IR: Magellan eXplorist 710 GPS receiver - Mike Curry
Well, here you go. I still haven't figured out a way to get good photos of the screens, so I'll either figure it out between now and the FR, or I'll just use the manfuacturer's when we get into detail about stuff (if needed).
HTML can be found at http://tinyurl.com/magellaneXploristIR
Looking forward to your edits!
MAGELLAN EXPLORIST 710
TEST SERIES BY MIKE CURRY
October 02, 2011
NAME: Mike Curry
LOCATION: Aberdeen, Washington
HEIGHT: 5' 11" (1.80 m)
WEIGHT: 210 lb (95.30 kg)
I've been backpacking, climbing, ski-packing, bushwhacking, and snowshoeing throughout the mountains of Oregon and Washington for the last 25 years. I'm an all-season, all terrain, off-trail kind of guy, but these days (having small kids) most of my trips run on the shorter side of things, and tend to be in the temperate rainforest. While I've carried packs (with winter climbing gear) in excess of 70 pounds (32 kilos), the older I get the more minimalist I become.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: Magellan <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 1" IMAGE CAPTION = "Photo Courtesy of Manufacturer">>
Year of Manufacture: 2011
Manufacturer's Website: <<HYPERLINK GOES HERE - "http://www.magellangps.com" LINK TEXT = "www.magellangps.com">>
Listed Weight: 6.87 oz (195 g)
Measured Weight: 7.9 oz (225 g) with batteries (6.9 oz, 197 g without batteries)
Batteries Required - 2 AA
FEATURES (From Manufacturer's Website):
>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.direction is north, and your accurate altitude about sea level with built-in sensors. Know the direction to the geocache while standing still. Measure barometric pressure over time to track changing weather conditions. Use a number of different digital compass' to always understand your cardinal directions.
>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.
>3-axis Electronic Compass & Barometric Altimeter* Always know exactly where you are going, which
>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.<<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 2" IMAGE CAPTION = "Photo Courtesy of Manufacturer">>
>16 Hours of Battery Life Powered by two AA batteries, the eXplorist 710 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.INITIAL IMPRESSIONS
>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.
>Summit Series USA Summit Series USA is highly detailed topographic map based on 1:24,000 scale source maps. The map includes contour lines, land use areas, trails, waterways, and points of interest. Locate the nearest trailhead. Search nearest bike shops, fuel stations, or potable water source. Navigate safely in 3D perspective view while knowing the boundaries between private and public lands.
>City Series City Series USA allows your eXplorist device to navigate through the city streets with turn-by-turn directions on your way to escaping to your favorite open spaces. Enter a variety of destinations, including address book entries, waypoints, geocaches, or previous destinations.
>Navionics® Map Compatibility. Navionics is a world of products that enhance your enjoyment on and off your boat. Simply purchase a Navionics Gold Chart, HotMaps® Premium, or FishN' Chip Region (sold separately) and plug the SD Card into the eXplorist 510, 610 or 710.
The Magellan eXplorist 710 comes in an attractive retail display box that provides information on the eXplorist's features and system requirements. The box contains the eXplorist 710 GPS receiver, a standard mini USB cable, 2 AA batteries, a quick start guide, and a 30 day premium membership to Geocaching.com.
My first impression was that the eXplorist 710 felt hefty and well-built, with a body made primarily of plastic with some metal, and a screen that was recessed slightly which may offer it some protection in the event of an accidental dropping. I also liked that hit had a loop built into the case that would allow me to attach a lanyard, though I was disappointed that the opening isn't quite large enough for my standard carabiners.
The back is opened using a flip-out twist lock that provides easy access to the SD card slot and batteries without the need for any tools. The camera lens and speaker are found on either side of this twist lock. The microphone is found below the screen on the front of the device, and the device uses only three buttons: the power button (on the top of the device) and a large camera button on the left side of the device, with a smaller button above that is used to save waypoints The USB port is found under a rubber plug like those found on many cellular phones, only larger, near the loop there a lanyard can be attached.
Additional discussion of features can be found in the "trying it out" section below.
READING THE INSTRUCTIONS
The eXplorist 710 comes with a Quick Start guide that covers basic operations, including using buttons, installing batteries and a micro SD card, compass calibration, the map screen, the 4-corner screen menu, adding a waypoint, creating a route, tools and settings, and recording a track.
