Sunday, March 18, 2012

Details on the Magellan Triton series


UPDATE: Read my Magellan Triton 1500 review.

As promised, here is more information on the forthcoming Magellan Triton handheld GPS series that I posted about earlier today. I just got off the phone with a Magellan rep and was able to ask some key questions; here’s what I found out…

The touch screen on the 1500 and 2000 will have a lockout — a hold button under a flap — to prevent accidental use of the interface. The touch screen interface is designed to be primarily used by your finger, though a stylus (and five spares) are included for detailed work like selecting a specific go-to point on the map.

I confirmed that the unit can display raster imagery, so users will be able to load 1:24,000 scale National Geographic TOPO! maps (and Weekend Explorer 3D), which are compatible with all Triton units except the Triton 200. Third-party map developers can partner with Magellan to create additional maps for the unit, so there is little standing in the way of us seeing aerial photos for the units at some point in the future.

The VantagePoint software, used to transfer maps and data to and from Triton units, will
be compatible with existing Magellan eXplorist units and future auto
units. I don’t believe you will be able to transfer raster imagery like National Geographic TOPO! to an eXplorist though!

Geocoded photos can be added to waypoints.  The unit’s battery life is being conservatively estimated at 10 hours of intense use. This number may change as Magellan conducts further tests.

I had to ask about support, because Magellan has a weak reputation in that arena. The answer I got was that they paid a lot of attention to this issue in designing the series. It’s all built on one platform (as opposed to the eXplorist series) which they say should make it easier for the company to support and provide future upgrades.

Magellan Triton features on the different models break down as follows (links go to PDFs):


  • Magellan Triton 200 – 2.2" QVGA color screen, built-in base maps, SiRFstar III chipset, waterproof to IPX-7 design. $129 retail.
  • Magellan Triton 300 – All the above features, plus it adds the ability to upload maps using the included VantagePoint software onto 10 MB of internal memory. $149 retail.
  • Magellan Triton 400 – Adds an SD card slot for uploading maps and geocaching data. $199 retail.
  • Magellan Triton 500 – All the features of the Triton 400, plus an electronic tri-axial compass and altimeter. $249 retail.
  • Magellan Triton 1500 – This is one of two Tritons that have a touch-screen, which at 2.7" makes the unit a little larger than the lower level models. It includes an SD card slot, LED flashlight, and a speaker and microphone. $399 retail.
  • Magellan Triton 2000 – All the features of the Triton 1500 plus a 2MP camera, electronic tri-axial compass and altimeter. $499 retail.

All Triton models are expected to ship to U.S. retailers in September and Europe in October. Available accessories include cases, bike mounts and vehicle mounts.

Related posts:

About Rich Owings

Rich is the owner, editor and chief bottle-washer for GPS Tracklog. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.


  1. Did you happen to ask the Magellan folks about whether these units can autoroute?

  2. Fred,
    I didn’t. Would have been a great question though. I can probably find out next week after their reps return from the Outdoor Retailer trade show.

  3. Rich, could you ask one of your Magellan contacts about the power source for the Tritons? The 200 runs on AAs, but there isn’t any mention in the press release if the other models use the same power source. The lower-end eXplorists ran off AAs while the higher-end models used the lithium-ion pack (eventually AAAs in the 500LE). I’m curious if this will be the case for the Tritons.

  4. They all run on AAs.

  5. Q: When i take a photo are then EXIF GPS tags filled ?

  6. You would think so, but we don’t know at this point. I will try to find out if possible.

  7. Kim Michaels says:

    Q: Will this unit include the display of geocaching log data (like descriptions, hints, previous logs) along with the actual geocache points? Offering paperless caching within the actual GPS device would be a huge leap for us geocachers.
    If so, what would the memory limits be? How many points could you potentially upload?
    I am assuming the unit will accept standard .gpx files through USB.

  8. Kim,
    Good questions. I’m going to compile a list of questions and forward them to Magellan tomorrow. I may not hear back till next week since they are tied up at the Outdoor Retailer trade show right now.

  9. National Geographic’s topographic maps, widely used by outdoor enthusiasts, will soon be available for the first time on a new global positioning handheld device developed by Magellan.
    The Triton handheld, introduced at a trade show last week for outdoor retailers, was developed to be compatible with NG recreational maps and will be available for purchase in September.
    Hikers and other outdoor users of NG’s TOPO! map software system have been able to enter waypoints and routes but not view full maps on their handhelds. With the new device, it will be possible to download full color maps from NG’s outdoor recreation mapping software programs – TOPO!, with its 28 titles covering all 50 states, and Weekend Explorer 3D, a 21-map regional series with detailed maps of major metropolitan areas and surrounding recreational land.
    “This partnership brings together the quality and beauty of NG maps with the world’s most intuitive, easy-to-use GPS units,” said Gavin Maurer, marketing VP for NG Maps. “Users will be able to design their maps and create their trails on their desktop, then transfer the maps and trail information directly to the Triton.”
    The Triton also has a built-in 2MB pixel camera, speaker and microphone to record audio notes, electric compass, barometer and built-in LED flashlight.

  10. geodasher says:

    Will the VantagePoint software required so that “maps and content can be stored, managed, customized and then easily synced” have a MacOS version as does National Geographic TOPO?

  11. John Morse says:

    Will the Triton units work with MemoryMap (UK & Europe)?

  12. John,
    I haven’t heard anything about that. The Europe tab on the Magellan Triton web page doesn’t work yet, so no info there. Magellan has opened the door to third party map providers, so it wouldn’t surprise me if someone in Europe took them up on it.

