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Garmin eTrex Legend HCx Personal Navigator
|Price:||$399.99 & FREE Shipping|
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- High-Sensitivity, WAAS-Enabled GPS Receiver Provides Peak Performance In Any Environment
- Lightweight, Compact & Waterproof
- Built-In Basemap With Automatic Routing Capability
- Features A 1.7-InchH X 1.3-InchW Screen With 256-Level Color Tft
- Connects To Computer'S Usb For High-Speed Map Downloads
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|Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping||FREE Shipping|
|Sold By||Electromax||Amazon.com||Amazon.com||Blue Sky Co.|
|Item Weight||5.5 ounces||Information not provided||0.58 lb||5.5 ounces|
|Item Dimensions||1.2 x 2.2 x 4.2 in||4 x 2.1 x 1.3 in||4.2 x 1.4 x 6.3 in||1.2 x 2.2 x 4.2 in|
|Screen Size||2.14 in||2.2 in||2.6||2 in|
|Battery Average Life||25 hours||25 hours||Information not provided||25 hours|
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Besides appreciating its small size, users will also be happy with the Legend HCx's unique button layout, with five buttons located on either side of the unit. The benefits of this design are twofold: First, the Legend HCx is a breeze to operate with just one hand, and, second, with the buttons on both sides of the unit, the bulk of the front is dedicated to the 256-color, sunlight-readable TFT display. This makes it easy to distinguish map details regardless of the time of day.
The Legend HCx basemap, meanwhile, contains lakes, rivers, cities, interstates, national and state highways, railroads, and coastlines--in short, a host of helpful details for your outdoor adventures. Other details include an IPX7 waterproof housing that withstands inclement weather, a speedy USB interface, 1,000 waypoints with names and graphic symbols, a track log with 20 saved tracks, a hunt/fish calendar, a built-in patch antenna, and a geocaching mode. The Legend HCx, which runs for up to 25 hours on a pair of AA batteries (not included), measures 2.2 by 4.2 by 1.2 inches (W x H x D) and is backed by a one-year warranty.
What's in the Box
eTrex Legend HCx, basemap, MapSource Trip & Waypoint Manager software, USB cable, wrist strap, quick start guide, user's manual.
Top Customer Reviews
Some of the things I really like about it are, for one, that the buttons are located on the side of the unit near the top. This becomes particularly relevant when the unit is actually in use IN your hand. Your fingers are at the top, the display is at the bottom and you can manipulate the buttons without your hand blocking the display. This may sound like a minor thing, but it's not.
Another thing I've come to appreciate is it's relatively small size and... well... "roundedness". The Legend doesn't have one of those protruding antennas which, for some reason, always seems to be a problem for me somehow; always poking something or taking up space. The Legend is small, round and "pockets" easily (yes, I'm using a noun in the verb tense, deal with it; you know what I mean).
Let's see... What else to say about this unit. Well it's got WAAS. Believe me, you want that in a GPS unit. It acquires satellites quickly and I've never been at a loss for a good, solid signal (very confidence inspiring when you're deep in the back country). The color display is nice, details are easy to read and work with. The little thing that looks like a button on the top left of the units display is actually a tiny joystick, or mouse, that you use to move the pointer on the display and/or make menu choices by pressing down (much like a mouse-click). I find this a niftier solution than using buttons or a scroll-wheel sort of thing. Battery life seems pretty good to me using either alkaline or NiMH (I prefer to use the latter) and there's a setup option where you can choose which type of battery you're using in the device since the two types of batteries have different discharge profiles. Sweet that it also accepts SD cards for additional map storage.
Regarding the use of 4GB memory cards: Previously my review stated that this unit worked with 4GB memory cards. Well, now it appears that while the unit will in fact ACCEPT a 4GB card, it will only RECOGNIZE 2GB. That's still a ton of maps but a little disappointing nonetheless. However, just to give you an idea of how many maps that is: I have 24K TOPO maps for ALL of CA, NV, UT and AZ, as well as street level maps for just over half the United States (west to east from California to around Kansas and border-to-border north to south), all loaded on a single 2GB card with around 300MB of memory remaining on the card. This is using Garmin TOPO maps and free street-level maps from gpsfiledepot dot com (an awesome source for free maps for your Garmin GPS by the way).
