July 2009 Issue

Garmin’s 696 Trainer: Simple and Effective

The GPSMAP 696 is fairly user-friendly without cracking a book, but it takes some reading or training to get the most out of the box.

Thereís a saying that good design obviates the need for training. Thatís been generally true of the Garmin portables and is basically true for the supersized GPSMAP 696. The added capability does increase complexity, and a little training can go a long way toward getting the most out of your investment. Garmin has put its hat into the training fray with the GPSMAP 696/965 eLearning Program. The product tis actually produced by the same company that developed the successful Vflite training CD-ROMs for the GNS 430/530 units and that created the G1000 training currently sold by Jeppesen. Just like those programs, this one walks you through the pages and functions of the unit with an animated mock-up of the GPS (complete with all button-pushes and knob-twists), written text and narration. The lessons are organized by the GPS pages and the phases of flight in which you would use them. However, when the program needs to show you an example from some other part of the country, it does so. You can skip ahead to any lesson you want, and you can turn off the narration and just skim the text if you want to zip through the lessons faster.

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