Handheld GPS reviews

Finding your way in the world can cost the earth with some of these handheld GPS.
 
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  • Updated:6 Apr 2009
 

03.Product profiles

Profiles - What to buy

Garmin Oregon 400c

Price: $750 Garmin Oregon 400c

Good points

  • Highest score for ease of use.
  • Took only 30 seconds to acquire a signal under thick foliage.
  • Passed the water immersion test.
  • Touch screen controls very easy to use.
  • Large, high resolution, colour screen.
  • Has a microSD slot.
  • Wireless connectivity with other compatible handheld GPS.
  • Comes with Australian marine charts.
  • Has a barometer and electronic compass.

Bad points

  • Touch screen may be operated unintentionally.
  • Touch screen may show fingermarks.
  • Relatively heavy and bulky unit.
  • Most expensive model on test.

Garmin eTrex Vista HCx

Price: $450 Garmin eTrex Vista HCx

Good points

  • Longest battery life at 26.5 hours.
  • Passed water immersion test.
  • Has a microSD slot.
  • Most compact unit in test.
  • Has a barometer and electronic compass.

Bad points

  • Nothing to mention.

 

Profiles - the rest

Garmin Colorado 300

Price: $600 Garmin Colorado 300

Good points

  • Passed water immersion test.
  • Large, high resolution, colour screen.
  • Has SD slot.
  • Has external antenna port.
  • Has a barometer and electronic compass.
  • Wireless connectivity with other compatible GPSs.

Bad points

  • Largest measured location error of 6.8m.
  • Relatively heavy and bulky unit.

Garmin eTrex H

Price: $150 Garmin eTrex H

Good points

  • Least expensive unit in test.
  • Lightest unit in test.
  • Passed water immersion test.
  • Smallest measured location error of 2.8m.

Bad points

  • Low resolution, monochrome screen.
  • No supplied cable.

After a bargain? The Garmin eTrex H is worth considering as a budget GPS backup to your compass and map. PC or Mac connectivity is an optional extra, but at only $150, it’s a solid basic performer.

Garmin GPSMAP 60

Price: $350 Garmin GPSMAP 60

Good points

  • Average battery life was 22 hours in our tests.
  • Passed water immersion test.
  • Has external antenna port.

Bad points

  • Does not acquire a signal under thick foliage.
  • Monochrome display.
  • Relatively heavy and bulky unit.

Magellan Triton 500

Price: $650 Magellan Triton 500

Good points

  • High resolution colour screen.
  •  Has SD slot.
  • Has a barometer and electronic compass.

Bad points

  • Only scored 46% for ease of use.
  • Failed water immersion test.

Magellan Triton 300

Price: $400 Magellan Triton 300

Good points

  • High resolution colour screen.
  • Has SD slot.

Bad points

  • Scored only 46% for ease of use.
  • Average battery life was 11.5 hours in our tests.
  • Took almost two minutes to acquire a signal under thick foliage.
  • Failed water immersion test. 

Magellan Triton 400

Price: $600 Magellan Triton 400

Good points

  • High resolution colour screen.
  • Has SD slot.

Bad points

  • Scored only 46% for ease of use.
  • Took almost two minutes to acquire a signal under thick foliage.
  • Failed water immersion test.
 

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