|Garmin Colorado 400t Handheld GPS Unit with U.S. Topographic Preloaded Maps
|List Price: $599.99
Our Price: Too low to display
The Garmin Colorado 400t is rugged with a high-sensitivity receiver to offers innovative features such as a new Rock 'n Roller wheel for one hand operation as well as the ability to exchange waypoints, tracks, routes and geocaches wirelessly between units. In addition, you can customize your Colorado with five different user profiles: automotive, marine, recreation, fitness or geocache. The SD card slot on the bottom of the unit makes it simple to load optional maps for different types of adventures. The Colorado has a rugged, metal-look and a sleek, slim profile. The Colorado's detailed mapping and high-resolution color display enhance any outdoor adventure, whether on land or water. Compatible with heart rate monitor and speed/cadence sensor (GSC 10) Supports Geoching GPX files for complete cache descriptions and hints User configurable profiles - automotive, marine, recreation, fitness, and geocache Display Size - Height 2.55 x Width 1.53 Display Resolution - Width 240 x Height 400 pixels Battery type - 2 AA Alkaline or NiMH batteries Unit Dimensions - Width 2.4 x Height 5.5 x Depth 1.4 Unit Weight - 7.3 ounces with batteries
This rugged, advanced handheld is packed with detailed topographic maps for all your hiking adventures not to mention 3-D map view, a high-sensitivity receiver, barometric altimeter, electronic compass, SD card slot, picture viewer and color display. Exchange tracks, waypoints, routes and geocaches wirelessly between similar units. Slim, lightweight and waterproof, Colorado is the perfect companion for all your outdoor pursuits.
Watch an interactive demo.
Share Wirelessly Keep Your Fix
With Colorado 300 you can share your waypoints, tracks, routes and geocaches wirelessly with other Colorado users. Now you can send your favorite hike to your buddy to enjoy or the location of a cache to find. Sharing data is easy. Just select "send" to transfer your information to other Colorado units.
With its high-sensitivity, WAAS-enabled GPS receiver, Colorado 300 locates your position quickly and precisely and maintains its GPS location even in heavy cover and deep canyons. The advantage is clear — whether you're in deep woods or just near tall buildings and trees, you can count on Colorado to help you find your way when you need it the most.
|Explore More |
| || ||Colorado's preloaded U.S. topographic maps, 3-D map view and a built-in worldwide basemap with shaded relief give you all the tools for serious climbing or hiking. Map detail includes national, state and local parks and forests, along with terrain contours, elevation information, trails, rivers, lakes and points of interest. |
Just in case you're wondering how steep that hill really is, Colorado's 3-D map view helps you visualize your surroundings — giving you a better perspective of the elevation.
|Expand Your Horizons |
| || || ||The Colorado also accepts SD cards, so you can use Garmin preprogrammed SD cards to add maps that serve any and all of your outdoor activities on land or water. Just take your pick from a wide selection, including street maps, topographic maps, coastal charts or inland lake data. The card slot is located inside the waterproof battery compartment, so you don't have to worry about getting it wet. |
|Rock on. Find Fun |
| || ||Colorado's innovative Rock `n Roller input wheel for easy one-handed operation and intuitive screen interface make it as easy to navigate the device as the outdoors. |
Customize Colorado's interface based on your favorite activity.
Even show off photos of your excursions with its picture viewer.
|Experience Paperless Geocaching |
| ||Colorado supports Geocaching.com GPX files for downloading geocaches and detail straight to your unit. You'll have at-a-glance cache descriptions and details to aid in your search. |
|Get Your Bearings |
| || ||Colorado has a built-in electronic compass that provides bearing information even while you're standing still. |
Its barometric altimeter tracks changes in pressure to pinpoint your precise altitude. View elevation data before you begin your ascent or descent. You can even use the altimeter to plot barometric pressure over time, which can help you keep an eye on changing weather conditions.
