The Cressi Leonardo is considered one of the best dive computers for beginners on the market today.
So, if you are a new diver and looking to buy your first dive computer, the Leonard should be on top of your list.
It sports a single-button user interface which makes programming and operating the dive computer very user-friendly and pretty straightforward. A large display with oversized digits also makes reading dive data super easy.
It also has more than enough storage for your dives, as well as an optional PC interface for extra storage or to get more detailed information about your dives.
But what makes this an ideal entry-level dive computer?
Let’s take a look at some of its key features.
Cressi Leonardo Review: Key Features and Benefits
3 Dive Modes
The Leonardo offers 3 dive modes – Air, Nitrox, and Guage mode
Air: The basic mode; ideal for recreational dives with compressed air.
Nitrox: Designed for enriched air diving up to a maximum of 50% oxygen.
Gauge: provides dive data without calculating decompression stops.
The Leonardo features an easy-to-read, high-resolution segmented dot matrix display. The digits are large and clearly visible, even in direct sunlight. With a backlight, you can easily read data when diving in low-light environments like caves or wrecks.
Single Button Operation
A single makes toggling through modes and settings very easy and ensures that you won’t get lost or have to worry about memorizing multiple button combinations to reach certain features and functions. Simply press to toggle modes or advance, then hold to enter the menu or select. It’s that simple.
The Leonardo Dive Computer is powered by a single CR2450 replaceable battery. There are no special tools required to change the battery. It also offers more than 30 hours of battery life at a time and can last up to two years under normal use.
Alarms and Notifications
The Cressi Leonardo Dive Computer has audible and visual alarms to alert divers of potential dangers such as deep stops, ascent rate violations, oxygen toxicity, or low battery. The dive computer also features notification messages that advise you when it is time to change the battery or check for calibration settings.
Dive Log and Connectivity
It also has an onboard logbook with can hold about 60 dives or 70 hours of your latest dives, which is more than sufficient memory if you’re just starting out. You can also easily download all your logged dives to your PC or MAC with the optional PC Download Interface Kit. Once downloaded, you can see more detailed dive profiles including colored graphs. Having this additional information can help you become a better diver by allowing you to see critical dive data not displayed on the computer.
At the heart of the Cressi Leonardo Dive Computer is the Reduced Gradient Bubble Model (RGBM) algorithm, a significant feature that sets this dive computer apart from many others in its class.
What this algorithm does is calculate the ascent rates and decompression stops required to prevent the formation of harmful gas bubbles in the diver’s body. This is achieved by considering both the dissolved and free gas in tissues during the ascent, unlike traditional dive algorithms that focus solely on dissolved gas. This comprehensive model allows a safer and more effective ascension, thereby reducing the risk of decompression sickness.
The RGBM algorithm is a true reflection of Cressi’s commitment to diver safety and exemplifies its expertise in the field of dive technology. This feature, coupled with its user-customizable options, offers divers an extra layer of safety and adaptability, enabling them to plan their dives with confidence and precision.
Cressi Leonardo : Manufacturers Specification
Dive Modes: Air, Nitrox, and Gauge
Display Type: segmented dot matrix
Battery Type: CR2450 replaceable battery
Battery Life: 30 hours / up to 2 years under normal use
Dive Log Memory: 60 Dives (70 hours)
Connectivity: Optional PC Download Interface Kit
Maximum Depth: 120m/393ft
Altitude Adjustment: Up to 3,700m/12,139ft
Decompression Algorithm: RGBM (Reduced Gradient Bubbles Model)
Our Rating: Cressi Leonardo Dive Computer
It has a rugged and durable design with an easy-to-read display. However, the segmented abbreviations can be tricky to understand at first.
It's a great entry-level dive computer. It has only the essential features for basic recreational diving, nothing more.
Ease of use
The single-button operation and user-friendly interface make this dive computer easy to operate even for beginners.
The Cressi Leonardo is relatively inexpensive. It is reasonably priced for the feature set it offers.
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What We Like
The Cressi Leonardo is a great piece of dive equipment marketed to the beginner diver, and we feel like the Leonardo delivered as advertised. Below are a few things that stand out to us:
User-Friendly Interface – It embodies simplicity without compromising on functionality, designed with a single-button system. This single-button control allows for smooth, effortless navigation through the menus and settings, making it incredibly easy to adjust dive settings or access previous dive data. The button is also quite large and easy to press, even if you’re wearing thick gloves. It’s so easy you can grasp the main operation of the dive computer without reading the manual. However, it does come with a comprehensive owner’s manual if you are ever lost or need help.
