Garmin International has announced the Oregon 450t and Oregon 450 touchscreen GPS devices, the newest of Garmin’s next-generation outdoor handhelds now compatible with the online community at Garmin Connect as well as Garmin’s free Custom Maps utility for transferring paper or digital maps onto a compatible handheld.

Oregon 450t and Oregon 450 simplify navigation through a glove-friendly touchscreen interface. The handhelds have a bright 3″ color display and user-selectable dashboards, enhanced track navigation, high-speed USB for faster map transfers with a computer, photo navigation and a 3-axis tilt-compensated electronic compass, which shows the direction you're heading even when you’re standing still.

The new dashboards give users the ability to customize the appearance of various pages on the Oregon, including the geocaching, compass, stopwatch and elevation functions.

For hikers, cyclists and trail runners, the enhanced track navigation will prove useful. When navigating to a destination on an active track, users will see the changes in elevation ahead of them as well as where they’ve been. Also, waypoints and other key locations along the active route – such as start, end and high and low elevation points – will appear on the map and active route pages. The new Oregon units also include a barometric altimeter, paperless geocaching and wireless exchange of tracks, waypoints, routes and geocaches with compatible Oregon, Dakota, Colorado and Foretrex devices.

The Oregon 450t adds preloaded 100K topographic maps for the entire United States and state-of-the-art 3D elevation perspective. Coverage on the 450t includes major trails, urban and rural roads, interstates, highways, coastlines, rivers and lakes as well as national, state and local parks, forests and wilderness areas. In addition, users can search for points of interest by name or proximity to their location and view descriptive details for terrain contours, topo elevations, summits and geographical points.

Garmin’s Custom Maps can bring the details, labels and landmarks of an existing paper or electronic map to a compatible Garmin Oregon, Dakota or Colorado.

Weighing only 6.8 ounces, the Oregon 450t and Oregon 450 last up to 16 hours on two AA batteries. Each device has a high-sensitivity GPS receiver with HotFix, which automatically calculates and stores critical satellite information and can use that information to quickly calculate a position.

The new Oregon models have 850 MB of internal memory and a microSD card slot for photos and optional map data, and users can store up to 2,000 waypoints, 200 routes, 5,000 caches and a tracklog of up to 10,000 points and 200 saved tracks. Geocachers can help the environment and be more efficient by going paperless with Oregon by quickly downloading cache information directly to the device. Oregon stores and displays key information such as location, terrain, difficulty, hints and description, so that users don’t have to tote printouts.