From Colorado to Oregon, Garmin never sleeps

Garmin400c Camden cPanbo

I’ve been meaning to post this photo, bigger here, for a while, as indicated by the snow in the background! It shows how the Garmin Colorado 400c screen—despite the somewhat anemic back-lighting I once bitched about—looks Garmin rock_n_rollerquite good in direct sunlight. I was also going to write a bit more about the big “Rock ‘N’ Roller thumb wheel/cursor thingy” that’s both quite an interesting technology (the control signals are transmitted magnetically through a waterproof shield), and the doorway to an interface I’ve come to like quite a lot. But, dang, Garmin has just announced yet another marine handheld, the similarly powerful Oregon 400c.

In fact Oregon is obviously the same basic hardware platform, including a compass, altimeter, and thermometer. The screen is also the same 240 x 300 pixel, 3” diagonal. But it’s touchscreen, no Rock’n’Roller and hence an overall smaller unit. Of course that means a much different interface, one I’d like to check out. Bye, bye Colorado; hello Oregon. Will there ever be a Garmin Maine?  The more important question is what happens to all the AIO PNDs when the faster, cheaper, GPS-onboard Apple iPhone 3G debuts tomorrow. Along with a slew of navigation apps, including one from GPSNavX (according to the comments to yesterday’s entry. There are some who think the iPhone will put a hurt on Garmin, but the latter is certainly not sitting on its laurels. Don’t forget the wild-card Nuvifone, and I sure wouldn’t be surprised to see Garmin make more big moves here in our marine electronics world. Two predictions—completely my own, no inside info: Garmin will buy a VHF company and Garminize its line, and they’ll update the 4– and 5000 series MFDs, or develop a new series, that puts full chart data in 3D (like you-know-who, the pioneers currently taking all the arrows).


Ben Ellison

Ben Ellison

Panbo editor, publisher & chief bottlewasher from 4/2005 until 8/2018, and now pleased to have Ben Stein as a very able publisher, webmaster, and editing colleague. Please don't regard him as an "expert"; he's getting quite old and thinks that "fadiddling fumble-putz" is a more accurate description.

4 Responses

  1. Sandy says:

    Garmin will network its super VHF to integrate DSC and AIS for Touch-the-target autodialing.

  2. Ben Ellison Ben Ellison says:

    There ya go, Sandy…and I further predict that Garmin will develop smaller touchscreen MFDs. Despite the skepticism they work pretty darn well.

  3. P borch says:

    The resolution is 240×400 (colorado) according to Garmin web site. Also wrong on previous article.

  4. Pete Willy says:

    Hi Guys.. I am confused … I want to buy a new hand held .. (while I wait for this recession to take integrated system prices through the deck so to speak..) Right now in Singapore I can only get my hands on a Garmin GPSMAPS 76CSx or a 60CSx… The reviews I read on the Oregon and now Colorado 400C’s are b*tching about too many levels of menu’s or visibility (and I must say with my work PDA’s I have gone back to buttons rather than touch screens cos they dont last) .. In your opinions are Oregon and Colorados a step forward or sideways in terms of a ‘will do the job for 3 years’ basic coastal navigation back-up system for a trawler style (ie 10 knots) liesure craft? Your thoughts please.. rgds Peter.. PS I am going to hang til release and install the Raymarine AIS500

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