Tuesday, December 29, 2015

New Foursevens Stuff

I like Foursevens gear. It's always well designed and they don't seem to waste time with flashy but ultimately useless junk. Good emitters, real HAIII and top-notch QC. You pay a bit more for it than similar gear from other manufacturers but the polish is generally worth it.

This brings us to the revamped Preons and the new Navi Keysmart.

As far as the new Preon is concerned, this looks like its addresses the few issues the previous model had. I have a Ti Preon 1 that I like a lot, but it feels more like an "executive" AAA light than a true rough & tumble EDC piece. I never liked the clip much, and the titanium was very prone to scratching, even under light use. Not something you'd put on your keys unless you didn't mind letting it get knicked up. The tailcap clicky worked fine, but it was always felt a little cheap to me. 

These new models (aluminum only for now, in blue and black) feature a ribbed head, body and tail for improved grip, and the clip also looks to be redesigned. The clicky is also new on these and should hopefully provide a little more positive feel. The UI should also be pretty useful, as it appears to allow a decent degree of configuration. You can set the light to go into a few different mode progressions and it'll stay like that until you change it. So it can be High-only, High - Low, or a few other configurations that include strobes, SOS and beacon modes. 3.35" length packing an XP-L emitter with 100 max lumens on a 1 hr runtime, or 20 hrs on 5 lumen low. A nice package overall, but a little steep at $40 (again, aluminum only, too, for now). 

The Navi is a neat little keyfob shaped tool that features an LED pinch light, but via a smartphone app can provide location information should you misplace whatever it's attached to. I assume this means it has GPS and bluetooth onboard, and the specs say that on a single button-cell CR2032 it has a 1-year standby mode. This is good because button-cells can sometimes be an issue to source "in the field." The 2032 is one of the most common sizes, but I always seem to spend 30 minutes at those little battery carousels in drug stores looking for the size I need, and they are frequently all gone or not a size they carry. 

Anyway, by using the app, the Navi can provide an alert if you start to leave it and whatever it's attached to behind, and provide more information about last known whereabouts by email. Foursevens will sell these alone, or if you want to keep tabs on multiple items, in packs of 3, 10 or 100. These are $29 a pop, so tagging 100 things is gonna be pricey. Even just for 1, it feels like a lot of money, and some kind of USB charging would be preferable to the CR2032s at this price, IMO.

I'm more interested in the Preons than the Navi, and I hope that price might slink down into $30 territory at some point because I'd definitely scoop one up for that price. Nice stuff, and maybe a tempting pair for those with Christmas cash left to burn.

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