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Best Scuba Computers for Beginners

There are many different types of personal decompression computers used by divers with varying designs, prices, and features for a range of specialised underwater activities.

The information, evaluations, and customer reviews listed below will help divers (especially beginners) choose the best dive computer and why some are easier to use than others.

Which Dive Computer is Good for Novices?

For many, digital underwater computers have superseded a traditional RDP dive table (recreational dive planner).

As a consequence, buying your own computer or scuba watch is often an integral part of a personalised kit because it can track:

Even so, scuba divers and professional free divers will have their own preferences when it comes to dive computer style (e.g. wrist mounted or console), design (chunky or slim), and colour.

The team at Private Scuba in Thailand are always eager to test and evaluate different makes and models of scuba diving computers with a range of different functions, characteristics, and prices.

The list of best diving computers reviewed below is a helpful guide. We have not based it with any particular bias towards any specific models. Please send an email to our team of scuba professionals if you have any questions or comments.

Some of the Key Factors We Tested

Overseen by our Master Instructor, the testers based their scuba computer appraisals on the following categories and features:

Note: Another help guide explains some of the key features you should be looking for when buying the best scuba mask, such as a good field of vision.

Suunto Ocean Dive Computer Review

One of the latest offerings from Suunto is a watch-size, colour screen, multi-sport computer with Global Positioning System (GPS) and free maps.

Designed and built in Finland, the Suunto Ocean All Black dive computer comes with a heart rate monitor, 95 different sports modes, extra long battery life, and an affordable price tag.

The body of this "repairable" machine is light, slender, and sporty. If you include the buttons, the Suunto Ocean is fifty two (52) millimetres across and it measures fifteen (15) millimetres from the sensor section to the top of the screen (thickness).

Suunto Ocean Dive Computer ReviewThe body is made of glass fibre-reinforced polyamide with a stainless steel bezel. There are three different colour options:

  • All Black
  • Black and Silver
  • Light Cream

Suunto Ocean Dive Computer Specifications

  • Measurements: 49.9 x 49.9 x 13.2 millimetres (1.96 x 1.96 x 0.52 inches)
  • Weight: 99 grams (3.49 ounces)
  • Bezel material: Stainless steel
  • Glass material: Sapphire crystal
  • Case material: Glass fibre reinforced polyamide
  • Strap material: Silicone

Besides the USB charging cable and printed user documentation, Suunto also offers a wide range of straps, including a textile strap for everyday use as well as a long silicone strap with customisable colours.

Similar to the Suunto EON dive computers, the Ocean All Black has a three button user interface and touch screen for tapping and swiping (when out of the water).

Apart from the data shown on the display screen, the new Suunto Ocean dive computer and sports watch also has an audible and vibration alert.

Scuba Computer Reviews: Customer Comments

"Finally, Suunto has released a worthy competitor to the Garmin. As a satisfied Garmin owner... I'm impressed!"
"Did 5 dives already with the Suunto Ocean. Man, it is a great dive computer. The screen is very bright and the buttons are very accessible with 3mm gloves. Lots of info available on the screen. You can (obviously) dive with air and nitrox, but not trimix."

Pro Tip: One of the biggest selling points of the new Suunto Ocean is the rechargeable battery. According to the manufacturer, divers can get up to twenty six (26) days of battery life (in eco mode).

Related Information and Help Guides

Note: The short video [12:11 seconds] presented by "Scuba Diver Magazine" contains essential advice and information for divers who are buying a first time dive computer or replacing an ageing one.

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