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First Impressions of My eXplorist GC
May 23, 2010
1:27 am
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mitchdm
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May 13, 2010
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Summary -- So far Magellan has a hit with this product IMHO. For the price this device cannot be beat for a geocacher! Even 1.0 release of firmware was quite solid...only one major issue I noted so far is my loaded geocaches don't include my 'found' status. :cheer:

Pros (greatly outweighs the cons!)
[ul]Small form factor...fits in the palm of my hand, but not exactly a pocket GPSr
Excellent base map with all all real roads except for those built in the last year or so. Shading to indicate parks. (No base POIs, but that is what my car GPS is for)
Excellent price point $199 ($176 with AAA membership from their site)
Designed for Geocaching! The cache details and layout
10,000 geocaches! (took only about 10 minutes to transfer them all (no images), but expect a large wait time (5 -10 minutes?) after FIRST rebooting while it populates the DB from the transferred GPX file)
GSAK and geocaching direct import (no more VantagePoint monkey in the middle like the Triton series!)
Zoom down to 10ft scale!
True ad-hoc paperless caching (I haven't tried including images for ALL 10K to see if that is possible, but I did try it for one)
Standard USB port for transfer
Decent battery life (I haven’t fully tested this, but specs are good and ANYTHING is better than Triton series)
Takes standard AA batteries (so I can always have a spare)
Intuitive user interface...most of my needs/desires have been anticipated and I am a picky users! (still need more field testing however)
Decent GPS chip (SiRFstar III)
Waypoint Projection (haven't used it yet, but I wished my old Triton model had it a couple of times)[/ul]
Cons (the key is no show stoppers!...some to be expected for price point and others should be fixed with firmware upgrade)
[ul]Small screen (but nice to have a ‘palmable’ GPSr and preserves battery life)
Battery cover tricky to get on (since water proof these tend to be tight fits, but after half dozen tries I haven’t mastered the trick)
USB cover also a pain to open (darn water proof feature strikes again)
No touch screen (but not realistic to expect give price point)
No ability to upload my own maps such as Topos (yet...maybe that will come in time with firmware upgrade)
No tri-axle compass (again not realistic for price point AND have to calibrate to have it work, but very nice when it is working!)
The joystick to move the cursor AND select/click has been hard for me to get used to...I click when I am just trying to move resulting in undesirable results like entering characters I didn't want
My "Found" status was not imported (hopefully fixed with firmware upgrade ASAP)
Startup time is about 40 seconds until menu (this was quicker with no caches, but got significantly longer after I maxed out the 10K caches)
small print in some cases (to be honest I don't have a problem with the size, but I wanted to note this is a concern depending on your sight)
[/ul]

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