Cobra is an old name in the world of radar detectors. The company is well known as a manufacturer of traffic enforcement detection devices and its products are quite popular with drivers in the mainstream. At the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show, Cobra unveiled their latest product line-up. As an authorized Cobra dealer, we want to give you a preview of the latest and greatest coming soon from Cobra.
The Cobra SPX Line
Perhaps the biggest news is the revelation of a completely new series of radar detectors, the SPX Line. According to Cobra, this new line features an ultra-compact design that is smaller in size and offers greater performance. Whether the size and performance improvements are in comparison to their current XRS and Vedetta models or to those of their competitors isn't entirely clear, although the company does claim on its web site that their SPX models are "almost half the size" of those manufactured by their competitors. Not having actually seen one yet, I personally can neither confirm or deny this, but as soon as we get our hands on one, we'll do some measuring of our own.
In addition to an ultra-compact design, Cobra promises the new SPX line will have full feature sets and double the detection range at "highly affordable pricing". Cobra also claims to be using military grade components in these devices. Really? What does that mean? A high end radar detector built to mil spec and priced on the low end? Hmmm. This may be something to watch.
The new Cobra SPX line will launch with three models: the SPX 5300, SPX 5400 and SPX 5500, respectively. Let's take a quick look at each one.
SPX 5300 (MSRP $99.95) -
This is the base model in the series. It features 14-Band™ Detection, which according to Cobra means that it detects 7 radar, 6 laser and 1 safety signal, including X, K, Ka Superwide, and Ku Band, VG-2, Spectre I and Spectre IV radar and LTI 20-20, Ultra Lyte, ProLaser, ProLaser III, Stalker LIDAR and Speedlaser laser signals. In other words, it detects all the standard signals that other radar detectors detect. Other standard features include Xtreme Range Superheterodyne® Technology, LaserEye™ 360-degree laser detection, POP detection, Ku band detection, auto mute, Intellimute®, Intellimute Pro®, an Ultrabright Data Display™, five-level signal strength meter, VG-2 immunity, VG-2 Alert®, Safety Alert®, city/highway modes, dim mode, Stay Set Electronic Memory (retains your settings indefinitely, even with the power disconnected), and Radar Detector Feature Trademark Detection™ (okay, I made that last one up). In short, for a base model, it has a lot of basic and a couple of not-so-basic features. Not bad for starters. Expected arrival: April, 2013.
SPX 5400 (MSRP $119.95) -
This is the middle-of-the-road version. It has all the standard features of the SPX 5300 plus a couple of extras (with trademarks), such as Voice Alert™ and Spectre Alert™, the latter serving a particularly useful purpose to alert you to the use of Spectre I/IV+ radar detector-detectors by law enforcement officials. The SPX 5400 is also Spectre Undetectable, which, while not trademarked (yet) does offer total immunity to Spectre I radar detector-detectors, according to Cobra. So, it detects Spectre while it tries not to make a spectre of itself. For a couple of extra sawbucks, that's not a bad upgrade. We can also expect the SPX 5400 to arrive in April, but Don't Quote Me on That™.
SPX 5500 (MSRP $149.95) -
This is the top of the SPX line. As such, it has all the features of the previously described models and adds a DigiView® data display upgrade and System Self Test for good measure. It seems that extra cost mostly goes toward the display upgrade as DigiView® is a registered trademark. Since the self test isn't trademarked at all, we will perform a little self test ourselves when it Arrives in April™ (tentatively scheduled) and find out exactly what we're getting compared to the other models.
The unveiling of new SPX radar detectors is just one of three product announcements Cobra made at CES 2013 in January, but it's certainly a big one. Stay tuned to the Buy Radar Detectors blog for upcoming details on the other two, including the unveiling of the iRadar Atom and more generic features with fancy labels turned into Ridiculously Overbranded Trademarks™.