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Leupold GX-3i Rangefinder - REVIEW


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Leupold GX-3i Review

 

 

GX-3i (1).JPG

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction

 

Seasoned MGS readers may remember that I reviewed Leupold's GX-3 rangefinder last year (you can find that review here) and that it was so impressive it knocked my old Bushnell right out of the bag. This year Leupold has introduced the successor to the GX-3, the GX-3i. What's new for 2012? Read on and find out, spies…

 

 

 

GX-3i (3).JPG

 

 

 

 

Ease of Use/Set Up – 25 Points

 

Just as with its predecessor, the GX-3i is incredibly easy to use: put the battery in and go. The GX-3i has the same basic options as the GX-3: displaying distance in yards or meters and the ability to change aiming reticules. It also retains Fog Mode for those misty morning rounds. All of these options are accessed through a simple two button layout that is very intuitive to navigate.

 

Score: 25/25

 

 

 

GX-3i (4).JPG

 

 

 

 

Accuracy/Performance – 25 points

 

Having used the Leupold GX-3 all of last season, I had a pretty good idea what I should expect from the GX-3i: great optics, accuracy, and speed. On all counts, I got exactly what I expected.

 

In terms of accuracy, Leupold has upped the ante: it is accurate to within six inches and distances are displayed to the tenth of a yard. You might be reading this and thinking, “But, Matt, I'm not accurate to ten yards, let alone a tenth of a yard!” While that may be true (and I'm in the same boat some days), why would you ever turn down improved performance at the same price?

 

For the GX-3i, Leupold has kept the easy-to-read red display that set the GX-3 and GX-4 apart. As was true with the GX-3, the GX-3i's display is extremely easy to see in all but the brightest environments.

 

In my opinion, the biggest area of improvement from the GX-3 to the GX-3i is speed. As I said in my last review, I never thought my Bushnell was slow until I got the GX-3. Well, I've had the same experience all over again: I never thought my GX-3 was slow until I got the GX-3i. You might be asking, “How much faster can it be?” My answer, “A lot.” The GX-3 is fast, but the GX-3i is Usain Bolt fast. Your next question might be, “Why does it need to be faster?” There's actually a really good reason: one of the biggest complaints I hear about laser rangefinders is that they don't work for people with shaky hands. With the speed of the GX-3i, you can shake it like a Polaroid picture and still get accurate readings.

 

Overall, Leupold took a great laser rangefinder and made it even better. The only problem is that I'm not sure how they can make the next version better than this.

 

Score: 25/25

 

 

 

GX-3i (5).JPG

 

 

 

Value – 25 points

 

Last year, I broke down the prices of lasers and discussed why I thought that a quality rangefinder was a good investment for the serious golfer. In the interest of brevity, I'm not going to repeat that whole thing, but if you missed it, you can check it out here.

 

When I rated the GX-3 for value, I scored it a 23/25. The GX-3i gives you a faster, more accurate laser for the same price, $399. A better product for the same price? That seems to me to be the very definition of a better value.

 

Score: 25/25

 

 

 

GX-3i (6).JPG

 

 

 

 

The Peanut Gallery – 25 points

 

As you might expect, the GX-3i was as well-received by The Peanut Gallery as the GX-3 was. People still love the compact size and the sturdy, milled aluminum construction. The red display is also still a crowd favorite.

 

I brought my GX-3 along for speed comparison, and everyone agreed that the speed is a major upgrade. As I suspected, there was a good bit of eyebrow-raising over the necessity of distances being displayed to the tenth of a yard, but the eyebrows went back down when I told them the price had not increased.

 

The lone complaint was a carryover from the GX-3: for those of us with gorilla hands, the GX-3 can feel a bit small. While overall, the compact size and light weight are a plus, especially for walkers, some people would like it to be a bit bigger.

 

Score: 24/25

 

 

 

GX-3i (7).JPG

 

 

GX-3i (2).JPG

 

 

 

 

 

Final Thoughts

 

Quick recap: the GX-3 was an awesome rangefinder, and the GX-3i is more accurate and faster while retaining the same great optics, compact size, and solid construction. If you're looking to add a rangefinder to your bag, or planning an upgrade, the Leupold GX-3i needs to be at the very top of your shopping list.

 

Score: 99/100

 

 

 

 

VISIT WEBSITE: http://www.leupold.com/

 

FOLLOW ON TWITTER: https://twitter.com/.../LeupoldStevens

 

FOLLOW ON FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/LeupoldOptics

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Follow me on Twitter: @MattSaternus

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  • 8 months later...

