Suunto Vyper Novo Graphite

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Here are our Picks of the Best Beginner and Mid-Level Dive Computers

Unless you're one of the few lucky ones that has just been Open Water certified and already know that you're taking your diving all the way, then picking a new dive computer can be tricky work.

Dive computers are a technical piece of equipment. Manufacturers are improving on the features they're including more rapidly now than in the past.

Features that were considered high-end a little while ago are now becoming more common on the entry level dive computers as their prices also come down. This give new divers the opportunity to get a reliable and safe piece of dive equipment at a very reasonable price.

Below is my list of recommended dive computers for both beginners and recreational Scuba divers. 

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What is Recreational Scuba Diving?

The main purpose of Recreational diving is to safely enjoy and discover underwater reefs, dive sites, and locations of interest that are within easy reach of the coast. Many Scuba agencies class a depth of 130 feet (40 meters) as the limit in depth for Recreational diving.

PADI Open Waters (OW) training provides certification to a depth of 18 meters. Advanced Open Waters (AOW) will give training to keep you safe to a depth of 30 meters. Both of these fall into the definition of Recreational Diving.

How to pick an Entry Level and Beginners
Dive Computer?

Open Waters Scuba classes don’t help much when it comes to how to pick a good diving computer from all the different options available. Advanced Scuba classes aren't much help here either. Let's face it, they are there to provide training, and not sell dive equipment.

Once you know you want a big part of your free time to be spent diving, you'll want to own your own gear, rather than hiring equipment from the local dive shop. A big advantage to owning your own dive computer, is that you'll quickly become familiar with its functions. 

All dive computers are suitable for beginners, and also for virtually all Recreational diving.

Don't get too worried about picking the wrong one.

Entry-level dive computers are always in demand and generally hold their resale value well. They will also serve you well as a backup dive computer if you decide to extend your training later on.

All you really need to do is work out what features you want, and then just go for it.

Beginners Scuba Dive Computer Pricing

The first consideration is generally your budget. The higher your budget, the more features the dive computer will have. The prices of popular entry level dive computers start around $200 and go through to the mid to high $300's. 

The Cressi Leonardo, Mares Puck Pro and Aqua Lung i100 are priced around $200.

Suunto discontinued the Zoop although these are still available to buy online. This leaves the Zoop Novo as Suunto's only entry level dive computer. The Zoop Novo has more functions and this is reflected in its higher price. It retails for between $300 - $400 online.

The Aqua Lung i300C has Bluetooth connectivity and is priced around $300.

Beginners Dive Computer Comparison Table

All of these dive computers have the basic features and functionality to keep you safe while diving. Their differences are listed in the comparison table below.

  • choose your Dive Computer

  • Dive Modes
  • Bluetooth
  • Logbook Memory
  • Surface Interval
  • Battery
  • Menu Type
  • Download Cable incl.
  • Depth Alarm

Aqua Lung i100 Entry Level 

Aqua Lung i100 Wrist Dive Computer
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    4 Modes - Air, Nitrox, FREE & Gauge
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    Single Button Menu
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    User-changeable battery, with data retention
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    Gas Switching for 2 nitrox gases
  • Depth to 330 feet (100 meters)
  • Pelagic Z+ Algorithm  (Based on Bühlmann ZHL-16C algorithm)

Aqua Lung i300C - with Bluetooth

AquaLung i300 C Wrist Dive Computer Blue Black
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    4 Modes - Air, Nitrox, FREE & Gauge
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    2 - Button Menu
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    User-changeable battery
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    Bluetooth connectivity with smartphones
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    Gas Switching for 3 gases
  • Depth to 330 feet (100 meters)
  • Pelagic Z+ Algorithm  (Based on Bühlmann ZHL-16C algorithm)

Oceanic Geo 2.0

Oceanic Geo 2.0 Air/Nitrox Dive Computer
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    4 Modes - Watch, Norm, Free dive and Gauge
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    4 - Button Menu
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     CR 2430 Lithium user-changeable battery
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    Watch size dive computer
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    Gas Switching
  • Depth to 100 meters
  • Dual Algorithm 

Cressi Leonardo Dive Computer

Cressi Leonardo Dive Computer
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    3 Modes - Air, Nitrox and Gauge
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    Single Button Menu
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    3-volt CR2430 user-changeable battery
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    70 Hours Log Book Memory
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    RGBM Algorithm
  • Depth to 100 meters

Deepblu Cosmiq+ with Bluetooth

Cosmiq Dive Computer White and Blue
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    Scuba, Freedive and Bottom Timer (with additional watch, sync and log modes)
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     2 Button Menu
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    Bluetooth data transfer - iPhone and Android compatible
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    Rechargeable Battery
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    Air and Nitrox (with oxygen adjustable between 21% - 40%)
  • Depth to 100 meters
  • Deepblu Deco Algorithm (which is based on the Bühlmann ZHL-16C model)
  • Adjustable for diving in highly saline water

Suunto Zoop Novo Dive Computer

Suunto Zoop Novo Best Entry Level Diving Computer
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    4 Modes - Air, Nitrox, Free and Gauge
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     4 - Button Menu
  • Programmable for 21% to 50% oxygen mixtures
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    User Changeable Battery
  • Depth to 100 meters
  • RGBM Algorithm

Mid Level Dive Computers

Suunto Vyper Novo White

If you're planning on expanding your training later to include decompression diving, then take a look at some of the mid-level diving computers.

The Cressi Giotto is the big brother to the Cressi Leonardo and if you have a few extra dollars to spare and want to stick with the Cressi brand, then it may be worth investing in the Giotto.

Suunto Vyper Novo

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    Optional wireless Air Integration
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    5 Dive modes - air, nitrox, gauge, free and OFF
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    Integrated 3D tilt-compensated digital compass
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    Gas Switching between up to 3 gases 
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    Cable included for downloading graphical logs and dive data

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