Map screen size comparison of some handheld Garmin GPS units

Map screen size comparison of some handheld Garmin GPS units with numerical data fields enabled: GPSmap 76S, GPSmap 76C series, GPSmap 60 series, and color and non-color Etrex series

 

September 8, 2009 edition
Steve Seibel
steve at aeroexperiments.org
www.aeroexperiments.org

 

 

This article will be of interest to GPS users who want to see a large number of numerical data fields on the map screen of their GPS, but also want to have a large area of the screen devoted to the actual map display. 

 

Key observations:

 

*  The Garmin GPSmap 76S is somewhat unique in its ability to display 6 or even 9 small numerical data fields on the map screen, while still leaving plenty of screen area for the actual map display.  The newer GPSmap 76C/Cx/CS/CSx or GPSmap 60/60C/Cx/CS/CSx GPS's have a slightly smaller map screen, and have much larger numerical data fields, and can only display 4 numerical data fields on the map screen, and even this configuration uses a large fraction of the space that would normally be devoted to the actual map display.  For this reason, I find the Garmin GPSmap 76S to be better suited for use in soaring and powered flight than the newer GPSmap 76C/Cx/CS/CSx or GPSmap 60/60C/Cx/CS/CSx.  Pilots with poor near vision who value large numerical displays may feel otherwise, as they may not place as much value on this capability to display multiple small data fields.  (Numerical data fields of interest during soaring flight include “speed”, “heading”, “bearing”, “distance”, “current glide ratio”, and “glide ratio to destination”; during powered flight the “estimated time of arrival” is also often of interest.)

 

*  Similarly, the color Etrex's (Legend HCx, Vista HCx, etc) have a shorter, wider screen than the non-color Etrex's (Legend, Vista, Legend H, Vista H, etc.) The color screen is slightly larger in total area, but when more than two data fields (counting the "navigation status" bar, if selected) are displayed on the map screen, the color screen actually leaves less area for the map display than the non-color screen does. For this reason I prefer the non-color Etrex versions. The older non-color Etrex's (Legend, Vista etc) can only display 2 numerical data fields (plus the "navigation status" bar) on the map screen, while the newer non-color Etrex's (Legend H, Vista H, etc) can display 4 numerical data fields (plus the "navigation status" bar) on the map screen.

 

*  The older Garmin Etrex series GPS’s (Legend, Vista, etc) have a "navigation status" bar on the map screen that displays a lot of information in a compact space, including the name of the destination waypoint, the distance to the destination waypoint, and the estimated time enroute to the destination waypoint. With the newer "H" (non-color) and "HCx" (color) Etrex's, and also the GPSmap 76C/Cx/CS/CSx and GPSmap 60/60C/Cx/CS/CSx, the "navigation status" bar (now called a "guidance text" bar) is less useful and only displays the name of the destination waypoint and the rough direction to the destination waypoint (eg N, NE, E, SE, etc.) The GPSmap 76S lacks this field entirely, but this is not a problem since 6 or even 9 numerical data fields can be displayed on this GPS while still leaving plenty of area for the map display.

 

 

1) Ranking of various Garmin GPS units by the greatest number of numerical data fields that can be displayed on the map screen, from highest to lowest

 

2) Ranking of various Garmin GPS units by the smallest dimension (length or width) of the map display, with various numbers of numerical data fields enabled

 

3) Ranking of various Garmin GPS units by the area of the map display, with various numbers of numerical data fields enabled, from largest map display to smallest map display

 

4) Ranking of various Garmin GPS units by the length of the map display, with various numbers of numerical data fields enabled

 

5) Ranking of various Garmin GPS units by the width of the map display

 

 

1) Ranking of various Garmin GPS units by the greatest number of numerical data fields that can be displayed on the map screen, from highest to lowest:

 

GPSmap 76 and GPSmap 76S -- 9 data fields (3 rows)

GPSmap 76C/Cx/CS/CSx and GPSmap 60/60C/Cx/CS/CSx and newer color Etrex series (Vista HCx etc) and newer non-color Etrex series (Vista H etc) -- 4 data fields (2 rows) plus "guidance text" bar.

older non-color Etrex series (Vista etc) -- 2 data fields (1 row) plus “nav status” bar

 

 

2) Ranking of various Garmin GPS units by the smallest dimension (length or width) of the map display, with various numbers of numerical data fields enabled:

 

GPSmap 76 and GPSmap 76S with 0, 3, or 6 small data fields (0, 1, or 2 rows) – width -- 41 mm (1.61 inches)

GPSmap 76CSx etc and GPSmap 60CSx etc with 0 or 2 data fields – width – 37mm (1.46 inches)

GPSmap 76 and GPSmap 76S with 9 small data fields (3 rows) – length – 35.5 mm (1.40 inches)

color Etrex (Vista HCx etc) with 0 or 2 data fields – length or square – 35mm (1.38 inches)

