In a move that probably won’t come as a shock, Garmin is today releasing the all-new Edge 540 and Edge 840 cycle computers. While the timing isn’t clear, those who paid attention knew this announcement was coming. On the one hand, anyone who has spent time shopping for the best bike computer would have noticed that both models haven’t received an update since 2019. Four years is a lifetime in the world of any consumer electronics device and Garmin has hardly been quiet during that time. Then, in case anyone wasn’t sure, US retailer Adorama managed to slip up and leak product listings ahead of time. Still, even with the past surprise, today is when we get the details.
In the world of bike computers, this news is as big as it comes. In many ways, Garmin invented the modern bike computer, but the story has little relevance in the tech world, and every brand remains vulnerable to innovative competition. Garmin may be the market leader in terms of volume, but with such a long gap, questions have started to emerge about suitability in the mid-range. With today’s Edge 540 and Edge 840 versions, Garmin seeks to answer these questions. Both models are at the heart of Garmin’s bike computer portfolio and, by extension, at the heart of the entire bike computer market.
Garmin Edge 540 and Edge 540 Solar
The Garmin Edge 540 will be the entry point to full-featured bike computers for many riders. The Edge 500 series is the first line of options in Garmin’s lineup to offer both a color display and full GPS routing and mapping. It’s also the first model to offer nearly identical functionality to the much more expensive Garmin 1000 series. With today’s release, Garmin takes the features that make the Garmin Edge 530 recognizable and expands them with features from last year’s Edge 1040 release.
The most obvious result of this runoff is the all-new Solar variant. As we saw previously with the Edge 1040, there are now two Edge 540 options to consider. For those with less demanding power needs, the basic option is the Garmin Edge 540. It’s the most affordable version, but battery life increases here too. While the Edge 530 specs say “up to 20 hours”, the new Edge 540 now offers a maximum of 42 hours in low power mode or 26 hours of “demanding” use. It also continues to offer support for the optional Garmin Charge Power Pack for charging while in use and both Edge 540 variants get a USB-C charging port.
Along with the base model option, the Edge 540 now also offers an Edge 540 Solar variant. For a £100/$100/€100 price increase, the solar variant extends battery life by up to an additional 25 minutes per hour during daytime driving. That puts estimates at 32 hours in “demanding” use and up to 60 hours in battery saver mode. It also means that it’s possible to go long periods of time without ever plugging in your bike computer if you have a sunny shelf.
On the hardware side, the other changes are less noticeable. The available memory and processor remain unchanged and the screen size is the same 2.6″ (66mm) diagonal with a resolution of 246 x 322 pixels. color filters and more backlight LEDs to improve representation colors. The new Edge 540, along with the Edge 840, also sees the same GPS update as the Edge 1040 with a switch from single-band to multi-band GNSS for better performance in cities or under cover treed.
The Edge 540 also sees a slight increase in overall size. While the Edge 530 measured 1.9″ x 3.2″ x 0.8″ (50 x 82 x 20 mm), the Edge 540 now measures 2.3 x 3.4 x 0.8″ (57 ,8 x 85.1 x 19.6mm). is there and he brings three extra grams with him.
Much more interesting for most people will be the update to the Garmin Quarter-Turn Mount. Unfortunately, the Edge 1040’s all-metal design doesn’t make the jump, but you won’t need to rely on third-party options if you run into trouble with yours. Instead of using metal, Garmin has made the mount’s outer ring user-replaceable with a pair of screws.
Garmin Edge 840 and Edge 840 Solar
In the past, the Garmin 500 and 800 series were almost exactly the same and this tradition continues. The Edge 840 and Edge 840 Solar offer the same screen, exterior dimensions, and battery life as the corresponding Edge 540 and Edge 540 Solar. What’s all new in this generation is an expansion of interaction options for the Edge 840. Instead of being touchscreen only, you now have the choice of using either a touchscreen or buttons depending on the situation.
This means that the latest generation of Garmin computers offer plenty of choice in the mid-range. Previously, choosing the Edge 530 meant no touchscreen while choosing the Edge 830 meant no buttons. With the 540 and 840, the extra cost of the top model adds a touchscreen but takes nothing away. Then, further complicating the decision, the price is the same for the 540 solar and the non-solar 840, which gives an extra layer of decision making.
Shared software updates
The Edge 549 and Edge 840 hardware may offer near parity, but the two computers are identical on the software side. The only caveat being that it is not possible to create a course directly on the Edge 540. Otherwise the two are identical and the only real novelty is a modification of the Garmin climbing screen which makes it usable even without a loaded itinerary. Given Hammerhead’s lead on this feature, it was widely expected, but it will still be a welcome addition for a wide range of users. This feature will also make its way to the Edge 1040 via incoming software updates.
The other software features available at launch aren’t new to Garmin in general, but they are new to the midrange 500 and 800 series. Previously, the suite of workout-related software features introduced with the Edge 1040 remained locked behind the more expensive bike computer. Today Garmin is bringing it all to the Edge 540 and Edge 840.
It starts with a widget-based home screen. One of these widgets will be workout tips that change every time you turn on the device. It’s an adaptive system that even takes into account efforts made through partner systems such as Zwift or efforts recorded on other Garmin devices. The training features then expand from there to help you analyze your cycling ability and compare it to similarly formatted course requirements. As you ride, the real-time endurance feature can show you how your effort is likely to influence your ability to finish or you can create a power guide to give exact power goals as you ride.
Price and availability
Garmin is today announcing a total of four new bike computers with immediate worldwide availability. Go to Garmin.com (opens in a new tab) for more information.
- Garmin Edge 840 Solar: £519.99 / $549.99 / €599.99
- Garmin Edge 840 (without solar): £449.99 / $449.99 / €499.99
- Garmin Edge 540 Solar: £449.99 / $449.99 / €499.99
- Garmin Edge 540 (without solar): £349.99 / $349.99 / €399.99
#Garmin #announces #Edge #Edge #solar #variants #tow