This is the top-end unit from Lowrance and has been recently overhauled to offer full integration with Mapyx Quo mapping software. The unit tested had full 1:25,000 OS mapping for the entire UK on it, which is perhaps the ideal digital-mapping situation. However, the unit plus this mapping would be prohibitively expensive. In addition to the cost, the amount of data on the unit meant that it took an incredibly long time to load up and get a satellite fix (over two minutes most times). In addition to the slow load time, once on, the GPS has to be switched on as well, which takes up more vital time. Of course, once on, that isn’t such a huge problem. The Lowrance incorporates both touchscreen and regular button controls, in an attempt to give the best of both worlds, and that’s what it manages to achieve. Although the three-inch touchscreen is relatively small, you can easily switch to the push buttons when using fiddly controls.
The touchscreen works best at scrolling the maps along and the buttons are generally better suited to simple menu navigation. Battery life on the unit isn’t the best, really only lasting for a single long day’s use per set of batteries. There are settings to save the battery life, although they don’t really prolong things for a great deal of time. Once the unit is left in a power-saving mode, it can often switch itself off completely, and so you have to endure another prolonged power-up procedure.
Dimensions (cm): 6x13x3.1
Waterproof: Yes – IPX7
PC/Mac-compatible: PC and Mac
Battery life (claimed): 10-15 hours
Contact: 01794 510010; www.lowrance.co.uk