Four new Oregon touchscreen GPS devices pop up on Garmin's website

As Garmin hasn't made any official announcement, we can't tell you when these sneaky handheld GPS navigators first showed up on the company's website, but say hello to the Oregon 600, 600t, 650 and 650t. Aesthetically, they all look identical, with a 3-inch "transflective color TFT touchscreen" in portrait orientation (240 x 400 resolution). Similarly, they share the overwhelming majority of internal specs, and all track your jaunts into the great outdoors using GPS and GLONASS. The only major differences we can find on the spec sheets are that the t-marked models come with Garmin's "TOPO US 100K maps" preloaded, and that both 650 units boast an 8-megapixel camera. As the Garmin pages note, the models cost between $400 and $550, but they won't be available for purchase until our FCC overlords allow it. Head to the source link if you'd like to know more.

Update: The official PR is out and we've embedded it below. Give it a read if you want a thorough overview of the new Oregon handhelds, which are slated for release in Q1 2013.

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Incredible High-Res, Muti-Touch Display, GPS+GLONASS and 8 MP
Camera-- The New Garmin® Oregon® Series Packs a Punch

OLATHE, Kan./January 7, 2013/Business Wire - Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN), the global leader in satellite navigation, today announced the all new Oregon 600/600t and Oregon 650/650t ("t" indicating pre-loaded TOPO maps) touchscreen handheld GPS devices, featuring high-sensitivity GPS + GLONASS, pre-loaded TOPO U.S. 100K maps, worldwide basemap with shaded relief and a faster processor, users won't just look at maps, they'll interact with them. Zoom in, pan out, and rotate using multi-touch in any conditions and even with most gloves. The reflective display technology boosts touchscreen brightness so much, maps and displays are as vivid in full bright sunlight as they are in shade. And mark the memories with an 8MP autofocus camera with digital zoom and automatic flash/torch, plus customizable buttons for one-touch image capture and waypoint marking- making the Oregon series a must have for serious outdoorsmen.

"The new Oregon series was re-designed to fit comfortably in a user's palm and stylish enough to be mounted in a car," said Dan Bartel, Garmin's vice president of worldwide sales. "Oregon uses the sun's light to produce a display that is twice as bright compared to the previous models and works with many types of gloves. With new customizable buttons, compatibility with Garmin's robust maps and un-paralleled ruggedness, the Oregon becomes one of the most versatile outdoor GPS devices on the market."

The Oregon series has a built-in 3-axis electronic compass with accelerometer tilt compensation, which shows where users are heading even when they are standing still, or not holding it level. Its barometric altimeter tracks changes in pressure to pinpoint users' altitude, and they even can use it to plot barometric pressure over time, which can help keep an eye on changing weather conditions. And with its high-sensitivity, WAAS/GLONASS enabled GPS receiver and HotFix® satellite prediction, Oregon locates users position quickly and precisely and maintains its GPS location even in heavy cover and deep canyons. When using GLONASS satellites, the time it takes for the receiver to "lock on" to a position is (on average) approximately 20 percent faster than using GPS. And when using both GPS and GLONASS, the receiver has the ability to lock on to 24 more satellites than using GPS alone.

Also new to the Oregon is the full track view-where users will see the entire elevation plot and quickly move their zoomed view to any place on the plot. Future plot uses users' mapping data to show them what to expect ahead. Weighing just over 7 ounces, the Oregon 650/650t come with a rechargeable NiMH battery pack (optional with 600/600t) producing a state-of-the-art dual battery system. The battery pack provides up to 16 hours of life on a single charge and will re-charge itself within the unit when external power is detected. When out on a long adventure and additional power is needed, users can use two AA batteries as a backup.

There is no longer a need to take an additional camera into the outdoors to capture "real" quality photos. Oregon 650/650t's built in 8 megapixel autofocus digital camera takes photos worthy of sharing or printing and keeping. Each photo is geotagged with the location of where it was taken, allowing users to navigate back to that exact spot in the future. Take charge of the next adventure with BaseCamp™, software that lets users view and organize maps, waypoints, routes, and tracks. This free trip-planning software even allows users to create Garmin Adventures- where they can upload their photos for online storage and share with friends, family or fellow explorers. BaseCamp displays topographic map data in 2-D or 3-D on their computer screen, including contour lines and elevation profiles. It also can transfer an unlimited amount of satellite images to the Oregon when paired with a BirdsEye Satellite Imagery subscription; users can even view pictures from other devices on microSD with Oregon's picture viewer. Users can also wirelessly transfer large files like photos, Garmin Adventures and Custom Maps between Oregon 600-series units (or with the Basecamp Mobile app). In addition, the new Oregon series allows for waypoints and tracks to transfer up to 50x faster. Oregon is also ANT+ ™ wireless compatible for heart rate, cadence, chirp and tempe sensors.

On the road: Optional City Navigator mapping provides detailed street maps, millions of preloaded points of interest and onscreen turn-by-turn directions to your destination, and an optional Auto Nav kit adds a suction mount and car charger. On a hunt or on a hike: Using a separate TOPO U.S. 24K DVD or microSD card brings you the highest level of topographic detail available, with maps comparable to 1:24,000 scale USGS maps, featuring terrain contours, topo elevations, summits, routable roads and trails, parks, coastlines, rivers, lakes and geographical points. On the water: Add BlueChart® g2 maps, which provide everything you need for a great day on the water, including depth contours, navaids and harbors. On the run or on a bike: Ideal for a trail workout, the lightweight Oregon is compatible with Garmin's heart-rate monitors and speed/cadence sensors, and an optional handlebar mount makes it easy to track your speed, distance, elevation and location.

Unlimited Geocaching: The Oregon can hold an unlimited number of geocaches and supports
GPX files from OpenCaching.com for downloading geocaches and details straight to the unit. Using this paperless geocaching feature, users are not only helping the environment but also improving efficiency. The Oregon stores and displays key information, including location, terrain, difficulty, hints and descriptions- it even filters users caches to make searching a breeze, and connects to Chirp® enabled caches.

The new Oregon's are expected to be available in Q1 2013 and will have a suggested retail price of $399.99 (600), $479.99 (600t), $479.99 (650) $549.99 (650t). Oregon is the latest solution from Garmin's growing outdoor segment, which focuses on developing technologies and innovations to enhance users' outdoor experiences. Whether it's Golfing, Hiking, Hunting or Geocaching, Garmin outdoor devices are becoming essential tools for outdoor enthusiast of all levels.

For more information about Garmin's other outdoor products and services, go to
http://www.garmin.com/us/products/onthetrail/, www.garmin.blogs.com and
http://twitter.com/garmin.

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