2017 Shearwater Perdix AI Dive Computer Review

Shearwater Perdix AI diving computer for technical and recreational scuba divers

So remind me again, how much you spent when buying the latest smart phone? Now let’s compare that to something that you’re going to rely on to keep you safe at depths below 65.6 feet (20 meters). I only mention this because sometimes people forget that this is a real investment in a great piece of equipment. This particular piece of equipment is going to last you many, many years.

The Perdix AI has a Recreational mode as well as its Technical mode. If you can stretch to the extra few dollars, then go for this dive computer – you won’t be disappointed! This has all the functionality you’d expect from a high end device.

There’s no doubt that the Shearwater Research Perdix dive computer is on many scuba diver’s wish list. Yes, these cost more than your entry or mid-range dive computer, but don’t be put off by this.

This is a bulletproof dive computer that will grow with your diving. It will serve you well in shallow reefs, deep wrecks and cave dives.

 

Shearwater Perdix AI dive computer review

Shearwater released the new Perdix AI (Air Integration) with optional wireless air integration in November 2016.

Shearwater Perdix AI Dive Computer with Air Transmitter

Click the button below to go to Amazon for any discounts that may apply on the Shearwater Perdix AI at Amazon. 

Buy Perdix AI on Amazon NOW!

 

What’s the Price of the Shearwater Perdix Ai Dive Computer?

You can buy the Shearwater Research Perdix AI for around $1200 including the AI transmitter. If you go with the Perdix AI without the transmitter, these are currently selling for less than $950.

The price of the Perdix pre-air integration has dropped to below $850. If you’re happy to not go down the path of air integration, then this is the time to really pick up a bargain.

 

Why are Shearwater Research Dive Computers held in such high regard?

Simply put, Shearwater dive computers are designed and built for divers, by a group of enthusiast divers who also happen to be engineers, technologists, and are committed to providing the best sales and customer service experience they can.

Shearwater as a company, stand behind their products like very few others ever do. Their Customer Service is excellent.

Their service is backed up with video tutorials to help you get comfortable quickly with your dive computer. Having said that, there’s no steep learning curve with the Perdix. They are easy to use and customize. Shearwater Perdix Customizable Display The focus for Shearwater is on innovative and simple displays that keeps the most important information easy to read at a glance. The Perdix only has two menu buttons so there’s no excessive scrolling and guessing.

The display is 2.2 inches across with vivid color range and saturation. This big display can easily be read at any depth. The information that’s displayed can also be customized to show what’s important to you.

Shearwater Perdix AI diving computer

What’s the difference between the Shearwater Perdix and the Shearwater Petrel?

Shearwater developed the Perdix dive computer based on feedback received from their customers about the Petrel 2. The Perdix has everything you love about the Petrel 2 dive computer, it’s just smaller.

The Perdix has a lower profile and is a more contoured design than the Petrel. Overall it has 30% less volume. Shearwater managed to do this without compromising on any of the features that are vital to technical divers.

The Petrel 2 does not have the option for wireless air integration. 

Shearwater Perdix AI dive computer profile

Perdix AI Dive Computer – All the Bells and Whistles

The Perdix will automatically turn itself on once submerged. It doesn’t have wet contacts so this is based on the increase in pressure, and not on the presence of water.

Although you should always turn on the computer before each dive to check the battery level and its setup, this feature is a backup in case you forget to turn it on before jumping in.

The Perdix comes with a 3 axis, tilt compensated digital compass. 

Its case is rated to a depth of 260 meters / 850 feet, however the guaranteed depth accurate range is to 130 meters / 435 feet. The depth sensor does continue to function to this depth, but with reduced accuracy.

Perdix AI Diving Modes – Open Circuit and Closed Circuit

  • Air/Nitrox/Trimix capable
  • 5 open-circuit gas switch presets
MODES
OC Rec 3 gas nitrox recreational computer
OC Tec Multi gas, trimix decompression computer
CC INT Closed circuit fixed PPO2
Gauge Bottom timer with stop watch and dive logging

The Perdix AI is a technical dive computer will take you from your first open water dives (in recreational OC mode) all the way to trimix diving with the option of 5 CC gasses (in CC INT mode).

 

OC Recreational Dive Mode

OC Technical Dive Mode

CC Int   Shearwater Perdix Gauge Display

 

Which Decompression Model does Shearwater Research use?

