Best diving computer for beginners – 6 reviewed

Bruno Sergio: Chief Diving instructor and co-owner of Best Spot Diving company in the Azores, Sao Miguel Island gives his expert advice on choosing the best diving computer for beginners and offers you a few options to get you started without breaking the bank.

You've taken the plunge and learned to dive recently and now you're in the market for the best diving computer for beginners.

Choosing the best diving computer for beginners is a task that those new to diving can find overwhelming with the great array of choices and options out there in the market. Do you have high aspirations to dive more and are thinking to future proof  and buy better than you currently need? Are you tempted by the sales and marketing hype that makes you want to spend more to get something ” all bells and whistles”?

Save weight and importantly money by buying the most appropriate computer for your skill level. Worry about the extra functions later, if and when you decide to go diving deeper or with more technical gas requirements.

The best computer is one that you can understand easily and will be intuitive to read and control during a dive. The last thing a beginner diver needs to be doing is scrolling through menus or losing the most important information from the screen and spending less time safely enjoying their time under the water.

If you are looking for other dive equipment, I give my advice on Diving Regulators : Best Diving Regulators – 7 options for simple scuba

Best dive computer for beginners

Aqualung i200C Computer

Reasons to buy
Great value and versatility : Multiple color choices : Easy to use for entry level

Reasons to avoid
No compass integrated or Air Integration : It only logs up to 24 dives so if you forget to download them you will end up losing the information’s

There’s a reason the Aqualung i200C is a popular computer and that is because it is fresh design and easy versatility, cost effective and can be worn as an everyday sports watch that is ready to dive.

This diving computer has four operating modes, a user-changeable standard battery, the ability to easily switch between 2 mixes, as well as no restriction switching between Free & Dive. NATO Strap available in the black version, a comfortable and rugged nylon strap for added security and moisture wicking while out of the water. It’s a great watch for a beginner with clear display and easy to navigate menu buttons.

In our tests underwater we find it easy going to use and to access all the key features. The monochromatic screen is easy to watch but for some divers a color display will make all the difference or a bigger display.

Bluetooth connectivity lets you share your stats, location, memories, and photos on social media via the free DiverLog+ app from Aqualung. The box comes with a Lens Protector witch is always nice as you don’t want to scratch your dive computer display.

Power: User changeable battery
Gases: max FO2 setting: 21 to 100% oxygen
Depth: maximum display 100m
Logbook – up to 24 dives
Algorithm: Pelagic Z+

Buy Aqualung i200 from DiveINN

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Mares Puck Pro Wrist Computer Black/Gray

Reasons to buy:
You get a lot of computer for the price : durability and simplicity : ideal as a first dive computer
Reasons to avoid:
Needs USB Interface for logging dives on PC : Only one button to give access to all the menus

The scuba diving computer Puck Pro + is the evolution of the previous model Puck Pro. Ultra flat design for a perfect fit. It can handle multi-blend dives with up to two Nitrox blends (21-99%). It has up to 36h of memory capacity and allows altitude adjustment.

Power: User changeable battery up to 200 – 300 dives duration.
Gases: max FO2 setting – 21 to 100% oxigen
Depth: maximum display 150m
Logbook: 36 dives
Algorithm: Mares-Wienke RGBM (Reduced Gradient Bubbles Model)

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SUUNTO Zoop Novo Wrist Scuba Diving Computer

Reasons to buy:
Very good warranty system by suunto directly : Easy to use with a big display with display protection : Long lasting battery up to 150 dives
Reasons to avoid:
If you are looking for a daily watch use this is not an option : No compass or air integration system : Data transfer by USB cable

Suunto haves a great history of success and quality in their gear. This entry level computer will not let you down.

Whether you’re just starting your first steps on scuba diving or as a backup computer for more advanced explorations.

This simple to use dive computer includes full decompression capabilities, five dive modes (Air, Nitrox, Gauge, Free and Off). Suunto haves an interactive learning tool that will allow you to virtually dive and play with your computer features before testing it underwater.

To log your dives it comes with Suunto DM5 to download your dives, upload dive plans and customize your computer. It already comes with altitude adjustment ideal for someone that is diving in lakes.

