'A GOOD PRODUCT LET DOWN BY THE PC LINK AND SOFTWARE.'
Strengths: The device itself operates well and the display is clear and easy to read.
Weaknesses: I have used a Forerunner 201 for over 3 years and have found the cradle that links the device to a PC to be unreliable. Mine stopped working completely and to their credit Garmin replaced the whole product. After some time the new one has again stopped working and I can no longer download although I can still use the device.
I haven't tried to get my Forerunner repaired again as I had already found that the PC software supplied by Garmin (Forerunner Logbook v2.5) to be inadequate and had stopped using it.
There are many problems with this software. The most annoying being that you cannot organise the data on a 'per run' basis so it is very hard to look back to compare performances. I'd expect to be able to enter my favourite runs and to then to easily see a record of my results for each run.
Also the package automatically summarises the results on a weekly basis where monthly or annually would be of more use.
Unfortunately, there are no ways to graphically present any of the data at all.
The layout of the buttons on the device isn't very ergonomic as you need to really look at the device to be sure you are pressing the correct key whilst running.
Generally I have found the device to be accurate on longish runs to around 2% which is pretty good. It does however fairly easily loose the satellite link near trees etc and the readings for elevation are not very accurate.
Overall: I have found the Forerunner to be useful and to do its main job of recording speed and distance well with reasonable accuracy.
Most of the design effort seems to have been put into the device itself which is let down by the poor PC link and analysis software.
It is to be hoped that Garmin have learnt these lessons in the design of the new Forerunner.