The Dive Otter

Dive Computers

There are essentially three types of computers:

Console

Price: $300 - $1,000
What you will typically find on rental gear and probably what you trained with. They are fairly cheap compared to other options but lack some of the nicer features. I can't find a single pro that would sway me to purchase or recommend a console.
  • Pro:
    • - Never going to loose it because it's literally attached to your first stage regulator
    • - Can be air integrated without a transmitter
    • - Usually fairly simple to operate
  • Con:
    • - Generally not "state of the art" at the low end of the price range
    • - Virtually the same price as Wrist mounted alternatives
    • - Inappropriate in more advanced diving scenarios

Wrist "Watch"

Price: $300 - $1,500
You can find everything from the most basic gauge only to technical capable air integrated. You really just need to pick a brand you trust. If you don't know....go with Shearwater - either the Tern if you don't plan to do Trimix or CCR and the Teric if you might. (This is where the Apple Ultra would fall. The Apple Ultra being less capable than alternatives by far.)
  • Pro:
    • - Much smaller than the Wrist "Square" option
    • - Folks are generally comfortable with the watch format
    • - The screen is small so hard to get distracted by lots of info
    • - It's in front of your face when diving properly and easier to glance at than the console
  • Con:
    • - Can be hard on the eyes for us older people
    • - The screen is smaller so less immediately available details can be shown

Wrist "Square"

Price: $500 - $1,500
You generally will not find cheap options in this form factor. However, you really just need to pick a brand you trust. If you don't know....go with Shearwater - either the Peregrine if you don't plan to do Trimix or CCR and the Perdix if you might.
  • Pro:
    • - Everything you might ever want to know right there
    • - It's in front of your face when diving properly and easier to glance at than the console
    • - Possibly the last computer you'll ever need to own ("buy once / cry once")
  • Con:
    • - Can snag easier when donning/doffing your gear
    • - Most expensive option