Review: Leupold GX-3i Rangefinder

The Best just got Better
A Leupold Rangefinder has been in my bag now for 3 years.  From the GX-I until the new Gx-3i I’ve tried and reviewed numerous other devices, laser rangefinders and GPS units, but the Leupold Rangefinder always ends up as my go to unit.  It is compact, accurate, easy to use, gives me distances to anything I want and the battery life is almost a whole golf seasons.

When I heard that Leupold has a new model, the GX-3i, I wondered how they could make it better, I honestly thought the GX-3 (review here) was the best unit money could buy.  Well they left all that was great about the GX-3 alone and changed the processor inside to make it even better.  You can barely tell them apart visually.  The i after the 3 along with DNA under that is the only cosmetic difference.
The new DNA (Digitally eNhanced Accuracy) processor inside the GX-3i was designed in house by Leupold engineers.  It is the fastest most accurate laser on the market.  It now does 1/10th of yards along with doing it even faster.  I never felt that the GX-3 was slow.  Hit the laser button and a second later you had the distance to your object.  The GX-3i cuts that in half or maybe even less.  I couldn’t even time it if I tried, it was almost instant.  On a course that uses prisms on the pins, the PinHunter technology locked on the instant you hit the button.  The brackets came up, it beeped and you knew the exact distance to the pin to the 1/10th of a yard.  No more “about 124 yards”, it is 123.6 yards.  Some might say it is overkill.  No one, not even the pros are that accurate with their irons, which I would have to agree with. On the other hand I would rather know exactly what it is, than be just close or “about” that distance.  I can do that on my own without a rangefinder, but if I’m using a laser I want it to be exact.

There might be only one drawback of all that speed and accuracy.  If the course that you are playing doesn’t have prisms and there are lots of trees, you might find that the GX-3i gives you a whole bunch of changing numbers as you try to laser the flag.  If your hand is a little shaky you will get the distance to the trees and the flag.  While that can be helpful, it can also bug you as all these different numbers keep flashing up on the screen.  It is always easy, the shortest distance is to the flag, the longer ones are to the tree.

The red OLED display is still the best of any rangefinder.  It is bright and easy to see.  The contrast on either a bright sunny day or a cloudy grey day is superb.  My early morning or twilight rounds get the most use of that feature.

Still one of the deciding factors of using Laser over GPS and an area that the Leupold laser does very well in is battery life.  Talking GPS it is usually how many holes you can use it before recharging, with the Leupold Laser it is how many months.  I think in 3 years I’ve replaced the batteries 3 times.  I usually do it at the beginning of the season, and then depending on how many rounds I get in, I might need to replace it late in the fall.  I keep a spare battery in my bag for that slim chance it will die, but basically it is ready to go round after round with no worries, unlike GPS with updates, recharging and the like.

While others might still debate; Laser or GPS, the case is closed for me.  Get a Leupold GX-3i (or if you want slope with the same speed and accuracy; the GX-4i).  Leupold took the best product and made it even better with the DNA processor.

Check the price online here

For more information:

Quick Hits:
+DNA processor is fast
+Red OLED screen is clear
+Battery life is long
+Compact size

–Measures everything in sight

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