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Colorado 300 vs 400 series


geotreky
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Is there any benefit to spending the extra money on one of the 400 series GPS's. I've already got City Navigator and Topo maps for my 60c which I could easily transfer to the 300. I am more interested in the 400i for my boat but would much prefer the Michigan Lakemaster maps over the inland lake maps. I figure since I've got all the software I need for these units why spend the extra for the included maps? All the other specs seem identical. I'm used to living with 56MB of internal memory on my 60c so the 384MB on the 300 blows that away...plus it has memory expansion which my 60c doesn't. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

 

Brad

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I believe it is worth it. The entire Topo maps from the US fit on to the unit. There is much more space on the 400t (most of it is taken up by the maps). I prefer to not have to mess with loading different topo maps when I go to a new area. This is just my opinion.

 

On top of the Topo maps I have the City Nav on an SD card so I never have to switch out memory cards. Beyond that I don't think there is a whole lot of a difference.

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I thought it was worth it (400t owner as well)... I also have the City Navigator installed on the device (entire US and Canada) and also plan on loading the Inland Lakes on an SD card (just trying to talk myself into it).

 

No regrets here! I just know if I got the 300 I'd have it up for sale and end up buying the 400 anyway, I just skipped a step... but that's just me. Nothing at all wrong with either, just depends on your intentions.

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The only benefit I could see was that the maps (Coastal, Topo or Inland Lakes) are preloaded and you wouldn't have to mess with reloading maps. I would prefer city nav as a basemap though. Right now the 60c is my only GPS and I have been through the hastle of constantly reloading maps into its tiny little 56MB of memory. You have to re-load 2 or 3 times just to get from Michigan to Florida with the City Nav maps. Thanks for your input!

 

Brad

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I thought it was worth it (400t owner as well)... I also have the City Navigator installed on the device (entire US and Canada) and also plan on loading the Inland Lakes on an SD card (just trying to talk myself into it).

 

No regrets here! I just know if I got the 300 I'd have it up for sale and end up buying the 400 anyway, I just skipped a step... but that's just me. Nothing at all wrong with either, just depends on your intentions.

 

Wait! Topo and CN fit in the internal memory of the 400t? If thats the case, I'll definately get the 400t or 400i.

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Not sure I'll ever want/need 2000 caches on their at once... I currently have almost 300 with no issues.

 

Total space available right now is 112 megabytes.

 

I have one .gpx file with 278 caches in it and the size is 1,404kb... so let's say 1 megabyte per 300 caches.

 

I think that's enough room :lol:

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You can load all of CN NA 2008 NT on the 400t, you only have about 100MB left over from what I remember. Based on the one 400i I have seen you could not do this with the 400i because it had less total memory than the 400t.

 

Most of the differences between units are spelled out in the General Information section of the FAQ.

 

GO$Rs

 

Looks like the 400t is the way to go. I wouldn't need to load all of US and CA CN maps, just Michigan and maybe the bordering states to the south. Sounds like I should be able to get Topo, some CN and maybe the Lakemaster Michigan maps all loaded internally on the 400t. I'm not a heavy cacher so the space needed to store caches isn't all that important to me.

 

Thanks for all the help. Now, how do I come up with the cash to buy this thing?

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I had the 400t first, then the 300, but I find I like the 400t much better.

 

The problem with the Topo 2008 on the 300 is shown in the following picture:

Colorado300animatedMapToposegments.gif

In this picture, it shows the Basemap, then the Topo 2008 being zoomed out, and it is showing how bad the map segments degrade the map view, making it look ugly.

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In this picture, it shows the Basemap, then the Topo 2008 being zoomed out, and it is showing how bad the map segments degrade the map view, making it look ugly.

 

Hi Geoff,

 

Can you please elaborate on that statement? I thought that other than the internal memory difference, the 300 and 400t would be identical hardware and firmware. The 300 would just have to retrieve the Topo 2008 info from an SD card instead of from internal memory. Are you saying that there are differences (perhaps between the pre-loaded topo map on the 400t versus the DVD-to-SDcard topo map that the 300 would have to use, that cause the maps to be less readable/usable on the 300?

 

Thanks,

 

George

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There are slight differences between the preloaded Topo on the 400t and the Topo you buy on DVD.

