James from Adreno runs through how to choose your scuba diving computer.
You can read the blog below or watch our video on this topic here:
You’ve effectively got two types of computers. You’ve got a console computer and you’ve got a wrist computer. Obviously the wrist computer goes on your wrist. You could put it on your ankle, but it wouldn't be much good. Your console computer attaches to the first stage of your regulator, and then you're getting your reading from there.
Your wrist computers don’t normally don't have an air reading. So what that means is you'll have a wrist computer and a separate gauge. There is another type of computer, which is a variation on the wrist computer. This is called your air integrated computer. So what that means is you've got a wrist computer that comes with an air integrated console. This console effectively attaches to the first stage and either will connect to the watch by either Bluetooth or infrared. And then that means that you're going to get a nice little air reading on your wrist computer, so it means you can effectively do away with the SPG option. And it means you can dive along and you can check your air on your wrist computer.
Now a big question is, which is better, a console or a wrist computer? And that really does come down to personal preference. I know a lot of people when they first learned to dive, will learn to dive using this a console computer. The benefit of this style of computer means for your average diver, if you're learning to dive, it means it's just there. You know where it is. You've probably used hire gear. It's the easiest setup. The other benefit for someone who's buying their own set of kit if you want this type of computer would be one, if you don't want to wear a watch. Or two if you're quite forgetful and you think you might leave your wrist computer at home when you're going diving. That means when you pack all your gear, it's already there. It's attached to your regulator. You're not going to forget it because your regs, realistically, are probably the most important aspect of diving because they help you breathe underwater.
The downside of having a console computer means you've got an extra bit of equipment hanging off you when you're diving, so you've got to make sure you clip it onto your BCD. You tuck it into your waistband. Not everybody likes that. So the benefit of having this wrist computer means you've got something nice and easy. It'll give you all the figures you need. It'll give you your bottom time, you'll know flight time, etc. And most computers will do nitrox up to a certain point. Some of your lower end computers will do about to a 40% or 50% nitrox mix, which is your enriched air, and some of your more expensive ones, will do up to a 99% O2 mix, for people who understand nitrox diving.
Again, which is better, is a matter of personal preference. Personally, I'm diving. I have an Oceanic wrist computer, it's an air integrated computer. Now I like this, but at the same time, the argument is you can do away with your gauge, but I'll always dive with a redundant air gauge on the off chance that something goes wrong, because I like to know effectively how much air I've got when I'm diving.
There are simpler wrist computers such as Cressi Leonardo, which is a very easy computer to use. The downside of it is that it's got single button navigation. So as you're going through the menus, it means you're pressing the button once or holding it down.
Something like the Mares Smart Air Computer has two button navigation and my Oceanic has got four buttons so navigation is easier. All of them have their pros and cons, and obviously, when you're looking at a more complicated computer there is a slight price difference. But at the root, they're both effectively doing the same thing. So simple wrist computers are both perfect for recreational divers, whereas your more complex air integrated wrist computers might be a little bit more suited for someone who’s diving a lot more and prefers this type of computer.
The console computers very tough and they're suitable for people diving at all variety of levels. But console computers are likely preferred for someone who may not be diving as much or has just started diving.
If you've got any more questions about dive computers, we've got a much broader range on our website, so check them out. And obviously I've only touched on a small amount of the details here, but if you have more questions you can go in-store to any of our stores at Adreno outlets, or you can hit us up on live chat as well.