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May 14, 2007

Garmin Releases GPS/Walkie-Talkie Combo, Now With SiRF

Garmin Rino 530CHx

What do you get when you combine a high-performance handheld GPS with a walkie-talkie capable of up-to 14 mile range? Meet Garmin's Rino 520HCx and Rino 530HCx, the newest additions to the Rino family of 2-way radios / GPS devices.

Garmin has upgraded its Rino product line with two new models that will sport SiRF's high performance StarIII 20-channel GPS receiver. I've already written several posts on the excellence of SiRF and their high-end GPS receivers. SiRF-equipped GPS devices experience significantly better performance -- especially behind tall buildings, trees, canyons, etc.

The Rino 520HCx will retail for $482. The 530HCx is about $50 more expensive, adding an electronic compass, altimeter, and NOAA weather radio to the feature list. Looks like TigerGPS is already accepting orders for the Rino 530HCx and is selling the unit for $418.

Both new Rino models feature a 5-watt FRS/GMRS transceiver that lets you contact other Rino users via 2-way radio up to 14 miles away (line of sight).

Garmin's Position Reporting feature also lets you report your exact location to other Rino users in your group, allowing all others to visually see your location on the map.

Both new units ship pre-loaded with basic maps of north america, have a microSD card slot for adding more detailed maps, support turn-by-turn navigation with automatic routing/re-routing, POI databases, and a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that provides up to 14 hours of outdoor use.

Get all the juicy deets from Garmin's product comparison page.