Garmin International introduces new Oregon touchscreen handheld GPS devices

Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd., has introduced the new Oregon 600/600t and Oregon 650/650t touchscreen handheld GPS devices.

"The new Oregon series was re-designed to fit comfortably in a user's palm and stylish enough to be mounted in a car," said Dan Bartel, Garmin's vice president of worldwide sales. "Oregon uses the sun's light to produce a display that is twice as bright compared to the previous models and works with many types of gloves. With new customizable buttons, compatibility with Garmin's robust maps and un-paralleled ruggedness, the Oregon becomes one of the most versatile outdoor GPS devices on the market."

The Oregon series has a built-in 3-axis electronic compass with accelerometer tilt compensation, which shows where users are heading even when they are standing still, or not holding it level. Its barometric altimeter tracks changes in pressure to pinpoint users' altitude, and they even can use it to plot barometric pressure over time, which can help keep an eye on changing weather conditions. And with its high-sensitivity, WAAS/GLONASS enabled GPS receiver and HotFix satellite prediction, Oregon locates users position quickly and maintains its GPS location even in heavy cover and deep canyons, the company said.

When using GLONASS satellites, the time it takes for the receiver to "lock on" to a position is approximately 20 percent faster than using GPS. And when using both GPS and GLONASS, the receiver has the ability to lock on to 24 more satellites than using GPS alone.

The Oregon devices provide full track view-where users will see the entire elevation plot and quickly move their zoomed view to any place on the plot. Future plot uses users' mapping data to show them what to expect ahead. Weighing just over 7 ounces, the Oregon 650/650t come with a rechargeable NiMH battery pack (optional with 600/600t) producing a state-of-the-art dual battery system. The battery pack provides up to 16 hours of life on a single charge and will re-charge itself within the unit when external power is detected. When out on a long adventure and additional power is needed, users can use two AA batteries as a backup.

This software even allows users to create Garmin Adventures- where they can upload their photos for online storage and share with friends, family or fellow explorers. BaseCamp displays topographic map data in 2-D or 3-D on their computer screen, including contour lines and elevation profiles. Oregon is also ANT+ wireless compatible for heart rate, cadence, chirp and tempe sensors, the company added.