October 2010 Issue
GPSMap 696 vs. AERA: No Slam Dunk Winner
That’s because the choice depends on how you use portable GPS. The 696 is for the serious IFR pilot; the aera is an all-purpose Swiss Army knife navigator.
Although there’s plenty of portable GPS out there, the market isn’t as competitive as it once was, with Garmin dominating…well, the world. Two of the hottest products are both from Garmin, the GPSmap 696 and the aera series, Garmin’s first aviation touchscreen. These represent a conundrum for buyers in that they have nearly the same capability, but at different price points. And "nearly" isn’t the same as "exactly." The 696 has some features the aera doesn’t and vice versa. One outlier in this equation is whether Apple’s large-screen iPad can step in for either one of the Garmins.
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