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Compare: eTrex Vista vs. Magellen Meridian Gold/Platinum?


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I'm looking to buy my first GPS. I went out on my first hunt with someone that had the Vista and I thought it was pretty good. Last night I went to my local REI and checked out the Vista first hand. Wasn't able to take it out of the store for obvious reasons but got to see the menus and other offerings. It looks pretty good.

 

On the other hand I find this Magellan Meridian to be comparable in price and seems like it might have more features. Anyout out there have the Meridian and better yet have you been able to compare it to the vista? I've been trying to find it in a store in my area (like REI) but the people there say they have not had any Magellan products in there for a long time. So since I can't seem to get my hands on one I figured I'd ask here to see what other thought.

 

Thanks.

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Both are fine units....

 

The Vista has 24MB built in. The Meridian allows you to buy memory up to 128MB (less than $1.00 per MB).

 

The Vista is smaller, lighter, and has a higher resolution (but physically smaller) screen. The Meridian has a better antenna and a better compass (Platinum model).

 

Meridian has a more detailed base map, and you can download data in 5 minutes using a SD writer (under $20), while the Vista takes around an hour to download maps.

 

It is a matter of personal preference. For backpackers, the size/weight of the Vista make it a winner. If you want boatloads of memory, go for the Meridian.

 

In short, it is your call. Both have a different sent of advantages and limitations.

 

-----

Any similarity between my opinions and reality is entirely coincidental.

--Harrkev

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I'd have to agree with Harrkev. Both seem to be good units, but have different strengths.

 

For size and durability, the eTrex line is hard to beat. For mountaineering, the Vista's barometric altimeter is quite a bit more useful than the Platinum's barometric sensor.

 

If you load lots of maps, SD cards (provided you buy a card reader for your PC!) are a lot friendlier than loading the Vista's memory via RS-232.

 

Although the Vista is much higher resolution, the physically larger display on the Magellen is more practical to watch while driving. The front panel buttons are also more one finger operation friendly - the norm when driving.

 

The one thing I'm not sure I agree on is Harrkev's compass comment. The Platinum 3D compass is certainly cooler, but specs wise, and in my (limited) experience, the Vista's compass is more accurate by several degrees.

 

But again, they are both nice units - take your pick.

 

-jjf

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i've just recently purchased the platinum

im new to this whole thing so i've got nothing

to compare it to physically. when i was doing

my research i liked that the platinum has a

larger screen, i bought the dash mount for the

car and it's not bad. i could not picture having

a smaller screen and using in a vehicle. i also

like it's reception, on the second floor of my

house i am able to get a signal, in the woods

as well and today in pouring rain in the woods

no problem. thats my two cents

 

medicalman

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I've had my Gold for about a month I love the mapping on it and it seems to be fairly accurate. I was able to play with a Meridian for about 2 weeks waiting for the gold to come in on special order. If I had it to do all over I would more then likely buy the Meridian instead I can't really see spending the extra money for the extra internal memory. I think Buy.com has a reader and a 128 meg chip for less then $80.00

A friend of mine has a garmin III+ and he's talking about getting the Magellan because he likes the screen better.

I also have an old Lowrance global nav. 212 that about half the time beats the Magellan, and it constantly beat the III+. The only thing was it didn't have mapping.

 

Mi dos centavos icon_biggrin.gif

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I've had my Gold for about a month I love the mapping on it and it seems to be fairly accurate. I was able to play with a Meridian for about 2 weeks waiting for the gold to come in on special order. If I had it to do all over I would more then likely buy the Meridian instead I can't really see spending the extra money for the extra internal memory. I think Buy.com has a reader and a 128 meg chip for less then $80.00

A friend of mine has a garmin III+ and he's talking about getting the Magellan because he likes the screen better.

I also have an old Lowrance global nav. 212 that about half the time beats the Magellan, and it constantly beat the III+. The only thing was it didn't have mapping.

 

Mi dos centavos icon_biggrin.gif

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My Map 330X (same antenna as the Meridain series) was getting much better signal strength than my friend's Vista while geocaching the other day.

 

If you are comparing the Meridians to the Vista be aware that the Vista has an actual compass, only the Platinum has one with the Meridians.

 

AtP

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