Sunday, March 18, 2012

Garmin GPSMAP 78

Garmin GPSMAP 78 review

The Garmin GPSMAP 78 brought a major update to the GPSMAP 76 handheld line. Garmin had a huge hit with the 60/76 series, and instead of messing with a winner, they turned their attention to new interfaces, which were introduced on the Colorado series, followed by the touch screen Oregon line. These new units brought the ability to add custom maps and aerial imagery, paperless geocaching, and high-resolution screens, but the latter made them less than bright (although later models like the Oregon 450 have largely solved this problem).

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Garmin GPSMAP 78, 78s and 78sc marine handhelds


UPDATE 2: I’ve now posted my hands on review of the Garmin GPSMAP 78s. I’ve also got a resource/review page up for the GPSMAP 78.

UPDATE I’m now doing hands on testing of the GPSMAP 78 series, which seems to be the same platform as the forthcoming 62 series.

Garmin has announced three new color marine handhelds this morning, the GPSMAP 78, 78s and 78sc. Updating the 76 series, these units support Garmin custom maps and BirdsEye imagery. The “s” models include user profiles, a tri-axial compass and wireless exchange of data between units. The flagship 78sc includes pre-loaded cartography for the coastal US. And like the 76 series, they float!

There have been rumors of an updated 60 series, but I had doubts due to the supposed 62 series numbering. That is certainly making more sense after today’s announcement. We should know soon.

Manufacturer’s suggested retail price for the GPSMAP 78 series is $299.99, $399.99 and $499.99, with all three units expected to be available in May, 2010.


The Garmin product pages are showing prices $50 less more (oops!) than stated above and in the news release. Somebody goofed one place or the other. They also confirm paperless geocaching capability. Here are the links:

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