Magellan Triton 400 micro-review

My office’s Garmin was stuck in a branch office last week, and we needed a GPS for the next morning, so we got a cheapo Magellan Triton 400 for $90 at Future Shop. I think that’s a clearance price, and none of the big-box retailers still carry it.

The Triton 400’s a Windows CE unit with a surprisingly good display for the price. I only had a little time to set it up and test it briefly outside the office, so all I can do is give you is first impressions.

Pros:

  • Cheap!
  • SIRFstarIII chipset for reasonably fast/accurate acquisition
  • SDHC card (worked with my 4GB card)
  • Bright display
  • Works with GPSBabel (as Magellan’s VantagePoint obviously installs a copy)
  • Doesn’t route

Cons:

  • Wouldn’t acquire any position until I updated the firmware (at which time I discovered that it basically updates a full Windows CE image from an archive)
  • Weird proprietary USB cable
  • Tiny buttons that aren’t very positive
  • Eats batteries
  • Overly simplistic menu structure makes it hard to set up
  • VantagePoint is buggy, and will repeatably crash under certainly (admittedly rare) menu items
  • Only works under Windows; the USB protocol is proprietary
  • Hard limit of 5000 points per track, and track logging stops when this limit is reached
  • SD card is only usable for maps and geotagged photos, not track storage.

I should be able to play with it in more detail in the new year. It was cheap, but not all cheap things are good.

More on the Magellan – OpenStreetMap Wiki page.

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