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The dive computer is an essential piece of dive equipment that provides a vital role in your safety whilst diving, making it one of the first items purchased by a new diver. Whilst the best dive computer is subjective depending on your diving needs, they are all developed to suit certain divers, situations and diving types more than others.
Divers are totally spoilt for choice when it comes to style and function regardless of whether you are after a wrist computer, a watch style computer or console integrated computer. To help we've listed our Top 10 dive computers covering everything from the best budget computer to the most advanced wrist and watch style computers along with some comparable facts and figures.
BEST BUDGET COMPUTER
The Aqua Lung i300C may be on the lower end of the price scale but it is actually a reasonably feature packed computer compared to some of it's most expensive competition which, in our opinion, makes it one of the best budget dive computers currently available.
It has all the standard features including the normal air, nitrox, gauge and free diving modes, a large depth compensating strap, a user changeable battery and backlight but also supports up to three gas mixes and Bluetooth connectivity for dive profile transfer to your smartphone anywhere and at any time. Aqua Lung managed to keep the price down by not opting for a dot matrix display which, if anything, means that the digits are kept simple and easy to read.
BEST BEGINNER COMPUTER
The Suunto Zoop Novo is our best beginner dive computer for a couple of reasons. One, it is simple to use and two, with so many Suunto dive computers in use around the world you'll almost certainly be buddy-ing up with a fellow Suunto user so can benefit from very similar dive profiles.
It isn't the cheapest computer but you are paying for the reassurance of Suunto's experience in developing some of the best dive computers and their excellent customer support. The Zoop Novo features a nice dot matrix display that allows graphical information such as dive profiles simple to read and understand. It also allows for important messages and information to be displayed in a much more understandable format.
BEST ALL ROUND COMPUTER
The step up from the Zoop Novo to the Suunto Vyper Novo is not a lot in a monetary value but the benefits and features you gain are huge and those features are what makes it our most popular all rounder.
In addition to the features of the Zoop Novo, the Vyper Novo is fitted with a wireless receiver for an optional transmitter, an integrated tilt-compensated 3D digital compass provides on-screen navigation and the gas support is boosted to three gas mixes of up to 99%. Those features alone give the diver a much longer usable life if they plan on progressing their diving into more advanced disciplines that involve accelerated decompression.
BEST ADVANCED COMPACT COMPUTER
The Suunto EON Core is a more compact and lighter version of the EON Steel, designed for both new divers and those exploring deeper as their skills and training progress. It's smaller size and lower price make it more appealing to divers that don't want the weight nor bulk but don't want to scrimp on the features.
The EON Core has a lot of features including a full colour TFT screen, digital compass, support for up to 10 optional wireless tank pods and 10 gas mixes, Bluetooth connectivity and a rechargeable lithium-ion battery
BEST TECHNICAL COMPUTER
With the vast majority of the features from the full technical Petrel 2 the Shearwater Perdix AI is smaller, lighter and developed for both the recreational diver as well as the technical open circuit and closed circuit diver. If you're looking for a computer that will support you through your entire diving life then the Perdix AI is great choice.
Highly customisable, the Perdix AI features a full colour screen, optional wireless air integration from up to two transmitters, 3D digital compass, Bluetooth connectivity, user changeable AA batteries which are available pretty much anywhere in the world.
BEST BUDGET WATCH COMPUTER
The Aqua Lung i200C is a great watch style computer with near identical features to the i300C. It is available in a wide choice of both colourful and more variations, sports an easy to read segment display, Bluetooth connectivity and even supports up to three gas mixes.
The i200C is very cost effective compared to other computers in its class and whilst it doesn't support wireless air integration the user changeable battery and Bluetooth connectivity means it is an on-the-go dive computer and perfectly suitable to travel diving.
It is really difficult to have a Top 10 list and not include the Suunto D5. It is stylish and it is Suunto. With the colour screen, support for the new digital tank pods, Bluetooth connectivity and a rechargeable Lithium-ion battery it is a BIG step up for the older D-series computers. The D5 is available in either Steel or finished with a Black coating for increased durability.
This will be the platform that Suunto moves ahead with in the future and we are already seeing new features being added via firmware updates that are easily installed by the user.
BEST EVERYDAY WATCH COMPUTER
Garmin probably wasn't the first brand to come to mind when thinking about dive computers but the Garmin Descent MK1 should be on the shortlist for anyone in the market for an advanced watch style computer. It is available in three options, the standard Silver finish, a Titanium version with elastomer strap and a Carbon Grey version with titanium bracelet.
This is a smart dive computer that ties into your everyday life much more than any other computer. With HR sensors, GPS and integration with your smartphone via the Garmin app, the Descent MK1 dive site location logging, sports modes, smart watch functions and more.
BEST ADVANCED WATCH COMPUTER
The Shearwater Teric is is a full technical watch style dive computer with a full colour AMOLED display that supports technical open circuit divers and closed circuit rebreather divers but also caters for recreational divers that want an amazing looking computer that will do everything they need as they progress towards technical diving and beyond.
Bluetooth connectivity, Haptic (vibration) alarms, the awesome AMOLED display, Lithium-ion rechargeable battery, digital compass, optional wireless air integration and so much more all come together to make the Teric stand above the rest. This is the ultimate watch style dive computer.
BEST ALL ROUND CONSOLE COMPUTER
The Suunto Cobra 3 is a hose air integrated, console mounted computer based on Suunto's popular wrist mounted models. There are more expensive and technologically advanced computers available but the easy to read split LCD segment and dot matrix display makes it ideal as a console computer.
The Cobra 3 features a 3D tilt compensated digital compass, user changeable battery, PC/Mac connectivity via a USB cable for downloading dive profile data to the Suunto DM5 desktop app. The physical air integration eliminates any interference issues and provides live on screen air remaining and consumption information.
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