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July 20, 2005

Under-$1,000 GPS Gadget Sports XM Radio, Weather



Personal Tech Pipeline

Garmin International, Inc., has announced the first-ever portable GPS gadget with XM satellite weather support for less than $1,000.

The GPSMAP 376C can overlay vital weather data directly on the display -- information like NEXRAD radar, storm cells, wind speeds, surface temperatures, forecasts, and more than a dozen other weather attributes. The weather data is the same leading site-specific, analytical weather technology and data that is provided to professional meteorologists across the United States.

In addition, mariners and motorists will have the option of receiving XM Satellite Radio's 150-plus channels of commercial-free music, sports, news, talk, and entertainment programming. The GPSMAP 376C includes an audio output jack that allows users to wire XM audio and turn-by-turn navigational voice prompts directly into their vehicle's audio system.

XM Satellite data and audio is delivered to the GPSMAP 376C through Garmin's new GXM(TM) 30 smart antenna, which is included with the 376C package. The GXM 30, roughly three inches in diameter, processes all weather information and sends the finished data to the GPSMAP 376C for display.

The GPSMAP 376C boasts an enhanced high-resolution 256-color sunlight readable TFT display. For map transfer or software updates, the unit features a fast USB-PC interface. An included 12-volt power/data cable, a 110-volt wall outlet, or a rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack (providing 4-15 hours of battery life, depending on backlight setting and XM usage) powers the unit.

The GPSMAP 376C comes pre-loaded with the Americas Autoroute basemap with tide data, and accepts pre-programmed or user programmed data cards with MapSource BlueChart or Recreational Lakes with Fishing Hot Spots. When on the road, users can load the GPSMAP 376C with MapSource City Select software for voice-prompted turn-by-turn directions to addresses and points of interest throughout the United States and Canada.

In addition, the GPSMAP 376C can also receive sonar data through the GSD 20, Garmin's "black box" sounder, which offers 4,000 watts of power peak-to- peak (500 watts RMS) in a dual-frequency transducer (purchased separately).

The device sports a 3.8-inch diagonal, 480 x 320 pixel, 256-color TFT screen with adjustable LED backlight. It stores up to 3,000 user waypoints, 50 reversible routes (300 waypoints per route and has alarms for anchor drag, arrival, off-course, proximity waypoint, clock and external voltage. It's even waterproof (submersible to one meter for up to 30 minutes) .

Standard accessories include the GXM 30 smart antenna, an adjustable marine mount, power-and-data cable, USB-PC interface cable, audio cable, AC adapter, rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack, Trip and Waypoint Manager CD- ROM, user's manual, and a quick start guide.

The GPSMAP 376C and included GXM 30 antenna are expected to be available in August. An optional automotive kit including a fully unlocked MapSource City Select CD-ROM, a 128MB data card, 12-volt power adapter with speaker, friction mount, and automotive mount sells for $250. XM WX Satellite Weather data and audio is provided by XM Satellite Radio.

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