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- THE MAGAZINE
Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. , unveiled a new line of lightweight, easy-to-use GPS products that are both colorful and affordable. The company showed off its Geko 101 and Geko 201 devices today at the 2003 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
The Geko name is inspired by the multiple species of small, sleek Gecko lizards that inhabit various parts of the world. As pets, Gecko lizards are known for their low maintenance and high entertainment value.
"We designed our Geko line to be inviting, useful and affordable," said Gary Kelley, Garmin's director of marketing. "Whimsical colors, waterproof construction, easy operation, intuitive software -- even fun outdoor games -- are all built into these GPS devices that are designed to fit as comfortably into your shirt pocket as they do into your budget."
The Geko series follows in the footsteps of the company's successful eTrex product line. The Geko series has Garmin's traditional compact, waterproof design and user-friendly interface (with features such as one-touch waypoint marking). However, these products are slimmer and lighter than the eTrex family, feature front-button functionality and operate on two AAA batteries.
The Geko 101 (yellow) is a low-cost device for navigational novices. It has five buttons (Up/Zoom Out, Down/Zoom In, OK, Page, and Power/Backlight) for easy operation and 250-waypoint storage capacity with graphic identification to mark campsites, parking spots and other specific locations. Targeted at the casual user, the Geko 101 will be one of Garmin's most affordable new products at approximately $100.
The Geko 201 (green) is for consumers who want to graduate up to the next level of outdoor navigation. The Geko 201 takes the basic functions of the Geko 101 and adds the utility of the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) to deliver accuracy of less than 10 feet. The Geko 201 also boasts a user- configurable trip computer and 10,000 log points for automatic recording of electronic "breadcrumb trails."
The Geko 201 is also packed with several Garmin-proprietary games that transform the great outdoors into a virtual board game. Consumers can enjoy a good workout while they chase a virtual lizard in Geko Smak, match symbols in a grid version of Memory Race, navigate to reference points without crossing one's trail in Nibbons, and collect symbols along a path in Virtual Maze.
Other specifications of the Geko 101 and Geko 201:
- Accuracy: 45 feet or less (Geko 101); 10 feet or less with WAAS (Geko 201)
- Size: 3.92" (H) x 1.85" (W) x 0.96" (D)
- Weight: 3.1 oz. (with batteries)
- Screen Size: 1.8" (diagonal)
- Screen Resolution: 100 (H) x 64 (W) pixel count
- Battery Life: 12 hours (typical use) on two AAA batteries
- Waypoint/Route storage: 250/0 (Geko 101); 500/20 (Geko 201)
- Automatic track storage: 3,000 trackpoints (Geko 101); 10,000 trackpoints and 20 saved tracks (Geko 201)
- Trip Odometer Functions: Average/maximum speed; average/maximum distance; total trip time
- Waterproof Construction: Submersible for 30 minutes in one meter of water (IPX-7 standards)
The Geko 101 and Geko 201 are expected to be available in first quarter 2003 with suggested retail prices of $106.24 and $149.99, respectively. Both will ship standard with a quick-start guide and owner's manual.
The Geko 201 was also selected as a CES Innovations 2003 Design & Engineering Showcase Award honoree in the Personal Electronics category for its innovative combination of form, function and value.