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SHEARWATER RESEARCH PERDIX 2 TI (SRP: AUD$1,650) AND TI BLACK (SRP: AUD$1,700)Mark Evans: Shearwater Research have had an enviable track record when it comes to dive computers – in just a matter of years, the company has become one of the major names in this marketplace, thanks to its stellar range of products, including the Teric wristwatch computer, the Peregrine, the Petrel and the Perdix AI. Now, the Canadian dive computer powerhouse has unveiled an updated version of its flagship Perdix unit, in the form of the Perdix 2 Ti and Ti Black.

The Perdix 2 is, according to Shearwater, their ‘toughest and most-reliable full-size computer yet’, and given their past efforts, I am not about to doubt their claims. The Perdix 2 features an armoured casing with precision titanium surround bezel and dependable titanium piezo touch buttons to protect the performance-enhanced electronics. Titanium is a great material for use in dive products – it is lightweight, very durable and non-reactive in salt-water.

It is not just the body that is given additional protection. An aluminosilicate glass lens guards that fantastic 2.2” bright screen and offers improved clarity, impact, and damage resistance. We divers are known to be a little hard on our kit, so anything that can help protect that screen is a bonus. The Perdix 2 is extremely capable, and can run air, nitrox (up to three gas mixes) and trimix on open circuit, and closed circuit/bailout - it can monitor constant PO2 for closed circuit, and be air-integrated for diluent, oxygen and bail-out gases. There is also a gauge mode for those that want that level of simplicity.

The screen display can be user-customised, which is a neat feature, but I find the default settings are nice and clear, even in murky conditions. However, if you so wish, you can tweak the display to show the information that is most important to you, and you can change the colour schemes.

A new feature is a strong vibration customizable alert system that draws attention at critical moments of the dive, such as the end of the safety stop, max depth, gas reserve and so on. This can be very handy if you are otherwise engaged, such as with your camera, or working underwater. I tend to turn off my audible alarms on computers, but I leave vibration on – it works well, and you can easily feel it even through a drysuited arm. It is important to note that this functionality is only supported by the use of 1.5V non-rechargeable lithium and 3.7V rechargeable batteries.

Like the original Perdix AI, the Perdix 2 is also capable of air integration with up to four Shearwater Swift transmitters, and it comes with a three-axis, tilt-compensated digital compass, so you’ll never have to worry about getting lost again (as long as you know how to use a compass!). All of this means that this computer can grow from being suitable for an entry-level scuba diver and then growing and adapting to become a proven advanced technical diving computer.

One thing that has not changed from the original Perdix AI is the user-changeable single AA battery. Swapping out a dead battery is literally done and dusted in a matter of seconds, and wherever you are in the world, you can get your hands on AA batteries. You can get up to 40 hours of battery life with AI enabled from alkaline, 60 hours from lithium, and a whopping 100-plus hours from SAFT LS14500, more than enough for a liveaboard or three.

Another familiar sight from the Perdix AI are the dual elastic straps equipped with pinch clips. It also comes with bungee cord if you want to go that route – I know some techies swear by it – but I maintain that the elasticated pinch-clip straps are the best retainers for a dive computer I have ever used. Easy to get on and off, and depthcompensating, so your computer never ends up dangling round your wrist. But, it is nice to have the option from the get-go. The Perdix 2 can also seamlessly link to PCs, Macs and iPads via Bluetooth technology, so downloading dive data can be accomplished with ease.

So, the addition of titanium on the bezel and controls, an aluminosilicate screen, and a customisable vibration alert are among the main differences to the Perdix AI. Would these changes warrant swapping out your trusty Perdix AI? Perhaps not, as both are top performers, but if you have yet to enter the Shearwater fraternity, the Perdix 2 represents an awesome computer that has just got that bit better. The Perdix 2 is available in the eye-catching shiny Ti, or the more-stealthy Ti Black colour finishes. It comes in a padded zippered storage case, and with a nifty tool for helping to change the battery.