When it comes to dive computers there are literally hundreds to choose from, weather you want one to represent style or function the choice is yours.
So why do we need dive computers?
Dive computers are one of the most important piece of kit you will purchase because they feed you with a constant stream of information that keeps you safe. A dive computer will inform you of your no decompression limit (NDL) or how much nitrogen your blood has absorbed. They let you know how deep you are, the temperature and how long you have been diving for. After you become more experienced you will come to understand your SAC rate or surface air consumption, and with this knowledge and a dive computer you can estimate how much air you have in you tank.
If you are eager you could use tables to calculate your no decompression limits (NDL), but tables are never accurate and can be tiresome, and we do live in the 21st century. Tables are not accurate as they don’t adequately consider your true dive profile, so when you use them they will generally be more conservative compared to a computer. Most divers with experience use two computers, this reduces the need to cancel your diving for the day if one fails or it runs out of batteries.
My fist dive computer was the diverite nitek trio. I really liked this computer although unfortunately it failed after three years. A few of my friends are Tec divers and they were all raving about the shearwater petrel. It was a little pricey at $950 but they raved about how good it was. I took the plunge and purchased one. At the beginning I enjoyed it although it probably was a little overkill for recreational diving, although in the last year they released a firmware update that turned this little beast in a recreational computer that it just amazing. The computer now has what they call recreational nitrox mode.
The previous firmware displayed a lot of information that a beginner diver would probably not require but the new screens are great, and although many advanced divers will turn their nose up, I really like the safety stop countdown timer that they have included, call me lazy!