Friday, March 11, 2011

Magellan eXplorist 510 Handheld GPS Review

GPS receivers are a great way to help us get where we need to go. But turn by turn directions down streets is not what we always need. We do not always need directions to a street address. GPS receivers can also be used outdoors. Up for review today is the Magellan eXplorist handheld GPS reciever.

The Magellan eXplorist is not only a rugged GPS reciever, it is also waterproof. These qualities make great for use outdoors. Add to that the fact that it uses two AA batteries for power. Whether the road is paved, dirt, or maybe mountain trail, the Magellan eXplorist 510 will show you where you are. So whether you are off-roading, mountain biking, camping or hiking it is a great companion.

The Magellan eXplorist 510 has a great list of features. They include:
◦Core Outdoor Navigation Rugged and waterproof, the eXplorist combines high sensitivity GPS reception with aesthetic mapping and accurate navigation. Find your way using more than 30 navigational data fields. Create waypoints, record tracks, and route from point to point.
◦Experience Recording Integrated 3.2 mega-pixel camera, microphone, and speaker enables outdoor enthusiasts to record geo-referenced images and voice notes. Relive your outdoor adventures on the device, on your computer, or share with others on various online communities.
◦Superior Maps with 3D Perspective View The eXplorist series packs some of the most accurate maps into the palm of your hand. The World Edition map allows for 2D or 3D viewing angles and covers the globe with details roads and land use areas. Summit Series is a new breed of topographic outdoor maps covering various regions with high level of detail. City Series will add turn-by-turn routing to your handheld GPS receiver.
◦3.0" Touch Screen and Button Controls The best of both worlds, the eXplorist combines the user friendliness of a touch screen with the reliability of two customizable hard buttons. Program the hard buttons to your two favorite or most used functions.
◦Paperless Geocaching Download and view more than 20 unique characteristics of each cache and view, search, filter on the device. Details include name, location, description, hider, size, difficulty, terrain, hint, and recent logs created by other geocachers.
◦16 Hours of Battery Life Powered by two AA batteries, the eXplorist 510 will last up to 16 hours under normal conditions. To help conserve power, use the suspend mode to turn off the device but maintain GPS tracking. You can also adjust power management settings to your preference.
◦OneTouch™ Menu Magellan's award winning OneTouch™ favorites menu is now on our handheld devices. It provides instant access to bookmarks of favorite places. Set your home, base camp, and car. Easily re-assign a new location for each new adventure. 12 customizable icons to create personalized searches, save unique locations, or assign quick access to your favorite screens.
◦World Edition Pre-loaded Map The World Edition includes a complete road network in United States, Canada, Western Europe, and Australia and major roads throughout the rest of the world that provides cartographic orientation in almost any location. This unique preloaded map also includes water features, urban and rural land use, and a realistic shaded relief background.

And it's specs include:

Dimensions (English)
2.57" x 5.04" x 1.45"Dimensions (Metric)
65.3mm x 128mm x 36.8mmWeight (English)
6.87oz Weight (Metric)
195g Battery Type
2xAA Battery Life: 15 Hours
Camera: Yes
Flashlight: No
Microphone: Yes
Waterproof: IPX-7
Stereo Audio Jack: No
Available User Storage:500 MB
Expandable Memory: microSD
Temperature Range (F): 14F to 140F
Temperature Range (C): -10C to 60C
Suspend Mode: Yes
Internal Memory: 2 GB
Screen Display Resolution, WxH: WQVGA, 240 x 400
Screen Size: 3.0"
Display Type: Color, Transflective
Touch Screen: Yes
GPS & Sensors
GPS Accuracy: Up to 3-5 meters
High-Sensitivity GPS: SiRFstarIII™
Antenna Type: Multidirectional Patch

Mapping & Navigation
Preloaded Maps: World Edition
Uploadable Maps: Yes
Points of Interest: Yes
Turn-by-Turn Routing: No
Vertical Profile: Yes
Area Calculation: Yes
Hunt & Fish Calendar: Yes
Sun & Moon Information: Yes
Tide & Current Tables: No
Coordinates Systems & Datums: Yes
User Grid: Yes
AAA TourBook: No
Lifetime Traffic Alerts: No
Highway Lane Assist: No
Multi-Destination Routing: No
OneTouch Favorites Menu: Yes
Speed Limits: No
Spoken Street Names: No
Audible Proximity Alarms: Yes
Silent Proximity Alarms: Yes

User Generated Content:
Accepts GPX Files: Yes
Waypoints: 2000
Routes: 200
Geocaches: 10000
Legs Per Route: 500
Paperless Geocaching: Yes
Picture Viewer: Yes
Tracks: 200
Points Per Track: 10000

Quality and construction is also very good. The color LCD display is indented into the body. That way if it is accidentally dropped, the display is protected. The body is rubberized, to help make it shockproof. This also helps to protect the receiver against bumps and drops. Fit and finish is also very good, giving it the quality many have come to expect from Magellan.

All of these components and features came together well. The Magellan eXplorist 510 performed very well! I really liked some of the features, like starting a new track, and adding waypoints. This lets you mark your exact location when you start, and then add multiple waypoints to mark your way as you go. The Magellan eXplorist 510 will also track your route so you can see where you have been. It was very simple to use hiking and just overall exploring, and did not give me any problems. That is after all the quality that magellan is all about! When you are at your destination, it will also show you the way back to your origin.

It really is loaded with features for the ourdoor lover. The Magellan eXplorist 510 thought of everything when they included the built-in microphone and camera/camcorder. Now there is no need to fear about whether or not you will be able to find that perfect fishing spot where the fish always bite, or the popular trail that the local deer use. Just save the location on your eXplorist 510. To help you remember why that location is the perfect camping/fishing/hunting spot, attach a voice recording where you describe the location, and/or attach an image or video that you can also use to sell your buddies on that perfect spot! The only thing I didn't like with the Magellan eXplorist 510 was the lack of an electronic compass and barametric altimeter. But then again, that is what the eXplorist 610 is for! That aside, the eXplorist really does have a lot of great features!

The Magellan eXplorist was a pleasure to work with. After using it, I cannot imagine camping gear being complete without one. Having heard the family story first hand about how my wife's grandfather and two younger brothers got lost hiking, having it really could be life saving! If you are in the market for a handheld outdoor GPS receiver, I would highly recommend adding it to your short list. Based on it's quality, features, and performance, the Magellan eXplorist 510 has earned our Highly Recommended award. For more info and complete specs, check out their website at