Upgrade to the Oregon? in GPS technology and devices Posted January 15, 2009 · Edited January 15, 2009 by 7 Robert posted a new review of the Oregon. http://www.gadling.com/2009/01/13/product-...avigation-unit/ My comments: For those who read it, I'd say it was pretty accurate *except* for the screen description. The screen is NOT easily readable in direct sunlight. I honestly don't know how the author could say that. Guess he never owned a Explorist XL. He is correct about the Topo maps though. Don't expect to use a Topo map and get to where you need to go via roads. Many roads are there, it's just that most times it shows you off of a road by 100' or more. You need the City Navigator map to show you the real roads and to get you directions to the next cache. One major flaw is that you can not load separate geocache files and select them from a directory or folder on the device. I found this really useful on trips where I would load in separate files for different areas that we traveled to. Once out of the range of one cache file, I would just load another and have a different geographical area ready to do some geocaching. On the Oregon, you can not do that unless you have the USB cable connected and move files via the PC. Very problematic on trips. Also, I have found that when going geocaching, I need a GPSr that can get me to the next cache - via roads. As we all know there are many caches in natural areas, but you need to get to those areas (and between them) by automobile. So you either need a GPSr that can do both or you need to get two devices. One for the roads and one for the woods. Again, the Explorist did this very well. I don't understand why the Oregon couldn't incorporate better auto navigation features. I can't even hear the beeper when the car is moving. You have the hardware there. You have the screen, the processor, and you have the memory. It's all there except the code. The touch screen is fantastic. I made sure I put a screen protector on it before it left the room. Good thing I did. The protectors are already a bit scratched. I find the little dance you have to to in order to log finds a bit annoying. I also have a big issue with not having different gpx files to choose from. Yeah it holds 2000 caches, but I would much prefer having several different gpx files to choose from (on the GPSr). Particularly when I am traveling from area to area or city to city. As I see it now, you have to load different gpx files through your PC. My Magellan Explorist XL was great at this. Maybe I just haven't figured it out yet. The screen brightness is downright awful. It's really hard to see in bright sunlight. I have been using the gold standard for displays (The Magellan Explorist XL) and am having a hard time with the Garmin's dull, hard to read, screen. It's a pretty lousy auto GPS which does impact its usefulness for Geocaching. You need to know where to go to find caches on the road. This unit does not do that well. It seems to gobble batteries too. I am only getting about 4 hours on a fully charged set of NiMH 2400mah batteries because I need to have the screen at full brightness all the time. I was debating taking it back, but will take a gamble that Garmin will correct some flaws with new software revisions. The screen brightness is a hardware issue that won't get fixed without a pretty significant form factor change to add additional batteries. I simply can't understand how this made it out of testing with the screen the way it is. This flaw was known at design and testing but a deliberate decision to press on with production to make an arbitrary delivery date was made. Big mistake. On the good side, I really like the ability to log finds. Very useful. The 3D view is cool too. Touch screen is outstanding. I also like the ability to transfer info from one unit to another through a wireless link. Pretty nice but all it transfers is the waypoint itself. Geocache descriptions and previous logs do not transfer. ??? Also you can only transfer one point at a time. Anyway it has already proved useful to us. The ability to change profiles is pretty nice as well. Have already used that too.