Summary: I wanted to replace my stolen Garmin 495 with a more affordable unit. The 196 is the only unit still available that would fit my 495/496 accessories. I fly helicopters in Alaska and the Lower 48. The 196, according to the Garmin Support Person, has only enough memory to have EITHER the Northern Americas or the Southern Americas database, but NOT BOTH!
Summary: The technology has been around for years but works fine. To upgrade with Garmin, it was difficult. I finally got it done. Since I fly a plane with a glass panel, I use this as backup in case of electrical failure with the on-board equipment. I chose the Garmin because of reputation and the fact that the AA batteries last quite a while. The "Anywhere" GPS, that was in the running, the batteries don't last that long.
Summary: This is the second GPSMAP 196 unit I have purchased. Garmin really did it right on this one so when I needed a second unit for my other plane I went back to dependability and what works well again. Their newer generation aviation GPS models are just too expensive and this older model is perhaps the only one that fills the gap nicely between too basic and too expensive.
Extremely reliable and completely trouble free. I have about ...
michael placentra, Amazon
29 November 2010
Summary: Extremely reliable and completely trouble free. I have about 400 hours on my Garmin 196 over 11 years. Extremely cold temperatures down to -30F at altitude where I'm not sure I'd want to rely on a touch screen. It does everything I need it to do and never a hiccup in 10 years.