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New Magellan eXplorist XL GPS Boasts Largest Color Screen


Thales’ navigation business, global provider of Magellan consumer GPS products, unveils its unique, new Magellan eXplorist XL handheld GPS receiver at the Outdoor Retailer show today. Available in September, the advanced, yet easy-to-use Magellan eXplorist XL ensures navigators can easily see where they’re going with the largest screen available on a rugged handheld GPS — a 3.5″, sunlight viewable, high contrast color TFT LCD screen. It also delivers unlimited map storage with 30MB of available internal memory plus expandable memory through a built-in SD card reader/writer. The Magellan eXplorist XL’s enhanced capabilities offer exceptional versatility for camping, boating, fishing, hunting or driving.

“The versatility of the Magellan eXplorist XL gives adventure seekers and outdoor sportsmen the convenience and practicality of an eXplorist in a larger form factor,” said Christian Bubenheim, vice president and general manager for Thales’ consumer business unit. “The large color display screen builds on the variety of superior functionality consumers have come to equate with the Magellan eXplorist series.”

Measuring 6.4 x 2.9 x 1.3 inches, the water-resistant, Magellan eXplorist XL delivers WAAS-enabled, 3-meter accuracy; a built-in base map of major roads, highways, parks, airports and waterways; plus the ability to store an unlimited number of waypoints, routes and track logs through SD-card memory expansion. Adding to its ease of use are its backlit keypad and joystick that provide one-touch access to key features and built-in help files. Its advanced PC-style file management system and high-speed USB data port allows users to easily download and access compatible Magellan MapSend(R) mapping software so they can drive to a destination using MapSend DirectRoute(TM) software, then switch to MapSend Topo 3D USA to hike or hunt, for example.

The included Magellan Geocaching Manager software simplifies the fast-growing GPS activity by loading geocaching data directly from the Internet to the Magellan eXplorist to eliminate the need to print website information or manually enter GPS coordinates into a receiver. Also included is the new Magellan MapSend Software DVD, which makes it easier than ever for customers to take advantage of the power and advanced capabilities that MapSend maps add to their Magellan handheld. Customers receive free data management software plus the ability to purchase and install newly released versions of the MapSend line’s most popular software applications directly from the DVD. Customers can choose to activate complete applications of MapSend Topo 3D USA, MapSend Topo Canada, and/or MapSend DirectRoute North America with a credit card purchase from the Magellan website and install it using the DVD.

Optional Magellan eXplorist accessories include carrying cases, batteries, power adaptors and mounting options for vehicles, bikes and boats.

5 Responses

  1. I have been using Magellan handheld GPS systems for 7 years. I finally gave up and switched to Garmin. If you are thinking of getting a Magellan GPS unit, do some self assessment. You must have a very high threshold for frustration.

    My GPS is an eXplorist XL, so it might not be what you have, but Magellan is the same. I cannot begin to express how disappointed I am with this unit in specific and with Magellan in general.

    Customer Support: There is no comparison. Magellan has the worst customer support of any major company in the world that I have worked with. The company has outsourced all its technical support offshore, so when you call (after waiting on hold for up to an hour … and never less than 15 minutes), if your name is “Smith” you will have to spell it for the representative … several times.

    I recently returned my eXplorist for repair. I broke the crystal. And the rubber buttons have basically ripped off. The repair bill is $103. The first time I sent it in, Magellan sent it back after 6 weeks with NO REPAIR saying my Credit Card was invalid. They said they had tried “repeatedly” to contact me. This was a lie. I never once got a phone call. And though Technical Support uses your e-mail address to verify your account, they are NOT PERMITTED TO E-MAIL YOU as a form of contact? …this is a tech company…sort of.

    I have called Magellan a hundred times…they have never once called back though they say they will. I have written letters. No response. Email gets no response.

    The magellangps.com Web site is impenetrable. When you can’t get on the site for any reason, or when you can’t download something, there is no clue as to why the process won\’t work. By trial and error I have discovered you have to turn off ANY firewall, and set your MS Explorer preferences to “accept all cookies.” The new “Ask Maggie” feature is a hilarious joke. There is not a single question on that site that will interest you.

    In early 2007 the eXplorist XL got a new firmware upload. It corrected nothing I cared about, and completely messed up the Geocaching Manager capability. When I upload Geocaches the machine arbitrarily drops several … but you have no idea beforehand which are dropped. The system now returns several screens to the default when you change batteries, so you have to reset all your preferences on every battery swap….the list goes on. I have tried to tell Magellan about these problems with Zero success.

