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Pros

Fast processor

Improved selfie camera

Lightest iPad

Cons

Big bezels

Only supports old Apple Pencil

Slow charging

Our Verdict

The iPad Air is a powerful and easy-to-use tablet with a large and well-specced screen, long battery life and attractive design, all at a sensible price. There are some compromises here, but as an all-round package this is vastly appealing.

Best Prices Today: Apple iPad Air (2024)

The Air is back! Apple unexpectedly revived its old iPad Air branding (formally discontinued in March 2023) in a surprise announcement in March 2023, unveiling a powerful, mid-priced, mid-sized tablet with an A12 processor and support for the Apple Pencil.

But will the Air float your boat? In this review we put it through our rigorous speed, graphics and battery tests, and evaluate design, specs and pricing, to find out if Apple has hit the sweet spot.

iPad buying guide.

Design & build quality

The Air features an improved design compared to the 2023 iPad 9.7in, with among other improvements a larger screen and thinner body, but stops short of the radical changes seen in the Pro models.

So the bezels around the edge have shrunk slightly, enabling a higher screen-to-body ratio and allowing Apple to squeeze in a noticeably larger display without bulking out the chassis too much. But the Home button remains – whereas the 2023 Pro models ditched the Home button (and Touch ID, replaced by Face ID), which made possible an almost all-screen design. In other words, this is a compromise between the triple ideals of low price, familiarity, and optimum design.

A bezel tweak can only achieve so much, and to accommodate the bigger screen the Air has been made taller and a little wider than the prior 2023 iPad, although the far slimmer profile (6.1mm, down from 7.5mm) means it’s actually 13-14g lighter. Note that the 11in iPad Pro is 5.9mm, so this isn’t the slimmest mid-size tablet on Apple’s books – although it is the lightest.

iPad Air (2024): 250.6 x 174.1 x 6.1mm; 456g/464g (Wi-Fi/cellular)

iPad 10.2in (2024): 250.6 x 174.1 x 7.5mm; 483g/493g

iPad Pro 11in (2024): 247.6 x 178.5 x 5.9mm; 471g/473g

A less immediately obvious change – but one I’m very happy to report – is the restoration of the laminated screen. For cost reasons the 2023 and 2023 iPad 9.7in models both have unlaminated screens, which bend inwards very slightly when pressed and feel a bit cheap. That isn’t an issue here.

The antenna unit on the cellular model now matches the colour of the rest of the back, rather than being a cheap-looking matt black as on the 2023 iPad. And Apple has included a Pro-style Smart Connector for the Smart Keyboard. 

I find the Smart Keyboard quite hard to type on at this size (the 12.9in version is much more comfortable) but it’s still a quantum leap forward from onscreen typing and a big benefit for business types on the go – especially considering how much cheaper this device is than the Pro models you previously had to buy to get a Smart Connector.

But other than the changes outlined above, and a couple of seemingly inconsequential tweaks to the position of ports and buttons, the Air follows the same design as the iPad 9.7in. To be clear, that’s not a bad thing! It’s a beautiful and practical design that looks brilliant and feels great in the hand (and, because you get the curved under-edges rather than the newer squared-off design, it’s actually easier to pick up than the Pro).

And you get a headphone port, which is something Pro owners have to manage without.

Specs & features

So much for the iPad Air’s aesthetics. Let’s take a look at how well it performs.

Speed & graphics testing

The A12 is complemented by 3GB of RAM, an increase from 2GB in 2023. (The Pros are available with either 4GB or 6GB.)

The Air, which scored 11,369 in the multi-core section of the Geekbench 4 CPU test, wasn’t far off doubling the performance of the previous year’s 9.7in model (6,056). It was in turn fairly easily beaten by the iPad Pro 11in (18,381), but was noticeably faster than the Pro from one generation previously (9,300).

To evaluate graphical processing power we use the GFXBench Metal app, and here again I saw a huge step up in performance from the iPad 9.7in and playable frame rates right up to the hardest benchmarks. Performance was admittedly not comparable to the iPad Pro 11in, which was streets ahead throughout, but in most of the tests the Air was able to beat the 2023 Pro convincingly.

