The weird and wonderful Rabbit R1 starts to ship this week, but you might have to wait longer for yours

Rabbit R1s are starting to ship, but the first 10,000 units are heading to the US

Rabbit R1
(Image credit: Rabbit)

The Rabbit R1 is one of the most interesting devices of 2024, winning a Best of CES award at this year's electronics expo. The device, which is designed to be a friendly front end that uses AI smarts to communicate with key apps, will be reaching US buyers next week: Rabbit says it'll start shipments on Easter Sunday, March 31st. 

If you're in the US don't expect next day delivery, though: it'll take a few weeks for the Rabbits to make their way to the US, and customers are expected to receive their products on or around the 24th of April by the time international customs have done their thing.

The Rabbit has been a huge hit, partly because at just $199 it's exceptionally cheap for such a clever device. The device is a bit like a smartphone without the phone bit: you tell it what you want to do or what you want to know and it'll interrogate your apps and complete the task or find the information for you. It reminds me very much of Panic's adorable gaming handheld, the Playdate, but for productivity rather than leisure.

When can you get the Rabbit R1 in the UK?

If you're not one of the early adopters, you'll need to wait a bit longer. The initial allocation of 10,000 Rabbit R1 devices sold out in a heartbeat and the firm is now on its seventh batch of pre-orders. The firm says that the second batch will start shipping in April and May and the third will be in May and June. Those are for US and Canadian customers. Existing UK orders are expected to begin shipping towards the end of April; new pre-orders can expect to wait considerably longer.

Will it be worth it? The Rabbit certainly looks interesting, with an AI engine that you can chat to much as you would chat to ChatGPT or CoPilot. But it's still very much a mystery in terms of what it's actually like to use; there's a huge difference between what you see on stage in a tech demo and what a device does when you're holding it in your hand. As yet there are no in-depth reviews of the Rabbit R1, just hands-on impressions; we'll get a much clearer picture of what it can do, and what it can't, in the coming weeks.

Carrie Marshall

Writer, musician and broadcaster Carrie Marshall has been covering technology since 1998 and is particularly interested in how tech can help us live our best lives. Her CV is a who’s who of magazines, newspapers, websites and radio programmes ranging from T3, Techradar and MacFormat to the BBC, Sunday Post and People’s Friend. Carrie has written more than a dozen books, ghost-wrote two more and co-wrote seven more books and a Radio 2 documentary series. When she’s not scribbling, she’s the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR (