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Sunday, March 18, 2012

TwoNav Aventura is a lust-worthy GPS

TwoNav-Aventura I don’t often write about GPS receivers that aren’t available in the U.S., but I’m making an exception today with the TwoNav Aventura. For one thing, the company is on the lookout for a stateside distributor, so we may see it here yet. Another reason is it will accept just about any kind of map – more on that in a moment. The Aventura is a dual-use device, but it’s the handheld possibilities that excite me, so if you’re an outdoor type, I encourage you to read on.

Dual-use

The 3.5” touch screen Aventura is designed for auto and handheld use. It comes pre-loaded with Tele Atlas maps and topo maps for most countries where it is sold. The screen can be rotated in portrait or landscape mode, though this appears to be a manual setting and not due to an accelerometer.

Roll your own maps

Here’s the really cool part. The product literature says the device will “use any kind of map without problem of compatibility.” Perhaps that is overstating it, but it is clear that it will accept both vector maps and raster imagery, opening the door to aerial photos, etc. But get this – the product is designed to be open to all sorts of maps, so you can scan and calibrate any sort of map and put it in the device. If you’re familiar with OziExplorer, you know what I’m talking about. It also appears that you can download TerraServer imagery to the device. Finally, a digital elevation model can be used, with 3D settings that can be customized.

Notable specs

  • SiRFstar III chipset
  • Rainproof,” but not IPx7 certified
  • Internal li-ion battery can be replaced with a 3 AA battery adapter
  • 10 – 20 hour battery life
  • SDHC card support to 32 GB
  • Electronic compass
  • Barometric altimeter

Here is a link to the TwoNav Aventura manual (PDF).

The TwoNav Aventura is being released June 1 in Europe. The price is 599 Euros for a single country version and 649 Euros for the Western European edition. That’s around $900 U.S. for the latter!

About Rich Owings

Rich is the owner, editor and chief bottle-washer for GPS Tracklog. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.

Comments

  1. What a nice unit! I would trade My oregon 300 for it.

    I wonder if Garmin and Magellan will take note?

  2. This does look very nice. One more detail – the screen is 3.5″ diagonal, which is huge. But the price is a showstopper right now. If it were comparable to the price of an Oregon, they’d have a major contender, but at $900, it’s dead.

  3. Rich Owings says:

    Yeah, but I’m sure some people would still pay the price.

  4. $900! Really? No camera. No LED light. No tick tweezers. No Internet. No emergency whistle. No muggle cloaking field?!

  5. I don’t get it. I can get all of that (accept the street nav, but rumor has that is under development) with a Magellan Triton 2000, and for a third of the cost. And it has a camera, flash light, and shows movies.

    I think I am happy with my Magellan.

  6. Rich Owings says:

    Is the ability to add scanned maps now in VantagePoint, or is that just a third-party app? And can you watch Hulu? ;-)

    • No hulu, but if you can down load it to a wmv, you can watch it on your Magellan.

      And yes, it does require third party software to make the raster maps work too.

  7. guys, i’m from italy and those prices in europe are common.
    just to give you an example, in italy the Magellan triton 2000 has a higher price of the Aventura.
    you can find it for 680€.
    here a link to check itout by yourself
    http://www.mondoviaggiblog.com/2008/06/27/trekking-senza-limiti-con-magellan-triton-2000/

  8. Comparing the Aventura to a Garmin or Magellan on price you must include the supplied street navigation and Topo maps. If you must compare then compare with say the Oregon 400T with side orders of Vehicle suction mount, bike mount, Cigarette lighter power lead, 4GB SD card, Mapsource “Trip and Waypoint Manager” (comparable to TwoNav’s CompeGPS land demo on CD) and at the moment a carry case you won’t get much change out of $900.

    Admittedly the Euro being strong affects their price in USD but the Aventura with the features it does makes it a worthwhile contender.

    And, it is not just about price, the ability to accept the most common and professional map formats and utilise up to 32GB SD plus superior 3D+ graphics you are looking at the Rolls Royce of handheld GPS.

    But that’s not all, no, you don’t get steak knives with it, but when it comes to new and updated features it’s free from TwoNav. Have you ever tried to use Garmin Topo on say the GPSMap 60CSx? No? Because you can’t utilise the shaded relief in the Garmin Topo. What I am saying is, TwoNav do not encourage you to get rid of a perfectly good piece of hardware for the sake of some new software feature or function.

    The time consuming effort to produce low cost Topo maps especially for the Magellan, you should spend a few extras at work to give you those extra few bucks to buy the Rolls Royce of GPS.

  9. I have been comparing the Garmin Montana to the TN Aventura. In Australia the Aventura is a bit over $100 dearer than the Garmin but no camera. I can’t find out if the antenna is as good, can anyone help with this info??
    The point that has just about convinced me on the advantage of the Aventura is the availability of a wide range of maps
    It has been my experience that the Garmin IPX7 rating is not worth much as I have an Etrex that the terminals started corroding on, so it has to be in an AquaPac or Pelican box when on the water.
    So regardless of the “Ingress”rating, I will always put electronics into a water proof container when on the water.

    • Hi
      The Garmin Montana 650T RRP is the same as the Aventura @ $799. The Montana either comes with a marine or automount and Lithium battery, AC charger, USB PC cable and 1 year warranty, whilst the Aventura comes with an automount and a bike mount as well as a screen cover, screen protector, battery, USB cable, charger, 32GB datacard with 16GB of maps including the equivalent of Garmin Topo V3 and Westprint maps (same as Hema Maps) OSM and 2 years warranty.
      The antenna is as good as Garmin and TwoNav both use the same antenna (GPS engine) in their GPS range. Today’s GPS engines from SiRF, Ublox and MTK are nothing like the old eTrex or pre “H” models of Garmin such as the eTrexH, 72H, 60Cx/CSx etc etc.

      Aventura along with CompeGPS Land makes life so easy when it comes to satellite imagery too, no need to georeference etc and TwoNav do not delibeartely limit the type of maps or size of maps or data like Garmin and Magellan do. 8 out of 10 cats prefer TwoNav products…..

      • I re-read the article and a few points to note: The Aventura casing has been re-designed and has dramatically improved it’s IPX rating. Further, when it comes to map formats, yes TwoNav products accept Raster and Vector (youtube type in octapc to see what these mean) however they don’t accept Oziexplorer OZF/OZF3 formats but they do accept the world standard .ECW raster format directly. Conversion should not trouble anyone using the 28 day free to try CompeGPS Land to test it.

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