Summary: Our aviation department was in the market for a backup/companion to our onboard weather radar. We contemplated an ADS-B system that would work with our iPads and looked at the Dual X-GPS170. But when the Garmin 796 came along with all the bells and whistles, we decided to spend the extra money in order to get the Nexrad/XM weather capability. By extra money, I mean $699 for the Dual vs. $2800+ for the Garmin.
Summary: I switched from a 696 to the 796. This was definitely not an upgrade. While the unit works well, the logistics are not good. 1: the unit will not update via an SD card. It has to be removed from the aircraft and tethered to a computer for updates. 2: and updates are another issue. The Garmin site is not very effective in installing updates, especially if you want to load more than a few states. Failures are very common after extended periods of downloading.
Summary: Great aid for the pilot on the go, includes different views, easy to handle and use, cool design, great graphics, recomended if you have a couple of bucks extra and looking for something more exclusive.
Summary: I was an early user of the product and had several software issues. I am happy to report that for the most part they are now resolved. My old unit was a 396 and this is much bigger and better in most ways. It took some time to get used to the touch screen in a bouncing airplane but now I would not trade it for any other instrument in the panel. I think the 3D vision is a questionable feature and find I do not use it. I like the topo map feature better.
Summary: Flying through Oregon in April and deverting around snow storms and using the 796 it suddenly without warning quit on its battery. It was connected to the aircraft plug in but still refused to work. Another brand of GPS (a back up) worked fine in the plug in and saved the day. Garmin said it needed updated and that seems to fix the problem but I do not trust it and will sell it if I can. I cannot recommend buying one.
I pinch myself every time I use this to make sure I'm not dreaming
8 May 2013
Summary: The synthetic vision with terrain is a safety feature unparalleled in GA cockpits. Add full featured weather and XM music through the headsets and it is the cheapest and most valuable docking station avionic in the stack. I have bought two and may buy a third. I am trying to use my Foreflight in the 3rd plane I fly with it's new terrain but it isn't even close in safety. In the panel of the 414 it looks good with the 530 and MX20 but provides better information.