M Garmin Foretrex 101 GPS REVIEW
by Blake Morstad
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Article Summary:This product review presents a comprehensive analysis of features and performance of the Garmin Foretrex 101 GPS unit.
The Garmin Foretrex 101 is a wrist-mounted GPS unit for the minimalist - small, lightweight, and waterproof. It weighs the same as the Suunto X9 to within a few tenths of an ounce. With street prices as low as $115 (manufacturer's suggested retail price is $139), it is also minimalist on price. The Garmin Foretrex 101 focuses on the no frills basics of navigation in an easy-to-use unit. To meet size, battery life and price criteria, Garmin eliminated features such as topographic mapping, a barometric altimeter and a magnetic compass. Having a GPS on your wrist has two benefits. It frees up your hands for climbing, paddling or trekking poles. It also gives you continuously readable navigation information. The Foretrex 101 can also be used as a small handheld unit by removing the strap. Without the strap, it is similar in function to the Garmin Geko 201, but is smaller and lighter. The Garmin Foretrex 101 compares in its wrist-mounted mode to the Suunto X9, except for the lack of an electronic compass and a barometric altimeter. It is also bulkier on the wrist. However, the Garmin Foretrex 101 has more reliable and faster GPS reception, a larger display and is significantly easier to operate than the X9. Overall, the 101 is an excellent value for a GPS. It has just the right navigational features for backcountry navigation.
- GPS FIELD PERFORMANCE
- GPS OPERATION
- BATTERY LIFE AND POWER MANAGEMENT
- COMPUTER INTERFACE AND SOFTWARE
- RECOMMENDATIONS FOR IMPROVEMENT
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