Garmin PDA Hits Market

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Here's a Palm Pilot worthy of its name. Garmin has married a moving-map GPS with a Palm PDA to come up with the iQue 3600A. The new device is based on a terrestrial version of the same concept (the iQue 3600) which combined all the organizational and entertainment capabilities of the Palm Pilot with maps, turn-by-turn directions and a geographical database to make it easier for business people, professionals or those hopelessly addicted to gadgets to find their way in the world. The aviation version adds a third dimension to the PDA's utility. The portable PDA snaps into a yoke-mounted cradle during flight. The cradle has the aviation-related buttons that identify it as a GPS. The Jeppesen database provides all the chart, physical and topographical information you'd expect plus a "TAWS-like" option that warns of potential conflicts. Snap the PDA out of the cradle and it's ready to record phone numbers or guide you to your hotel. Suggested retail is $1099. Similar non-certified products have long been available. Pocket PC-based MountainScope software, which can also work with programs that provide emergency backup for nine basic navigational instruments and devices, is just one example we've frequently seen at aviation trade shows.