June 2, 2011

New Garmin RINO 610, 650, 655t - Touchscreen, 20-mile Radio Reach


Garmin is rolling out another new innovative line upgrade, and this time it's their GPS/FRS Radio mashup, the Garmin RINO. The new line offers touchscreen performance, up to a 5-watt broadcast capability (on the 650 models, 1-watt on the 610), NOAA weather radio and of course GPS tracking and mapping capabilities that you've come to expect from Garmin.

The older 530 RINO series didn't offer the touchscreen capabilities, but did offer what I think is the best feature - buddy tracking. Continued as what I think is the best feature of the series, you can see your GPS location and because of the FRS radio, you can poll and then see where your friend is at on the map.

NOAA radio is available on the RINO 650/655t, which offers you the ability to monitor for hazardous weather conditions, and supports specific area message encoding meaning you can set your county as your location to only receive updates when you are out on the trail that mean something to you instead of listening to the 'bot scroll through the whole region.

The RINO 650/655t also offer wireless sharing with other compatible Garmin Devices (most recent mid range and higher handheld models at this point) giving you an easy way to send trip information to others in your party - waypoints, tracks, routes, and geocaches.

RINO 610 - the color touchscreen model comes with a slightly down-powered FRS radio, and comes with a pre-loaded base map, and 1.7GB of space to add in plenty of TOPO maps, or even Birdseye satellite imagery. Recommended pricing for the Rino 610 is $349.

RINO 650/655t - You jump up to a 5-watt transmission here and the wireless sharing/NOAA, mentioned above. They also add in a barometric altimeter, and a 3-axis tilt compensated compass to get you around and help document the journey. And speaking of documenting the journey, the RINO 655t comes with a 5-megapixel camera on the back to capture the moment. Of course each photo is geotagged with the location information of where you snapped the picture. Finally, the 't" on the end of the 55t model number also means that it comes packaged with TOPO maps. Recommended pricing is $499 for the RINO 650, and $599 for the Rino 655t.

Available in "the third quarter" according to Garmin

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Posted by Scott Martin at June 2, 2011 7:38 AM

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