Garmin eTrex H
An expensive compass
- Simple to use, IPX-7 casing, configurable routes and waypoints
- No base map or detailed maps, monochrome LCD, serial PC connection, inadequate control of navigation
Although the eTrex H might suit those hikers who want nothing except the bare minimum, most will find it largely unusable. Inadequate functionality and no base map makes the unit extremely hard to use for anyone except the most experienced hikers, and the slightly more expensive Magellan Triton 200 is probably a better option.
Price$ 257.00 (AUD)
Best Deals (Selling at 1 store)
With a monochrome LCD, no built-in maps and only basic GPS guidance, the Garmin eTrex H isn’t for hiking novices. Still, even for more experienced hikers there’s no compelling argument to choose this over the much more functional Magellan Triton 200.
Features are minimal on the eTrex H. The unit is capable of storing up to 500 waypoints and 20 routes, as well as an automatic track log. As with the Triton 200, the eTrex H provides basic sunrise/sunset information based on the user’s location, as well as optimal hunting and fishing times.
Running on two AA batteries, the eTrex H can last for up to 17 hours of constant use. A PC connection is possible through a serial port, though Garmin doesn’t provide the required cable with the unit.
The unit is smaller than the Triton series, but has a similarly rugged build. The plastic and rubber case is built to IPX-7 standards, making it water-proof and dust-proof, and the five soft-touch control buttons are built into the rubber sides for extra protection. The control system is much simpler than Magellan’s, with a single 'page' button to switch between the unit’s various functions.
The monochrome LCD will be an immediate deterrent to frequent use for most users. The unit doesn’t actually use maps for navigation. Instead, the eTrex H simply plots a geolocational route, with north as the only reference point. In this sense, the unit is essentially an advanced compass, with GPS data provided as a way of determining speed, position and direction.
Thankfully, the unit is fairly simple to use. Waypoints are easy to mark, with configurable elevation and geolocation data for altering existing waypoints and adding new points for a pre-determined route. Routes are also easily configured using the device, the eTrex H automatically determining distance between listed waypoints for easy navigation.
Even without a base map for guidance, the navigation screen is restricted to either zooming in or zooming out, eliminating any possibility of control and viewing the planned route in any great detail. The highest zoom of 12m viewing radius is adequate for most hiking purposes, but without the ability to see other parts of the route in the same detail, users might have trouble.
A cold start-up took just over a minute — reasonable for a low-end GPS device — and warm start-ups took just 10 seconds. The receiver is WAAS-enabled, allowing accuracy within 12m, which should be accurate enough for use while hiking.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Sony Xperia Z4 Tablet (LTE) review: The tablet of choice for anyone on Android
- 2 Bose SoundLink Mini II Bluetooth speaker review
- 3 Apple MacBook Air 2015 review: Only better with time
- 4 HTC One (M8s) review: Better value for money than HTC's flagship
- 5 ZTE Blade S6 review: A dual-SIM, 4G smartphone for less than $300
Deals on PC World
- Networking, Wireless & VoIP
Deals on PC World
Latest News Articles
- Lamborghini claims 4WD will double sales
- Nvidia launches Tegra X1, bringing deep neural learning to self-driving cars
- Audi goes petrol-electric with the A3 e-tron first
- Ford equipping supervisory speed limits on 2015 Mustangs
- Navman adds digital video recording to MiVue Drive
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.