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Suunto Zoop Novo: Diving Squad Report

Diving Squad Rating:

8.6/10

8.6 / 10

Reliable, durable and easy to use; the Suunto Zoop Novo is my all time favourite beginner dive computer – it was the very first dive computer I had and it served me extremely well!

It has several unique features not seen in any other dive computer, which make it a great choice for new and inexperienced divers. 

In this report, I’ll walk you through the Zoop Novo’s features, settings and how to use it, whilst also highlighting the few shortcomings it does have so you know about them before you buy it. 

Let’s dive in!

KEY SPECS:

  • 5 different modes: air, nitrox, gauge, free-dive and off
  • 4 large buttons with easy user interface
  • Huge display
  • Available in black, blue or lime
  • 3 levels of adjustments for more conservative dive profiles
  • Starts automatically in the water
  • Displays current depth, max depth, dive time, water temperature and no-decompression time at your current depth
  • Backlight display
  • Add bookmark to dive profile or access stop watch whilst diving
  • Log book with 140 hours memory

The most defining feature of the Suunto Zoop Novo is it’s size; with it’s huge 4cm / 1.33 inch display, it’s extremely easy to read underwater. Without a doubt it has the biggest display of any dive computer. 

It’s not just the screen that’s big – the entire computer is extremely robust and bulky, which makes it exceptionally durable – it can take a real beating and not show even a scratch. 

One thing I will say is that being as bulky as it is, the Novo can make it a little awkward to slip your wrist through the bcd arm strap – so make sure you put the wrist it’s on through first. 

However, once it’s on and your kitted up this is an extremely reliable and easy to use piece of gear.

It automatically activates when you’re in the water and the four large buttons (mode, select, up, down) are well spaced and easy to operate even with thick gloves. 

The rubber strap is comfortable on your wrist although quite long, so you might want to cut off the end!

It operates in 5 modes: air, nitrox, gauge, free-dive and off mode (which allows you to swim in between dives without it affecting your next dive). 

To give your no decompression limit, it uses Suunto’s own RGBM (reduced gradient bubble model) which is a little more conservative than that of other dive computer’s – yet another reason it’s an especially great dive comp for beginners.

The RGBM decompression algorithm also takes into account repetitive dives, short surface intervals and multi-day diving when calculating your dec time.  

Make no mistake – this dive computer is not for the hardcore free or tech diver. It’s not streamlined enough and no gas switching or tech algorithm. However this keeps things simple which beginners will appreciate. 

In case you are diving and carry certain risk factors such as obesity, age or circulation issues, the Suunto Zoop Novo has the option to adjust it’s algorithm to be more conservative. 

You can select from P0 for ideal conditions, P1 for intermediate setting or P2 for a considerably more conservative setting. 

Plus you can change the altitude setting. The default is 0 – 980 ft but you can also set it to 960 ft – 4900 ft or 4900 – 9800 ft.

The Zoop’s audible alarm sounds when important limits are being reached or passed with different tones to indicate high or low priority.

A high priority alarm will sound if the decompression limit is being exceeded, the current depth is too deep for the gas mix in use or if you are exceeding the maximum ascent rate (32ft / 10 meters a minute). 

The low priority alarm will sound when reaching the defined maximum depth. 

There’s also a logbook with a hefty memory of 140 hours data (about 100 dives).  You can download dive data from the Zoop to a pc or mac using a usb cable (not included).

Suunto offer a two year warranty on the Zoop Novo meaning that if there’s a defect with it during this time, customers can get their computer repaired free of charge at any Suunto service centre. You can read the  Instruction Manuel here. 

All in all, the Suunto Zoop Novo is a really excellent dive computer; it’s extra large screen, slightly more conservative RGBM and simple user interface, and low price point make it a great choice for beginners.

Written by:

Alex

Alex

Scuba diving fanatic, nature geek and Grand Admiral of the Diving Squad

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