Mares Puck Pro vs. Mares Puck
When Mares introduced the Puck dive computer, it rocked the boat. It was affordable and delivered all the necessary functionalities that you expect from an entry-level model.
Comparing the Puck from Mares with the updated Pro
The outstanding feature of the Puck was its single-button navigation. It made it very simple to use even when diving in cold surroundings and wearing thick gloves.
The Puck Pro was the logical successor who had to follow one of the best dive computers on the market. Mares was able to keep all the great things of the Puck and added some elements to make it indeed even a better computer! Check out our detailed review on the Mares Puck Pro!
However, are these improvements worth the additional price? Does it make sense to upgrade?
At first glance, both devices look somewhat similar. They both are roughly the size of a hockey puck (hence the name). Mares moved the button on the Puck Pro out of the display area. It is at the bottom of the bezel.
This allows for more display area without compromising the ease of use coming from having a single button to navigate the different functions.
The diameter of the new design is slightly larger. On the other hand, it is less high than the old version.
The reduced height makes it overall more comfortable to wear and less clunky. The larger diameter combined with the different positioning of the navigation button provides a significantly larger display area compared to the original model.
The display on the updated device is also somewhat better to read without backlight in semi-darkness. This can, at times, be helpful, but it is not a huge factor when deciding which scuba diving computer to buy.
Features and Functions
There’s not a ton of functional differences between the Puck and the Pro. The most talked-about difference is that you can upgrade the firmware on the new variant.
This at first sounds like a great feature. Realistically it’s probably not that big of an issue.
A firmware update will typically not include an upgrade to the decompression algorithm or any other necessary software on the computer. The feature would come in handy if there were a programming issue with the firmware that would require updating.
The other big difference is that the Pro can handle two different gas mixes while the Puck can only handle one gas mix. Being able to handle multiple gasses is an excellent feature if you have different mixes you use during a dive to optimize bottom time.
The algorithm in the Puck Pro got a minor update, and it seems to be slightly more conservative. The changes do not seem to be significant, though.
There are no significant differences in most of the other functions, including the logbook. The logbook is sufficiently large but seems rather small compared to other dive computers like the Suunto Zoop Novo.
The most visible improvement of the Puck Pro vs. the Puck is the larger display. The different placement of the navigation button increases the available display space significantly. The new scuba computer also feels more comfortable as it is less thick.
Under the hood, the most significant improvement is the ability to work with two different gas mixtures. More experienced divers consider this more important as it means that the Pro is a device that a diver can use for a more extended period.
Do these two features mean that you should drop your Puck and run to get the updated design? No, not at all.
However, if you are looking for a new scuba diver computer, then spend the extra bucks and go for the Puck Pro instead. Over time, the additional investment will be well worth it.