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on 12 January 2009
The Oregon 400t is my first hand help GPS and I'm very impressed. I am quite happy navigating with map and compass but the Oregon saves quite a bit of time and is great when map reading is difficult - like when in a wood with no obvious features. The Oregon does support OS grid reference for location as well as Lat/Long - you do need to look through all the setup options, the manual doesn't tell you all of the available options. Since I have OS maps of all the areas I am likely to use the GPS I don't mind the quality of the base map - in fact I like it for being 'clutter' free. You can now get digitised OS maps for the Oregon - though only National Parks I think - but I personally can't see the point.

Uploading waypoints and routes from a PC is simple, as is downloading track files of your travels. You may need something to convert .gpx files to other formats but such software is freely available. I you want to connect the GPS as a receiver for another application on a PC this may be more difficult - I couldn't get the Oregon to talk to my old version of Memory-Map Navigator even using Garmin Spanner.

In use the Oregon has been fast to get a lock on satellites and has been very accurate - to within 10 meters. The touch screen is easy to use and I have not had any trouble reading the screen outside - even on bright winter days with the sun low in the sky. Battery life has also been very good - though I'm going to use rechargeables in future.

Overall a very useful navigational aid.
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on 31 December 2008
This is the best handheld gps there is, true. But what no one tells you is the maps you can buy online and on sd card from ordanence survey, quo and memory map you can only use on your pc and cant download or use card in your gps. UNLESS its bought from garmin. The GB topo (at £107 if you shop around not the £150 garmin want for it) is a massive improvement on the so called topo map pre installed which has contour lines at 100m! Even that is nothing like even a 1:50000 OS map. The OS maps which garmin are starting to release are only covering national parks so far and at £160 each its a very expensive alternative to an £8 OS map.

I know smartphones and pda's arent waterproof and spare battery is expensive but you have no problems with authoring limitations to use maps bought economically from OS, Quo or Memorymap

UPDATE November 2011: Had it a few years now, it never gets used. Its very battery hungry and only lasts long enough on duracell. Walking with it is a nightmare, like reading a map cut into playing card size pieces, all the colours and details are different to the OS standard everyone is used to and the information is VERY limited, most paths are not shown,
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on 25 September 2008
The Garmin Oregon 400t is a very good hand held GPS unit. It has a very solid build quality and is packed full of great features including paperless geocaching. It is also very easy to use and the touch screen works very well. However the same quality cannot be said for the pre loaded mapping. Yes it does contain pre loaded topo maps for europe ,BUT they are nowhere nearly as detailed as the optional topo GB DVD and the hill contours are few and far between. Also if you intend to use this GPS as a sat nav the preloaded maps do not support "TURN BY TURN" mapping for which you need to purchase either the MAPSOURCE TOPO GB DVD or MAPSOURCE CITY NAVIGATOR DVD.The pre loaded SD cards may support TURN by TURN but I'm not sure.
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on 1 January 2009
I have only used this device once so far and am pretty impressed with its capabilties.I am dissapointed that it has no grid reference ability for the u.k, as I bought it to locate ancient trees and these are done via the u.k grid system as apposed to n degree etc. I cant say too much as yet but will update this as and when I encounter issues, however, I do not think i will ever regret buying this over cheaper options either in the Garmin or other brand categories. As far as turn by turn support is concerned seems daft to be overly concerned with this like some people are, car sat nav is cheap these days and better off buying a product just for the car.

The reception is excellent in this device and works indoors and under heavy canopy which was my main reason as I spend much of my time in deep wooded terrain, but it is winter, lets see how it copes when the broadleaf forest is in full summer foliage!

Update-

having now had a good play with the device I can give some pros and cons to this device, I will start with the pros.

First thing Ive noticed is the ease in learning by trial and error how to use and fully realise ALL the functions within the device, I had no previous GPS knowledge but this was a piece of cake. if your new to this GPS world, buy this and you wont go wrong, a 5 year old could find thier way around the globe with this!

The reception is very good, and the detail of reception information usefull as for example GPS acuracy readouts, typical 29-40ft acuracy sometimes better sometimes worse.

