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Magellan, Cobra, Leadtek At Ces


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Another thread has enough info on the 60c/60cs, so I'll tell you what I saw elsewhere.



The only other new-looking thing at Garmin is StarCaddy golf caddy software for the iQue, but I figure GC-ers and golfers are about as opposite as groups can get. Go to http://www.starcaddy.com/ if you care.



I don't know too much about Magellan models, so I'll list what they were showing. Let me know if you need more data:


All four units have most features in common: 16MB memory, SD card, 9 custom navigation screens, sun info, fish/hunt times, 500 waypoints, 20 routes, 2000 track points, 76+1 user datums, WAAS, 6.5"x2.9"x1.2" 8oz.


Meridian Color: 120x160 16-color screen, marine navaids, external antenna connector, 13 hour battery life (all the others have 14)


Meridian Platium: compass, barometer, thermometer


Meridian Marine: Navaids


Meridian Gold: Just the basics



These guys had a big display with three models. Prepress said that they intend on owning the market. But they didn't know much about them, and had no literature. They had something basically GPSMAP76S-like, and a couple of eTrex-like models. They claim faster startup, 18-channels, tracking with only 1 sat lock, and all around better performance and battery life. I don't have any real details.



There are other GPS's that'll use Bluetooth, CompactFlash or the Palm connectors, but they have the first one I've seen that uses SDIO, usable with many Palms. Pricing not available yet, but the whole thing is 113.5mm x 28.4mm x 13.25mm. Antenna hinges to fold away or aim vertically when held horizontally (or vice versa-- I don't know which way's better), WAAS, and its own rechargable battery. They also sell a CompactFlash, Bluetooth, and "puck"-style cabled unit.

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Regarding Cobra, I reviewed the Cobra GPS 500. It is a terrible unit. Before they decide to own the market they should first buy a newspaper shack and start reading up on what makes a good GPS unit. And reporters should do more research and less relying on the hype from a GPS manufacturer.


I'm overly harsh because their unit is extremely bad compared to units in the same price range. 18 channels does not a good gps unit make.


At $200, go for the Lowrance iFinder Pro. Now that is a great unit in the price range.

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Here's an excerpt from my Cobra writeup.


Cobra 500

MSRP $200


This is the second of the first family of GPS units introduced by Cobra

(mostly known for their family radio systems and radar

scanner/detectors). Cobra's GPS receivers have the claim to fame that

they have 18 channels instead of the traditional 12 channels. Channels basically acquire signals overhead, and the idea is if you have more channels trying to lock on satellites, the GPS receiver will lock on to them quicker.


From experience using the Cobra 500, I didn't find any noticeable

difference in satellite acquisition compared to other GPS units. If

anything, signal lock was far more difficult than any of the other GPS

receivers, with exception to the iQue. Perhaps it was the antenna that

was the problem and not the added channels.


The Cobra 500 has the price of a mid-range unit with the features of a

less expensive unit, with some exceptions. The screen is straight black

and white, like the yellow Garmin eTrex unit, and the resolution is sub

par. It does have a basemap but the resolution and size of the screen

makes for a disappointing user interface.


Using the GPS unit outdoors was very similar to the eTrex unit. It is a

nice small size, and both looks and feels durable. Not only waterproof,

the marketing material even said that it floats, which is a unique

feature from any of the other units reviewed. It fits well in the hand.

Unlike the yellow eTrex, however, most of the often-used controls are on

the front of the unit. It took a bit getting used to the joystick and

enter button on the unit, since they are combined on the Garmin eTrex

legend. One hand operation was simple and comfortable.


All in all, I would recommend looking at lower-end units or go for

similarly priced units to compare features. This was a good first start

by Cobra but there is definite room for improvement.

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