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Garmin Debuts iQue 3600 GPS Handheld

CES 2003: Garmin today unveiled its iQue 3600 personal digital assistant with built-in Global Positioning System (GPS) capabilities at the 2003 International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The iQue 3600 is the first product to combine the Palm OS and GPS navigation functionality in a PDA.

Garmin Palm OS iQue 3600 ~ Click For LargerThe iQue 3600 uses Palm OS 5 and is powered by Motorola's new DragonBall MXL microprocessor, The iQue 3600 boasts internal memory of 32 megabytes, SD memory expansion slot, and a 320x480-pixel transflective TFT display with more than 60,000 color combinations. Additionally the product integrates Garmin's new Que Technology the company's premier application that delivers the benefits of GPS-based location awareness to PDA users.

GPS Navigation
The differentiating feature of the iQue 3600 is its integrated GPS capabilities. Garmin's innovative Que technology delivers location awareness, electronic mapping, automatic route calculation, turn-by-turn voice guidance and map data interface to the iQue 3600. Que technology enables users to see where they are, find a street address or point of interest, know where the next turn is via visual and voice guidance, get back on track when they've strayed off course and navigate efficiently to their desired destination.

Garmin iQue3600 Click For LargerThe iQue 3600 features a unique, flip-up GPS antenna that locks in place at two different angles to optimize GPS signal reception and viewing, and it folds discreetly in the back of the unit. When the antenna is in the upright position, it will automatically turn on the GPS navigation function and begin acquiring satellite signals. Likewise, when the antenna is in the closed position, the GPS function will automatically shut off to preserve battery life. The iQue 3600 provides the user with typical accuracy of 20 to 30 feet, or less than 10 feet when receiving corrected GPS data from the Wide Area Augmentation System in the North American coverage area.

Integrated Features
One of the key benefits of technology integration on the iQue 3600 is its patent-pending contact-locator feature. Enabled by Garmin's Que technology, this feature connects the Palm Address Book and Date Book to the GPS electronic map to give the user the ability to navigate directly to a specific address within the user's contact database. Additional integrated features are expected to be available through third-party software developers.

Mapping
On the iQue 3600 installation CD, users can choose a basemap of North America, South America, Europe or regions in the Pacific Rim. The basemap provides the user with generalized information about highways, major city streets, railways, rivers, lakes and state, provincial and national borders. The user-configurable basemap makes the iQue 3600 a versatile companion for the international frequent flyer who travels between New York and London or San Francisco and Hong Kong.

Users gain the additional benefit of detailed street information on the included MapSource CD-ROM. When the street data is downloaded into the iQue 3600, users can look up addresses, restaurants, hotels, local attractions, transportation hubs, emergency services and much more. Once the user has identified an address, he or she can navigate to it with a simple stylus tap via the device's automatic route generation, which guides the user along the shortest or fastest route based on researched traffic patterns. Instead of looking at street signs in an unfamiliar city, users can enjoy the ride with the iQue 3600 by following the audible and graphical turn-by-turn directions. An optional car kit comes with an automotive mount and speaker system to amplify the voice guidance feature.

The iQue 3600 is also compatible with Garmin's extensive line of additional MapSource products, including U.S. Topo, Fishing Hot Spots and BlueChart cartography for even greater versatility in navigation.

Specifications of the iQue 3600:

  • Operating system: Palm OS 5
  • Data input: Soft Graffiti (writing area can be minimized for full-screen utility)
  • Embedded features: MP3 player, voice recorder, infrared communication, vibrating alarm and thumb wheel
  • Audio hardware: Microphone, speaker, headphone jack
  • GPS features: Location awareness (10 feet or less with WAAS), address look-up, auto routing, turn-by-turn navigation with voice guidance, off-route recalculation, Contact Locator
  • Processor: Motorola DragonBall MXL ARM 9
  • Processor speed: 150 MHz
  • Unit size/weight: 5.0" x 2.8" x 0.8"/ 5.2 oz.
  • Screen dimensions: 3.8" diagonal
  • Display information: 320x480-pixel, transflective TFT with 16-bit, 60,000+ color display; bright white LED backlight; and soft graffiti area
  • Internal Memory: 32 MB DRAM
  • Expandable Memory: Secure Digital slot
  • Battery: Lithium Ion

The iQue 3600 will carry a manufacturer's suggested retail price of $589 and is expected to be available in the second quarter of 2003.