- High Sensitivity, WAAS-Enabled GPS Receiver
- Features A 2.55-InchH X 1.53-InchW, Transflective Color Tft Display With 240 X 400 Pixel Resolution
- Features Built-In Worldwide Basemap With Shaded Relief
- Wireless Sharing Of User Tracks, Waypoints, Routes & Geocaches Between Units
- 5 User Profiles - Automotive, Marine, Recreation, Fitness Or Geocache
- Great unit, bad battery situation.
I have a Garmin Vista. It goes 24 hours per battery set. This thing needs a set of batteries per day in the field. As you still need a paper map, I returned it....more info
- Nice unit once I upgraded the operating system!!
I purchased a Garmin Colorado for Geocaching and love it (I had an etrex Vista Cx). I initially had major problems with the unit locking up, and the only way to reboot was to remove batteries. I then found out that my unit was running an old version of the software which was easy to upgrade to the most current from the Garmin web site(seems to have fixed the problem but still need to give it a work out). The only other issue I see is that it sure doesn't look very waterproof like the other units do, even though it claims to be. The battery case has no rubber seals, and the clip that secures it looks like a location water could easily access?...more info
- First One
This is my first handheld GPS device. I bought it to GeoCache. It works well and has many features I like. The only knock is that the learning curve (expecially how to use it with my computer) was longer that it needed to be if there was a better manual....more info
- The best all around gps!
Very easy to figure out to use. I think this gps is the best all around gps for all conditions, on the road and off the road. If you just want a driving gps, get a Tomtom, for trails and the road this is the ticket! Very good for Iraq! Get the SD card fot Iraqi streets when you get to Iraq. They are available there, not here. ...more info
- Top of the line...
After checking out several handheld GPSs, I went with the Garmin Colorado 400T because of the many state-of-the-art features. The tactile feel is of top quality, it's highly accurate, very sensitive, and the ergonomics make it a pleasure to use! My primary use is for geocaching and this puppy rocks in that application. One problem: when I encounter other geocachers, they want to play with it and have numerous questions!!! Note: the Colorado 400T takes regular size SD Cards, NOT mini SDs, (that's GOOD!) Another plus: Garmin's customer service is unsurpassed if you ever have any questions......more info
- Wonderful for the Amateur
I'm not one of those extreme high-end geocachers. I just love a walk in the woods. However, I want to find the cache when I go to look for it. Last year I upgraded from a Garmin Explorer to a 60CSX and was in love. Unfortunately that got stolen. I've saved my money and now have the Colorado 400t. It's everything my 60CSX was and more. The new rocker control is a lot easier to use than the controls on the 60CSX or the Explorer. The accuracy is fantastic. With the City maps plugged in the road navigation is wonderful. This really is the best GPS unit I've used for hiking & caching. I'm really impressed with the ability to swap between profiles, using the Automotive until I hit the trail and then switching back to the Geocaching mode. Start up time & satellite acquisition are good. They're now supporting SD instead of the mini-SD cards and that's a good choice on Garmin's part. A lot of the new interfaces are improved over the old ones plus, like the old ones they're customizable.
Like everyone else, the fact that only one cache at a time is visible is a pain, but all the other features quickly wash that away. I haven't found the maps to be inaccurate, but then I mainly use it for off-road hiking and the hills, mountains & streams are pretty solidly in place, even in Massachusetts. It is a little dim in bright sunlight.
Despite these small shortcomings, this is a wonderful GPS unit. I intend to get years of use (and hang on to it more tightly).
UPDATE: Garmin released a software patch that fixed the problem with displaying multiple cache's. That's one less of the few and small negatives to worry about. I'm still loving this GPS unit....more info
- Colorado 400t
I was concerned with the accuracy issue of this GPSr. I emailed Garmin customer service with my concerns and they assured me that it would not be a problem. I basically wanted some sort of correspondence for proof just in case their was an issue. Then the price became an issue. I tried to order the unit through an online camera shop for a price around 400.00 and found out that what they were selling me was a Japanese (no english installed) no warranty, no topo maps installed unit. How can it be a 400T without Topo maps? Anyway, I went to amazon for a higher price but a more comfortable transaction.
