What Is An Air Integrated Dive Computer?



The 3 Types Of Dive Computers

There are three variations of the dive computers: wrist, console, and air integrated.  

If you are an avid diver, chances are you’ve run into all three at one point or another, but depending on your budget, and whether you have rented or bought diving equipment for a dive, you may have gotten to use all, or maybe just one type of these.

When it comes to dive computers, just keep in mind, they aren’t exactly what you would call computers, any more than a calculator is a computer.  They do provide data, yes, and they are smart like your smart phone is smart, but we would suggest that you can count on a good dive computer more than you can count on a smart phone.  And rightly so – smart phones aren’t going to save your life, whereas dive computers are dedicated to keeping your life safe.

What we need as divers is specific data, including how much time you have remaining on your dive, your depth, and how much air you have left.  Each of the three types of dive computers provides you with the data you need, but as the price goes up, starting with your wrist watch types, then on to your console which has a pressure gauge, and then the highest echelon being the air-integrated type of dive computer, as they try to integrate all the needed dive info into one device.

This is the type we want to talk about more in this article – the air-integrated type, but first we may as well go over the other two types briefly just to differentiate between them.

Type #1 – Wrist Watch Dive Computers

Wrist watch dive computers are quite identifiable, as they look like a wrist watch.  They are convenient, and provide much of the needed diving info to keep you safe.  Cost will depend mainly on the style of the wrist watch, not so much the data it provides.  The more bells and whistles, such as attractive designs, lights, and larger displays will determine the cost of these devices, which start at around $300 and go up from there.  This style of dive computer basically has all the data you need, except for one thing – the air pressure remaining in your tank.  Still, they can be sufficient.

Here are some popular makes and models of wrist watch dive computers you can buy at affordable prices on Amazon.

Type #2 – Console + Pressure Gauge Dive Computer

The console style of dive computer is slightly different looking than the wrist watch style, but performs the same functions.  The only difference is that this time you have your air pressure gauge attached, so you’re basically looking at the information that you’d get from a wrist watch style dive computer, plus the pressure gauge that the wrist watch style dive computer was lacking, side by side.  In fact, you can take your wrist watch style dive computer, remove it, and pop it into your console style set-up.  Of course, if you didn’t already know, you can see where this is heading…

This console style is great because it has your air pressure info, plus your dive computer info.  Some divers prefer this style to the wrist watch style, and it’s very handy to have your air pressure info at the ready.  Of course, because it is providing you with more value, it is generally more expensive.  No surprise there.

Here are some of the top makes and models of Console style dive computers you can buy on Amazon for a great price.

Type #3 – Air Integrated Dive Computer

Now, we have the air integrated type of dive computer, which rolls the two previous styles into one, providing you with your air pressure information built right into the dive computer itself.  This type of dive computer goes on your wrist once again, making it the most convenient, useful, and hence expensive type of dive computer, at upwards of $700 depending where you buy.  These air integrated dive computers can get expensive, because now you are contending with all of the features wrapped into one package, plus the looks.

Here below we’ve listed some of the most affordable, reputable air-integrated dive computers, which are available on Amazon at a great price.


If you’ve read over what we’ve just said, hopefully you will know what the difference is between the various types of dive computers.

Wrist watch dive computers are your least expensive option, and they’re stylish and still have everything you need to have enjoyable dives.  They definitely make life easier, but they don’t have it all.

Console style dive computers come with an air pressure gauge, and look different, but have the same information as your wrist watch style, and, like we said, you can modify your wrist watch dive computer to be a console dive computer if you have the hardware.

Air integrated dive computers have the air pressure data built into the computer, so it’s all in one convenient device, and so of course these cost the most.

Remember that if you are buying or renting scuba diving equipment, there are many deals to be had, depending where you go.  In other words, if you are leery about purchasing a $1000 air integrated dive computer, sometimes you can get them for a fraction of the cost if you are buying several pieces of equipment at once, so watch out for those kinds of deals – they’re out there!

Online isn’t a bad place to shop for deals either, if you know what you’re looking for.  Shop scuba equipment on Amazon by checking out some of our personal favorite items below.

Recommended Viewing

If you really want to hammer this information home, watch this extremely helpful video by experienced scuba diver Alec Pierce, who talks in detail about the three different types of scuba diving computer, and explains what is preferable about each type as only a scuba diver with decades of experience can.  Enjoy!

Check out Alec’s YouTube channel here which has tons of great scuba diving info!


About the author: Garth loves camping under the stars with his Arb III, scuba diving, snorkeling, and also tanning. His favourite snorkel spots include Alanya (Turkey), Koh Rong (Cambodia), and Maui (Hawaii, USA). He also loves to visit the cenotes in Mexico and he recommends everyone reads the book, “The Soul of an Octopus”, because, he says “they are sensitive, just like me”.