2011 CES: Magellan eXplorist 310 handheld hiking GPS for budget-minded adventurers

    Consumer Reports News: January 09, 2011 05:07 PM

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    Magellan introduced a new handheld hiking device at the 2011 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) last week aimed at novice adventurers, the eXplorist 310. A water-proof device designed for outdoor navigation, the eXplorist 310 is geocaching friendly, and it features waypoint creation, active tracking, track summary, and includes a World Edition map with basic roads from over 200 countries. Topographic maps can also be installed.

    The eXplorist 310 supports paperless geocaching, meaning you can download coordinates, instructions, and tips to the device. Also found on other contemporary devices, the eXplorist paperless geocaching conveniently stores all the information such as cache name, location, description, size, difficulty, terrain, hints, and last 20 user logs in the device, enabling—and even inviting—impromptu adventures. The eXplorist 310 can store 10,000 paperless geocaches.

    Tracking is a single-click operation, and there is a backtrack function, useful for returning to a trailhead and/or parked car.

    Magellan claims that two AA batteries can provide 18 hours of continued use. Actual results may vary due to how often the user interacts with the device and the screen brightness.

    One concession, the eXplorist 310 uses a 2.2-inch screen—similar to the small handhelds from Garmin. Magellan has a full line of eXplorist devices with three-inch screens and additional features, though they cost more than the $200 retail price for the eXplorist 310. For budget-conscious geocaching enthusiasts, Magellan also offers an entry-level eXplorist GC.

    The eXplorist 310 goes on sale in March 2011.

    See our handheld hiking navigation buying advice and ratings.

    Jeff Bartlett

    See our complete CES automotive coverage, and visit our complete guide to mobile electronics.

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