Leica makes great laser distance measure devices, and the E7100i is no exception. The E7100i has just enough punch and features to be the suitable choice in the Disto line for pretty much any adjuster. If you think you need a device that measures beyond 200ft, there are models in the Disto line that can do that as well. Let’s have a look at the E7100i from top to bottom, and how it works for the independent adjuster.
Leica is an internationally recognized brand that made it’s name designing top line cameras. The simple yet highly functional design of their cameras has definitely influenced the Disto line of laser distance measurers. The E7100i is lightweight, weighing just 3 1/4 ounces with the batteries installed, which is probably less than your smart phone. It’s small, yet not so small that it makes handling it a chore, and has rigid sides for easy grip. It not only fits in your pocket but also in your personal bag or tool pouch with ease. Add this to your tool belt, and you may not even notice.
The screen on the E7100i is very strait-forward, and displays your measurements in an easy to read manner no matter what mode you’re measuring in. The buttons on the front of the Disto are just the right size and provide ample tactile response so you’ll know when you’re pressing it on the mark, even with gloves on.
Setup: Simple, but…
There really is no setup to the E7100i, you can simply install the batteries, fire it up and start measuring. But for our purposes, we’re setting it up to use with sketch in an iPad. Without reading into it, we intuitively went into the bluetooth settings of the iPad to pair the devices, but we couldn’t get the iPad to even see the Disto when we scanned for it. After a little bit of deep thought, we realized that you had to be inside Sketch to get the E7100i to appear and pair. Once we did that, super easy. The Disto instantly becomes a powerful and fast tool for use while sketching a home on site.
Using the Disto in Xactimate sketch was super easy. Drop a room into your sketch, highlight the measurement you want to change, and with your Disto already paired to the device you’ll see a little message in sketch saying “listening for Disto”. Simply place the Disto base at the end of what you want to measure like a wall, and the laser will show up at the opposite end of the wall. Press the bluetooth button when you’re lined up correctly, and the distance is sent to sketch and your layout changes to the new measurement. It takes a few uses to get used to holding it in a way that you can press the bluetooth buttons easily with your forefinger. Once you get the hang of it, you’re cruising. Use the Disto inside and outside as well, the laser is powerful enough to work in the brightest conditions.
The Disto e7100i is definitely worth the investment for any independent adjuster that wants to improve their sketch time. Even if you don’t sketch on an iPad, and prefer to do it on your laptop on site with stand, or even if you do it on paper, the Disto is must have. This device is a breeze to start using and will pay for itself quickly.
The Disto E7100i measures up to 200 feet with 1. 5mm (~1/16 inch) accuracy. Features include 2 line back light display, area calculations, continuous measuring mode. Units of measure include your choice of feet/inches/fractions, inches/fractions, decimal feet, and metric. It’s powered with 2 AAA batteries and includes a lanyard and nylon pouch.