November 30, 2006

The Trouble with TeleAtlas Maps and What's the Future Direction

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I wanted to get this up and posted about what my opinions are on TeleAtlas, and where I think things are going. Many people familiar with the GPS world have come across the dialog that TeleAtlas maps in the US are not as accurate, or are not as up to date as people think they should be. Me included.

From what I have seen, the GPS units that have used NAVTEQ maps are more up to date versus those that use TeleAtlas. I think that TeleAtlas is changing and is on the move to update their maps quickly, making step changes in their accomplishments, and not just small mediocre incremental changes. Why do I think this?

ArrowContinue reading: "The Trouble with TeleAtlas Maps and What's the Future Direction"

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (3) | social bookmarking

November 30, 2006

Digi-Guides of Paris – GPS Guided Tours

DigiGuide.gif

Ahh, so this is what the future is going to look like. I love the integration of the GPS into activities other than tromping through the woods. Here’s an offering for you to download a walking tour around Paris to your GPS enabled PDA for 1 euro. Pretty cheap, and you get to choose from around 40 different day and night tours. Don’t have a GPS enabled PDA, you can rent the whole package of the PDA, Bluetooth GPS receiver with a pre-loaded tour for 15 euros.

More at DigiGuides

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

November 29, 2006

Garmin Nuvi 670/680

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Update: The Garmin Nuvi 670 and Nuvi 680 have been Officially Announced.
Check out the announcement for the Nuvi 680 - MSN connected GPS or the Nuvi 670 which comes pre-loaded with North American and European Maps.

UPDATE: I have posted my Review of the Nuvi 680

Well, well… if you wanted a nice rumor wrapped up in time for the holidays, here you go. Engadget is reporting about the Garmin Nuvi 670/680 that will add on Microsoft’s MSN Direct/SPOT network capabilities. This will sit atop the already excellent Nuvi 660 chassis - see my review of the Nuvi 660. The SPOT network broadcasts over an FM band and gives you weather, sports and stock updates for a subscription price. Expect an announcement at CES in January. I would imagine that the release date for the Nuvi 670 would be sometime in the first quarter of 2007, or soon thereafter, like in April.


Interesting add-on…. Hummm, connected GPS units, I like it keep it coming. Don't forget about the new Dash Espress receiver with two way cellular/WiFi connectivity built in that is coming in the new year.

More at Garmin and Amazon

Get a whole lot more information on the Garmin Nuvi 680.

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

November 29, 2006

GPS Systems on Holiday Wish Lists

BusinessWeeklogo.jpg
Businessweek has an interesting read on the GPS market this holiday season as more and more people are coming onto the scene to embrace GPS systems. They point out that the GPS market is expected to have grown 100% this year over last year; not bad and it seems to me like we are starting up that steep part of the adoption curve. They indicate that the average selling price of a portable GPS system has dropped from $863 to $616 during the third quarter of this year. That’s a 30% drop in a year’s time. One has to think that with the serious competition going on this holiday season and the fact that the GPS really showed up to play on Black Friday this year, the average selling price is in for another nosedive. The also point out that there is a huge untapped potential in the value end of the market. I agree and pointed this out in an editorial earlier this year when I called for Garmin to launch more models in the value area, and we see it happening today with the HUGE reaction to a $150 Mio C310x in the marketplace. Isn’t the $200 price point a threshold where things really get adopted… like VCR’s, DVD player, and maybe GPS units? Hang on; it’s only going to get better.

ReadMore at BusinessWeek

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

November 29, 2006

Review: Alpine Blackbird


Interesting review over at GPS Magazine covering the Alpine Blackbird. Fits my maybe continual bantering that it’s easy to make a GPS, and it’s hard to make a good GPS. Well, apparently the folks at Alpine are having a tough time making a good GPS. It’s great to see that there are a lot of companies coming into the GPS space, because competition spurs innovation and we get cool things like traffic alerts or handsfree Bluetooth communication or two way internet connectivity for information lookup…. Two issues that they bring out, interface problems, specifically the address entry issues, and simple navigation issues. A couple of biggies, if you ask me.

When I was using the Delphi NAV200 product, I had trouble with address entry and it appeared to come back to the underlying data formats. Sometimes towns were listed as “Norwood, Town of” which comes up in the alphabetical listing below every other “Norwood” in the US….. frustrating when you have to scroll through a few dozen looking for the one near you. One has to wonder if there are some data issues with the Alpine helping to drive the address entry issues. The GPSMag reviews are photo heavy, so if you want to skip to the meat of the problems, start here and read the last 3 pages.

