Probably the easiest to use right out of the box, the waterproof eXplorist 500 is also a pocketful of power. After a quick off-trail jaunt (exactly 1.44 miles) on a local hill (676 feet up, from car to summit cairn), I graphed my hike's vertical profile in brilliant color right on the screena nifty feature that will appeal to athletes. With backlight on, the eXplorist also offered a crisp display that proved easy to read in blinding midmorning sun. Change maps in seconds by popping in SD memory cards or uploading regions from the company's MapSend Topo 3D desktop software ($149). One downer: The proprietary, digicam-style lithium-ion battery means you need to spring for a spare ($35) for more ambitious expeditions.Specs:>> Weight: 5.4 ounces >> Screen: 1.8 x 1.4 inches, 16 colors >> Battery life with backlight off: 17 hours
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