 inches. The Free Flight app's VR mode works pretty well ("I'm flying!"), but if you're the least bit susceptible to motion sickness, steer clear.
  • The Skycontroller 2 is excellent -- much smaller and easier to hold than its enormous predecessor, and on par with the latest remotes from DJI.
  • Although the built-in camera relies on digital stabilization, it captures admirably steady video. The overall quality of that video? Meh. It's decent, but not what I'd call extraordinary. Most notably, you have to plug the drone directly into your PC in order to transfer video from the internal 8GB storage.

Now I'll turn you over to CNET's review, which was written back in 2016 and is therefore a bit out of date. I don't think the price criticism holds true any longer, but I agree with most of the other points.

This is a great drone. It's versatile and fun to fly, especially if you unlock the "bonus" features in the app. I wish it had folding arms for easier transport, but other than that I think this is a deal worth considering.

Your thoughts?

Bonus deal: Who knows how duplicate files find their way onto your hard drive? No one -- but the clutter is real. And annoying. Today only, there's an easy fix: Get Wise Duplicate Finder Pro (Windows) for free.

This handy utility -- normally $15 -- will ferret out all the duplicate files on your drive and give you the option of automatic or manual deletion. It can locate empty files as well, and it'll make a backup of deleted files just in case you need to restore something down the road. There are freebie utilities that can do this kind of thing as well, but why not go pro if you can?