Garmin’s GPSMAP 496 Debuts at OSH

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Try as it might, Garmin couldn’t keep the cat in the bag. The company had hoped to embargo news of its new GPSMAP 496 until EAA AirVenture. But as it always seems to, the news leaked out into cyberspace and Garmin threw in the towel on Wednesday, with a press release on its Web site. The new 496 is a follow-on product to the wildly successful GPSMAP 396, the first portable GPS to feature datalinked weather from WxWorx. Other features include detailed taxi maps for airports, AOPA’s Airport Directory data, a faster processor and higher resolution in depicted terrain data. All this comes at a price, of course: $2,795 suggested retail, making it the most expensive portable ever. If you’d like to get your mitts on one, AVweb will be giving one away at AirVenture, in addition to daily drawings for GPSMAP 96s and Apple iPODs. All you have to do is attend AirVenture and sign up at AVweb’s booth, A-1007/1008. Our sister publication, Aviation Consumer, plans a detailed report on the GPSMAP 496 in its September 2006 issue. See Garmin's Web site for more.