>I don't know.. it's heavier than my Vista HCx, with less runtime. Is this progress?
Possibly so. You be the judge.
The Oregon 550t has pre-loaded 1:100K Topos for the whole US, a much larger and higher resolution map display, faster processor, much easier to use touchscreen, better GPS receiver, a better 3-axis compass, included 850 Mb built in memory, and a camera to mention a few improvements/advantages.
The increase of speed and ease of use due to the larger mapping display and touchscreen are significant. It takes a lot less scrolling and fiddling around to get the job done vs. the e-Trex series. Having quickly done your navigation, etc., you might put the Oregon away minutes earlier than the e-Trex.
As to battery life: the Oregon 550t testing was done with 1,900 mAh rechargeable NiMH batteries supplied with the Oregon. e-Trex runtime is given with approx 2,800-3,000 mAh non-rechargeable alkaline batteries. To make a fair comparison, using 2,800-3,000 mAh non-rechargeable alkaline batteries, the Oregon’s battery life should approach the e-Trex (i.e in the range of 25 hours). That’s impressive when you assume that a larger screen, faster processor, and more power hungry GPS receiver all have the potential to increase battery drain. You could also come close to this runtime using 2,700 mAh rechargeable NiMH batteries and keep your green conscious clear.
As to weight:
eTrex Vista HCx (5.95 oz, 169 g measured with alkaline batteries)
Oregon 550t 195 g (6.9 oz) with alkaline batteries
Is all that worth less than an ounce increase in weight?