This product is pricey, but I believe that it is well priced for what you get. It hasn't disappointed me yet as far as the accuracy goes. Base maps are preloaded but streetmaps are not. These are separate and will run around 100.00. I went with the SD card street maps and glad I did. This leaves the memory free for geocaches. I was able to load 400 caches along a route and made an insignificant dent in the 256MB memory. Map cards are a no hassle PNP operation. I have been told by Garmin Cust. service, that if you want to have the same maps on your PC Mapsource software (which comes with the unit) as your gps, then you should buy the DVD mapset. With this configuration you can upload the wanted maps onto the unit itself or a seperate memory card. The WAAS works wonders in dense foliage. The external antenna is a must if you are using in the car. Screen protection is a must if you aren't storing it in a case. Screen brightness is not as bad as I was expecting. I usually don't have to turn on the backlight unless It is dark of course or if I am in the shade. Only problem with screen brightness is that you have to reset it after every reboot, as it won't store the setting in memory. Shaded relief maps are nice to have and the topo features are great to have as well. If it wasn't for battery consumption I would have gave it a higher rating.
This unit will go through batteries very fast. For lightweight backpacking you might want to buy lithium batteries, a whole lot of them. Do consider buying rechargeable batteries and the car charger with alkaline spares as I have already found myself hunting down batteries instead of caches. Easy .GPX file transfer with www.geocaching.com and a windows machine but not a linux machine that I know of.
Overall, this is a must for a geocacher
After nearly ten years of service my eTrex can finally take a rest.
One last thing. Phone calls to Garmin customer service are not fun. Expect a 30min wait time before you get to talk to anyone. I am rating their product not their customer service....more info
- Fantastic, but not perfect.
I bought this item with the understanding it had flaws. It is a new line, and it is a big step to take. Almost like moving from Windows 98 to Windows XP. It takes a lot of getting used to, and it is cumbersome to set up. I spent over 3 hours backing up the maps that come on the unit (not viewable on the PC, but do back it up because if lost they are not recoverable), customizing the "profiles," and rearranging the shortcuts to an actual usable rotation.
The unit runs off of shortcuts, rather than buttons on the front of the unit (like to 60C series). One button pulls up a menu of options to scroll through. You can change profiles to bring up different sets of shortcuts and settings.
I.e. I start in Automotive, which has a map viewed form above, with on-road auto-nav to a location near a geocache. Once I find a parking spot, I press the shortcuts button, and change to "geocaching" profile. It automatically switches to 3d topographical, "off-road" map that I follow to the cache. When I get close I shortcut to the option of compass o get right to it.
I have not had the bad experience of draining batteries. I accidentally left it on the first night after using it, and even after caching with the backlight periodically on, it still had bars left on the gauge the next morning.
Accuracy is not an issue (it is quite phenominal, 7-10ft 90% of the time) and I get full strength GPS signal inside the middle of my house (never ever got that with my 60CS).
The basemap roads are off significantly, but since I purchased the city-nav software with the unit, I only had to deal with the basemap for the ride home from where I bought it :). 80ft accuracy on the topography mapping is not so hot when driving (which side of the knoll am I on?), but when hiking it is more than accurate enough with the path tracking turned on (if 80ft off gets you lost while hiking, you probably shouldn't be hiking off the path).
The geocaching options are fabulous, being able to view the full name, description, previous logs, and an option to view the hint is great.
My only complaints are that geocaches don't show on the maps (only waypoints do). You can't edit/delete/mark-as-found geocaches at all. The marketing for this unit is a complete lie when they say "bright display even in the sunlight". Truth be told, on a sunny day like today, even in the shade, with the backlight fully on, it is hard to see the details on the screen. Also, only certain mini-usb chargers will charge the unit. The one I use to charge my cell phone puts the unit into "computer linking" mode rather than as a power supply (rendering it unusable as a GPS). Other phone charges work fine for some reason, there must be a difference between Type-A mini USB and Type-B mini USB that the unit is sensitive too, while most cell phones and the like are not.