I am very close to purchasing a laser but am having trouble making my final decision. I really like the fact that Leupold is well known for scopes, however, I have read on other forums that people are having trouble getting them to find the pin (no problems sighting anything else). Several of the posters have gone from Bushnell to Leupold and are disappointed for this reason alone. Did you notice that it was tougher to find the pin with the Leupold than with the Bushnell Pro 1M? Also, how did the Callaway RAZR compare in this specific ability?

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Ping i25 4i-PW KBS Stiff (soft-stepped)
Titleist SM7 52 8° F Stiff
Titleist SM7 56 8° M Stiff
Titleist SM7 60 4° L Stiff
Scotty Cameron Newport 2.5 34" Superstroke Flatso 2.0
Golf Pride MCC Plus 4 grips
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I am very close to purchasing a laser but am having trouble making my final decision. I really like the fact that Leupold is well known for scopes, however, I have read on other forums that people are having trouble getting them to find the pin (no problems sighting anything else). Several of the posters have gone from Bushnell to Leupold and are disappointed for this reason alone. Did you notice that it was tougher to find the pin with the Leupold than with the Bushnell Pro 1M? Also, how did the Callaway RAZR compare in this specific ability?

 

I have no experience with the Callaway lasers outside of playing around in the store with them. After having the Leupold, everything else just feels cheap to me...not that you asked.

 

With regard to finding the pin, I never had any problems with the Bushnell or the Leupold. IMO, there's absolutely no difference.

Follow me on Twitter: @MattSaternus

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Thanks for the info. Guess I'll go with Leupold and save $100 (compared to the Pro 1M).

2016 M1 10.5 Fujikura Pro 60 Stiff
Callaway X2Hot 3W Aldila RIP Stiff
Callaway X2Hot 19° Matrix Radix S7 Stiff 
Ping i25 4i-PW KBS Stiff (soft-stepped)
Titleist SM7 52 8° F Stiff
Titleist SM7 56 8° M Stiff
Titleist SM7 60 4° L Stiff
Scotty Cameron Newport 2.5 34" Superstroke Flatso 2.0
Golf Pride MCC Plus 4 grips
Snell MTB Red (Optic Yellow)
Powerbilt TPS Cabretta Tour Glove
Callaway RAZR Laser

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Bushnell really likes their own lasers!!

2016 M1 10.5 Fujikura Pro 60 Stiff
Callaway X2Hot 3W Aldila RIP Stiff
Callaway X2Hot 19° Matrix Radix S7 Stiff 
Ping i25 4i-PW KBS Stiff (soft-stepped)
Titleist SM7 52 8° F Stiff
Titleist SM7 56 8° M Stiff
Titleist SM7 60 4° L Stiff
Scotty Cameron Newport 2.5 34" Superstroke Flatso 2.0
Golf Pride MCC Plus 4 grips
Snell MTB Red (Optic Yellow)
Powerbilt TPS Cabretta Tour Glove
Callaway RAZR Laser

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I have the GX-4 and was having a hell of time trying to lock onto pins in slight rain. I was always hitting a larger object 10-20 yards beyond. Never encountered this before in clear or cloudy weather, do we know if it's a common issue with these?

Yo #JustPlayBetter


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Thanks everyone. Placed my order for a GX-3i today and should have for this weekends round. I'll post back and let everyone know what I think.

2016 M1 10.5 Fujikura Pro 60 Stiff
Callaway X2Hot 3W Aldila RIP Stiff
Callaway X2Hot 19° Matrix Radix S7 Stiff 
Ping i25 4i-PW KBS Stiff (soft-stepped)
Titleist SM7 52 8° F Stiff
Titleist SM7 56 8° M Stiff
Titleist SM7 60 4° L Stiff
Scotty Cameron Newport 2.5 34" Superstroke Flatso 2.0
Golf Pride MCC Plus 4 grips
Snell MTB Red (Optic Yellow)
Powerbilt TPS Cabretta Tour Glove
Callaway RAZR Laser

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Got it today. Played around a little with it. Hitting the range Sat and course Sun and can't wait to really put it through the paces. Nice so far.

