Sailors looking for a chartplotter who tend to stray from the beaten path or those who spend a fair amount of time fishing may want to consider a combination chartplotter-fishfinder. Our last look at plotter-sounders named the Garmin 545s the Practical Sailor Best Choice for combination chartplotter sounders. This review compares the Garmin to the new Raymarine A50D. Testers looked at display unit features, plotter features, and sounder features. The Raymarine unit uses Navionics cartography and can interface with AIS devices.
Planned obsolescence is probably the most irksome way to keep manufacturing costs down and inspire us to buy stuff. Each time a new or updated line of multi-function devices appear, we ask ourselves if the new version represents real value, or are the engineers just adding another tower to their Lego castle, while the marketing folks ponder adding an umlaut or X to the product name.
Raymarine has re-defined onboard interface with WiFi and Bluetooth capabilities in its new MFDs. Using an iPad or iPhone (Version 4 or newer), a Kindle Fire Tablet, or any Android Smartphone or Tablet, users can stream the e7D display to these devices using the RayView free app downloadable from iTunes, Amazon, or the Google Play Android store. This allows you to use these devices as a second display.