Overall with the 400t, city nav 2008, the dash mount (60cs version doesn't fit), new car charger and protective case, it came to a ridiculously high cost, but understand this: I would buy it again. If you do so, just remember that the effort you put into setting it up to fit your needs makes a huge difference. Take the time to learn it inside and out and you will experience how the complexity of it turns into versatility and enjoyment....more info
- I would not recommend a Garmin Colorado 400t
I have a Garmin 60CSx and upgraded to the Garmin Colorado 400t Handheld GPS Unit with U.S. Topographic Preloaded Maps. My preference would have been an Oregon model but I am frequently out in cold temperatures that hover in the single digits all day so a touch screen was not an option. I opted for a Colorado 400t model. I initially thought the wheel design would be an improvement over the 60CSx but after using the unit it is just a gimmick that only leads to frustration. I have found the unit operations cumbersome and less than friendly. I also have had a number of problems with the software, struggle to delete tracks that have been imported, and the screen goes white and the unit locks up. Yes the data collected up to that point is lost and if you were relying on backtracking to get home forget it. I have return to using the Garmin 60CSx; it is straight forward, reliable, and I know that it will get me home....more info
- so far So Good!
This is a big step up from the etrex vista that I had been using. Operations are more intuitive. Large color screen is a big plus.
Reception is better. (it will even pick up satelites in my house) And the software is great. The controls are easy to use, and can be manipulated one handed. (try that with a touch screen). In short I am very happy with this unit.
- Great for Geocaching
I only bought this for geocaching. No more print outs. Also the sunrise and sunset feature is nice for us that tend to stay in the woods to long. If you use standard AA alkaline batteries they probably won't last the day. I use NiMH 2650 mh rechargable batteris and they seem to do fine. Great little unit has more features than I will ever use. I read in one review that the recieve was not very good. I did not find this to be the case.
I would recommend this unit to any serious geocacher....more info
- Garmin Colorado GPS
This unit represents a huge advance in GPS navigation technology. It has a remarkably large and inclusive data base. The sensitivity of the receiver is a great improvement over earlier models....more info
- Pretty good (I think)
I purchased as a Christmas gift to myself. I'm *completely* new to GPS systems, but a tech guy at heart. Wanted a device that was as good in the car as it was on the trail. I don't drive that much, and do 2 or 3 hikes a month, and this seemed to fit the bill. When I purchased the device and the add-in street maps (pricey) I was happy. My only knock is that it does not seem to do voice turn by turn, the GPS beeps, but I was hoping to have the street names called out to me. I will save up my pocket change and buy the car mounting system next.
- Great performer but battery hungry
This is a great unit; very accurate and easy to use. Be prepared to spend a little while getting used to the menu layout as some items you might expect to appear under one menu appear under another menu entry. But apart from the small "learning curve" this is a very nice GPS unit. The roller-style control is very easy to use and the "tracks" feature is particularly well developed in this unit. The only real issue is that the battery life can be quite short. However, there are three tips which will help you get a good 14 to 15 hours of continuous use. First, don't use the back-light unless absolutely necessary (fairly obvious, really). Second, select the auto record setting in the "tracks" function to "update least frequently". This second expedient seems to double the battery life and the unit still seems to update every 5 seconds or so (how far can you walk in 5 seconds anyway??). Third, if you use nickel metal hydride batteries make sure they are REALLY fully charged. Don't use a rapid charge cycle (charge instead over night using a standard charger) as this gets the batteries hot and the total charge is dramatically reduced. Without these measures, I could only get an hour or two of operation when I first received the unit. Not using the back light added another hour of use and minimizing the "tracks" update frequency added another 4 hours of use. Finally figuring out what was going on with my battery charger resulted in a good 14+ hours of continuous use....more info
- Love the Colorado 400t
I really like this thing a lot. It had some issues at first, battery life being the main one, but I started using the quick charging Energizers and have had no problems since. Another problem is with it shutting down intermittently when the batteries become weak (this is my notice to change the batteries), it does tell you when the batteries are weak and it only shuts down occasionally. I have recently downloaded a firmware update for it which has fixed a lot of these things.
I especially like the Geocache features it comes with. I can log my visit to a cache and it now lets me put comments in for the individual caches. That is a great feature!