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

November 28, 2006

TomTom Quick Fix

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TomTom has announced the ability to give you faster satellite fix times with their program called TomTom QuickGPSFix. If you have a TomTom GO 510 or TomTom GO 910, you can take advantage of this nice little capability. These two units have the ability to predict satellite positions for the next 7 days, so when you turn the GPS on, it knows where to look for satellites instead of scanning the entire sky.

How to get TomTom Quick Fix? Simple. Connect your TomTom GO 510 or GO 910 to your computer running TomTom HOME at least once per week, and it will download these prediction tables. Can't do that? Connect through your Bluetooth phone to any TomTom PLUS service and it will download the predictions for the next week. Remember, to take advantage of this capability you'll need to connect at least once per week.


More at TomTom

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

Magellan RoadMate 360 - Was $199 Now $249

Magellan RM 360
Update: Well, just got burned on this; 5 hours later it's $249. Just goes to show you that you need to know what you want, know what's a good price and jump on it when you see it. If not, they raise the prices on you pretty quickly.

Thought I would bring this out as a lot of people have mentioned this deal to me in emails. The Magellan RoadMate 360, which was launched late last year, is on sale at Amazon for a deep discount of $199. Not a bad price overall. I will say that magellan has NAVTEQ maps which are currently better than TeleAtlas maps, but from the comments on the Amazon site, the reviews from the masses are mixed. Some thing that the navigation is solid, the screen is big and the interface is intuitive. The unit seems to suffer from not holding onto the GPS satellite signal and a few other issues. I can't guide you here, but thought I would mention it as it's a pretty popular deal right now.


More at Amazon

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

November 27, 2006

GPS systems HOT on Black Friday

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All those people who came here and told us about their wait in lines over the weekend to grab a GPS know this already; GPS systems were H-O-T this past weekend. Now they don't compare to the Flat screen TV's and the laptops, but this is what Yahoo had to say:

Another popular category this season is GPS units, which can provide drivers with directions, analysts and Cast said, noting that this is the first holiday that consumers have really zeroed in on them.

"This is really the first holiday that people have focused on them," Baker said, referring to GPS units. "Over Black Friday, you could find some for under $200."


Yea, how about a lot of Mios C310x's.

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

New GPS: Bushnell NAV 500

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Update: We've got the Bushnell NAV500 in for Review.


Bushnell also announced a new automotive GPS (see related story on the Bushnell Onix 200), the Bushnell Nav 500; a mid tier GPS that comes with a lot of the features you've come to expect in a GPS; 3.5 inch touchscreen, pre-loaded maps of North America, and the SiRF star III chipset for better reception in touch conditions. The unit will offer a photo viewer, and an MP3 player to round out the media capabilities. The unit is reportedly hitting the market this year, but don't expect it to breakthrough the holiday madness; look for more GPS news from Bushnell in the future.

"This is just the beginning in offering an exciting new line of GPS products to our customers that are innovative, feature-rich and live up to our reputation for quality, reliability and affordability," said Phil Gyori, vice president of marketing at Bushnell.

Press Release

Via

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

New GPS: Bushnell Onix 200 and Onix 200CR

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Bushnell introduced a new set of handheld devices today that are extending their brand in the "Outdoors" categoy, where they previously had such outdoors tools as spotting scopes, binoculars, etc. Bushnell is venturing into the handheld GPs area, where others dominate, with a novel idea; the ability to layer information over a map that you may find interesting and necessary for your navigation; things like the map, the compass, and aerial photography, allowing you to turn the layers on and off as you need. There is a pretty good demo of the technology - link below. ArrowContinue reading: "New GPS: Bushnell Onix 200 and Onix 200CR"

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Inexpensive GPS Buying Options

christmas_bow.jpg C310x for $200 or less. The other deals that I would recommend are simply low priced Garmin C-series products.

mioc310xsm.jpgMio C310x – Many people went out to the stores on Black Friday and bought this for $149, but don’t worry, you can still pick this up at Comp USA for $199 now. Even at $199, this is still a great deal. It’s got some issues, but most people are happy, or even thrilled with its performance. The interface is good, not great but good, and offers a lot of nice navigation features. The Issue: Maps. There is ONLY US maps on the device, no Canadian maps as previously mentioned or discussed. The maps are also in need of updating. This sits on both Mio and TeleAtlas’ shoulders,but there should be an update to the maps in the next 6-9 months. See my post on TeleAtlas Maps and why I think that things are set to improve. These can be serious issues if they bug you, move on, if you can put up with it, enjoy the bargain. See info on the Mio C310x.

