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Explorist 600 Vs Vista C

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Hi all,

I recently received an Explorist 400 for Christmas from my parents as my first GPS, but had to return it because I couldn't distinguish the topographical features no the grayscale screen. I upgraded instead to a Explorist 600 (from newegg.com + buymagellan.com). I haven't received it yet, but I'm looking for a bit of forward advice and expertise.


I note the screen on the Vista C is supposidly daylight visible (and I know some LCDs are, but some aren't, despite advertising), is this true? The Explorist 500 and 600 is advertised as being visible in all lighting conditions, but not explicitly daylight visible, nor have I seen anyones take on it. Also, how would you all rate the Vista C compared to the Explorist 600? I was originally looking at the Vista C before I received a Magellan, but after working with the screens and especially the keypad on the Magellans, I'm not sure I could use that left handed positioned joystick on the Garmins. How about the screen brightness? I have heard the 600 needs to be on low all the time, and it lasts the 17 hours on that settings, but is it usable on that setting? I guess what I'm looking for is a little heads up for what to expect from the color display here. I'm seeing that the more expensive ones are 256 color at least, and the Explorists are 16 color. Unfortunately my Christmas present only covered $200 in cost, and the package I put together for my first GPS package consisted of the unit, basic case, Topo 3D USA, and 1 GB SD card; to say the least, I was trying to minimize costs, stick with Magellan and a package that stays pretty cheap (first unit...).


If anyone can give me any heads up here, and/or any additional information for my first unit, please feel free to share <_<




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I don't think you need to worry about the 600's screen. It's quite good, although those who have done direct comparisons with the Garmn handheld screens have given the edge to Garmin. Perhaps that is due to the 256 colors, but whenever I've tried to think how many colors I need to make the map usable I come up with well under 16. <_<


There are three settings for the explorist backlight; even the lowest setting is still on (as can be seen in darkness). Available sunlight would make even that minimal power drain unnecessary I would think.


The expandable memory of the 600 is a big advantage, and it looks like (from what I can see on the boards here) that the problems plaguing the 600 compared to the 500 have been largely addressed in the recent firmware update.


Where the Vista C may do better than the explorist is in autorouting capability. I'm not certain of the Vista C's capabilities per se, but in general Garmins do a better job of it than Magellan's DirectRoute software. If you're primarily interested in the topo software, not to worry.

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That is all very excellent news! Thank you all for such promising news! I'm a hiker (as opposed to a driving GPS user), so I don't intend to use the GPS for road routing at all (I heard the smaller units aren't that great anyway for routing). The backlight and screen was my major concern, but it's really good to know now that it is very easily read and whatnot. Thank you all again for you help.



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