Garmin has announced the launch of a new personal GPS device showing the company isn't forgetting its original market in favour of car navigation systems.

The new device builds on the eTrex Venture handheld unit and is called the eTrex Venture Cx.

New features include expandable memory, colour TFT display, USB interface, and advanced GPS auto-routing capabilities in a waterproof design.

"The eTrex product line is highly regarded by adventure seekers and outdoor sportsmen because of its full features and versatility", said Gary Kelley, Garmin's vice president of marketing. "And with the new Venture Cx, budget conscious users will no longer have to make compromises between
advanced features and cost."

For greater mapping detail, users can purchase new microSD cards that are pre-loaded with BlueChart marine cartography and MapSource Topo and inland lake maps. The microSD card slot is located inside the waterproof (IPX-7) battery compartment.

Users can also transfer routes and waypoints through the units' fast USB connection.

Other key features of the eTrex Venture Cx a battery Life of up to 32 hours with typical use using two AA alkaline batteries.

The eTrex Venture Cx is expected to be available in March 2006, and has an estimated retail price of $249.99.