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on May 23, 2010
The adjustable back lighting is great. One of the brightest displays seen in full sun. Found it to be very easy and intuitive to use. Although there were some changes buried deep withing that were a surprise. Love the yoke mount and car mounts. Both worked great for me. Love the single power cord. Very clean setuup. The unit is packed with features and can manupulate many of the fuctions to your liking. The size is just about right for the way it will be used. Has a good decent manual. Super easy to unclip from the mounts so you can prevent theft. Bluetooth available for vehicle use (but not why flying).

This device uses the inferior resistive touchscreen technology with a too-large bezel that makes it impossible to touch anything near the sides of the screen. The effect is that the touchable area of the buttons that hug the right side of the screen in map view are significantly reduced. Even after a calibration, I would regularly miss these buttons. The cursor simply wouldn't go as far to the right as my finger asked it to. Another problem related to the touch screen is with dragging the map in any direction. It was a frustrating experience, as the device would detect my finger at times and ignore it at other times. The touchscreen's lack of sensitivity is frustrating when entering numbers, letters etc. I wish they would using capacitive touchscreen (like the iPhone). Using the flight planner for me was cumbersome. And it is difficult to enter your own waypoints accurately due to the small screen size and lack of terrian detail. But the task can be accomplished. Battery life is an issue, but that was known before hand. I always use the plug-in power. I think this product should come with a means to plug it into 110v for charging purposes. It is an after purchase option. The vehicle mode was a little disappointing. I really liked the idea to have dual GPS capabilities, flying and vehicle travel. But the sophistication level for driving just isn't any better than whats been out there for years now. Two features I immediately found lacking were a nearest airport function in case of engine loss, and the ability to navigate to a point I touched on the map screen. To perform either function, you must exit the moving map and enter the Direct to menu.

Overall other than the unresponsive touchscreen, I am very pleased with what I mainly purchased this unit for: Flying. Haven't had it long enough to comment on durability, but so far (Knock on wood), I haven't had any issues with it at all after about 30 hours of flying with this unit.
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on June 16, 2010
I've had this for over 6 months and still find it difficult to use. It's not intuitive and seems designed by someone with little aviation background ie, must exit the map screen and press several buttons to make a waypoint and then fly to it. Garmin makes better GPS's that are installed in the helicopters I fly than this one. In the Auto mode if you enter some place to go then discover you have to change a setting in tools DON'T hold down the BACK key too long as the Stop navigation button is right under the BACK key and you will have to reenter your destination if the BACK key is held down too long.

This GPS is better used by a passenger who has the time during a flight to use it rather than a pilot who has to fly the aircraft (the warning on the automotive side against use while driving should be on the aviation side as well). Battery life is poor. I agree with Timothy Lam on touchscreen problems but i also have problems dragging the map around in the auto mode - when i lift my finger the map scrolls some distance away on it's own. The Bluetooth on my old ear piece from Motorola is better and easier to use (but not setup) than this Bluetooth. I'm disappointed and expected a lot better from Garmin. I would NOT recommend this GPS.
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on November 27, 2012
I have two of these units.
They are the best you can get at the 700 usd price range but they are not perfect.
I've had one of my units going off during the flight a couple of times so If you can afford, get two as they can become inoperative during flight.
I don't like the touchscreen very much. It doesn't have great resolution and it is hard touch exactly where you want and with turbulence you may have a hard time typing a waypoint or airport name.
A good thing is that it can be attached to a Zaon XRX and provide traffic information.
It gets 3 stars on my review for the bad resolution touchscreen and the eventual freeze or black screen that requires a hard reset.
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on January 14, 2014
I bought one of these when they were brand new, and absolutely loved it. Of course, I bought it in December, and used it for the most part under a cloud cover until Spring, when I found the achilles heel of this GPS... Daylight.

If your aircraft has a high wing, and no skylights, it will be an amazing GPS. You will love it.

If your aircraft has a bubble canopy and gets a lot of sunlight, it will become next to useless unless you can position it (a) in the shade, and (b) with the screen pointed *directly* at your face. Oh, and brightness will never be anything but full on... You can't read it without it.

It's really too bad, If the screen was sunlight readable the GPS would easily get a five-star rating. Everything else about it is superb, I've been using Garmin GPS' since the GPS II and have always liked the user interface and capability. Alas, my GPS II is more usable in the cockpit than my 500. Garmin needs to upgrade the 500 series with capacitive touchscreens... *Then* they'd have something.
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on January 11, 2014
Overall great GPS for the flying I do. Gave it 4 stars because battery life is pretty bad and not all airplanes have a power source to plug it into. On top of that, my older garmin 196 took AA batteries so I could change them out anytime. If I fly more than a few hours with this I have no way to charge it. Any ideas? Bring a laptop?
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on April 4, 2015
Older model; ’maybe the new ones are better. The so-called “touch screen” on this device is useless. Normally, it doesn't register any “touch” at all. But, you can get the touch to register if you hold down for a number of seconds... And hold-down is not just a phrase. You have to put maybe ten pounds of force on the screen. ’makes entering waypoints, etc. pretty much impossible. I got this gps with an airplane I bought; ’thrown in with the deal. Otherwise I would return it immediately. This thing makes me wary of all Garmin products. If the company had any class or integrity they would replace these things; every one out in public is an embarrassment to them. I am amazed at how bad this product is. I will equip my “new” 1946 Aeronca Champ with GPS navigation, but it won’t be with a Garmin.
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on April 18, 2016
I totally like that device. It offers plenty of options to adjust the map accordingly to ones' needs, but the touchscreen sensitivity indeed offers room for improvement, therefore only four stars. Might not be a good idea to type in waypoints and make route planning during flights, but than again, it comes for an affordable price. All in all, I can recommend that one.
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on September 23, 2011
Overall, I'm very impressed with this unit. It is exactly what I expected it to be. The Garmin Aera is great unit. The touch screen works great, just a matter of acostumbrace. Pros Highly interactive, Pretty easy to navigate through screens It's everything I ever wanted in an inexpensive GPS. MP3 player. Cons: The main criticism is the length of the battery Lack of carrying case Lack of external battery charger.
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on May 19, 2014
Cheap, very accurate, easy to use. Very good device!!
The only problem is it was delivered with the database and maps outdated.
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on August 19, 2015
Very useful if you're a pilot, it's very easy to use, I think that it is the best GPS for the VFR pilot, the price is fine and it works fairly good! That picture is using the GPS here in Argentina
review image
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