Shearwater Research design and manufacture their trimix dive computers with the most demanding technical divers in mind. The standard decompression model is Bühlmann ZHL-16C with Gradient Factors. Also, the VPM-B decompression model is available by purchasing an unlock code. These are the most common decompression models used by Technical divers.

 

What other Divers are saying: 

“I bought a Perdix after realizing I could read the screen of a fellow students Shearwater Petrel 6 feet away, easier than I could the screen of my current computer on my wrist.”

 

Shearwater Perdix AI infographic of dive computer

 

How easy are software upgrades, battery changes and customization?

Sometimes it’s the little things that make all the difference. This is the easiest dive computer to use and customize.

The Perdix AI uses AA batteries and the lithium battery has a very long life. The battery compartment has a double o-ring to ensure a great seal.

All dive logs and settings are saved in permanent memory and restored after the battery is changed. The dive number can be changed. It doesn’t have to start at Dive #1. It can be changed to match the actual number of dives you have done.

There are regular firmware updates/upgrades which are very easy to install. The computer does all the work. The latest Firmware upgrades and Manuals for the Shearwater Perdix are on the Shearwater Research Inc website.

This dive computer is equiped with Bluetooth to send your dive profile to your computer. You can also see your dive profile on the screen.

Battery Type Single AA (any type)
Battery Life
AA Alkaline 45 Hours
SAFT LS14500 120 Hours

Shearwater Perdix Battery Compartment

 

Does the Perdix AI have water salinity adjustments?

The Perdix doesn’t measure water depth directly. It measures the water pressure then converts this to depth based on the assumed density of water.

The Salinity setting on the Perdix can be set to Fresh, EN13319, or Salt. EN13319 is the European CE standard for dive computers. The density value used for each setting is:

  • Fresh water = 1000kg/m³
  • EN13319 = 1020 kg/m³
  • Salt Water = 1030 kg/m³

 

What about different Languages?

The Shearwater Perdix can be displayed in a range of languages. These are English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, Korean or Japanese.

 

Shearwater Perdix Wireless Air Integration (AI)

At DEMA in November 2016, Shearwater stunned many in the diving community by releasing the new Perdix AI (with Air Integration). This upset a few die-hard divers who are against the idea of air integration, but love Shearwater.

If you’re not a fan of air integration, then this is still the dive computer for you. The transmitter is an optional accessory. If you don’t want wireless air integration, then there’s no need to invest in the transmitter.

Each Shearwater transmitter has a unique serial number. This needs to be entered into the Perdix AI the first time you use it. The transmitter is screwed into the first stage of your regulator.

The Perdix AI is able to connect to either one or two transmitters giving you the option for monitoring two tanks and allowing for sidemount diving.


See how easy it is to set up the Shearwater Perdix AI for wireless air integration.

Buy Perdix AI on Amazon NOW!

 

What are the differences between the Perdix and the Perdix AI?

There’s only a few small differences between the Perdix and the Perdix AI.

Firstly, the Perdix AI has wireless AI connection capability. This will show your air information via a transmitter.

There’s also additional reporting features in Shearwater Desktop specifically for the Perdix AI. This include displaying the tank pressure throughout the dive, your SAC rate, as well as Gas Time Remaining (GTR) information.

The Bluetooth chip is Bluetooth Smart as opposed to Bluetooth Smart Ready.

The Perdix is still available to buy. These don’t have the firmware for Air Integration and it can’t be ‘retro-fitted’ later on. If you’d like a Perdix without AI, then there’s savings to be had as there are plenty of these still available for sale. These are currently selling for under $850.

 

Wash your dive computer with fresh water at the end of each dive in salt water to remove salt and other contaminants. Never allow salt deposits to build up. Detergents or other cleaning agents will damage the Perdix, so only use fresh water when rising.

Never wash with high pressure water as it may damage the depth sensor. Allow the dive computer to dry naturally before storing. Keep the Perdix upright when storing, and out of direct sunlight in a cool, clean, dry and dust free environment.

Avoid over exposure to direct ultra-violet radiation (the sun). It also doesn’t like radiant heat.

As batteries can and do leak, always remove batteries from the dive computer when storing for long periods (several months). Dead batteries pose a higher risk of leaking and damaging the dive computer.

Shearwater Perdix Dive ComputerWhat about Warranty and servicing for the Shearwater Dive Computers?