GarminC320sm.jpgGarmin C320 + 1GB SD Card – This combination will cost around $300 and the device will be rock solid. The unit comes with North American (yes, Canada too), maps that you can download once onto the SD card and you now have a fully functional maps loaded GPS (Note: Get a 2GB card if you want both US and Canada on the device, as US will fit on 1GB card). The included NAVTEQ maps are more up to date than the TeleAtlas maps on the Mio. The interface is easier than the Mio, and I have no issues recommending this unit. Check out walmart.com and Amazon– Both are moving prices around a lot these days, so check both out.

garminC330sm.jpgGarmin StreetPilot C330 – If you don’t want to deal with transferring maps yourself, buy this. It's a bit over $300. It will navigate right out of the box, and has all of North America pre-loaded.


Skip the Garmin I-series – Don’t get me wrong, I think that the Garmin I-series is a good little navigator, but for a little bit more money, you can move up to the C-series and its touchscreen navigation on a 3.5 inch screen. The ability to use a touchscreen is a big difference that’s well worth the money.

For more GPS Buying information see our
Holiday GPS Buying Guide


Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (3) | social bookmarking

Mio C310x – Canadian Maps, Hacks and More….

With upwards to 100,000 Mio C310x units sold this past weekend, there has been a lot of traffic and questions about the Mio C310x, covering Canadian maps, adding video playback support, adding other voices, accessing the Windows CE core, and just plain digging like people have fun doing. I thought I would pass this along, but I haven’t done any of this, and you’re on your own to play; I can’t help you here.

Update: Mio Has Announced a Map Update for the Mio C310X! - 6/29/07

Update: See our Review of the new Mio C310x GPS
Update: I talked with Mio and got an update on Map fixes and more. See the post.

Maps of Canada
Update: some things have been updated, and there is an easy way to add the Canadian maps to an SD card.
Essentially you need to get (?steal; I don't know here?) the map file from another place on the internet, and then place it on an SD card (the file is about 54MB; need a 64MB+ sized card) in a specific directory structure. See the Fat Wallet Forums link below.

New Voices
Similar thing here. Get the voice files, use a hack to drop it into the right file folder on the Mio.

Adding video and more…. All similar processes.

I haven’t done any of this, so you’re on your own. I know some people who have commented here about the unit have done this with some success. You’re on your own, good luck.

Nice quick summary on the front page of what you can do: Read this thread at the FatWallet forums for news on Hacking the Mio C310x.

Another resource is at GPSPassion Forums

Even MORE Information on the Mio C310x.


Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (20) | social bookmarking

November 26, 2006

Hot GPS Shopping Deals - Sunday

I don't plan on updating shopping lists on a daily basis, but there are a few deals that are around that I thought I would highlight for you folks. Thanks for all the emails and notes about various deals that are popping up. there are a few that I would be interested in and a few that I personally would not.

For other deals: See my Steals and Deals Post from Friday

Staples
"Support Plus GPS $149.99" Model #GPS-3V106-IUS - I think that this is also known as Invion brand; not sure. I haven't heard of this one before nor have I used it. I think that it is easy to make a GPS but it's hard to make a good GPS. This may or may not be good, but I wouldn't risk it, unless you know someone you trust who has a good experience with it. I would move on.

CompUSA
Mio C310x - $199 - Good little flat GPS; lots of news on this thing at my site. Start with the Black Friday Deals post, and work from there. LOTS of people have written in with comments on pros and cons. Big thing is that it's a "good" little GPS from an up and coming maker of GPS units. I am pleased with it. It has a drawback that it uses maps that are older, and therefore can be out of date. The provider, Teleatlas, is making big strides in improving their maps. You get a free upgrade in the next 6-9 months when you register your Mio C310x. Still a great deal at this price. If it was at $299, I would consider the Garmin C320+1GB SD card, and if it was at $399, I would walk away and buy a Garmin C330 instead...

