Review: Shearwater Research Dive Computer

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Whether you’re an experienced diver or new to the field, you’ll need a dependable, safe, and accurate dive computer with you on your underwater journey. It can, though, be difficult to decide on which dive computer is best for you when the market and options are so vast. There are a ton of factors to consider—besides things like specs and design, and they are the experience of the diver, what they expect from their dive computer, and how much their budget can handle. In this review, we’ll analyze the specs, performance, pricing, and design quality of the Shearwater Research Dive Computer, and then we’ll see how the Shearwater Research Perdix AI stacks up next to some other leading dive computers on the scene.

What Is the Shearwater Research Dive Computer?

What stands out most about the Shearwater Research Dive Computer, the Perdix AI, in particular, is how well it grows with the divers who use it. Whether you’re using this dive computer in a professional setting, or simply for recreational dives, the Perdix AI is able to adapt with basic and advanced features at the ready. Case in point, the optional transmitter accessory which provides air integration is something not found on basic dive computers. By making this feature optional, Shearwater has given its users the flexibility to grow into their dive computers as their needs and experience dictate.

Product Specs

The Shearwater Research Dive Computer has a lot of advanced features that will impress divers across the spectrum of skill.  With a 3-axis, tilt-compensated compass, Bluetooth integration, a side mount that can connect to 2 transmitters, wireless capability, and the aforementioned optional air integration, this dive computer is packed with all sorts of goodies. The Shearwater Research Dive Computer is also equipped with 4 diving modes—OC Rec (3 gas nitrox rec computer), OC Tec (multiple gas, trimix decompression computer), CC INT (closed circuit fixed PPO2), and Gauge (Dive logging and stopwatch with bottom time). Finally, it comes with a user changeable battery.


The Shearwater Research Dive Computer can be found at most online diving equipment retailers. Just check that it’s the Perdix AI, not the Perdix AI, with the wireless Air Integration Transmitter. The dive computer, on its own, retails for around $935.00 at sites like, Dive Gear Express, or Divers Supply; with the transmitter, costs rise to approximately $1,285.00 and can be found on Amazon as well as Walmart and Online Scuba.

How It Compares

We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare. First, we’ll look a little closer at some of the details of the Shearwater Research Dive Computer, and then we’ll look at the wider market and compare it against some of its peers. We’ll analyze price, ease of use, durability, design quality, and warranty. Then, we’ll give some final thoughts on the Shearwater Research Dive Computer.

Suunto Zoop Novo Dive Computer

Cressi Giotto Wrist Computer

Cressi Leonardo Dive Computer

Shearwater Research Dive Computer

Price ($935.00)          $$$

Ease of Use               5 Stars  

One of the main selling points for the Shearwater Research Dive Computer is that it’s adaptable and flexible for multiple levels of experience. The features can easily be set for divers who simply want a top of the line diving computer for their recreational diving. At the same time, the more advanced features are available for those who use the dive computer in a professional dive setting. And, it easily slides between the two.

Durability                   5 Stars

Shearwater products have long been known to be at the top of the field when it comes to durability. Reviews consistently talk about how the Shearwater Research Dive Computer is fantastic because divers can “grow” in their usage of it. That’s only possible if the computer itself has been built to last. It’s not just a matter of high-end tech; it’s thin, light, and made of a ballistic nylon case and a sapphire crystal display for long-lasting wear.

Design Quality          5 Stars  

It has a high-res display where you can find all your go-to information from the gas time remaining, the current tank pressure, NDL, and depth. The display is scratch resistant and is uncluttered despite relaying a wealth of information.

Warranty                    5 Stars

Limited 2-year warranty.


  • Optional wireless air integration
  • 3 axis, tilt-compensated compass
  • High-resolution display
  • Gas Time Remaining (GTR)
  • Freediving mode with ascent and descent indicators


  • Higher end features demand a higher price

Suunto Zoop Novo Dive Computer

Well-suited to those just dipping their toes into recreational diving, the Suunto Zoop Novo Dive Computer is an easy to use and accessible dive computer for the beginner, it has a large, readable display, a respectable amount of logbook memory, a max depth of 330ft (100m), and won’t break the bank. And for more experienced or professional divers, this dive computer works fantastic as a backup computer. The Suunto Zoop Novo has a lot of features making it highly recommendable.

Price ($329.95)              $

The Suunto Zoop Novo Dive Computer comes in an array of colors (lime, black, blue, imperial black, and more) and generally will set you back approximately $330. You can pick up a Novo at the most well-known sites for scuba diving equipment such as Leisure Pro,, Divers Direct, and Divers Supply as well as larger retailers like Amazon and eBay.

Ease of Use                  3.5 Stars

One of the upgrades the Suunto Zoop Novo has, which the former Zoop did not, is a four-button interface around the display. This gives users an easier time of navigating the various menus that appear on the display. There’s a backlight to assist divers in dark or low light conditions as well.  Please note, though, that some users have found that despite its reputation for being an intuitive system, there is a learning curve. However, many of those same users have said that both the manual and videos provided by Suunto deliver an immersive education that gets them up to speed.

Durability                      4 Stars

The Zoop Novo is tough, but light; the screen is made out of an acrylic that makes it very scratch resistant, the bezel diameter is thick, and it can’t be worn as an everyday wrist watch. Now, this may be a negative for some users, but in terms of durability, the less it’s worn as a watch is more time it can be used for a dive computer.

