With the i100 Aqua Lung is trying to wiggle itself into the budget dive computer market. For a long time now this is the territory of the Mares Puck Pro and more or less of the Suunto Zoop Novo. The Aqua Lung computer brings some unique features to the table but lacks in other departments. So is the Aqualung i100 worth your buck? Find out in our Aqua Lung i100 review!
On the first glance the computer looks great. Especially in blue it stands out and the blue ring on top is made in the same shape as the legend regulators from Aqua Lung. The computer doesn’t feel to heavy and the dimensions are roughly the same as it’s competitors. The strap is long enough to fit over all suits, even thick dry suits.
One button navigating
Aqua Lung opted for a one button design to simplify navigation. Straight out of the box you get the surface time and which mode you’re in. Press once and you should get the last dive you’ve made but it probably only shows dives made in the last 24 hours because our latest dive didn’t show up. Other screens are the time and date and the no-fly time and time to full de-saturation.
To get into the menu’s you hold the button down for about two seconds and you can cycle through the menu by pressing the button once. To select an option just hold the button down again. Like with every other one button design it’s annoying if you miss your desired option because you have to cycle through the full menu again to get to it. The menu itself is easy to learn and all the settings are put in a logical order. It won’t take long until you fly through the menu’s and get the settings you want.
Non lighted display?!
The display of the Aqua Lung i100 is a normal LCD display which is different from it’s competitors. Both the Zoop and the Puck Pro have a Dot-Matrix display which in my opinion are easier to read. The numbers are big enough but simply not as clear as with the other computers. But this isn’t the biggest problem the i100 has.
One of the biggest drawbacks we have found is the missing back-lighting. The Aqualung i100 has no back-light!? Instead it has a red led indicator on the left hand side which start to flicker when the computer is warning you, for instance when you ascent to fast. The lack of lighting makes the computer really hard to read in not so perfect conditions and it’s almost mandatory to bring a dive light with you to get a reading of it. Considering almost any other computer does have back-lighting in it, making this a major drawback.
Great Scuba and Free Modes
In this departement the i100 shines. Besides the normal air mode you can dive with Enriched Air Nitrox up to 100 procent up to 2 different gasses. Naturally it has a gauge mode but the freedive mode is something different. Normally if you go freediving with your dive computer you’re banned from diving for 24 hours. The Aqua Lung i100 keeps calculating while freediving which prevents a 24 hour ban from scuba diving and frees you up to switch between free and scuba mode all you want. If it’s wise to freedive and scuba dive shortly after another is a discussion for another time. Nonetheless this is a really cool feature which we haven’t come a cross a lot.
Other great features are the automatic altitude detection which automatically adjust the settings when diving on altitude. The data retention when you change out the battery, which you can do yourself. And the fact that you can change your settings on a PC or Mac using the diverslog software. Not so great is that you will need the plus version to do that and for now the website of diverslog says it doesn’t support the i100 just yet. Also you will need to buy the interface cable which are outrageously expensive with Aqua Lung.
Is the Aqualung i100 Worth a Buy?
This is a though one. The Aqualung computer has some great features like date retention, automatic altitude recognition and the ability to switch between freediving and scuba diving. The lack of back-lighting and the inferieur display on the other hand may push you towards it’s competitors like the Mares Puck Pro which are priced the same. Let us know in the comments which features you prefer and if you think the i100 is a good buy!