Reviewed: Nabaztag, the Wi-Fi rabbit

This week we were lucky enough to net one of the first Nabaztags in the country, so we took the little broadband bunny home to play with. He goes on s

This week we were lucky enough to net one of the first Nabaztags in the country, so we took the little broadband bunny home to play with. He goes on sale next month at Firebox.com – in the meantime, here’s our review. We’ll have a whole lot more in our 31st March podcast this Friday.

What the hell’s a web wabbit?

A ridiculously cute little plastic rabbit – women love him – that hooks up to your Wi-Fi network to send and receive messages, read the news, tell the time, play music and a whole lot more. Plus he has a bunch of lights that glow in different colours and a pair of magnetically attached ears which spin round.

Right. So why would I want one?

Because you like rabbits but live on the fourth floor. Because you’re a social type but fear one-to-one interaction with real human beings. Truth be told, we’re still figuring the answer out on this ourselves.

Once he’s talking to your network, you head off to the Nabaztag website to setup ‘services’ – making him flash and whir when you receive emails from certain people, telling the time on the hour, reading RSS feeds – and send messages to him and other Nabaztags.

So far, the messages are our favourite bit: it’s like a physical, talking and rabbit-shaped inbox.

It only has one button. Is it easy to use?

Kinda. Connecting him to your Wi-Fi network’s relatively easy but the website (below) is a bit of a joke. Several bits are still in French - nice if you enjoy recalling your GCSE vocab – and much of the translated stuff is done in a Borat-worthy fashion that muddies the meaning.

How much does all this cost?

Nabaztag himself’ll set you back £80. Several of the services are free, but if you want some of the cooler stuff such as emailing him text-to-speech messages and reading RSS off any website, you’ll have to pay around £2.50 a month. Which isn’t much, but seems a rip-off for stuff you’d expect to get as standard.

Early verdict

Lovable, and certainly unique - if you discount AIBO on price, this is the first web-connected chum for your home – Nabaztag’s more of a work in progress than the finished article. The newly released ears with different patterns may seal the deal for us, suckers that we are.

Grab the podcast on Friday to find out more.