When we heard about Wicked Lasers' Spyder III Pro Arctic laser, an ultra powerful portable laser with a lightsabre-esque design selling for only $US200, it almost seemed too good to be true. Turns out it might have been.
Since we first posted about the Spyder III in June, we've received a steady stream of complaints from customers who say that they haven't received any word about their shipment, though their credit cards were charged days after their initial order. Emails and calls to Wicked Lasers, the company that's selling the Spyder III, have in many cases gone completely unreturned.
We contacted Wicked Lasers about these complaints last month, and they assured us that demand had far exceeded their expectations, and they were hustling to fill all the orders and respond to all the inquiries. Still, we've received complaints after this assurance from the company, so it's clear that people are still being given the cold (arctic?) shoulder.
Here at Gizmodo, we received our Spyder III a few weeks ago, though it was apparent immediately that it didn't function the way we expected it to, or judging by some YouTube clips, that show the Spyder III scorching through a variety of materials, the way it should function. It was definitely powerful, don't get us wrong - shining it on your arm stung like hell more or less instantly - but it's not like it seared your skin. Other less unscientific tests were similarly disappointing. We've tried to get in touch with Wicked Lasers several times to figure out what's up with our laser, but they haven't yet responded.
So while the verdict is still out on Wicked Lasers' Spyder III - the lightsabre laser that provoked Lucasfilms to issue, and then withdraw a cease-and-desist letter - what's certain is that there are a lot of customers who are feeling burned, and not in the way they might've hoped.
So if you're thinking about buying the world's most powerful portable laser, you probably will want to wait until all of this gets sorted out. And until we get our review unit issues squared away to see if it is indeed as powerful as Wicked Lasers claims it is. If you have any experience with purchasing the Spyder III, please feel free to share in the comments. [Wicked Lasers]