Remember the Coolest Cooler? The $13 million Kickstarter project that promised a portable cooler with built-in speakers and charging that turned into one of the biggest crowdfunded disasters of all time? Good. Hold that thought.
The Sobro is a crowdfunded cooler / coffee table hybrid that offers a built-in speaker, chargers (two USB, two wall plugs), LED lights, and a minifridge that’s available on Indiegogo for crowdfunding. Obviously, this is a completely different product from a completely different company, but it doesn’t feel like the best start.
So let’s get into the Sobro on its own merits. The Sobro itself only exists in prototype form for now, but there appears to be a functional version of the device that does offer the fridge, chargers, lights, and speakers as promised. The company is also touting an integrated touch panel control hidden on the top of the table, which certainly seems possible.
But then there’s cost. According to the Indiegogo page, the Sobro will go for a whopping $1,499 at retail. But it’s available on Indiegogo to early backers for prices between $499 and $699, which sounds almost too good to be true. The promise of a September ship date is also somewhat eyebrow raising, given the complexity and size of the Sobro, along with the fact that the product is still in the prototyping stage.
On the plus side, the company listing it on Indiegogo is StoreBound, a “product innovation company” that helps inventors bring their ideas to life. The company has previously helped others take their products to market, and it’s certainly not the worst pedigree for a crowdfunding project.
Ultimately, when it comes to any crowdfunded device, it’s always important to use your best judgement. But in the case of the Sobro, it’s certainly something that I’ll believe when I actually see it.