I highly recommend this unit for all uses. I have the City Navigator NT 2008 on it as well and this thing will take me anywhere I want to go. I love taking it hiking, fishing, ATVing, on the road, etc. It is very versatile....more info
I found the product perfect for my needs. I like the many features the device offers, such as the 3D viewing of the terrain and the topographic features are great. It does not work well with automobiles, i.e., that it takes the most direct route - like a bird flies - rather than the road routes - and that's ok, because that's not what I purchased it for. It is a battery hog - so until you learn how to use it, be prepared to put some extra batteries in it - otherwise it is great....more info
- Best GPS I Ever Owned
This is an extremely cool GPS.
The screen is gorgeous. Big and sharp. The Topo 2008 maps look so cool with shading and 3-D.
The new control wheel really makes it easy to use. Far easier than any other Garmin unit.
It is well built, looks very cool and feels really good in your hand.
The recent firmware updates have solved most of the problems early buyers encountered when it first came out. I have no real complaints or problems that bother me.
I use it for hiking, biking, and driving. I put a 8GB SD card in and was able to load a lot of maps. I am really enjoying using it on my weekend explorations here in New Mexico.
I highly recommend it. Well worth the price. ...more info
- What to say that hasn't been said...
I love this unit, it's my first GPSu I've taken it snowshoeing and hiking, and forest road exploring, and saved some mountain bikers from a purgatory of unmarked forestry roads (they were already about 2 miles off course when we bumped into them and they didn't even know it) and so far I can't find a road in the city or in the hills that it doesn't know about, with trail heads listed, I don't have to say "I hope this is the right road" ever again, I use the word ROAD loosely.
The GPS status display is very informative, tracking on foot with good Sat coverage accuracy tends to hang out around 5-6 yards, In the car it's usually around 10-15 yards, one thing to note is, turn it on before you start driving or while you're at a stop, it doesn't like to lock on while moving, but once it's on and locked it will track at high speed just fine.
Battery life is as advertised! I'm using recargable NiMH and as long as I limit backlight usage I can easily get 12 hours out of one set.
The preloaded topo is fantastic! So much information and so many POI's, parks,little dam's, and peaks I've been past many times before without ever knowing. The city base map however is a tease, it has the streets listed so you can use it like a map and see where you are, but it doesn't lock onto streets, it views them as a background, so without buying the city software, when you set a destination it makes a straight line from you to it, I guess this might work if you commute in a small aircraft though!
I'm very happy with the product, but for the price I think the city nav should have been included, that's why I knocked off a star. On the other hand I can't blame Garmin for their business model as everyone needs to make a living. ...more info
I decided to get into geocaching this summer. After reading a number of reviews expressing concern about the screen's readability, both here and on other sites, I was leaning away from the 400. Fortunately, I was able to try the 400 and the 60CSx side-by-side. In direct sunlight, I found the screen on the 400 to be just a little dimmer than the 60 but still perfectly readable. I also found both units to be harder to read when standing in the shade, lots of reflection off the glass.
I've now been hiking and biking with the 400 for just under a month and absolutely love it. I like the jog wheel and find it easy and intuitive. Entering text is a bit on the slow side, but having never entered text on any other GPSr, I really don't mind.
Using 2500 mHh NiMH batteries, I typically get 5-6 hours of life, more if I remember to turn down the backlight when not in use. So certainly take extra batteries into the field if the ones in the unit aren't fresh or you plan on being gone for more than a few hours.
Overall, a great, easy to use GPSr....more info
- Nice unit
I have not used this much, but so far it is quite good. I got the extra street map and after a little config. It works great for driving directions. There is a nice mount for my motorcycle and car for this unit and I look forward to many off road jeep trips, national park trips and camping trips. It also suggests local attractions with the add on software which is really nice if you don't know the area....more info
- Great after the update
Many of the problems with the 400t were fixed with the recent firmware update. you can now view all caches on the map page, maek them as found and various other fixes. this is now a great GPS to use if you have the money.
All I have to say is i love the paperless caching
- Could be a great GPS if Garmin ever fixes the problems
I really had high hopes for this GPS. And it could be a great GPS if Garmin fixes the problems.
