Suunto Zoop Review: Easy To Operate, Great Value
|User Changeable Battery||Yes|
|Nitrox Compatible||Yes/ 21-50%|
|PC Interface||Yes (Not Included)|
|Integrated Digital Compass||NO|
The Suunto Zoop is an easy-to-use entry-level dive computer for recreational divers that won’t break the bank. Although it is a great choice for your first computer, it also has the ability to be programmed for standard Air or Nitrox dives, giving you years of serious fun if you wish to further your dive training.
It is also equipped with 3 operation modes and 2 menu based modes, which makes setting up and personalizing the dive computer very easy and intuitive. It’s also water activated, so there’s no need to remember to turn it on before your dive.
The Zoop dive computer’s large screen and easy-to-read display provide critical dive data quickly and accurately when it is needed. It also has a detail log book that can store about 50 hours of dive time and equipped with optional PC-compatibility for further storage and analysis of all your dives.
Available in both wrist mount and console versions, it gives you the flexibility to choose which suits your diving style and needs.
This neat little dive computer has all the necessary features and tools to ensure that you make the right decisions and stay safe while underwater. And, in this Suunto Zoop review, you will find out what makes it a great choice for your first dive computer, a complete video overview, and what other divers who used the dive computer are saying.
Suunto Zoop Review Video
Following is a complete video overview of the Suunto Zoop Dive Computer done by SimplyScuba.com. In the video, you can take a closer look at the dive computer, its menu system, and many features.
Easy-to-Operate User Interface
Operating and programming the Suunto Zoop is designed to be simple and user-friendly.
It features 3 operating modes (Standby/Time, Diving, and Surface). It’s also a water activated computer, so as you enter the water it will automatically switch to dive mode. However, you can also access the dive mode manually if needed.
There are also 2 menu based modes (Memory and Set). These allow you to access the dive log and history, as well as change any of the user-definable settings and alarms.
The computer is operated by 3 easy-to-use push buttons; these are the Mode, Plan and Time buttons. The Mode or Smart button is the key to operating the system. The Plan and Time buttons are used to show alternative displays as well as to scroll up and down the menus.
Easy-to-Read and Interpret Display with Graphical Bar Graphs
The Zoop uses a segmented display with big digits which makes reading important dive information quite easy. The screen is also separated into 3 sections which make easy work out of digesting important dive data at a glance.
There are also 2 bar graphs on either side of the screen. These are shared by different functions depending on a certain dive situation or which mode you’re in. They’re used to show a graphical representation of your no decompression time, oxygen toxicity while diving with Nitrox (Enriched Air), ascent rate, and battery status.
The display does not have backlighting on-demand, but the super-bright phosphorescent LCD makes it easy to see in low light conditions when charged with a dive light. However, this can be an issue if you need to read your display quickly as it can take a few seconds to charge.
Air and Nitrox Dive Modes
The Suunto Zoop dive computer can be programmed to be used with regular Air (Air Mode) or Enriched Air Nitrox (Nitrox Mode). Following is a brief discretion of both.
- Air – This mode is used when diving with standard air. This is the same as diving with 21% oxygen, but this is calculated in the background and not shown to simplify the display.
- Nitrox -.All things being the same, diving with enriched air allows you to have longer bottom time at shallower depths than if you were diving with standard air. However, diving with Nitrox has its own inherent hazards and require special training. Once trained for diving with Nitrox, you can plan to make dives with Nitrox mixtures of 21% to 50% oxygen and adjusted for oxygen partial pressure of between 1.2 to 1.6 bars.
RGBM Algorithm and Dive Planner
Similarly to other Suunto Dive Computers, The Zoop also uses the RGBM (Reduced Gradient Bubble Model) algorithm which provides flexibility and safety during ascent through continuous decompression.
The Zoop can also be adjusted for both diving at altitude and to increase the conservatism. This can be achieved by 3 altitude modes ranging from 0 to 3000m and 3 personal adjustment ranges which make the computer progressively more conservative.
The Zoop also has a Plan mode to calculate no-decompression limits before even setting a foot into the water. By default it will display the no decompression time for a dive to 30ft (9m), you can then scroll through the rest of the no-decompression limits in increment of 10ft (3m) up to 150ft (45m).
Alarms and Warnings
The Suunto Zoop has a vast number of alarms and warnings to let you know when preset limits are approached, as well as two user-definable alarms – Maximum Depth and Dive Time which can be set to On or Off.
There is also a built-in Safety Stop warning for every dive over 33ft (10m), which will prompt you to perform a 3-minute safety stop between 10ft (3m) and 20ft (6m).
User Changeable Battery and Power
The Suunto Zoop Dive Computer is powered by a CR 2450 battery which should last about 100 dive/1.5 years before you need to replace it.
When you do need to change the battery, It is user changeable so you can change it yourself, saving you money on maintenance costs.
It is important that the battery change is done in a proper manner to avoid completely ruining the computer thou. If you’re unsure about changing the batteries it is advisable to contact an authorized Suunto dealer to get it done.
A plus when changing the batteries is that all your history and dive data, as well as your altitude, personal and alarms settings, will remain on the dive computer. However, you will need to reset the clock time and time alarm settings, as well as any Nitrox settings.
Dive Log and PC Connectivity
The Zoop also has a very detailed log book with the ability to show 4 pages of data for each dive, which make it a great tool for debriefing after your dives.
It also has a high-capacity profile memory that can store about 50 hours of dive time at a sampling rate of 30 seconds, which is more than you’ll ever need if you’re just starting out.
If you’re planning on doing a lot of diving, you can also use the optional DM4 software to transfer all our dive data to your PC/Mac. The software will allow you to keep a more detailed logbook as well as a graphical representation of all your dives.
What Are Other Divers Saying
The feedback from divers is quite positive, at the time of writing this Suunto Zoop review it got a rating of 4.3 out of 5 at Leisurepro.com and 9 out of 10 at SimplyScuba.com.
Overall divers liked how simple the dive computer is to operate, the fact that it only shows your relevant dive information, the easy to read display, and its affordability. However, one of the few complaints about the Zoop is the lack of backlighting on demand.
Below are a few snippets of what divers who used the computer had to say:
CG – Found the display very easy to read and like the fact that all relevant dive information was right there. After diving with the computer for a few dives he is completely satisfied.
Andrew Burns – Found the Zoop to be a very good and reasonably priced dive computer. The only complaint he had is the lack of Backlighting. However, found that the phosphorescent background was surprising easy to read in low-light, but does need to be recharged by a dive light at night.
Beth – Loves how simple the Zoop is to use. She also like how it shows everything she needs to see while diving, and the fact that the logbook shows your average depth which some computer don’t. And, because it is Nitrox compatible she feels she doesn’t need anything else form a recreational dive computer.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is the Suunto Zoop is a very solid and reliable dive computer and one of the best choices for your first dive computer. It’s great if you want a dive computer that is simple and easy to use without extra features like a dive simulator or gas switching but is still flexible enough if you decide to start diving with Nitrox.