Battery testing

The Air has a 30.2Wh rechargeable battery, and Apple reckons this is good for around 10 hours of Wi-Fi browsing. This was borne out in testing: it lasted 9 hours 24 mins in Geekbench 4’s battery benchmark, which is considerably more demanding than real-world use.

That’s almost identical performance to the iPad Pro 11in (9 hours 32 mins), and much better than the iPad 9.7in, which lasted 6 hours 1 min.

My Air was bundled with a 10W charger, with which it went from empty to 13% power in 30 minutes – pretty slow going. I’ve heard that in some areas the Air is supplied with a 12W charger, which will yield slightly better speeds.

Screen

Despite the continuing presence of fairly large bezels around the edge, the iPad Air’s screen is a pleasure and a triumph, with numerous improvements from the iPad 9.7in.

Resolution is up, albeit only by enough to maintain Retina-standard pixel density (264ppi) across a larger area. It looks fantastic: sharp, bright, colourful. Thanks to the new inclusion of True Tone it provides a consistent output in varied conditions, and the anti-reflective coating means you have less to fear from bright overhead lighting.

Interacting with the screen feels great, thanks to the lamination already mentioned and the virtually instant response. It would be easy for Apple fans to take this for granted, but not all tablets give such a convincing illusion that you are physically moving around the onscreen elements.

Cameras

The Air has an 8Mp rear camera, same as on the iPad 9.7in – a respectable inclusion that provides reliably decent images rather than anything spectacular. (I asked Apple if the A12’s neural engine would provide any of the same algorithmic photographic benefits as on the iPhone XS, but the company played this down.)

The front camera, on the other hand, is vastly improved: 7Mp and 1080p video, up from 1.2Mp and 720p video in the iPad 9.7in. This makes sense; few people use a mid-size tablet to take pictures of nice views, but most iPad owners will enjoy the benefit of an improved front camera for FaceTime and selfies.

Apple Pencil support

Good news/bad news: the Air is Pencil-compatible, but only with the less good first-gen model, which charges awkwardly via the Lightning port. I prefer the Apple Pencil (2024), which attaches magnetically and charges wirelessly, but that remains exclusive to the iPad Pro models.

Other specs

Touch ID is now second-gen, which is faster and more reliable than the first-gen version used previously; eSIM is supported; Bluetooth has been bumped from 4.2 to 5.0; and you now get gigabit LTE. All of these changes are from the iPad 9.7in (2024), and are matched by the iPad Pro 11in.

Software & apps

Unless you’re willing to jailbreak your device, you’ll only be able to download software from the official App Store; still, there’s more than a million vetted, iPad-optimised apps on there. Premium and big-name apps are likely to come to iPadOS before Android because iPad owners are more willing to spend money.

Price & availability

The iPad Air is pitched a little higher than the regular iPad, while remaining markedly more affordable than the iPad Pro models further up the scale.

iPad Air (2024, 64GB, Wi-Fi): £479/$499

iPad Air (2024, 256GB, Wi-Fi): £629/$649

iPad Air (2024, 64GB, cellular): £599/$629

iPad Air (2024, 256GB, cellular): £749/$779

The iPad Air is available to buy now, direct from Apple and from the usual resellers (such as Amazon and Best Buy). For the lowest prices out there, see our roundup of the best tablet deals.

Verdict

The iPad Air is a collection of compromises, and in almost every area there’s another tablet out there that’s better: the iPad 10.2in is cheaper, the iPad mini more portable, the iPad Pro more future-proofed for very demanding apps. But as an all-round package this is vastly appealing and quite possibly the best (or at least best-value) Apple has to offer.

It’s a fast machine with a large and well-specced screen, long battery life and attractive (if old-fashioned) design – the old familiar Home button and particularly the headphone port will be seen as plus points by many. The front-facing camera provides high-quality FaceTime video and selfies, and while the rear camera is less impressive this is a sensible area for a mid-size tablet to cut costs.

Talking of which, £479/$499 (for the perfectly adequate base storage allocation) is good value for all the goodies just mentioned. Those on a tight budget should choose the iPad 10.2in, and a Pro model is probably better for a creative professional, but for most people this is the iPad to pick.

This review originally appeared on Macworld UK.

