“Elite,” according to my dictionary, means “the most powerful, rich, gifted or educated members of a community,” which makes it rather an odd choice of name for a range of five-inch plotters and fishfinders whose list prices range from a very reasonable $449 for the Elite 5x fishfinder through $499 for the Elite 5m plotter to a far-from-bank-breaking $549 for the Elite 5 combined plotter-sounder. Even less exclusive are the $159 and $199 price tags on the Mark 5x and Mark 5x Pro matching monochrome fishfinders.
But it’s not always the richest or most powerful members of a community that do the best job, and the new Lowrance Elite range certainly has all the right credentials to fill a vacancy on the dashboard of many smaller sportfishing boats. These units have square, super-bright 480x480 pixel displays, and simple, well-separated control panels that are designed for one-thumb operation. Fishfinding features include a 500W dual-frequency transducer in the Elite 5 and Elite 5x with what Lowrance claims is a unique “trackback” mode that allows the user to scroll back through time to take a second look at the fishfinder’s history.
The Elite 5 and 5m both have built-in GPS antennas and receivers, detailed S base maps, and a micro SD card slot for enhanced mapping such as Navionics Gold.
This article originally appeared in the June 2010 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.