Atomic Cobalt 2 Review: Simply Brilliant, Now Smarter
|User Changeable Battery||No/Rechargeable|
|Nitrox Compatible||Yes/ 21-99%|
|Gas Switching||Yes/6 Mixes|
|PC Interface||Yes (cable Included)|
|Integrated Digital Compass||Yes/Digital 3D|
Since 1996, Atomic Aquatics has been renowned for manufacturing high-quality scuba diving equipment. Their designs are awesome, efficient, and innovative and enhance the overall diving experience, and the newly redesigned Cobalt 2 is no different.
Although it doesn’t look much different cosmetically, it has been completely re-designed from the inside. This new generation dive computer features a more powerful microprocessor, faster compass response time and new user options that automatically adjust the screen brightness. Among these added features is the ability to switch between 6 different gas mixes, as opposed to only 3 with the first generation Cobalt.
However, it still stayed true to one of the most important features of the Cobalt which is its self-explanatory user interface and menu system that can be learned in a few of minutes.
In this review of the Atomic Cobalt 2, we are going to look more in-depth at some of these great features and how they can benefit you, as well as what other divers are saying about this great dive computer.
Atomic Cobalt 2 Review Video
Below is a short video review of the Atomic Cobalt 2 done by SCUBALAB. In this 60 second video, you can get a closer look at the computer and some of its features, including the bright full-colored display.
Self-Explanatory User Interface
When owning a dive computer, understanding how to properly use and program it is vital to your safety and enjoyment as a diver. You also don’t want to spend hours trying to program your dive computer for your next dive.
An easy to understand user interface also help reduce user errors when programming a computer, which can intern prevent serious injuries, and that’s where the Atomic Cobalt 2 excels.
It uses a self-explanatory and easy to interpret drop down menu to operate and program the computer and has 4 easy to press magnetic buttons. You simply use the “UP” and “DOWN” buttons to highlight menu items, then simply press the “SELECT” button to go into the highlighted screen. To get back to subsequent menus or home screen simply press the “BACK” button repetitively.
What’s great about this dive computer is that you can see a brief description of the menu item on the settings screen which makes the computer easy to set up without even having to read the user manual.
Bright Full-Color LCD Display
If you have ever had problems reading your dive computer, especially at an angle, then the Cobalt 2 is for you. It features a bright full-colored LCD display (Screen Size 2.4″ or 61 mm) which make it easy to read the most important dive information at a glance.
The new bright LCD display provides a higher contrast, sharper and clearer image than the previous cobalt. You can manually adjust the brightness of the screen or rely on the new auto-brightness option, a feature that was absent from the previous Cobalt model.
Easy Quick Disconnect Air Integration
The Atomic Cobalt is also Air integrated via a lightweight, small diameter high-pressure hose that is flexible and very durable. This allows the cobalt 2 to give you current air pressure, as well as other information like current available bottom time based on your air consumption.
It also has an easy quick disconnect feature that allows you to easily disconnect the computer from the high-pressure hose. This feature makes storing the Cobalt 2 much easier and is also very useful when logging dives because you don’t have to carry your entire regulator system with you.
Nitrox Capabilities with up to 6 Different Mixes
If you dive with Nitrox or planning on doing so, then the Cobalt 2 would make a great Nitrox dive computer.
Most of the dive computers in the market right now can only program up to 3 Nitrox mixes(including the previous Cobalt model), but the Cobalt 2 now has the feature to program up to 6 different gas mixes between 21% and 99% oxygen.
This gives you the ability to select different gas mixes for future dives, and the ability to quickly edit them if needed. The 3 gas mixes usually set by divers are Air, EAN 32 and EAN 36. You can quickly select any mix displayed in the list to be your primary mix (primary is the gas in the tank connected to the Cobalt).You can also switch gases while diving.
Alarms and Warning
The Atomic Cobalt has both visual and audio alarms. These will remind you during your dive when a particular present event occurs and also when doing decompression dives.
For instance, you can set two independent low gas alerts. You may also set max depth alarm to sound if a set depth is exceeded.
Note that visual alarms will flash the relevant part of the dive display. There is also an option to turn off audible alarms (Silent Mode).
Flawless Navigation and Compass
Have you ever been on a dive boat, and when gearing up, you realized you forgot your compass at home. This would be no problem if you were diving with the Cobalt 2 because it has a brilliant digital fully tilt-compensated 3D compass.
