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New Etrex series on way?

This has appeared recently http://www8.garmin.com/support/download_details.jsp?id=9099

Given that the latest software for the Etrex 20/30 is 4.20 it seems like an upgraded model, Etrex 20x/30x, might be on the way shortly.
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Comments

  • SamuelD 12 Points
    Considering Garmin announced the eTrex 10/20/30 on 31 May 2011 and their predecessors on 31 May 2007, these models may be on a precise four-year update cycle. If so, Garmin would announce replacements on 31 May.

    The name eTrex 20x/30x suggests a small upgrade. What might it be? And what’s happening to the eTrex 10?
  • Tim 1479 Points
    Garmin eTrex 20x and Garmin eTrex 30x were indeed released this morning.

    image
  • sussamb 798 Points
    edited May 2015
    Difficult to see any real difference apart from larger internal memory and apparently a different screen, although no larger than the current one which gives excellent visibility in bright sunlight. What am I missing?

    Hopefully will have a faster processor but no mention of that
  • Boyd 1974 Points
    I also wonder what is different about the display. Would be nice if it had a few more pixels. ;)
  • DaveM 159 Points
    I'm also wondering what is different about the screen. The excellent visibility in bright is a strong point. Without making the screen larger and or higher resolution I don'y know what could be improved.

    The price is also up a little. The eTrex 30 is $269 ant the 30x is $299.99 that's the same price as a GPSMAP 64s.

    I would like to know if any firmware changes were made. A big on for me would be if you could disable off route recalculation. That is one of the biggest reasons I like my 64s better then my eTrex. I agree a faster processor would be nice that's another advantage of the 64.

    I will look when a local store has them in stock but unless there is something we are not being told I see no reason to upgrade.
  • alanb 536 Points
    ETrex 30 = 38720 pixels, Etrex 30x = 76800 pixels. ... seems like double the pixels should give you a better image.
  • sussamb 798 Points
    Ah, that's certainly a 'few more pixels', although I find the current screen plenty 'sharp' enough.
  • I know with camera equipment there is often a big lag b/t announcement and availability. Will these be available in retail outlets shortly or is there usually a lag?
  • DaveM 159 Points
    "

    I know with camera equipment there is often a big lag b/t announcement and availability. Will these be available in retail outlets shortly or is there usually a lag?

    From the above link "Available in summer 2015".
  • Boyd 1974 Points
    edited May 2015
    It typically takes awhile for Garmin to actually ship after announcing. When they say "available summer", it usually means "at the very end of summer". And if you buy one then, you will basically be a beta tester for their buggy software. That's fine, as long as you are aware. But some people get very frustrated.

    Since this looks like an incremental upgrade however, maybe there will be fewer software issues? IIRC, the current eTrex models got off to a rocky start… :)
  • SamuelD 12 Points
    The eTrex 20x and 30x look very, very similar to the existing eTrex 20 and 30 models. The differences appear to be:

    • higher resolution display, but not that much higher: 240 × 320 pixels instead of 176 × 220 pixels. I’m surprised they didn’t at least double the linear resolution while going to the bother of doing this, but I suppose they’re limited by the transflective panels available on the market
    • preloaded Western Europe Garmin ActiveMap with shaded relief instead of TOPO UK & Ireland Light map (in the UK) or none (France). This appears to be based on OpenStreetMap (same as before), and Garmin claims it’s routable and shows elevation changes. So I suppose the difference is wider coverage, presumably making it easier for Garmin to sell the same SKU across more markets
    • more memory (3.7 GB versus 1.7 GB, i.e. 4 GB instead of 2 GB of flash memory).

    Same size, weight, battery life, price (in the UK and France before discounts). Maybe some of the unadvertised innards are improved/changed. Maybe not.

    I am not sure it’s worth the risk of 18 months of firmware problems. All depends on how much the internal hardware has changed, I suppose. But the change of display resolution has scope for causing all kinds of mayhem.

