Avionics Report

October 2009 Issue

AV8OR ACE Handheld: High Value for the Price

With a touch screen, compact size and both approach plates and charts, Bendix/King brings us closer to the ideal handheld. Some bugs still mar its performance.

Bendix-King (by Honeywell) has been making an aggressive bid to reestablish itself as a market leader in avionics. Last year their AV8OR handheld staked a firm hold on the low-end portable GPS market. Now their AV8OR Ace is taking a swipe at the high end currently occupied by the Garmin GPSMAP 496 and 696, as well as Tablet PC-based Electronic Flight Bags (EFBs) like ChartCase. At 1.25 pounds and slightly less than eight by five inches, the Aceís size is just about right for the cockpit. We found it easy to mount with a window suction cup or yoke mount in a couple of aircraft without it blocking any critical items. Itís also light and small enough to comfortably hold in your hand or lap. The screen is seven inches diagonally, and is touch sensitive. Much of the Aceís software is driven by on-screen buttons that appear when you touch the screen and disappear after a user-defined time. This keeps the interface clean and context-sensitive for easy use (with one caveat, see below). There are hard keys along one side of the unit for direct navigation, zooming in and out, cycling through the main viewing screens and getting to the top-level menu.

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