May 31, 2011

Garmin eTrex 10, 20, 30 - New Look; Great New Capabilities

GarmineTrex_30.jpg

Garmin announced their updated line of the old standard, the eTrex line, with the new eTrex 10, 20, and 30 units - all compact and feature packed. The eTrex line has been around a long time and the Garmin eTrex Vista was my first handheld GPS - a monochrome unit that lacked the high sensitivity receiver of today's units and plugged into my computer with a serial port. Map updates were S-L-O-W. That was over six years ago, and the eTrex has just taken a big leap.

The new line of eTrex 10, 20, 30 support paperless geocaching, have high sensitivity receivers, high speed USB connections, and offer 25 hours of battery life. Very nice.

GarmineTrex_10.jpg

Garmin eTrex 10 - Again, offers paperless geocaching, on a monochrome screen and a worldwide base map which offers little detail, but enough land mass, rivers, lakes and so on to orient yourself in most places. Not my favorite situation, and I would recommend adding to the pot so you can afford at least the eTrex 20. Price on the eTrex 10 is $119

Garmin eTrex 20 - The big advantage here is that the eTrex 20 adds a 2.2-inch 65K color screen that is sunlight readable. No, it is not a touchscreen, so you'll still find yourself thumbing it around the screen old school with a thumbstick. The other big advantage, and one that I recommend is that you can add color maps to this device. The 24K TOPO maps and Bluewater maps for back country contour maps or boating recreation maps, respectively. The eTrex 20 will also accept CityNavigator maps, making it a GPS device that can offer routable directions. It is not a replacement for a Nuvi by any means, but it makes taking it for a bike ride a whole lot nicer. Price on the eTrex 20 is $199.

GarmineTrex_20.jpg

Garmin eTrex 30 (shown at the top of the story) - The next step up here is that like other higher end handhelds, this last step in the product line adds an electronic compass - a 3-axis, tilt-able compass in fact, and a barometric altimeter. I have always liked these features, and get them on my GPS units. The altimeter is nice to have so you can easily track your progress, while the electronic compass is a great tool to have when out in nature. Price on the eTrex 30 is $299.


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Posted by Scott Martin at May 31, 2011 9:32 PM

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