I’VE ALWAYS BEEN RELUCTANT to embrace watch-style dive-computers, thinking them a bit big for day-to-day use and a bit small for those times when the ordure has hit the spinning thing, and all you have time for is a quick glance.
Big numbers is where it’s always been for me, and that has dictated that I use a big computer.
That was before Shearwater sent me its Teric watch-style unit to try.
The Teric boasts an AMOLED screen that’s 36mm in diameter and is sharp, bright, colourful and so in-yer-face readable that as soon as I opened the classy zippered storage pouch and laid eyes on it, my fears about readability began to ebb away.
The computer comes with the font set to large for best readability, but you can change it to a smaller size to display more information if you prefer and, even for an old gimmer like me, the smaller font was large enough.
The Teric was supplied part-charged, so I started by charging it fully using the supplied wireless charging dock. The unit went from 24% to fully charged in under two hours. The dock can be connected to a charger plug, not supplied, or the USB port of your laptop or desk-computer.
I can see a pro and a con to the wireless dock idea. On the upside, no socket on the unit means no pins or socket to corrode over time, as they inevitably will despite even the most dedicated care and attention. On the downside, it’s another item to carry around with you if you’re travelling.
It isn’t big or heavy, but it is something else to remember to pack and then not lose while you’re away.
Shearwater claims 30 hours of use at 100% brightness in Dive mode, which seems reasonable.
The Teric feels weighty and well-built in your hand, without being too heavy as a dive-computer, though you’ll take a while to get used to it on your wrist if you do wear it as a watch.
It comes with a substantial rubber strap for everyday use, and a longer tongue is supplied to make the Teric wearable with a drysuit.
It might just be me but why, when “ordinary” wrist computers use three buttons and are largely intuitive to configure, do most watch-style units use four buttons and totally baffle?
But not the Teric, which – drum roll, maestro, please! – I was able to set up to my preferences following the prompts on screen, and without reference to the manual!
I’m exaggerating the difficulty of watch-style units, of course, and we all very quickly get used to setting the computer we use, but the Teric is notably easy to set up and customise.
The secret is in that high-resolution and very colourful screen, with little icons to remind me which button to press to achieve which function.
You can download a full manual from the Shearwater site for those times when you need to make a setting change that you don’t usually use. I did, and I have used it. The Teric offers so many functions that I found myself losing track.
Gas set-up screen and dive-profile log screen.
As supplied, you get a full-function dive-computer that’s usable with up to five different gases selected from air, nitrox and trimix in any combination, which it will monitor in open-circuit, and there’s a closed-circuit rebreather bail-out mode. It comes set to Recreational Open Circuit mode, but you can alter that to OC Tech or CCR modes easily and quickly, so it can grow along with your diving.
With a maximum depth rating of 200m, I reckon it’s got pretty much the entire diving population catered for in one device.