Dive Computers Suitable For Beginners

Why buy a dive computer?

A dive computer is an essential piece of equipment for scuba diving, and should be one of the first things a diver looks to buy when purchasing their own equipment. The primary role of a dive computer is safety. They allow you to plan dives before entering the water, keep track of your dive profile and even store a log of each dive. Most dive computers come with a variety of modes such as air, nitrox and freedive which enable you to use it for several different types of diving. Without a dive computer, you are either relying on your buddy to have one or have to use dive tables, where mistakes can be made and valuable time taken away from your dive having to calculate them.

Buying your first dive computer can be a daunting task for a beginner or inexperienced diver. Below we list five of the best entry level dive computers on the market at the moment and the pros and cons of each to help you decide.

Entry level dive computers summary

Log book size, user changeable batteries, freedive mode, air integration and price are some of the features to compare when choosing a dive computer. All models have a nitrox mode which is why it is not listed. Below we summarize these features for our top entry level dive computer picks.

Dive ComputerLog BookBatteryFreedive ModeAir IntegPrice
Suunto ZoopSuunto Zoop Novo Dive Computer140 hoursUser changeableYesNo$$
Mares Puck ProMares Puck Pro Plus Dive Computer36 hoursUser changeableNoNo$$
Suunto D4i NovoSuunto D4i Novo140 hoursNot user changeableYesYes$$$
Aqua Lung i300cAqualung i300C dive computer25 divesUser changeableYesNo$$
Cressi LeonardoCressi Leonardo75 hours / 60 divesUser changeableNoNo$

1) Suunto Zoop Novo Dive Computer

Suunto Zoop Novo Dive Computer

Dive Computer Features
Air, nitrox, free and gauge modes
Nitrox mode for EANx mixes from 21-50% oxygen
Free mode for freediving
User changeable battery
2 buttons
Segment display
Backlight screen
140 hours logbook memory

Suunto Zoop Novo Review

The Suunto Zoop Novo is a great entry level dive watch with a large simple display making it perfect for beginners. Featuring four dive modes (air, nitrox, free and gauge), the Suunto Zoop has all the functions you need as you develop as diver. The backlight screen makes it easy to read underwater, and four buttons on the side make navigating the menus simple. It is compatible by USB with a computer, enabling you to download your dive profiles. The user changeable battery is a big plus and saves time having to take it to a dive shop to be replaced. The huge 140 hour logbook is the largest for this level and enables you to store more profiles on the dive computer. At a reasonable price and available in a range of colours, the Suunto Zoop Novo has everything a diver needs in an entry level dive computer.

  • Large simple display

  • Five dive modes

  • Range of colours

  • Large logbook memory

  • User changeable battery

  • No air integration

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2) Mares Puck Pro Plus Dive Computer

Mares Puck Pro Plus Dive Computer

Dive Computer Features
Air & nitrox modes
Nitrox mode for EANx mixes from 21-99% oxygen
Tempered Mineral Glass display
1 button
Large segment display
Backlight screen
36 hours logbook memory

Mares Puck Pro Plus Review

Another large display dive computer, the Mares Puck Pro Plus is also excellent entry level dive computer. The large screen and digits are easy to read, while the tempered mineral glass has superior scratch resistance compared to other models. One button simplifies the menu navigation, making it very intuitive for beginner divers. Featuring air and nitrox modes, the Mares Puck Pro Plus will allow you to develop as a diver, although it lacks a dedicated freedive mode. A user changeable battery is a bonus which saves taking the watch to a dive shop. Also available in a range of colours and more affordable than other entry level dive computers, the Puck Pro is excellent for divers on a budget.

  • Large simple display

  • Range of colours

  • User changeable battery

  • No air integration

  • No freedive mode

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3) Suunto D4i Novo Dive Computer

Suunto D4i Novo

Dive Computer Features
Air, nitrox and free modes
Nitrox mode for EANx mixes from 21-50% oxygen
Free mode for freediving – 3 samples per second
Mineral glass face with dot matrix screen
Carbon fibre housing
4 buttons
Backlight screen
Optional air integration transmitter
140 hours logbook memory

Suunto D4i Novo Review

A personal favorite of ours, the Suunto D4i Novo is a sleek, stylish dive computer brimming with functions. It is perfect as an entry level computerfor a diver who wants a computer that offers more options as they become more advanced. Aesthetically pleasing, the housing is made out of carbon fibre, while the the mineral glass face is high quality. Available in a range of colours, the silicon strap is soft to touch and the strap colour matches that of the housing, resulting in an eye catching watch. An optional air transmitter is available meaning the users remaining tank pressure can be displayed on the screen. The Suunto D4i can operate in air, nitrox and free mode, taking 3 samples a second in freedive mode. The history function and large 140 hour logbook are a great way to review your dives. Although more pricey than other entry level dive computers, the Suunto D4i is a high quality dive watch will last a diver for many years.

Read our in depth review of the Suunto D4i & D4i Novo here

  • Sleek attractive design

  • Three dive modes including freedive

  • Range of colours

  • Air integration compatible

  • Large logbook memory

  • Higher price

  • Battery not user changeable

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4) Aqualung i300C Dive Computer

Aqualung i300C dive computer

Dive Computer Features
Air, nitrox, free & gauge modes
Nitrox mode for EANx mixes from 21-50% oxygen
Free mode for freediving
Bluetooth mode to transfer logs to smart device
2 buttons
Large dot matrix screen
Backlight screen
Switch between 3 gas modes underwater
25 dives logbook memory

Aqua Lung i300C Review

Like the Suunto D4i Novo, the Aqua Lung i300C is another dive computer which is good for beginner divers looking for a more advanced computer. The Aqua Lung i300C features Bluetooth technology which allows you to transfer your dive logs to your DiverLog app smart device without the need of a physical cable. Functional in four dive modes; air, nitrox, free and gauge, the i300C is usable across multiple diving disciplines. The smart design means the dive computer can even be worn as an every day watch, while the user changeable battery means you wont have to the unit away to changed. A useful feature for more advanced divers is being able to change between three gases underwater. More reasonably priced than the Suunto D4i, the Aqua Lung i300C is better value for money overall.

  • Four dive modes

  • Change between three gases underwater

  • User changeable battery

  • Bluetooth mode to transfer log files

  • No air integration

  • Only available in two colours

  • Small logbook memory

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5) Cressi Leonardo Dive Computer

Cressi Leonardo

Dive Computer Features
Air, Nitrox and Gauge Mode
Nitrox mode for EANx mixes from 21-50% oxygen
Gauge mode enables only depth display without decompression info
Gauge mode enables only depth display without decompression info
Three levels of conservatism
Backlight screen
75 hours/ 60 dive logbook

Cressi Leonardo Review

A highly popular dive watch from the pioneering brand Cressi, the Cressi Leonardo is a single button easy to use dive computer. The large numerical numbers and backlight screen make it easy to read underwater. It can operate in air, nitrox and gauge mode, while also operating a three levels of conservatism. A high level of conservatism reduces the time the computer will allow you to spend less time at each depth, meaning you will dive well within your limits. A low level of conservatism enables you to spend more time at a depth, which means you will push the decompression limits a bit more. Therefore changing this mode is for more advanced divers, which makes the Cressi Leonardo a good long term dive computer. The battery is user changeable and the Leonardo can be connected to a computer via USB. The only thing this dive computer lacks is a freedive mode, however this is compensated by the reasonable price.

  • Large numerical digits

  • Three dive modes

  • Range of colours

  • User changeable battery

  • Reasonable price

  • Three levels of conservatism for advanced divers

  • No air integration

  • No freedive mode

Check Price On Amazon

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