- TecTecTec VPRO500 and VPRO500S Laser Rangefinders: Small Price with Big Features
- TecTecTec VPRO500 and VPRO500S Reviews
TecTecTec VPRO500 and VPRO500S Laser Rangefinders: Small Price with Big Features
I just played a round of golf to test two rangefinders, and now I need an excuse to buy them. The TecTecTec VPRO500 and VPRO500S thrilled me with the clarity of their optics, and the speedy accuracy of their measurements. Although they have 6x magnification, the view is less jittery than my Bushnell Tour X. But that’s just one of the reasons they hooked me. I wasn’t expecting to find this level of quality in rangefinders sold for this price. It was a very pleasant surprise for me. I’ll explain what I noticed when I took them for a test drive.
Budget-priced rangefinders give me a pleasant surprise
It was a bright, sunny day here in the Mountain West when I was asked to review the 2016 TecTecTec VPRO500S and its brother, the VPRO500. I went out to the course to play a few holes and see how they measured up to other rangefinders.
These two compact black rangefinders look like mini-binoculars with their simple design. Just like binoculars, I rotated the eyepiece to focus the view. That was where I had my first surprise. The image was less shaky than I was accustomed to seeing through other 6x rangefinders. Holding them with both hands, or bracing my arm against my chest stopped the jitter altogether.
Everything seen through the lens was nice and clear and sharp. Admittedly, the weather was perfectly sunny, so that helped. The only trouble I had was ranging trees down the fairway. This time of year they are heavy with foliage. It was difficult to see what the black-print distance readout said against this dark background. But so far overall, I had a good impression of both rangefinders.
TecTecTec VPRO500 and VPRO500S Reviews
The impressive specifications of the TecTecTec VPRO500 and VPRO500S laser rangefinders
Just a note for clarification: The VPRO500S measures slopes, while the VPRO500 does not. Other than that, their features are the same.
- They are accurate down to +/-1yd between 5yds and out to 540yds
- Scan mode locates most distant object in the field
- PinSensor, aka FlagSeeker, quickly locks onto the flag and indicates success with an icon on-screen
- 6x magnification makes it easy to aim for the flag from 150yds
There are other details that I found interesting as well. I’ll work those in as we go along.
Trying out the VPRO500
(4.5 / 5)
The VPRO500 is the first model I tested. Using this rangefinder is very straightforward, quick, and no-nonsense. Press the power button on top to scan. You can range the closest target, farthest, and a mix of objects like hazards. Use the mode button to lock onto the flag. The mode button can also switch between meters and yards. That’s all there is to know about using it. Once you let go of the power button, it shuts itself down in 30 seconds to save the battery.
After the first couple of holes, I got right into the groove of how to lock onto the flag right away. Unlike my Tour X, there was no vibration or JOLT to assure me that I found the pin, only a flag indicator icon on the display. That was still enough for me. The screen also shows the status of the battery.
While I waited to play each hole, I used the scan mode to read the distance to hazards and other objects that I had ranged in the past with other rangefinders. When I compared the readings to results from other rangefinders, the measurements were practically the same. The very small differences were probably due to me not catching the same part of the trees or sand bunker each time. The flag readings were always spot-on.
The manual that comes with the VPRO500 indicated that the rangefinder was dust and water resistant. I did not test this for myself as it was a sunny, calm day.
So far, I liked the VPRO500 a lot. It seemed to do the job well without any frills. At the tenth hole, I switched to test the VPRO500S.
Trying out the VPRO500S
(4.5 / 5)
The TecTecTec VPRO500S 2016 model looks the same as the VPRO500 in everything except the S in the name on the side. But the big difference is its ability to read slopes, or be tournament-legal with the press of a button. Since USGA rules don’t allow golfers to use a slope measuring device in tournament play, the 2016 model of the VPRO500S has the option to turn off this mode. This is an improvement over the 2015 model that had a slope function that could not be turned off.
If you want to lower your handicap and improve your game, take advantage of a rangefinder that can read slopes. Once you go slope, you won’t want to go back. I will explain why at the end of this review.
The next two holes gave the VPRO500S a workout. It accurately read the 3° rise on the first one, then showed me the 2° downhill slope on the next hole. It was simple to decide on my play once I saw the angle readout, the vertical height, and the true distance. I chose my 8-iron instead of my 9-iron because of the compensated distance, and ended up almost making a birdie.
The VPRO500S worked just as well as my Bushnell Tour X at gauging my play-as distance. And like my Tour X, I can take the 2016 VPPRO500S to a tournament to play because I can turn off the slope reading function.
Of course, there’s no obvious way to tell if you turned it off or not. It’s on the honor system. But you’re good for that, right?
The (few) downside to the VPRO500 and VPRO500S
I couldn’t find a serious con, but I’ll tell you two things I did notice. With 6x magnification, you need to hold the rangefinder steady to hit a small target when you scan past about 200 yards. Also, if I scan for a target against a dark background, it’s hard to read the black readout on the screen.
Another couple of specifications aren’t necessarily cons, but they are something to keep in mind if you’ve used a high-end rangefinder before. The VPRO500 and VPRO500S read distances between 5 and 540 yards. Under 5 yards and you won’t get an accurate reading. That’s right, you’re eyeballing that putt. Over 540 yards, same story. You can’t range farther than 540 yards at all like you can with the Bushnell Tour X.
While we’re discussing all these fine points, let’s dive into a few other items to wrap up this review.
The well-designed details of the VPRO500 and VPRO500S
The VPRO500 has a few other well-thought out features that give it superior quality.
- The low battery indicator shows on-screen so you won’t get a surprise mid-round.
- It measures 4.09 x 2.83 x 1.61 inches and weigh 6.53 ounces, so it can fit in a pocket.
- The dust and water resistance is bound to come in handy.
- The carrying case has a strap, a belt loop, and a nub for a holster.
- It comes boxed with a CR2 battery and cleaning cloth so you’re ready to play right away.
Things We Liked
- Fast ranging out to a maximum of 540yds, plenty for any course
- Accurate down to +/-1yd
- Clear optics with 6x magnification and very little jitter
- FlagSeeker verifies when you’ve found the distance to the flag
- Slope readings with the VPRO500S
- VPRO500S can turn off slope mode
Things We Didn't Like
- Cannot change the color of the readout on the display
- Ranging limited to distances above 5yds and under 540yds
I’m impressed with the VPRO500 and VPRO500S because they are accurate and easy to use but come with a reasonable price tag. I would make only one change to their design: I wish there were an option for changing the color of the on-screen information. That would make it easier to read when ranging objects against a darker background.
Golfers on a budget and those looking for their first rangefinder will get a good deal out of the VPRO500 or VPRO500S. They are a bargain for the advanced features they offer. In fact, if you want to upgrade from a cheap rangefinder with minimum features, these two models from TecTecTec would be a worthy investment.
Since the VPRO500S 2016 model reads slopes and is tournament-legal, I would recommend investing the small amount of extra cash to get that instead of the VPRO500 base model.
I hope you got the information you needed from this review of the two TecTecTec laser rangefinders. My goal is to help you find the best rangefinder to up your golf game.
If you’re not sure that the VPRO500 or VPRO500S are right for you, check back for the top 5 best golf rangefinders on our website, there are some other awesome options for you there.