Specs Apple iPad Air (2024): Specs

A12 Bionic chip with Neural Engine and M12 coprocessor

3GB RAM

64GB/256GB storage

10.5in laminated ‘Retina’ screen, 2224 x 1668 resolution at 264ppi, 500 nits brightness, True Tone, supports Apple Pencil

8Mp rear camera, f/2.4, 1080p HD video, Slo-mo (120 fps), Live Photos

7Mp front camera, f/2.2, 1080p HD video at 30 fps, Retina Flash

30.2Wh rechargeable battery: claimed battery life 10 hours on Wi-Fi

Stereo speakers, dual microphones, 3.5mm headphone jack, Lightning port

Wi?Fi (802.11a/b/g/n/ac), Bluetooth 5.0, Gigabit-class LTE, Nano-Sim and eSIM

250.6 x 174.1 x 6.1mm

456g/464g (Wi-Fi/cellular)

You're reading Ipad Air (2024) Review: A Superb All

Review: Rapidx Myport Is A Neat All

Back in August, we saw the OtterSpot, a wireless charging pad system that offered both tabletop and portable charging. The RapidX MyPort is the same idea, but with a charging stand design rather than a flat pad.

Both devices aim to be the only wireless charger you’ll ever need, providing outlet-powered charging at home and power-bank charging on the move…

The strength of the OtterSpot is the ability to stack the charging pucks to charge more than one at a time.

RapidX MyPort look and feel

The MyPort looks very similar to any other wireless charging stand. It’s black plastic, with a semi-rubberized surface. It has a USB-C port in the back, and comes with a USB-C to USB-A cable – but not a charging brick. There’s a white indicator light on the front to show when it’s powered up.

So far, so standard.

The first sign that this is not a normal charging stand is the indicator lights on the side of the sloped support. Four LEDs indicate the charge status of the power-bank, in 25% increments, while a fifth LED at the top indicates the charging status of the phone or bank. Green indicates ready to charge, blue shows that it is charging.

Lift the back from the dock, and you have a portable power-bank. On the bottom are four contact points to charge the unit in the base, and two USB ports, one USB-A, one USB-C.

In use – at home

When using it at home, it’s exactly like any other charging stand. Leave it connected, and just put your phone on the stand to charge. The outlet charges both the power-bank and your phone.

Sensibly, the RapidX MyPort prioritizes your phone. When it’s not 100% charged, it directs all the available power to the phone. Only when your phone is fully charged does it then switch to charging the power-bank.

In practice, however, the bank will almost always be fully-powered as it charges when your phone is not on the stand.

I did find two drawbacks. First, the branding on the power-bank is more prominent than I would like. I prefer branding to be discreet, as it is on the Choetech charging stands I use as standard. Although the Choetech brand name looks prominent in product shots, it’s actually very faded and subtle in appearance. The RapidX branding and logo is also somewhat faded but stands out more than I would ideally like – especially as the writing is sideways when used as a stand.

Second, the wireless charging range. I use a Mujjo wallet case (older review here, iPhone 11 Pro review to follow) with two cards in the back. With my Choetech stands, my iPhone charges quite happily through the case and cards, but with the MyPort, it is rather sensitive to the placement of the cards. Sometimes it charges happily through them, sometimes it doesn’t. With one card, it’s fine.

In use – mobile

For mobile use, you have two options: wired or wireless charging. As mentioned, you get two ports, USB-A and USB-C, and can use either one or both together to charge two different devices.

As someone who just bit the bullet and swapped all my USB-A cables for USB-C ones, I’d have preferred two USB-C ports, but this is the more flexible arrangement. Both USB ports support 18W fast-charging.

But the selling point, of course, is that you get wireless charging on the move as well as at home. I found that both a jacket pocket and the phone sleeve of a bag were large enough to accommodate both power-bank and phone – and kept them tightly enough together for wireless charging.

This makes it a fantastically convenient system. At home, charge normally in the stand. When you leave, either pick up just your phone on its own or – if you need more power to see you through the day – take the bank and phone together and slide them into your pocket or bag sleeve to keep the phone charged.

Alternatively, if you’re going to be based mainly in one place while away from home, keep the power-bank separate, and then just put it on your coffee shop table or wherever and place your phone on top to keep it charged.

The MyPort powers down when you remove it from the dock: just press the power button once to switch it on, and long-press it to switch it off.

In wireless charging mode, the device supports 5W, 7.5W, and 10W charging. The iPhone 11 supports 7.5W.

