Garmin 396 -- the ultimate gadget?

A nod to Jay Cazel who brought this up in November, but no one really followed up on it. I was looking through a copy of Sporty's pilot catalog a few days ago and saw the Garmin 396, shown below. It has radar data from XM satellite composited with all the usual GPS information. Plus it gives you full raw METAR reports.

The downside? The MSRP is $2695 (and I'm guessing the XM data is extra). But it's pretty neat... and with a lot of chasers being into gadgetry I'm sure someone will go for it this spring.

gpsmap396.jpg


This page has some interesting screen shots. Also here is the manufacturer's product page.
 
Garmin is located right here in Olathe, and I have a few friends who work there. If anyone needs a discount on this, I can receive up to 40 percent sometimes 60 via employees. Would love to have this as anyone would, and I believe this one can hook up to your laptop vs. the 376c (which can't). I don't have the cash for this although I'm sure someone does.
 
You can get the Garmin 376c for $800-$600 used it has:

* Current conditions
* City forecasts
* NEXRAD Radar
* Surface air pressure
* Surface analysis
* Lightning
* Storm cells
* Hurricane track
* Visibility forecast
* Wind speed & Direction
* Sea surface temperature
* Wave period
* Wave direction
* Wave height
* Buoy data

The MSRP is $999, if this unit starts selling used for $500 before April I might take the plunge. Of course the issue for me is really the size of the screen. Both the 376c and the 396 appear to have better radar data (though maybe because it's not Baron smooth). The 396 really has it all but until the price comes down significantly, I think the 376c might be worth it.
 
I like the idea of a stand alone unit to sit on the dash instead of being tethered to a laptop...Other than a GPS, I chase "naked", but the 376c might be worth a look.
 
Wow-- that is an extremely cool gadget. I wish I hadn't seen that. Wheels in my head are turning furiously... Who said they could get a discount on that? :D
 
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