Revealing the Best Dive Computer for Beginners 2023 – A Detailed Buying Guide and Reviews

#1 Pick

Cressi Leonardo


Suunto Zoop Novo

Best Budget

Mares Puck Pro Plus

Dive computers, once considered a luxury, are now deemed essential in the realm of underwater exploration, especially for beginners. The rapid advancements in technology coupled with increasingly affordable prices have made these devices indispensable for recreational scuba divers. Ranging from the console dive computers with their high-definition screen and sleek design to wristwatch-style devices boasting compact designs, dive computers are available in several shapes, sizes, and functionalities. Some of the best dive computers for beginners offer a host of intuitive features, such as dive profiles, bluetooth and wireless connectivity, multiple dive modes, and even a user-replaceable battery for extended underwater adventures. But the heart of the matter lies in identifying the right fit for the beginners.

Speaking of the shift from traditional dive tables to modern-day dive computers, the latter possesses a clear advantage in terms of continuous and precise monitoring of depth and time, enabling safer and more controlled diving experiences. But what really makes a dive computer suitable for beginners? To answer that, let’s take a comprehensive look at some of their key features, ranging from the ease of navigation to the activation types of the devices. Let’s dive in!

The terms like sleek design, extended battery life, multiple diving modes, and integrated compass might sound overwhelming to a beginner. But, make no mistake, finding the best dive computers for beginners is not rocket science. With this guide at hand, choosing the ideal companion for your underwater adventures is going to be as easy as pie. Keeping the budget in check, let’s reveal the top picks for the year 2023.

What Makes the Perfect Beginner’s Dive Computer?

Choosing the perfect dive computer for a beginner diver boils down to a few basic yet crucial factors. It should have an intuitive and user-friendly interface, be it a single-button interface or a four-button one, like in the well-regarded Oceanic Geo 4. The device should offer accurate and real-time dive data, with a reliable depth gauge, suitable for beginners and recreational divers. Other features like a user-replaceable battery, bluetooth connectivity and wireless connectivity, and a high-definition screen add to the convenience of use. Not to forget, a beginner’s dive computer needs to be rugged and sturdy enough to handle a few knocks and scrapes, typical of newbie divers finding their feet (or fins) in the scuba world.

Why a Dive Computer is Crucial for Beginners

A dive computer is one’s digital lifeline when they’re exploring the breathtaking underwater world. It provides real-time data about the dive, including depth, time, temperature, and ascent rate. For a beginner diver, the Oceanic Geo 4 dive computer offers precise data to ensure a safe and controlled dive. This becomes extremely crucial for beginners who are still learning the ropes of scuba diving.

Besides, these devices do away with the guesswork and the need to memorize dive tables, letting you focus on the joy of diving. The Oceanic Geo 4, for instance, comes packed with a dual algorithm and multiple diving modes, allowing for more adaptability and flexibility under water. Overall, a dive computer lets the beginner divers enjoy their underwater adventure while ensuring their safety and well-being.

Key Features a Beginner’s Dive Computer Should Possess

  • Ease of Navigation

One of the first things a newbie scuba diver wants in a dive computer is ease of navigation. It’s important that the device has a clear and easy-to-read display, even at the max depth. A bright backlight feature can further aid readability, ensuring that crucial dive data is always visible, even in low light conditions. After all, the last thing a beginner diver wants is to squint at their dive computer when they should be marveling at the stunning marine life around them.

Additionally, a user-friendly interface lets the diver navigate through the various settings and modes with ease. A single-button interface might seem attractive for its simplicity, but a multi-button setup can provide more functionality once the basics are mastered. Remember, the ease of use is key when you’re 50 dives deep into the ocean, juggling with your buoyancy, breathing, and the overwhelming beauty of the underwater world.

  • Accurate Depth Gauge

When it comes to selecting a dive computer, accuracy is a top priority – especially in the depth gauge. A diver needs to know exactly how far below the surface they are. It’s like when you’re driving in an unknown neighborhood – you gotta know where you are, right? It’s not just about the thrill of exploring, it’s about staying safe.

