Hands on: Xdeep Black Dive Computer
There is a whole variety of dive computers out there, each one with its algorithm and different possibilities, pricetags and so on. But for some different reasons there is one dive computer that is getting a lot of attention lately. The Xdeep black is the new in the hood and it sets a new standard. Lets see why.
The way your xdeep is one of is kind, they are carved on a single piece of alloy, that is. I would say a unique approach to the creation of the casing, no other dive computer is made this way, this process is part of the glory and part of the doom of Xdeep as it it extremely durable and strong and at the same time very time consuming part of the process, each cnc machine, that is more or less like a drill connected to some servos that move in x, y and z axis make one piece at time, in their own words they never expected selling more than 500 units a year, this estimation became quite pessimistic considering the amount of reservations still pending. It have two pieces that are closed with 8 torx screws that make the whole look of a ruggered industrial part more than the sleek designs we are used to.
Black uses only 2 buttons electronically activated on the sides that differentiate short and long press, the construction is very robust and look very durable since they don´t act any membrane or similar, which is very smart.
The screen is one of the strongest points. It features a 160×128 high visibility OLED screen that works with an outstanding definition and brightness even under the sun, while keeping a low power consumption. the choice of the OLED screen is a key in dive computers nowadays. Liquivision features this kind of screen for a long time, while suunto plans to introduce the eon steel with TFT screen which in my opinion is a major failure for a top level dive computer. For everyone to understand OLED pixels that are not getting any information are shutdown, don’t give any light so the image drawn in the screen is super bright over a pitch black background that does not consume any energy, something crucial for long dives, dive trips and so. The screen features as well Saphir® AR coating that is said to be over 20x more resistant to scratches than glass. Said this, I have seen some Blacks with beautiful scratches on the screen so I don’t recommend you to have it in a box with tools or metalic body spgs.
The universally popular USB is also present in this dive computer, it features a custom connector on the Dive computer side that is a classic 2 power pins and 2 data pins. Something you might notice is that as soon as you submerge your dive computer it will automatically set to fresh or salt water and start the dive, this is achieved trough a conductivity test done in this contacts. As you might know destilled water is not a good electric conductor. So there is a chance, if you are diving mountain rivers or a very low mineralization water the dive computer will activate when sunken under half meter of water.
Battery and charge
Charge is done trough the custom USB port we mentioned previously, the Xdeep guys included a samsung branded 1190 mAh battery that work perfectly, after a 2 hours dive it only spent the 2% of it, ot feature as well a safety mechanism so under 20% battery wont let you go dive, so it’s impossible to run out of battery under water.
Surprisingly, the dive computer itself is not as heavy as you could expect and doesn’t generate any discomfort while diving, either wet or dry suit. I have read some people very critic with the strap provided, the Black from Xdeep is meant to be used with this strap, another strap or bungee cord, so plenty of possibilities.
Unlike other dive computers is completely upgradeable, so you can buy a Bottom timer, air computer, for a very competitive price, when you go to nitrox you pay an upgrade and get a 3 mixes ready dive computer and in the hipothetic case on which you go trimix or you need up to 10 mixes you upgrade to trimix.
After the final upgrade you have a similar to the last suunto release Eon steel with one exception, air pressure integration, while the high versions of Liquivision or suunto have a very nice and well developed pressure control Black lacks of it, and it could be the weakest point of this dive computer , otherwise the alerts for gas change are great and the possibility of adding a new mix even during the dive makes the black in any of its versions a very flexible and well thought dive computer.
Very useful as well, the built in compass with the return system. the compass work very smooth and register the change of trajectory so you can come back to the initial point in low viz conditions or anything else, you name it.
Also included, there is an acelerometer like in your phone that feels tilting so when you show the dive computer to a buddy in a deco stop it will show correctly to his eyes.