Best Scuba Dive Computers Guide

The Scuba Dive Computer

One of the biggest tech advance in scuba diving is the invention of the dive computer.

They allow you to stay longer under the water and dive deeper than you’ve ever been, monitoring the health state, depths, performing calculation of the nitrogen in the blood and many other advanced operations on the fly.

Considerations When Buying a Scuba Diving Computer

Display visibility

Make sure that the display is easy readable in a low light and that numbers are big enough and visible. Also, check if the dive computer has background light up if needed.

The computer can display many information but key are displaying Depth and Available Bottom Time Remaining. All other features is a matter of personal preferences.

Display Information

Some information you may see on the display are:

  • Max Depth
  • Current Depth
  • Bottom Time Remaining
  • Surface Interval Time
  • Ascent Rate Monitors
  • Water Temp
  • No Deco Time Limits For Next Dive

And any other information you might ever possibly want to know. But be careful, we

Consider that if you want to have ALL information displayed they will be smaller because they need to fit on the screen.


Check if the buttons are easy available and accessible with dive gloves on your hands or you can use it only without the gloves.

Power On and Off

You need to take care whether the desired dive computer model record the dive automatically and run for hours after the last dive. But some of the computers need to be turned on.

Air or Nitrox

If you mix the gas you need a dive computer that has the option for setting the oxigen percentage. Of course, if you want to you can still use them to dive air; all you need to do is to set the oxygen percentage to 21%.

However, if you don’t mix the gas neither you plan to, you can save the money with buying an air only scuba computer.

Conservative or aggressive

Some diving computer will let you stay under the water longer (aggressive) than a conservative one.

Choose one that you are comfortable with.


Check if a dive computer model adjusts altitude automatically, manually or at all for diving at altitude.

Stand alone or air-integrated

Stand alone dive computers don’t record tank pressure and don’t calculate air and bottom time remaining so you need to use a separate pressure gauge.

An air integrated dive computers monitor all these info and you can obtain models that either plug into a hose or do this wirelessly.


Check the number of recorded dives. Usually the computers record 10 dives but there are models recording only the last one.

Check whether memory wipes when you turn the power off and will the computer retain that info if the batteries fail.

Downloadable info

Some dive computers allow downloading the recorded dive to computer but some other types need a separate software or hardware (cable or usb) to do so.


This is also important thing to be care of. Check if you’ll be able to change the batteries yourself because there are models that need to be taken to the shop or in the worst case to be sent back to the manufacturer.


Some models are console style, while other are wrist mounted or clip on. Be sure what are your needs.


This is not important only for scuba computers but basically for any equipment. Ensure what type of warranty particular model has and will you be able to serviced it locally or to send it to the manufacturer.

You’ve just seen that there are a lot of considerations when looking at buying a scuba computer. So create a list of desired features and read scuba dive computer review and instruction manuals until you find the model that fits.

The price depends on the features, for example if you want a model with built in satellite link up, gps, which is a Nitrox compatible you’ll need to spend more money.

And remember that no matter of its price a dive computer is just a tool that needs to be used properly and that you have to be able to dive even without it. So make sure you practice doing paper dives!

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