Garmin has breathed life once again into their popular eTrex line of handheld GPS devices. You may like the eTrex GPS devices just the way they are, but don’t refuse to upgrade before you find out what’s new. Well for starters they gave it a new user interface. A great new feature allows you to select profiles based on the activity you are participating in. It will adjust the menu options to put the function you use the most at your fingertips.
Next they included a worldwide basemap. The eTrex 10 doesn’t come with mapping features but the basemap is a little nicer to look at than just coordinates and dots. Just don’t expect scale topo maps or turn by turn from the basemap.
You’ll be up and running with your new eTrex 10 in just a few minutes. Open up the back with a turn of the lanyard clip and pop 2 AA batteries in it. With your batteries installed push the power button and sit back and watch. It will immediately begin locating satellites. This happens very quickly and you should be ready to go in under a minute. It will automatically set the date and time based on your location. It takes longer to locate you the first time. After that it will be much quicker. Garmin gave it their Hot Fix satellite prediction software. It is a satellite prediction utility so it knows where to look for satellites. In addition the eTrex line are the first consumer GPS receivers that are comaptible with the Russian GLONASS navigation network. GLONASS is reported to be 20% faster than GPS. Not to mention it allows the eTrex 10 to connect to many more satellites which gives it better signal streng
A very important feature that makes the eTrex 10 such a great GPS unit is WAAS. The FAA developed WAAS to improve the accuracy of GPS navigation. Basically, WAAS receives signals from the GPS satellites, does some calculations, makes corrections, and sends the corrected signal back. This improves the accuracy from about 50 feet of your actual location to within 10 feet or better. Regardless of what GPS unit you decide to go with I recommend you get one with WAAS.
Not to be overlooked is the paperless Geocaching features. Just plug your eTrex 10 into your computer and download all of the geocache files for your next outing. No more paper maps. No need for anything other than your handheld GPS for geocaching now. It’s more convenient and you’ll save some trees in the process.
Waterproof is a necessity of handheld GPS devices. You’ll get an IPX7 rating which means you can drop it in a river and it will keep on ticking. It will save your tracks, store up to 1,000 waypoints, and tell you when the sun is going to rise and set. I think you’ll find all eTrex 10 reviews coming to the conclusion that this is a great entry level GPS. The price is right around $100 and it’s made to handle anything you can throw at it.