Sunday, March 18, 2012

Garmin Introduces Edge Explore 1000

EdgeExplore1000_HR_0003.4

Garmin has released details on a new cycling computer this week. The Garmin Edge Explore 1000 is similar to the Edge 800 with a few safety upgrades as well as the ability to create routes on the fly, search for addresses, input routes and connect with various devices and sensors for a more immersive and statistics-driven experience. Hailed as a “touring and adventure” unit, the Edge Explore 1000 is attempting to be an all-in-one device for the serious cyclist.

While the Edge Explore 1000 does most of the things that other Garmin Edge products do, the two that caught my attention the most were the routing features and the incident detection capabilities. While there are a couple other cycling computers that feature routing and POIs for finding a trail on the go, this unit is the first Garmin device to include an incident detection to provide peace of mind while on the trails.

According to the release, the unit uses an integrated accelerometer to determine when an accident occurs and can be set up to manually or automatically send the cyclist’s location to emergency contacts in the case of an accident. When combined with the compatibility with the Varia line of smart devices which include rear view bike radar and bike lights, the Edge Explore 1000 is intended to help cyclists not only stay on the trail, but stay safe.

Additionally, the Edge Explore 1000 has some pretty nice routing features. The unit comes   preloaded with the Garmin Cycle Map which includes routable road and bike paths, elevation data, POIs and address search. Cyclists can choose to create a route ahead of time, create a new course directly on the device or simply input how far they wish to travel and the Edge 1000 will create three possible round-trip routes.

As far as connectivity goes, the Edge Explore 1000 features a host of connectivity options including Bluetooth for smart notifications via your smartphone and the Garmin Connect app, compatibility with the Varia line of smart cycling devices, and ANT+ compatibility to add various sensors for data collection. So basically it does a little bit of everything.

The Garmin Edge Explore 1000 is said to have a remarkable 15 hours of battery life and is water-resistant with an IPX7 rating, meaning that a little rain isn’t going to hurt it but I wouldn’t take it out in a hurricane. The device is slated to be released in the third quarter of this year and is expected to retail for around $449.99.

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