by the Product Review Staff | 2004-01-30 03:00:00-07
|Suunto X9 Features|
Special Functions in All Modes
Click here for a comprehensive field performance review (July 2004) of the Suunto X9 GPS Watch
GPS for the lightweight backpacker may have finally arrived.
Suunto released its wrist mounted global positioning system today.
At 2.7 oz (76g), the Suunto X9 may be be the lightest and most portable GPS unit on the market. Despite the size, the Suunto X9 is a full featured, 12 parallel channel GPS with an integrated loop antenna and plenty of waypoint storage and management features for useful backcountry applications.
In addition to the global positioning system functions, the Suunto X9 has the compass, altimeter, temperature, barometer, and time/stopwatch functions of the Suunto X6, which has already achieved status as the standard of excellence in backcountry navigation watches.
The Suunto X9 offers 232 KB of memory, enough to store 500 waypoints and 8000 track points.
The Suunto X9 interfaces with a PC for uploading and downloading routes and waypoints with PC-based GPS/Mapping software. The Suunto X9 is powered by rechargeable Li-ion batteries and has a battery life between recharges of 4.5 hrs to 2 months (depending on the extent of GPS use)(with 500 manual GPS fixes it lasts about 2 weeks).
The Suunto X9 can store 25 GPS tracks into its logbook. The watch offers route navigation functions with distance, direction and time to the next waypoint. The Suunto X9 displays speed, distance, and time from start. Log recording stores max speed, average speed, total ascent and decent, lowest and highest altitude and number of runs. In short, the Suunto X6 provides all of the basic capabilities of a very useful GPS unit with few functional compromises.
Another nice feature of the Suunto X9 is its triaxial compass, which offers tilt compensation that alleviates the need to level the unit for accurate readings.
The Suunto X9 does not feel unwieldy like the Garmin Frontier, a much larger wrist-mountain GPS unit. Where the Garmin Frontier is impractical wear under apparel (including jacket or shirt sleeves), the Suunto X9 is small, reasonably thin, and very comfortable on the wrist, and wouldn't attract unusual attention if you wore it in public.
We are impressed with the Suunto X9, and will be providing a more detailed performance review of the watch this spring.
"Suunto X9 GPS Watch First Looks (Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2004)," by the Product Review Staff. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/00298.html, 2004-01-30 03:00:00-07.