Comparison Guide to the Best Entry-Level Dive Computers for Beginners

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Last Updated on August 30, 2020

Our Comparison Guide to some of the Best Beginner and Recreational Dive Computers

Dive computers are a technical piece of equipment. Manufacturers are improving on the features offered all the time. Features that were considered high-end not too long ago are now becoming more common on the entry level dive computers as prices also come down.

This gives new divers the opportunity to get a reliable and safe piece of diving equipment at a very reasonable price.

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Picking a new dive computer can be tricky work. Below is my list of recommended dive computers for Beginners and Recreational Scuba divers. 

Scuba Training

Click on the link below to take you to the answer of your most pressing question or keep scrolling to read the entire article.

What is classified as Recreational Scuba Diving?

The most recognized definition of Recreational diving is to be capable of safely exploring underwater reefs, popular dive sites, and locations of interest that are within easy reach of the coast. 

Many Scuba agencies class the limit of depth for Recreational diving at 130 feet (or 40 meters).

PADI Open Water (OW) training will provide certification to a depth of 18 meters. Advanced Open Water (AOW) certification will give training to a depth of 30 meters. Both of these fall into the definition of Recreational Diving.

Scuba Diving - Buoyancy

Do you need to buy a Dive Computer for Entry Level Diving?

Just remember, buying a dive computer straight away is not essential. These can be hired from dive shops until you're ready to buy one of your own. 

That said, once you know you want to spend a big part of your free time diving, and when the budget allows, you'll probably want to buy one of your own. Dive computers at this level are reasonably cheap given the technology and development that's gone into them.

Open Water Scuba classes don’t help much when it comes to choosing a good diving computer from all the different options available. Advanced Scuba classes aren't much help either. Let's face it, they are there to provide training, and not sell a big range of dive equipment.

If you're on the fence and not sure whether to buy one or not, one thing worth considering is that you will quickly become familiar and and gain more confidence when using a dive computer of your own. 

All dive computers are suitable for beginners, and also for virtually all Recreational diving. 


Don't get too worried about picking the wrong one. Entry-level dive computers are always in demand and generally hold their resale value well. They will also serve you well as a backup dive computer later on, if you decide to extend your training.


All you really need to do is work out your budget and what features you really want, and then just go for it.

Beginners Scuba Dive Computer Pricing

The first consideration is usually your budget. The higher your budget, the more features the dive computer will have. The prices of popular entry level dive computers start around $200 and go through to the mid to high $300's. 

The Cressi Leonardo, Mares Puck Pro and Aqua Lung i100 are priced around $200.

Note: The AquaLung i200 can jump around in price online. At times it can be picked up for around $250, but sometimes it's priced in the same price bracket as the AquaLung i300C (which has Bluetooth functionality). This is something to keep an eye on if you're keen to purchase a dive computer in the AquaLung range.

Scuba Dive Computer Compare

Beginners Dive Computer Comparison Table

All of these dive computers have the basic features and functionality that will keep you safe while diving. Their differences are listed in the comparison table below.


Preview
Mares Puck Pro Wrist Dive Computer
Cressi Leonardo, black/yellow
Aqualung i100 Computer - Blue
Product
Mares Puck Pro Wrist Computer
Cressi Leonardo Dive Computer
Aqua Lung i100 Scuba Dive Computer
Dive Modes
Air, Nitrox, Bottom Timer
Air, Nitrox, Gauge
Air, Nitrox, Gauge, Free
Menu Buttons
Single
Single
4-Button
Log Book Memory
35 Hours
70 Hours
24 Dives
Altitude Adjustment
Manual
Manual
Automatic
Gas Switching
Preview
Mares Puck Pro Wrist Dive Computer
Product
Mares Puck Pro Wrist Computer
Dive Modes
Air, Nitrox, Bottom Timer
Menu Buttons
Single
Log Book Memory
35 Hours
Altitude Adjustment
Manual
Gas Switching
Preview
Cressi Leonardo, black/yellow
Product
Cressi Leonardo Dive Computer
Dive Modes
Air, Nitrox, Gauge
Menu Buttons
Single
Log Book Memory
70 Hours
Altitude Adjustment
Manual
Gas Switching
Preview
Aqualung i100 Computer - Blue
Product
Aqua Lung i100 Scuba Dive Computer
Dive Modes
Air, Nitrox, Gauge, Free
Menu Buttons
4-Button
Log Book Memory
24 Dives
Altitude Adjustment
Automatic
Gas Switching

