Bushnell Hybrid Laser GPS Rangefinder
Golfers have faced a tough question for years, rangefinder or GPS? The Bushnell Hybrid Laser GPS rangefinder takes a shot at answering the question with a question ….. why not both? The new Hybrid is based on a Bushnell V2 Tour laser rangefinder and is combined with a GPS unit. This unit looks like a standard Tour V2 on steroids; the unit looks much like a standard vertical rangefinder only beefier. The most noticeable difference is an external display screen on the left side of the unit which shows the GPS related data. Bushnell was on the ball and released the owner’s manual online and Laser Rangefinder Review has just finished sifting through the details. One thing not found in the manual was if the Hybrid is tournament legal, after much digging we found a Bushnell press release, which states “The Hybrid is legal for tournament play under USGA decision 14-3/0.5…..”
The first thing learned from the manual is that the GPS is controlled by a row of buttons that run along the bottom of the GPS screen. There are a total of six buttons, and they provide functions that would be found on a standard GPS like: on/off, scroll, menu, escape, etc. Next, the GPS in this unit has 16000+ golf courses programmed in it, users need to connect the unit to a computer by USB and go online and sign up for free at Igolf.com, to get updated course information and to get new courses added to the Igolf.com system. The GPS works much like other any other golf GPS, it tells you distance to the front, center, and back of green. However, it also can tell distances (if available) to bunkers, and other hazards. The GPS can also be programmed by the golfer for courses not already stored in the unit.
The rangefinder part of the Bushnell Hybrid rangefinder uses a 5x magnification, and while capable of ranging out to 1000 yards the manual states to expect a maximum of about 600 yards for most things. This unit features the Pinseeker technology found on other Bushnell golf rangefinders which aids the user in targeting the flag. At 4.3”x 2.1” x 2.6” and only 8.5oz this unit is deceptively smaller and lighter than one would expect for a combination rangefinder and GPS. The Bushnell Hybrid Laser GPS has a rechargeable battery that is charged by USB cable or a standard 110v wall outlet with adapter. Battery life is listed in the manual at between 14 and 16 hours. Finally the unit is capable of measuring in either yards or meters, and comes with a limited one year warranty.
Both the golf rangefinder and golf GPS have some weak points, but when you combine both in a compact unit….. problem solved. While there are some very positive early reviews on the Bushnell Hybrid Laser GPS, there are not quite enough to calculate a Cumulative Review Score, hopefully soon though. However, it is clear that Bushnell put some time and thought into this one, whether or not this is a home run for Bushnell, they get a tip of the hat for thinking outside the box and tackling a tough question with an innovative approach.
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