See my other recommendations at Holiday GPS Buying Guide

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

November 24, 2006

Steals and Deals on GPS Units - 11/24/06

WOW; Black Friday and we're mopping up things here at the Lodge. What a party; we had TONS of people stopping by before they headed out to the stores. I got a lot of nice "Thank Yous" for all the reviews and articles. Glad we could help.

How did you do? If things didn't work out, check out the deals below AND our Holiday GPS Shopping Guide for some guidance on what GPS is right for you.

The TomTom GiveGive program is still running - $50 off any TomTom GPS, now through 12/3. See our Review of the TomTom ONE. Reader Barbara M sent this in: TomTom ONE for $340 after GiveGive rebate, plus shipping at TheNerds


Deals on GPS's. Here’s a quick rundown:

Prices DOWN on Nuvi 660!

  • Garmin Nuvi 660 - Price easing to $759 today at Amazon, Very dynamic, but this is LOW ($749 is lowest); jump on them now before price goes back up. See our review - It's the best GPS I have used. Also check out the GPSNow site for what has been often a lower price, and FAST same day shipping.

  • Magellan RoadMate 760 - Price drops on this brings it to about $360!

  • Garmin Nuvi 350– recent price drops put it around $490.
  • Garmin Nuvi 360 is now around $530; WOW - a couple of weeks ago this was over $600.
  • Garmin StreetPilot C330 – Now below $350 for this very capable, maps pre-loaded device. Earlier this spring this was selling for the mid-to upper $400’s.
  • Garmin StreetPilot C340 – Also price dropped, now selling for around $450. Optional traffic capability. See our review.

  • "2 'fer" Deal at MotionBased - Not really a deal on a GPS, but if you buy a year's subscription to the GPS fitness service, you get a second one free.

    More after the jump....

    ArrowContinue reading: "Steals and Deals on GPS Units - 11/24/06"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking
  • The Garmin Store in Chicago

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    We’ve heard from some readers who have visited the Garmin store in Chicago and said that the place is really nice. John S said that the store is like a boutique with counter after counter of GPS units on display and some really helpful staff. When he was there he said it was pretty active and was surprised to see so many people in there at the time. Who knew so many people wanted a GPS?!?! He also said that a lot of people were checking out the Garmin Nuvi 660 in its widescreen brilliance.

    The Nuvi 660 is featured in the Garmin holiday ads this year (see the funnier one I call it Unibrow, and the other one I call Lost Again Guy). Anyway, you can check out my Review of the Nuvi 660 and FYI – I have found the best deal from a trusted source to be at GPSNow, for $749, while Amazon has been hovering around $820 $760.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Review: Garmin Nuvi 660 - Excellent

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    The Garmin Nuvi 660 is the wonderfully flat and wide screened GPS that is a rock star already in the GPS world. Its thin profile has it ready to go anywhere, and the widescreen shows you so much more than a standard screened navigator, you’ll never want to go back. CNet finally put out their review of the Nuvi 660 and they rate is excellent (8.3 out of 10), and they don’t do that too often. I thought it was the best GPS I have ever used when I reviewed the Nuvi 660 a couple of months ago.

    Bonnie Cha at CNet agrees, “We took the Garmin Nuvi 660 out for a test-drive in San Francisco, and it performed wonderfully.” They were concerned over the price, “Now, here's the bad news. It costs a whopping $1,076.91, and you have to fork over even more cash if you want the expanded travel tools.” Come on folks, even the worst bricks and mortar store is selling <$1,000 and we know here at the GPSLodge that it sells for about $750 at Amazon and GPSNow.

    ReadMore on the Garmin Nuvi 660 Review at CNet

    More Nuvi 660 information.

    UPDATE: I have posted my Review of the New Garmin Nuvi 680

    For a full list of my own Hands on Full Reviews of GPS units; Click - GPSLodge.com Hands On Reviews

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Holiday Gift and Shopping Guides from Around the Blogpire

    Our editors have been hard at work coming up with the latest products to give as gifts this holiday season. Each of our different sites has their own holiday gift guide on various topics including: shaving, hdtv, gps, gaming, coffee and espresso, kitchen gadgets, cookbooks, and more.

    Make your holiday gift giving easier this season by visiting the holiday shopping guides below, and get your shopping done online without the crowds and hassle of ever leaving your comfy couch or computer chair.

