I just picked up an Etrex Venture CX. The Venture does not…
I just picked up an Etrex Venture CX. The Venture does not come with software, a usb cable, or a mem. card. The usb driver and mapsource software can be downloaded from Garmin's websight. The mini usb cable is the same as the one I use for my camera. I allso picked up a 1 gig mem. card, and Inland Lakes usa dvd. The initial setup was a little bit of a pain. The inland lakes software is very easy to use. The entire US fits on the 1 gig mem. It does take a while to load on the gps. I find the gps to be very accurate and easyer to see the small color screen than I first thaught it would be. The gps has so much programing posabilaties that there is a learning curve to learn it inside and out. But basic operation is pretty straight forwared. The owners manual leaves a little to be desired. Garmin has a nice preview of thier map sofware on the websight. You can pick a map program and take a look at it, zoom in,out and move around on the map to see if it is what you are looking for before you go make that purchase. I wanted to give the gps an 8 because of setup and cost of map software at around $100. a map, when it should be $30.-$50. per map. But I like it so much I gave it a 9.
The Vista is the best handheld mapping GPS receiver that I have…
The Vista is the best handheld mapping GPS receiver that I have owned. I have had the old "38" model and the "Legend" model also. This one coupled with the Roads and Rec data CD will take you almost anywhere you want to go in the U.S. It is a nice GPS with just the base map that comes pre-loaded in the unit, but it really becomes valuable when coupled with the much more detailed Map CD data. The river and creek maps are so accurate that I know guys who pilot their bass boats down the river at 60 MPH. in the pitch dark, steering with nothing but the map on their GPS. Sound scary for kayakers doesn't it? The altimiter is nice I guess if you hike, but I don't use that feature.