Garmin 62 Series GPS Announced

Yesterday, Garmin announced (officially) their replacement of the popular and well-regarded 60 series of GPS receivers. The announcement got a lot of press at GPSTracklog today.
Garmin 62-series GPS As you can see, the new model includes support of Garmin Custom Maps, satellite images from Garmin’s subscription service (BirdsEye Satellite Imagery), and it probably won’t be too long before Topofusion can load imagery onto it.

I don’t think I really need to cover the technical specifications at this point.  Between the Garmin Blog announcement and the GPSTracklog announcement, all the technical specifications are pretty well covered.

I will offer my opinions based on the information gleaned from the sources I mentioned.  Obviously, it has a very similar form factor to the existing 60 series models.  This is pretty good news.  The high-res touch screens seem to have problems with sunlight readability.  Since these seem to be using some tried and true hardware, some of those issues seem to be getting addressed.  I expect sunlight readability to be pretty good in these.

I am also happy with the large onboard memory and the additional memory card space on the top two models (s and st models).  This ought to be able to address the memory-hungry nature of satellite imagery.

Also, Garmin appears to at least be making an attempt to standardize accessories for different models.  The 62 series will be compatible with accessories from the Colorado, Oregon, and Dakota lines because they share the same mounting system.

I, for one, am excited for the release.  Word on the street is that this will be available in July, though Garmin’s official statement is for release to be in Q3 of 2010.

With any luck, the new models (both the 62 and the 78) will be just as reliable as the models they are replacing.  Their reliability has been just one feature that has made them the standard for outdoor enthusiasts.  I use my 76CSx frequently for trailbuilding and maintenance.  These new models have me thinking seriously about upgrading.  Specifically, I’m thinking about this 62 because I think I’d like the buttons below the screen instead of above it like on the 76.  I’d also like for it to be a bit more compact.

Anyone else anticipating these new models as much as I am?

6 comments to Garmin 62 Series GPS Announced

  • Definitely can’t wait to get my hands on one. Have been waiting too long for the Oregon/Dakota internals on a sunlight readable screen. I’m hoping this GPS becomes *the* GPS to recommend to folks. Everything looks good so far.

  • Bob K

    I got burned bad by the Colorado experience: lost many 60 features, no beta testing-ergo full of bugs, clumsy interface, lousy battery life, etc. This thing may be just a dakota with push buttons; I don’t plan to be an early adopter on this one-learned my lesson; will follow the blogs for 6 months before plunking down any cash. Fool me once……….

  • Nate

    There’s something of an advantage to going for the 62. Since it uses the same software and hardware as the 78, people adopting the 78 are essentially the beta testers, and I would hope that as issues are discovered and fixed in the 78, they will be dealt with for the 62 before it gets released. And, I get to read about what other people think about the 78 before I spend my money on anything. Sounds win-win to me.

  • Bob K

    Taking no chances on 62 being another disappointment like the colorado; i just bought a backup 60csx from Cabela’s for $200; I hate to reward Garmin for the colorado experience, but at this point the 60csx is the gold standard for GPSRs…at least for this this long distance backpacker. What pushed me over the edge was when Garmin wanted $99 to fix the dumb gasket on my CO; they won’t sell me the $0.25 gasket so i can replace it myself.

  • freddc1

    given the low price around for 60csx, (200) is this a better purchase for a non-geocacher but serious hiker and kayaker, or save my money and buy the 62st? thanks for help.

  • The GPS Geek

    The 60 series (and the 76 series like it) have been outstanding GPS receivers for Garmin…once they worked out the initial bugs that were in early models. You couldn’t go wrong with one. It’s going to depend on what you want out of the GPS.

    A 60CSx has solid reception and good reliability. It is capable of storing plenty of 24k vector maps for reference purposes. It does what it needs to do.

    The newer models don’t change that part. The reliability of the software is suspect at the moment (as with all new models, it seems), but they’ll probably get that worked out over the next couple years as firmware updates resolve various issues. What the newer models change is that they give only minor hardware changes with more software updates. The newer ones include the ANT+ wireless protocol. That gives you access to heart rate monitors, speed/cadence sensors on the bike, and the new Garmin Chirp for geocaching. You can also do some wireless unit-to-unit data transfers with the protocol. All well and good if you’ll use those features.

    I think the biggest change is that you get raster imagery support. So you can load satellite photos, scanned and georeferenced paper maps, and view georeferenced photos (if you’re navigating to a waypoint that has an associated photo, you can load that photo, too). I find with the Oregon 450 I recently bought, I’m making good use of the satellite imagery. I decided on it over the 62 or 78 series models because I find that I HATE using the rocker pad buttons to try to type waypoint names and information in the comments. The touch screen makes that process less tedious. The newer models also have increased memory capacity over the 60/76 series to handle the memory demands of the raster imagery.

    I would personally never buy the “t” model of any GPS Garmin sells because there are so many free maps out there, it seems a waste of money to get nothing but 100k maps and a digital elevation model for useless 3D views.

    gpsfiledepot has plenty of free 24k raster maps, and if they don’t have an area you want, they have the instructions on how to make it yourself.

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