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Garmin Vista HCx versus 60CSx

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I was thrilled to find out recently that I had lost my eXplorist 210 and could rationalize a new GPS purchase. I was never happy with Magellan's tech support, the crappy UI and it's slow speed getting a lock. I did like size and the fact that it floated, since I took it kayaking.


I got a Garmin 200 Nuvi for my car for Christmas. I'm amazed how fast it acquires satellites compared to the eXplorist. Really nice user interface, too.


Acquisition speed and performance under canopy are factors for me as I like to take my kids geocaching in the forests of B.C.


I've heard good things about the 60Csx in this regard but I'm concerned the unit is a bit large. I think I"d be just as happy with the Vista HCx if -- and only if -- it acquires sats as quickly.


Has anyone done a comparison of the Vista HCx versus the 60Csx?


And does the Vista have the same Sirf chipset as the 60Csx? I can't tell from Garmin's site.


My primary use is geocaching. I don't really have any interest in turn-by-turn direction stuff, as the Nuvi handles that nicely. I don't expect to be adding a lot of maps.


Also, I'm a Mac guy so that's a bit of a factor, too.


Any advice appreciated.

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I've heard good things about the 60Csx in this regard but I'm concerned the unit is a bit large. I think I"d be just as happy with the Vista HCx if -- and only if -- it acquires sats as quickly.


From what I've seen there is no noticeable difference in acquisition times.


And does the Vista have the same Sirf chipset as the 60Csx? I can't tell from Garmin's site.


No, the Vista HCx uses a MediaTek chip and the 60CSx uses a Sirf III chip; both are high sensitive and do appear to do equally as well as the other. When the Vista HCx first came out there were complaints about the trip odometer being off but that seems to have been corrected with software updates.


Both are great units, price and personal preference between size of screen and buttons on front are the main things that sway individuals between the two.

Edited by eaparks
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I'm in the same boat... trying to decide which of these units to get... I noticed that the Vista has not had a firmware update since Feb 07, but the 60CSx has had one this Feb 08... not sure what to make of that..


Here's what to make of it, the "Feb 07" was a typo. It should also have read "Feb 08".

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Well I too got the 200W for Christmas and loved the maps and how fast it acquired a lock so in February I bought the Vista HCx. So far I have been very happy it I installed the City Navigator NT 08 and Topo 08 and have really liked it, it compliments the 200W very nicely.

I thought I was having a lag issue so I tried City Navigator 08 the non-NT version but it turned out to me my SD card so I went back to the NT version that way I can store the whole US on a 2Gb card plus the western states. I have been using it for geocaching and can't wait to use it for hunting; it's replacing a Magellan 310. Since I wasn't ever going to use the Canadian maps on my Vista I installed them on my 200W so technically I guess it is now a 250W.

I had been a Magellan user up to this year; first I started out with a Magellan 200 that only received eight channels and took 15 min to acquire a lock and then 10 yrs ago upgraded to the 310. I am glad I switched to Garmin both of my new receivers live up to ever one's claim.

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I have both the 60CSx and the Vista HCx. Have been using the 60CSx for the last 3 years or so and it has been extremely reliable and spot on for location most caches. I really like it but recently got the Vista HCx primarily for its size.


Have been using the Vista HCx for a couple weeks now and I am VERY happy with its performance. It seem just as fast and realiable as the 60CSx. Sat acquisition time seems about the same, thoug I have not really done a side by side comparison ... lets just say it is fast enough that I did not feel the need to do the comparison :laughing:


I am finding that I am using the Vista HCx more and more for its smaller size and it fits my palm nicer than the 60CSx. The 60CSx screen is a tad bigger though. Also the Vista HCx screen seems slightly less bright than the 60CSx.


Overall, they are VERY similar units performance wise, so I would recommend getting the one that you like better physically. Some people like the 60CSx for its buttons on the front. I actually like the buttons on the side for the Vista and REALLY like the ability to do the one hand operation.


If possible, go to a store that carries both, hold both in your hand and see which one you like better.


The Vista HCx is also supposed to give you longer battery life, but the 60CSx battery life is already so dadgum long that I don't think it is a signifcant factor.


Good luck and let me know if you have any other specific questions !

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If you're not going to be installing maps, it seems a waste of money to get a Vista HCx. The "x" stands for the removable media and also indicates that GPS supports auto-routing.


For you I'd recommend the Venture HC ($134). It has the same sensitive chipset as the Vista HCx. However, the Venture does not have an electronic compass nor altimeter. If you want these two features, then the Summit HC ($180) includes them. The other difference is the Vista HCx hold 1000 waypoints vs 500 for HCs. However, the HCs (and HCx's) support customized POIs. That allows approximately 15k waypoints using roughly 2.5mb of memory space (based on my hands-on experience). The HCs have 24mb of internal memory.

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I have, and use, both of those. I generally prefer the 60CSx because I like the larger screen and the buttons. When I go hiking, the Vista HCx usually comes along as a backup, no matter which other GPSr I'm using -- the 60CSx or the Colorado.


The battery life is great in both units. The daytime visibility is very good in both. At the current firmware versions, both are very accurate and reliable. If I could only have one, it would be the 60CSx, but if small size made a big difference to me, the HCx would be just as good.


It's a tough choice between two excellent products with very similar capabilities. I think you'll be very satisfied either way.

Edited by Manatee87
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I have the Vista HCx, but have used the 60CSx. I really prefer the smaller Vista HCx, and prefer the buttons, and the click-stick on that unit compared to all the buttons on the 60CSx.


It really comes down to personal preference because they both acquire satellites in the same short amount of time, both have 1000 Waypoints, and both can have Custom POIs.


Confused yet . . . ? :laughing:

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I use the 60CSx and got my wife a Vista CSx, and what has been said so far is true. The only fault I've seen with either is on the Vista. My wife likes to carry it on the lanyard, and if it happens to bump the "joystick" just right it goes into the scroll mode. Confused the heck out os the first time it happened, I didn't think the joystick was that sensitive.



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