Sunday, October 9, 2011

Does the eTrex 10 Have What it Takes to be a Garmin

Are you looking for a new handheld GPS for Geocaching? Maybe you have a camping trip coming up and you don’t want to be the guy that got lost in the woods. Not all GPS units are made equal. In fact, if you get the wrong GPS you could find yourself wondering aimlessly looking for a satellite signal. There is a handheld GPS in every price range. There is no reason to be lost in the wilderness.

Garmin is getting ready to release their latest addition to the handheld GPS market. The first addition is the eTrex 10. Garmin did a great job expanding the features while maintaining the reliability the eTrex units are known for.

For starters, the eTrex 10 handheld GPS gets a new user interface making it easier than ever to use While not a mapping GPS unit, the eTrex 10 does get a worldwide base map. The basemap may do little more than add some eye candy to the interface. It is a nice touch though. You can see the new basemap on its 2.2 inch monochrome display.

In addition paperless geocaching functionality is available. The new and improved eTrex 10 now lets you go on geocache hunts without the paper. This unit supports GPX files so you can download all of the details for your next geocache adventure. It will store and display key information such as location, terrain, difficulty, hints and descriptions. No need for paper or manually entering coordinates.

In addition to that this barely over $100 GPS unit is WAAS enabled and uses Garmin’s Hot Fix satellite prediction software. Together these features will locate your position much more quickly. In addition WAAS, as you’ll know from our Handheld GPS Review intro, increases accuracy from 50 ft down to 10 ft.

GPS enthusiasts are probably well aware of the benefits of the soon to be functional GLONASS network. GLONASS works already it just doesn’t have worldwide coverage just yet. If you’re wondering why we’re talking about a Russian satellite network, guess what? Well the eTrex 10 is the first consumer grade receiver that can track both GPS and GLONASS satellites simultaneously. GLONASS reduces time to lock position is 20% faster and by having access to both means you will receive signals from double the number of satellites than with GPS alone. GLONASS is expected to be available in 2012.

One handed operation is still a breeze with the nav buttons on the sides as with previous models. The design allows you to access everything with one hand and if it’s anything like the other units people report it can be easily used even with gloves on. This is a great feature for skiiers, hunters, and those who find themselves in a cold climate. Take a look at the picture and see where the joystick button is now placed. They finally moved this feature to the right to cater to us right handed people. With a majority of the world being right handed you would have thought this was a no brainer. Earlier models had it on the left side though. For most of us when we tried to use it we covered the screen with our big paws. This is a minor change, but a much needed one.

From the initial reports the Garmin eTrex 10 looks like it will be a fantastic unit. The eTrex 10 hasn’t hit the shelves just yet but many retailers are accepting pre-orders. For a more in depth Garmin eTrex 10 Review visit our website. We’ll update it once it hits the market and let you know what other users are saying about this bold new device.





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