Starts at $2,499.99; www.humminbird.com
Humminbird parent company Johnson Outdoors really wants a piece of bluewater marine electronics. The company tried to make GeoNav a major brand back in 2011. But the competition from the existing Big Four brands was daunting. Plus, the economic timing was terrible, and Johnson Outdoors pulled GeoNav’s plug. So, the industrial design of the new Ion series looks like the old GeoNav G Series, but Ion really is “a new species of bluewater technology.”
Ion’s software has been completely rewritten since GeoNav. For instance, the Ion has a multitouch screen and the “Cross Touch” interface means that every single command can be done either on the screen or with the keys, dial, and joystick. I was particularly impressed with all the touch gestures I saw on a short demo trip. For instance, an upward two-finger-swipe takes you to the home page while a horizontal one pages you through your favorite screens, and pinch-to-zoom works on both charts and sonar imagery.
Naturally, Humminbird has put an emphasis on fishfinding, and there are three new sonar modules that run up to an SM3000 that can provide side and down imaging, plus regular and CHIRP fishfinding, plus boat speed and water temperature all over one Ethernet cable. And the demo included NMEA 2000 engine data driving virtual screen gauges.