Sunday, March 18, 2012

Garmin Oregon 550 and 550T


UPDATE: Read my hands on Garmin Oregon 550t review. I’ve also posted a page for the Oregon 550.

The Garmin Oregon 550 and 550T are being announced this morning, models that were first rumored back in March. The 550 series brings several new features to the Oregon line:

  • As expected, a camera (3.2 megapixels, 4x zoom, auto-focus) for snapping geotagged photos
  • A tri-axial compass, so you don’t have to hold it level when navigating
  • An “enhanced sunlight-readable touchscreen,” hopefuly improving one of the few negative characteristics of this high-resolution display series
  • Two-precharged AA NiMH batteries and a charger are included as well!

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Garmin Oregon 500 series

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REI has inadvertently leaked information on a forthcoming update to the Garmin Oregon handheld lineup — the Oregon 500 series. It's unclear whether these will be the 500 and 500t or the 550 and 550t, but it does appear that they will include a built-in camera like the Magellan Triton series. We're assuming this will give you the ability to take geotagged photos. This could help explain the $50 rebate (PDF) on the current Oregon series, which expires May 10.

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UK to get raster maps for Garmin Oregon


UPDATE: Garmin UK has a page up on the product, dubbed called Garmin GB ActiveTM.

Garmin Oregon owners in the UK will soon be able to view Ordnance Survey raster maps on their units. Raster aerial imagery has been available on marine units since the release of the Garmin Colorado and Oregon 400c/i models, yet we landlubbers have had to make do with vector maps.

The OS maps, due to be released early next month, will reportedly overlay vector data on top of raster imagery, allowing for turn-by-turn navigation.

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Garmin Oregon 300 review


UPDATE: The Oregon 300 has been discontinued. For current recommendations, check out our handheld GPS buyers guide or our Garmin handheld GPS comparison chart.

The Garmin Oregon 300 is one of Garmin’s first touch-screen handhelds for backcountry use. The Oregon 300 comes with a built-in worldwide basemap with shaded relief. Unlike the Oregon 400 series, the 300 doesn’t come with pre-loaded detailed maps. Don’t let that dissuade you though – there are plenty of free maps available for Garmin units. Here’s how this model compares to other units in the Oregon series:

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Garmin Oregon 400t review


UPDATE: The Oregon 400t has been discontinued; we recommend the Oregon 450t, which has a greatly improved screen, as an alternative.

The Garmin Oregon 400T is Garmin’s first foray into touch-screen handhelds for backcountry use. Before we get into the interface though, let’s look at the basics. The Oregon 400t comes with pre-loaded topo maps of the United States and a built-in worldwide basemap with shaded relief. Here’s how this model compares to other units in the Oregon series:

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Hands on with the Garmin Oregon 400t

UPDATE: Read my hands-on Garmin Oregon 400t review.

I received a Garmin Oregon 400t review unit yesterday, right before a scheduled bike ride with a friend. I scrambled to get Garmin’s Colorado mount on my bike, which works with the Oregon series, since the carabiner attachment is the same on both models. (The RAM mount will not work however, since the Oregon is smaller than the Colorado.) I had no time to set up waypoints or routes, or load tracks. Nevertheless, I do have some first impressions to share…

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Garmin Oregon series first looks


UPDATE: Read my hands-on Garmin Oregon 400t review. I’ve also posted Garmin Oregon 200 and Oregon 300 pages.

Okay boys and girls, we’ve got Garmin Oregon photos for ya. As you can see from the Garmin Oregon 400t image above, they really mean it when they say touch-screen, because there aren’t many buttons on this thing.

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Garmin Oregon handheld GPS with touch screen


UPDATE: Read my hands-on Garmin Oregon 400t review. I’ve also posted Garmin Oregon 200 and Oregon 300 pages. appears to have jumped the gun and has a couple of pages up on a new Garmin handheld line — the Garmin Oregon, complete with a touch screen. Not yet officially announced, the Garmin Oregon line is slated to have the same 3" diagonal, 240×400 pixel screen size as the Colorado series, though the unit itself is an inch shorter and a half-ounce lighter.

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