When you consider buying your first dive computer many doubts and questions come to your mind. If you have already bought some gear you probably spent quite a lot of money and putting another 200 $ on a dive computer may seem a lot… but keep in mind that its good use makes a huge difference when your health may depend on how you use your dive computer.
There may also be many doubts when we start diving: am I sure i will continue diving? Does it worth it to spend 300 $ on a computer that is useless for anything but diving? It is normal to have this kind doubts about diving equipment in our first steps as divers, do not worry. The good news is that we made that mistake first mistake when buying our first dive computer, getting a bad and expensive Beuchat dive computer that a bad seller sold us and we are here to help you avoid that mistakes.
here you have 4 recommendations of good and cheap dive computers for beginners, with everything you need for your first tens or hundreds of dives, and also where you can find them at the best prices. If you keep on diving these computers will be useful until you take the next step in diving and get into mixed gases (if you ever do). If you do not continue, surely someone will buy it second hand 🙂
1. Suunto Zoop Novo
This is probably the dive computer you have seen most on other divers wrists. Cheap, very easy to use, very shock resistant, lightweight (about 120 g), perfect for night dives with its very bright blue screen and suitable for air and nitrox. What else can you ask for a first dive computer?
One interesting aspect in dive computers like this for beginners is that it uses the algorithm RGBM, quite conservative and that marks deep decompression. Something that can be annoying on diving trips with 3-4 dives a day, but certainly safer for those who are becoming familiar with scuba diving.
The price of the Suunto Zoop is around 250 $, one of the cheapest dive computers available and surely one the best value for money. Any cons? Maybe the control buttons are something small and if you wear gloves they may not respond as you would like and that the battery is not so simple to change for oneself. As said, it is a really good dive computer for beginners, maybe the best.
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2. Cressi Leonardo diving computer
Another highly recommended dive computer for beginners because of its price (you can find online offers for less than 180 $), because it is super simple to use with just a single button to manage the entire menu and comes with the conservative RGBM algorithm that will mark you deep stops. So, safer.
It can store up to 75 dives, manages nitrox and air modes, depth gauge, you can connect it to your PC or Mac to save your dives and check the diving profile… all the basic features that you can ask a basic dive computer are present in the Leonardo Cressi. And you can also change the battery yourself.
It is quite robust and may seem very big but is ideal for quickly check the information. Again, a perfect dive computer as a first choice. Ah, almost forgot, this computer also has a wide of variety of colors to match well with your diving suit. Isn’t it important?
3. Mares Puck Pro +
This is probably the most conservative dive computer of the 4 that we reviewed, although it also has the RGBM algorithm in its system. It is very similar to the Cressi Leonardo in terms of features except that it does have multigas mode. It also has a unique menu navigation button and is super intuitive and very simple to use underwater. It can be connected to your computer or Mac via Bluetooth and it has a battery lifespan of up to 250-300 dives.
If you doubt to purchase the Leonardo or the Mares puck, having used both, I would go for the Leonardo for its screen protection (when you are learning is common to you hit your dive computer), because seems much more robust and because you can change the battery by your own, but they are very, very similar and you may not find many differences.
4. Oceanic Geo 2
This last dive computer reviewed is a bit more complex and advanced than the other three. We include it mainly because there is no big difference in price (costs around 350$) and if you plan on keep on diving you will have a very good dive computer on your wrist for hundreds of dives as is much more versatile.
The Oceanic Geo 2 is a very reliable computer, more «watch style» (although too big not to look as at what it is), and stands out from the rest of computers in this article because it allows you to play with its decompression modes being able to choose between its two algorithms, making it conservative when needed. It is comfortable, easy to read information and you can easily change the battery by yourself, three important points when you want to buy your first dive computer.
On the other hand, the menu is complicated (it cost me hours to be able to go from ºF to ºC), the light can be somewhat weak for night dives and you need to buy a cable (not cheap) to connect it to another device.
The last tip, and perhaps the most important one when it comes to dive computers, is to read and understand the entire dive computer manual before getting into the water. Make sure you know your computer well before your first dive with it. It is very important, your health and even your life may depend on how you use your computer.
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