An inaccurate depth gauge can lead to risky situations. Picture this – you’re enjoying the views of the oceanic underworld, swimming with schools of brightly colored fish, and suddenly you’ve wandered too deep. Now, that’s a situation nobody wants. So, a beginner diver ought to get their hands on a dive computer with an accurate depth gauge. It’s essentially your underwater speedometer, mate.

  • Reliable Calculations

Just like an accountant crunching the numbers, a dive computer must give reliable calculations. From the amount of gas left in the tank to the safe ascent rate, the dive computer is the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy of the diving world. It should be dependable in all conditions, like a good old boy scout.

Imagine if a dive computer gave wonky readings about how much air you had left or got the nitrogen levels all mixed up. Wouldn’t that be like a faulty GPS directing you off a cliff? So, a dive computer with reliable calculations is a must-have for a diver, especially a beginner.

  • Extensive On-board Memory

A dive computer is not just a fancy wrist piece, it’s an underwater assistant. And a good assistant remembers things. That’s where the on-board memory comes into play. It keeps track of your previous dives. Think of it as the black box of your underwater adventures.

Having a record of your past dives, the depths you hit, the mixtures of gasses you used, is valuable information. It’s like having a little notebook with you, logging all the details. A dive computer with a large on-board memory is a great tool to track your progress from a beginner to a pro-diver. On-board memory – it’s like your underwater diary, man.

  • Activation Types of Dive Computers

Did you ever think how a dive computer knows when you’re diving? Well, it’s all about the activation. With some dive computers, you manually fire them up, like cranking up a car. Others start automatically sensing when you’re in the water and kick into gear on their own. Like a well-trained dog fetching the paper.

For a beginner, the less to worry about, the better. Choosing a dive computer that’s activated automatically gives one less thing to stress about before taking a plunge. After all, diving should be about the thrill and the beauty of the underwater world, not about fumbling with complicated gadgets.

A Comprehensive Look at Top Dive Computers for Beginners – Review

Taking a leap into the diving world comes with a lot of equipment choices. And one of the most pivotal ones is a reliable dive computer. For a beginner, the Cressi Leonardo, the Suunto Zoop Novo, and the Mares Puck Pro Plus are all tried and tested companions. For a tech-savvy novice, the Aqua Lung i200C and the Oceanic Geo 4 offer high-tech features that can simplify the diving experience. Remember, folks, it’s all about finding the right tool for the job. So, checking out these top dive computers is a good start.

1. Cressi Leonardo – The Budget-Friendly Diver’s Companion

Score 8.4 OUT OF 10
Cressi Leonardo

Jumpin’ jellyfish! If you’re a beginner diver on a budget, the Cressi Leonardo Dive Computer is like a ray of sunshine. This bad boy ain’t too fancy or overly bulky – a perfect fit for purses and pockets alike. Best part? It’s one of the most budget-friendly pieces on the market.

Now, let’s take a look-see at the features of this dive computer. Imagine this: you’re in the deep blue, and you’ve got an audible alarm to alert you. Easy on button lets you turn it on without a fuss. But wait, there’s more! You’ve got dive modes Air/Nitrox, and those large digits? They’re just super for better reading underwater. This ain’t no ordinary dive computer, folks. It’s got an added perk – a backlit screen for those late-night dives.

You got your readout for different depths during your dive, but what’s even cooler is how readable this gizmo is, even in the darkness. The backlit screen ain’t just for show, it’s functional, allowing for safe tracking during those dangerously dark dives. So, my friend, if you’re a beginner diver, this budget-friendly companion is worth considering.


  • Available in a variety of colors, suitable for divers who value aesthetics.
  • Features a deep stop function, enhancing safety during dives.
  • Backlit screen for better reading during night dives.
  • Large digits and easy on button for ease of use.


  • Lacks wireless connectivity, which could limit data transfer options.
  • Does not support nitrox and gauge modes, limiting its versatility.

