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MAP 76s/eTrex vista/meridian platinum/SporTrak Pro

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Hi All!

another newbie here to bug you all with the old question of... which is the better gps?

I read a lot of discussions here and did some research on internet too. And narrowed down to the above mentioned four units.

I could find 76s for ~400$ and all the rest for around 300$ on internet.


My priorities in choosing one among these are in the following order:

1) availability of accurate(and detailed) Topo and street maps at cheaper price

2) ease of use and features available

3) reception quality in moderate tree cover and downtown streets


now, my general impression from the discussions here is that magellan gps units have better satellite locking but doesn't have very reliable maps. i've not read much(good or bad) about ease of use of any GPS unit, so i'm assuming that it's comparable in all. based upon this i decided garmin but then got confused between vista and 76s! altimeter and compass is not really my priority and was left wondering if everything else is same in these two? if yes then i will probably go with vista.


but if my impression of magellan units having inferior quality maps is wrong then i'm again stuck with all the four options!


i really want to go out geocaching on the coming long weekend and any info which could help me resolve this would be great!


much thanks in advance!



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Originally posted by cozmo469:

If the compass and altimeter are not important for you, then you may be interested in the Gramin gps map76 instead of the 76s. This shou;d take your price down quite a bit. It is basically the same unit minus the C&A.


The biggest thing for me in moving to the 76S vs. the 76 was the memory of 24Mb vs. 8Mb

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Both Garmin and Magellan maps are pretty mediocre. A 1:100000 topo is no replacement for a 7.5 min topo. And, no map is easy to use viewed through a tiny window.


Streetwise, both are OK, but again, not really a replacement for a good Atlas on cross country trips.


So, your first criteria isn't really well met by either.


Ease of use is pretty much a draw. I personally carry a Garmin, but think Magellan front panels are easier to operate. I seen Magellan owners claim that they think the Garmins are easier. I've never had trouble figuring out either.


If you are thinking about car reception and maps, then you might really want to consider other units. An eTrex model is great for hiking, but the screen is too small to gawk at while driving.


The Meridian's have larger screens (but lower resolution), and can be operated with one finger - a plus in the car.


But... none of the handhelds get very good reception in my SUV, so if driving usage is important to you, you might want to look at units with external ant. connections (which the Vista and Meridian units do not have).


Good Luck,


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