For anyone thinking of buying a portable entry-level GPS device, Max Trescott has written a detailed review of the Garmin Aera 500. Priced at US$799, users get a product with a touch screen that can be easily switched between aviation and automotive functions by pushing a single key on the screen. And for pilots who want to receive XM Satellite weather, users can get this capability with the Aera 510 for US$1299 plus the cost of a XM subscription.
Max also noted that the Aera 500 comes loaded with accessories, including a yoke mount for the plane and a separate dash mount for the car. In addition, there is a XM Weather and Radio antenna along with cables for recharging the GPS from a cigarette lighter, AC wall socket or even a USB port. Moreover, Max noted that the device comes with a stack of user manuals that are “as tall as the unit is thick and considerably larger.” In other words, the manual has the answer to any possible question you may have.
Max then wrote about taking the device up for a test flight and for a test drive in the car. After discussing its finer points, he concluded that the more he uses the Aera, the more he liked it. In fact, he said his free evaluation could prove to be expensive as he is now seriously thinking of buying one for himself.