    Electronics - TV and GPS

    Tvsnob Gg

    Holiday Shopping Guide from TVSnob.com

    Gps Lodge Blogpire Gg-1

    Holiday Shopping Guide from GPSLodge.com

    Natural Products & Organic Living

    Reallynatural Gg

    Holiday Shopping Guide from ReallyNatural.com

    Shaving

    Shaving Gg

    Holiday Gift Guide from ShavingStuff.com

    Coffee & Espresso

    Holidayshoppingguide1 Ssc
    Holiday Gift Guide from SingleServeCoffee.com

    Sse Gg

    Holiday Gift Guide from SingleServeEspresso.com

    Games

    Criticalgamers Blogad Giftg

    Holiday Gift Guide from CriticalGamers.com

    Liquor and Spirts

    Liquor Snob Blogad Gg

    Holiday Shopping Guide from LiquorSnob.com

    Kitchen Related

    Holiday Shopping Guides Kc

    Holiday Shopping Guide from KitchenContraptions.com

    Thecookingnews Gg

    Holiday Gift Guide from The Cooking News.com

    Baby Related

    Supercoolbab Gg

    Holiday Gift Guide from SuperCoolBaby.com

    Poker & Casino Related
    Holiday Gift Guide from CasinoSnob.com

    Jay Brewer Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    Black Friday GPS Mop Up - The "Mio C310x Fest"

    OK, so lots of comments coming in about shopping trips. Keep them coming. They are mainly at

  • Original Black Friday Post,
  • Mio C310 Review
  • Compare the Mio C310 vs. the Mio C310x
  • Update: See our Review of the new Mio C310x GPS

    I bought a Mio C310x at Staples. I got there at about 5AM and was about 40th in line. The line in front of me got cut in half when they handed out tickets for the 3 laptops that they had at $330 or so. A lot of people who didn't get the laptop deal went home. There were 6 Mio C310x units for sale and they were gone in <5 minutes. This was not a "high volume" Staples so maybe there will be more at other stores.

    Didn't get what you wanted? Need some guidance on what GPS to buy? - Check out our Holiday GPS Buying Guide


    Highlights
    1) The Mio C310x has an AC adapter, at least the one I bought does.
    2) We have a comment in that the Mio C310x does NOT have the Canadian Maps on the DVD. That's a concern, as I have word from Mio that they would. I will ask my contact next week when they are back in the office, and get back to you folks.
    3) Many people used a combination of online and bricks and mortar stores to get their hands on a GPS. Staples seems to have been a favorite location, but I was emailing with a reader last night who went to CompUSA and did in fact get a price match there (despite the policy NOT to price match limited quantity items).
    4) Having trouble/got questions with the Mio- Toll Free Customer Service Hotline: 1-866-MIO-4-GPS
    5) The Mio site already appears slower from people hitting it. MAKE SURE YOU REGISTER YOU MIO C310x! I sometimes get lazy and skip this step. Don't! This is how they will let you know when you can get your map upgrade sometime in the next 6-9 months (per my call with Tech Support the other day). Register at Mio USA. (they seem to be having trouble with the registration database just now; cut them some slack and try later. I am sure the madhouse at the stores is translating into a madhouse at their place now.)
    6) The Garmin C340 which was on sale for $349 seems to have gotten a lot of attention. I reviewed it and it is a very good product. Usually sells for $400+.
    7) The TomTom ONE at Radio Shack for $399 was also popular. We have the TomTom Rebate Form for all TomTom's mentioned on it, but only good for purchases that didn't already have the $50 instant rebate or promo taken right at the register. Check the form to see if your store is one of these "excluded" stores that opted NOT to go the way of a mail in Rebate.

    Keep the comments and emails coming. I will update posts through the day.

    Didn't get what you wanted? Need some guidance on what GPS to buy? - Check out our Holiday GPS Buying Guide

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (32) | social bookmarking
  • November 23, 2006

    Black Friday and Thanksgiving GPS Shopping Update

    Things are starting to firm on pricing and deals. I missed a few in my original post so here's an update of what's happening today and tomorrow. This is not a substitute for the Black Friday original post so go check it out for more links to information on these models and other deals.

    Circuit City
    One reader pointed out that Circuit City is selling the Mio C310x online at $200 - $50 Mail in Rebate.... sorry all gone. I tried already. I did pick up a C340 though for a great price.... They do have the Garmin SP C330 for ~$320 and the Garmin C340 for $349. So tomorrow they are offering the Garmin C340 at $349, and the Mio C310x for $200-$50 MIR.

