Summary: If you're looking...and understand how to use...or are a technology geek, it's a nice GPS and a good value. The Garmin ETrex Vista is OK. Walmart had a great deal at $149 just before Christmas. However, it did not have any preloaded topographic maps as I thought the description said, so worthless to see how it might work on my hiking trails. I couldn't get the compass or altimeter to work easily.
Summary: I bought this GPS mainly for use while kayaking in Minnesota and Wisconsin. The GPS itself is very nice, with tons of usable features, and is an excellent value. The color screen works great, and a lot of thought went into making this fine handheld GPS. Of course the GPS is only minimally useful without the optional maps, as are almost all similar GPS units, and I have no complaints about that, but the fact is, their Inland Lakes software is not up to par, and that flaws...
Summary: This unit is not easy to use. It takes some time to get used to. Once you get used to - it is very detailed and powerful GPS. If you are outdoor person and you are not looking for fancy graphics - this is device for you. Very accurate on the road and trails. Battery last forever. You can transfer your tracks to google map or google earth with [...]. It does not come with detailed maps, be prepared to pay more. The detailed maps are not always up to date.
Summary: First I have to say I have been a professional computer programmer since 1978 and our industry generally agrees that the Programmers who work for the two GPS maker's are the worst in the industry. After buying the Vista HCx I see that this "myth" hasn't had reason to change. Given that all GPS software looks like it was written by someone who learned how to program 5 minutes ago, the Vista HCx is a good single-function GPS unit.
Summary: Be aware this product is virtually useless right out of the box. It works fine but the included map has detail down to my nearest interstate and no further. You have to buy more detailed maps to do anything useful. The included software is ancient but functional. A lanyard is provided but you'll need a microscope and tweezers to thread it though the connection point. A belt clip is optional and the necessary AA batteries are not included.
Summary: Overall the Garmin eTrex Vista HCx is a good - not great - product. The high-sensitivity receiver is the most important point. Even with heavy brush and tree cover (or in a car or house) the unit keeps on track. AA batteries, Waterproof, PC interface, Ability to add maps... like Topo... great. I'm not sure if the extra expense for the Electronic compass and Barometric altimeter were worth the money. They have to be recalibrated all the time. Legend vs. Vista.