More than just a handheld GPS receiver, the Magellan eXplorist 300 is also
a weather predictor. Its built-in barometer provides more accurate elevation
readings than GPS and can indicate when the weather is changing. But even if
you get caught in a storm, you don't have to worry about the receiver getting
wet, since it's waterproof.
Besides the barometer, the Magellan eXplorist 300 also has a built-in
electronic compass. These additions solve two problems with regular
GPS receivers. GPS elevation readings can have about twice as much error as
horizontal readings. And your current direction can only be known with GPS,
if you're moving. But the electronic compass can show your direction all the
time, just like a mechanical compass. In addition to providing elevation readings,
the barometer can warn you of an approaching storm if it shows the air pressure is
A barometer and compass aren't the only things built into the eXplorist 300.
There's also a North American or European basemap. The basemap shows roads, cities,
lakes, and parks for getting to your favorite recreation area. And if you're flying,
airports are shown too. For planning your trip, there's storage space for 20 routes
with 500 waypoints. If you should take an unplanned path, the track log will
record your every movement. So if you want to retrace your steps or repeat the
path at a later time, it's saved for you. And you can store 2000 track points in
5 track files.
Backing up the basemap is an accurate 14-channel receiver. When receiving
Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) signals, the Magellan eXplorist 300 has a
position error of less than three meters for 95% or more of its readings. And its
14 channels lets it find GPS satellites more quickly than older 12 channel receivers.
You can monitor which satellites signals are being received and their strength using
the Satellite Status Screen. And to provide protection for the receiver, the case is
made of a impact resistant plastic with rubber cushioning that can stand up to rough handling.
Despite its advanced features, the eXplorist 300 is easy to operate, even for the first-time
user. Its central rocker key acts like a computer's mouse to quickly select one of the
three navigation screens with the information you want. And if English isn't your
mother tongue, you can choose to show the text in one of nine other languages. You
also can choose which map datum and coordinate system is used. Since the map screen
has both zoom and pan control, you see as much detail and area as you want.
To make sure you can read the screens under any light conditions, the 1.4" W
x 1.8" H display for the Magellan eXplorist 300 is backlit. The amber backlight
makes readings in the dark easy while protecting your night vision. The 4-level
grayscale LCD provides high-contrast images and text for clear display even in
bright sunlight. Without using the backlighting, the two AA batteries which power
the receiver, can last over 14 hours. And to avoid excessive battery drain, there's
a timer you can set to automatically shut off the backlight if you haven't pushed
a key for a specific period.