October 28, 2008
By Dave Hirschman
Garmin’s new GPSMAP 696 is bigger, sharper, and more capable than any previous portable aviation GPS—and more expensive.
At $3,295 and 3 pounds (including mounting hardware), the tablet-sized Garmin GPSMAP 696 is a whopper.
It offers a far larger screen (7 inches diagonal), VFR and IFR charts, satellite weather, extensive flight planning tools, approach plates, SafeTaxi, and AOPA Airport Directory information not available anywhere else.
“The GPSMAP 696 gives pilots exactly what they have been looking for,” said Gary Kelley, Garmin’s vice president of marketing. “A large screen, electronic charts, and real-time weather. It’s our most feature-rich, easy-to-use aviation portable, and it’s ideal for those who want to minimize flipping through paper charts while in the cockpit.”
Garmin is also offering an identical GPS without XM capability called the GPSMAP 695, which will retail for $2,695.
Garmin will publicly display the GPSMAP 696 for the first time and offer units for sale at AOPA Expo in San Jose, Calif., Nov. 6 through 8.
Look for a product review in the upcoming December issue of AOPA Pilot.
AOPA Pilot Senior Editor Dave Hirschman joined AOPA in 2008. He has an airline transport pilot certificate and instrument and multiengine flight instructor certificates. Dave flies vintage, historical, and Experimental airplanes and specializes in tailwheel and aerobatic instruction.
AOPA expressed concern in a meeting with town officials from East Hampton, New York, that restrictions proposed to curb airport noise “overwhelmingly” generated by transient commercial flights would unfairly burden traditional airport users.
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