110 of 128 people found the following review helpful
Great mid-level handheld,
This review is from: Garmin eTrex 20 Worldwide Handheld GPS Navigator (Wireless Phone Accessory)
The first review of this unit lamented that, while listed on Amazon, it wasn't actually available yet. That has changed. It's now available, and I have it within arm's reach as I'm typing this.
I liked the features listed for the eTrex 20, and awaited the late September release date before upgrading from my old Magellan handheld GPS. The eTrex 20 has so far proven to be everything it was advertised to be - lightweight, easy to use, and with a sensitive receiver. One of the factors that motivated me to upgrade was how fast the Garmins that my wife and son have were to lock on to the satellites, versus how much longer it took the old Magellan - this one took less than a minute to find, lock-on, and determine position, while the older unit would still have been searching for satellites.
One of the first things I noticed when using the eTrex 20, was the number of satellites it tracked. This new eTrex series has incorporated the Russian GLONASS system, along with the current GPS satellites. By tracking both systems, the device has more points of data to better calculate position.
The micro SD slot is a nice feature, giving the user the ability to expand the memory, although the built-in 1.7 Gb is nothing to sneeze at. For about ten bucks, enough memory can be added to store more than enough waypoints for an extended trip away from the computer. The micro SD slot is located under the batteries, and thereby protected from the elements.
I'm still learning all the features, and looking forward to putting it through some paces on our next Geocaching adventure. The only drawback I've found so far is that this model line is so new, that GSAK (a utility program used for Geocaching) doesn't have a specific protocol for interfacing with it. This is a relatively minor inconvenience, and one I suspect will be remedied in one of the next revisions of GSAK. Until then, I can load Cache information a couple of other ways.
For a bit more money, you can get the eTrex 30 with more features, or for less, you can buy the base-model eTrex 10. The 20 is a nice balance between them, and I think it's going to suit my needs quite nicely.
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Showing 1-10 of 15 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 24, 2011 10:44:41 AM PDT
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 24, 2011 4:48:01 PM PDT
R. Higginson says:
I mostly went with 4 stars over 5 stars because I've only had the device a short time. By this time next week, I may be quite ready to bump it up to 5 stars. For now, I find that the features and performance that I've had the chance to check so far, places it above average. Four stars leaves room for future reviewers who expect more from their GPS devices to rate higher, if this device meets or exceeds their expectations as well, while still expressing that I am very happy with it.
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 24, 2011 4:55:13 PM PDT
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 26, 2011 11:25:28 AM PDT
David D. Busch says:
Posted on Sep 30, 2011 12:38:27 PM PDT
rob p jennings says:
In reply to an earlier post on Sep 30, 2011 12:47:43 PM PDT
David D. Busch says:
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 1, 2011 11:18:30 AM PDT
rob, other dealers get the unit before Amazon does. There are several people with this unit now.
Posted on Oct 4, 2011 12:53:45 PM PDT
Jason Wood says:
Do you think it is worth buying the $130 map upgrade? Or does the mapping that comes stock work well enough? Just curious if it's worth the money to upgrade. Thanks!
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 4, 2011 12:57:18 PM PDT
Jason, did you've hear about torrents and FREE worldwide maps?:) I'm just curious...
In reply to an earlier post on Oct 4, 2011 1:25:38 PM PDT
R. Higginson says:
Sorry for the delay in replying. We were on vacation this past week, and had minimal internet access. I bought mine through a local outdoors dealer here in Tucson. They had just gotten them in that morning. From other replies, it appears that Amazon is now shipping it.