Design Quality             3.5 Stars

The Suunto Zoop Novo Dive Computer comes with a user replaceable battery. It has audible depth alarms, a great backlight, and the rubber strap is long enough to overlap either your wet or dry suit. A nice addition is the Bungee Adapter Kit that can come as an accessory in place of the wrist strap.

Warranty                       5 Stars

Limited 2-year warranty.


  • Affordable
  • Great for beginners
  • Adjustable altitude to 10,000 ft (3,000m)
  • 15ft (3m) safety stop
  • Option of imperial or metric unit


  • No air integration
  • No digital compass

Cressi Giotto Wrist Computer

It’s rare you find a device that’s easy to use, great to look at, and good at its job. Running on the Cressi RGBM algorithm, operating at a maximum depth of 392ft (120m), with four altitude settings (reach 12,139ft or 3,700m), a dive log with space for 70 hours (or 60 dives), the Cressi Giotto is a high performer. And luckily, it can be found at a great price.

Price ($300.00 approx.)           $

You can find the Cressi Giotto at most online scuba equipment retailers. We’ve found great prices at sites like Leisure Pro, Divers Direct, Divers Supply,, Walmart, and Amazon. While the average price is around $300.00, it can be varied as well. Don’t settle for the first price you see; if you do some searching, you can probably find it a bit cheaper. Look at online stores like Scubastore or eBay if you’re trying to find a bargain.

Ease of Use                              4.5 Stars 

Because the Cressi Giotto is meant both for beginners and mid-level experienced divers, and it’s very easy to use.  For instance, many dive computers fill up their displays with a lot of abbreviated information. The Giotto doesn’t do this. Instead, the Cressi Giotto’s display is clear and delineated, and as the experience level of the diver grows, so will their ease of use.

Durability                                  4.5 Stars

With three dive modes—air, nitrox, and gauge—the Cressi Giotto, edges past the Suunto Zoop Dive Computers. In nitrox mode, the dive computer can manage oxygen levels of 21% to 99%. Additionally, the Giotto has a slew of audible and visual alarms—ranging from dive time alerts, deep stop warnings, and ascent rate violations, to decompression air, and nitrox warnings. Because this dive computer is marketed more towards recreational divers, it does not have more advanced features, like air integration or a digital compass, and it lacks a free dive mode.

Design Quality                         4 Stars 

This is truly a beautiful machine. Trimmed in stainless steel and with an ergonomic build, the Cressi Giotto’s Italian design and engineering are front and center. It comes in a variety of colors, but it’s not just a pretty face. It’s built to last, it’s lightweight, and it’s full of advanced engineering.

Warranty                                   5 Stars

Limited 2-year warranty.


  • Affordable price
  • Display is easy to read and navigate
  • Several Color Options
  • User replaceable battery
  • Imperial/Metric options
  • Auditory and visual alarms


  • No air integration
  • No compass
  • Can’t wear as a wristwatch

Cressi Leonardo Dive Computer

Like the Cressi Giotto and the Suunto Zoop Novo, the Cressi Leonardo Dive Computer is ideal for those on the beginner end of the of the spectrum, but also those looking for a wrist computer for fun, recreational swimming. To that point, though, if divers want to use this as a backup computer, or they’re a little more advanced than the average beginner, the gauge mode allows for more technical diving.

Price ($179.00-200.00)                $

Of all the dive computers reviewed in this article, this is the one that’s going to cost you the least. While we’ve seen prices on sites like Leisure Pro, Divers Supply, Online Scuba, and Walmart range from approximate $200.00-250.00, dig deeper before taking the plunge. Amazon has the lowest price we’ve seen at $179.95 and on Leisure Pro we’ve seen prices as around the same.

Ease of Use                                 3.5 Stars

The Cressi Leonard has an adjustable altitude of up to 12,100 ft (3,700m), audible alarms, safety stop of 32 ft, ascent alarm, deep stop, and countdown timer. The dive memory logbook works for the air, nitrox, and gauge dives and it has 70 hours of dive time memory. A nice addition is the safe decompression calculations the dive computer does in the event that a diver does multiple dives over more than one day.

Durability                                     4 Stars

While the display only has one button, as opposed to four like a more advanced computer like the Zoop Novo, the Cressi Leonard’s button is built to withstand water pressure. It has a lithium battery, an adjustable altitude of 12,139 ft (3,700m), and its Cressi RGBM algorithm is based on a modified version of the Haldne and Wienke model.

Design Quality                            3 Stars

With an optional download kit (approx. $100 in addition to the dive computer), the Cressi Leonard becomes accessible or your PC or Mac which is a really great feature because it allows you to view and analyze your dive profile information, like ascent and descent rates, temperature, max depth, and more. The battery will last for approx. 2 years or 50 dives a year.

Warranty                                      5 Stars

Limited 2-year warranty


  • Affordable
  • Water activated
  • Accessible menu
  • Easy, navigable display
  • Option of imperial or metric units


  • Lacks advanced features
  • One button access to the menu can take more time to operate
  • Replaceable not a rechargeable battery
  • Can’t be worn as a watch
  • Backlight may be too dim for some


Shearwater Research Dive Computer hits all the marks; it’s advanced, it’s sleek, it’s smart, and it’s easy to use. In the world of dive computers, this is a Ferrari with the price tag to match. But, if that doesn’t break your budget, then we definitely recommend the Shearwater Research Dive Computer. It’s one of the best out there. We give this product a solid 5 stars.

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