Recreational Dive Computers

The next step up from entry level dive computers are the Recreational dive computers. These have a little more functionality and this is reflected in their price.

Suunto discontinued the Zoop although these are still available to buy online. This leaves the Zoop Novo as Suunto's only entry level dive computer. The Zoop Novo has more functions and this is reflected in its higher price. It retails for between $300 - $400 online.

The Aqua Lung i300C has Bluetooth connectivity and is priced around $300 - $350.

Oceanic Geo 2.0 is a firm favorite with divers, but it's not user-intuitive. It takes a bit more effort to get to know how to set up it up, but divers love it once they get past this.

Scuba Diving Computers - Entry-Level

Recreational Dive Computer Comparison Table

Preview
Cressi Giotto Wrist Computer
SUUNTO Zoop Novo Wrist Scuba Diving Computer, Blue, Without USB
Aqua Lung I300c Wrist Dive Computer with Bluetooth Black/Grey
Deepblu Cosmiq + Watch Computer
Product
Cressi Giotto Wrist Computer
Suunto Zoop Novo Dive Computer
Aqua Lung i300C Scuba Dive Computer
Deepblu Cosmiq+ Dive Computer
Dive Modes
Air, Nitrox, Gauge
Air, Nitrox, Free and Gauge
Air, Nitrox, Gauge, Free
Scuba, Freedive and Bottom Timer
Menu Buttons
3 - Button
4 - Button
2 - Button
2 - Button
Bluetooth Transfer
Altitude Adjustment
Manual
Manual
Automatic
Manual
Gas Switching
Preview
Cressi Giotto Wrist Computer
Product
Cressi Giotto Wrist Computer
Dive Modes
Air, Nitrox, Gauge
Menu Buttons
3 - Button
Bluetooth Transfer
Altitude Adjustment
Manual
Gas Switching
Preview
SUUNTO Zoop Novo Wrist Scuba Diving Computer, Blue, Without USB
Product
Suunto Zoop Novo Dive Computer
Dive Modes
Air, Nitrox, Free and Gauge
Menu Buttons
4 - Button
Bluetooth Transfer
Altitude Adjustment
Manual
Gas Switching
Preview
Aqua Lung I300c Wrist Dive Computer with Bluetooth Black/Grey
Product
Aqua Lung i300C Scuba Dive Computer
Dive Modes
Air, Nitrox, Gauge, Free
Menu Buttons
2 - Button
Bluetooth Transfer
Altitude Adjustment
Automatic
Gas Switching
Preview
Deepblu Cosmiq + Watch Computer
Product
Deepblu Cosmiq+ Dive Computer
Dive Modes
Scuba, Freedive and Bottom Timer
Menu Buttons
2 - Button
Bluetooth Transfer
Altitude Adjustment
Manual
Gas Switching
Scuba Diver
House of Scuba
House of Scuba Banner Best BCD

Last Updated on August 30, 2020


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  • I really wanted a Dive Computer that represented good value, and I made the decision to purchase the Aqua Lung i300C. I was in the fortunate position where I was able to try a number of dive computers at the local dive club. This really helped a lot.

    The sexier models were very tempting, but basically it boiled down to getting a well known popular brand, and Bluetooth connection at no extra cost. Many others charge an additional fee for this connection. Pairs easily with my phone, and the app is out of this world. Does everything I want to track dives. Has very audible alarms.

    And the i300C is so much easier to use compared to the Zoop.

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