    I am surprised the differences are so minor. I guess that means these are still selling well.
  • Boyd 1974 Points
    edited May 2015
    SamuelD said:

    higher resolution display, but not that much higher: 240 × 320 pixels instead of 176 × 220 pixels.

    As Alan posted above, the new screen has twice as many pixels. So, if your boss increased your salary from $38,720 to $76,800 would say it wasn't that much of a raise and be surpised you didn't get $154,880? :))

    Seriously, I understand your point, 240 x 320 is not going to make anyone say "wow!" I understand the issues with making nice transreflective screens, but the excuse has usually been that high resolution transreflective touch screens are difficult to make. The eTrex doesn't have a touch screen. I have a Sony professional HD video camera with an absolutely beautiful high res transreflective screen and it is over 5 years old now. Of course, it cost around $5000. :)
  • SamuelD 12 Points
    Boyd said:

    It typically takes awhile for Garmin to actually ship after announcing. When they say "available summer", it usually means "at the very end of summer".

    I’m sure you’re right, but on the UK site it says “Available: 2nd Quarter 2015”.

    It’s interesting that Garmin announced the 20x and 30x today, not on the 31st as I speculated in my first post in this thread.
  • Boyd 1974 Points
    In the past, we have seen models that were released earlier in the EU because the US models require FCC approval. Have not seen a product page yet for these new models. But sometimes they have a disclaimer stating they will not be available until approved by the FCC.

    OTOH, Garmin often surprises me, so anyone's guess is as good as mine. :)
  • Boyd 1974 Points
    edited May 2015
    US product pages are now available here

    https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/into-sports/handheld/etrex-20x/prod518046.html
    https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/into-sports/handheld/etrex-30x/prod518048.html

    Says "Processing time is 3–5 weeks." So that sounds like the end of June, which would be the end of the 2nd Quarter.
  • SamuelD 12 Points
    Boyd said:

    As Alan posted above, the new screen has twice as many pixels. So, if your boss increased your salary from $38,720 to $76,800 would say it wasn't that much of a raise and be surpised you didn't get $154,880? :))

    Well, if you put it like that …

    I am not actually complaining. The built-in maps are slightly better (where I live, at least), and the display is a bit higher in resolution. Who knows, maybe the processor and GPS chip have also been improved in some way. There’s some more built-in memory, not that it matters to me. And all for the same price (though street prices may initially be higher).

    Let’s hope the display offers at least as high contrast in sunlight despite the extra pixels.

    I am just mildly surprised that Garmin feels this is enough to keep these units going for perhaps another four years. I thought smartphones were desecrating eTrex sales, but I suppose this minor update proves the eTrex concept is still valid in 2015 and beyond. Good for Garmin.
  • alanb 536 Points
    edited May 2015
    There will probably be some good prices showing up for the original Etrex 20/30 refurb's, or possibly even new ones.
  • Boyd said:

    US product pages are now available here

    https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/into-sports/handheld/etrex-20x/prod518046.html
    https://buy.garmin.com/en-US/US/into-sports/handheld/etrex-30x/prod518048.html

    Says "Processing time is 3–5 weeks." So that sounds like the end of June, which would be the end of the 2nd Quarter.

    seeing as how i must purchase on or before June 24 ... the probability is very high that the new version will show up June 25
  • SamuelD 12 Points
    A curious thing:

    • 176 × 220 pixels is an aspect ratio of 4:5
    • 240 × 320 pixels is an aspect ratio of 3:4

    … assuming square pixels. Someone who’s good with Photoshop might be able to check whether there is the expected difference in screen shape/size in the press images of the old and new devices.
  • Boyd 1974 Points
    @mikeinbrazil - From your other posts, it sounds like this GPS is crucial to your vacation plans. Personally, I wouldn't buy a new model for that unless I had a second device for a backup. Garmin's track record with the firmware on new models is pretty bad.

    I hope the processor on the new eTrex is faster, because it has to draw 2x as many pixels.

