The Atomic Aquatics Cobalt: Jewelry or Dive Computer?
(Know what you want before you shop.)
I finally got to see this Diving Beauty at DEMA 2010:
(photo from www.atomicaquatics.com, 11/21/10)
What is it?
- Atomic's first dive computer.
- Air integrated.
- Sparkling color oLED display.
- Console only. (Portrait orientation and separate panel button controls makes any future wrist mount unlikely, even for those with wrists of Mortadella.)
- Rechargeable Battery, 40-50 hours of use per charge, depending on selected brightness and menu manipulation. (Dealer replaceable.)
- Air and nitrox to 99%. ("Third digit on the display must be the most expensive". --Ken )
- Up to three gas mixes, switchable UW. (Non-automatic switches. Prompts at specified depth, but it won't switch the active gas mix by itself.)
- Digital compass that maintains visibility of all other computer functions.
- Quick disconnect HP hose included.
- Four button controls. Very easy to master. "...incredibly intuitive system that even the most computer challenged among us can handle with ease." --ScubaLab, Nov/Dec, 2010.
- Easy to read... in part because it's so big.
- No LOCK-OUT if deco obligation violated. (As all computers should be, IMO.)
- Did I mention it's pretty?
- Cobalt really does have the atomic number 27, just so you know:
What the Cobalt does NOT do:
- No Time of Day. It shows elapsed dive time only. Time of Day is not shown. If the boat asks that you "...Be back by 3:30...", you better check the time right before you giant stride into the big blue, and remember.
- No Resettable Stop watch. (You may choose to do stops deeper than the "Recreational RGBM algorithm" suggests, but the Cobalt won't help you time the stops.)
- No On-the-fly changes of available gas mixes. If you giant stride with the Cobalt set to nitrox, but remember underwater that you're actually breathing 21%, you can't change this underwater unless the 21% was already loaded as one of your three potential gas mixes. Bites pretty hard.
- No Gauge mode. This tells you most of what you need to know about the demo for this computer, which is all fine. Just be clear about this.
You bend it? You dive it with big yellow and red warning boxes until it unpuckers days later. Pop!
- No Wrist mount. Forever hosed.
Who is in the demo for this well-illuminated beauty?
I'd say a well-funded novice to experienced nitrox diver who NEVER intends to pursue team-oriented dive-training.
Someone who values the affiliative symbolism of Atomic gear. (Goes well with the mask and fins.)
Some who highly values pretty things and doesn't intentionally exceed NDL.
Anyone who's severely "...computer challenged..." but wants to use one.
The Atomic Cobalt is a beauty, for sure.