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...and the price will be only 600,00 US$

Schorsch @ 1/8/2003 7:33:09 PM #
The todays rumors are:Salesprice will be just 600 US$!
If thats true, it will give Sony, Palm and all others a hard time.......!!!!!!!!
Tomorrow will have a look on it in Las Vegas.....

Georg
RE: ...and the price will be only 600,00 US$
mikemusick @ 1/8/2003 7:38:38 PM #
No rumor - Garmin's site says $589.

To their tremendous credit they have already prepared developer support links. While the SDK isn't quite available yet, they are taking signups for any of us who are interested... I'm already registered.

:)

RE: ...and the price will be only 600,00 US$
sremick @ 1/9/2003 12:36:49 AM #
I know a place that will sell it to you for $455:

http://www.tvnav.com/

They are accepting preorders now.

I am not afiliated with them, but am just a happy customer. These guys have a great rep.

RE: ...and the price will be only 600,00 US$
gn @ 1/9/2003 4:56:57 PM #
Thanks! I ordered one this morning ...

RE: ...and the price will be only 600,00 US$
Stevevo @ 1/28/2003 12:38:59 PM #
Where can one register to get signed up to buy one when they become available?

Interesting new entry

stupidnewpolicy @ 1/8/2003 7:31:23 PM #
I'm intrigued by the new device. I'm not a fan of GPS as a "necessary" technology for personal uses. Quite the opposite in fact. I won't knowingly let myself be tracked in that fashion until it becomes inevitable.

But setting that aside, the Garmin PDA looks quite nice. I like the soft Grafitti, the MP3 capability, the SD slot, and the other various specs, but one thing jumps out at me. 150MHZ?

Does anyone have any performance statistics on the new DragonBall MXL series processors versus TI's ARM CPU or xScale at similar speeds? I haven't seen any comparisons at this stage and it would seem to remain informed consumers, we all are going to need to see some sort of benchmarks or other accepted measuring sticks.

Anyone seen any independently acquired data of this sort?


Ick

RE: Interesting new entry
abosco @ 1/8/2003 7:43:59 PM #
Hotpaw's YCPUBench can be used to benchmark OS 5 and the PACE emulator on that device. Hopefully, somebody will post the results if they buy one.

-Bosco
Proud Member of the Top Non-Mods
Members: abosco and ImpReza M3
RE: Interesting new entry
tipds @ 1/8/2003 9:25:18 PM #
Dude! You are not being tracked when you use GPS. Not any more than you are tracked when you use your car stereo. The GPS sats send out a signal & your GPS receiver takes the signals & translates them into your location. Nobody knows but you. GPS is a system of 1-way transmitter sats. They don't even try to keep up with your location, or the locations of the millions of other GPS users around the world. You can stop looking over your shoulder now.

Tip DS

RE: Interesting new entry
pontif @ 1/8/2003 11:32:28 PM #
I think the tracking confusion comes from the "GPS Phones" in the US, which are not really GPS at all, (at least in the GPS satellite receiver sense) but really phones that send a signal defined in the US for 911 service that sends your location along with your phone signal. Even then, most of them can be set to only send the locating signal if you dialed 911, or press and hold the 9 key for 3 seconds, or something like that.

RE: Interesting new entry
cbowers @ 1/9/2003 11:52:36 AM #
Even without that though, they know roughly where you are based on the tower and PN offset you're using, they just don't have a good range on you, only general location and bearing. Though while tracking and jumping to other towers it does tend to triangulate you even further. Remember, even before E911, the cloners were getting busted by telecom security vans.

So you're right, the paranoid folks shouldn't use cellphones at all, much less E911 enabled ones. But GPS is no privacy invasion.

RE: Interesting new entry
Eric S @ 1/9/2003 7:32:11 PM #
The Mhz!=speed issue has definitely arrived.

