Comparison of the Garmin Colorado and Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx


This page compares the features, performance and usability of the Garmin Colorado 300/400t and the Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx. Garmin's comparison page shows some of the basic similarities and differences. The intent of this list is to highlight only the differences. If it isn't mentioned on the list below it is assumed be the same or similar between the two units (or I made an error!).

Software



Garmin Colorado: See Versions page (Updated 9/21/09 to incorporate new 3.0 features)
GPSMAP 60CSx: 3.6


Feature Comparison Chart



Feature
Colorado
60CSx
Notes
Hardware



Unit dimensions
2.4" x 5.5" x 1.4"
2.4" x 6.1" x 1.3"

Unit weight
7.3 oz
7.5oz
w/batteries
Display size
1.53"x2.55"
1.5"x2.2"

Display resolution
240x400
160x240

High sensitivity receiver
Yes, Media Tek MTK MT3318
Yes, SiRFStarIII

Free internal memory
350MB - 300
1GB - 400t

None
Internal memory available to user. 400t uses 2.7GB for Topo2008 maps. Assumes 4GB 400t.
SD card support
8GB SDHC
4GB micro SDHC

Battery life
9-13hrs, 2700mAh
NiMH
16-20hrs,
2700mAh
NiMH

Numbers represent typical usage.
Direct lanyard attachment
No
Yes

Serial interface
No
Yes

General



Startup time
18 sec - 400t
12 sec - 300
8 sec
Colorado takes longer if loading gpx files for first time. Measured to first screen. Depends on maps.
Profiles
Yes
No

Personalized startup screen
Yes
Yes
Added in 3.0
Single reset control page (waypoints, tracks, altimeter)
No
Yes

Search/view all waypoints by name
No
Yes
Search by name (Spell...) supported on Colorado but no way to see the entire list by name
Multi-color satellite GPS page
No
Yes

GPS reboots on disconnect from computer
Yes
No
If Colorado is connected in Garmin Spanner mode it does not need to be turned off when disconnected.
Backlight settings saved across reboot
No
Yes

Events recorded on calendar
No
Yes

Access to GPS functions when connected to computer
Partial
Yes
In Spanner mode the Colorado can be used as an attached GPS but you can't download data and use the GPS functions at the same time like the 60csx
Auto view in odometer
Yes
No

Tone Control
No
Yes

Configurable calendar view
No
Yes
Colorado month view only. 60csx day, week, month.
Night mode/Day mode
No
Yes

Maps



Max map (img) file size
4GB
2GB

Max map segments
4000
2025

Autorouting basemap
No
Yes

Pre-installed maps coverage
300:
World base + Americas,
Atlantic,
Pacific

400t:
World base + Americas +
US Topo
Americas

Relief shading/DEM
Yes, w/DEM
maps

No
Colorado basemaps include course DEM, Topo 2008 has fine grained DEM.
3D view
Yes, w/Topo Maps
No
Does not work with Colorado basemaps.
Automotive map view
Yes
Yes
60csx supports a more primitive automotive view.
Number of map (img) files supported
3 (internal)
1 (SD)

1 (SD)

Accuracy rings on map page
No
Yes

Declutter map
No
Yes

Pan/zoom map in route preview mode
No
Yes

Configure zoom level where track up and north up switch
No
Yes
Colorado switches at 50m zoom, not configurable
Data fields on map page
2
4

Waypoints & POIs



Custom waypoint symbols
No
Yes

Waypoint averaging
Yes
Yes
Added in 3.0
POI name length
1023
44

POI description length
>1023

88

POI category name length
14
17

Delete waypoint by symbol
No
Yes

Search/view waypoints by symbol
No
Yes

Proximity alarms
Yes
Yes
Colorado has proximity alarms but does not have a separate list where you can see them (they show up under custom POIs) and the tones are not configurable.
New waypoints added to recent finds
No
Yes
Colorado will if you create waypoint from WhereTo? but not if you Mark a new waypoint.
Waypoint name/description length
32/32
14/30

Show distance between two waypoints
No
Yes
60csx allows you to change reference to an arbitrary waypoint and see how far it is from any waypoint to this new reference.
Tracks



Trackpoints in active tracklog
10000
10000

Data saved in active tracklog
coords, elev, temp, time,
sensor

coords, elev, time

Saved tracklogs
>180 @ 10000 TPs each
20 @ 500 points each
Colorado's saved tracks are managed in gpx files not internal memory.
Number of saved tracklogs visible on map at same time
1
20

