Magellan Meridian Platinum Handheld GPS Review

Magellan Meridian Platinum Features:
  • Waterproof; rugged, ergonomic design
  • Oversize gray-scale screen with backlight; includes serial PC interface
  • 12-channel GPS unit with 16 MB base map, barometer, and 3-axis digital compass
  • Built-in database of U.S. cities, interstates, major roads, and airports
  • Secure Digital memory-card slot for expanded storage
Magellan Meridian Platinum Product Description
Take care of all your instrument needs with the Magellan Meridian Platinum Handheld GPS Navigator. This rugged GPS unit coordinates data from up to 12 satellites to pinpoint your location anywhere on the globe, and it includes a barometer and a three-axis digital compass. The 16 MB database provides details on U.S. cities, interstates, major roads, and airports. The Meridian Platinum's Secure Digital Memory Card slot allows you to slide in a data card to get even more detail, or to use a memory card to store waypoints and routes.

Map screen. View larger.

Data screen. View larger.

The Magellan Meridian Platinum GPS is a simple, versatile GPS receiver. View larger.
The Meridian Platinum has a variety of navigation screens that make it a breeze to use. The map screen will show you where you are, or, in Cursor Mode, you can scroll through the map of your current area to see where you're headed. The compass screen makes it easy to quickly check your bearing, whether you're on foot or in your car. If coordinates are your need, the Meridian delivers with easy-to-understand position screens that show all the relevant information for longitude and latitude. And with other handy displays like the road, data, speedometer, and satellite status screens, the Meridian Platinum makes it easy to gather all the information you might need to get home, find your waypoint, or navigate across the country.

The Meridian Platinum is PC-compatible and stores up to 500 waypoints and 20 reversible routes with up to 30 legs. It also comes with a quadrifilar helix antenna for optimal satellite signal reception and fast position fixes. WAAS and EGNOS capability adds to the versatility of this receiver, which can be operated in English, French, German, Dutch, Finnish, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, or Swedish.

See your exact position on the Meridian Platinum's seven navigation screens and vertical profile graphs, which show elevations of the route traveled. The oversized grayscale display allows you to easily see location information, and it comes with a backlight and backlit keypad for use even in dim light. Waterproof rubber armoring and an ergonomic, compact design add to the Meridian Platinum's functionality.

The Meridian Platinum is compatible with Magellan's MapSend software, including MapSend Streets Europe and the recently released MapSend Topo for the United States. Vehicle, bike, and swivel mounts are sold separately.

What's in the Box
Meridian Platinum GPS receiver, PC cable, 2 AA batteries, wrist strap, user's manual, and CD-ROM (user's manual with 9 languages).

Magellan Meridian Platinum Product Description:
Magellan Meridian Platinum is the ultimate GPS receiver for the serious navigator, featuring a 3-axis electronic compass that provides rock steady readings regardless of how you hold the unit. A built-in barometer gives you advance notice on the weather, and an extensive, 16 MB, built-in mapping database shows your position to within 3 meters or better. Rugged, weather-proof design, large display, intuitive operation and nearly unlimited expandability make the Meridian Platinum an incomparable GPS receiver.

Customer Review
I have spent about 4 days doing research on GPS units. I had it down to 2 units: Garmin and Magellan. I am new to the GPS market. I primarily wanted a GPS unit for hiking. I always bring a compass and a map with me, but I like exploring places that are not always on the map. I will divide my results into sections which are located below.

1.) Research
I did research on all the Garmin and Magellan models. I went with the Magellan Platinum. The Garmin units have really small screens and the button / joystick configuration wasn't very appealing. I noticed that Garmin came out with a new unit that changed the button layout, and comparable to the Magellan Platinum (Garmin GPSMAP 76S GPS). The Magellan is bigger, but more rugged and more durable than the Garmin models. I am the type of person who wants all the features. To many times I have bought a version that only had some features only to upgrade to the higher one. So this time I figured I would go for the top of the line Platinum.

2.) Arrival of the Product
As soon as I pulled the Magellan Platinum out of the box, I was impressed. It felt good in my hand. I read the Quick Start Manual. It was pretty straight forward. I went outside and started experimenting plotting points. I really wanted to test it out. So I drove around in my car all around town. I looked at all the screens that the unit had to offer (with the car parked). I was impressed with the features I encountered. There was a map view showing your current position. There was a road view which looked like you were driving on a road. There was a speedometer view showing your current speed. There was a compass showing your current direction including the sun's and moon's position. It also showed you your estimated time of arrival to your destination according to your speed. There are many more screens that I haven't even touched upon yet, but I was starting to turn into a GPS junkie. I wanted to test this thing out in the mountains.

3.) Mountain Test
I went for a hike on a moderately small mountain. I set my waypoint at my truck. I then put the Magellan in my backpack and went exploring. The satellite reception was great even under heavy coverage. I reached the top of the mountain, and I was ready to return to my truck. I grabbed the Magellan. There was two ways the Magellan can direct me back to my truck: 1.) I could have used the backtrack feature 2.) I could have inputted my truck way point. I decided to go with the truck way point. To my amazement, it put me 5 ft away from my truck. I was psyched!

4.) Conclusion
After the first time using the Platinum in the mountains, I knew I made a great purchase. I was looking forward to using this GPS on bigger mountains. I would like to point out a few things to people considering this unit.

-This unit only eats batteries when you use the backlight. I never used the light once on my hike. The screen is big enough that you really don't need it unless you are using it in poor lighting conditions. I would recommend that you bring an extra set of batteries just in case.

-If you are expecting to see very detailed maps in this unit, don't count on it. It does show major highways, water, airports, and train tracks. It doesn't show side streets or anything like that. You probably have to buy more detailed map software from Magellan. I would ask them how old the map software is too.

-The Magellan Platinum comes with a quick start up manual and a supplemental unit. It also comes with the full user's manual, BUT IT IS ON A CD! That is my only complaint about the purchase. The CD manual is over 75 pages, so be prepared to use a laser printer or buy extra ink cartridges for your printer. You won't have a problem if you like reading directions off a computer screen.
-I haven't tried to download anything onto the unit, but I am going to buy the Topographic CD (If it is current)

In conclusion, I am glad I bought this unit. It has all the basic features I wanted, plus so much more. It is very durable, and it is very easy to handle and use. Appalachian I come!
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