    In the past, I have defended Garmin's dedicated devices in discussions about smartphone apps. I am finding that position harder to take in today's world. Add a rugged case with battery to your phone and you have a lot of capabilities not available on any Garmin device. I think you are getting a better quality GPS receiver with Garmin however.
  • mikeinbrazil 6 Points
    edited May 2015
    Boyd said:

    @mikeinbrazil - From your other posts, it sounds like this GPS is crucial to your vacation plans. Personally, I wouldn't buy a new model for that unless I had a second device for a backup. Garmin's track record with the firmware on new models is pretty bad.

    I hope the processor on the new eTrex is faster, because it has to draw 2x as many pixels.

    In the past, I have defended Garmin's dedicated devices in discussions about smartphone apps. I am finding that position harder to take in today's world. Add a rugged case with battery to your phone and you have a lot of capabilities not available on any Garmin device. I think you are getting a better quality GPS receiver with Garmin however.

    To be honest, since the advent of smart phones I thought I would never buy a hand held gps ... but as I plan to go to Patagonia and other remote places over the next year, i have become more concerned about features and connectivity. I have a Moto G and love it as a smart phone but its really hard to see in bright sun, and the battery life is shortened dramatically with localization on. Also, I am severely confused whether it has true satnav gps or only assisted gps. My impression is that without network my localizaton does not work, at least it seems not to work on my offline map app Maps.Me ... the maps are off line but my current position does not show up unless i have carrier signal. Or so it appears to me.

    So ... i'm fine with buying a new device. But i am really surprised that Garmin does not offer something like the inReach Explorer ... except with good navigation capability. A device with Garmin level navigation AND SOS/Satelite text messaging would be killer. Really surprised that Garmin has not filled this niche. To be honest, I would buy just the inReach Explorer if it had decent navigation but all the reviews say the navigation is really rudimentary.
  • DaveM 159 Points
    Looking at the US site now that it has the 20x and 30x listed the only things in the write up and specks is more memory for maps, higher screen resolution and on the 30x the Hunt/Fish Calender goes away.

    I don't see the largerer memory as an advantage I put maps on a sd card. The screen resolution should be a good thing unless they use it to put more on the screen and make things too small. The Hunt/Fish Calender going away would be a bad thing for someone who uses it.
  • SamuelD 12 Points
    Strangely, the large picture of the 20x in Garmin’s blog post has a display with aspect ratio 4:5, not 3:4 as expected from the pixel count of 240 × 320.

    At first I thought the removal of the hunting and fishing calendar was only a website mistake, but it seems Garmin has been removing this feature from other recently released devices, so I suppose it really has been removed here.

    The new 20x and 30x may yet be good upgrades, but everything hinges on (a) how legible (reflective) the higher-resolution display is in bright light, and (b) whether the processor is faster, to at least preserve performance while driving more pixels and ideally improve responsiveness. Since Garmin isn’t providing specifications for the display or processor, we’ll have to wait until the new eTrex models become available to learn these things.
  • DaveM 159 Points
    SamuelD said:


    The new 20x and 30x may yet be good upgrades, but everything hinges on (a) how legible (reflective) the higher-resolution display is in bright light, and (b) whether the processor is faster, to at least preserve performance while driving more pixels and ideally improve responsiveness. Since Garmin isn’t providing specifications for the display or processor, we’ll have to wait until the new eTrex models become available to learn these things.

    I agree. While I hope for a faster processor I don't think so. If it had one I would think Garmin would say something about it being faster. The screen could be a good or bad thing.

    I'm looking forward to seeing one when they make it to the stores.
  • Zemartelo 207 Points
    $300Us for the 30X is a bit excessive imo.
    For that price I expect a bigger and touchscreen at least for a dedicated device.

    Why buy this instead of the 64 for a few bucks more??
  • alanb 536 Points
    Time will tell, but my guess is that the street price on this unit will drop fairly quickly.
  • Boyd 1974 Points
    Zemartelo said:

    $300Us for the 30X is a bit excessive imo.
    For that price I expect a bigger and touchscreen at least for a dedicated device.