    Best Buy
    Garmin Nuvi 350 - $499 (min 4 per store)
    Magellan RM 2000 - $279 (min 4 per store)

    Comp USA
    Mio C310X - $179 Tonight 9PM - Midnight (Midnight - 2Am in some places)
    3 not-so-great deals tomorrow
    Garmin C330 - $399 (Read: Garmin C330 Review or Compare the Garmin C-series line)
    TomTom ONE - $449
    Magellan 2000 - $399

    Radio Shack
    Nice little deal here, the TomTom ONE for $399 (most likely after the GiveGive $50 incentive). Still Best Price on this Unit I have seen. I've already said that this is the price point to move these fast.

    Staples
    Mio C310(x) - $149. They list it as the C310, but I have word from Mio that they are shipping the C310x to stores for Black Friday deals.
    TomTom ONE - $449

    Target - yes, Target has a GPS Special, not the best, but not bad.
    Magellan RoadMate 2000 - $299

    WalMart
    Garmin StreetPilot C330 - $328
    Garmin StreetPilot 2720 - $594 (online only)

    Tweeter

    Invion GPS4V106 - $179 (yea, never heard of them either)

    BJ's Club

    Nuvi 660 everyday - $749 (not a Black Friday deal, but it's a great price.)
    Magellan RoadMate 3000T - $349 with $100 coupon Remember free traffic kit for the 3000T when you buy before 1/31/07.

    Office Depot - poor deals on 2 models (skip these deals and find better prices online at amazon or GPSNow)
    Garmin Nuvi 350 - $699
    TomTom GO 510 - $549

    Finally - I'll put in a plug for the Shop from home contingent. amazon just dropped their prices on the Garmin Nuvi 350 to below $490. So keep checking there or at GPSNow for latest pricing.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    November 22, 2006

    FRWD GPS Based Trainer

    WWristprof0372dpi.jpg
    Wseries_pers272Thumb.jpgFRWD has a sports watch with GPS on the market. The unit has an integrated GPS chip in a remote data logger that records information about your exercise details. You can then upload that information to your computer and analyze it. We’ve previously mentioned the FRWD mobile phone based system to use your GPS enabled phone to record your location while working out. The high end W600 package includes a FRWD Recorder Unit which contains the GPS chip, a wrist display, heart rate transmitter belt, PC software, USB dongle, battery charger 4 rechargable batteries, and armstrap. The whole thing is 400 Euros and it looks pretty sharp….

    More at FRWD

    Via

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Review: Mio H610 by GPS Lodge

    H610 Hi-Res.JPG

    The Mio H610 is a svelte little GPS device that has is an absolute beauty to behold, with its amazing screen and its simple rounded shape. The unit is a strong step forward in the GPS field, leading in many ways, others who haven't recognized the opportunity to get a beautiful device delivering a GPS with some seam functions that bring it darn close to a PDA device. The Mio H610 performs well as a GPS, and adds on a lot of simple functionality that make it a data center for travel and a general life-aid.

    Need some guidance on what GPS to buy? - Check out our Holiday GPS Buying Guide

    ArrowContinue reading: "Review: Mio H610 by GPS Lodge"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Price Drops all Around

    So today marks the first day of the TomTom GiveGive promotion. You can either get an instant $50 off, like at Amazon, on the TomTom ONE and others, or you can use a mail in rebate. We have the TomTom Rebate Form posted. Also, things are starting to bubble on the Garmin Nuvi 660 front, with Amazon dropping $20 overnight, down to $809. While GPSNow still beats them on price, this signals to me that Amazon isn't done playing with this price as then big shopping season is almost upon us.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Free Traffic Kit for Magellan RoadMate 3000T

    traffickit,jpg.gif
    So, Magellan is offering a special bonus this holiday season, a free traffic kit for Magellan 3000T buyers. The offer goes from now until the end of January. It's valued at $149, so it's a pretty good deal on a little bit of technology that could save you some time. so the unsaid message here is NOT to buy the Magellan 3050T, which is the 3000T with the traffic kit. Why pay for the 3050T when you can get the upgrade for free?

    The traffic kit receives TMC signals that will alert you to traffic issues ahead. There is an introductory period of free service and then you will need to pay about $60 per year after that.