2. Suunto Zoop Novo – A Merger of Affordability and Elegance

Score 9OUT OF 10
Suunto Zoop Novo

Now, let’s talk about the Suunto Zoop Novo. This here’s a dive computer that brings affordability and elegance together like peanut butter and jelly. But keep in mind folks, if you’re looking for a daily watch, this ain’t your pick. However, its user-changeable battery and stellar warranty system make it a catch for beginners.

The Suunto Zoop Novo ain’t just another dive computer. This beauty is packed with features that make diving simpler and safer for beginners. With a user-changeable battery that lasts up to 2 years in time mode, you can say goodbye to frequent battery changes.

Sure, it doesn’t double as a daily watch, but that doesn’t take away from its value. It’s a sturdy dive computer that offers a maximum FO2 setting – 21 to 100% oxygen and a depth limit of 80m. Plus, it can store up to 140 dives in its logbook. Not bad for a budget-friendly dive computer, huh?


  • Excellent warranty system
  • Features a user-changeable battery with a long lifespan
  • Supports a wide range of oxygen settings, from 21 to 100%
  • Can measure up to a depth of 80m
  • Stores up to 140 dives in its logbook


  • Not suitable as a daily watch
  • Does not have a compass or air integration system

3. Mares Puck Pro Plus – Adding Tech to Your Dives

Score 8.2 OUT OF 10
Mares Puck Pro Plus

Riding on the wave of technological advancements is the Mares Puck Pro Plus. It’s like a little pocket marvel that blends technology with functionality, doing all the thinking for you while you focus on enjoying your dive. With a single button interface, it fits perfectly into the glove of a beginner diver, making the underwater experience seamless and fuss-free.

With the Mares Puck Pro Plus, you’re getting a dive computer that stands toe-to-toe with the best of ’em. It’s got a massive segmented display that’s easy on the eyes, making it a cinch to read your depth and other vital stats while under the water. And with its multiple color options, it’s got a look to match every diver’s personality.

But this gizmo isn’t just about good looks. It’s also about performance. The Puck Pro Plus can handle multi-blend dives and has its own unique Mares-Wienke RGBM algorithm. It’s like having a pocket-sized instructor watching your back at all times, ready to alert you with audible alarms whenever necessary.


  • Large digit segmented display for easy readability
  • All functions can be accessed with one button
  • Handles multi-blend dives with up to two Nitrox blends (21-99%)
  • Uses the Mares-Wienke RGBM decompression algorithm
  • Offers a USB interface for logging dives on your PC and Mac


  • Lacks a full-featured dive computer feel due to the absence of a compass and freediving mode.
  • Its monotone LCD display might seem a little outdated for some divers, especially when compared with more advanced dive computers.

4. Aqua Lung i200C – A Dive Computer for the 21st Century

Score 8.6 OUT OF 10
Aqua Lung i200C

Alright, so let’s talk about the Aqua Lung i200C. It’s like your iPhone in the world of dive computers – sleek, loaded with features, and almost as attractive. Spoiler alert: this isn’t your cheapest dive computer. But hey, quality comes with a cost, right?

In the realm of diving, it’s not about having the fanciest tools; you want stuff that’ll keep you safe. And that’s where our little friend i200C comes into the picture. This digital dive buddy is all about packing a punch while giving you the simplicity you need as a beginner.

This bad boy right here is the perfect blend of substance and style. Packed with four operating modes, the i200C goes from zero to hero in a snap. Whether you’re a scuba diver, free diver, or even a sofa diver (kidding, don’t dive on the sofa), this machine adapts to your needs.

And check this out, you get to wear your dive computer like a daily watch (cool, huh?), thanks to its sleek, sporty design. But wait, there’s more. Things like Bluetooth connectivity mean you don’t lose your data or, heaven forbid, your mind over a lost USB cable. It’s all tech and no nonsense with the Aqua Lung i200C.


