First impressions of the 830: I have set up my 830 and have taken it for a training ride using a 1-hour Training Peaks-generated interval workout. Here are my impressions compared to the 820 . . .
- The 830 is slightly bigger with a bigger screen. For graphic screens, that's great! For data screens, I'm not sure it makes any difference. The numerals inside the cells don't look meaningfully bigger . . . but there's now even MORE wasted space on both sides of those readouts! Garmin, how about, for big horizontal cells, putting the legend on the left hand side and letting the numerals take up the entire height of the cell?
- The 830 is much more refined. The materials and design make it look and feel much more upscale than the 820.
- The 830's lap and start buttons, while still on the bottom edge of the unit, are now much closer to the screen. While the bigger size of the device makes the bottom edge just a tad closer to your handlebar (on an out front mount), the fact that the buttons are near the top means they are easier to reach and push than the old buttons.
- The 830's charge port is now on the bottom edge where it is more accessible. No longer do you have to balance the computer on its side or place it upside down when charging. (I also like that you don't have to use the mini-USB for auxiliary batteries. I'm looking forward to my first ultra-endurance race with the hard connected auxiliary battery.)
- The setup process for the 830 is different. In some aspects, I like it better than for previous Edge computers. In other aspects, I think it will be easy to grow accustomed to. There are a LOT more options with this computer -- more choices to make. The array of features is mind-boggling. (I hope I can remember where I found the features I want to use.)
- This is my first use of a Training Peaks-generated workout on an Edge workout page. I'm not sure there's anything new about it. But for an interval workout, I liked it. It displays time remaining on your interval, a graphical display for the range of power designated for the interval, a continuous "pointer" that shows where you are within or without that range, and a graph that shows how you've been doing relative to the power range (above or below or where within). I'm not sure I will use it for lengthy steady state workouts, but for intervals, it does all the time tracking for you. Easy to use. Nice.
- "Reaction time" of the 830 is much, much faster than for the 820. The faster processor works. It changes the user experience. Satellite acquisition is instantaneous. Power meter calibration is much faster. It's a better experience all the way around.
- And let's get back to power meter calibration. With the 820, calibration of a Garmin Vector was always quick and easy. But if your power meter happened to be made by somebody else, Garmin punished you for it. It took one swipe and SIX button pushes to calibrate a Stages power meter and six button pushes to get back out after you were done. With the 830, life is good . . . even for owners of non-Garmin power meters! With the 830, you awaken your power meter, swipe down, and voila! The power meter calibration button is RIGHT THERE! One swipe. One button push. And. You're. Done! Thanks, Garmin! This improvement is much appreciated. And it impacts every ride I take.
Well, those are my impressions after day one. When you open the box on your new 830, allocate a couple hours for map and software updates. But once the unit is up and ready, it's a great experience. In my opinion, it's a big improvement over the 820. (Anyone want to buy a used Edge 820 in excellent condition?)