First impressions of the 500

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First impressions of the 500

Postby MadMAX » Fri Jun 29, 2007 6:16 pm

My unit arrived yesterday; thought I'd pass along a few observations and impressions. The main reason I bought the thing was a desire for a good color display, and I am not disappointed on that count. The display is crisp and bright with back-light on. It's rather dim without the back-light unless under full sunshine, in which case it looks fine. Glare is not a problem. The display is about 75% the size of the Meridians, but the size overall feels like half that of the Meridian...the explorist easily slips into a pocket.

The unit rests comfortably in one hand and is reasonably operated in the same manner. The buttons are close enough together that one's digits usually are touching several buttons at once, but it's easy to press one key at a time. The clickstick is the main interface tool; I liked the Meridian rocker switches better as an interface, but the clickstick is definitely the way to go for space efficiency. I'll get used to it.

There are fewer features in the first release of the explorist firmware relative to the Meridian. I expect that some things (e.g., waypoint projection) will be added later. Currently there are only four screens displayed...they happen to be the four I used on my plat, so no complaint from me there. Some miss the opportunity for additional data field display.

I have been happy to discover that at least a few of the bugs with DirectRoute are gone. In particular, settings are restored after an autoroute even if the unit is turned off before the route is completed. Also, I find more consistency in hitting keys to shut the alarm off during autorouting: the first press always activates the backlight (if not already activated), and the second push silences the alarm without activating anything else that one would have to escape from (as I did with the Meridians).

All for now; happy to entertain any specific questions that anyone has.

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