    Paperless system: With the memory card (I have 1GB, you should be able to store thousands of Geocaches and ALL the associated text. Nope. You get the name and a few items off the Geocache page. Hints over a few words are truncated. You can store 200 waypoints per file. WAY too small … my new Garmin will hold 1000.

    The “beeper,” when you push the buttons, is misleading. It beeps whether you have done what you wanted or not. Example: I want to edit some coordinates on a marked fix. I use the joy stick to move from number to number. The GPS beeps whether the move was made or not. The beep is independent of the desired result. When you push the joystick you get a beep whether or not an edit was made. This is a very annoying feature.

    When you do a “Go To” on a Point of Interest, you cannot see the icon for your target on the compass page. It is too small. It needs to be White and larger.

    On a “Go To” the “compass needle” need to point to the destination instead of North. This option needs to at least be selectable.

    Reliability: A friend teaches GPS at the College level. After 6 years with Magellan he recently moved to Garmin due to poor reliability of the receivers. His experience in large classes was a return rate to Magellan nearing 40%

    In July 2007 I finally made the switch to Garmin. I cannot imagine what I have been thinking. It is absolutely astounding how much easier the Garmin unit is to operate. The software is MUCH more user friendly. The screens are intuitive to operate. I could not be happier. The day after I got it, I e-mailed the “contacts” page with some map suggesstions. In 10 minutes I got a thoughtful, detailed response from a human. I was stunned.

    Verdict: Skip Magellan. Get something else.

    R Taylor - August 6th, 2007
  2. i am looking or the lagest gps (viewable screen)made to use in the car.. the size that a lot of cars come with…

    JIM HATCHETT - October 14th, 2007
  3. I am on my fifth GPS and my third Magellan. My first two GPS units were Garmin. They were good units, I have no complaints with them. I switched over to Magellan as the feature sets and mapping software matched what I wanted to do. This combined with price made the choice for me.

    My current two Magellans have given me near perfect service. They work great, never gave me a problem, and do all that I ask of them. My eXplorist XL has been wonderful. I love the big screen. I like how I can download many maps on a standard SD memory card and just pop it in the side of the unit and be ready to go.

    The one feature I really liked about the XL is that it will load both Topo maps and Routing maps. I can use my Magellan software to create maps of each type. I load them onto the SD card and put them in the side of the unit. Then as I travel I just call up the type of map I want and I have either a great topo map setup (that does have roads and POI’s too)for back woods exploring, or if I need driving directions I just switch to a street type routing map that gives me turn-by-turn navigation.

    I am sure there are better dedicated routing GPS units out there, but it was hard to find one of those that I could pop out of the car, switch over to Topo maps and drop it into my pocket for an outdoor adventure.

    Now, the dark side: Magellan older mapping software has a learning curve. I guess its due to some generational changes as technology advanced and they had to have different types of files to work with different units. I get by and get through the process without too much trouble. The payback is being able to do so much with the until when you are done.

    My “back-up”n unit is an older Sport Color unit that still runs great. It will also do routing and topo maps. Together they have given me great service and I do use them! They go in my car, on my motorcycle and in my back pack. They have never failed me and get me out and back without an issue.

    Verdict: Some may have less luck and they squeak about it. But trust me, there are a lot of loyal Magellan owners out there who get years of great service out of their units. I have my old Garmin GPS 12 and it still works fine, but Gramins are NOT the only show in town.

    John Hatton - December 19th, 2007
  4. I purchased the Magellan eXplorist XL, and have been quite pleased with the unit. However, I then purchased two software programs, Mapsend DirectRoute NA, and Mapsend Topo 3D USA. I installed the software on my computer, but when I went through the “Unlock” process, I was met with error messages. I have called Customer Service (if you can call it that), multiple times and have received absolutely no help. I have received nothing but excusses, false promises, and empty assurances that they would have a solution to my problem. I have owned the software for quite some time, but as of this date, It has never been on my computer screen, let alone my GPS. I will never buy another Magellan product as long as I live. I your experience has been better than mine, I’m happy for you, but my experience (and great expense) has been nothing but a comsumer’s nightmare.

    Brian Brockbank - April 28th, 2008
  5. My experience with my Magellan 500 is about what I have read here. Not good! I am a fairly good computer person and I am still trying to determine how the PC Management software works. This software, called Vantage Point, is neither intuitive nor simple. The on line manual isn’t very good and from what I have been able to determine there don’t seem to be any useful functions within Vantage Point. Exchanging routes, waypoints and other datum with the GPS receive is very difficult. I have only had it for a couple of months, but I am quickly becoming very dissapointed with my purchase decision. If anyone knows of any mapping management sofware that will work better than Vantage Point with topo maps please email me. ron-hudson@cox.net.


    Ron Hud - October 16th, 2008

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