Magellan eXplorist 500 LE

3 reviews
5-star:   0
4-star:   0
3-star:   1
2-star:   0
1-star:   2



I bought the unit a few years ago, when it came out.

Rating: rated 0.5 of 5 stars
Price Paid: $179

I bought the unit a few years ago, when it came out. It was never user-friendly and tech support was nil. I threw it in a drawer and did not use it as I had planned.

Now it seems Magellan has abandoned the Explorist line. Even the terrible tech support is gone. Run away from Magellan as fast as you can.


Try as I might, I honestly can not find anything positive…

Rating: rated 0.5 of 5 stars
Price Paid: $179~ plus accessories

Try as I might, I honestly can not find anything positive to say about the Explorist 500 LE, or Magellan for that matter. My GPS was purchased new in 2009 as a gift from my wife, and has never even made it into to the field. It has had issues from nearly the first day out of the box. Magellan tech support has been wholly ineffectual. A combination of language barrier (tech support outsourced to India), thick accents, complete lack of troubleshooting skills, and a complete breakdown in ability (or desire) to follow up, has resulted in my writing Magellan off completely and permanently. The unit cost, $179~. Accessory purchases including a soft side case, auxiliary swivel mount, a 2 gig SD card, 2 Lithium ion battery packs and a wall charger ran the tab up by another $75~. Total price of admission; a tad over $250~. And then there was the Map Send Topo 3D to the tune of another $100~.

Problem? The GPS fails to communicate with the computer (actually three different computers) running various Windows platforms including XP, XP Pro, Vista 64 and Win 7. Simply, there is no way to load the Map Send software onto the SD card and as such, one is stuck with their next to useless base map that is factory preinstalled. Despite countless hours on the phone to tech support, more emails than I care to count, and more broken promises by Magellan than Carters had pills, I am still left with a useless piece of technology.

I've recently spent some time reviewing others complaints and it seems that an Explorist 500LE that performs to designed intent is an exception, rather than the rule. Today, after over one year of trying to work with Magellan and obtain the promised exchange, I've resigned myself to having been burned. Bottom line; steer clear of Magellan.


Overall I would say that I really like the unit. Ease…

Rating: rated 3.5 of 5 stars

Overall I would say that I really like the unit. Ease of use rates high as does accuracy and dependability. I use it for hunting, camping and geocaching.

The main problem that I have is with the street level detailed maps (mapsend). The software is problematic and never wants to work no matter which computer I use. I always have to resort to having one of the IT guys from work get it to function or call the Magellan help line.

It would be nice if they could make it more functional so you just put the disc in and it would work.

Retailers' Descriptions

Here's what other sites are saying:

SPECIFICATIONS: CaseRubber armored impact-resistant plastic; water resistant seal Base MapBuilt in basemap of North America Size2.2" W x 4.7" H x 1.3" D (W 5.6cm x H 11.9cm x D 3.3cm) Weight5.4 oz. (164.4 g) - w/batteries Display2.25" diagonal, 16 color transreflective TFT, high resolution (122 x 160), backlit Memory16 MB used data Data StorageUnlimited/Secure Digital (SD) Card compatible AntennaBuilt-in multidirectional patch Key PadNine direct access keys JoystickEight way easy scrolling w/push-in instant enter Operating Range14 to 140deg. F (-10 to 60deg. C) ReceiverTrueFix 14 channels, WAAS/EGNOS Acquisition TimeHot: 20 seconds, Cold: 60 seconds, Initial: 2 minutes Update RateOnce per second Accuracy3 to 5 meters (10-16 ft) - (WAAS/EGNOS) Power Source(3) AAA batteries

- Campmor

3-D view allows you to graphically look up a valley or look down from a mountain top while on your PC. Comes loaded with 8 MB of internal memory; achieve unlimited expandable memory by inserting industry-standard SD card, sold separately. Geocaching software allows easy downloading of cache positions you find online; USB-compatible cable included for data transfer. Includes AAA-size battery adapter and is also compatible with rechargeable lithium-ion battery (sold separately). Keypad with joystick panning makes it easy to follow a route and scrolls though menu functions. Large color LCD display on GPS unit gives vivid contrast to your route and built-in base map. Lightweight, compact size slips easily into a shirt pocket. Magellan MapSend compatible. Magellan eXplorist 500 has a large, vivid color display and expandable memory for robust navigation bundle includes useful extras! MapSend Topo 3D-USA software provides over 30,000 points of interest for hiking, biking, kayaking, skiing, fly fishing and more. Outdoor bundle includes MapSend Topo 3D-USA software, USB adapter cable for computer and clip case. PC-like file system within unit allows intuitive storing and finding waypoints, maps and saved data. Rugged, highly impact-resistant, rubber-armored exterior; water-resistant to rigid IPX-7 standard. Stores up to 500 waypoints on 20 reversible routes; unlimited waypoint and routes with the addition of SD card, sold separately. WAAS-enabled TrueFix technology uses 14 parallel channels (most units use 12) to provide precise position fixes and improved tracking.


The pocket-sized Magellan eXplorist shows the way on vibrant full-color maps. Adding additional topo or detailed street maps is easy with SD card expandability. Built-in color map includes roads, parks, waterways, airports, and more 3 meter accuracy. One-button access to the map, marking points of interest, goto routes and menu. Magellan Geocache Manager makes downloading web coordinates quick and easy. Unlimited storage for track log files, points of interest and routes on SD cards and internal memory. MapSend software compatible. User interface available in 10 languages. Built-in help files for basic features and functions. Easily uploads optional geocache coordinates and optional maps via USB cable 1 requires Microsoft Windows or higher.


Magellan eXplorist 500 LE

previously retailed for:
$164.93 - $199.99

The Magellan eXplorist 500 LE is not available from the stores we monitor. It was last seen September 21, 2008 at Campmor.

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