GPSmap 76CSx etc and GPSmap 60CSx etc with 4 data fields – length – 30mm (1.18 inches)

non-color Etrex (Vista, Vista H, etc) with up to 2 data fields and “nav status” bar, or 4 data fields and no "nav status" bar – width – 29 mm (1.14 inches)

newer non-color Etrex (Vista H etc) with 4 data fields plus "nav status" bar – length – 27.5mm (1.09 inches)

color Etrex (Vista HCx etc) with 2 data fields plus "nav status" bar – length – 26.5mm (1.04 inches)

color Etrex (Vista HCx etc) with 4 data fields – length – 26mm (1.02 inches)

color Etrex (Vista HCx etc) with 4 data fields plus "nav status" bar – length – 18mm (0.71 inches)

 

 

3) Ranking of various Garmin GPS units by the area of the map display, with various numbers of numerical data fields enabled, from largest map display to smallest map display:

 

GPSmap 76 and GPSmap 76S with no data fields – 22.55 sq. cm (3.50 sq. inches)

GPSmap 76 and GPSmap 76S with 3 small data fields (1 row) -- 19.89 sq. cm (3.08 sq. inches)

GPSmap 76CSx etc and GPSmap 60CSx etc with no data fields – 18.87 sq. cm (2.92 sq inches)

GPSmap 76 and GPSmap 76S with 6 small data fields (2 rows) – 17.22 sq. cm (2.67 sq. inches)

color Etrex (Vista HCx etc) with no data fields — 15.40 sq cm (2.30 sq. inches)

GPSmap 76CSx etc and GPSmap 60CSx etc with 2 data fields – 14.80 sq. cm (2.29 sq inches)

GPSmap 76 and 76S with 9 small data fields (3 rows) – 14.56 sq. cm (2.26 sq. inches)

non-color Etrex (Vista, Vista H, etc) etc with no data fields-- 14.40 sq cm (2.23 sq. inches)

color Etrex (Vista HCx etc) with 2 data fields—12.25 sq cm (1.90 sq. inches)

non-color Etrex (Vista, Vista H, etc) with 2 data fields-- 12.00 sq cm (1.86 sq. inches)

GPSmap 76CSx etc. and GPSmap 60CSx etc. with 4 data fields – 11.10 sq. cm (1.72 sq inches)

non-color Etrex (Vista, Vista H, etc) with 2 data fields + “nav status” bar — 9.90 sq. cm (1.53 sq. inches)

newer non-color Etrex (Vista H etc) with 4 data fields — 9.86 sq. cm (1.52 sq. inches)

color Etrex (Vista HCx etc) with 2 data fields + “nav status” bar — 9.28 sq. cm (1.44 sq. inches)

color Etrex (Vista HCx etc) with 4 data fields — 9.10 sq. cm (1.38 sq. inches)

newer non-color Etrex (Vista H, etc) with 4 data fields + “nav status” bar — 7.80 sq. cm (1.24 sq. inches)

color Etrex (Vista HCx etc) with 4 data fields + “nav status” bar — 6.30 sq. cm (0.98 sq. inches)

 

 

4) Ranking of various Garmin GPS units by the length of the map display, with various numbers of numerical data fields enabled:

 

GPSmap 76 and GPSmap 76S with no data fields – 55 mm (2.17 inches)

GPSmap 76CSx etc. and GPSmap 60CSx etc. with no data fields – 51 mm (2.01 inches)

GPSmap 76 and GPSmap 76S with 3 small data fields (1 row) – 48.5 mm (1.91 inches)

non-color Etrex (Vista, Vista H etc) with no data fields—48 mm (1.89 inches)

color Etrex (Vista HCx) with no data fields – 44 mm (1.73 inches)

GPSmap 76 and GPSmap 76S with 6 small data fields (2 rows) – 42 mm (1.65 inches)

GPSmap 76CSx etc. and GPSmap 60CSx etc. with 2 data fields – length – 40 mm (1.57 inches)

non-color Etrex (Vista, Vista H etc) with 2 data fields – 40mm (1.57 inches)

GPSmap 76 and GPSmap 76S with 9 small data fields (3 rows) – 35.5 mm (1.40 inches)

non-color Etrex (Vista, Vista H etc) with 2 data fields and "nav status" bar – 35.5 mm (1.40 inches)

newer non-color Etrex (Vista H etc) with 4 data fields – 34 mm (1.34 inches)

color Etrex (Vista HCx etc) with 2 data fields – 34 mm (1.34 inches)

GPSmap 76CSx etc. and GPSmap 60CSx etc. with 4 data fields – length – 30mm (1.18 inches)

color Etrex (Vista HCx etc) with 2 data fields and "nav status" bar – 26.5 mm (1.04 inches)

newer non-color Etrex (Vista H etc) with 4 data fields plus "nav status" bar – 27.5 mm (1.09 inches)

color Etrex (Vista HCx etc) with 4 data fields – 26 mm (1.02 inches)

color Etrex (Vista HCx etc) with 4 data fields plus "nav status" bar – 18 mm (0.71 inches)

 

 

5) Ranking of various Garmin GPS units by the width of the map display:

 

GPSmap 76 and GPSmap 76S – 41 mm (1.61 inches)

GPSmap 76CSx etc. and GPSmap 60CSx etc. - 37 mm (1.46 inches)

color Etrex (Vista HCx etc) – 35 mm (1.38 inches)

non-color Etrex (Vista, Vista H etc) -- 29 mm (1.18 inches)

 

 

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