    I think the Oregon 600 for $220 would be better use of your money at the moment. :) http://forums.gpsreview.net/discussion/comment/200006/#Comment_200006
  • SamuelD 12 Points
    Zemartelo said:

    $300Us for the 30X is a bit excessive imo.
    For that price I expect a bigger and touchscreen at least for a dedicated device.

    Why buy this instead of the 64 for a few bucks more??

    Garmin’s price for the eTrex 30x is unchanged from the eTrex 30, but of course what matters is the street price.

    Compared to the GPSMAP 64, the eTrex 30x has some extra features (e.g. ANT+ support), a higher resolution screen, smaller size, etc. I think they’re meaningfully different.
  • DaveM 159 Points
    SamuelD said:

    Zemartelo said:

    $300Us for the 30X is a bit excessive imo.
    For that price I expect a bigger and touchscreen at least for a dedicated device.

    Why buy this instead of the 64 for a few bucks more??

    Garmin’s price for the eTrex 30x is unchanged from the eTrex 30, but of course what matters is the street price.

    Compared to the GPSMAP 64, the eTrex 30x has some extra features (e.g. ANT+ support), a higher resolution screen, smaller size, etc. I think they’re meaningfully different.
    The 64s which is the one that's the same price as the 30/30x and is closest to it in feathers has ANT+. THE 64 Is closer to a 20/20x and is $250 instead of $200 for the 20x. The biggest advantage of the eTrex to me is that it is smaller and has better battery life. I'm looking forward to seeing a 20x or 30x to look at the screen the higher resolution could be a good thing or a bad thing. The 64 series has other advantages it's nice to have both.
  • Boyd 1974 Points
    I believe the GPSMap 64 series supports custom maps (.kmz files) with a total of 500 tiles. The eTrex 20/30 only support 100 tiles. Will be interesting to see if they increase this to 500 on the 20x and 30x.
  • SamuelD 12 Points
    DaveM said:

    The 64s which is the one that's the same price as the 30/30x and is closest to it in feathers has ANT+. THE 64 Is closer to a 20/20x and is $250 instead of $200 for the 20x.

    Ah, you’re right. The GPSMAP 64 series prices are officially $250, $300, and $350, whereas I thought they were $300, $400, and $500 as they were at the start.
  • mikeinbrazil 6 Points
    edited May 2015
    The
    Boyd said:

    Zemartelo said:

    $300Us for the 30X is a bit excessive imo.
    For that price I expect a bigger and touchscreen at least for a dedicated device.

    I think the Oregon 600 for $220 would be better use of your money at the moment. :) http://forums.gpsreview.net/discussion/comment/200006/#Comment_200006
    The Oregon 600 is indeed now available for 220 ...wow.

    Sale goes from May 15-May 25.

    Hmmm, now i am severely conflicted. I was all set to buy the Etrex 20 b/c of its price/value and small size. I was not even considering the Oregon series. Is the O 600 at $220 a no brainer better purchase than the etrex 20 at $180?

    i am still attracted to the etrex for its smaller size, and i am not sure i prefer a touch screen(600) to a joystick control (etrex 20). I like touch screen on tablets and such, but on a small device in the sunlight, i have some doubts whether the touchscreen will be more frustrating than helpful. I have no practical experience to judge, other than my frustration trying to use my smart phone in sunlight, but that is probably not a valid comparison.
    ____________
    edited by moderator - you will find the Oregon 600 on REI's site now, but we prefer that you do not post links to vendor websites, thanks.
  • Boyd 1974 Points
    Personally, I think it would be crazy to spend $180 on the eTrex (a bottom of the line product) when you can get the Oregon (a top of the line product) for $40 more. But that's just me. :)
  • mikeinbrazil 6 Points
    edited May 2015
    Boyd said:

    Personally, I think it would be crazy to spend $180 on the eTrex (a bottom of the line product) when you can get the Oregon (a top of the line product) for $40 more. But that's just me. :)

    well, i would agree with you if I understood the incremental value of the 600 better. Sometimes with technology (cameras, phones, etc) the higher end products cost more b/c they have features which are important to power users but not important to casual users. That may or may not be the case here.
    For me, ergonomics, size and batter life are all important considerations. I am not familiar enough with GPS devices to fully understand why the 600 was so much more expensive in the first place .... so its a bit hard for me to appreciate the value of the sale , other than the obvious and impressive 45% discount. I am reading more on the 600 now ...
  • DaveM 159 Points
    I think the biggest thing you need to look at between the Oregon and eTrex is the touch-screen. It has pros and cons. To some people it's a big advantage but to me it's a deal breaker.