 

Topo on the 400t is formatted differently. It is broken up into several hundred segments versus 6600 on the DVD. The reason Geoff is seeing this problem is because the Colorado doesn't have a declutter map option so it shows the segment boundaries when zoomed out, the more segments the busier the map screen gets.

 

GO$Rs

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In this picture, it shows the Basemap, then the Topo 2008 being zoomed out, and it is showing how bad the map segments degrade the map view, making it look ugly.

Hi Geoff,

 

Can you please elaborate on that statement? I thought that other than the internal memory difference, the 300 and 400t would be identical hardware and firmware. The 300 would just have to retrieve the Topo 2008 info from an SD card instead of from internal memory. Are you saying that there are differences (perhaps between the pre-loaded topo map on the 400t versus the DVD-to-SDcard topo map that the 300 would have to use, that cause the maps to be less readable/usable on the 300?

 

Thanks,

George

 

Topo 2008 from the DVD has over 6000 map segments, whereas the built-in Topo 2008 on the 400t, did not seem to show map segments on the screen, also I did have a failure on the Co 300, when I at first selected about 900 map segments to load on the SD card, requiring a reset, because the map tiles went blank.

 

I just like the 400t better.

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I bought the 300 first but had problems with it and wanted more memory so I bought the 400t. No regrets. Like they've said, I'd save yourself the time and just go with the 400t.

 

I would have bought the 400 with map if I had known this

 

I could have deleted the map then done as suggested in my other post

 

http://forums.Groundspeak.com/GC/index.php...t&p=3422789

 

I discovered that I could have put any map on the internal memory as a gmapprom.img

 

and still had the SD card to store other stuff

 

I did not realize when I ordered that the 300 had less internal mem I just thought it did not have the map

 

because the Basemap is changeable unlike the older units eg my GPSmap76csx It would not matter where it was purchased

 

I am looking at buying the 400 and loading my UK basemap from the 300 and my mapsource maps as gmapprom s in internal leaving me more space on the card for other stuff

 

The extra few quid would not have been a big deal I only bought the 300 for the Atlantic basemap I should have read forums 1st lol

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Hi all,

 

I have a few more questions regarding 300 versus 400t. I have read this thread and most of the other Colorado ones. Also, I did read item G6 here http://garmincolorado.wikispaces.com/General+Information, so I I think I understand most of the issues. However, there are a few more details that I would appreciate some feedback on.

 

Whichever model that I get, I would like to have topo information, and the option to load City Navigator in the future if I decide that I want to use the same GPS unit for both automotive and geocaching modes.

 

1) Costwise, it seems to be a wash. Apparently, Topo 2008 can be found for about $75, and a 4GB flash card can be found for $25, so you can add these to a 300 and having something very similar in capability/storage/cost as the 400t. Is this right, or am I not taking everything into consideration? For instance, is accessing the internal flash memory of the 400 more efficient (faster read/write or bus speeds) than an SD card on a 300? Are there other differences between (300 + Topo 2008 + 4GB SD card) and (400t)?

 

2) Item G6 on the website, above, mentions that the "ability to view, plan and analyze with Topo US 2008 maps on your computer" is only available on the 300. Apparently, you can't do this with the 400t because although the topo data is all pre-loaded into the unit, Garmin doesn't provide you with the capability to access/manipulate this data from your PC. I played the tutorial on the Garmin site that shows how you can use MapSource to select and load segments from your map product(s) into your Colorado. However, what are some of the other things that one can do on the PC? Can you give me examples of "view, plan, and analyze"?

 

3) I've noticed that my Nuvi takes several seconds to load maps, and I've read on these forums that the Colorado can also take a while to load maps whenever you turn on the unit. With the 400, do you always load the Topo data for the whole U.S., or is there a way to make it only load your state, or an even more localized subset?

 

4) On the 300, it seems that for those who don't travel so frequently, it would be convenient to use MapSource to only load the Topo map segments for the areas you visit frequently (like a few adjacent counties, or just your own state). Of course, when you plan to travel, you could load other segments, too. My question here is: If you only have a handful of Topo 2008 segments loaded (instead of the whole U.S. like on the 400t), does this make a significant difference in the startup time when you power up your Colorado?

