April 26, 2024

Chapter 20: You never get a second chance to make a first impression.

The Rabbit R1 chronicles.

Rabbit R1 Founder Jesse Lyu set out to make an iconic device, something we’ll remember for years to come. If the R1 reminds you of a Gameboy, that’s kinda the idea. As with any launch, there are glitches that need to be worked out, but here are my first thoughts:

  • Truth is oranger than fiction. The device color is like neon, traffic-cone orange but a little darker and more classy. You won’t misplace it in a pile of tech on your desk. And you definitely can’t hide that you’re using it in public. Expect questions from passersby.
  • It’s well constructed. Has a solid feel and durable finish. You can get skins, but a screen protector is probably all you’ll need. (This glass DBrand will be available soon. I got one at the event and it works well.) Since it comes with a shockproof travel case/desk stand that will get plenty of use.
  • It has a great handfeel. Goldilocks would love it. Not too heavy or too light. Not too big or too little in your hand. Onscreen keyboard is very workable. Scroll wheel is a bit heavy on drag. (I assume that so you can’t accidentally change things.) While designed for XGen, I think kids and seniors will love it once they figure out how it fits into their life.
  • The OS is elegantly simple. Love the clear white font on black and very basic screen layout. That’s all it needs. I’m hoping it stays this way and that the settings menu won’t get convoluted the way Apple did with iPhone. It would also be nice if you could eventually control all non-sensitive menu items with voice.
  • The far-field microphones seem to work well from any angle. So they don’t have to be pointing directly at you.
  • The Rabbit Hole is accessible from anything with a web browser. The hole is used to connect to services and access your journal. It also lets you download text, audio and photos.

Now the shocker: Of the four services that Rabbit connects to (Spotify, Uber, Door Dash and Midjourney) I don’t use any of them. But then I expected that to be the case. One of the reasons I bought Rabbit was that I’m expecting great things with LAM upgrades and Teach Mode coming by year’s end.

For now I’ll be focusing on what Rabbit R1 can do and not what people like me want it to do. (But I’ll keep lobbying to order a Little Cesar’s for pickup, because that is the ultimate test for LAM.) Meanwhile I’ll use it for the things I bought it for in the first place: find out just what AI can do, have it look up stuff at the press of a button, see how well Rabbit works as a journal, identify things with the Eye, translate, record, take notes etc.

Read the next chapter: Don’t make it a phone, dammit

Check out the Chronicles.

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Chapter 19: We came. We saw. We took home the future. 2nd Rabbit R1 in the wild, freshly unboxed. The line to get in, amid Secret-Service-level security R1 projected on the steps The
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Chapter 21: Don’t turn it into a phone, dammit. On Rabbit’s Discord, I’m hearing a lot of people say they want Rabbit R1 to be able to take nice pictures. And shoot great video. And store files.
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