Finally, the USB-C port also supports two-way power delivery, so you also have the option of charging it from a MacBook, which is a convenient coffee-shop option to keep both bank and phone charged.

RapidX MyPort pricing and conclusions

The RapidX MyPort costs $79.99. You can get a wired 10,000mAh power-bank for less than half that price. Add in a wireless charging stand, and you’re still well below eighty bucks.

So MyPort only makes sense if you want both a wireless charging stand and a power-bank, and you’re willing to pay a premium for the wireless charging capability and/or the convenience of an all-in-one solution.

But it’s a very neat setup which is completely painless to use, and for that, I personally think it’s worth the money for anyone whose iPhone regularly struggles to make it through the day on one charge.

The RapidX MyPort is available direct from the RapidX website, priced at $79.99.

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Ipad Pro Is $249 Off, 2023 Macbook Pro Hits New All

The latest 11- and 12.9-inch iPad Pro are discounted by $249 today, plus deals on 2023 MacBook Pro, and iPhone 8 at $330. You’ll find all of today’s best offers and more in this 9to5Toys Lunch Break episode.

iPad Pro deals take $249 off at Amazon

Amazon is currently taking $249 off both 11- and 12.9-inch iPad Pro. This is the second best offer we’ve seen in 2023 at Amazon, where both Wi-Fi and cellular models are on sale. Apple’s latest iPad Pro sports a new Liquid Retina edge-to-edge display with ProMotion, True Tone, and wide color. Other features include Face ID, 12MP camera, four speakers and up to 10 hours of battery life, all of which is powered by Apple’s new A12X Bionic chip. Put your savings to good use and grab the second generation Apple Pencil.

2024 MacBook Pro hits new all-time low

Apple latest 13- and 15-inch MacBook is being discounted by up to $299. This is a new all-time low on select models, including the high-end 15-inch 512GB configuration. You can see the full lot of deals right here. Apple’s latest MacBook Pro features an 8-core Intel i9 processor paired with a 4GB Radeon Pro 560X graphics card, giving you more than enough power for anything you need to do. Whether you’re doing on-the-go video editing, photo manipulation, or just wanting to enjoy some games, this MacBook Pro does it all. Learn more about Apple’s latest MacBook Pro in our review. Make sure to pick up an extra case to keep your investment safe. This model comes in various color and sizes to fit either of today’s featured deal.

iPhone 8 gets 1-day refurb deal to $330

Today only, Woot offers the refurbished Apple iPhone 8 for $330. Apple typically charges $499 for this model in refurbished condition when it’s in-stock. Today’s deal is $30 less than our previous mention. iPhone 8 offers a 4.7-inch Retina display, A11 chip, Touch ID and a 12MP camera. Woot promises these phones will be in working order with the usual physical wear you’d expect on a refurbished device. Ships with a 90-day warranty.

Score a new low on Pioneer’s 7-inch Wireless CarPlay Receiver

Amazon is offering the Pioneer 7-inch Wireless CarPlay/Android Auto Receiver (W4500NEX) for $563. That’s over $135 off what other retailers are charging, a $60 savings compared to what it averages at Amazon, and is the lowest price we’ve tracked. With support for wireless CarPlay, Android Auto, Alexa, and Miracast, Pioneer’s flagship receiver is feature packed. A 7-inch display makes navigation dead simple and the ability to read incoming texts and more easily control music playback aims to make driving a safer experience for everyone.

Samsonite slashes an extra 20% off MacBook backpacks, more

Samonite’s official eBay storefront is offering 20% off its current catalog. Our top pick is its Modern Utility Paracycle Backpack Laptop for $52. That’s $37 off the going rate found at retailers like Amazon and beats the lowest price we have tracked by $10. This sleek backpack sports plenty of room for both an iPad and MacBook. A water-resistant bottom aims to keep your gear protected when setting it down in moist areas. Extra strong materials are interwoven to deliver “exceptional tear strength in a lightweight material.”

9to5Mac Deal of the Month: Get 15% off the Slope stand for iPhone and iPad from Wiplabs w/ code 9to5mac2024

Featured in the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) Design Stores, Slope is the ultimate iPhone/iPad stand featuring a beautiful patented design made from the same brushed and anodized finish as an iMac or MacBook. It utilizes a unique suction technology with thousands of microscopic air pockets that grip your device snuggly at the perfect viewing angle. Available in two sizes for both smartphones and tablets.

