Product review: Garmin International's newest navigation device


Monday, July 17th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


Roughly one-half of the world's population - you know who you are - would rather die than ask for directions. And out in the woods, where there's no one to ask, getting lost is a time-honored tradition.

One solution involves a network of satellites known as the Global Positioning System and high-tech receivers that can pinpoint a user's location within 50 feet or less.

GPS receivers have been around for a while, but one of the industry pioneers has a new model with cutting-edge bells and whistles. Garmin International touts its eTrex Summit as the first combination GPS, altimeter and electronic compass.

Many hand-held receivers already estimate altitude based on GPS signals. The eTrex Summit, however, incorporates a potentially more accurate reading based on barometric pressure and GPS signals. Its electronic compass overcomes a shortcoming in other receivers, which indicate a direction of travel with reasonable accuracy only when the user is moving.

Where the eTrex Summit truly shines is in ease of use and size. Creating routes is a breeze. The display screens and functions are user-friendly, and, at 5.3 ounces, it may even be embraced by hard-core backpackers who cut off the handles of their toothbrushes to save weight.

The eTrex Summit has an estimated price of $250. See www.garmin.com or call 913-397-8200 to learn more.