3 years ago I ordered that model (or similar Cobra model at that time w/ 40 channels and weather bands) and I really liked the unit while standing outside. In fact, I loved it. The time when the tarnish appeared was while driving down the road. The combination of lack of signal due to my top, the road noise, and the small speaker on the unit was enough to make me return the unit after only one week. I believe that unit has a mic and speaker jack. You could also use an external antenna with it. If I had a handheld again, and had external antenna and external speaker I'd probably keep it 'forever'.
If you only use it for wheelin' and not try and pickup 'truckers' 4 miles away babling about pretty chicks in the car next to them you'll probably be quite pleased with it. I really like the fact that you can use it, lock it away, or take it with you.
I have a Midland CB, and I love it. It's small, has everything I need, and can be taken with me, if I go anywhere I'm concerned about it being stolen. I have it hooked up to an external antenna, and seems as good as the bigger units.
i think griz hit it dead on. its nice for your spotter to have for communicating with you, but i would hate to know thats all i had on hand to communicate with my group. when youre on lower #2 at tellico trying to talk with your buddy on trail #11, that hand held just isnt going to cut it.
My CB is a regular under dash unit that I can use in any vehicle in just two minutes. Instead of hard wiring the CB into my jeep I wired a cig lighter adapter to it with an inline fuse. Then I attach a magnetic base antenna the CB and route the antenna cable out of the way. Then I just throw the CB in the centre console and leave the mike hanging out the side. It's not hand held portable but I can't lend it to my buddy's or throw it in any car truck or jeep with a cig lighter/power outlet.
I have that exact model that I have used. It is small and the speaker is tiny, but at off road speeds you can hear it fine. It also has a small antenna but with a soft top and windows off I had no problems communicating. No, I would not recommend it for long distance or highway use but for off roading its not bad. My .02 anyway.