Casual GPS users can find fun, games with handy Geko 301

WHAT'S HOT

What's Hot

January 08, 2004|By Candus Thomson

Hand-held GPS units have opened the world - literally - to hundreds of thousands of outdoors enthusiasts, allowing them to go on adventures and then find their way home.

But sometimes, you don't need all the information a large global positioning system unit can spit out. Sometimes, you just want to remember a scenic cross-country ski route, recall a vigorous mountain bike trail or mark a fishing hot spot.

For those situations, the best GPS unit for the job is Garmin's cell phone-sized Geko 301 ($247). In addition to storing 500 waypoints and 20 routes, it includes an electronic compass, altimeter and trip calculator. A particularly useful feature is the backtracking tool, which allows you to leave a "bread-crumb trail" to retrace your steps.

And when it's time to call it a day, the Geko turns playful, with five interactive games.

If you've used a big GPS unit, you'll notice the Geko isn't as quick in locking onto satellites, but it's quick enough for all but the most intense Type-A personalities.

The waterproof Geko has just five buttons and can be operated with one thumb. It has an external port to download data, and accessories sold separately allow you to mount the unit to a bicycle, boat or car dashboard.

The Geko 301 weighs 3.5 ounces with two AAA batteries that last 12 to 14 hours -more than enough time to show you the way to go home.

There also are two other Geko models: the entry-level 101 ($114) and the mid-level 201 ($150).

Information: 800-800-1020 or www.garmin.com.

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