The screen is nice and big. The graphics look incredible. You really get a sense of elevation and orientation with the shaded relief. The shortcut menus are customizable. There is an override on the backlight that lets you turn the backlight all the way up on battery power. In daylight the screen seemed plenty bright with no backlight. The unit seemed very accurate in the small amount of testing I did.
All of the positives were outweighed heavily by the negatives. Even after installing Garmin's latest updates the unit still locked up often. I would be trying to move around the map or generate a track and all of a sudden the unit would not respond to anything. This was most frustrating while trying to make a track. If you don't monitor the unit close enough you miss huge sections of trail while the unit looks like it is on, but it is locked up and has stopped tracking. It took removing and reinstalling a battery to get the unit to reset each time. Once reset it might work for a while, but ultimately it would freeze up again.
It also started developing another fault after just a few days of use. With fully charged batteries in the unit it would simply shut down. Sometimes it wouldn't get through booting and just show the splash screen and then shut down.
Having this experience with Garmin's latest and greatest GPS technology has really made me second-guess another Garmin purchase. I would like to have a portable GPS with Topo, but it needs to work....more info
- Garmin Colorado 400t GPS
This is an excellent GPS. I use it exclusively for hiking even though it can be used for car navigation. It is easy to use and the "Rock n Roll" control button enables all controls with just one hand (somewhat similar to the iPod). Even when stored in a case on my back pack belt it receives satellite signals clearly. It has a built in compass, records stop time and average hiking speed, and can record hundreds of waypoints. I also like the route planner feature. The only downside is that it "eats" regular alkaline batteries. I purchased rechargeable batteries (make sure the amperage meets the standard recommended by Garmin) for short hikes (less than 5 hours). For long hikes, I recommend Lithium batteries. Even though not rechargeable they last about 7 times longer than regular batteries ensuring that the GPS will continue to operate without battery changes during extended treks. It comes with a 1:100,000 Topo map of the U.S. which is pretty good; however, I bought a 1:24,000 Topo of California/Nevada which provides much more detail and is loaded on the GPS via a flash memory card. This is the first GPS I have ever had and now that I have used it on several hikes in California, I will never be without it in the field....more info
- Field Test of the Garmin Colorado 400t
The new Garmin Colorado 400t, one of a series of four Colorado models, was introduced in early 2008 as a next-generation handheld GPS. The Colorado lives up to that promise with an innovative new control wheel, easy-to-use menu system, big, sharp color screen, 3D map viewing, and more.
There's a lot to cover, starting with the "Rock 'n Roller" input wheel and companion menu system. With the Colorado, for the first time ever, I was able to pick up an advanced handheld GPS and work my way through virtually all of its features just by intuitive selection and a little bit of experimentation, with no manual needed. That's a big plus, and a step forward in GPS design. What's more, the Rock 'n Roller wheel is so easy to use and compact, you can operate the unit one-handed (or rather, one-thumbed).
The wheel part of the Rock 'n Roller rotates clockwise and counterclockwise, and can be used to move through menu lists on the screen, or to zoom in or out on a map. The wheel also responds to up, down, right and left presses to pan a map, for example. The "enter" button is positioned in the middle of the Rock 'n Roller to make menu selections, etc. Overall, the wheel is an ingenious and complete navigation tool (there are only two more buttons on the unit) that has been compared to an iPod control.
Rest of the review...
- Review of Colorado 400t
This product is an excellent purchase for hiking, geocaching, and setting up orienteering courses. The unit can also double as an auto GPS if you buy the GARMIN CITY NAVIGATOR NT ON MICROSD CARD NORTH AMERICA. Some of the best money I ever spent. ...more info
- Good to get if you don't have the 2008 Topo maps already.
