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Big news, cheeps: I'm packing it in. With all the money I've saved over the years as The Cheapskate, I can finally afford to buy that private island I've always wanted -- complete with a full staff of monkey butlers and nothing but Apple products as far as the eye can see. It's been real! Broida out...
Ha. No. That was my lame attempt at an. Really had you going, though, didn't I?
Not a joke: For a limited time, and while supplies last, Dbpower has the MJX X600C hexacopter for $69.99 shipped when you apply coupon code MUNIY2GB at checkout. That's an extra $20 off the current sale price of $89.99, and just yesterday this was selling for $125. Cheapskate exclusive, folks!
What's a hexacopter? It's like a quadcopter...but hexa! Meaning it has six propellers instead of a measly four -- and as we all know, more is better.
Where do I start with this ridiculously cool thing? It's all sleek and black, with small blue LEDs on the front and big bright ones on the underside so you can more easily keep it oriented while flying.
It comes with a decidedly low-resolution camera (just 640x480 pixels), but one that can stream live video to your phone. The controller also includes a clip-on holder for keeping your phone front and center.
Even better, the MJX FPV app has a 3D mode: put your phone inside a Google Cardboard or similar VR headset and take a virtual flight! I strongly suggest -- no, I insist -- you let someone else pilot the drone while you wear the headset.
Amazingly, this works. Less amazing: the video is so low-res and laggy, the effect isn't as incredible as it should be. And anyone who suffers from motion sickness probably won't have a great time. But if you want to see firsthand what it's like to fly like a birdie, well, here's your chance.
Beyond that, the X600C is a blast to fly -- fast and nimble, very easy for beginners, but with some added perks for intermediate and advanced flyers. In fact, a button on the remote toggles between those three flight modes. There's another button that will perform in-air flips, and a big, easy-to-read LCD for checking throttle status and the like.
Cons? The battery is a pain to remove, and it's good for only about 8 minutes of flight time. The drone is too lightweight to fly when it's breezy out. (Silver lining: It doesn't need to be registered with the FAA.) And the instructions, while comprehensive, can be confusing in places -- the accompanying photos are too tiny to be of use.
But I really like the X600C's looks, performance and features. Granted, there are a lot of off-brand 'copters available in this price range now (including this one that looks like a UFO), so if the VR option isn't a big draw, you might want to choose one with a higher-resolution camera.
Bonus deal: Also not a joke, Groupon has $10 Starbucks e-gift cards for $5. I know that's not a tech item, but, let's face it, most of us need coffee to power through our days. And if you use the Starbucks app, well, there's your tech angle. Oh, and you have to purchase it online. And "e-gift" means "electronic." Bases: covered!