The eTrex Vista maintains the weight (5.3 ounces) and dimensions (4.4 by 2 by 1.2) of its predecessors and is housed in the same waterproof, pocket-sized casing. The main design difference between the Summit and the Vista is color (the Vista has a metallic-silver exterior). No changes were made to the 2.1-by-1.1-inch, high-resolution, monochrome LCD, and none were needed since the map detail is amazingly clear for such a small display.
Like the Summit, the Vista sports five convenient, black rubber buttons, including two Zoom controls, Power/backlight, Find, and Pages buttons, on either side of the unit, allowing for easy one-handed operation. However, Garmin has mounted a sixth button, called the Click Stick, on the face of the Vista. This five-position, joysticklike navigation key lets you scroll through the various options within each of the main pages.
You can also use the onscreen keyboard to enter search criteria. Use the Page button to view satellite information, maps, compass heading, elevation history, or a trip computer (which displays an odometer, speed, average moving time, and more). The sixth page is a Windows-like menu where you can create routes, mark waypoints, view track logs, and find local points of interest. We were particularly impressed with the extended Find function, which displays the distances ("as the crow flies") and a heading pointer to your desired location on both the map and compass pages.
That's a lock
As for performance, we were fairly impressed. The 12-channel receiver did a great job of locking and holding onto satellite signals, especially in the city, unlike Magellan's Map 330, which lost signals from time to time. The only thing we found lacking was the Vista's inability to view driving directions. The eTrex Vista runs on two AA batteries (not included) and gave us a little more than eight hours of continuous use before we changed batteries, which is about standard. The unit will accept rechargeable batteries, but don't expect them to last as long as alkaline cells.