Sunday, June 01, 2008

Garmin eTrex Vista HCx GPS

I finally decided to get myself a GPS which I had been putting in on hold due to the high price. Mainly it will be used for my Malaysia Most Wanted projects, especially the Travel part which is coming up. Besides that, it would give me some added pleasure while hiking mountains and help me navigate through unfamiliar roads around the city.

The reason I choose this model is mainly:-
  • Garmin brand (thus more availability of compatible map format)
  • High sensitivity chipset (good during hiking)
  • Long batter life (25 hours)
  • Durable (drop proof and semi water proof)
  • Miscellaneous feature: Map, Routing, Compass, Barometer.

I bought my unit (RM 1300) from, a local Garmin Vendor (it’s in Seremban, and about RM 100-200 cheaper than KL vendors). Amazon had cheaper price (around RM 800), but they don’t deliver to Malaysia. I found who actually delivery to Malaysia for RM 1100, but the saving is too little as compared to worries like import duty and warranty issue.


Trip Computer

I had some problem with the 1st unit as the unit keep freeze/hang after a while, which is very annoying. After numerous try and getting help from forum, I concluded that the unit is faulty. Luckily there is a 14 days one to one exchange policy, but I have to fork out RM 20 to deliver the unit back to SLTSB. They did sent me a new unit and everything is okay now :)

What’s really good (or not good) about this unit?
  • It’s required about 5-30 seconds to get the satellite signal (3 of them), and it could really work in some indoor places.
  • It works with the free malsingmaps, which is really cool
  • It could navigate decently using the maps, just that there is no voice to guide you while driving (but there did make some beeping sounds when near a junction and zoom in the map with big arrows)
  • We have an electronic compass, with useful information such as speed, destination to next, ETA to next and etc
  • There is a barometer to check your altitude, with plotted graph of the ascending and descending
  • A Trip Computer to trace distance travelled, Max Speed, Moving Time, Stopping Time, Moving Average, Overall Average and etc
  • Track saving up to 20 tracks with 10000 points each, and could be exported to Google Earth
  • The malsingmaps comes with POI such as Food, Shopping, Lodging, etc
  • Checking of sunrise and sunset time (as well as the moon)

Basically, it’s a cool gadget which work decently well :)

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