Unlike its predecessor, the Cobalt 2 now feature a more accurate, less sluggish digital compass. This is because the Cobalt 2 has been upgraded with a new powerful microprocessor which increases the responsiveness of the compass, making it look and move as if you were looking at a real compass rose.
Also, unlike many other digital compasses, once activated it will remain on until you press the back button. This is great when you are doing extensive navigation underwater, you don’t have to recall the compass every 5 seconds.
It also makes navigating underwater much easier too. You can easily set your bearing with the press of a button. When in compass mode just point the computer in the direction you want to go and press the “Select” button, a green dot will appear. All you need to do is deep the green maker between the two makers and you will be on course.
It’s Important to remember never attach any metal rings or hooks to the Cobalt 2 as it may affect the compass unless they are non-magnetic.
Rechargeable Lithium Ion Battery
Do you know what’s better than user changeable batteries? Not having to change the battery at all – that because the Atomic Cobalt 2 comes with a rechargeable Lithium Ion Battery sealed inside the computer. So, there is no fear of drowning your computer every time you have to change the battery.
A full charge battery should last about 40 – 60 hours of dive time, depending on certain conditions, like the brightness of the screen.
It will alert you when the battery is at 20%, it is recommended to charge the battery at this point, but you can still get several average dives with this amount of energy.
You can recharge the battery with the AC quick charge (takes about 2 hours) or you can use the USB connected to a computer, but this takes 2 twice the time to recharge.[important] It’s Important for full battery life to fully charge the battery before the first use and occasionally afterward. The best battery life will come from keeping the battery charged.[/important]
Dive Planning and Simulator
When scuba diving it’s important to always plan your dive and dive your plan, and the Cobalt 2 can take you on a simulated dive without putting a single foot in the water. You can easily plan multiple dives, multi- gas diving, actually predicts gas composition on dives as well as saving simulations for future use.
What’s great about the dive simulator on the cobalt is that it can simulate dives based on your current deco status (Unlike desktop dive planning software). It also has the ability to simulate dives based on gas consumption rate, this can be from your last dive, an average rate based on you last 10 dives, or a custom gas consumption rate.
Simulating a few dives is also a great way to familiarize yourself with the dive computer.
Dive Log and PC Interface
The memory on the Cobalt 2 is amazing, it can store up to 600 hours of dive time. On every dive, it will record your:
- dive number
- dive date
- surface time
- no fly time
- start time for the dive
- total time of the dive
- average depth
- beginning air pressure
- ending air pressure
- total gas used
- CNS status
- highly detail dive profile
- no stop time
- oxygen toxicity
Having this information at your fingertips makes it easy when logging your dives.
You can also download all your dive log profiles to your PC, Mac OS, and Linux by using the included USB cable. It is supported a number of dive log applications, you can visit aomticaquatics.com for current information on supported applications.
What Are Other Divers Are Saying?
The Atomic Cobalt 2 is an amazingly designed dive computer. At the moment it is one of the most highly rated dive computers on the market today and is liked by all types of divers, from beginners to dive professionals.
Below are a few snippets of what other divers are saying about this great dive computer.
Anthony Robbin – “as a diving enthusiast and owner of a diving resort, I only want to use the highest quality products available. The Atomic Aquatics cobalt 2 provides an unsurpassed level of reliability and safety”
Steve Roberts – He says that the cobalt 2 has the best and clearest screen ever and it is very easy to uses, and that it is very clear underwater and simple to scroll through the menus. He also like the compass and find it to be accurate at all angles. He goes on to say that the battery seems to last forever, can be easily charged from a USB Slot or Mains. He says that it is pricey with out a doubt but one of the best dive computer out there.
The Bottom Line
The Atomic Cobalt 2 easy to interpret user interface makes it so easy to use that any new diver can master the computer in a matter of minutes. But, in spite of its simplicity, it still a powerful computer and offers many functions for the advanced users. The bright and full-color display makes it also very easy to read in any dive condition.
The Cobalt 2 also makes navigation very easy with its upgrade digital compass, which is much more responsive and accurate than its predecessor. You will also save on batteries as it uses a rechargeable battery that holds a charge for a very long time.
However, the atomic cobalt 2 is not cheap, not by a long shot. At about $1200, this might be out of the range for most divers, but if you are a diver that demands the best and cost is not a factor, then the Cobalt 2 would be the right dive computer for you.