In the benchmarks I've seen, the 200 Mhz xScale (Sony NX) blows the 145 Mhz (Tungsten T) out of the water when running benchmarks under PACE (the code that lets the ARM processor execute the M68000 instruction set), but is slightly slower in native ARM benchmarks. This may be because the benchmark was optimized for the TI ARM family (I don't know if it was optimized, just saying that it could have happened). You can optimize ARM code for any one of the ARM families, but this usually comes at the detriment of the other families.

Frankly, my NX already runs fast enough, and too fast at some things, in fact. Tank Pilot is unplayable on an NX, because things just go too fast. Remember, this isn't a resource-hungry PocketPC PDA we're talking about, and the ARM processors are dramatically faster than the EZ/VZ dragonballs, more than just the Mhz increase would indicate.

RE: Interesting new entry
DrKazoo @ 1/9/2003 8:55:20 PM #
Regarding Eric S's comments about his Clie NX-70 (or 60?) running fast enough, that may be true, but for a unit that needs to play MP3's, track satellites, and calculate routes (perhaps at the same time?) the speed and throughput of the device is important. That being said, one would have to think that Garmin would go with a chip that's able to adequately handle all of these things.

Whoa!

abosco @ 1/8/2003 7:40:32 PM #
Wow! This thing is cool! And powerful! And feature packed! I'm liking the virtual graffiti area. Hopefully it's as beautiful as the NX's screen.

Just another example of Palm OS 5's power when combined with ARM.

It's good to know that OS 5 isn't limited to 16 MB like some people have been speculating, either. Any word if it will use OS 5.0 or 5.1?

-Bosco
Proud Member of the Top Non-Mods
Members: abosco and ImpReza M3

RE: Whoa!
gfunkmagic @ 1/8/2003 8:20:26 PM #
I aggree with this sentiment. The iQue 3600 is a damn cool device! 32MB is absolutely fantastic and should be the next min ram capacity in future OS 5 devices IMHO. The only thing missing here is BT... Not bad for <$600

The 2003 National Championship WAS ROBBED!!! Terry Porter, you suck you freakin REF! OSU STOLE the Chanpionship, period!!
RE: Whoa!
midtoad @ 1/8/2003 8:35:19 PM #
I'm wondering whether Handera might have had some involvement in the virtual graffiti feature on the iQ3600, and whether the implementation is the same as on the HE 330.

320 x 480 screen?!! that must be higher than anything else on the market (with the exception of the new Sharp C700).


Stewart Midwinter
PDA user since 1992
Handera HE330 and Compaq Aero 2110

RE: Whoa!
trayip @ 1/8/2003 9:22:25 PM #
look at sony's new products, they are hi-ris+ (320*480)

Matt, the C Programmer, who codes for a SMAUG MUD (mudconnect.com).

Make MUDs accessible from PDAS!

RE: Whoa!
Rhauer @ 1/8/2003 10:46:28 PM #
Agreed Whoa! 32mb is reason enough. If it had BT there would be no reason to by the TT.

RE: Whoa!
bigfoot @ 1/9/2003 11:07:28 AM #
This may my birthday present to myself!!!

Almost Perfect...

inalaop @ 1/8/2003 8:32:46 PM #
We're Sooooo close to my dream palm device, except:

Take out the GPS
Make the device slightly smaller
Include bluetooth
Include a back button

Make these changes and I'm buying one ASAP.
Are you listening SONY!!!

RE: Almost Perfect...
trayip @ 1/8/2003 9:23:24 PM #
Let's call it....A TUGNSTEN T! :), heh



Matt, the C Programmer, who codes for a SMAUG MUD (mudconnect.com).

Make MUDs accessible from PDAS!

RE: Almost Perfect...but this is the best one yet
jbeedham @ 1/8/2003 9:47:53 PM #
Wow! This may be my future OS 5 handheld. I've been waiting for a Palm that integrates a 320x480 screen with virtual graffiti in a small form factor like this. Could do without the GPS but that may be a cool feature to have on a handheld if you are driving around. It says it uses SD cards. Any word if SDIO card will work with it (for future expansion to Bluetooth, 802.11b, etc.)?

