Summary: This is a great GPS for geocaching. It works well with geocaching.com and a Windows PC. Do not attempt to use it with a Mac. I could not find a single third party piece of software that would work with Mac. If you have a PC, like most of the world grab one of these.
Summary: I purchased the Magellan Explorist 500 used on Amazon and after reading the instructions and a little hands on use was able to upload maps from the Mapsend Topo 3D and DirectRoute softwares to an SD Card and then to the unit with no problems. I used the unit to geocache and also for driving instruction.
Summary: I have a Garmin eTrex and I just received this explorist 500 as a gift. I loved the geocaching support in the explorist but it lacks the ability to view the description of the cache rather it shows up to 50 characters of the hint... Hello? most people would rather read the description use the hint as a last resort! The eXplorist was significantly more accurate than the eTrex and got a fix much faster (explorist: 10-15 seconds eTrex: 45s to 2 mins).
Summary: I purchased the Explorist 500 on July 9th after returning my second Garmin Etrex Vista color screen. I use the Explorist for geocaching and am really impressed with this unit. The color screen and map is very good and I like the smaller size. The accuracy is great, even in heavy tree cover and aquires a signal very fast. I admit to being leery about the rechargeable battery, but it seems to hold up to a days caching just fine.
Summary: I own Explorist 500 and Meridian Gold so will review by comparison. When you "upgrade" from Meridian the first thing you notice is how amazingly small the E500 is. It is about the size of Nokia 3220 cell phone series but thicker. The screen is tiny compared to Meridian making it impossible to use it in the car, not to mention how dangerous it would be. The fact magellan sells car mounts for the E500 should be a criminal offense.
Summary: I recently decided it was time to retire my trusty (but antiquated) handheld GPS, and I replaced it with a Magellan eXplorist 500. I don't yet have the optional detailed mapping software, so this is a review of just the base unit and the included software. I should also mention that this review is based on firmware 5.1.61, the latest available as of May 2005. Future firmware releases may add more features, but I advise all gadget buyers not to rely on such updates.
Summary: Pro- It is pretty accurate even in tree cover. Paperless is a great feature with the geocaching manager as long as you have a premium membership to the website so that you don't have to type the caches into the manager. Good price for a hanheld gps in color for this hobby. Con-Serial connection for upload from computer and charging is a bit of a bother and connection seems to connect in the wrong way since it has notches shaped that appear to be the right way, but isn't.
Summary: This unit was used very little, in very good condition. It was a little unclear what was included, especially on the Magellan web site. It is a discontinued model, but I was warned that it is more reliable than Magellan's new Triton series. This one included the Li-Ion battery, which is not standard. I needed to order the AC Charger for it, though. It also came with MapSend Topo 3D, which is again discontinued.
Summary: I like this GPS because it is light and compact, has good color graphics, good battery life with a lithium rechargeable battery, and a large selection of legacy mapping software that can be loaded for various uses including land (street and topo)and water. What I dislike is that Magellan no longer supports this type of GPS as it was too flexible for their revised marketing model that locks an individual piece of mapping software for a limited area to a single GPS.
Summary: I really was worried at first about if I would like this product vs. the Garmin E-Trex CX and Hcx. But my worries were put to rest when I received mine and my friends received their Garmins. First of all the File structure setup is wonderful. You can change map reagions with easy by pulling differrent files from your sd Card. This right here makes the product worth while.