*Review of the Garmin CSx*
By: hickory
22 September 2006

Sometime ago I did a review on the Garmin Vista C. Shortly after that I returned it and "upgraded" to the Garmin 60csx. What follows are my impressions of this piece of equipment and the differences, however few, I noted.

Look & Feel - This GPS has he look of an oversized walkie talkie. It is of good size and feels great in the hand. It is significantly larger then the Vista C. This carries over to the screen as well. I was surprised at the difference the screen size made in usability. The larger screen makes it very easy to read. This unit also includes the back lighting and the change of screen colors at sunset to make it easier to read.

Features - The features on this unit are essentially the same as the Vista C. The major feature differences are these: Screen Size (noted above), battery life, satellite capture (if that is the right term) and expandable memory.

Battery life was a good bit less in my experiences. My average was around the 20 hr mark, sometimes less. Again, this is highly dependent on the type of usage. If you are using backlight the batteries will run down pretty quick. Battery change out is pretty easy with this unit.

Another of the touted features from the folks I got it from, REI, was the antenna was supposed to get a fix on your location faster. The Vista C has an internal antenna where the CSx has an external one… it is the stubby part. J My experiences seem to confirm this. The location fix upon power up is defiantly faster. Additionally, I lose reception with this unit far less often then I did with the Vista C, but it still happens. Primarily when against steep canyon walls… also I lost reception in dense forests. With the Vista C reception would be intermittent among tall building; this has not been a problem with the CSx.

Finally, the expandable memory. When I first started looking at GPS’s I wanted an eMap largely because of the expandable memory. When I was given the Vista C the memory (24 meg) was what made me take it back. I opted for the CSx solely because of the expandable memory. It comes with a 64 Meg removable microSD card. I upgraded to 256 Meg… I just couldn’t justify the expense of the 512 Meg. But the prices now are lots less… seems to me I paid $150 for the card, but my memory may be faulty. Now the cost of a 512 meg is $35. I can have detailed maps of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Nearly all of California and Alaska.

Now, there are several other features included on the website. But from my experiences, the above are the ones that matter.

Conclusions: A unit with expandable memory is a must. My timing frequently seems off, shortly after I purchased the CSx Garmin introduced the Vista Cx… if I had it to do over, I would buy the Vista Cx and keep the money for other preps. But I don’t and I am pretty happy with this GPS.

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