Easy Connect to your computer (PC or Mac) – With the Optional PC Download Interface Kit, you can quickly transfer dive log data to your computer. Once downloaded, you can see more detailed dive profiles including colored graphs on your computer screen. Having this additional information available will help you become a better diver by allowing you to see critical dive data not displayed on the computer.
Large Display Screen –The Leonardo has a bold and easy-to-read screen. It has extra-large digits that make it easier to read underwater. The display is also backlit, making it easy to read in low-visibility environments or at night.
Affordable Price Point – The Cressi Leonardo Dive Computer is priced very competitively. It offers essential features for a reasonable price, making it an excellent option for beginner divers or those on a budget.
What We Don’t Like
Despite its many admirable features, the Cressi Leonardo Dive Computer does have some limitations which we believe are worth mentioning.
Lack of More Advanced Features – The Leonardo lacks advanced features such as a digital compass, gas-switching capability, and air integration, making it less suitable for technical divers or those aiming to advance beyond recreational diving.
No Menu Backtrack – The interface, while user-friendly, works on a single-button control system which makes it impossible to backtrack. If you skipped a menu option, you will have to cycle through all the other options to get back. This can be a little frustrating at times.
No Bluetooth Connectivity -Furthermore, the Leonardo does not support wireless connectivity options such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi, which are increasingly common in more modern dive computers. Lastly, the lack of a freediving mode is a slight disappointment, particularly for those who enjoy this popular form of diving. Nonetheless, for its target market of beginner and recreational divers, the Cressi Leonardo still offers excellent value and serves as a robust and reliable diving tool.
Who Should Get The Cressi Leonard Dive Computer?
The Cressi Leonardo dive computer is a great little dive computer designed for entry-level divers. So, if you are a diver just starting out, this is definitely a dive computer to take a look at.
Also, if you’re a seasoned recreational diver and prefer a more simple dive computer that’s easy to use or just a backup, you might want to consider this dive computer as well. Although, it might lack the advanced features of a pricier dive computer it still has all the capabilities you will need as a recreational diver.
Comparison with Other Entry-Level Dive Computers
When compared to other entry-level dive computers, the Cressi Leonardo holds its own quite well.
Cressi Leonardo vs. Mares Puck Pro
The Mares Puck Pro is another popular choice among beginner divers. Like the Leonardo, it also features a single-button interface. However, it falls short in the display quality compared to the Leonardo. The Leonardo boasts a superior screen that offers larger digits and a better layout, enhancing readability underwater, while the Puck Pro has a comparatively cluttered display.
Cressi Leonardo vs. Suunto Zoop Novo
The Suunto Zoop Novo is often touted as one of the best entry-level dive computers, but its price tag is notably higher than the Leonardo. While it does have a few more advanced features like a built-in dive planner, the Leonardo still offers a competitive array of features for a significantly lower cost, making it a better value for money for beginners.
Cressi Leonardo vs. Aqua Lung i300C
The Aqua Lung i300C offers Bluetooth connectivity, a feature absent in the Leonardo. However, the i300C has a much shorter battery life compared to Leonardo's impressive 30 hours / up to 2 years under normal use, which is a significant advantage for longer dive trips.
Overall, while some entry-level dive computers may offer additional features or functionalities, the Cressi Leonardo Dive Computer strikes an impressive balance between affordability, reliability, and user-friendliness, making it a strong contender in the entry-level dive computer market.
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Frequently Asked Questions
No, the Cressi Leonardo is not suitable for technical diving. It lacks advanced features such as gas-switching capability and air integration that are necessary for this type of diving..
No, the Cressi Leonardo does not have a freediving mode. It is designed for recreational diving only.
The CR2450 battery used in the Cressi Leonardo has an estimated lifespan of 30 hours or up to 2 years under normal use.
Yes, the Optional PC Download Interface Kit is compatible with both PC and Mac computers. .
No, you will have to purchase the download kit separately.
The Bottom Line
The bottom line is, that the Cressi Leonardo Dive Computer is a reliable and affordable option for beginner divers or those seeking a backup dive computer. Its easy-to-use interface, rugged design, large display screen, and optional connectivity features make it an excellent entry-level device that delivers on its promises.
While it may lack some advanced features found in more expensive models, it is a solid choice for recreational divers looking for a durable and functional diving tool at an affordable price. We highly recommend the Cressi Leonardo Dive Computer for your next dive adventure.