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Dji Mavic 2 Pro: A Superb Camera Drone

When it comes to drones, one of the best you can get your hands on is the DJI Mavic 2 Pro. Launched in 2023 along with the DJI Mavic 2 Zoom, the two are the same airframe, just with different cameras. DJI called them iterative updates to the original DJI Mavic Pro, but they offer significant improvements in almost every way. Let’s explore some of the best features of the DJI Mavic 2 Pro.

The Mavic 2 Pro exemplifies the best that DJI has to offer.

As a folding drone, you get the best of a medium-size flying machine, with the portability of a large water bottle. DJI has mastered a number of flight features that we should all be able to take for granted, including self-piloted flight modes and a reliable RTH (Return to Home) failsafe. These features are exemplified in the Mavic 2 Pro.

To express our true feelings on the Mavic 2 Pro, we must discuss the camera. Equipped with a 1-inch Hasselblad sensor, attached to a 3-axis stabilized gimbal, the camera on this drone is hard to beat. We venture to call this the best camera drone under $2000, a crown previously held by the DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0. These two machines are similarly priced, and produce similar camera results, but the portability of the Mavic 2 Pro makes it an obvious choice for many pilots, as long as they do not need the payload capacity of the larger drone.

Mavic 2 Pro camera

Getting specific, the Mavic 2 Pro has a 1-inch CMOS sensor that shoots at 20MP with 4K video recording. The lens is a 28mm focal length with 77 degree field of view and variable f/2.8 – f/11 aperture.

Video capture offers up 4K resolution at 24, 25 and 30 frames per second (fps), 2.7K resolution at 24, 25, 30, 48, 50 and 60 fps, then 1080p resolution at 24, 25, 30, 48, 50, 60 and 120 fps. Video is recorded at 100Mbps data rate and saved in either mp4 or mov formats with H.264 or H.265 codecs. Further, you can choose Dlog-M or HLG 10-bit HDR mode.

How are smartphone cameras becoming so good in low light?

Features

Capturing photos is done at that 20MP resolution, that’s 5472 x 3648 pixels. You’ll be saving files in jpg, the DNG raw format, or both. The available modes tell more of the story than the hard specs. You can shoot in single-shot mode, which is the default, or choose from HDR, Burst shot, AEB mode, which takes 3 or 5 bracket frames or there is Interval shooting at two up to sixty seconds.

With all that data being captured, it’s fantastic that the Mavic series has both internal storage and a microSD card slot.

Photo and video samples over at Drone Rush.

Do we like the Mavic 2 Pro?

Oh yes, we certainly do. It is just as important to look at the series than anything. The Mavic 2 Pro may be our favorite, but the Mavic 2 Zoom and Mavic 2 Enterprise are compelling offerings as well. Only the Pro is equipped with the larger Hasselblad camera, but the zoom functionality, as well as the optional infrared camera on the Enterprise model, offer a set of tools and options that anyone can use. We do wish the consumer grade machines offered the same data encryption as the Enterprise model, but that is truly a niche need for many.

Friday Deals: Macbook Air $349 Off, Lifx Tile Lighting Hits All

Apple’s 13-inch MacBook Air with 256GB of storage is $349 off to lead today’s best deals. Other notable offers include the LIFX HomeKit Tile Lighting system at $166, and a refurbished 128GB iPhone 7 for $189. Hit the jump for more in this 9to5Toys Lunch Break.

Save $349 on Apple’s 13-inch MacBook Air

If you’re willing to go with a previous generation MacBook Air, there are currently big savings to be had. B&H offers the late 2023 model with 256GB worth of storage for $1,050. That’s down $349 from the regular going rate and $50 less than our previous mention.

Notable specs include a 13-inch Retina display, 1.6GHz Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and more. Make good use of your savings and grab a USB-C hub. With four extra USB-A ports, this option from AmazonBasics is a great accessory to have in your arsenal. Ideal for connecting legacy devices and maximizing productivity.

