on May 7, 2011
I have a small problem when it comes to purchasing a new product....I research things to death! Sometimes you get it right and sometimes you get it wrong. This was definitely a get it right product.
We have used the gps primarily for geocaching and it works excellent for that. We usually get within a couple of feet of the cache. My 11 year old son and his friends have been using it to geocache after school and the unit is still in perfect condition. The build quality is excellent.
I knew what to expect when it came to the Delormes shortcomings so they weren't really a problem for me. The menus are not always intuitive but we were able to use the unit a short time after receiving it. Part of the problem is the unit can do a lot and we are still finding sub menus that we hadn't discovered before. The screen resolution may not be high enough for some HD addicts but it works well in all light and is very clear. The user manual will get you started but it is vague in some areas and can be a bit frustrating.
The positives are that this unit is quick to acquire satellites, has always kept a fix, has excellent customer service based in of all places North America, very durable and has an awful lot of features.
The other feature that blows away almost any other gps in its price range is the maps that come with it. The value of these maps alone is worth 10x what the gps is worth and for $30 a year you can get unlimited access to maps from Delorme.
You can buy simpler to use gps's but you wont find one that offers better performance and value in this price range.
I would also like to commend Amazon for there excellent customer service. I had saved this unit to my shopping cart and was going to finish the transaction in the morning. Overnight the price had jumped so I was a little perturbed. After a couple of emails Amazon honoured the original price and we received the unit 2 days later. Other companies could learn from Amazon.
on May 27, 2011
I've had the unit for a few weeks. It does all the usual stuff that a GPS should do, but I'd expect that - it's what you pay for.
I bought the charger and battery as a $50 package from a shop here in Calgary. I wanted a spare battery for longer trips, but was annoyed to learn that you can only buy the individual Delorme Li-Ion batteries directly from the manufacturer - I was told that they won't supply these items to Canadian retailers. When I tried ordering a battery, Delorme's web site wanted $15 for it, but then lumped $50 postage in. Don't plan on getting a spare battery unless this situation changes, or you like being overcharged for being in Canada.
For some reason the mains charger didn't work the first few times I tried it - even when left overnight - nor did the car charger. Then after about 20 minutes of leaving it sat in the car, it suddenly started charging. When I plugged it back into the mains charger, that started working too. It remains to be seen whether this erratic performance will continue.
Why the two star rating? Amazon is not clear about the nature of the 1:50,000 maps that come with the unit. The maps included are Delorme's own, and not the Canadian 1:50,000 NTS sheets that you might be expecting. Also, although the blurb says 'add your own maps' it fails to mention that to do this you have to pay another $100 for the software to enable uploads. This feature was the reason I bought the system, so I was pretty annoyed at having to stump up another $100 on top of $50 for the battery/chargers and the cost of the unit.
Eventually I'll get through all these initial problems, and I guess I'll be happy with the unit, but it's certainly not been a straightforward straight-from-the-box success story.
on July 2, 2011
Over the years I've worked my way through many GPSr, even before selective availability was turned off. This is probably the worst handheld device I've ever had. The unit is very plasticy which scratches easily. Delorme use a proprietary USB connector which is prone to breaking. It also means that if you need the cable when traveling you can't easily get a replacement.
The sw in the unit itself is fairly easy to use and get used to, but not intuitive. When I first unboxed the unit I took it to an open area to get its first fix. This took over almost 20 minutes which is way too long for a cold start. My Garmin which had last been used over 10,000 miles away took 2 minutes for its cold start in the same place.
The one redeeming feature this unit has is the mapping. The supplied maps seem to be pretty good, and the included one years subscription is worth having.
Would I buy this unit again: no, nor would I recommend it.