Shearwater Research Peregrine Dive Computer Review
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Mark Evans: Canadian company Shearwater Research has rapidly carved itself a niche for high-performing, robust and, perhaps most importantly, user-friendly dive computers.
The Petrel 2 gained a legion of followers, as did the Perdix AI, and then the Teric wristwatch unit. The innovative NERD II HUD also went down a storm.
Now one of the things I particularly liked about the Perdix AI and the Teric was that while they were supremely capable dive computers, with abilities and features that would sate the desires of even the most-hardened technical diver, they were also so easy to use that even novice divers could happily put them into recreational mode and go diving.
The fact that as the diver progressed in their diving career, the computer could easily ‘grow’ with them, was a major plus point in my eyes, and that ability to cope with recreational and open circuit/closed circuit technical diving could offset the purchase cost of the unit.
However, there are plenty of people out there who just want to pootle along a pretty coral reef and never stray out of recreational depths. For them, the outlay for a computer that is capable of doing far more than they will ever dream of just isn’t worth the investment.
That’s where the Peregrine dive computer comes in, with a very keen price point. It is still a very-capable decompression computer, with four diving modes – straightforward air mode, single nitrox (up to 40 percent), three-gas switchable nitrox (up to 100 percent) and gauge for the techies. This means it can still easily deal with entry-level technical diving, and beyond – in gauge mode – if necessary.
It has a vivid 2.2-inch LCD full-colour screen – with a user-customisable display – utilises the tried-and-tested Buhlmann ZHL-16C algorithm with gradient factors, features an intuitive dive planner, and uses a simple two-button control system for navigating the menus.
Like the Teric, it can be wirelessly charged up – via the supplied USB wireless charging station – with each charge giving approximately 30 hours on medium brightness level.
As with previous Shearwaters you can upload dive logs via wireless data transfer, and get free firmware updates.
I have long extoled the virtues of my Perdix AI and Teric computers, so I was keen to get my hand on the Peregrine. Shearwater duly obliged and sent me a unit soon after the official global launch.
First reactions? It exudes the quality we have come to expect from Shearwater. It comes in a zippered protective case like the Perdix AI and the Teric. On opening it, in a zippered section in the ‘lid’ you find the charging cable, a quality checklist card with hand-signed checks, and a short cheat-sheet explaining how to charge the unit, how to attach the strap, etc.
In the main compartment, you find the Peregrine dive computer nestled securely in a dense foam surround. Lift it out, and you find the rubber wrist strap coiled around the outside, and the spindles and attachment tools in cutouts on the rear. Inside this foam, between the Peregrine dive computer itself and the tools you find the charging station.
At the very bottom, you find the shock cord – an optional way to mount the computer on your wrist – along with a spare screen protector, and two Shearwater stickers.
I opted to fit the rubber strap, as I have never been a fan of shock-cord straps, and it was doddle to attach. No fiddly spindles here – you get chunky units that use two (supplied) fat Philips-head screwdrivers to tighten into place. The rubber wrist strap is comfortable and holds the computer securely in place on your arm, but I have to be honest, I still prefer the elastic-and-pinch-clip straps on my Perdix AI.
Switch on the computer, and the familiar blue-and-white colour scheme appears. For anyone who uses a Perdix AI, the screen display will be instantly recognisable – I tend to use my Perdix predominantly in Rec mode, as it is more than sufficient for most of the diving I am doing, and the screen display on the Peregrine dive computer is basically the same.
All of the relevant information is right there in front of you – depth, dive time, the active gas, your max depth, time, water temperature, your NDl and tissue loading, and then your safety stop. As with my Perdix, it is extremely clear to read underwater, even when it is gloomy, and in fact, my buddy could read it from a few metres away!
The navigation system on the Peregrine dive computer is just the same as on the Perdix AI, apart from the fact this time around you get stainless steel buttons that have a nice ‘feel’ to them. Easy to use even with thick drygloves on.
As with the Perdix, the menu on the Peregrine dive computer is very intuitive and even a new user could be happily bouncing around through the different areas in just a few minutes.
I particular like the visual and vibration alerts from the Peregrine dive computer. I tend to switch off audible alarms (not that it has any) anyway as they just bug me, but the vibration is great – you can easily feel it through a wetsuit or even a drysuit.
So what is the major difference between the Perdix AI and the Peregrine dive computer? Well, other than the aforementioned tech diving features, the big two are no compass, and no air integration. But look at that price. If you want air integration and a compass, as well as the additional tech options, go for the Perdix AI – or the Teric – but if these two features are not vital to you, then the Peregrine dive computer makes a solid choice.
If you want to ‘pimp’ your Peregrine dive computer, optional colour wrist straps are available in Ocean Blue and White.
Peregrine Dive Computer Video
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