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Cheeps! I'm still on leave, but I wrangled this deal for you last week. Enjoy, and I'll see you Friday! (Bonus deals are up to you, so share whatever cool stuff you find.)
I used to own a couple escape rooms, so trust me when I say I know a few things about padlocks. I've used tons of different kinds, and you wouldn't believe the kinds of problems that crop up.
Numbers get worn off. Direction mechanisms get jammed. Combinations accidentally get reprogrammed. Keys get lost -- or, worse, break off in locks.
Stop the madness! Surely there must be a better mousetrap.
We're getting awfully close. The Tapplock is a biometric padlock, meaning it has a fingerprint reader. No more futzing with keys, combinations, direction pads, RFID cards or anything like that. Just like on your phone, you put your finger down and, presto, it opens.
For a limited time, Cheapskate readers can get a Tapplock in sterling silver, gun metal or midnight black for $74.25. That's after applying discount code CNETTAPPLOCK (all caps) at checkout. Regular price: $99.
The Tapplock is also a Bluetooth lock, so you can open it using your phone. Cooler still, you can share this access remotely, meaning you can temporarily grant access to others, who can unlock it with their phones.
Last, but not least, you can set the Tapplock to open via Morse code using the power button. Honestly, this seems a little silly, but OMG do I wish I'd had this for one of my escape rooms. Best. Puzzle lock. Ever!
CNET awarded the Tapplock a solid 3.5 stars just last week: Read Molly Price's full, and keep in mind that she was examining it with the $99 list price in mind.
I can add my two cents, too: I had the chance to test-drive the Tapplock for a few days, and it works well. It's a rugged and weather-resistant lock with a zinc alloy body. It takes less than a second to recognize a fingerprint, and it can store a whopping 500 of them in case you want to let, say, everyone in the family unlock the backyard shed.
The battery is good for up to 3,500 "unlocks" per charge, according to the company. That's good because the magnetic charging dongle is weak: It took some doing to get it to stay put on the lock. But you won't have to do that often, so not a big deal.
My only real complaint is with the little power button, which activates the lock into fingerprint, Bluetooth or Morse Code mode by pressing once, twice or thrice. It's really tiny and really stiff -- not a deal-breaker by any means, just kind of annoying.
To me this feels like the padlock of the future, something that's equally well-suited to your locker at the gym and the equipment closet at work. Yeah, it's a little pricey at $99, but $74.25 feels fair for something this sophisticated.