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Thread: Atomic Cobalt Review

  1. #1

    Atomic Cobalt Review

    Thought I would throw some Pros/Cons to the device after picking one up and playing with it:

    Pros:
    • Ridiculously easy to use far more so than any other computer I have ever used
    • Very easy to read underwater
    • Solid construction with few water entry points
    • Battery life between charges is very good. I managed 1.5 hours on only 15% of the battery.
    • Plenty of memory so logging every 10 seconds or more per dive is workable
    • Compass is easy to use and easy to calibrate
    • Dive simulation and planning on the unit are exceptional and easy to do
    • Upgradeable firmware adds to the usability of the unit
    • Two year warranty is very nice
    • 3 rec mixes during a dive is a nice feature for some


    Cons:
    • Expensive. No matter how you slice it this is a total luxury purchase.
    • No direct online support. Most support is setup to be done only through a dealer
    • Overcharging the unit is possible which degrades battery life
    • No good hook points on the unit for clipping off. There is only a small bar across the top and the included fabric connector simply doesn't work
    • Audible alarms are quiet. A little too quiet.
    • The unit is bulky but comparable to many consoles with built in compasses. Not a huge deal but worth noting.
    • They did not ship with a case of any sort.
    • Compass is sluggish and takes a couple seconds to move. This is particularly noticeable for those used to analog compasses which move instantly
    • Software is still not here and there are no firmware updates yet
    • Screen protectors are marginal and currently no way to get new ones. Zag shields are supposed to be on their way
    • Can only do recreational mixes but that should be no surprise to most tech divers
    • The QD hose does not come with a plug so when the computer is disconnected there is nothing stopping crap from getting into the connection. I also think the hose should have been Miflex. The current one is a smaller hose but Miflex hoses are nicer IMO.


    I would suggest to anyone looking at this unit to wait for version 2. The current Cobalt is very nice and at 2/3s the price it would be competitive all things considered. However at its current price the minor quibbles are annoying and simply shouldn't be there. In time some of the issues will be fixed with upgrades and 3rd party products, but until then if a diver can wait they probably should. If they do not have a rec dive computer and don't mind paying for top of the line gear, this is a nice unit and the "best" rec console on the market.

  2. #2
    I would add the Cobalt should have shipped with Gorilla Glass or similar. I would expect the next high end version to have something similar to this. No reason to have a lessor grade on a high end product.

  3. #3
    TadPole
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    Nice review! Seems like the cons kind of overpower the pros for the price. If I am going to spend that kind of money on a computer I want it to be a computer to last the rest of my life, but I'm a total noob so that might be a lot to ask for.

  4. #4
    Shark
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    Hey Straegen, you are about 5 months too late!

    Not sure if 99% O2 counts as a recreational mix???

    and I'm not entirely sure if the rest of those cons are truly cons, or just potential room for upgrade...
    -cody / on vacation from vacation...
    PADI MSDT Instructor, US Coast Guard Captain - Master Near Coastal

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by mitsuguy View Post
    Not sure if 99% O2 counts as a recreational mix???

    and I'm not entirely sure if the rest of those cons are truly cons, or just potential room for upgrade...
    The review is a little late but I just bought one and have really only seen overviews of the unit. I haven't seen that many reviews even though there are a lot of people buying them. At the end of the day it is only my opinion.

    My recreational mix note was aimed at the inability to do trimix and the like along with no public plans for an upgrade. If you only dive Nitrox (including regular air) then not a con, but at this price range many of the Cobalts competitors have it or have plans for an upgrade. Most people know this going in, but again I wouldn't think many divers looking to potentially advance into tech diving would or should buy this.

    As for the other cons, you are correct that many will be fixed with upgrades and the like but at $1200 which is close to what most people will currently pay for one the little things do add up. If a person waits until the software is released, the first firmware rolls out, some third party products are made available (protective shields, case, etc) then it will justify the steep price tag in my opinion. However right now I think a buyer is paying for a lot of R&D along with first gen issues. Version 2 or lets say a more friendly 1.1 will likely only be incrementally better but feel more like a refined $1200 rec dive computer that doesn't have the user wondering where they are going to store this thing between dives because it is missing a basic case.

