Garmin just revved up its Rhino series of GPS-equipped two-way radios, today introducing the 520HCx and the 530HCx (pictured here) that bring a couple of new features to their already formidable feature set. The most welcome update is a faster processor that speeds up their map drawing and route calculations. A microSD memory card slot was also added, giving Garmin and others the opportunity to sell you expensive electronic maps of lakes and roads with highly detailed topography.
The two coolest things about these walkie-talkies is that they're so waterproof you can dunk them under 3 feet of water for 30 minutes, plus they can show you the location of whomever you're talking to right there on your screen. You can also do "location polling," letting you can see the location of all other Garmin Rhinos within range. With one of these things, it's virtually impossible for outdoorsy types to get lost in the woods. Great for marauding bands of deer-slaying hunters.
See the next page for pricing and a huge pic of the 530HCx.
The 520HCx is $450, $32 less than the retail price of its predecessor. The 530HCx, which adds a seven-channel weather receiver, an electronic compass and an altimeter, will cost you $500, and that's $35.70 less than its less-feature-rich forebear. Both will be available in June.