    If you have a store near you that carries them go in and play with all of them.

    I like my eTrex but it's getting harder to justify buying one when you can buy a 64 series if you like buttons or a Oregon if you like touch-screen for the same price or not much more. As I said the biggest advantage of the eTrex to me is that it's smaller and has better battery life. The Oregon and 64 both have good battery life and will last all day+ for most things I do. The exception is a long bike ride (I do rides of 24 hr and more) but I can carry extra batteries. They are also not that much larger
  • Boyd 1974 Points
    edited May 2015
    Over the years I have owned several button based GPS devices - Magellan Meridian Gold, eTrex Legend C, GPSMap 60csx and a Magellan Triton 1500 which is a hybrid with both buttons and a touchscreen. I like physical buttons for the tactile feedback, but I find the user interface very awkward by today's standards.

    If you just look at the screen or use existing routes/tracks then they are fine. But if you want to search, create waypoints or enter coordinates, they're really a pain. Picking letters from a tiny grid with a cursor key is really tedious, reminds me of programming a VCR 30 years ago. ;)

    Aside from that, the Oregon has a glass capacitive multi-touch screen that supports gestures like modern smartphones. It supports 500 custom map tiles and the eTrex only supports 100. I don't geocache, but I think the Oregon supports more caches and more waypoints.

    I have never used an Oregon 6xx - I owned the original model (400t) and currently use a Montana 600. But I believe the Oregon 600 inherited the powerful new features of the Montana that are not available on the eTrex.

    You can customize just about every aspect of these models. One powerful new feature is called "shortcuts". These are scripts or macros that you create to automate complex sequences of menu commands. This makes it easy to do things that require drilling down through multiple menu levels on other devices. Another powerful feature is called "favorites". These are frequently used commands that you choose to place in the dashboard. And you can use your shortcuts as favorites as well.

    The result is that, once you have everything configured to your preferences, you can do almost anything with only one or two screen taps on these new models.

    And since you are comparing the eTrex 20, another big difference is that you get the triaxial compass and barometer with the Oregon.

    We all have our own preferences. I don't care much about battery life, I don't go on long hikes and I can always bring space batteries. Since I make my own maps, I like a big screen with lots of pixels. And I just don't care for the button interface. That is why I think the Oregon is the better deal.
  • DaveM 159 Points
    I agree that's a great price on the Oregon and that it's good GPS. I also agree on the compass, it's not needed but nice to have. After getting use to it on my 64s any GPS I buy will have one.

    I'm not saying touch-screen is bad just that there is pros and cons. The touch screen is better for entering things like waypoints names etc. But the way I use a GPS I don't enter that many waypoints in the field. When I do I use the default name and change it later BaseCamp. The main reason I would not buy touch-screen as an only GPS is I ride and hike in all conditions. When it's cold and raining and you have on heave gloves and if on the bike hitting bumps it's a pain to use.

    I think each person needs to think about how he/she is using a GPS and his/her preferences and hopefully find a local store to play with them

    I've said that I like having an eTrex and a 64 and I do. I've also said if anything happened to my 20 I would replace it with a 30. But doing a lot of thinking mainly do to this thread about what I consider two small advantages I don't think I would at current pricing.
  • sussamb 798 Points
    Like you I use my GPS for hiking. I have an Etrex20 and a Montana. My favourite is the Etrex mainly due to its smaller size as it fits better in my hand. Again I don't enter lots of data so that isn't a problem, if I did the Montana would be my choice. Compass I can take or leave.
  • SamuelD 12 Points
    Going back to the eTrex versus GPSMAP: how much difference does the quad-helix antenna make?

