Sunday, March 18, 2012

Garmin GPSMap 60Cx Review

The Garmin GPSMap 60Cx is an updated version of the GPSMap 60C. This new unit comes with the SiRFSTAR III chipset, which has been getting rave reviews for its fast acquisition time and solid coverage under canopy, in urban canyons and even indoors!

UPDATE: In early 2009, it appears that Garmin stopped using the SiRFstar III chipet due to a patent dispute, substituting a MediaTek (MTK) chipset. While both are high-sensitivity chipsets, Garmin is still fine-tuning the MTK firmware. The switch to this chipset has reduced one of the advantages the 60/76 C(S)x series has enjoyed over newer Garmin models.

UPDATE 2: Here’s my 2010 take on SiRFstar III and the newer chipsets.

UPDATE 3: This model has been superseded by the Garmin GPSMAP 62.

UPDATE 4: This model has been discontinued. For more current recommendations, please refer to our handheld GPS buyers guide or our Garmin handheld GPS comparison chart.

The other significant upgrade is that the 60Cx no longer utilizes the unit’s built in memory for MapSource maps, but loads them to a microSD card instead (the unit comes with a 64 MB card). This means you have unlimited map storage capability, plus you can use some of the newer MapSource software that is available only on SD cards. Stepping up to the 60CSx adds a barometric altimeter and electronic compass. To see how the 60Cx stands up against other Garmin models, check out my Garmin handheld GPS comparison chart.

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