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Garmin Intros iQue 3600 PDA

Las Vegas – Outdoor communication and navigation device maker Garmin today introduced a Palm OS 5-based PDA that combines all the features of the Palm system with an integrated GPS.

The iQue 3600 will ship in the second quarter with a $589 suggested retail price. The company hopes the device will help break it into the mainstream CE market so it does not have to rely on the marine, aviation and outdoor consumer. It will ship through the company’s usual retailer field, but Garmin intends to focus its efforts on the mainstream CE retailer chains.

The iQue 3600 looks like a standard PDA and unlike Garmin’s outdoor products is not ruggedized. It comes with an integreated flip up GPS antenna and is bundled with mapping software. The mapping software gives text and voice direction and contains addresses and directions to points of interest such as hotels, restaraunts and gas stations.

The iQue 3600 is based on a Motorola Dragonball processor that will run between 150MHz and 200Mhz. It has 32MB of internal memory and an SD card slot. The device can also play MP3 files and act as a voice recorder. Because it uses the Palm OS it delivers the same functinality as any other Palm device. The device will connect to a PC through Palm’s usual hot synchronization dock.

Garmin’s software allows addresses stored in the PDA’s address book to be cross-referenced to the mapping software so the user can get directions.