Mares Puck Pro Review: Still Simple, Now Slimmer
|User Changeable Battery||Yes|
|Nitrox Compatible||Yes/ 21-99%|
|PC Interface||Yes (Not Included)|
|Gas Switching||Yes/2 Gases|
|Integrated Digital Compass||No|
However, they went ahead and introduce the new Puck Pro. It still keeps to the ease-of-use philosophy which made the fist generation puck dive computer so popular but has been upgraded with a larger display in a much slimmer package.
It also features upgradeable firmware and the ability to switch between multiple gas mixes.
The new Mares Puck Pro gives you all the feature you need, nothing you don’t.
In this review, we are going to look at some the Key features which make this dive computer one you will have for years of diving adventures, what other divers are saying about the Mares puck pro and the bottom line.
Mares Puck Review Video
But first, you can get a closer look at the Mares puck and some of its features in the video below.
Simple To Use And Operate
The Mares Puck Pro still has the same easy-to-use interface that you would expect for the Mares Puck. It still uses a single, easy to press, button which allows you to operate all its features, even if you’re wearing thick dive gloves.
Navigating through menus is very simple and intuitive. Simply press the button to move trough the menus, then press and hold the button again to select the menu option you want.
Because it only has one button there is no back-step back feature. To go back or exit a menu you need to press the button until you see the “bACk” on the display, then press and hold to select.
It also comes with a Comprehensive Owner’s Manual which makes grasping the operation of the dive computer very easy.
Easy-to-Read and Understand Display
To make the Puck Pro easier to read it now features a wider Mineral Glass Display, also brighter contrast and back-lighting than was on the original Mares Puck. This greatly maximizes the viewing angle of the large digits on the screen even while underwater.
You are also not overwhelmed by the Information presented on the display, Mares made sure that only the most important and basic information is always right in front to you.
It is also separated into 3 sections which makes digesting the information much easier. There is also a nitrogen loading bar graph at the bottom of the display if you like to see your nitrogen saturation in visual form.
Basically, this computer only provides the most important dive information with out overwhelming you with too much data.
You might also notice that the factory set back-light of only 4 seconds on the previous Puck has now been upgraded to being adjustable from 1 to 10 Seconds on the Puck Pro.
3 Dive Modes (Air, Nitrox, And Bottom Timer)
The puck has 3 dive modes which can be accessed from the mode menu when the computer is on the surface, these are air, nitrox or bottom timer mode.
- Air Mode – This mode is used when diving with standard air. This is the same as setting an EAN to 21% and a ppO2 max of 1.4 bar. However, this is not shown to simplify the display, but it is calculated in the background.
- Nitrox – This mode allows you to dive with gas mixtures of EAN greater than 21%, and now has the ability to use two gas mixtures during the dive.
- Bottom Timer – In this mode, the Puck Pro will not do decompression calculation and will not show any warning or alarms. It will only show your time, depth and temperature.
Reliable RGBM Algorithm With The Ability To Be More Conservative
The Mares Puck pro uses the RGBM (Reduced Gradient Bubbles Model), which is the most evolved algorithm for reducing the formation of Micro-Bubbles without compromising dive times.
It was developed by Dr. Bruce Wienke after studying the formation of Micro-bubbles in more than 10,000 real dives.
Not all of us who dive are young and in peak condition, and the Puck Pro takes this into consideration by allowing you to adjust the dive computer to a more conservation dive profile if needed.
This is also a great feature if you’re planning on doing multiple multi-level dives in one day, or if you are planning on doing multiple dives over several days.
Does The Mares Puck Pro Have A User Changeable Battery?
The Puck Pro does have a user changeable battery and uses a CR2450 battery which should give you approximately 300-500 dives depending on the usage of the back-light and other factors.
You will also get alerts on the status of the battery on the display as well, the manual outlines situations when this might occur.
Having a user changeable battery will save you valuable time and money because you don’t have to send the computer to a Mares Service Technician to have the battery change every time.
However, you should keep in mind that changing the battery is a delicate process and requires your close attention. Improperly replacing the battery may cause the battery compartment to flood while diving, ruining the entire computer.
You can also find detailed instructions on how to change the battery in the user manual, but if you have doubts about doing this yourself you should send it in to a certified technician.
Visual and Audible Warnings For A Safer Dive
With the Puck pro there is no need to worry about being unsafe on your dive anymore. It will alert you of any potentially dangerous situations with audio and visual Alarms.
There are five different alarms that you can trigger:
- If you ascend from your dive too fast
- If you are about to exceed the safe ppO2/MOD
- If your Nitrogen Saturation equals 100%
- If you missed your decompression stop
- and if your battery are low doing a dive
There is also the option to disable audible alarms, but if you are a new diver just starting out I would not recommend doing so. You can easily get distracted on a dive and forget to check your computer. Audio alarms are there to help you stay in a safe dive profile.
However this is a great feature if you’re using the Mares Puck Pro as a backup dive computer. You don’t want to have two dive computers alarming at the same time, or wondering which computer is alarming.
Dive Log and PC Connectivity
The Mares Puck Pro can record 35 hours of diving at a sample rate of 5 seconds in its dive log.
It can show you most of your dive information directly on the display, however you can download more detailed information to your PC via the optional USB Clip using the Dive Organizer software available on Mares’ website.
Unlike the previous Puck, you can also upgrade the firmware on the Puck Pro as well by using the USB cable.
What Are Other Divers Saying
The overall feedback for the dive community are amazing. It got a rating of 4.3 out of 5 at Leisurepro.com and 9 out of 10 at Simplyscuba.com. Many reviewers like the fact that dive computer is very easy to use, and that they could operate it easily without reading the user manual.
They were also mentions of the dive computer being very intuitive and didn’t give you any information you didn’t want or need. Also that the screen was very easy to read, and the fact that it had user changeable battery and the ability to upgrade the firmware where a plus.
Below are a few snippets of what some of the reviewers are says:
O5H20 – Says that the Mares Puck Pro is a great product at a great price point. The best part of owning the dive computer was that it functioned well and was very easy to read underwater.
He went on to say that the functions were easy to learn and was not at all overwhelmed with information he didn’t want or needed. All the information he needed was right in front of him.
Being 63 years old and with poor eyesight he was surprised at the clarity of the information on the computer’s display. The screen was glass not plastic which made viewing the computer easy.
The only drawback he found was that in order to download your dive data and upgrade the computer you need to buy the USB Clip separately, which he thought was very expensive at $70.
Ross – Says he likes the computer, it had long straps. He also commented that the USB cable cost extra thou. He also said that the computer was easy to use and that he didn’t really needed the manual.
gmanddiver – Finds that the computer was also very easy to use and intuitive. He also love the fact that the battery are user changeable and that the firmware can be upgraded.
He only uses it as a backup computer thou, but says it can easily be a primary computer.
He only has 10 dives with it so far, so cannot comment on the reliability but loves it so far.
The Bottom Line
If you’re a beginner diver and looking for a great dive computer, look now further than the Mares Puck Pro. It’s simple interface and easy to read display makes it easy for a diver just starting out, and at a price point that won’t hurt your pockets.
It might not have all the bells and whistles of more advance dive computer, like air integration or other complex features many advance or expert dives expect from a dive computer. However, even they can use the Puck Pro as a backup dive computer.
But, If you’re simply looking for an entry-level dive computer this would be a great choice. Its advance Nitrox capabilities also ensures that you can continue use it as you progress in your scuba diving adventures.