Shearwater have a 2 year warranty on all of their products. Each dive computer is tracked with a unique serial number so it doesn’t need to be registered after purchasing. This is transferable to the next owner if sold. Once the warranty period has passed, the computer should be serviced on an annual basis at your nearest service center.

Shearwater Research provides after-sales customer service that is unparalleled. 

I always contact manufacturers of the products I promote to ask permission to use images of their products on my website. I emailed the general info contact at Shearwater Research Inc around 4.30 pm on a Friday afternoon, and had a positive email response within 20 minutes.

That’s simply amazing – this is the kind of company I love to promote. It doesn’t get better than this!

 

Shearwater Perdix AI + Cloud

 

The Verdict?

Don’t be swayed against buying the Shearwater because it would be ‘too much computer’ for you.

These are reliable and are easy to read in all diving conditions. Owners of the Shearwater dive computers claim these are the best dive computers they’ve ever owned. Comments such as this are repeated time and again across Scuba forums such as Scubaboard.

This dive computer also has 5 out of 5 Stars and 100% positive feedback on Amazon.com.

In regards to long term return-on-investment, Shearwater dive computers retain a very good re-sale value. If you had to sell one (although it’s unlikely that you’d want to), it holds its value very well compared to its competitors.

This dive computer does exactly what it’s supposed to do. As far as dive computers go, it provides the best bang for buck, and will simply last and last.

Shearwater Perdix AI Dive Computer with Air Transmitter

Click the button below for the latest price (including any discounts that may apply) on the Shearwater Perdix AI dive computer at Amazon.

Buy Perdix AI on Amazon NOW!

 



Click Here to Leave a Comment Below
Bec - November 11, 2016 Reply

Your review is great – I love the use of the images to show the screens.These pictures easily explain a point. It’s great to see so many details in advance of purchasing. Thank you.

DiverS - December 5, 2016 Reply

This is a great review with lots of technical details and I really appreciate it. I like knowing the decompression model used, as this helps me understand how conservative the results will be. I particularly like a couple of the features of the Perdix, like the large readout. Like the commenter in the article, I like to be able to see my read-out quickly and get the information without a lot of hassle. I also appreciate that this model will turn itself on if you fail to do so before the dive. My current computer does not do this and it is always a sore point with me, though I usually do my pre-dive checklist and make sure mine is on. This would be a nice failsafe though. Thanks for the detailed review.

carl - December 6, 2016 Reply

Hi, this is a very informative article, you have covered a lot of aspects here, and one of my favorites is the onboard compass. This is what I need to keep my bearings when I’m on a research dive. This dive computer is now firmly on my list of “must haves”. Thank you.

Kate - December 7, 2016 Reply

Thanks so much for this thorough review. I like that the Perdix model is less bulky than the Petrel, especially for my female sized wrist. Love that the readout is easy to see, even from a distance. About time someone made changing batteries on a dive computer really easy! Thanks for including the videos, they really help give perspective to its size.

Bob - December 7, 2016 Reply

Glad to see that you covered resale value of the unit. I always get a little concerned when I’m spending so much money for something that, with technology, can get upgraded fairly quickly.

Do you know if the units can use rechargeable batteries?

    Sharon Swanson - December 8, 2016 Reply

    Hi Bob,

    You can’t use rechargeable alkaline batteries which are your standard AA type batteries.

    The Perdix AI will take rechargeable Li-ion 3.7V batteries although these are sometimes hard to source. These cost around $12 per battery and will provide around 34 hours of charge.

    The other rechargeables it does work with are NiMH 1.2V batteries. These are much easier to source, cost around $5 each and will give around 30 hours of charge.

    Cheers,
    Sharon

Martin - December 7, 2016 Reply

I’ve only recently been Advanced OW certified but plan to keep on with my training. I’d like to get my own dive computer rather than continue hiring them. This looks good but I think I’d prefer something that’s more like a wristwatch that I could wear. What would you recommend?

    Sharon Swanson - December 8, 2016 Reply

    Hi Martin,

    If you’re after a wrist watch style dive computer for around the same price as the Perdix, your best bet is the Suunto’s D6i. This has also has an integrated compass, gas switching for up to 3 gases and the option for wireless air integration. I hope this helps.

    Cheers,
    Sharon

Nick - December 8, 2016 Reply

The Perdix looks like a clear winner after all my research so far! Thanks so much for making this decision easier for me to make, I’ve spent a long time trying to come to decision on this, as I’m not a fan of buying cheap imitations wherever I can help it…

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