July 10, 2008

Garmin Oregon Handheld - Touchscreen Handhelds - 200, 300, 400t, 400i, 400c

Garmin has officially announced the Garmin Oregon line of handheld receivers. The line features a touchscreen interface that should make huge strides in the way you interact with a handheld device. Hopefully it maintains the ruggedness; it does maintain the IPX7 waterproof standard rating. The sleek design is sure to raise some eyebrows; looks like a pretty impressive change to both hardware and software.

The entire line also gets HotFix - the ability to store information about satellite positions so that you get fast satellite fixes when you turn the unit on.

The Oregon 300/400 units will also include the wireless functionality that the Colorado series also shares. This allows you to swap routes and waypoints with other wireless units as well as collect data from Heart rate monitors and cadence sensors. When I reviewed the Colorado, I loved the wireless features, and was pretty happy to see the capability to finally come to handheld GPS units. Glad to see it continues in the plans for Garmin.

Full Press Release follows.....

Garmin introduced the Oregon series of handheld GPS devices for outdoor, marine and fitness enthusiasts, combining an intuitive touchscreen interface, rugged, resilient design and a variety of preloaded mapping options.

"The Oregon's vibrant screen is responsive to the touch of your finger, yet resistant to the forces of nature," said Dan Bartel, Garmin's vice president of worldwide sales. "Combining the touchscreen interface of our iconic automotive devices with the preloaded features of the acclaimed Colorado series makes this the ultimate outdoor handheld."

Easy to learn and simple to use, the waterproof Oregon features a high-sensitivity GPS receiver, preloaded mapping and a high-resolution, color 3-inch screen that reacts as users tap or drag through menus and options. On a mountain or an ocean, satellite reception is even faster than before thanks to Garmin's new HotFix(TM) feature, which automatically calculates and stores critical satellite information and can use that information to quickly calculate a position without waiting for data collection from the satellites.

The Oregon 400t gives hikers preloaded U.S. topographic maps in state-of-the-art 3D elevation perspective. The Oregon 400i offers anglers shoreline details, depth contours and boat ramps for U.S. inland lakes and navigable rivers. The Oregon 400c is a saltwater specialist, providing chart coverage for the coastal U.S. and Bahamas. The Oregon 300 features a worldwide basemap with shaded relief. The Oregon 200 provides a basemap that can be easily supplemented with additional mapping or charts for your adventures on land or at sea.

Garmin knows its users have many interests, so the Oregon lets you customize five profiles -- automotive, marine, recreation, fitness or geocaching -- making the most beneficial features for each activity the easiest to access through quick shortcuts.

The Oregon series plays well with others, as the 400t, 400c, 400i and 300 allow for wireless exchange of tracks, waypoints and geocaches between other Oregon units and Colorado models. Each of these models is equipped with a barometric altimeter and electronic compass and is compatible with Garmin's heart-rate monitors and speed/cadence sensors.

Geocaching is even easier with the Oregon, which quickly downloads online information for every cache, such as location, terrain, difficulty, hints and description, so that you don't have to tote printouts with you. Cachers and collectors will be hunting for a limited-edition geocoin minted to commemorate the launch of the Oregon series. Oregon users can experience Wherigo(TM), the newest GPS-based activity from Groundspeak, the people who made geocaching a worldwide phenomenon. Wherigo (pronounced "where I go") is a toolset for creating and completing adventure games, historical tours or other innovative activities in the real world.

Read More in: Garmin GPS News | Handheld GPS Reviews

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Posted by Scott Martin at July 10, 2008 9:25 AM

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