    ReadMore at Magellan

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    November 21, 2006

    Mio - Europe's #3 GPS Brand

    Reports for third quarter 2006 from international marketing research firms Canalys and IDC show that Mio Technology continues its consistent performance in handheld devices. In Europe , the company maintained its position as the third-largest GPS vendor, and for the first time, was named the world’s #3 PDA vendor.

    According to Canalys’ survey of the European market, Mio retained its #3 ranking in mobile GPS navigation devices with a market share of roughly nine percent. The results demonstrate that in an increasingly competitive European market with a growing number of brands, Mio has been able to maintain its leadership position and solid growth.

    IDC’s third quarter survey of the global handheld device (PDA product) market found that Mio captured the third position. Despite a global PDA market that has declined in recent years, Mio was able to achieve five percent growth over the previous quarter, attaining a 9.5 percent market share.

    With a range of GPS and GPS PDA products launched in Europe in the third quarter, the company anticipates strong sales during the holiday shopping season. I would imagine that the Black Friday deals and the continued improvement in brand recognition in the US will help them gain in market share.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Black Friday GPS Update

    OK; I am going on record to tell you to get out there early. I had been hoping that the Deals on the GPS units, specifically the Mio C310x were going to go relatively unnoticed when compared to the computers and the TVs by the greater community at large. GPS systems are pretty big in my life; I mean hey, I write a blog on them and everything, but I wasn't sure about how big they were for other folks. Judging from the volume of traffic, emails and inquiries about the Mio C310x deal, I think that this will be a big quick sellout on them. So I would advise getting out there early. Good luck.

    -Scott

  • Compare the Mio C310 vs C310x
  • My review of the Mio C310


    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (5) | social bookmarking
  • November 20, 2006

    Man Tracking Wife with GPS turns into Bomb Scare

    So, the folks in the GPS world just can't get a break. Recently, a Geocache caused a bit of a scare because people weren't quite sure what was attached to some sculpture outside a bank in Sherman Texas; it was the cache in a magnetic box. Now, a man tracking his wife with a gps tracking device attached to the underside of her car caused a bomb scare when officials thought that the black box was suspicious and called in the bomb squad. Apparently the unhappy couple are going through a divorce.

    ReadMore

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    More GPS Stories from Iraq

    So Garmin has posted stories about how GPS units have helped out the troops navigate the very dangerous roads and IED's that dot the roadscape. Here's another story of how GPS units have helped the troops, and in particular Lowrance units that are helping out.

    ReadMore

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    November 19, 2006

    TomTom Rebate Form - $50 off

    tomtomlogo2.jpg
    Thanks to reader John S who sent this in. We have the the TomTom Rebate form available here. The TomTom rebate is available for the tomTom GO 300, GO700, GO510, GO910, ONE, and Rider.

    The rebate is good for purchases November 22 through December3. See our Black Friday post for deals on GPS units.

    Download TomTom Rebate Form

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

    November 17, 2006

    Steals and Deals on GPS Units - 11/17

    The Big news on low prices this week is what's happening next week - namely BLACK FRIDAY - the big deal day the day after Thanksgiving. Check out my Black Friday GPS Deals post for all the up to date news and discussion.

    You know that TomTom is planning a Holiday $50 discount campaign. Can you wait to get your hands on the TomTom ONE? A $50 discount might make it more attractive - program to start 11/22/06. See our Review of the TomTom ONE


    Deals on GPS's. Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Magellan RoadMate 760 - Price drops on this brings it to about $360!

  • Garmin Nuvi 660 Recent Price easing to $829, still well shy of the $1000 list price. - See our review - It's the best GPS I have used. also check out the GPSNow site for what has been often a lower price.
  • Garmin Nuvi 350– recent price drops put it around $520.
  • Garmin Nuvi 360 is now around $580; breaking the $600 barrier.
  • Garmin StreetPilot C330 – Now below $400 for this very capable, maps pre-loaded device. Earlier this spring this was selling for the mid-to upper $400’s.
  • Garmin StreetPilot C340 – Also price dropped, now selling for around $460. Optional traffic capability. See our review.

  • "2 'fer" Deal at MotionBased - Not really a deal on a GPS, but if you buy a year's subscription to the GPS fitness service, you get a second one free.

    More after the jump....