RE: Almost Perfect...
inalaop @ 1/9/2003 10:31:37 AM #
This is no Tungsten, it has:

Larger screen
Soft graffiti
32 MB ram

Features that I wish were on the Tungsten though :-(

RE: Almost Perfect...
Palm_Otaku @ 1/9/2003 8:46:42 PM #
From what I've heard from the CES floor it does have a "back" button and is SDIO compatible (i.e. the Bluetooth SD Card should work)

- D

Looks good

Kirkg @ 1/8/2003 9:27:34 PM #
Here's the Garmin link: http://www.garmin.com/products/iQue3600/

Relatively light at 5.2oz. Hope it has high power IR for remote control.

Overall, looks very promising. I had several Garmin GPS's and they have good quality and design.

RE: Looks good
alanh @ 1/8/2003 10:53:50 PM #
> Hope it has high power IR for remote control.

Heh, combine it with 802.11b or Bluetooth, and we'll finally have a solution to the age-old problem of losing the remote... "it's not lost, It's at 85 degrees 7 minutes 34.3 seconds longitude, 42 degrees 28 minutes 18.9 seconds latitude."

RE: Looks good
Be_True @ 1/12/2003 5:46:21 PM #
> problem of losing the remote... "it's not lost,
> It's at 85 degrees 7 minutes 34.3 seconds longitude, > 42 degrees 28 minutes 18.9 seconds latitude."

What I want to know is:
How did I misplace my Palm-remote in CHINA!!

I thought losing it in the couch was bad enough!

;-) Chris



What a gorgeous Handheld!

TDS Computer @ 1/8/2003 9:47:50 PM #
I am glad that Garmin held out as long as they did in shipping this thing. It looks like they thought it out very well. I would assume that if the GPS is on and you are listening to MP3's your battery life would be about 10 minutes, though...
Anyone see any mention on whether this is SDIO? I would hate to loose my bluetooth SD card...

Way to go, Garmin!

Visit us at www.tdscomputer.com

Universal Connector?

ColonelKlink @ 1/8/2003 10:42:12 PM #
Did anyone else notice it seems to have Palm's Universal Connector as an interface? If so, I am very impressed.
RE: Universal Connector?
hkklife @ 1/9/2003 9:31:04 AM #
Hmmm looks like the UC for synchronizing purposes but for charging it looks like a different tip on the connector. Wonder why this is (aside from greed)?

The one thing that makes me hesitate me about this unit is Garmin's spotty record in the past for customer support and for having waaaaaay overpriced accessories. I mean, they charge for a 16 mb proprietary memory card for the Streetpilot series what you can buy a 64mb SD card for use in a semi-equivalent Magellan handheld GPS unit. The Garmins are always the most desirable hardware but they really nickel and dime you to death on any accessory.

Finally, I can't help but shake the feeling that Handera's "consulting services" have been used in the design of this new iQue...hmmmm....

RE: Universal Connector?
cbowers @ 1/9/2003 12:02:05 PM #
I, and everyone I know, have had great, no questions asked, support from Garmin. Puzzled by that comment.

RE: Universal Connector?
bcombee @ 1/9/2003 2:53:45 PM #
The holes on the back of the device support the idea that they are using Palm's Universal Connector design. I would guess that they licensed it from Palm. Palm hasn't been willing to license it to direct competitors in the past, but maybe they don't mind with devices aimed at vertical markets.

If so, I think this is win-win for Palm and Garmin. It means Garmin gets instant access to a bunch of accessories, and it means that Palm will get some additional revenue from the license without encouraging a compeitor to their core device line.


--
Ben Combee, CodeWarrior for Palm OS technical lead
Programming help at www.palmoswerks.com

RE: Universal Connector?
er_yeah @ 1/9/2003 5:56:53 PM #
Can you people have a look at this link please, because it shows the base of the pda, but I don't know what it actually looks like, so I don't know if it is a uc or not, please reply!!!!!!!!

here is the link: http://www.gpscentral.ca/products/garmin/iQue3600.htm

RE: Universal Connector?
bcombee @ 1/9/2003 6:40:31 PM #
The article on this device at BrightHand confirmed that the Garmin device is using the Palm Universal Connector.

