Finally going to bite the bullet and get a GPS. Thanks to the input from posters on other threads, I believe I’ve narrowed it down to the Garmin E Trex Legend, unless someone recommends something different. Will use it primarily for trip distance and speed functions. Question: Is the ‘C’ version worthwhile for the color screen? I have a Mac platform and unless I’m mistaken, the uploadable additional mapping software is only PC compatible, so it will probably get limited use in the car. Is it worth the extra $$, or will the standard Legend suffice?
Color! Color! Color!
I faced this same decision a few months ago. I went for the color, and boy, am I glad. If you compare the specs closely, you’ll see that the color model has much longer battery life, and it also has built-in geocaching and auto-routing support. It is much easier to distinguish various mapping features in color vs b&w. Also, the USB cable interface is much faster at data transfer than the serial interface on the b&w unit. I’m not sure about your Mac issues, but you can call Garmin Tech Support at 800-800-1020 (8 - 5 Central M-F), and they will answer all your questions. This is a great little gps.
virtual pc on mac
I haven’t used Garmin software on my mac laptop yet. However, I’ve installed and I am using a lot of PC windows software under Virtual OC on Mac. There is some lost of efficiency but everything is running without problems (e.g., Mathcad, Fortran compiler, Surfer and Grapher by Golden Software). Before the next longer paddling trip I am going to set up Garmin MapSource on my laptop as well.
Starting around this time next year, Apple will begin releasing its first Intel-based Macs, probably in the consumer line (iBook/iMac/Mac mini). Nothing is yet certain, but so far everything indicates that you will be able to run Windows natively on your Intell Apple box. Not sure if you are in the market for a new Mac, but if you are, there you go.
Color is the way to go…
I have a B&W Etrex legend. I wish I had gone for the color version. Mine works great, but these old eyes have trouble telling roads, contour lines, and waterways apart. If you can make it work on your system, the Mapsource software is a must to have for canoeing. Most inland waterways are not even on the map that is included.
More memory, too
P.S. The color model has something like three times the mapping memory of the b&w model. Very important!
Super Deal on B&W Legend
Dick’s Sporting Goods has the B&W version of the Garmin Legend for $199.00 with rebates. Package includes Legend GPS, Garmin Topo Software, Car Adapter, Car Mount, Carrying Case, and Instructional Video.
The Legend has mapping capability and is capatible with nearly all of the Garmin software, including Bluechart.
Still carry charts, guess it depends on what you want to use it for. I thought of it as a piece of safety gear more than anything else, so the extra cash didn’t really seem worth it. I’ll probably pick up a deck mounted compass soon, then I might never actually look at the thing. It is nice to upload the trip stats from after a good paddle, but the course gets plotted on my nice PC charts at that point, so I can still make pretty pictures, just can’t look at them in the boat.
If all you want is speed and distance
then B&W is fine as you will only be looking at the trip computer page for the most part. Color comes more into play with the mapping functions. FWIW I’d go with the more expensive Gpsmap 60 series. Better antenna. Won’t be a problem on open water but will make a difference if you travel under any kind of dense tree cover, canyons, etc.
B&W vs. Color Pricing
Best prices found over the net are $149 for the Legend, $249 for the Legend C. It will mainly be used for speed and distance-debated between GPS and Speedmate for training purposes, but can’t rule out that I’d never use it for mapping functions as well. For this, I can see the color being advantageous. Thanks to all who posted recommendations and opinions.