Good value handset, but lacking a few features
Having only used the device for measuring how fast (and, more importantly how far... or should that be how lazy) my running is, I've found the Garmin eTrex Venture to be of considerable use.
The screen is easily laid out and accessible, with large, clear print on the measurements pages, and a crisp, bright backlight for low-light use that doesn't require squinting to decipher the text on screen. The included route features and waypoint mapping are relatively straightforward (although entering names for custom points of interest is a little time-consuming), and the 4-way joypad in the top left of the screen is responsive and accurate. The device operates best in clear weather conditions and can reach an impressive accuracy of up to approx 3m (10ft). Battery life is also relatively good too, with my device sustaining up to around a day's usage on rechargable Li-Ion AA batteries (Garmin state 20hrs continuous usage, on batter-saving mode), so their estimates aren't too far off. Furthermore, cities and towns (to populations approx 30,000 in size) are pre-installed on the device's limited 8mb memory.
However, for an entry-level device, I was surprised at a lack of a few basic features. There is no dashboard clip included for attaching the unit to the inside of a vehicle. More importantly, the device will not operate within the confines of any vehicle that I have travelled in - signal will drop to zero once the device is moved within 4 walls and a ceiling. The interface for entering waypoints is a little confusing, and difficult to find under the various settings menus. A USB data cable is not included, for downloading additional waypoints from CDs that the manufacturer sells at an additional charge. And sometimes the operating system is sluggish to respond to commands to move around the mapping pages (this may just be a graphics drawing delay, yet still noticeable).
Overall, a good entry-level, value-for-money device for people who enjoy the outdoors on a Sunday afternoon, whether it's on foot or water, but I wouldn't rely on it to trek through sub-tropical Amazonian rainforest, hiking across the Himalayas or, for that matter, finding my way to my best friend's house when he's just moved 20 miles away and I've never driven the route before.
28 of 31 people found this review helpful.
I purchased this unit to track my routes on a recent motorcycle trip. With the ability to load the data into programs such as google earth, i was able to visually see all the area i had travelled. the memory was quite large for recording my individual tracks,on average about 200 miles before the memory was nearly full. then i would save the track and start over again. i had not even used all of the memory available for the 10 track logs that could be saved. the interface took a little to get used to, but after playing with the unit i only read the book to see if there was anything i missed, that easy to use. i have yet to try any of the mapsource software and i am looking forward to it. i would like the ability to program coordinates into it before a trip and i am hoping the mapsource software will do that. the only real drawback is the data cable that comes with the unit. it is a serial cable,and you would need to purchase an additional adapter cable to convert to usb if your computer is of the newer variaty that does not have a serial port. double check the website before purchasing the adapter cable tho. some cable manufactures do not have compatable software for serial to usb adapter.
one of the things i found as an unexpected plus was the way the memory saves your data. when the batteries do go dead, you do not lose any of your saved data. although i will be purchasing the power adapter for automobiles tho worth the cost in the long run. if you can find one here on ebay for a decent price it is worth it. i shopped around for about a month, found a product, researched them on the manufactures website, read reviews, and shopped more. this unit did exactly what i needed it to do, and i had gotten a great deal on it.
17 of 17 people found this review helpful.
Best Value in Mapping GPS!
You just can't go wrong with this little gem of a GPS receiver! I have bought and sold over a hundred different receivers, and I would put this one in my top three, along with the Garmin Vista HCX and Delorme PN-20. This one does everything well - Intuitive controls, quick satellite acquisition, clear, bright display, and superior mapping capability. The 24mb of memory is enough room for a state's worth of maps. Antenna sensitivity is excellent - you won't have trouble losing satellite lock under trees or in canyons or in cities. What don't I like about it? That's tough! I guess I would like a bigger screen, that's it. But if you don't have the extra $50 to $100 for a legend or vista HCX, the venture (for about $100 on eBay) is an outstanding value.
10 of 10 people found this review helpful.
what a value!!
this is the most optimized handheld gps you can get. I got it yesterday, played around with it some, not thinking I would ever bother with uploading terrain maps (only because my original goal was to use it for keeping me from getting lost in the woods on weekend hikes). Well, even though I use a mac (I expected this to be an ordeal), I decided to download the free mapinstall software from Garmin. Then I went to GPSfiledepot.com and got a free topo map of my area (also free). Everything was a piece of cake!!! now I have a super accurate GPS for next-to-no money, with terrain maps of my whole region of the country all FREE!!! I just can't believe how cheap, easy, and high-quality everything is. I should have done this a long time ago. my only minor complaint is the slow drawing speed when using high resolution terrain maps - Garmin needs a faster processor, but it's a small price to pay for keeping me from getting lost in the woods (yes, I've done it twice even in my own city parks - if you get off the trails you might as well be in Siberia...)
7 of 7 people found this review helpful.
Garmin eTrex Venture HC
I love the streamlined features of the reciever. It has everything I want and nothing I don't. The batteries (I had lithium) lasted about 20-25hrs of on time. It has easy to use features, quick lock on satellite, altitude of waypoints, and it is simple to learn to use. Works well also with my National Geographic Topo software and I use a Mac. I have created routes and loaded them onto my GPS with the software and it is accurate withing about 200 ft. Great for getting the jist that you are headed in the right direction etc. I have only lost reception once and not for very long. It was in the bottom of a canyon between two mountains. Perfect receiver for navigating, waypoints etc. Easy, small, uncomplicated and a good price.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful.