Garmin GPSMAP 76Cx

A handheld GPS device that offers good value.

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Garmin GPSMAP 76Cx
  • Garmin GPSMAP 76Cx
  • Garmin GPSMAP 76Cx
  • Garmin GPSMAP 76Cx
  • Expert Rating

    3.50 / 5

Pros

  • USB connectivity, microSD card slot, colour display

Cons

  • Poorly detailed base map

Bottom Line

The GPSMAP 76Cx remedies the flaws of the GPSMAP 76, adding USB connectivity and a microSD card slot.

Would you buy this?

Despite a significant price jump from the GPSMAP 76, Garmin’s GPSMAP 76Cx is a handheld GPS device that offers good value. With a colour screen, USB connectivity and expandable memory, the GPSMAP 76Cx is a decent buy.

The GPSMAP 76Cx has the same design as the rest of the GPS 76 range, with the device’s buttons arranged above the display and rather dated styling, making for a somewhat ugly look. Still, it does the job, with a case built to IPX-7 standards and a design that allows it to float. An external antenna port means the GPSMAP 76Cx is can be used in areas with sub-par reception.

Garmin doesn’t specify the GPSMAP 76Cx’s GPS receiver, though it does perform adequately. Cold signal acquisition took slightly over three minutes on a clear day, with accuracy to within 5m.

There are a number of benefits that the GPSMAP 76Cx has over the base model, including a 256-colour LCD. Oddly, this device actually has a lower resolution than that found on the GPSMAP 76, though the difference isn’t substantial. Colour isn’t strictly necessary on a basic GPS device, though it does help in distinguishing features on more detailed maps.

One of the most appealing features of the GPSMAP 76Cx is the addition of USB connectivity. The GPSMAP 76 can only connect to a PC via a serial port, but this unit provides both the proprietary serial connection as well as a mini-USB port.

Garmin bundles its MapSource Trip and Waypoint Manager software with the device. Though the software is rather basic, it allows you to easily transfer waypoints, tracks and maps to the device.

As with most handheld GPS units, the integrated base map on the GPSMAP 76Cx doesn’t quite cut it. It provides basic city and major road information for Pacific countries, but lacks even the railway and nautical topography information included on the GPSMAP 76. However, while users of the GPSMAP 76 are restricted to a rather paltry 8MB for storing additional maps, the GPSMAP 76Cx offers a microSD card slot for expandable storage. The slot is hidden discreetly under the unit’s battery cover.

Although we weren’t able to test the device with detailed maps, the device’s redraw rate for the integrated base map is significantly better than the GPSMAP 76's. This may have been because of the less detailed map (bar the addition of colour), but it allowed for a quicker refresh between each zoomed position.

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