Ambient HomeKit lighting arrives for $166

Amazon has the LIFX Tile Modular HomeKit Lighting Set for $166. It typically goes for $250 with today’s offer being at least 20% off from other retailers. LIFX Tile brings multicolor lighting with HomeKit control to your space, offering a wide range of colors and more. Check out our hands-on review for additional details.

This refurb iPhone 7 deal is perfect for kids

Today only, Woot has the refurbished iPhone 7 with 128GB of storage for $189. It typically goes for $379 or more in refurbished condition at Apple. Ideal for kids, a second phone, or for grandparents. iPhone 7 delivers a 4.7-inch Retina display, 12MP camera, A10 chip, and more. A 90-day warranty is included with purchase.

Get a free iPhone XR with Sprint’s trade-in offer

Sprint is currently offering a FREE iPhone XR when you trade in a working iPhone. Requires an 18-month commitment and trade must be an iPhone 6s or newer. Sprint typically charges over $30 per month for iPhone XR. However, this plan is a part of Sprint’s iPhone forever promotion, which lets you upgrade after 12 months. iPhone XR delivers a 6.1-inch Liquid Retina display alongside 12 and 7MP cameras, Face ID, an A12 bionic chip, and support for wireless chúng tôi here for additional details.

Schlage Sense HomeKit Deadbolt at $164

Amazon offers the Schlage Sense Smart Deadbolt with Camelot Trim Aged Bronze for $165. While you’ll still find it selling for $229 at Home Depot, we’ve more recently been tracking it at $200 or so at Amazon. Today’s offer comes within $10 of the all-time low on this particular model and is only $15 above the best we’ve seen for any style. The standout feature here is the inclusion of native HomeKit support, meaning you can command the lock with Siri right out of the box. It pairs over Bluetooth and also includes a touchscreen number pad for an additional way to unlock your door. 

9to5Mac deal of the month

This month we’ve teamed up with HomeIQ to celebrate the launch of its new OnlyBrush iOS-controlled smart toothbrush and travel kit. For a limited time, you can preorder the new product at 60% off with a special $60 early bird price. Get the HomeIQ OnlyBrush smart toothbrush & travel kit for $60 (Reg. $149).

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Air Hogs Supernova Review: Simple Drone With Motion Control

Air Hogs Supernova Review: Simple Drone With Motion Control

We may receive a commission on purchases made from links.

Over the past week we’ve played with the Air Hogs Supernova, a tiny drone made to be minimal. This drone is controlled with an on-switch and sensors. The user tells the drone what to do and how to act with a series of gestures – hand signals in the air – and all power is provided by a charging cable that’s not unlike what smartphone users have for their smartphone. This drone is just about as simple as a drone gets.

The Supernova is essentially a set of motion sensors attached to a motor and several fan blades. It’s made mainly of plastic and metal, and is protected from harm by a thin plastic cage. The plastic cage protects the blades from external or user harm, but also protects the user from blade harm.

This device is charged with a USB cord – included in the box – and can be switched on immediately. Once switched on, this drone lifts up from the ground and begins to hover just a few feet off the ground. Controls are all listed in a handy-dandy guide provided with the drone, also in the box.

I was able to perform basically every trick in the book by the time I’d used the drone a couple times. It’s not particularly difficult to get the hang of, and assuming you’re adept at swiping your hand through the air and are semi-quick on your feet, there’s little chance you won’t be able to master the drone within an hour, yourself.

This drone has no cameras, it’s not remote-controlled, and it requires no smartphone. It’s independent of all other things electronic save its own charging cord. If you’re new to the drone universe, this might well be the perfect gateway drone to begin your drone journey.

This drone is exactly the sort of hardware I’d want if I needed to buy a gift for a young person with a love for simple tricks. For very little investment – monetary or time-wise – this drone has a lot to offer for basic entertainment. And when you’re done crashing it into the wall or accidentally into traffic enough times, you can move on up to something more complicated – easy peasy!

The center pod contains a light that blinks when actions are successful and when the device is powering up or ready to shut down. The drone comes with its power cord and an extra set of blades just in case you happen to crash directly into your own face – though for the most part disasters will be avoided thanks to the cage.

The Air Hogs Supernova is the first motion-controlled drone the brand’s ever made, and it’s out in stores right this minute. This drone can be found at retail locations of many sorts, including through Air Hogs on Amazon as of this month for right around $40 USD.

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