9 of the Best Diving Computers
Our experts pick the best computers for different divers …
The Suunto Zoop Nova, the Mares Puck Pro Plus, the Cressi Leonardo, the Suunto EON Steel, the Scubapro Mantis 2, Atomic Cobalt 2, the Suunto DX, the Liquivision Xeo and the Shearwater Perdix
Suunto Zoop Novo – £199
This easy-to-use, nitrox-capable dive computer with its large, bright, backlit display can be wrist or console-mounted and is available in five fun colours - black, white, graphite, blue and lime. In addition to air and Nitrox modes, the four-button computer also offers freediving and gauge settings, a built-in dive planner, user-changeable battery and PC/Mac download function.
Mares Puck Pro Plus – £ 160
The slim-fit Puck Pro+ keeps things simple with a single-button control making navigation throughout its various menus a doddle. Offering air and nitrox capabilities, with the ability to switch between the two during the dive, it features a large sectional display with all the relevant data clearly visible plus a user-replaceable battery and optional PC interface for downloading your dive history.
Cressi Leonardo – £175
With its edge-to-edge high-definition screen the Leonardo is a compact and travel-friendly computer featuring air, nitrox and gauge modes controlled by a single button interface. Three levels of user adjustable conservatism, a deep stop option and distinct easy-to-hear audible alarms along with a backlit display and PC/Mac interfaces make the Leonardo a great choice for the newly-qualified diver or recreational divers who like to keep their diving simple and uncomplicated.
Suunto EON Steel – £795
With its bright full-colour screen, robust widescreen housing and stainless steel bezel this stylish looking computer has a host of user-definable features including a choice of classic or graphical styles and up to four custom displays as well as an onboard compass. With air, nitrox, trimix, gauge and fixed-point CCR modes in addition to optional wireless tank-monitoring, user-updatable software and a rechargeable battery that provides up to 40 hours of dive time, the EON Steel ticks all the boxes from the novice onwards.
Scubapro Mantis 2 – £539.00 (M2 only) - £799.00 (With HRM belt & wireless transmitter)
Scubapro's feature-laden wristwatch-style computer not only offers four dive modes – scuba, gauge, free-diving and CCR – but swim and sport modes too. Featuring three programmable gas mixes, hoseless air integration allied with the ability to handle multiple transmitters and a tilt-compensated compass, the M2 is depth-rated to 120m. For fitness fanatics the computer also features an altimeter, thermometer, chronograph and in swim mode - a stroke counter. The optional Heart Rate Monitor (HRM) belt records biometric information not just on the surface but also incorporates these readings into the decompression calculation when diving.
Atomic Cobalt 2 – £857.00
With its vivid full-colour OLED display the air-integrated Cobalt 2's intuitive menu is controlled via four soft-touch buttons and allows the user to flick through its on-screen logbook and dive profiles just like an underwater smartphone. Nitrox compatible and able to switch between six different gas mixes, the Cobalt, complete with an integral electronic compass, is powered via a rechargeable lithium ion battery that is good for up to 60 hours of diving.
Suunto DX – £749 - £1,075 (depending on strap options)
Described as the 'ultimate tool' for OC and CCR divers by manufacturers Suunto, the 200m-rated DX offers air, nitrox and trimix modes, high/low and custom CCR set points in auto/manual with up to three diluents all contained within an attractive watch-style design. With optional wireless air integration, 3D tilt-compensated electronic compass and gas switching for up to eight gases, the computer also features personal adjustment, a built-in dive planner and downloadable dive logs via Suunto's DM5 software.
Liquivision Xeo – £776
This wrist-mounted air, nitrox, open circuit and CCR trimix computer allows a maximum of ten gasses to be programmed via Liquivision's effective patented tap-interface. Despite its compact size the 200m-rated Xeo's bright and full-colour, customizable OLED display offers maximum readability and its integral dive planning and simulation software is both PC and Mac compatible. The Xeo has a convenient user-replaceable battery and is supplied with strap or bungee-cord mounting options. It's a favourite among Inspiration users.
Shearwater Perdix – £686.40
This sleek and sophisticated computer provides a total of four diving modes (OC Recreational, OC Technical, CCR and Gauge) which are all easily programmable via the device's intuitive two-button interface. Rated to a depth of 260m the Perdix features a 2” high-resolution, customisable colour display and a single user-changeable AA battery that will provide up to 120 hours of use. Other features include a digital compass, bluetooth upgradable firmware and a downloadable internal dive log of 1,000 hours.
DO YOU DIVE WITH NITROX?
If there’s even the slightest chance of you using nitrox, or wanting to in the future, then it makes sense to buy a computer that is compatible with nitrox diving. All of the computers above are nitrox compatible - but watch out for old stock which isn't.
DO YOU WANT IT TO SHOW THE CONTENT OF YOUR TANK?
Air-integrated computers monitor how much gas you have remaining during a dive, and your breathing rate. They will tell you how much time you have left at a given depth (whether that’s limited by your remaining air, or your dive time). The computer can also work out if your breathing slows, that you’ve absorbed less nitrogen and therefore can stay down longer. Longer dives - what’s not to love?
WRIST OR CONSOLE?
Generally a matter of preference. Bear in mind that if you choose a console computer, and spend a lot of time in the pool, you might end up getting through a lot of batteries, as it will be in use all the time. Wrist-mounted computers can be used for free diving or for day-to-day use, if you’re a fan of bulky watches.