Power: User changeable battery (up to 2 years lifetime in time mode)
Gases: max FO2 setting – 21 to 100% oxygen
Depth: maximum 80m
Logbook: 140 dives
Algorithm: Suunto RGBM

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Reasons to buy:
Excellent functionality (all in one) : Easy to integrate your dive info with a rescue device : Long battery life
Reasons to avoid:
The display is not as large or vivid as some of the dedicated dive computers : It can have to many things if your main purpose is to use it as a simple dive computer and not a smart watch.

Much more than just a dive computer or smart watch. It comes with a GPS tracker included so you can easily monitor your entry and exit points from the dive plus pair it with an inReach model from Garmin (Garmin in Reach) to easy communicate in case you get lost in the sea, it monitors and analyzes your performance above the water as it haves 30 sport applications that you can monitor including advanced training but we will focus our analysis on the diving.

Some extra features such as tide movement, waves and wind force are a great plus on this smartwatch dive computer features. It comes with dive mode including CCR tec dive for rebreather and freediving.

The solar charging is always topping up the battery when you’re out of the water making the battery life very impressive at up to 3 months between charges. As with other Garmin watches the straps are easy to swap out and the battery life is excellent.

Power: It charges with a Garmin special connector. Up to 25h in dive mode, 124 days as a smartwatch (solar charged) and 39h on GPS (solar charged)
Gases: max FO2 setting – 21 to 100% oxygen and trimix, with up to 2.0 PO2 adjustment for deco dives.
Depth: maximum 100m
Logbook: 200 dives (Garmin Dive™)
Algorithm: Bühlmann ZHL-16c

Buy It Now from Jura Watches

Cressi Leonardo Scuba Diving Computer

Reasons to buy
Easy to use and simple : Elegant design with different color options
Reasons to avoid
Maximum setting of oxygen is PO2 is 50% so it cant be used for decompression with tanks up then 50% nitrox : No compass or Air integration

By Cressi: the Leonardo is a must-have for divers entering the sport and those who “just want to dive”. So as simple as possible computer with a single use button to get the features and settings.

With a large screen but still light and small to travel. It can also be fully reset after each use, which can be useful if you’re working in a dive center and want to rent to different clients at different times of the day. Just don’t use this feature if you are the diver that will use the computer all the time as having the previous dives information’s on your computer its important to set any deco stops.

It comes with Air, nitrox and gauge modes so no freediving mode.

Power: User changeable battery
Gases: max FO2 setting – 21 to 50% oxygen
Depth: maximum 120m with possible altitude adjustment
Logbook: 60 dives
Algorithm: Modified Haldne & Wienke algorithm

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SEAC Unisex’s Partner, Wrist-Mount Freediving Computer

Reasons to buy
Ultra-durable structure treated with High Resistance Treatment : Nice design with big LCD screen
Reasons to avoid
No compass or air integration possible : Cable dependent to download dives to logbook

Italian design on a dive computer. Dive computer and watch so it can be used in a daily basis. The big screen will allow you to see the information clearly with is LCD screen with contrast and adjustable-intensity back lighting, for high visibility.

It is made with durable high resistance protection so it makes the promise for a durable dive computer.

Power: User changeable battery
Gases: max FO2 setting – 21 to 99% oxygen and prepared for 2 different mixes
Depth: maximum 100m
Algorithm: Bühlmann ZHL-16C
Logbook: 40 dives to download by USB cable (optional) to Dive Manager software (requires Windows 10), available for free at Seac

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What to look for in a dive computer:


One of the most important things to consider is the dive computer display. The best dive computers have clear, easy to see displays. They show all the important info you need while underwater. This includes things like your depth, time remaining, water temperature and more. Don’t forget the backlighting, you’ll need this if you dive in low visibility water.

Time remaining

Your Diving computer works out the depth, time and pressure and creates an algorithm for you. This algorithm determines your time remaining under water until nitrogen saturation. Some computers offer a higher level of caution than others. If you’re new to diving then caution is a good thing.  It may shorten your dive time by a few minutes but that means you a much less likely to have the risk of decompression sickness.


Does the computer have user changeable batteries or plug in to a USB to recharge? Some dive computers need to have their batteries changed at a shop where they can ensure that they are properly sealed up again and are pressure tested.


Ensure you don’t get set adrift from your dive boat with an easy to read compass and pinpoint function.

Air integration

Air integration is a great bonus feature. This saves you needing a separate screen but these come at a high price.

Price Range

How much do you want to spend? There’s something available for most budgets. Try not to get carried away. Buy only what you need.


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