192 of 219 people found the following review helpful
Overall much improved but lost a bit in the process,
This review is from: Garmin eTrex 20 Worldwide Handheld GPS Navigator (Electronics)
Presumably atypically I use eTrex units nearly exclusively for road navigation and often calculate long routes.
I've used a Legend Cx extensively and it's showing its age so I was glad to see the introduction of the 20. I toyed with buying a Nuvi but don't care for the design as it lacks configurability and water resistance, uses a touchscreen, doesn't lend itself well to a motorcycle or kayak or walking when you want to walk.
The Legend Cx routinely takes several minutes to calculate in addition to slow map `drawing' times and I'm pleased to note Garmin improved calculating speed significantly. I used the two side by side for quite a while and the 20 calculates in roughly 1/3 the time (still noticeably slower than the Nuvis I've used). Additionally the map drawing time is much reduced.
Satellite acquisition and retention is quite a bit better: if you turn on both simultaneously the 20 will acquire enough signal to navigate in a fraction of the time; if you compare the 'Satellite' pages there are usually at least half again as many 'bars' on the 20 (and that's all before the GLONASS thingy is turned on).
The former mushiness of the perimeter buttons has been replaced by buttons which 'click' and the notorious rubber gasket (prone to eventual loosening) is gone.
The various menu screens are changed: previously you had 12 options to select on the `Find' page - now there are 6. They are more legible and you can arrange them in the order you prefer.
I'm still disappointed Garmin makes you cough up $80ish for a functional (read: turn by turn directions) road map but they're making progress on that front - you can now buy `lifetime' maps instead of having to purchase `updates'. And I guess I can't blame them for capitalizing on what they can capitalize on, while they can.
Plus I have to admit: Garmin's phone customer service is usually well above average (thanks, Rocky!) and that costs something.
They changed the mounting connector design so you can no longer use your old car/bike/whatever mount. The new design is an improvement, though: more secure and not a piece you have to screw on.
And they took the `Exits' category out of the `Find' menu: why, Garmin? Such a useful tool it was.
To sum: if you're an eTrex fan this incarnation is IMO an impressive advance RE processing and map drawing speed. The maps more closely resemble the Nuvis.
I have no reason to believe it won't be as reliable (IME close to bulletproof) as previous units. And the rustish/red/orange color is cool.
I like mine a lot.
Update: one VERY useful feature for travellers the old eTrex units didn't have is now you can 'Search Near' a 'A Recent Find'.
I also discovered if you 'Review Point' the phone number if available is provided - nice, although the microscopic font errs on the side of 'white space'. :)
It crashes occasionally (I reckon I'm asking more of it than it was designed for); less often after I updated the software but there's no apparent rhyme or reason.
Still and all after using mine for many scores of thousands of miles I remain well pleased with the improvements.
Another update: after spending some time (Garmin's customer service came through again) downloading NT South America City Navigator and flying to Chile my 20 has been indispensable: it would be virtually impossible for me (ignorante el norte Americano) to navigate around Santiago specifically and the country generally without electronic help from the sky.
Tracked by 5 customers
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Showing 1-10 of 13 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Oct 12, 2012 5:26:43 PM PDT
Synard Bert says:
Does it support multiple languages? And if so what are they?
Posted on Oct 13, 2012 9:29:50 AM PDT
Douglas Wighton says:
You sound like an experienced user. We just purchased an Etrex 20 bundle and can't for the life of us figure out how you get the microSD card in the unit. I am assuming you must load it to a computer but I can't even figure out how to get the card in my computer. Appears there is a spot but it slides out and doesn't seem to fit the card in the slide. Help.
Posted on Oct 14, 2012 6:46:05 PM PDT
Nice review, but why is Amazon showing it for the eTrex 10?
Posted on Oct 15, 2012 5:34:49 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Oct 15, 2012 5:46:00 PM PDT]
In reply to an earlier post on Nov 28, 2012 8:56:28 PM PST
Brian Smith says:
microSD cards need an adapter to make them fit the standard, larger, SD card readers. You can buy them with the micro SD card or separately for a few bucks.
I don't own the GPS unit but the microSD card ought to fit a TINY, little slot on the inside of the unit. Try looking inside the battery compartment. Also, the downloaded user manual ought to identify this feature.
Posted on Jan 7, 2013 8:46:10 AM PST
Quick Question. I live in west Africa and want to venture away from the main road on my DirtBike. Can I set a waypoint at the road using this GPS and then once I decide I want to get back to the road just hit a couple of buttons and get the direction I need to travel in order to get back to the previous waypoint. I don't need it to track trails or roads I just need an "as the corw flys" direction to travel, so that I can get back to the main road. Any help would be appreciated. Also if you can reccomend a device that would do what I want for less money I would appreciate that. Thank you
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 10, 2013 4:41:49 PM PST
Kenneth E. says:
Open the back, remove the batteries, the card slot is under batteries.
In reply to an earlier post on Feb 26, 2013 8:29:55 PM PST
Robert Smith says:
Kenneth, or anyone, since I can find no reference to being able to connect with a vehicle power cable I probably am hoping for too much. Amazon says some customers buy a vehicle power cable when buying a handheld unit. Is there a handheld that can be powered through a car lighter socket? I would like to use a handheld, powered through a 12V DC connection in an ultralight aircraft. Using topo maps on a handheld it's much easier to determine where you are, which ravine, draw etc when flying low level in remote areas. Is there a handheld that can be powered by 12VDC?
Posted on Apr 28, 2013 4:41:13 PM PDT
Michael Rowland says:
Nice review..helped make my decision.