Geko 201


Geko 201
Page Type Gear Review
Object Title Geko 201
Manufacturer Garmin
Page By Alan Ellis
Page Type Sep 22, 2003 / Jan 20, 2007
Object ID 816
Hits 6584
Gekos are the smallest and lightest waterproof GPS units on the market—inexpensive, with sleek designs and simple operating systems.

With its distinctive canopy-green case, the powerful Geko 201 allows more waypoint and route storage, as well as available PC and external power connectivity, and built-in WAAS capability. In addition, the Geko 201 boasts a user-configurable trip computer, 10,000 trackpoints, a new upcoming-turn feature, as well as PanTrack™ and TracBack®.

The Geko 201also includes four fun, interactive games that transform the great outdoors into a virtual board game. Enjoy a good workout while chasing a virtual lizard in Geko Smak, match symbols in a grid version of Memory Race, navigate to reference points without crossing one’s trail in Nibbons, and collect symbols along a path in Virtua Maze.


Accuracy: 10 feet or less with WAAS

Easy operation: five buttons for one-hand use

Weight: only 3.1oz with batteries

Compact size: 3.9" x 1.9" x .96"

High-contrast display: 64 x 100 pixels

Battery life: 12 hours on 2 AAA batteries

Waypoint/Route storage: 500/20 x 125

Automatic track storage: 10,000 trackpoints and 10 saved tracks

External ports: PC connectivity and external power

Waterproof: submersible for 30 minutes in one meter of water (IEC 529 IPX7 standards)

Entertainment: four interactive, outdoor games



Viewing: 1-5 of 5

SJD - Dec 14, 2003 12:49 am - Voted 3/5

Untitled Review
I bought the Geko 201 based on other reviews I had read online saying the unit was agood as other larger GPS units. After receiving Geko (bought from REI), I inserted a couple of AAA batteries and thumbed thru the manual briefly befroing trying it out. The unit has an initialization, which makes its first aquisition of satellites slow. The problem I found with the Geko is that it is slow, by comparison to other units, to acquire satellites and provide data. Since I'm not one to leave the GPS on all of the time, waiting for aquisition is a bit of a hassle.

But the biggest problem with the Geko 201 is the poor reception ability. If it is not in the clear, odds are the thing will not hold a lock on satellites.

For example, I took the Geko on its first outingto to the Alta Peak trail (Sierra's) in November 2002. Since the snow eventually covered the trail, I thought it was a little reassuring to have a GPS handy to mark way points, since I eventually lost the trail altogether due to snow . Thank goodness I never had to rely on the Geko, the lightest of tree canopies would interfere with the signals preventing its usability.

On the positive side, the buttons are laid out well, and the one button waypoint feature is very handy. I also like the screen displays and easy to use functions (a manual isn't needed once you get used to the thing).

The unit is very small and light weight, making ideal for backpacking. I wouldn't carry a GPS normally, but for the small size.

If the Geko had better recption I'd give it 5 stars, but since its numb I give it 3 stars.

blmcclain - Mar 8, 2004 12:10 pm - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
I love my Geko 201. This is the ideal unit for someone who doesn't need all the bells and whistles of a fancy GPS. As opposed to the other review, I get great satellite reception with the unit. I do agree that it takes it a bit of time initially to get a lock, ~5 min, but easily overcome by turing it on when I'm lacing up my boots. The good thing is once it locks, you're good to go - this is why you should leave it on as you hike. I recently did a hike under full foliage on Mt. Tamalpais and, although reception did diminish, I still had locks on six birds and it tracked me just fine. Also I was on a 10 hour hike in Tahoe at ~10,000 ft in ~20 deg weather and didn't need to replace the batteries (although I always take an extra set).

The one key trick is to make sure that in the set-up menu you select "battery-save" mode. This does not degrade the signal, it just samples the signal less - which is no big deal when your hiking, maybe more of a problem if you're driving 90 mph. I keep mine in a cell phone case and clip it to my pack as I hike. The functions are quite easy to learn, but the manual is lacking a bit. The real power of the unit (or any GPS for that matter) is realized when you combine it with TOPO! software.

miztflip - Aug 21, 2005 7:46 pm - Voted 5/5

Untitled Review
Unlike one other review of the Geko 201, I had great reception in all but the tightest, tree choked canyons. Most tree cover and cloud cover had no effect on the unit.

I did not need nor want bells and whistles when I bought the unit. That being said, it is the perfect unit for anyone wanting nothing more than navigation assistance from their GPS.

The way points are easy to pre program without the need of a PC, it was very accurate and the battery life for 2 AAA was excellent. It is waterproof and superlightweight.

Lots of choices on what you can have displayed while navigating. The perfect GPS for climbers/hikers.

toc - Oct 30, 2005 7:14 pm - Voted 4/5

Untitled Review
Nice, no frills entry level device.

Unlike 101,

201 can be connected to the computer,

which was main reason for me to switch from

101 to yellow one. Operating is easy, sattelite

scanning time(talking about Europe) good.

Main obstacles, there is no base map, it is battery hungry device. Using rechargeables

does help, however, and device calibrates itself depending on batteries type.

rhyang - Apr 5, 2010 1:25 pm - Voted 4/5

Basic, light and small
I liked this unit (before it got lost) because it was small, light and simple. I only use GPS to get coordinates / altitude and set / navigate to waypoints, so I never ran into battery issues.

Some nice features: has settings for alkaline / NiMH batteries, and personal info.

There are now GPS receivers with high sensitivity / faster satellite lock, such as the eTrex H and Foretrex 301. But the Geko 201 is still capable of WAAS and Differential GPS -- just as accurate, but not as fast to lock.

The geko 201 is compatible with National Geographic Topo 4.5, but you need to buy a serial interface cable as an accessory (try ebay).

Viewing: 1-5 of 5