These basic instructions were more than adequate to get me started. Most things I wanted to accomplish I was able to do so with this basic information.
The full users manual is available for download at the manufacturer's website as a .pdf document. I have downloaded the manual, but have only just begun reading it. It is extensive and detailed, and under normal use I would probably use it only as a reference, though for the context of testing, I plan to read the entire document to ensure I have a complete knowledge of the eXplorist 710's capabilities.
TRYING IT OUT
After glancing quickly through the quick start guide, I installed the batteries. This was easy enough, and the only thing of interest I would note is that the micro SD card slot is beneath the batteries, and there is a seal around the battery door that flops loose every time I take it off (it hasn't fallen off, but I keep an eye on it and carefully re-position it before putting the door back on). Since I can't anticipate the need to remove or install a micro SD card in the field, I don't think the placement is a problem, but mention it for those interested in where it is located.
Powering the device on it went into it's startup cycle, which takes approximately 45 seconds. The first time I did this I was in my living room, and showed my location somewhere in California (presumably where it was last powered on). I was impressed not only to find it was able to achieve a satellite lock in my living room, but that it did so in under 2 minutes!
I began to play around some with the touchscreen interface. I found it to be crisp and responsive, I look forward to seeing how that changes in the rain (if at all) since most touchscreens I've used don't work well in our climate without sheltering them from the rain. The main display has a menu bar across the top with icons showing various data (signal strength, battery charge, mode, time of day, etc.). The map is displayed in the middle, with zoom in and out buttons to the right. At the bottom are two data displays which I quickly discovered were user-customizable by holding my finger on one. Fields available include heading, speed, elevation, depth, primary coordinates, secondary coordinates, accuracy, bearing, course, destination, distance to next, time to next, and distance to end. What I loved was that it only takes a moment to switch between these.
Tapping the screen on the map pulls up the corner menus. In this mode, the map is still visible in the middle, but tapping in a corner brings up one of four menus. Upper left is the dashboard menu, which displays 8 user-defined fields (from the list in the last paragraph) plus a compass which shows cardinal directions and points to your destination as well as other basic details. The upper right menu is the OneTouch menu, which allows the user to create personalized shortcuts. The lower left menu is the main menu, where features and settings can be accessed, and the lower right menu is the options menu, where the user can select basic options.
My general take on the device was it was intuitive enough that I could get it to do what I wanted it to do without consulting the manual in most cases, but to access advanced features I was definitely going to need to study. At one point I decided to navigate to a known destination, and it took me almost 20 minutes to learn how to clear the destination (changing it I could do intuitively, but returning the device to where it had no destination at all took some exploring!).
After some playing, I decided I needed to connect the eXplorist 710 to my PC and see what I could make happen. I installed VantagePoint, which I haven't played around with much, other than to see it appears to allow me to view my tracks, etc., using Digital Globe maps. I also installed Magellan Communicator (which allows me to transfer .gpx files, allowing me to use the "Send to GPS" function at Geocaching.com). Finally I installed Content Manager, which checks to make sure my device's software is up-to-date.
One of the very next things I did was updated the devices software when prompted, which took less than 10 minutes.
After all that, I went to Geocaching.com and downloaded a cache that is a block from my house to the device. It was simple and intuitive. I was able to go into the main menu, select geocaches, and there it was. I tapped it, tapped go, and I was on my way. Five minutes later we were on the cache (or rather, where the cache used to be, since it's been muggled). It showed me as being on the cache with an accuracy of about 2 meters (7 feet) when I was standing about 5 feet from where the cache used to be.
The Magellan eXplorist 710 GPS receiver so far appears to be a feature-rich yet relatively easy-to-use gps receiver. The paperless geocaching is an interesting feature that is very easy to use. Maps are adequately detailed, and the user experience so far has been very good. The device seems rugged enough for my typical outdoor activities, and I look forward to trying more of the device's features over the coming months.
I would like to thank Magellan and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test the eXplorist 710 GPS receiver. My field report will be appended in approximately two months, so please check back at that time for addtional information. This concludes my initial report.
This report was created with the BGT Report Generator.
Copyright 2011. All rights reserved.