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Redbox Instant finally available to the public

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March 15, 2013

Redbox Instant is now available to US residents, with a free one-month trial

Redbox Instant is now available to US residents, with a free one-month trial

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April 8, 2009 Zero Motorcycles was a surprise hit in 2008, selling out its stock of 'X' battery-electric motocross bikes much faster than expected and proving in the process that customers are well and truly ready to slap down the dollars for a quality electric off-roader. Now the company has announced the Zero S - a street-legal electric supermotard capable of 60mph and with a 60-mile range off a full 4-hour battery charge. At under US$10,000 - before you get your 10% Federal plug-in vehicle credit - the Zero S joins the Vectrix electric maxi-scooter in the list of truly practical electric bikes capable of freeway speeds. And with a power-to-weight ratio almost identical to Suzuki's DR-Z400SM, it should be a bag of laughs to ride. If consumers liked the X, we reckon they'll go crazy to be the first on the block to ride this street-legal, lean, green giggle machine.

Technology is finally beginning to catch up with the demands of the market in electric vehicles - and the Zero S is a great example of how. Its maximum range of 60 miles and max speed of 60mph are more than enough for the average daily commute - and if you plug it in at the office, you've got plenty of extra power to play with. It's still pretty limited as a weekend thrasher, but every other day there's a new advancement in battery technology - we're sure we'll see a 300-mile bike with a burn-your-license top speed before too long.

Like all electrics, it costs next to nothing to recharge, working out at less than a cent's worth of electricity per mile - and the savings keep building as your petrol-powered bikes need servicing and the Zero S simply doesn't.

The S might only make 31 horsepower, but then it only has to pull a tiny 225 pounds (102.1kg) dripping wet. Except, of course, it's not wet, there's no petrol or coolant or oil to speak of - meaning that maintenance is pretty much limited to looking after the brakes, tires and chain. By comparison, the Suzuki DR-Z400SM makes a claimed 40hp, but hauls 132kg before fuel and fluids are added. The power to weight ratios are almost identical (0.3030hp/kg vs. 0.3024hp/kg).

The DR-Z might not be the craziest street supermoto going around, but it's still a great fun bike to ride - and the Zero S can pump out its full torque from idle, so the low end response should be excellent. The handling should also be beaut - everything has been kept so light that it should be a most flickable beast.

The Zero-S will start shipping in May, but pre-orders are being taken now at the Zero Motorcycles website. The price is USD$9950, with an extra $500 if you want it shipped directly to your door. With the US Federal plug-in vehicle credit of 10%, that comes down to less than US$9 grand - only around 2 1/2 grand more than a DR-Z. Starting to make sense, isn't it?

Check out the video below to see the Zero S in action.

Loz Blain

About the Author
Dave LeClair Dave is an avid follower of all things mobile, gaming, and any kind of new technology he can get his hands on. Ever since he first played an NES as a child, he's been an absolute tech and gaming junkie. All articles by Dave LeClair
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6 Comments

I would argue that it is still in the BETA phase. Just last night I tried this free-trial and attempted to watch Gattaca. I got about half way through it and ran into some strange video issues.

I have no doubt it will get better. And I'd be very happy to see that happen. Netflix streaming selection is a joke. B-grade movies w/ a few decent ones thrown in. The problem is the B-grade movies are the only ones from the selection that seem to change. Any decent movies are released to streaming at a rate of 1 a month.

I'm waiting for a streaming service that allows you to stream any movie for a dollar. I'd gladly spent 20 bucks a month to watch 20 decent movies. Perhaps RedBox Streaming will turn into that.

Milton
2nd May, 2015 @ 5:25 a.m. (California Time)

This could work for me. I have used Netflix for many years, but now that I just use streaming , I am frustrated by the selection. If the price is one or two dollars extra per movie to stream blockbusters and newer movies, I'm fine with that.

kar
2nd May, 2015 @ 5:25 a.m. (California Time)

Well... turns out is 5 bucks to "rent" online, and 6 bucks if you want to rent the "HD". Totally lame. 1.20 to rent at a redbox, yet 5 bucks to rent from home. How does that make any sense at all ? Come on people.

Milton
2nd May, 2015 @ 5:25 a.m. (California Time)

@Milton I'd be willing to bet that that price is not set by RedBox. It's set by the movie industry as it is consistent with pricing I have seen everywhere. All of the cable providers I have used have had this exorbitant "rental" pricing on pay-per-view style services. It's yet another example of how recording oganizations are collusions designed to fix prices. This behavior in another industry would be considered blatantly illegal and immediately prosecuted, but somehow entertainment doesn't qualify for the anti-collusion and anti-monopoly laws.

VirtualGathis
2nd May, 2015 @ 5:25 a.m. (California Time)

I just looked through the entire list of "subscription" movies and I won't be leaving Netflix for Redbox anytime soon. There are a few A movies (but I am sure they are all on Netflix), more B movies, but I would estimate that 95% of the available selections are C movies or worse. Until the industry realizes that this is the way of the future, that they are only shooting themselves in the foot by resisting, and only throw Netflix and Redbox meager scraps from their table this will be the unfortunate reality.

Jon Smith
2nd May, 2015 @ 5:25 a.m. (California Time)

I've been running this on my phone and through the browser a few times. Over the phone has been really good through wifi, although the hdmi output is pretty low quality. And over 3G it's been decent. I tried a couple of times through xBox, but it keeps buffering. Then I end up getting a message that my bandwidth is too low, which I really doubt is the problem. But overall I'd opt for this service over Netflix if they get the bugs worked out. It's a better deal.

Snatr
2nd May, 2015 @ 5:25 a.m. (California Time)
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