Garmin to ship entry-level touchscreen outdoor GPS

Dakota 10 (front), Dakota 20 (back)
Dakota 10 (front), Dakota 20 (back)
Garmin announced on Friday a new range of outdoor GPS handhelds called Dakota. Featuring a 2.6 inch color touchscreen these handhelds are positioned as entry-level devices with a recommended price of $299.99 (Dakota 10) and $349.99 (Dakota 20).

Dakota handhelds have 850 MB of internal memory, which can store up to 1,000 waypoints, 50 routes, 2,000 geocaches and a tracklog of up to 10,000 points and 200 tracks. These waterproof devices last up to 20 hours on two AA batteries and can connect to PCs and Macs via USB connection.

Dakota 20 has a couple more hardware features than Dakota 10 with a 3-axis (tilt compensated) compass, barometric altimeter, a microSD card slot for increased mapping and memory storage, and wireless unit-to-unit connectivity to share data with compatible Dakota, Oregon, Colorado and Foretrex devices.

Dakota comes preloaded with a worldwide basemap and is compatible with Garmin City Navigator NT for turn-by-turn directions on city streets, Blue Chart g2 for marine charting, and TOPO U.S. 24K and 100K map software for incredible terrain detail (each sold separately).

With this Dakota series Garmin is lowering the entry price in its range of color touchscreen outdoor handhelds which was so far spanning from $369 to $599. These new devices are showing up at the right time since Lowrance is currently introducing a new range of outdoor devices priced between $230 and $550 with a 2.7 inch color touch display. For the same price point Lowrance devices gives more in terms of mapping content, but Garmin has the huge advantage of its well-known brand and its hegemonic shelves presence.

Monday, June 29th 2009

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