I can state that there is no need to buy turn by turn road navigation maps, it does have a road nav lock and is more than adequate. Turns shown well in advance, and a bleep signaling ahead of a new turn a pink track indicating the route and overlayed ahead a white overlay indicating the turning path or roundabout/junction approach. You will find this much less anoying than that repetative voice of typical sat nav for vehicles!
Road navagation SORTED

Another usefull aid for me being an angler is the area measuring facility, i can now walk around the lake and get a reading of the acerage of the lake i am targeting! and enter waypoints of my favourite swims! essential on BIG waters.

defo buy the topo maps on the micro sd cards if your on walkabout, these maps are awsome, though could be more detailed in 20ft ranges as aposed to the bigger picture, but thats asking way more than is fair.

cons

overly hungry on batteries, be warned, get som nimh rechargeables! alkalines and lithiums will be swallowed whole like candy!

compatability with 3rd party maps nil, will cost garmin in the long run.

not a lot of negatives, i love my 400t its awsome and I will never be wothout a GPS device EVER again it has enhanced my view of my favourite places and my enjoyment and experiance of going to new places, awsome.
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on 30 October 2009
I am a long-distance road biker (90 - 170 kilometers a ride), and a long-distance back country backpacker (9 days and 150 kilometers are typical). I need a GPS unit, coupled with suitable road and topographic mapping software, that will allow me to create precise road or trail routes, upload them to the GPS, and then follow them by pedal or on foot. The unit must also be rugged enough to take some abuse. After extensive research and conversations with customer service departments, I settled on the Garmin Oregon 400t with Maps of Europe NT on DVD. With the unit clipped to my handlebars (accessory from Garmin), I have turn-by-turn directions on a color screen that is bright enough to see in direct sunlight. I like the touch screen user interface, and that you can lock it down when you're in tracking mode to prevent inadvertent changes. I especially like the ability to record trip profiles, providing actual distances and elevation gains and losses. The 3-D automobile driving views and geocaching support are bonuses. If you need a GPS just for your automobile, you may want another unit. But, if you're needs are like mine, this is a great package.
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on 19 April 2009
A great piece of kit - new to the world of hand held GPS - it took me a few weeks to get used to it and all of its functions. A few tips

Get rechargable batteries (good one's)
If in the Uk and using a map - set the GPS to WASS or normal and enter British Grid (under position Format ) the GPS will do the rest for this bit

Learn to use a map and compass - esp in the wilds - as the GPS may pack up.

Turn the relief shading off ( in strong sunlight )

I never bought any of the mapping stuff - too expensive for what you get -OS maps much better - and cheaper.
Have a play with the compass settings - and don't forget to calibrate the compass after changing batteries / going to another country* (* you will also need to change postion format etc) seems complex, and it is - but spend a couple of hours each day and you will get used to it.
HOTFIX works great - insruction manual not good - join a GPS site for tips etc . Also down-load the latest softwear Garmin bring out -
I have read dozens of reviews on the Garmin 400t - my view is that this piece of kit is the best around -
I am off to Western Crete soon - armed with my GPS and a map and compass to explore the white mountains -

Buying off this site also saved me £100
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on 7 June 2009
I bought this for use with my bike. It has been great so far, giving me great performance data and the navigation has been quite handy. The battery life is good if you use the energy saving options and the screen has been nice and clear. The screen seems to be better in bright light than I imagined. My only negative points are that:-
(1) the Garmin instructions are rubbish, especially if you are not familiar with GPS devices.
(2) You need to buy a map add on pack if you want road route planning.
(3) The unit runs a little slow with the add on maps.
(4) They don't supply software for you to connect with the PC i.e Mapsource.
After resolving these issues I have enjoyed the Oregon a lot. I just spent a week in Snowdonia and it has been very handy bit of kit, especially in the woods.
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on 25 June 2009
Garmin Oregon 400t Handheld GPS with European Maps

I got the 400t a few weeks ago, and have used it on a number of horse treks. Although I don't have the topo map for the country I'm in (Italy), the base map was very useful: for example, I could use it to plot my position and course off local (very out of date) maps.

The unit is robust, though it is true that sometimes it can be hard to see through the screen in the sun. But it is easy to use, and can take a beating. Two important qualities for the serious hiker.

Garmin customer service isn't so good though. They're nice enough in their communications, but rather poor at solving problems. So for example if you need their maps, better to get the CD or SD versions and not download. If you do the latter and it doesn't work, don't expect much help.

Notwithstanding this, would I buy the product again? Yes.
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on 15 February 2009
This is an excellent piece of kit,coupled with the topo maps which are available.I would recomend shopping around and not going direct to Garmin though,they are a bit pricey.I recently purchased the car charger from them and this does not charge the unit because the plug is angled and keeps coming out.
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on 12 February 2012
Had this GPS for Over a year now and hate it, the screen has become non responsive it is hard to read in bright sunlight and there is a delay when in built up areas. I have just completed a two year trip around south east Asia and had to resort to iPhone or Android for my GPS device.
I always bought Garmin but will have to look for another brand for my next device.

my advice is save your money and stay away from the touch screen.....
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