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Magellan Meridian Color or Sportrak Color?

Capt'N Cache

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OK, I've been preparing to upgrade to a new GPS for some time now and believe I have narrowed my choice to two:

Meridian Color or Sportrak Color


Both I can get for nearly the same price, but am still debating on the best purchase. I understand the features of both and would really like the idea of the 3-axis compass, barometer, and better resolution of the Sportrak, but am concerned about limiting my ability to not have the expansion capability with SD cards that I could get with the Meridian Color. Can anyone pursuade me one way or the other? I am not planning on downloading everything to my GPS, but would like to download the state of Oregon and would like to utilize Mapsend Topo. Any advice would be much appreciated!


Thanks in advance for your time and suggestions...

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I've done a test of MapSend Topo and could fit about 95% of Oregon on the Sportrak Color. The screen on the Sportrak Color is far superior to the Meridian Color. I have a Meridian Platinum that I gave to my son because I found I never needed the expandability. I think if you travel a lot, the extra memory is a huge plus. If you stay mostly in one general area, then it wouldn't make that big a difference.



"All of us get lost in the darkness, dreamers learn to steer with a backlit GPSr"

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I really like being able to save tracks to the SD card. Before Magellan added this I had to take the time to upload the tracks to my computer whenever I wanted one saved, then download the track again if I ever wanted to use it on the GPS. That was a real pain, and now I am glad I only have to do that when I want to.


But if I was in the same situation as you I think I would go with the sportrack color. The high resolution, and the compass would make it worth the sacrifice.


If Magellan only would have added a SD slot to that GPS and added mapsend direct route it would have the best feature set of any handheld unit.


Wyatt W.


The probability of someone watching you is directly proportional to the stupidity of your actions.

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Actually, the SporTrak Color will be able to support the new Direct Route software.

MapSend DirectRoute is sold alone or pre-packaged with a Magellan handheld GPS unit. The software is compatible with most Magellan Meridian® and SporTrak® handhelds, including Meridian Color, Meridian Gold, Meridian Platinum, Meridian Marine, SporTrak Pro, SporTrak Pro Marine and SporTrak Color.


I agree with Wyatt on the SD card slot, though. I travel a fair amount of the time for work, and will continue to take the MeriGold for the ability to quickly and easily update the maps. I'll use the SporTrak Color at home - I've got the entire state of MN loaded - let's hope I can do that with Direct Route in a few months.




... Two roads diverged in a wood, and I--

I took off through the thorns, chest high, ...

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Originally posted by JAWSnAZ:

Does the Meridian Color have a barometer, 3-axis compass or sun/moon positions like the Sportrak Color? Also does the Sportrak Color support an external antenna like the Meridian Color? Are there any other differences other than the memory cards?


No and No...


The Meridan color doen't have a compass or a barometer! Belive me I wish it did. I could use the fuctionaltity. Also the Sportack color doesn't support a external antenna.


Another difference between the two is the screen The Meridian has a larger but lower resolution screen, while the Sportrak has a smaller but higher resolution screen.


64784_1200.gifBeen there... Done that...

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Originally posted by JAWSnAZ:

Also does the Sportrak Color support an external antenna like the Meridian Color?

I don't think it does have an external jack.


It is rather irritating that they hit and miss with features. Is there no forum of consumer input.

Why couldn't they make a unit with the Sport trak screen, the Meridian SD slot and external antenna? Even the Meridian case would be better than the fragile Sport traks.



19490_2600.gifHonored to providing inmate labor for Admin brick manufacture since 2002.

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I’m looking for a GPS unit that I won’t want to replace for a few years. I would use it in the truck, backpacking, hiking & geocaching. All weather, I live in Arizona (120 deg +) to thunder storms that appear from nowhere. Should I be concerned with having a color display to read the topo maps or is that just another flashy gismo I don’t need. What about maps? Is there any difference in available topo maps for the Magellan vs. Garmin? What about the finer resolution, do any of you feel the need for better resolution? I have been using my Geode GPS on my Handspring PDA. It is not user friendly at all. It eats batteries like the cookie monster. 2-3 hours max. It is always “searching”. The only good thing about it is being able to take all the notes about the search with me.


I know this seems like a lot, but the more I learn about GPS the more I realize I don’t know.



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Thank you for the link to Comp-u-Plus TotemLake.


I just picked up a Meridian Platinum with the MapSend Topo CD for $323.00 plus $12.00 shipping. I also get a $50 rebate. That’s only $285.00 with the map software. I have been looking for the best deal on eBay for about a week. That beats the best deal I could find on a new unit from an authorized dealer by $35.00 I was really leaning towards the Meridian Color or Sportrak Color. I decided to get the features of the Sportrak Color with the memory expansion of the Meridian Color. I hope I didn’t need the color for anything important.



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Meridian Platinum is the best Magellan Ive ever used, it's display is alot easier to read than the MeriColor. I tried the MeriColor, but I favored the Platinum.


For the SporTraks:

IS there rubberized protection that you can slip over the GPS units, to protect them while in use ??


I been trying older technology:

I did some caches recently with just my GPS 315, quite a challenge to figure out where to drive to each cache by trial and error


Pictures of the insides of my Old GPS V

My Home Page about what is GPS



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