What is the Pawbo+?
The Pawbo+ is from Taiwanese agency Acer, in all probability finest recognized for its laptops and different computing merchandise. It’s a Wi-Fi-connected pet digital camera, not dissimilar to the Furbo and Petcube Play we’ve examined previously.
Like the Furbo, the Pawbo+ features a treat-dispensing characteristic, so it not solely enables you to examine in in your furry pal, but additionally remotely ship them some tasty snacks whilst you’re away from residence. Taking the ‘play’ ingredient from the Petcube, it additionally has a laser pointer for preserving your pets entertained.
While the Pawbo+ combines two of its rivals’ essential options, the 720p picture high quality is a little bit of a letdown, particularly in low gentle, and the treat-dispensing may not be best for all placements.
Pawbo+ – Design and setup
While the Furbo went for a extra discreet, vase-like design, the Pawbo appears to be like a bit like a grinning cyclops with its entrance lens and opening the place the treats emerge. It’s constructed from a white plastic that, whereas feeling a little bit flimsy on preliminary inspection, has confirmed moderately strong throughout testing. My cats have realised there are treats inside and knocked it off my ebook shelf within the night time greater than as soon as, and every time the Pawbo+ has lived to inform its story.
The Pawbo makes use of a DC jack connection, fairly than Micro USB or USB-C as seen on many different pet cameras I’ve examined. So far that energy connection has survived all of these knocks. I point out this as a result of the Micro USB jack on the again of my take a look at Furbo has damaged, having taken one too many tumbles over the previous few months. In the weeks I’ve been utilizing the Pawbo+, it’s been resilient sufficient to deal with two mischievous felines.
The rear of the Pawbo+ has holes so you’ll be able to grasp it on the wall, but it surely’s a disgrace there aren’t any adhesive pads included to scale back the probabilities of it being knocked off a flat floor.
Another extra disappointing ingredient is the treat-dispenser, nevertheless. Loading it is a bit more concerned than merely filling the highest hopper of the Furbo (as you’d put espresso beans in a grinder, for instance). Instead, you need to pull the entrance ingredient out of the Pawbo+, which reveals there’s a carousel inside that’s damaged into numerous segments, like a Trivial Pursuit piece, the place you’ll be able to put particular person treats. You can match two or three in every section. The approach the Pawbo works is that the carousel rotates, exposing every section to the opening in entrance, so the treats can merely fall out.
Setting all of it up is at the very least pain-free utilizing the Pawbo app on iOS or Android. Just plug the Pawbo+ into your mains energy, be certain it’s on after which comply with the directions within the app. It’ll require you to hook up with the Pawbo+’s Wi-Fi connection so you’ll be able to put in your personal Wi-Fi community particulars. There’s no Ethernet port, so make sure to place it inside vary of your wi-fi router. After this, you’re all set.
There is one other irritating ingredient, nevertheless. If you’re eager to entry a Pawbo from a brand new system, you need to both have entry to the QR code on the Pawbo or be on the identical Wi-Fi community. There’s no person account you’ll be able to merely entry that has the digital camera related. I discovered this out the arduous approach after I needed to inspect our two cats whereas on vacation after I was carrying a brand new telephone that didn’t have the Pawbo Life app already put in.
Pawbo+ – Performance and app
As talked about, not solely is loading treats extra fiddly than with a easy hopper, however the truth that there’s no projectile ingredient to the treat-dispensing could be a downside. If, for instance, you’ve got your Pawbo+ excessive up on a ebook shelf, which you may nicely need to do for the most effective vantage level for the digital camera, or just to not have it inside reachable distance of your canines, the treats disbursed might by no means attain them. As the treats simply drop out of the entrance chute, they’d typically simply get caught on my ebook shelf. Perfectly effective for my cats, however every other pet could be left upset.
Plus the projectile deal with cannon of the Furbo was enjoyable for each my cats and for me watching them scramble off to search out the treats that ended up midway throughout the room. The treat-dispensing of the Pawbo+ is a moist squib by comparability.
The laser is managed by an on-screen joystick, which I discovered preferable to the touch-and-drag controls of the Petcube Play. It made it simpler to direct the laser the place I needed. However, the motor that controls the laser’s angle may be very loud. In reality, the cats typically appeared extra distracted by the grinding sound of the motor than chasing the precise laser. The vary of angle adjustment can be fairly restricted on the Y-axis, which means you’ll be able to’t intention notably excessive.
Otherwise, the app is nicely laid out. Whenever you entry the video feed, the digital camera can play a chime from its speaker, letting your pets comprehend it’s time for play or a snack. You also can report video or take a nonetheless picture of the feed. Two-way audio is feasible and there’s solely a little bit delay. The speaker high quality isn’t unhealthy, both.
The precise video high quality is a little bit underwhelming when in comparison with each the Furbo and Petcube Play, nevertheless. Lots of element is misplaced within the shadows, so if in case you have pets with darkish coats and darkish furnishings, it may be typically tough to identify them. Low-light efficiency can be very poor in comparison with its rivals and the digital camera sensor can have issues with LED lighting such because the LIFX sensible bulb I’ve in my flooring lamp. Christmas lights additionally posed an issue.
Why purchase the Pawbo+?
All issues thought of, for round £109.99 you’re getting a whole lot of performance from the Pawbo+. With a pet digital camera, laser pointer and treat-dispenser all rolled into one, it’s nice worth. It’s only a disgrace that every perform isn’t fairly nearly as good as I might have hoped. All of them have their slight flaws, however for those who can look previous them, the Pawbo+ is an honest all-rounder.
A great-value multi-functional pet digital camera, however slight flaws in every perform imply it isn’t excellent.