I have to consider this unit along with the 300 model. The 400t is basically just the 300 with 10 times the memory at 4GB AND the 2008 Topo loaded. If you own the 2008 Topo already, you can just go buy a 4GB SD card and it would be the equivalent of the 400t....more info
- Great Product
I really have liked my Garmin. I use this for trail riding and I have found that it is easy to use and is easy to understand and read. So far it is really accurate and fits all my needs....more info
- Needs work
I've had mine for a few days. Comes with a very superficial manual so it takes some playing with it to get to know the unit. Very accurate GPS, nice interface. The ability to carry all cache information is great for geocaching, but getting the full caches on the unit is far from intuitive--the manual simply says "download them," but it's a bit more involved than the usual process of simply clicking on the "Send to GPS" button.
You cannot see more than one geocache on the map at a time. I'll expand: Geocaches are visible only on a separate geocache page, and only the selected cache shows up on that map. To see multiple geocaches on the map page, you have to load them separately as waypoints, without the additional information for paperless geocaching. (and you have to tweak it to see waypoints on a map--a simple bug but you'll have to research how to do it) Check out the online forums--the inability to see multiple geocaches on the map is probably the number one complaint of Colorado users so far, at least those interested in geocaching. In addition, the Colorado offers no means of marking a geocache on the unit as "found," or deleting it from the unit without the use of a PC.
I was also interested in the ability to pair the unit with the heart rate monitor or cadence sensor. I've tried it with my Garmin Heart rate monitor and it pairs just fine, but so far I can only view current heart rate. Unlike my Garmin Edge, there is apparently no way to upload heart rate history for later review. When asked, Garmin support implies that the unit will not work with Garmin's MotionBased website, but that it will work with Garmin Connect, a revamped site for uploading activity history and sharing that will supposedly be active for most Garmin GPS units "in a few months." (It currently works only with the Garmin 50 fitness watch.) In fact, I managed to get the Colorado to upload its track log to Motion Based (which I currently use for my Edge), but no luck with the heart rate data from the Colorado (though I routinely upload this from my Edge). Here's hoping this is resolved with the roll out of GarminConnect---the Heart rate monitor is far less useful without the ability to analyze how it changed throughout an activity.
I like mine fine, and I'm holding onto it in hopes that software fixes will be forthcoming from Garmin. If they integrate it correctly with GarminConnect, enabling sharing of files over the internet and full history analysis, this will be a fantastic tool/toy. Garmin seems to be aware of the potential of utilizing this kind of community-based knowledge-- First, the unit can share waypoints, tracks and routes, as well as basic geocache information, wirelessly, though the chances of me running into another Colorado user and needing this function seem minimal. Second, Garmin's purchase of MotionBased must have been for some reason--the idea of going online, viewing others activities and downloading their track files is a great one. Sort of like an online wiki trail guide. There needs to be more ability to comment on your own and others' tracks, but the potential is there.
Garmin separates its lines between "trail" "automotive" and "fitness." This unit, I had hoped, would attempt to do it all--it has an automotive mode, and supposedly, with the addition of another map, it will give turn-by-turn directions (though it has no speaker, so I doubt they'd be audible as they are in the Nuvi). It's ability to pair with the Garmin heart rate and cadence monitors is promising, if later software fixes address the inability to view history of that data. If you want a GPS for hiking, there are other mapping handhelds out there that are cheaper (including some nice ones made by GarminGarmin GPSMap 60CSx 2.6-Inch Mapping Handheld GPS). If you want the enhanced Geocaching functionality or the fitness monitoring, you might want to wait a few months to see if Garmin follows through with the necessary software fixes....more info
- Opportunity lost
I've put off buying a GPS for a long time and finally took the plunge with the Garmin Colorado. I feel that this is a great unit, marred by aspects of the software implementation and the Garmin model of dealing with map data. I gave the Colorado 3 stars in an uncharacteristic fit of generosity.
First, the good:
* This is a great looking, great feeling piece of hardware. It's light, but has a good heft. It's solid. The rubber material used for the battery cover feels very good in your hands. The physical interface is above par. The interface wheel is very well executed, a great bonus for a motorcycle rider like myself (gloves work well with the wheel, but just OK with the "soft buttons").
* The screen could be brighter, but is clear and the screen updates seem to be pretty good.
