Solar charging officially added to the Garmin Edge 540 and 840 GPS computers

Garmin Edge 8400 GPS Cycling Computer showing rider Training Status
(Image credit: Garmin)

It's official, Garmin has announced the Edge 540 and 840 GPS computers. The two new units filter down a number of features from Garmin's best MTB GPS computer the Edge 1040, including new performance metrics, mapping, and solar charging.

Unfortunately for Garmin, the release was somewhat dampened by the fact that two weeks ago the American retailer Adorama jumped the gun, leaking the full details of the upcoming models.

While the release is no longer a surprise, it's no less exciting as the new Edge 540 and 840 bring with them some excellent new features that greatly enhance two of Garmin's most popular models.

The stand-out feature is Garmin's addition of solar charging Power Glass to the 800 and 500 series. Garmin has been filtering down Solar charging through its adventure watches all the way down the Instinct 2. It was first featured on the 1040 GPS computer so it was only a matter of time before we saw it featured on more GPS computers.

When harvesting the sun's energy, the Edge 540 and 840 are quoted to give 32 hours (with 75,000 lux of sunlight), or 26 hours for the standard, non-solar model. In battery saver mode Garmin says that Solar adds up to 25 minutes per hour, achieving 60 hours with solar or 42 hours without.

There will still be a non-solar version for those that don't need extra battery life, which will retail for $100 / £100 less.

Mountain biker riding a loamy berm

Garmin 540 gets a number of updates including riding and training metrics (Image credit: Garmin)

The other big upgrade is enhanced positioning accuracy via multi-band GNSS technology, which should offer improved tracking under thick tree cover. To complement the improved accuracy, Garmin has updated the mapping too with ride type-specific maps that use Trendline Popularity Routing to identify popular routes.

New features to the 540 and 840 include cycling ability and course demands, plus targeted adaptive coaching which helps focus training on specific requirements as well as personalized coaching daily suggested workouts and training prompts.

There are also new metrics while you are riding too. Real-Time Stamina, Power Guide, and ClimbPro 2.0 ascent planner all help you manage your efforts on big rides. The Garmin climbing screen was already a feature on previous devices, but it now no longer needs a route loaded to work.

Pricing and release date

All four of Garmin's new devices are on sale today with immediate worldwide availability, visit Garmin.com for more information.

Pricing is as follows

Garmin Edge 540: $349.99 / £349.99 / €399.99
Garmin Edge 540 Solar: $449.99 / £449.99 / €499.99
Garmin Edge 840: $449.99 / £449.99 / €499.99
Garmin Edge 840 Solar: $549.99 / £519.99 / €599.99

Graham Cottingham
Senior reviews writer, Bike Perfect

Graham is all about riding bikes off-road. With almost 20 years of riding experience, he has dabbled in downhill, enduro, and gravel racing. Not afraid of a challenge, Graham has embraced bikepacking over the last few years and likes nothing more than strapping some bags to his bike and covering big miles to explore Scotland's wildernesses. When he isn’t shredding the gnar in the Tweed Valley, sleeping in bushes, or tinkering with bikes, he is writing tech reviews for Bike Perfect.

Rides: Cotic SolarisMax, Stooge MK4, 24 Bicycles Le Toy 3, Surly Steamroller

Height: 177cm

Weight: 71kg