This year’s dive computers offer something for everybody. From basic and inexpensive to feature packed and pricey, divers have a choice of big screens, small screens, three-color bar graphs, dot-matrix displays, increased battery life, larger memories and up to three gas mixes. Hoseless air-integration continues to be a hot item, on-board digital compasses have really come on strong, and some kind of Deep Stop feature can now be found on virtually every model.
To tackle the massive job of evaluation, ScubaLab uses a testing protocol divided into four phases: Lab Work, Ocean Work, PC Downloads and Chamber Runs. We start off in the ScubaLab shop and pour over spec sheets and websites to familiarize ourselves with all the features and get all the facts. Then we fire up each computer, and with an owner’s manual in hand we dive into the system, scrolling through modes, searching out menus and setting parameters to prepare the units for our ocean work.
SUUNTO Vyper Air
This wrist-mount unit boasts a dot-matrix screen with big digits and two-color bar graphs. Four control buttons and screen prompts cut an easy path through the various modes, and it uses Suunto’s Deep Stop RGBM algorithm with a Deep Stop option. A very detailed logbook saves 80 hours of data. At depth all critical info is displayed all the time, and everything about the unit is user friendly. The compass is easy to read and very responsive, even when in a steep tilt.
Liberal or Conservative
Conservative. Personal adjustment and altitude settings offer more conservatism, but it’s also possible to adjust RGBM settings to make calculations more liberal.
We like the improved digital compass, bold dot-matrix display, two-color bar graphs and hoseless air integration. This data cruncher is a winner.
|Style||Wrist-mount or console|
|Price||$668 w/o transmitter; $998 w/ transmitter and Dive manager software|
|September / October 2009 Issue Scuba Lab Review Quick Links|
|Hollis DG-O2||Mares Puck Air|
|Oceanic OC1||SCUBAPRO/UWATEC Galileo Luna|
|Sherwood Wisdom 2||SUUNTO Cobra 3|
|SUUNTO Vyper Air||Tusa IQ-650 Element|
|Zeagle N2ition 3|