If you like to go geocaching this unit should get your consideration. Lots of options specifically for geocaching in particular. I can easily upload cache locations right off geocaching dot com, modify the entry if I need to, add a quick note and be off 'caching in no time.
The Legend also has a lot of cool features that are just plain sweet to have even if you don't use them every day. The only thing missing on the Legend that I can think of that some of the pricier units have is the Altimeter. The Legend has the Compass, the Tracking/Backtracking options ("bread crumbs"), the Odometer, a Proximity Alert... All the cool "bells-and-whistles" type stuff.
Map facts you should be aware of: 1) The unit ships with a VERY basic install of maps. By this I mean interstates and major through-streets and that's about it. If you want TOPO maps and/or city navigation (residential & side streets, points of interest, stuff like that) you'll have to buy, and install, Garmin map products. 2) Garmin map products are NOT cheap. You might want to research how much they get for their TOPO maps and/or City Navigator software packages if you're new to the whole GPS thing. With a little research you can also find places that offer Garmin-compatible maps that are (legally) free to download and install. The proprietary nature of GPS units and the maps they work with is not unique to Garmin either. If you go with, say, Magellan, you'll need Magellan map products; you can't "mix and match" as far as I know.
All in all I love this unit. It does it all and does it with a nice, compact form-factor. I really can't see spending more on a GPS unit. This one does so much for the price it really feels like I hit the sweet spot between price and performance.
Pro-Tip: Get a screen protector, one of those tough plastic sheets that people put on their iPods and such. The ones designed for the Microsoft Zune work well, even if a bit too small to cover the entire display, they do protect the essential part you really need protected. A set of protectors will set you back about $8 or so. That's pretty cheap insurance.
Regarding the use of 4GB memory cards. It appears that while the unit will ACCEPT a 4GB card, it will onlyr recognize 2GB. That's still a ton of maps but still a little disappointing I guess. Still, to give you an idea of how many maps that is: I have 24K TOPO maps for ALL of CA, NV, UT and AZ as well as street level maps for just over half the United States (west to east from California to around Kansas and border-to-border north to south) loaded on a 2GB card) with around 300MB left over.
The expandable memory option (Cx) of the etrex series allows you to store a tremendous amount of map info. I installed the TOPO and City Navigator Mapsets for the entire state of CA and I am able to switch between mapsets. When I am on the trail, I "hide" the other mapsets and "show"/use the TOPO mapset. When driving on the road, I switch to City Navigator to get turn by turn navigation to my destination.
The only cons about the etrex series is that they have a small screen to view while driving and the menus/control button configuration are complex. I had to install my unit right on the steering column for driving. It took me awhile to learn and use all the features of the City Navigator and to switch between mapsets. But, for a pocket size all around GPS with excellent battery life, these are acceptable compromises.
Pros: Light weight, small size, fits great in one hand.
Can be operated completely with one hand.
Display is amongst the sharpest and brightest I have ever seen.
Very intuitive and simple to use for anyone except possibly a newbie to GPS navigation.
Battery life seems endless.
Ability to map a route to a destination address entered at the unit with the City Navigator software installed - the entire U.S. and Canada detailed road maps and POI fit on a single 1 GB micro-SD flash card.
Useful in your car or outdoors for hiking, boating, fishing, snowmobiling, motorcycling, etc.
A true all-in-one GPS solution for a low price.
Cons: Small display compared to Nuvi series and other non-outdoor GPS units.
No voice directions - it has two types of tones to alert you to pending and imminent turns.
You need to add $120 worth of City Navigator mapping software to enable the auto-routing by address or point of interest functions.
The click-stick 5-way joystick navigation device is not the easiest thing to use to move around the maps and menus.
Overall I am very happy with my purchase and I expect to get at least 5 or 6 years of good use from this before I will be looking at replacements. Garmin quality and service has been excellent in my opinion; my eMap still works, though it will likely be relegated to a desk drawer.