Memory-Map Adventurer 2800 2010

In 2000 Memory-Map changed the way hill-walkers plan their routes. Now they are about to change the way walkers navigate in the hills, if this GPS receiver performs as well as their PC software. Already dominating the PC mapping software market, Memory-Map has released the Adventurer 2800, yours for just £250.

Design
The Adventurer 2800 is a small, neat, quietly understated GPS receiver. It is powered by an internal rechargeable lithium polymer battery, which allows the unit to be smaller and lighter in weight at 135g than comparable units that run off AA batteries. Lots of mobile chargers and even solar panels can also be used to charge the unit. You get a touch-screen operating system with a full colour screen. Most importantly the OS maps are preloaded for the £250 asking price.

On the hill
Once charged, this unit is designed to be used straight from the box, so that is what I did with it. The onboard OS 1:50,000 mapping appeared at a touch of the screen. The receiver picked up the satellites quickly and soon my position was clearly identified (the car park at the foot of Stanage Edge in the Peak District). A thumb slide across the screen moved the OS mapping, and pressing the on-screen +/- icons speedily zoomed in on the detail. This was the best on-screen speed of mapping I had seen. My fingers were a bit too big and clumsy to use the drop-down menus, which are much smaller. But I had an early pre-production model, and in production the unit will, I am told, come with a stylus attached to a lanyard to improve this aspect of the performance.
Anyone who has used Memory-Map’s PC route-creating mapping software will find the interface very familiar, but even new users should find that on-screen route creation is incredibly easy. The PC-style drop-down menus are very intuitive but they definitely require a stylus for easy operation due to their small size.
One big advantage of the unit is that you can buy additional Memory-Map Digital Map Shop mapping products for your PC and then download them directly into the Adventurer 2800. This makes this unit incredibly good value for money and a real benefit when travelling abroad or for those who like to plan routes on Memory-Map’s PC software in the comfort of their home.

Price £250 for GPS receiver inc. OS Landranger 1:50k mapping for National Parks plus credit to download 10,000 km2 of Memory-Map UK maps. Extra mapping from OS, marine and aviation for UK + worldwide topos
Size 11x5.8x2cm
Display 6.2x4.0cm, 400x240 pixel colour touch-screen
Power rechargeable lithium polymer
Memory MicroSD cards
Computer interface USB port
Weight 135g (including batteries)
Made in China
Stockist details – tel. 0844 811 0950; www.memory-map.co.uk

Verdict
The Memory-Map Adventurer 2800 is waterproof; touch-screen; very fast operation; easy to use; can use Memory-Map PC mapping; price. But touch-screen is not as easy to use as buttons; relatively small screen. In summary it has superb on-screen performance but would be even better with button operation and a larger screen. It won the ‘Best value’

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine January 2010