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All-Around Champ: Garmin Oregon 400t

The Garmin Oregon 400t GPS is a fast, simple and full-featured GPS device well worth the extra bucks

This unit justifies its highest-in-test price with best-in-test performance. What makes the touch-screen unit so outstanding is a rare blend of cutting-edge technology and ease of use. Exhibit A: It beat all others in satellite acquisition speed, helped by HotFix technology–a GPS function that predicts the Oregon’s location before you even turn it on. And the menus? “If you can withdraw cash from an ATM, you can operate this unit,” said one tester. Of course, the Oregon is not just fast and easy. Advanced GPS users have plenty to play with: Pan and zoom preloaded, seamless topo maps on the 3-inch color screen; minimize the size and labels of waypoints on the map screen (a nice option when navigating tricky terrain); and use the 3D view (think low-resolution Google Earth for your GPS) to identify peaks and passes. Other features include a barometric altimeter, electronic compass, and the ability to wirelessly share data with other hikers who use Garmin’s Oregon or Colorado units. Reader service #106

  • Street price $599
  • Weight 6.9 oz.
  • Battery 2AAs
  • Expandable memory Yes, micro SD
  • Infogarmin.com

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