Data compressed in saved tracklogs
No
Yes, elev, time
60csx removes trackpoints and elevation and timestamp from saved tracks. 60csx archived tracks are not compressed.
Tracback
Yes, primitive
Yes
Colorado tracback feature added in 2.54 does not create intermediate waypoints, it navigates along the track which doesn't work as well.
Auto archive tracklog
Yes, file per 5000 TPs
Yes, file per day
Colorado cannot create a file per day, but archive tracklog contains track segment per session (power on->off)
Auto archive track storage
20 files @ 5000 points/ea
limited by SD card

Change track color
No
Yes

Routing



Detour route
Yes
No

Recalculate route
No
Yes

Prompted guidance mode (off-road vs autoroute)
No
Yes
Colorado achieves this using profiles but much less efficiently.
Indication of upcoming cross street
No
Yes

Prompted off route recalculation
No
Yes

Detailed turn pop-ups visible on any page
No
Yes
Colorado has detailed turn directions but they are not visible unless you got the route planner and select the turn. 60csx can display them no matter what page is selected as you are approaching the turn.
Configure guidance text
No
Yes
60csx is when routing, always, never. Colorado is always when routing.
Compass



Dedicated compass on/off button
No
Yes
Long press on 60csx Page button
Configurable compass on/off speed setting
No
Yes
CO auto on/off speed at 10mph (16km/hr), but cannot change
Altimeter



Record barometric pressure with unit off
Yes
No
Supported on 60cs
Geocaching/Wherigo



Detailed geocache information
Yes
No
Colorado can display: GCID, name, type, container, terrain, difficulty, coordinates, description, hints and logs directly from GPX file
Number of geocaches
2000
1000
60csx supports up to 1000 waypoints and geocaches, Colorado supports 1000 waypoints plus 2000 geocaches.
Ability to add geocaches
No
Yes
Geocaches are waypoints on 60csx
Ability to save geocaches after they have been found
No
Yes
Colorado does not give you the ability save found/marked geocaches in current.gpx
Mark cache DNF, needs maintenance
Yes
No

Fieldnote support
Yes
No

Wherigo Player
Yes
No

Misc



USB tracking
Yes
Yes
60csx supports nRoute, PVT (used with Ozi & Global Mapper) and Spanner (NMEA to PVT/USB)
Colorado only supports tracking over optional USB/Serial cable and Spanner
Alarm clock
Yes
No
Supported on 60cs
Jumpmaster
No
Yes

Tide graph Bluecharts
No
Yes

View tide data/graph by date
No
Yes

Screen capture button
Yes
No
Can be done with 60csx using xImage
Outdoor temperature
Yes
No
Colorado supports outdoor temp but it is nearly useless as it almost always reads high, especially in cold temps.
Picture viewer
Yes, jpg
No

Background images
Yes
No

Wireless data transfer
Yes
No

Heart rate monitor support
Yes
No

Cadence sensor
Yes
No

Games
No
Yes


User interface observations




  • Colorado is based heavily on the Rock'n Roller scroll and press. 60csx uses the rocker pad. In general I find the Rock'n Roller (RnR) easier and more precise than the 60csx.
  • Text input on the Colorado is cumbersome and time consuming using the RnR.
  • Context sensitive setup options are almost non-existent on the Colorado pages. Setup changes always require going to Shortcuts and scrolling to Setup.
  • No shortcut to get to Setup (double Menu press on the 60csx)
  • Left handed use of the power button is hard with the Colorado (antenna is in the way)
  • Colorado buttons are up top vs. down bottom on the 60csx. Personally I find the Colorado easier to use one-handed.


Display readability





This controversial topic has generated much discussion on the Groundspeak forums. Below are my observations as a 60cs user, but your experience may vary depending on what you are used to.

In general I find the Colorado's display harder to read than the 60csx with two exceptions:
  • Under battery power in dark or dim ambient conditions, with the backlight turned up the Colorado is bright and very readable.
  • Attached to the automotive DC supply with the backlight turned up the Colorado is absolutely brilliant and very readable. The max brightness attached to a DC power source is much higher than the max brightness running under battery power.

In almost all other conditions I find the Colorado screen harder to read than the 60csx. This can be attributed to several factors.
  • High resolution screens are darker because of pixel density. This requires use of more backlighting which drains battery.
  • The color schemes and map colors on the Colorado are darker than the 60csx. When using City Nav maps (which are light colored on the Colorado) I notice a dramatic improvement from when I'm using Topo2008 where dark green is the primary color.
  • The CO screen seems to reflect more under bright light than the 60csx. Under very bright (direct sunlight) ambient conditions I find myself constantly turning the unit to eliminate reflections that don't seem to occur on the 60csx (or to a lesser extent).

In summary I think most people who are used to a 60cs(x) will feel the Colorado is worse, a quick scan of the forums will show that. Whether Garmin can improve this by allowing the backlight to be adjusted higher (like when it is running from a DC source) or provide some different color schemes and map colors remains to be seen.