2016 M1 10.5 Fujikura Pro 60 Stiff
Callaway X2Hot 3W Aldila RIP Stiff
Callaway X2Hot 19° Matrix Radix S7 Stiff 
Ping i25 4i-PW KBS Stiff (soft-stepped)
Titleist SM7 52 8° F Stiff
Titleist SM7 56 8° M Stiff
Titleist SM7 60 4° L Stiff
Scotty Cameron Newport 2.5 34" Superstroke Flatso 2.0
Golf Pride MCC Plus 4 grips
Snell MTB Red (Optic Yellow)
Powerbilt TPS Cabretta Tour Glove
Callaway RAZR Laser

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I have now been to the range and played almost 36 holes with the Leupold GX-3i I just purchased. The only problem (and I mean the ONLY problem) I see is that to make the red display show up brighter there is a greenish hue to the view finder. You don't really notice it until you are in a shadowy area or it's cloudy, getting darker, etc. The hue doesn't bother me at all except for the fact that red flags turn a dark brown color when not in bright light. At first it made it a little tough to find them but once I realized what I was looking for it became a non-issue and the rangefinder had no issue at all with finding them. As far as locking on the pin, I never had a single problem aiming and shooting direct at the pin. The really cool thing though is that if you hold down the button and move it back and forth over the pin you we see the distance every time it passes over the pin because it is so freaking fast at registering distances. I have used several of my friend's Bushnell rangefinders and they aren't even in the same league when it comes to speed, which does make a difference when your hands are shaking. I couldn't have made a better purchase. That being said, I wear a Cadet ML glove so my hands aren't really large (though my fingers are thick). I can see where it could be a little small for some people.

2016 M1 10.5 Fujikura Pro 60 Stiff
Callaway X2Hot 3W Aldila RIP Stiff
Callaway X2Hot 19° Matrix Radix S7 Stiff 
Ping i25 4i-PW KBS Stiff (soft-stepped)
Titleist SM7 52 8° F Stiff
Titleist SM7 56 8° M Stiff
Titleist SM7 60 4° L Stiff
Scotty Cameron Newport 2.5 34" Superstroke Flatso 2.0
Golf Pride MCC Plus 4 grips
Snell MTB Red (Optic Yellow)
Powerbilt TPS Cabretta Tour Glove
Callaway RAZR Laser

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I never had any trouble seeing the red display. It shows up great in all of the different levels of light I've tested.

2016 M1 10.5 Fujikura Pro 60 Stiff
Callaway X2Hot 3W Aldila RIP Stiff
Callaway X2Hot 19° Matrix Radix S7 Stiff 
Ping i25 4i-PW KBS Stiff (soft-stepped)
Titleist SM7 52 8° F Stiff
Titleist SM7 56 8° M Stiff
Titleist SM7 60 4° L Stiff
Scotty Cameron Newport 2.5 34" Superstroke Flatso 2.0
Golf Pride MCC Plus 4 grips
Snell MTB Red (Optic Yellow)
Powerbilt TPS Cabretta Tour Glove
Callaway RAZR Laser

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I never had any trouble seeing the red display. It shows up great in all of the different levels of light I've tested.

 

 

I've been using the GX-1 for going on 3 years. hmmmmmm...........I'm thinking I need to upgrade to the 3i soon.

 

Joe

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  • 2 years later...

Thank you for the review, I bought one to replace a Bushnell Medallist that was on its last legs. A huge improvement.

 

I've failed to find yardages only once when it was incredibly foggy and I don't think any laser would've cut through it, otherwise first class product and seems very well made.

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man you brought this thread  back up from the grave.....  hahahaha 

Driver:   :taylormade-small: M3 Tensei CK Pro Blue
3-Metal:: :callaway-small: GBB EPIC, FujiKura Pro Green

5-Metal:  :cobra-small: F-7, FujiKura Pro

Irons:   :mizuno-small: MP-18 SC, KBS Tour 120

Wedges:  :cleveland-small:   RTX-3  52 - 56 - 60
Putter:  EVN-Roll ER-5

Ball :  :bridgestone-small: Tour B XS

Range Finder:  Busnnell Tour-X,  Garmin S20 

 

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Have had this model for a couple years now with pretty flawless operation. The greenish tint to the view is a little dark at times I have noticed as well. The battery gauge is pretty useless on it as well. Shows full power right up to the day it dies without much warning. Just wanted to add that in case anyone was looking at this model since short-term reviews might not mention such things. Speed is great compared to my Pinseeker 1500. I prefer the optics of the Bushnell, overall, and its Pinseeker tech is definitely more accurate than the Leupold's pin seeking tech. For the size and convenience, the Leupold has seen the majority of bag time since I got it.

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*Please accept my contributions of participation and intellectual property sharing as substitute for monetary renumeration.

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