Great Hardware, Awful Documentation, Poor Software
Fine Games for Players & Collectors "A Carefu..., Amazon
2 February 2011
Summary: GARMIN Vista HCX Overall, this is a highly functional & useful GPS that suffers mightily from the near-total failure of the manufacturer to even attempt to adequately document the product's rich feature-set. It allows you to travel with a handheld library of small scale topo maps and info about a hit-&-miss assortment of business (advertisers, presumably), yet requires you to use Garmin's own overpriced, poorly implemented, and proprietary map software to do so.
Summary: I bought this GPS for my fiance as a Christmas present. We love to take our dogs out on hiking adventures & go Geocaching together. Before buying the Garmin, we used an old B&W screen GPS with basic compass; it had none of the bells & whistles the Garmin offers. I decided to buy the Garmin because of the many great features: the electronic compass, altimeter, color screen, expandable memory & the ability to download coordinates quickly right onto the GPS.
Summary: I bought it to replace my old Garmin Etrex Vista and I am very happy with it. When comparing it to my older model these are the main differences: Pros: * Really high sensitivity. Now it always works inside the car, and it always works when hiking in the forest. You can just drop it into your pocket or backpack. * Routing capability. Very useful if you have a good map, even if it doesn't give voice commands.
Summary: I've had this almost a month now, use it almost every day when I run now to keep track of both my route and statistics. Anyway, just now the battery has gone down a bar. It has amazing sensitivity and battery life. The worst part to me is that what comes out of the box is an almost empty map. All you see is a blank screen. Does anyone say "Yay, that's just what I wanted!"? One alternative is to buy Garmin's street and topo maps for about the same price as the product.
Summary: This is a wonderful GPS. I can get connected from inside my house! We are new to geocaching, but a family member showed us the ropes to get started. We just download our geocaches directly from the website and put it on the compass and we are off on our adventures. We really love this GPS. The only disappointment was that it does not come with preloaded maps. The maps are expensive to buy.
Summary: --If you are new as I am to this type device, it is going to take patient practice and focused reading to get comfortable with it. After all, this device is essentially a computer calling for point by point feature mastery. --As with any keyboard, so with the 5 buttons and rocker switch: I had to get past the frequent error of hitting zoom instead of the "menu-find" key. No problem now. --I am happy with the precision of the device.
One rugged, dependable GPS. Worked very well, though it takes time to become comfortable using this GPS to its full potential.
Praveen Kharb, Amazon
30 October 2009
Summary: I was looking for a GPS for my trek across Ladakh (Himalayas, India). This one fit the bill well and the purpose too. Here in India, forget about downloadable maps, we do not even get printed topographic maps of that area (but for the Olizane editions). So I pre-fed the GPS with coordinates that I took from Google Earth and Wikimapia. The GPS has an altimeter which was a good thing to use in the mountains.
Summary: This was my first stand-alone GPS unit. I purchased about a year ago primarily to log routes for geotagging photos, as well as aspirations to start doing some geocaching (which I have yet to get around to, but I will!) After researching several units I settled on this one, which includes the microSD memory slot (absolutely necessary if you will be downloading additional maps to the device). The color screen wasn't in my requirements but is a nice upgrade.
Summary: We bought this for geocaching and have done very well with this. It takes us within 5 feet of a cache. It's worked very well under a thick cover of trees. Doesn't work to well inside a cinder block store. ;-) The only thing that can be a little annoying is the toggle button as it can be a little sensitive sometimes. We've downloaded free topo maps from GPSfiledepot that work wonderfully with the HCX.