Last fall I reviewed the DeLorme InReach satellite communicator, finding it an excellent way to stay in touch while in remote areas of the world. The device uses the Iridium satellite network to communicate from remote corners of the globe, and on its own it’s capable of sending brief pre-canned text messages and Twitter updates. But when paired with a smartphone via Bluetooth, the user is capable of sending what ever messages he or she wants. The two devices work well with one another and make for a solid communication system while on an expedition somewhere. But carrying two devices means you extra weight, plus the challenges of keeping everything charged. DeLorme has addressed this in their newest product, the InReach SE, which now comes with a built in touch screen that eliminates the need for a second device.
The InReach SE was just announced yesterday and brings some nice upgrades to the table. For instance, it now incorporates a bright, easy to read color screen that includes a virtual keyboard for sending any type of message you’d like. The device features all of the functionality you’ve come to expect from the satellite communicator, including global coverage, the ability to call for an SOS, and satellite tracking functionality. It also allows the user to post to popular social media network such as Facebook and Twitter. The device features a rechargeable lithium battery that is rated for 100 hours of use under typical circumstances and the entire unit is waterproof, dustproof and impact resistant.
Just because DeLorme added a screen to this model doesn’t mean that you can’t still pair it with a smartphone however. Bluetooth functionality is still built-in, which means you can pair a smartphone or tablet and gain access to the Earthmate Apps, which provide downloadable topographic and NOAA maps to help navigate in the backcountry. When paired with such a device, the InReach SE acts as the GPS receiver, while the smartphone or tablet is the screen that provides highly detailed navigational tools.
The new InReach SE comes with an MSRP of $299.95 and is available now. Seems like a great evolution of this product line and an improvement over an already great product.
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