 

Any answers to these questions would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks,

 

George

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I've had the 300 for 2 months now. I've used it on 25 caches so far. The more I use it the more I like the paperless caching. I opted for the 300 because I like to use the maps on the computer. It's worked out fine so far, I load the whole East Coast. I have only cached in New England so far. most issues have been resolved with the latest firmware. The unit loads quickly and locks on. I get about 10hrs with 2600 mah nimh rechargeables. I have not had any isses with clock, lockups, or shut downs. I've updated the firmware 2 times. No issues with the updates. There are still a few quirks compared to my 60csx but its mostly operator expectations. The software on the 300 is so different from the 60csx, but it grows on you after a while. So far the unit has more than met my expectations. :unsure:

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1) Costwise, it seems to be a wash. Apparently, Topo 2008 can be found for about $75, and a 4GB flash card can be found for $25, so you can add these to a 300 and having something very similar in capability/storage/cost as the 400t. Is this right, or am I not taking everything into consideration? For instance, is accessing the internal flash memory of the 400 more efficient (faster read/write or bus speeds) than an SD card on a 300? Are there other differences between (300 + Topo 2008 + 4GB SD card) and (400t)?

 

I haven't noticed any difference in speed with a class 6 SD card.

 

2) Item G6 on the website, above, mentions that the "ability to view, plan and analyze with Topo US 2008 maps on your computer" is only available on the 300. Apparently, you can't do this with the 400t because although the topo data is all pre-loaded into the unit, Garmin doesn't provide you with the capability to access/manipulate this data from your PC. I played the tutorial on the Garmin site that shows how you can use MapSource to select and load segments from your map product(s) into your Colorado. However, what are some of the other things that one can do on the PC? Can you give me examples of "view, plan, and analyze"?

 

You can do all of this on a 400t but you would have to buy an additional copy of Topo2008 which doesn't make much sense to me. Basically you get the features of Mapsource on your PC which allows you to look at maps, plan routes and overlay your tracks and waypoints on these maps, view elevation profiles, etc.

 

3) I've noticed that my Nuvi takes several seconds to load maps, and I've read on these forums that the Colorado can also take a while to load maps whenever you turn on the unit. With the 400, do you always load the Topo data for the whole U.S., or is there a way to make it only load your state, or an even more localized subset?

 

With the 400t it is all or nothing. You have the entire US or no map. That is one thing you can do with the 300 is download partial "chunks" of the map.

 

4) On the 300, it seems that for those who don't travel so frequently, it would be convenient to use MapSource to only load the Topo map segments for the areas you visit frequently (like a few adjacent counties, or just your own state). Of course, when you plan to travel, you could load other segments, too. My question here is: If you only have a handful of Topo 2008 segments loaded (instead of the whole U.S. like on the 400t), does this make a significant difference in the startup time when you power up your Colorado?

 

The startup time of a 400t is about 6 seconds more than a 300. Certainly by carving out only the maps you want you can save some time but you'll have to decide if 6 seconds is really worth it. This data is in the Performance section of the FAQ.

 

GO$Rs

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GO$Rs,

 

Thanks a lot for answering my questions. You've helped me choose between the 300 and 400t. I've decided I'll get the 300 + 4 GB SD card + Topo 2008. It sounds like cost and performance will be near identical, with the only differences being:

 

300 + SD + Topo has the advantage of allowing me to do some things like "look at maps, plan routes and overlay your tracks and waypoints on these maps, view elevation profiles, etc." on my PC.

 

The only disadvantage is that I won't be able to load the entire U.S. topo data onto the unit at the same time due to the DVD-based version of Topo 2008 having too many segments. However, since *I* don't anticipate ever needing that much coverage loaded at the same time, this is not a deciding factor *for me*.

 

Finally, in the short-term, I may just be cheap and save myself $75 dollars by not buying the Topo 2008 for a while. Since I live in California, and I've been reading on some other threads that some people have created some Garmin-compatible Topo map data for California using USGS 1:24k scale data, I may just use that for now. Besides it being free, I like that it has the 40' or better resolution versus the 160' resolution of Topo 2008.

 

Jotne,

 

I guess the reason for this long thread is that there *are* a few differences (like the first two points I mention, above). Also the slightly different map loading times upon booting up the unit, and other minor issues. Depending on whether these issues are important to you, choosing between the 300 and 400t *could* be important. If none of these issues concerns you, then I guess you're right, either choice would be okay.

 

Thanks again,

 

George

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