  • Designed for recreational divers, the i200C is compact and can be comfortably worn outside the water, doubling as a regular watch.
  • Its LCD screen displays essential information such as current depth, time underwater, and surface interval, all on a bright screen that’s easy to read.
  • Advanced dive computers features like ascent rate alarms add to its reliability and user-friendliness.
  • Despite its small size, the Aqua Lung i200C does not compromise on data, offering four different operating modes.
  • In comparison to the Oceanic Geo 4, it offers a durable design at a more affordable price.


  • While it has a user-replaceable battery, the Aqua Lung i200C lacks a compass and air integration, which are typically found in the cheapest dive computer models.
  • Digital dive readings might be challenging to interpret for some beginners due to the screen quality, which could be improved.

5. Oceanic Geo 4 – Taking Dual-Algorithm to a New Level

Score 8.4 OUT OF 10
Oceanic Geo 4

Now, let’s sidestep to a different kind of beast – the Oceanic Geo 4. Picture this: a sequel so good, it beats the original. That’s the Geo 4 for ya, taking over from its predecessor, the Oceanic Geo 2. This big boy is all about upgrading your dive experience, making it safer and smoother.

The Geo 4 doesn’t just look good, it performs well too. With dual-algorithms, it does the work, calculating your dive metrics, while you focus on the underwater sights. And like its pal above, this dive computer doubles as a regular watch.

Imagine the look on your buddies’ faces when you tell them that your sleek wristwatch is also a high-tech dive computer. Aside from the bragging rights, it also offers convenience, especially when maintaining a low profile is your thing.


  • The Oceanic Geo 4 is a budget-friendly option ideal for divers at all skill levels. Its simple interface and multiple modes of operation make it perfect for beginners.
  • This dive computer offers a dual algorithm, allowing users to adjust it according to their diving preferences. This feature is particularly useful when synchronizing with a buddy’s computer during pre-dive planning.
  • One of the standout features of the Oceanic Geo 4 is its Bluetooth 4 connectivity. This allows divers to connect the device to the free DiverLog+ App on their smartphone, providing a seamless way to log and share diving data.
  • The display of the Oceanic Geo 4 is another benefit. It boasts larger and crisper digits, ensuring visibility in all lighting conditions, crucial for a safe and enjoyable dive.


  • A chief disappointment for recreational divers might be the lack of air integration in the Oceanic Geo 4, a feature often found in advanced models. 
  • While being ideal for divers, the Oceanic Geo 4 falls short by not including a freediving mode.

Why is Air Integration Important for Dive Computers?

Alright, so you’re stepping up to the big leagues of diving now, are ya? Good on ya! Now, let’s talk shop. And by shop, I mean the nitty-gritty of dive computers. You see, something that’s super crucial in these gizmos is something called air integration.

Why’s it so important? Simple. Air integration gives you a real-time reading on how much air you got left in that tank of yours. No guessing, no stressing, just straight up, reliable information so you can enjoy your dive without worry. Trust me, it’s a feature you don’t wanna miss out on.

Understanding Air Integration in Dive Computers

Alright, so let’s dive a little deeper into this air integration thing. As I said, it gives you real-time info on your air supply. That means it’s reading the pressure in your tank and calculating how much dive time you got left. Handy, right?

Now, some real top-notch machines, like the Suunto D5, have a beautiful LCD screen to show you all this info. And boy, does it light up the underwater world with its bright, vibrant display. Not only does it have air integration, but it also can do some fancy stuff like gas switching- something even advanced divers appreciate.

The Need for Air Integration in Beginner’s Dive Computers

Now, as a beginner, you might be wondering why you need all these bells and whistles. Well, the answer is safety, my friend. See, the underwater world can be unpredictable and knowing your air supply can make a world of difference in a tricky situation.

Plus, let’s not forget that as a rookie, you’re still getting the hang of managing your air consumption. That’s where the air integration feature in your dive computer comes in. It’s like having a trusty friend watching your back, making sure you’re not running low on air when you’re mesmerized by the beauty of the deep blue.