--
Ben Combee, CodeWarrior for Palm OS technical lead
Programming help at www.palmoswerks.com
RE: Universal Connector?
Eric S @ 1/9/2003 7:13:20 PM #
Actually, HandEra's involvement would be a good thing from the software development point of view, in my opinion. I've worked with both the HandEra SDK and the Sony SDK, and HandEra picked APIs that don't violate the prinicpal of least astonishment. Sony violates that prinicpal all over the place in their APIs.

And heaven knows we don't want yet another jogwheel API that developers have to include in order to get this PDA's jogwheel supported everywhere, so they need to adopt someone's.

The same applies to how to minimize the grafitti area as well.

Most of the things that Sony did better than HandEra involve the fact that Sony was pixel doubling, but HandEra was only increasing the resolution by 50%, so graphics looked distorted. There was also compatibility issues caused by programmers that bypassed the OS and didn't bother doing the least bit of checking as to the real screen resolution (No, PalmOS is NOT limited to 160x160, even in early versions of the OS. The pixel-doubling/density games all came about because software assumes that all Palms have a 160x160 display). Again, Sony handled that better by having dedicated hardware to double the pixel sizes.


RE: Universal Connector?
hkklife @ 1/9/2003 10:57:33 PM #
Two points to clarify:

1. I bought an open box Street Pilot Color GPS unit about 2 years ago and had a hard time getting any support from Garmin--they kept trying to convince me to order accessories I didn't need/want. I actually haven't used the unit in ages, since the exorbitant price of aftermarket accessories stunned me so. So I suppose I should give them another look and hopefully will have a better experience.

2. I apologize if my comments about Handera's input to the design of the iQue made it sound like I was slamming HE. To the contrary, I applauded them back in the day for really advancing the state of the art in Palm technology (dual expansion slots, multiple power options, etc), making many innovations that have still not appeared on another device to date. I just think that it would serve Garmin well to make some mention of Handera's involvement (assuming it is true) in their press materials, since to many of the techie-types, the Handera involvement is a good thing indeed.

It'll be nice to see that they are still "in" the game, so to speak, and have not just faded away due to the less than stellar sales of the HE 330.

RE: Universal Connector?
larsbc4x4 @ 1/12/2003 8:46:42 PM #
I'd had two excellent experiences with Garmin:
1. I bought a used GPS III shortly before the GPSIII+ was introduced. Garmin allowed us GPS III users (whether we bought new or used) to upgrade to a brand new III+ for around USD$100.
2. When I had a problem receiving a signal with my III+, it was way past its warranty so I opened it up (no warranty left to void) to see if there was a loose connection or something else I could easily fixed. There wasn't. So I sent it in to Garmin. They sent me an email saying that they would repair it under warranty, even after I told them it was definitely out of warranty. They even sent it back via priority courier for free.

...lars

RE: Universal Connector?
larsbc4x4 @ 1/12/2003 8:46:42 PM #
I'd had two excellent experiences with Garmin:
1. I bought a used GPS III shortly before the GPSIII+ was introduced. Garmin allowed us GPS III users (whether we bought new or used) to upgrade to a brand new III+ for around USD$100.
2. When I had a problem receiving a signal with my III+, it was way past its warranty so I opened it up (no warranty left to void) to see if there was a loose connection or something else I could easily fixed. There wasn't. So I sent it in to Garmin. They sent me an email saying that they would repair it under warranty, even after I told them it was definitely out of warranty. They even sent it back via priority courier for free.

...lars

I Like It!

Be_True @ 1/9/2003 5:36:25 AM #
I Like It, I Like It.

Looks like I can finally upgrade my Palm IIIxe.

Did I mention that I like it?

-Chris

Aviation Uses?

Beavis @ 1/9/2003 7:31:51 AM #
Right now it looks like it is limited to mapping for the people down on the ground. Hopefully there will be some way for us pilots to make use of this fine looking unit.

Developers, are you listening?

RE: Aviation Uses?
Daemyon @ 1/30/2003 1:36:32 PM #
I emailed Garmin about the possibility of aviation usage with the iQue, and they have yet to get back to me; but when they do I'll post the reply on here!

Paranoia's just another word for 'heightened awareness'
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