Entry & Mid-Level Dive Computers

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

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

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What is Recreational Diving?

Many Scuba agencies class a depth of 130 feet (40 meters) as the absolute limit in depth for Recreational 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.

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 help much there either. Let's face it, they are there to provide training, not sell dive equipment.

Once you know you want a big part of your recreation time to be spent diving, you're going to start wanting to have your own gear, rather than hire equipment from the local dive shop. The advantage to having 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'll also serve you well as a backup dive computer if you decide to extend your training later on.

You really need to 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 and the Mares Puck Pro 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 than the Leonardo and Mares Puck Pro+ dive computers, and this is reflected in its higher price. It retails for between $300 - $400 online.


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

  • Menu Type
  • Backlight
  • Logbook Memory
  • Dive Modes
  • Surface Interval between Dives
  • Deep Stop
  • Logbook Bookmarks
  • USB Download
  • Depth Alarm
  • Bluetooth Connectivity
  • Entry Level

  • Zoop

    Suunto

  • Multi Button
  • 50 Hours
  • Air, Nitrox
  • 5 Minutes
  • Optional Extra
  • Entry Level

  • Puck Pro

    Mares

  • Single Button
  • 35 Hours
  • Air, Nitrox, Bottom Timer
  • 3 Minutes
  • Optional Extra
  • Entry Level

  • Puck Pro PLUS

    Mares

  • Single Button
  • 35 Hours
  • Air, Nitrox, Bottom Timer
  • 3 Minutes
  • N/A
  • Entry Level

  • Leonardo

    Cressi

  • Single Button
  • 70 Hours
  • Air, Nitrox, Gauge
  • 2 Minutes
  • Optional Extra


  • choose your Dive Computer

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


Entry Level Dive Computer Reviews

Click on any of the links above for a detailed review of the features of these entry level dive computers.


Mid Range Dive Computers

Suunto Vyper Novo White

If you're planning on expanding your training later to include deco-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 - At a Glance

The Suunto Vyper Novo is the big, big brother to the Zoop Novo. These sit between Recreational dive computers, and Technical dive computers. 

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

Authored by Sharon Swanson

Reviewed by Terence Moore  PADI MSDT 101658

Since taking up Scuba diving in 1983, Terry Moore has been diving at some of the world's greatest dive spots, and to date has over 3,000 dives under his belt. As well as being a PADI Diving Instructor, Terry has worked in the offshore live-aboard diving industry teaching Underwater Photography and other specialty courses. 


Terry has dived off the island of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Fiji, Palau, Truk Lagoon, Belize C.A. and numerous places throughout the Caribbean. He's pretty much dived wherever there was water deep enough to dive in.


You can visit Terry's website at: ​www.padidivepro.com


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    Sharon Swanson

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