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Icon HD review

Discussion in 'Mares... Just add Water!' started by Seano, Feb 23, 2010.

  1. Seano

    Seano Angel Fish

    # of Dives:
    Location: Seattle, WA
    30
    1
    0
    So I just recently purchased a Icon HD computer, and promised to give it a review after diving with it for 10 days in Cozumel.

    My first impressions are pretty good. It's a big computer, so if you're looking for something small or slim, this is not the one for you.

    Screen:
    The display is nice, and the UI is very intuitive. I did notice on really sunny days (at depth) that there was a fair amount of glare on the screen, and you had to tilt the computer to an angle to minimize the glare. Otherwise the screen was easy to read, especially on night dives. In fact, my dive mates kept track of me because of the ever glowing computer on my wrist. =)

    UI:
    As I noted, the UI is really intuitive. All of the information you need is always there, and you can see it a few different ways. I never really used the "Profile" mode, but opted for the "extended" mode.

    The computer does a nice job with showing you where you need to be in the water column for deep stops, deco and safety stops. I like the countdown that it gives you for deep and safety stops, and have a few critiques as well.

    One one dive I went into deco, and due to user error, didn't notice as I was ascending the water column, that the computer decided to forgo my deco obligation, and give me bottom time for the shallower depth I was at. It really started to worry me as I kept ascending, that what I was reading as deco obligation, was really bottom time. So when the computer went deco of 5 minutes to and then read a bottom time of 7 to 9 to 15 to 30 to 60 to 99 minutes, there was some concern as I hadn't noticed it switching from deco to no deco.... As I said, it was a one time user error, won't happen again.

    The second issue is that while the computer counts down deep and safety stops, it does not count down deco stops in the same way. Deep and safety stops have a timer that counts down by seconds and minutes, while deco only counts down by minutes. It took me a while to know whether the computer was counting down or not, and would have been a better user experience to have it count down consistently as it does for other stops.

    Algorithms:
    The computer was similar to my replacement computer in how it gave and take bottom time. It was cool to watch them both get to roughly the same calculation, just each a bit differently how it was processing the math. I would say that on it's most liberal setting (A1) it was not too liberal or too conservative for me.

    Dive Log:
    I really like the way the computer logs dives. You can see a summary of all of the dives, and the computer denotes which dives had a deco obligation, nitrox, ect, as well as the standard depth, dive time, ect. You can then look at any given dive and see the graphical profile of that dive.

    Battery life:
    I found that the computer did fine for 4 dives before needing to be recharged. I could have probably gotten 6 dives, but didn't want to take the risk of battery failure.

    My one big complaint....
    I do have one issue with the charging mechanism that I think is going to be a manufacturing issue for Mares. To charge the computer or connect to a PC, you clip an adapter to the computer that has 4 contacts to make on the bottom of the computer. The clip itself has 4 prongs that make the connection to the computer.

    When I received the computer and opened the package for the 1st time, the charging clip only had 3 of the 4 prongs. You could clearly see that there was a hole for the 4 prong, but that it wasn't there. I called Mares, and they sent me a new one. In the meantime, I opened the faulty one up, and soldered a prong to the circuit board, and it worked fine.

    During the trip, I noticed that the replacement clip, had lost one of it's prongs. (not the same one that the 1st one was missing). If I didn't have the backup one that I had soldered, I would have been hosed.... Since there would be no way to charge the computer.

    My feeling is that the charging clip is too fragile, and needs to be re-designed to meet the real world usage that it's going to go through. I fear that this issue is going to be widespread (2 times for me, just a few days in to diving the computer) and that Mares will have to deal with this hopefully sooner then later.

    All in all, I really like the computer, and look forward to it getting air integration.

    I'm attaching pictures as well.

    Seano
     

    Attached Files:

    JIMMY PHILLIPS likes this.
  2. a22shady

    a22shady Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: New Jersey
    1,578
    42
    48
    Thanks for the review. Computer sounds Nice I do agree it seems that charger may have some problems. That seems to be a common thing with scuba atleast with USB cords that I have used are a little bit of a pain to connect
     
  3. 417Diver

    417Diver Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Springfield, MO
    76
    0
    0
    Just recieved mine today aswell and noticed that the 4 prongs power source seems to be a bit wild and fragile and also you need to make sure they are all 4 lined up which is kinda hard to see.

    Still waiting for mine to charge so I can play with it. Kinda unfortunate that you cannot do anything while it is plugged in (maybe me not know how to turn it on while plugged in..)

    Whats the Mares square black pad for? To cover the buckle?
     
  4. Seano

    Seano Angel Fish

    # of Dives:
    Location: Seattle, WA
    30
    1
    0
    Hey 417Diver,

    You should be able to see the main menu (dive, compass, dive log, settings, ect) while the computer is charging. It took me a while to get the clip positioned correctly as you noted. When it's charging, you should see something to indicate the charging, and pressing the computer buttons should activate the menus.

    It took me a while to figure out the black pad.... But it goes on the bottom of the computer, so that when it's more comfortable on your wrist. Put the computer straps through the openings on the black pad, so the pad rests on the bottom of the computer/top of your wrist.

    Seano
     
  5. 417Diver

    417Diver Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Springfield, MO
    76
    0
    0
    Thanks.

    Now when setting the date it will not go past 2-12-2010. Any issue with yours?
     
  6. Diver DennisP

    Diver DennisP Angel Fish

    64
    4
    8
    seano- how were the maps? Accurate? Details? True to life?

    Thanks
    Dennis
     
  7. 417Diver

    417Diver Divemaster Candidate

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Springfield, MO
    76
    0
    0
    I just got it connected to my PC Win 7.

    What I had to do for it to work is install the dive organizer beta disc provided go to the site and download the upgrade. Then from my experience you must open the organizer 1st then plug the usb into the HD unit. The everything should work.
     
  8. Seano

    Seano Angel Fish

    # of Dives:
    Location: Seattle, WA
    30
    1
    0
    Dennis,

    I only looked at the 2 maps that came with the computer. They didn't have any published maps for Cozumel besides the Felipe Xicotencatl ship wreck.

    That being said, I think it's a cool idea, and would love to see them publish maps for each reef there....

    Seano


     
  9. Scubaqua

    Scubaqua Garibaldi

    # of Dives:
    Location: The Netherlands
    1
    0
    0
    That is mutch to often! Specialy when the charge connector is that bad.
    Is it changed already?
    There's now also an air integrated one, anyone experiance?
     
  10. Lwang

    Lwang Photographer

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: NYC
    1,181
    82
    48
    Why would a dive computer that advertises itself as HD have a display that looks like something out of a 1980 Atari 400? Where are the 3-D look and feel? Is this even HD resolution?

    Do they have air integration where I can tell it to start monitoring a sensor from a certain tank? If I am carrying 20 tanks, and air integration is only for 1 tank, then their mixed gas and air integration capability falls short.
     

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