d2 hero

What’s new with the New Leica DISTO D2?

By bwauters


After more than 8 years in production, it is time to say goodbye to the 7th generation of the Leica DISTO D2. At the time of its 2008 launch, the D2 was revolutionary in its compact size, light weight and great value. Many called it the best laser distance meter they ever used. Many still do.

So why stop the production, you ask?

 Frankly speaking, after a great run, it was time to retool. 

Times have changed since the D2 hit the streets. Smartphones and apps are two things that immediately come to mind. But rather than get all sentimental, I’ll revert back to my default “ engineer” mode and explain what has changed in the D2 New. In no specific order…

The new D2 features our latest measuring engine that is ISO 16331-1 certified. What does that mean to you? Fast, accurate and reliable measurements, proven and traceable to a calibrated standard. After all, accuracy and efficiency are the primary reason why most people by a laser distance meter.  An ISO certification simply guarantees that the measuring range and accuracy listed in the specifications are based on a known standard. Every new D2 is delivered with an ISO certification and calibration certificate for YOUR ACTUAL DISTO SERIAL NUMBER in the box.  If you use a measuring laser that isn’t ISO certified, you might be introducing errors into your work that you don’t know about. Do you need something else to worry about today?

A side benefit of sticking our latest (and best) measuring engine in the new D2 is the 67% increase of range, up to 100m (330’). We could have bumped up the accuracy to 1mm, but based on customer research we decided to keep the 1.5mm (1/16”) and extend the range. The actual end-user feedback said accuracy was not an issue (a hallmark of Leica DISTOs). The extended range and 1.5mm accuracy keep the new D2 in the sweet-spot for the interior trades – whether you are in the early stages (partition wall layout) or the later stage (window covering measurement). 

On the topic of window covering, the new D2 has the same intelligent endpiece delivered with our higher priced models. This clever mechanical device is one of the best kept secrets of a Leica DISTO. The endpiece allows you to measure diagonals measurements very accurate, together with Min-Max tracking. Folding-out the end endpiece automatically changes the measurement reference from the back of the tool to the very tip of the endpiece. Watch this video to understand better. Simply returning the end-piece back to its stored position resets the measurement reference to the end of the tool. One more may that a Leica DISTO makes your measurements more accurate.

If you feel like there is a trend toward Bluetooth® BT4.0 in Leica DISTO tools, you’re right. If you are one of the 2,000,000,000 people that have or will get a smart phone in 2016, chances are our D2 new will interface to your “modern” phone.  We are working hard to increase the number of apps and programs that interface with Leica DISTO measuring tools. If you know of an app that we should connect with, contact us. So, what does this mean? Frankly, when it comes to connecting two pieces of hardware, there is no such thing as “future proof”, but with the new D2, you are at least “future resistant”.

Something you can never learn from a spec sheet is how the new D2 fits in your hand, or your tool belt (or messenger bag…). The new D2 builds on the size and form factor of the most used Leica DISTO in the world and adds a bright white display and more comfortable soft grip. Of course, the simple keypad, multiple measuring functions and even the “beep” are still there. The painter function was added, worth a short review in you need to quickly estimate wall covering areas. 

Only time will tell how the new Leica DISTO D2 is accepted by end users. I am pretty optimistic. There is an art to taking a winning product and improving it while keeping the spirit of what made the product good to start. A lot of companies have done this well, one of my favorites is here (my personal views, not those of the company!).  Overall I am really impressed with the D2’s second revision.