Avionics Report

October, 2011 Issue

Garmin aera 796: Portable Syn Vision

Clever as the synthetic vision is, the 796’s real strength may be in much improved charting functions, including sectionals and enroutes.

Now that the iPad has become the consumer electronics version of The Borg, powered along by hundreds of aviation apps, have we seen the last of the dedicated GPS portables? As we went to press this month, Garmin answered that with a new product called the aera 796. It was due to be rolled out at AOPA’s Summit event in Hartford, Connecticut. The aera 796 builds on some of the 696’s capabilities, sells in the same premium price range and, in our view, is clearly meant to blunt the onslaught of iPad apps that now do things you didn’t even realize you wanted, much less needed.

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