The Garmin eTrex 10 may be the most price-point option inside our review, and is our Top Pick for an entry-level unit for the geocaching crowd. But despite its price, we’re able to not name it our Best Buy option, since it also severely lacks the GPS capacities of even another model up in the affordable eTrex line. This baseline unit impressed us using its speed and accuracy, so that it is a trusted option for tracking and waypoint marking. The size, durability, and battery life of the eTrex 10 also make it an excellent substitute for use in nasty weather. But its lack of a useable basemap and insufficient internal memory doesn’t make it very helpful for navigation, particularly on anything longer when compared to a day-trip.
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Our Analysis and TEST OUTCOMES
The eTrex 10 is approximately as simple since it gets, and even Garmin considers it to become a “non-mapping GPS unit.” While its preloaded basemap can happen blank – apart from major cities and borders – it can be capable of mark waypoints and save tracks, which in turn enables you to plan and save routes later through Garmin BaseCamp. It’s the most elementary GPS unit in the eTrex lineup: the easy design includes a monochromatic screen, only 6MB of internal memory, and will not add a microSD slot for just about any additional memory.
Small, portable, and plenty capable as a back-up for those who get lost, this unit is simply perfect for alpine climbing.
Most of Garmin’s units we tested employ WAAS/EGNOS-enabled receivers to greatly help improve the accuracy of their signal by up to five-times. The acronyms are a symbol of Wide Area Augmentation System (to aid US-based GPS) and European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (to supplement GPS units if they cross into pan-Euro territory.) At their most elementary, both systems certainly are a group of, “satellites and ground stations offering GPS signal correction.” This signifies that a good baseline unit, just like the eTrex 10, boasts solid GPS reception – regardless if it appears enjoy it pales compared to the competition.
In wide-open spaces with an unobstructed view of the sky, this handheld could track us with an accuracy right down to +/- 7 feet – seriously impressive for a “basic” GPS unit. Even in areas that severely limit the extent of sky – and so limiting the line-of-sight necessary for satellite reception – the eTrex 10 could are powered by 4/5 bars, in both narrow slot canyons and under dense tree cover.
Thanks to the product quality reception of the unit, we were still in a position to track our location in canyon country with impressive accuracy.
Ease of Use
This is a straightforward GPS unit, and because of this is very simple to use. Straight from the box, it is possible to quickly flip through the single-screen menu of the eTrex 10, and find out its major functions – the machine even includes four, pre-set profiles to assist you better manage options and settings.
Although it does include somewhat superfluous features just like a calculator and stopwatch, it isn’t really possible to accomplish a lot of extra with this GPS. Using the eTrex 10 is nearly inherently intuitive, because of a clean, five-button layout coupled with an individual toggle for moving about the screen – and incredibly simple to use in winter while wearing gloves.
To get the most out of a handheld GPS – even an uncomplicated one – we can not overstate the comprehension one will gain from reading the procedure manual, and perhaps even performing a little digging for tutorials online.
Ideal for marking water sources while scouting backpacking routes, not ideal for actually navigating those routes lacking any additional map.
In terms of using it as a navigational tool, the gigantic fault of the eTrex 10 may be the insufficient mapping capability. Although it is technically possible to layout an idea on the machine through the Route Planner function, with out a secondary topographic map you’d be blindly positioning waypoints on a blank basemap. In the event that you pre-plan with Garmin BaseCamp, it is straightforward enough to upload and follow a preset track to your destination. But even then, it could be nice if you could actually zoom in to the map to track your progress at something much better than the minimum resolution of 20 feet.
The eTrex 10 is a stand-out inside our review as the only GPS unit with a monochromatic (black and white) screen. The screen measures only 2.2 square inches, and will be offering a display resolution of a meager 128 x 160 pixels. However, you might feel that all this would soon add up to a not-so-friendly user experience with regards to image quality, instead, we discovered that the screen was surprisingly simple to read.
Although the screen size is bound in comparison to a great many other models available, we likely to have a tiny screen mounted on this particularly small, handheld GPS. Irrespective of size, what impressed us most about the image quality was how easy it had been to learn the monochromatic screen in bright sunlight, in particular when compared right to other units in the eTrex lineup.
With many units, it’s essential to have the backlight at max so as to read the screen completely sunlight; we were impressed at only how noticeable that one was, despite having the backlight completely down.
The eTrex series boasts the claim of the “first consumer grade GPS” to use both GPS and GLONASS satellite systems simultaneously. With both systems enabled, Garmin claims that, “enough time it requires for the receiver to ‘lock on’ to a posture is (normally) approximately 20 percent faster than using GPS [alone].” Through field testing, we discovered that the eTrex 10 absolutely lives up to the claim. This unit astounded us by firmly taking less than about a minute to go from powering on, to locating us within its finest resolution.