One of my tasks as a Dutch Suunto Staffer is to test the Suunto Vyper dive computer. I've made several dives with it lately and I think it's time for a short review and to capture my experiences. Usually I always scuba dive with the Suunto D4i, so I'm already familiar with the Suunto software and display. However, it was actually nice to have the opportunity to go diving with an different type of dive computer for a change. It's always a good thing to broaden your own horizon.
The Vyper is a close match with the perhaps more known Suunto Zoop. I'll highlight the differences between them later. Although I'm still in love with my D4i I can understand now why certain people choose for a large display dive computer. Thanks to the large display and rugged straps the Vyper feels very robust. When strapping the Vyper on you definitely get the 'I'm an adventurous Scuba Diver!' feeling. However I won't take it to work with you, then it's is unavoidable to get some turned heads and strange looks. This in contradiction to my stylish D4i ;)
The Vyper itself is very user friendly and works really intuitive. It took me 5 minutes to set the time and date in the settings menu. After that it's ready for your first dive. The usual information is being offered:
- Suunto Vyper
- Suunto Vyper
- Max depth
- No dec time (including bar graph on left side)
- Water temperature
- Elapsed dive time / Time
- Altitude adjustment
- Personal adjustment setting
- Ascent rate indicator (bar graph on right side)
You have all the information available at the same time, which is even below water clear and easy to read. The robust strap is easy to handle and long enough to even fit over my 7mm wetsuit.
The nitrox certificate is still on my wish list. As such I haven't been able to test this feature.
If your dive goes from a 'no deco' to a 'deco' dive the dive computer will assist you in getting you to the surface as quickly and safely as possible. You'll understand if I haven't tested this feature.
Vyper versus Zoop
The Suunto Zoop offers almost the same features as the Suunto Vyper. After checking the website the following differences become apparent:
|Subject / Dive computer||Vyper||Zoop|
|Battery life in time mode||3 years||2 years|
|Battery time 100 dives / year||2 years||1,5 year|
|Backlight||Electric - luminescent||Phosphorescent|
|Logbook memory||~36 h (20 s sampling rate)||~50 h (20 s sampling rate)|
|Price||€ 209,-||€ 179,-|
The first thing you'll probably notice is that the Vyper is € 30,- more expensive then the Zoop. The question that arises: "Is it worth spending these extra few bucks?" Personally I think it is. An option I really like on my dive computers is the backlight (electric-luminescent). Even in a worst case scenario that my dive light won't function I'll always be able to check my dive computer. Furthermore the extended battery life will save you money.
The Suunto Vyper is a very good quality dive computer with all the nowadays standard features. For the recreational diver this is definitely worth looking in to. It's personal taste if you like or dislike the big display on dive computers. I think the backlight feature and extended battery life is a plus on the Suunto Zoop.