So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Garmin Oregon 200
Handheld GPS device with a touch-sensitive screen.
- Responsive touch screen, great design, turn-by-turn navigation, 3-D view
- Display is unreadable in sunlight, slow satellite acquisition, well-detailed maps are optional extras
The Oregon 200 is a stripped-down version of the Oregon 300. It has many of the same benefits and flaws of the more expensive model. If you want to save money and don’t need wireless sharing or relief shading, go for the Oregon 200.
Price$ 599.00 (AUD)
For those who need a touch screen on their handheld GPS device, Garmin’s Oregon 200 is the cheapest option out there. Although it is still relatively expensive, the device offers a decent amount of functionality for recreational use.
The unit boasts a 3in touch screen and a rubber and plastic case built to IPX-7 waterproof standards. As with the Colorado 300, the Oregon 200 utilises a metal clasp on the back to seal the body, bypassing the fiddly threaded screws used by competing handheld GPS devices.
Apart from its yellow trim the Oregon 200 bears a striking resemblance to the Oregon 300. This is no surprise: they’re basically the same device. In order to warrant the relative price difference there are some functionality changes. The Oregon 200 lacks shaded relief mapping, wireless sharing, an alarm function and a barometric altimeter.
The Oregon 200 also shares some of the Oregon 300's flaws. The screen is difficult to read. Although it is of an acceptable quality, the plastic layer that provides protection for the screen washes out its brightness. With no brightness settings on the device itself to compensate the result is rather inadequate for recreational use.
Another unsettling flaw is the device's GPS sensitivity. Satellite acquisition took over three minutes on the Oregon 200, though thankfully Garmin’s HotFix technology means that these acquisition times will only be encountered occasionally.
There are plenty of positive features, too. Provided the correct maps are loaded via the device’s microSD card slot the unit can effectively become an automotive GPS device with 3-D view and turn-by-turn navigation. As it lacks voice navigation and a large screen it won’t be able to match the capabilities of dedicated automotive GPS devices, but the feature is certainly helpful.
With the Oregon 200’s touch screen moving through different portions of the loaded map or base map is easy. The touch screen is quite responsive, although the base map is somewhat sparse in terms of detail.
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