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Garmin Dakota review | GPS control

Published on: Sunday, September 12th 2010                   Written by: Wim de Lange - Photography by: Mark Peters

Garmin Dakota outdoor GPS review

Garmin Dakota review

 

Garmin Dakota touch screen GPS

Garmin Dakota touch screen GPS

Garmin Dakota 20 screen

Garmin also makes use of a touch screen in the Dakota 20. It most resembles the Oregon’s screen from an earlier review. It has a beautiful matte surface, which limits reflections, it is clear enough in sunny weather, and is sensitive enough for finger control, even with gloves on. I do still have to make a few side notes. The resolution is noticeably lower, which costs quite a bit of detail. The dimensions are a bit smaller, and this is noticeable in the size of the letters on the screen. The letters are smaller and therefore less visible, for my older eyes. I tried to enlarge the letter size via Settings, but this did not offer the desired result.

Garmin Dakota GPS handheld device

Garmin Dakota GPS handheld device

Garmin Dakota 20 menu

Meanwhile, Garmin already delivers a number of devices with a touch-screen menu. Immediately after starting up, a screen appears with 6 menu buttons, 2 navigation buttons, and status indications for battery and signal strength. Although the letters are a bit small, the drawings on the buttons make it easy to choose the right application. By dragging or using the arrow keys, navigating the Garmin Dakota 20’s main menu is fairly simple. There is an excess of settings to choose from. We can adjust this amount so that we can work faster. The only thing that I miss in these new devices is the possibility of directly going back to the main menu while in the submenu.

 

Garmin Dakota battery compartment

Garmin Dakota battery compartment

Garmin Dakota microSD compartment

Garmin Dakota microSD compartment

 

Garmin Dakota GPS control

Garmin Dakota GPS control

Creating profiles on the Garmin Dakota 20

We can adjust the Garmin Dakota for every type of use. Other applications are important for hiking than for driving. The adjustments can be saved in profiles. There are 5 standard profiles offered, but we can also create extra profiles ourselves. For example, we have the possibility to change the combination and order of the buttons in the main menu. The settings can be adjusted in each profile. For geocaching we can load topographical maps while for car navigation we can effortlessly switch to another set of maps. There is a “sun profile”. It switches off the hatching for more contrast.

Garmin Dakota GPS receiver

Garmin Dakota GPS receiver

The Garmin Dakota 20’s target group

The screen has a lower resolution than the Oregon-series. They have a 3-inch display with 240 x 400 pixels while the Dakota 20 has a 2.6-inch screen with 160 x 240 pixels. Perhaps this influences the legibility of the place- and street names negatively. The details are comparable with the “old” GPS map 60-series but it is better than the one in the Edge. I think that makes the position of the Garmin Dakota device clear. For use in the car, the display is a bit on the small side, but for cycling and walking the dimensions are big enough. Because it has more general applications than the Garmin Edge-series, this GPS navigation device will certainly capture the attention of the touristic user.

 

Garmin Dakota GPS navigation device

Garmin Dakota GPS navigation device

Garmin Dakota outdoor GPS

Garmin Dakota outdoor GPS

 
 
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