The proposition is simple: The 101 comes with everything you need. That means the mini quad itself, the radio controller, the all-important FPV goggles and batteries, cables, aerials, and so on. Typically, you’d buy all of these separately, pair them up and hope for the best. Fat Shark isn’t the first to take such a frictionless approach, but it’s one of the most straightforward and comprehensive implementations I’ve seen. At $250, it’s also pretty affordable compared to buying everything individually. Added into the bargain is the fact that if you decide to move on to a new quad, you won’t need to repurchase some of the gear (like you would if you started with Parrot).

As someone who’s spent time trawling forums and hobby stores looking for a relatively simple (but not toyish) drone that I can cut my teeth on (and use for FPV flying) the standout benefit here is the balance between the simplicity (the radio has very few buttons, and there’s no binding the controller and the drone) and the authentic drone-piloting experience.

A Parrot Mambo is easy to fly but doesn’t handle like a professional quad, and the WiFi video link can be flaky. The 101 handles more like a racer (there are easier modes to learn with), and the video link from the modest (non-HD) camera to the goggles reaches much further. Our San Francisco office is pretty big, and I managed a few solid laps with nary a glitch (but did incur some nonplussed looks from busy colleagues). For the absolute beginner, the 101 also comes with free access to the DRL’s drone-simulator software (just plug the…