Decoding the Basics of On-board Memory in Dive Computers

Now on to the next bit – the on-board memory of dive computers. Yeah, it sounds like something out of a sci-fi flick, but it’s actually pretty straightforward. The on-board memory of a dive computer is like its little black box, keeping track of all your dive details.

So, what kind of info does it store? Well, things like your surface interval – that’s the time you spend at the surface between dives. It also logs your ascent rate alarms. These alarms are like the warning bells that sound when you’re surfacing too fast. Trust me, no one wants to surface too quickly and risk getting decompression sickness. It’s no picnic, I tell ya! So, having that data stored in the on-board memory is a real boon, ya see?

Why do Dive Computers Need Memory?

Look, here’s the thing. Diving might be fun and all, but it ain’t exactly a walk in the park. There’s stuff to remember, like the depth you’ve been, how long you stayed, the mix of gasses you breathed and a whole lot more. Sure, you can try to remember all that, but after a few dives, it starts to get a little confusing.

That’s where the dive computer comes in, like a trusty sidekick. All the important stuff about your dive? It’s got it all saved up in its memory, ready for you to look at when you need it. We’re talking details like dive times, depths, safety stop times, and no-decompression limits. No need to wrack your brain or carry around a notebook. The dive computer has got your back.

How Much Memory do Beginners’ Dive Computers Need?

Now, you might ask, how much memory does a beginner diver’s computer need? Well, the answer is: enough to store the data of your recent dives. You see, each dive is a lesson. By going over the data, you can learn what you did right, and where you went wrong. That’s how you get better. But if the computer can’t store enough dives, well, you’re basically trying to learn without a textbook.

So, a good beginner’s dive computer should be able to store the details of at least 20 dives. That gives you enough data to learn from and track your progress. But hey, if you can get a computer with more memory without breaking the bank, why not?

FAQs on On-Board Memory in Dive Computers

There’s always folks with questions about on-board memory and dive computers, so let’s clear a few things up. First, no, the memory isn’t just for storing your diving data. It also stores the computer’s decompression algorithm and other vital info. And no, you can’t just plug in a memory card and expand the memory. These gadgets ain’t like your smartphones.

As for how long the memory lasts, well, that depends on the make and model. Some keep the dive data until you manually delete it, others might automatically delete the oldest data when the memory is full. Best bet? Check the manual or ask the manufacturer. They know their product best.

1. What is the concept of automatic activation?

So, what exactly is automatic activation? Well, it’s pretty simple. Dive computers with this feature have a sensor that detects water. When the sensor gets wet, it tells the computer “Hey, we’re diving!” and the computer automatically switches on. It’s kind of like how your smartphone screen lights up when you get a call.

The advantage here is that you don’t have to remember to turn on the computer before you dive. It does that for you. That’s one less thing to worry about when you’re getting ready to explore the deep blue. Less stress, more fun. That’s what diving’s all about, ain’t it?

In the thrilling sphere of diving, automatic activation of a dive computer is no less than a boon for beginners. It’s a feature that takes some of the load off the diver’s shoulders, or maybe we can say, fins. It’s an integral part of modern dive computers designed to ensure safety and convenience.

Imagine a rookie diver, eager to explore the underwater world. Now, amidst the excitement and anxiety, he’s expected to manually activate his dive computer, a task that might slip his mind in the pool of other preparatory tasks. An automatic activation feature means the dive computer kicks into gear as soon as it senses water, eliminating this concern. This way, it ensures accurate data recording from the moment of immersion, leading to safe and smooth diving experiences.

Concluding Thoughts – Hopefully, Your Best Dive Computer for Beginners

So there you have it. We’ve taken a deep dive into dive computers, their fancy features, and all the bells and whistles they come with. From the sleek and stylish Suunto Zoop Novo with its Bluetooth connection and awesome vibration alerts, to the robust and efficient Mares Puck Pro Plus providing reliable readings in low light, these dive computers are all equipped to cater to divers of all levels.

Leave a Comment