March 27, 2006

Garmin Launches GPSMAP 378 and GPSMAP 478

Garmin International Inc, today announced the GPSMAP 378 and GPSMAP 478 -- two versatile and portable GPS navigators that come pre-loaded with a comprehensive set of maps and charts. These are the first portable GPS units to have both land and sea datasets.

"Our customers want GPS navigators that come pre-loaded with the cartography that they need, and the GPSMAP 378 and 478 fit the bill. These two units are the ideal companions whether you're sailing coastal waterways, boating on inland lakes, or driving across North America," said Gary Kelley, Garmin's vice president of marketing. "With optional XM WX Weather capabilities, the GPSMAP 378 and 478 are the only portable units on the market that can also let mariners and motorists know what kind of weather to expect during their trip."

The GPSMAP 478 features built-in Marine Detail Charts of the United States coastline, including Alaska and Hawaii -- utilizing elements of Garmin's new BlueChart® g2 technology. These charts provide integrated maps for a much smoother presentation. BlueChart g2 has all the detail of traditional BlueChart, but with richer detail and content. Chart features include shaded depth contours, port plans, wrecks, restricted areas, and more.

For inland boaters and anglers, the GPSMAP 378 boasts 10-meter resolution for more than 3200 lakes. The vast majority of these high-resolution lakes include depth contours. In addition, 50-meter shoreline resolution is furnished for lakes across the entire continental United States. Maps depict USCG lights and a wrecks and obstructions database overlaid on the map. These lake maps are seamlessly integrated with the 378's street maps.

For road trips, the GPSMAP 378 and 478 come pre-loaded with MapSource® City Navigator® NT detailed street maps of the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. The industry-leading database features more than six million points of interest -- including hotels, restaurants, gas stations, marinas, attractions, and more. Map data is provided by NAVTEQ -- a world leader in premium-quality mapping. Each unit comes with a marine mount and automotive kit (including an integrated 12V power supply and speaker) that makes it a snap to transfer the unit from boat to car.

Additionally, with the GXM 30 antenna (sold separately), the GPSMAP 378 and GPSMAP 478 can graphically display XM WX Satellite Weather data directly on the unit's display -- information like NEXRAD radar, storm cells, wind speeds, surface temperatures, forecasts, and more than a dozen other weather attributes. The weather data is the same leading site-specific, analytical weather technology and data that is provided to professional meteorologists across the United States.

With the GXM 30, mariners and motorists also have the option of receiving XM Satellite Radio's 150-plus channels of commercial-free music, sports, news, talk, and entertainment programming. The GPSMAP 378 and 478 include an audio output jack that allows users to wire XM audio and turn-by-turn navigational voice prompts directly into their vehicle's audio system.

The GPSMAP 378 and 478 are waterproof to IEC 60529, IPX-7 standards (submersible to one meter for up to 30 minutes) and boast an enhanced high- resolution 256-color sunlight readable TFT display. For map transfer or software updates, the unit features a fast USB-PC interface. Users can load additional charts, maps, waypoints and routes through the unit's data card slot.

Standard accessories include a marine and automotive mount, bare wire power/data cable, 12-volt power adapter with speaker, USB interface cable, AC adapter, rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack, Trip and Waypoint Manager CD- ROM, user's manual, and a quick start guide.

The GPSMAP 378 and GPSMAP 478 are expected to be available in late May 2006 at an expected street price of $1199.99 each. An optional GXM 30 antenna (required for XM service) sells for $249.99 (MSRP).

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Posted by Scott Martin at March 27, 2006 6:35 AM

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