The Ambit watch is Suunto's latest GPS-enabled watch, following up on the X10. The package is designed to provide outdoor athletes with a suite of tools - GPS, sports computer, heart rate monitor - to train and adventure successfully. The data gathered can then be shared at Suunto's online training community, where there are more tools and features.

Essentially an updated version of the Suunto X10, the Ambit provides a combination of navigation and performance-tracking features that Suunto says makes it the go-to watch for outdoor athletes, from casual hikers to hard-charging mountaineers.

You can use the GPS to track or route waypoints and navigate your way to and from your destination. The watch also includes a three-dimensional compass and barometric altimeter to help in your navigational efforts.

On the performance side, the Ambit uses an integrated accelerometer along with the GPS to track your performance via such measures as speed and distance. The accelerometer helps to improve accuracy over what you'd get from GPS alone. With help from the barometric altimeter, the watch also provides data on your vertical and climbing speed. The barometer can also give you insight into pending weather trends, allowing you to retreat when necessary or press ahead when practical.

When you equip the Ambit with the optional heart rate belt, it doubles as a heart rate monitor. Suunto's Peak Training Effect aims to keep you within your optimal training rate, while the Recovery Time function lets you know when you've fully recovered from one workout and are ready to move on to the next.

When you get back inside, you can upload your data to Suunto's Web community for analysis, discussion and planning. Users can also upgrade the Ambit with any software updates and new features through the site.

Like most any Suunto watch, the Ambit is large, but it didn't seem quite as oversized and bulky as the typical GPS watch, when we saw it for ourselves. It was relatively lightweight and low profile, at least insofar as GPS monitors go. The picture below shows the thickness of the watch.

The Ambit watch will hit the market in March. It will retail for US$550, or $600 with the heart rate belt, and will be available with both black and silver dials.

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