Speed Unlimited Remote Control Car
When we got the Speed Unlimited remote controlled car into the office everyone's inner child cried out for times long forgotten, before the days of 9 to 5 and responsibility.
- Different sound output modes, remote controlled doors, MP3 functionality
- Poor workmanship, indoor use only, no volume controls
The Speed Unlimited suffers from too many flaws to be considered as a serious remote controlled car contender. While some users may be attracted by the price, enthusiasts will want to look elsewhere.
Price$ 40.00 (AUD)
This isn't like the remote control cars many of us are used to from our childhood - it's certainly not a petrol powered hornet or a Tandy Caterpillar knock off. This thing is massive. The disadvantage with its size is lack of portability and a loss of maneuverability, but when you weigh that against the imposing sight of it thundering down the street, those issues tend to melt away for the average kid. The car also has in built speakers which have three different output modes. The first mode simulates the sound of the engine, the tires squealing and a neat simulated reverse sound. The second mode plays stock music stored on a chip inside the device. The third mode is the most interesting and innovative as it allows you to plug your own MP3 player into the car and have custom music playing while driving. While essentially a gimmick, being able to play any MP3 you want is rather amusing and fun. The problem with all three of these modes is that the speakers with which they are output are a substandard assault on the ear drums. Sound reproduction is rather poor with no tweaking options for possible improvement. To make matters worse, there is no volume button so the engine sounds and built-in music are way too loud, to the point of becoming ear-piercing.
The Speed Unlimited is not recommended for remote controlled vehicle enthusiasts, as it is substandard with many design flaws when compared to other cars. The most fundamental element of any car design, remote controlled or not, is grip. This car is rear wheel powered with wheels that only seem to work well on carpet and linoleum. In a real world test on pavement and roadway the tires loose grip constantly from initial acceleration through to sudden breaking. The poor grip means that the car is pumping out a large number of revolutions to the axle which are not being translated into actual road contact revolutions but on the upside, lack of grip is great for fishtail turning. Essentially, these problems all mean the car should be restricted to in-house use, but even that is problematic due to its size and will probably cause damage.
The turning circle of the car also leaves a lot to be desired making sharp turns nearly impossible. This makes the car difficult to control with little options should the need arise for immediate course correction. The Speed Unlimited is also rather low to the ground which results in a frustrating tendency to get stuck on any slightly elevated surfaces. The doors on the unit are not latched shut as there is an option on the remote control to open and close them automatically. While this feature is very cool, it has come at a cost since the doors tend to rattle while driving and pop open during and jolt to the car.
We found the Speed Unlimited to look impressive and sturdy but really be rather fragile as even after testing it for about an hour, a few jolts to the chassis resulted in the front wheels jamming when turning left. Since this is car clearly designed for kids to use, we can imagine that it will experience more than a few knocks during its lifetime and found that this fragility in design was substandard. Our tests found that the range of the remote control to the car was only about 15-20 feet before signal degradation. This is far less than most remote control cars and further proof of the quality or this item. The remote also emits a series of sounds while in use, apparently with the intent to simulate a rising speedometer but it only achieves a rise in annoyance.
The Speed Unlimited is essentially a novelty toy for kids, with a fun MP3 feature but no real quality components or workmanship. It will keep kids entertained for a while but they will probably break it fairly easily and come away more disappointed than anything else. If you are in the market for a remote controlled car, we suggest you pick up something with a little more quality.
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