  6. #6
    Shark Zeagle Eagle's Avatar
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    Atomic Cobalt Manual

    You can find the manual for the Atomic Cobalt dive computer here in PDF format.

    http://www.atomicaquatics.com/cobalt/CobaltManual.pdf
    --Zeagle Eagle

  7. #7
    Shark Zeagle Eagle's Avatar
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    Somewhat late comments on my part; but, I agree with a lot of what Straegen said. Some of his correct and proper cons have been corrected.

    Expensive. No matter how you slice it this is a total luxury purchase. agree
    No direct online support. Most support is setup to be done only through a dealer Not sure what you mean, Atomics fully supports this computer via eMail and phone
    Overcharging the unit is possible which degrades battery life. To the best of my knowledge you plug it in and forget it. It can't be overcharged. Can you comment on the overcharging issue. What do I need to look out for?
    No good hook points on the unit for clipping off. There is only a small bar across the top and the included fabric connector simply doesn't work. agree
    Audible alarms are quiet. A little too quiet. Not sure about this one. It is louder than my Pro Plus 2. I think it was made louder with software upgrade 1.13
    The unit is bulky but comparable to many consoles with built in compasses. Not a huge deal but worth noting.It's about the size of my iPhone but fatter. It's much less bulky than most consoles including my Pro Plus
    They did not ship with a case of any sort.Totally agree with this one. Atomic really missed the boat here.
    Compass is sluggish and takes a couple seconds to move. This is particularly noticeable for those used to analog compasses which move instantly,agree it's on par with most digital compasses
    Software is still not here and there are no firmware updates yet Updates now available.
    Screen protectors are marginal and currently no way to get new ones. Zag shields are supposed to be on their way Zagg shields are available now
    Can only do recreational mixes but that should be no surprise to most tech divers
    The QD hose does not come with a plug so when the computer is disconnected there is nothing stopping crap from getting into the connection. I also think the hose should have been Miflex. The current one is a smaller hose but Miflex hoses are nicer IMO. Fortunatley they didn't use Miflex as it has been recalled for bursting issues. My hose is very small and made out of kevlar. Love it, it's light and bendable. The computer does come with an attached cap; but not for the hose. A cap for the hose cost me .49 cents. It should have come with one

    Let me add one, Gorilla glass would have been nice in a computer of this quality.

    Where's the frickin' neoprene protective case!!!!!!

    To sum it all up, out of the 10 or so dive computers that I have owned. Nothing can touch the Cobalt. I love it.

    Did I mention: Where's the frickin' neoprene protective case!!!!!!
    Atomics make a case already. I will buy it. You could make a phone call and order 10000 and probably sell out in a day.
    --Zeagle Eagle

  8. #8
    I hear they did make a ver 1 (year 2011 and a ver 2 (year 2012 )of this Atomic. so how can i tell what ver I do have (or before I buy it)? can i turn on and look at Firmware, or by Serial number range of the unit? I want to make sure that Im buying the ver 2 of this unit. i know most dive shops now ONLY have ver 2. But I just want to make sure. If i happen to find one on Ebay or other sites. Thanks

  9. #9
    Shark Zeagle Eagle's Avatar
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    Doesn't matter if you get ver 1 or 2. You connect to the Atomic site and upgrade it to the latest software. I don't think there is a ver 2 for the hardware; although, I have been wrong on a few occasions.

    Just did another couple of dives on it and it was awesome. It was some high altitude diving and the Cobalt compensated for the altitude automatically. I was going to drive to 8,000 ft elevation that afternoon; but, the instructor owner reminded me that would be the same as flying....duh! No matter how much I dive, I still learn stuff. You think I would know that, having a pilots license.



    I have been using both the Atomic dive log software and Dive Log 5. I prefer the dive log 5.

    Atomic says they couldn't do Gorilla glass on it; but, may do it on the wrist mount.

    6 months now and I have yet to charge the Cobalt. It's down to 48% battery life.

    ATOMIC WHERE IS THE FRICKIN' NEOPRENE CASE FOR THIS COMPUTER I have been using an otter box with some foam cut out to fit, works good; but, have to remember to depressurize it when traveling.
    --Zeagle Eagle

  10. #10
    To my knowledge there is only one version but later units may have some minor improvements in manufacturing. All units can receive the same firmware from their website. I have one of the early production models and it works and acts the same as the newest units.

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