The fast development in technology has changed our lives in no small part over the last couple of decades. Take the mobile phone: once a simple device that made calls and not much else, now you have a compact and powerful computer in your pocket.
For those of us who enjoy sports, there are many devices that have come about thanks to similar advances in technology. The dive computer, a vital part of the divers equipment, has recently undergone something of a rebirth, the result is that there are suddenly a lot of very impressive, highly capable models available.
The Suunto Eon Steel dive computer is one of the best dive computers around. Designed and created by Finnish company Suunto, a major player in the sport’s watch market, this is a very neat device that all divers need to take a look at. What’s so special about it? Let’s check it out.
Why Choose the Suunto Eon Steel?
When you consider what you need from a dive computer, and that it is a device that could be very important to your safety, you want to make sure it’s a quality item, from a respected maker. Suunto has been in the sports watch game for some time and has a reputation for quality and accuracy.
The first thing we should say about the Eon Steel is that it is not a development of an existing dive computer: this is an entirely new creation that emerges from a long period of research and development. The first thing to notice is that it looks good; it has a nice steel case and a sensibly sized full-color screen, so if you’re concerned about how a dive computer looks when worn, you’ve no worries there.
We’ve already mentioned the size; the device itself is 4 inches across, making it one of the bigger such dive computers on the market – and it’s not light at 347g compared to some – but this does give you the advantage of a large, easy to read screen. In short, it’s a quality item through and through, so what does it do that makes the Eon Steel the one to buy?
Full Range of Features
The screen when in use is suitably bright and clear, and using the central button – easy to find when in use – you can select the features you require. The full range of readings you can see include the following:
- Time and dive time
- No decompression planning
- No-fly zoning
- Surface interval recording
These are essential readings, yet what is impressive about the Suunto Eon Steel is that the screen, even when in the water, is so bright, clear and easy to read – surely a major selling point for one of these items.
Further features you may like are the tilt-compensated 3D digital compass and a recording ability for 200 logged dives. Plug the Eon into your laptop and you begin to see why the latter feature is such a benefit. The software is easily downloaded and navigation is by way of a simple to use menus, and you can customize the way you display your logged dive info, choosing either simple numbers or specially designed graphics.
So far so good, but what else can we say about this clever dive computer?
Wireless links between the tank and the dive computer are nothing new and to be expected, but it is fair to say the Suunto Eon Steel has this feature completely figured out. A pressure sensor transmits information wirelessly to the device when it is held close to the tank, and the reading is pretty much instant.
This is a very neat, simple and user-friendly innovation that is just another example of the clever thinking that Suunto has put into the design of this dive computer. For the record, this system takes things further and allows the Eon Steel to monitor up to 10 different transmitters, a handy function for keeping an eye on different gases. Furthermore, the Eon uses a trademarked algorithm that is designed to maximize bottom time and also shows gas consumption in real time. It’s all very impressive, and surprisingly simple to use.
The Eon Steel also features a number of alarm systems – a must with a diving computer – that is cleverly designed to keep you informed. You get the usual maximum depth alarm and tank pressure limits, which are the two life-savers you always need, as well as a section of further warning systems that every diver will be grateful for.
The rechargeable batteries are also a bonus, giving as much as 20-40 hours on a full charge. Charging the batteries takes only four hours, so is not a concern. If we are, to be honest, while the large size of the Suunto Eon Steel gives it a clear and readable screen, as well as a sturdy, quality fee, it does seem heavy on the wrist, which is perhaps its only drawback.
Let’s recap those features:
- Large screen is full color and clear
- Fully customizable to user’s needs
- Several important alarm systems
- Easy to use when on the wrist
- Wireless tank sensor readings
- 150m depth range
- Rechargeable batteries with minimum 20 hours usage
- Log 200 dives
- Size may be an issue for some
- Weighs almost 300g which is heavy for such a device
- Reports of slipping on the wrist
- Top of the range price
So, is the Suunto Eon Steel the dive computer for you? Here’s a brief conclusion from us.
If you want the best dive computer on the market in terms of capability and design, and you are happy to put up with one that is bigger and heavier than most – and the various pros and cons that size and weight brings to the table – then we recommend the Suunto Eon Steel as one for your shortlist. However, you will have to pay a top-level price for this one, so make sure you have a budget that suits.