* Garmin seems to have the hardware down, reviews indicate that they used their own hardware for GPS reception (as opposed to the well regarded SiRF chipset). It is accurate (based on by tests with Google Earth), and very sensitive. It quickly makes its satellite acquisition and does so within my home.
* It seems to have some good integration with geocaching.org and wherigo.com, although I haven't tested it yet.
* The basic navigation and UI of the device is pretty good.
And... the bad.
* As a first time Garmin customer, I wrote off the tales of Garmin's terrible software. I was wrong to do so. Learn to use gpsbabel and Google Earth to supplement your needs for waypoints and tracks. There are some tricks for custom POI's and some more I'm sure I haven't discovered yet. The PC software is poor. The device loaded maps are not usable with the PC route planning software (no included DVD??).
* Maps. OK, they're serviceable. However, here in the Bay Area, I have already found some areas where they are wildly inaccurate: mislocated, missing parts of existing roads, missing roads. The unit is apparently capable of turn-by-turn routing; however, not with the loaded map set. Plan on spending another $150 on making your investment roadworthy. I can't tell yet, but it doesn't look like you can enter an address for road navigation, you must use a waypoint entered on the unit or from the PC software. All of the road name data is included in the unit but unaccessible to you. Welcome to Colorado.
* More on the previous point. This model is the 400t. The "t" stands for "trails". I live in Marin County, CA and this area could have been used as an example of fantastic trail coverage, but not for this version. There are really no trails in this unit as far as I can tell. I did find some trails in Pt. Reyes National Park, but other popular nearby hiking areas (Mt. Tamalpais) do not have any trails available. There are a number of trailheads marked, but no trails. I assume this means that there is little chance for trail coverage in more sparsely populated areas.
* OK, this is just a nitpick. The "Rock and Roller" is a good input device, but it is a copy of the wheel from the Apple iPod. That's not bad, but mouse over the map to the Apple campus and you will find that the Garmin dunderheads renamed the infamous Apple driveway to "Infinite Loo". Cute, but Garmin could stand to learn more than a few things about software engineering from Apple. Scratch that. Garmin should fire their software engineers and throw caution to the wind.
* Again, based on reviews, this unit is apparently capable of using the freely available (and fantastic) USGS raster maps. We will apparently have to wait for Garmin to capitalize on this government funded resource. Garmin aren't the only offenders here: just note that they put their bottom line above customer satisfaction. Underline that last bit if you've followed me this far. If Garmin has used any of this free data in the generation of their maps, they should be fined for corrupting it.
All in all, if I had to do it again, I think I would wait. If you need it now... It is good enough. I like the device, but I find the overall experience to be severely tainted. Soon enough there will be GPS enabled devices that can access Google Earth imagery wirelessly and this 400t might find its way onto an internet auction site....more info
- Could be better
There are several features about this unit that are very good but just as many or more that are not so good. It is very accurate and it holds the satellite signal extremely well. The color display is very good although difficult to see well in bright sunlight. The unit is very "power hungry" and this is probably why the brightness is limited. It is also why the unit is designed to power up with the display very dim. It is brighter when used in the vehicle if plugged into the power outlet using the optional adapter.
I use the unit primarily for hiking and geocaching and I really like the geocaching features especially the ability to go "paperless". I do not like the method of entering notes or coordinates into the unit. Instead of the displayed letter, number and character wheel, a virtual "keyboard" display would be much easier to use even with the same controls. A system similar to the Delorme PN-20 would be much better. Geocache files are handled differently than waypoints. One cannot delete geocache information from the unit but must connect to the computer to manage geocache files. Waypoints can be deleted individually directly from the unit without the computer.
A word of caution: the base map files and preloaded Topo files are all combined into one large file which is NOT isolated or protected and can be deleted accidentally very easily. Be very careful!
Road routing is excellent with the optional City Navigator software.
One does not have an option for sorting geocaches or waypoints; default is by distance. If one knows the name or GC code, a search can be done fairly easily. It would be nice to have the option to sort either alphabetically or by distance.
Although the Garmin Colorado is quite functional, it is far from the unit I expected. If I could return it now, I would do so. Then I would buy the Delorme PN-40 which will be available later this month....more info