September 1, 2006

New GPS: Garmin Nuvi 660 and Nuvi 610 Officially Announced

Well, wonder no more, Garmin has officially announced the Garmin Nuvi 660 . Garmin today announced it has expanded its popular all-in-one Personal Travel Assistant product line. The nuvi 660 incorporates a large, 4.3-inch touchscreen, integrated traffic capabilities, FM transmitter, and a super-bright display. These new attributes are in addition to the GPS navigator, traveler's reference, and digital entertainment features that have made the nuvi a favorite device among travelers.

"Since we first introduced the nuvi family, customers have been drawn to it because of its elegance, size and features," said Gary Kelley, Garmin's vice president of marketing. "The nuvi 660 builds on the legacy of the nuvi 300-series while adding desirable enhancements like a wider screen and integrated traffic, which are two features that have never been packaged together before."

With its large, touchscreen interface, the nuvi 660 makes it easier than ever to obtain voice-prompted, turn-by-turn directions; route calculation; and automatic rerouting if a motorist strays off course. The unit speaks street names, so drivers will know to "turn right on Main Street." Garmin has also made it possible for customers to augment the pre-loaded maps with custom points of interest such as school zones and safety cameras.

The Garmin Nuvi 660 includes an integrated traffic receiver that makes it possible to avoid traffic and road construction delays. The TMC traffic receiver is integrated with the nuvi's 12-volt power adapter cable, and will notify the driver of upcoming traffic or road construction delays and the delay's severity. If the accident or construction delay occurred prior to the user programming the desired destination, the unit will automatically calculate a route around congestion. In the United States, three months of free Total Traffic Network service is included, after which the customer may subscribe to 15 months of service for $60.00.

Another new feature is the integrated FM transmitter that broadcasts voice guidance, MP3, audio books and phone calls over the vehicle's existing speakers. The nuvi's entertainment audio is muted when navigation instructions are given.

The nuvi 660 also allows users to make and receive hands-free phone calls directly through the nuvi's touchscreen keypad. The Bluetooth Wireless Technology capabilities and integrated microphone and speaker provide for hands-free mobile phone calls. In addition, phones numbers may be looked-up and dialed from the mobile phone's address book or from the phone's call history log that shows calls received, calls dialed and calls missed (for supported phones). If a user does not know the phone number of their destination, they can easily find and dial it from nuvi's points of interest database -- such as hotels, restaurants, and gas stations and attractions. When the nuvi's FM transmitter is activated, all Bluetooth-enabled phone calls will be emitted over the vehicle's existing speakers.

Nuvi is an all-in-one portable GPS device that combines GPS navigation with new and innovative applications such as the Garmin Travel Guide(TM), Garmin Language Guide(TM), and Garmin SaversGuideĀ®. These optional guides are available on SD card and provide users helpful and thorough information such as restaurant and hotel reviews and recommendations, audible language translation into five different languages, and the first geo-coded "coupon book" that notifies users of nearby discounts at restaurants, hotels, automotive repair, and more. The nuvi also incorporates the Garmin Lock(TM), a theft prevention system that provides added security.

In Europe, customers can purchase one of nine regional map coverage areas (nuvi 610), or opt for full European mapping (nuvi 660). The North American version (nuvi 660) includes preloaded maps of the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico. All map data is provided by NAVTEQ(TM) -- a world leader in premium-quality mapping.

The Garmin Nuvi 660 is expected to be available in the U.S. in September 2006. The nuvi is sold with a suction cup mount, GTM 20 (North America) or GTM 21 (Europe) FM TMC traffic receiver and 12-volt adapter (nuvi 660 only), AC power cable (nuvi 660 only), PC/USB cable, owner's manual and quick reference guide. The Garmin Travel Guide, Garmin Language Guide, and SaversGuide are sold separately.

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Posted by Scott Martin at September 1, 2006 8:40 AM

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