Last summer I got word of two new hand held GPS receivers that would be entering the market in late 2007/early 2008: the Magellan Triton and the Garmin Colorado.
The Triton hit the market first, and the release was a disaster. The units suffered hardware and software issues, and they have been pulled from the shelves at many outdoor retailers while Magellan works out the bugs. This disappointed me since I was really looking forward to getting one. The Triton’s main selling point was the integration with National Geographic Topo, the mapping software tool of choice for many outdoor enthusiasts, including myself. This was an exciting idea for a techie and outdoors nut like me, and I overlooked the Garmin Colorado because Magellan was a no-brainer choice.
I had always intended on spending my REI dividend on the Triton, but as I heard story after story of bugs and failures from the early adopters, I started looking at the Garmin Colorado. I was able to hold one in my hand and physically try it out at a geocaching event at the beginning of February, and it was lust at first sight. The Colorado was also not without its own problems, but the majority of them were software issues and have already been addressed with regular firmware updates.
Yesterday I used my embarrassingly enormous REI dividend (side story: when I worked at REI about seven years ago I watched a guy use a $1200 dividend to fit his entire family in new ski equipment. I applied for the credit card the next day) to buy a Garmin Colorado 400t, and the extended entry contains my initial 24-hour impression, along with some snazzy screenshots. Note: Before doing anything with the Colorado I updated the firmare to version 2.40, which fixes many issues, especially with the geocaching features. If you buy a new one off the shelf, make sure to load the latest firmware to the device.