updated 08:35 am EST, Wed January 14, 2009
Garmin eTrex H Updates
Garmin this morning used the wake of CES to introduce two uprated eTrex models as well as a companion piece of software. The eTrex Legend H and eTrex Vista H rugged navigators both have a much more sensitive GPS receiver that both gets a quicker lock-on and is more likely to get a fix when tall natural obstacles might otherwise block reception. They also carry USB ports and 24MB of flash memory to carry detailed, monochrome terrain maps sent from a PC.
Both come preloaded with base maps for North and South America that can be supplemented by more detailed local maps. The Vista H improves on the Legend H by adding both an altimeter and a compass. Garmin doesn't outline ship dates but says the Legend H and Vista H should sell for $150 and $200 respectively.
On top of the new outdoor hardware, the company has introduced BaseCamp, a new app for Macs and Windows PCs that lets users plot hikes and other off-road trips. The software supports the addition of geotagged photos and has a special fluid tracing mode that adjusts routes to the terrain with difficulty ratings for travel on foot. Data can be synced with many Garmin units, printed outright or exported to Google Earth.
The software will be a free download from Garmin before the end of March, though full use requires one of TOPO's DVD-based map sets.