Hands-on Gear Review
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Pros: Lightweight, good battery life.
Cons: Small screen, toggle button is hard to use, slower than other units.
Best Uses: Not recommended.
The Magellan eXplorist 310 is a budget, low performance entry-level GPS unit. Its cramped button configuration makes it difficult to operate efficiently and the directional toggle is jerky and imprecise. The screen is also small and the performance slower than most other units we reviewed. If you’re looking for the best value GPS unit, get the Garmin eTrex 20 because it draws maps faster, the button configuration is easier and faster to use, and the included mapping software is slightly better and Mac compatible.
For just slightly more than the eTrex 20, the Garmin Dakota 20 offers the easier workflow of a touchscreen and the benefit of an electronic compass in an equally compact and lightweight package. Or, for the highest performance model, choose the Garmin GPSMAP 62sc, a powerful, accurate, and reliable tool for navigating in all conditions.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
The Magellan eXplorist 310 is the entry-level eXplorist model and the lowest rated GPS we tested. There are a few good noteworthy features: the screen, despite being small, can be read in the sunlight easier than a touchscreen of the same size. A small GPS like the eXplorist 310 weighs more than a larger GPS and can fit in your pocket well, and takes up less space in a backpack.
The main drawback to the eXplorist 310 is its button configuration, which is difficult to use. The buttons lie in a small area, which makes them hard to use with two thumbs and the directional toggle is jerky and imprecise. The screen is also the smallest those tested. And the unit is slower to draw maps than most other units. Of the budget models we reviewed our testers always grabbed the Garmin eTrex or Dakota and not the eXplorist 310.
— Max Neale
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: December 8, 2011
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