    I have tried to find a YouTube video showing signal strength on a GPSMAP versus any Garmin without the quad-helix antenna, perhaps in tough conditions (urban canyons, etc.). I didn’t find anything. Maybe the difference is so slight it can’t easily be shown?

    I have three main uses for a handheld GPS receiver: road cycling, hiking in rural areas, and finding my way in a city I don’t know (for which an iPhone is usually easier but runs out of battery on a busy day of sightseeing). In rural areas I usually have no problem with signal strength. In cities, both while walking and cycling, my GPS receivers (Edge 800 and nüvi 255) sometimes get flaky or take forever to get a lock. Ironically my iPhone nails its position in ten seconds flat in seemingly all conditions (I know why).

    The compact size of the eTrex is attractive. In a city it’s nice to be discreet, and being able to pocket the device is nice wherever you use it.
  • Boyd 1974 Points
    edited May 2015
    My comments were about the $180 etrex vs $220 Oregon and which is a better value. IMO, $180 for an eTrex 20 is no bargain in the first place though. We have seen it on sale for much less. GPSCity has it new for $160 or a factory refurb for $135. At that price, you could make a much better case for the eTrex vs Oregon. :)

    I did a lot of tests with a 60csx (quad helix) and Montana when I wrote a review of the Garmin GLO for GPSTracklog. See this thread. I don't know what conclusions we can draw about the quad helix here though, since the GPS chipsets play such an important role. http://forums.gpsreview.net/discussion/27533/x/p1/

    As far as being discreet in the city, a smart phone wins this hands down. Everybody walks around staring at their phone so you won't look like a tourist. The use of cell towers and known wifi hotspots is also a big plus in a downtown area with big buildings that block satellite reception.
  • SamuelD 12 Points
    If the Oregon 600 were available for anything like $220 where I live, I would take a long, hard look at it. As is, I’m most interested in the GPSMAP 64, eTrex 20x, and eTrex 20. I tend to keep electronics for several years, so I’m in no great hurry to make this decision.

    Your GLO test is interesting. I suppose the devices might behave differently in an urban canyon, though. And reinforcing your point about the importance of the chipset, I noticed the 64st holds onto a signal quite a bit better than the 62st throughout that YouTube review. And, who knows, maybe the 62st is itself better in this regard than 60csx you compared to the GLO in that thread.
  • Boyd 1974 Points
    edited May 2015
    Believe it or not, you will find a fair number of people who still believe the 60csx is the "holy grail" when it comes to accuracy. This only applies to older models with the SiRF chipset (like mine) though. Towards the end of 60csx production, Garmin switched to a different chip.

    DIdn't watch that video, but the 64 has GLONASS and the 62 does not. The extra satellites could be a plus in difficult conditions.
  • DaveM 159 Points
    On the quad-helix antenna I have played with the eTrex and 64 side by side and never found one to be better then the other. I wouldn't let the antenna influence my decision.

    The biggest difference I've found in locations where it's hard to get a signal is GLONASS. I think this is why the 64 in the video had a signal when the 62 didn't. My eTrex and 64s both work in rooms where my older Garmins never did. It makes a large difference which makes since as the more satellites the more the GPS has a chance of getting a signal from. I don't think it helps a lot if at all out in an open area. The Oregon, eTrex and 64 all have GLONASS. So this would not influence my decision between the 3 but would if I started looking at a different model without GLONASS.
  • Boyd 1974 Points
    A bit off-topic, but I see the new eTrex models didn't even rate a mention in "this week in GPS" over at GPSTracklog. There was a time, not long ago, when Rich would have been the one that broke the story…. :(
  • Boyd said:

    Over the years I have owned several button based GPS devices - Magellan Meridian Gold, eTrex Legend C, GPSMap 60csx and a Magellan Triton 1500 which is a hybrid with both buttons and a touchscreen. I like physical buttons for the tactile feedback, but I find the user interface very awkward by today's standards.