  13. I have a significant investment in Magellan’s MapSend software (USA topo, Europe Topo, Worldwide Basemap) for use with my Sportrak. I haven’t seen any information on whether VantagePoint will be able to make use of MapSend data; do you know whether MapSend maps can be uploaded to Triton (presumably via VantagePoint)? Thanks.

  14. Good question Joe. I don’t have an answer at this point but will try to find out.

  15. Will the compass & lat / long information be added to the image’s EXIF?
    I hope so! This would totally make a data collection task we have to do possible… all in one device!

  16. Do you know if there is an model with a thermometer?

  17. It’s not in their early specs, so I doubt it.

  18. Andreas Mueller says:

    Do you know the date when the Triton’s will be available in the US?

  19. A vendor told me they are planning to ship in late October.

  20. Kim Michaels says:

    Any word about storing additional data with the waypoints? To geocache, if the description, hints and logs were stored in the GPS and tied to the waypoint (the way MapSend Lite works and overlays with MapSend US Topo) – it would mean the first real option for paperless caching.

  21. Kim,
    This is all we know right now…”All geocaches will have to be loaded into VantagePoint prior to synchronization with Triton, but most (if not all) geocache attributes are supported in VP.”
    It will definitely be something I check into when I get my hands on a review unit.

  22. Mike Mackie says:

    I’m looking to mount the 500 Triton on my dual sport motorcycle, will there be a RAM mount and cradle and power cord avalable?

  23. Mike,
    I’m sure RAM will make mounts for the Triton series, and that there will be power solutions as well. How long it will take third parties like RAM to get them in place, I do not know.

  24. How long after the triton release will the latest Mapsend package with auto route be released? As I understand the current mapsend packages wont auto route with the triton is this correct?

  25. I don’t think we know all the answers about MapSend compatibility yet. It may work with it.

  26. Jim Kelly says:

    All references to computer connection that I have seen so far say “optional data cable”. Do you know, or could you ask Magellan, whether or not this is a standard USB cable? I would hate to think they went and invented yet another cable type for me to loose.
    Jim Kelly

  27. The other day I heard that the Triton is now scheduled for mid-December. Has anyone else heard this as well?

  28. I recently bought a triton 500 from Dell, they are say it will ship 11/28, I have seen other retailers on the internet having them instock. but I am hearing a mid december release. is it possible that they may have already been realease? Also, any information on how the barometer with work for weather forcasting?

  29. Dane,
    I don’t think anyone really has them in stock yet. I hope to get an update on release dates in the next day or two.
    Also, I don’t know how the barometer will work for weather forecasting, but this review shows some interesting things done with it on a Garmin…

  30. I live in the UK. If i was to buy the Magellan Trton 2000 from the USA is there anything which would not let it work over here, power supply, maps etc

  31. Scott,
    I think maps would be the biggest issue. Neither National Geographic nor Magellan offer UK topos, AFAIK.

  32. When in the heck is Magellan going to ship the new Tritons?
    They do want to sell some product, right?

  33. L.L. Bean had the Triton series listed for sale, but when pressed admitted they aren’t expected till 12/12. Our company has them listed in ad for Thanksgiving sales, but you know how that goes with new technology platforms. I’m sure they really wanted to have them out early this fall for hunters and for sales for Christmas.
    Heard rumor saying issues with software that sends maps to unit.

  34. Fernando B. Corrada says:

    I read the pdf for the Triton 2000 and noticed that it uses USB 1.1. Why??? I hope is a typo. Downloading large map files and possibly sat images is going to be slooowww. Also I hope for better battery life, closer to 20 hrs.

  35. gps_dr, thanks for the tip on the reason why.
    Fernando, I think the USB 1.1 decision was a cost saving measure. Lame, huh?

  36. I’m trying to figure out whether my current MapTech Terrain Navigator software will download to the Triton 500. MapTech works with most of the other Magellan models, apparently, but Triton is a whole new platform so I’m nervous about buying one without knowing… especially since I do search and rescue work and Maptech’s what a lot of us use. Thanks!!

  37. I imagine MapTech will (at some point) update and allow transfer of waypoints, tracks and routes to and from the Triton. I’d be surprised if you can load TN maps to the Triton anytime soon though (if ever).

  38. Does anyone actually know if the triton’s will be able to give in-car directions like the vista hcx? Also, the triton’s are up on rei, for sale, and not listed as out of stock…

  39. As I understand it, the Tritons will be able to auto-route.
    There’s an asterisk by the models on the REI pages saying they are out of stock.

  40. Did anyone of you get any information on used cpu?

  41. I don’t think that info has been posted yet.

  42. I’ve had my Triton 2000 on order from TigerGPS since Aug 23… all my friends in SAR are laughing at my mindless devotion with their new 60 CSXes in hand!

  43. I hope it’s worth the wait. When you get the unit or even the shipping notice, let us know!

  44. mahendra murali says:

    hi , any user of magellan triton series 1500/2000 confirm whether the satellite constellation screen is alos avilable as in the magellan meridain gold series hand held units ????

  45. They haven’t hit the market yet, so no one knows. But I can’t imagine a GPS without this.

  46. Hi…I’ve been reading about the triton series for a while but can’t seem to find any for sale. What’s up with that? Also, would the 500 be good for hiking and off road dirt biking?

  47. Shelley,
    They aren’t available for sale yet. In theory, they’ll be great for hiking and dirt biking, but I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

  48. I have a simple question. I am thinking about buying a handheld GPS for my father-in-law. He does not especially need built-in maps, what he is looking for is something to tell him where he is at any given time. Does a Triton 300 display CURRENT latitude & longitude on one of its displays ? Not of a waypoint but of where you are currently standing ?

  49. I don’t know of any handheld GPS that doesn’t do this. But what is it really going to tell your father-in-law if all he can see are coordinates?

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