Garmin has announced new models in their marine line of chartplotters and combination chartplotter/sounders. Features and capabilities have been upgraded and enhanced at many different levels.
The GPSMAP 547, 741, 547xs and 741xs will include both inland and coastal charts. Apparently Garmin is no longer offering separate inland and coastal chart models, which should help alleviate some consumer confusion over which model to purchase. New models that only include the worlwide basemap are the GPSMAP 527, 721, 527xs, and 721xs.
The GPS chipset in these new models is defined as a high-sensitivity 10Hz GPS/GLONASS receiver. It will update the position 10 times per second, which should help the chart screen update faster as well as provide more precise speed and track data.
Instead of a standard SD card slot, the new models will only accept micro-SD cards.
The models that have an “xs” appended include a new sounder module. This sounder module includes Spread-Spectrum CHIRP and HD-ID sonar technology. These features were previously limited to Garmin black box sounder modules that are paired with Garmin’s larger more expensive chartplotters.
It’s great to see these features show up on the less expensive models. There are also some cosmetic changes to the new models. The silver bars at the top and bottom of the displays have been removed, the displays are now all black.
Here is a link to the full news release.