    If you just look at the screen or use existing routes/tracks then they are fine. But if you want to search, create waypoints or enter coordinates, they're really a pain. Picking letters from a tiny grid with a cursor key is really tedious, reminds me of programming a VCR 30 years ago. ;)

    Aside from that, the Oregon has a glass capacitive multi-touch screen that supports gestures like modern smartphones. It supports 500 custom map tiles and the eTrex only supports 100. I don't geocache, but I think the Oregon supports more caches and more waypoints.

    I have never used an Oregon 6xx - I owned the original model (400t) and currently use a Montana 600. But I believe the Oregon 600 inherited the powerful new features of the Montana that are not available on the eTrex.

    You can customize just about every aspect of these models. One powerful new feature is called "shortcuts". These are scripts or macros that you create to automate complex sequences of menu commands. This makes it easy to do things that require drilling down through multiple menu levels on other devices. Another powerful feature is called "favorites". These are frequently used commands that you choose to place in the dashboard. And you can use your shortcuts as favorites as well.

    The result is that, once you have everything configured to your preferences, you can do almost anything with only one or two screen taps on these new models.

    And since you are comparing the eTrex 20, another big difference is that you get the triaxial compass and barometer with the Oregon.

    We all have our own preferences. I don't care much about battery life, I don't go on long hikes and I can always bring space batteries. Since I make my own maps, I like a big screen with lots of pixels. And I just don't care for the button interface. That is why I think the Oregon is the better deal.

    Thanks, for the details. I probably won't be entering too much data on the fly. I hope to be in mostly read mode. However, looking at one matrix comparison it says that the Oregon has Sunlight-readable Color Screen and the Etrex 20 does not. I thought the Etrex was also optimized for sunlight ...maybe not. If that is true,that is a big plus imo for the Oregon. Biggest downside is battery life, 25 hours for etrex vs 16 or less for Oregon. Don't like to carry too many extra batteries. Do the optiona rechargeable NIMH batteries have longer life as well as being rechargeable?
  • Zemartelo 207 Points
    I would skip the rechargeable Garmin pack. They are only 2000mAh and I'm reading reports that they degrade fairly quickly. For the cost you can buy at least 4 eneloops 2400mAh that would last you for years. And it seems that you can mood the 600 to charge any nimhs
  • DaveM 159 Points
    The eTrex screen is very sunlight readable. I use NaMH batteries I like Eneloop best but have used others and am very happy with the life. Battery life can very a lot depend on how bright the back-light is, how long is's on is GLONASS enabled is battery save mode enabled etc. that without timing run time with both sets of batteries it's hard to say. even then you would need to push a button the same number of times as this will bring on the back-light and also the screen if it's off.
  • sussamb 798 Points
    Boyd said:

    A bit off-topic, but I see the new eTrex models didn't even rate a mention in "this week in GPS" over at GPSTracklog. There was a time, not long ago, when Rich would have been the one that broke the story…. :(

    Yes, I looked there but nothing .... as you say Rich would have been on top of it.
  • Boyd 1974 Points

    looking at one matrix comparison it says that the Oregon has Sunlight-readable Color Screen and the Etrex 20 does not.

    That is nonsense, either it's a mistake or they are just using different marketing-speak in the descriptions. Both are transreflective screens. This means that they can be viewed by reflected ambient light with the backlight turned off. All of Garmin's handhelds have this kind of screen.

    On a device with a regular LCD, like a Nuvi, you cannot see anything on the screen with the backlight turned off.
  • hmm, the reviews on the Oregon 600 on amazon are pretty spotty, a lot of complaints about the software. Maybe they are just non technical folks. But one thing concerned me, one person wrote that the screen was over responsive and there were a lot of accidental changes to the screen. Is this anyone else's experience. If you are walking and holding it, is it too easy to accidentally touch and result in pushing the map or triggering some other unintentional change? While in your pocket ...
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