    ArrowContinue reading: "Steals and Deals on GPS Units - 11/17"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
  • BIM Active Fitness Trainer on your Mobile Phone

    running.jpg

    Have you been running lately with your GPS powered Fitness Trainer? No not your Forerunner, I mean your mobile phone. Recall that BIM Active (Bones in Motion Active) has the ability to download a program to your GPS enabled phone that will allow you to go train with your GPS enabled phone in your pocket and record your workout. The data is then uploaded to their website where you can chart and manipulate the data. There is a nice print ad in the December Issue of Runner’s World highlighting the capability.

    The service works with many Verizon, Sprint and Nextel phones.

    BIM Active for more information

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    November 16, 2006

    Review: DeLorme StreetAtlas 2007

    DelormeSA2007PLUS.jpg
    StreetAtlas 2007 will let you navigate, plan and share maps, and routes. The software will install on your computer or ideally your laptop and once hooked to a GPS, will allow you to navigate with voice commands, and offers the ability to give you a full laptop screen’s view of where you are going. It’s important to understand that StreetAtlas 2007 is more than “just” a navigation aid, like a portable GPS. In my mind, it’s the combination of navigation and map/navigation manager software all in one. It’s really like iTunes vs. the iPod. In iTunes, you can do so much more than just listen to music, you can buy, manage, sort save lists, etc.; however, it’s tied to a computer and not as portable as the iPod. Same thing here, with StreetAtlas 2007 you can do so much management with so many capabilities, it’s really incredible, but you’re tied to a computer for most of this information.

    ArrowContinue reading: "Review: DeLorme StreetAtlas 2007"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    Dash Navigation Taps Tele Atlas for Industry-Leading Digital Map Data

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    Dash is making another move to make their Dash Express stand out in the pack; namely realtime updating of maps. They are partnering with Teleatlas to get the latest maps from them and send them wirelessly to your Dash unit. This gets rid of the #1 complaint among GPS users: Out of date maps. You've all seen the calls to fix the Teleatlas database (My Editorial on TomTom for one, where I also called for realtime map updates). I have seen activity indicating to me that Teleatlas was on the move. The vibe I got this summer in talking to one of their mappers (see the middle of this review), the Map Insight program to collect consumer feedback on mapping issues and the fact that you can't continue to run a business with such glaring outages, all told me that something had to change.

    ArrowContinue reading: "Dash Navigation Taps Tele Atlas for Industry-Leading Digital Map Data"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Garmin Nuvi 660 Reader Comments

    Garmin_Nuvi_660

    I recently exchanged emails with a reader, Steven, who bought a Garmin Nuvi 660 after reading our review of it, and after using the Nuvi 660 for a while; he had some comments that he agreed I could pass along to other readers. I think they are helpful to read and hear about other users impressions on what the Nuvi 660 is like in action.

    On Bluetooth
    “I enjoy the Bluetooth, but it still has some limitations when trying to connect to a device. When finally connected, though, the sound is great through the speakers in the car, and even though my phone, Samsung A920 was not recently on the supported phones list, my phone book appeared making dialing a call so much simpler.”

    ArrowContinue reading: "Garmin Nuvi 660 Reader Comments"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    November 15, 2006

    Black Friday GPS Deals








    BFRush.jpg
    Update: I put up another post on when I think you need to get out for these deals.... and a Thanksgiving Day post on some new GPS deals.

    For breaking news on Black Friday and an update check out Black Friday GPS Mop Up - the Mio C310x Fest.

    Didn't get what you wanted? Need some guidance on what GPS to buy? - Check out our Holiday GPS Buying Guide


    Everyone knows about the door busting deals that the day after Thanksgiving can bring, and how stores usually offer a lot of cheap computers, or TVs. Now that GPS units have gone mainstream, they too are rumored to be on some circulars. Also, remember that TomTom is starting a new $50 promotion starting 11/22, running through 12/3, which is no doubt fueling some of these discounts on the TomTom ONE.

    Some deals better than others; I think the best deal here is the Mio C310x for $149, or the Garmin C340 for $349.

    Some Info on the Hot Mio C310x:

  • Review of the new Mio C310x GPS
  • My review of the Mio C310
  • Comparison of the Mio C310 vs. Mio C310x
  • My Review of the new Mio H610 which uses a similar navigation software package as the upgraded Mio C310x.
  • "Who's Mio?" - The #3 GPS Brand in Europe

    Now the Deals........
    Best Buy
    Garmin Nuvi 350 - $499 (Read: Nuvi 350 Review or Comparison of the Nuvi Line)
    Magellan RoadMate 2000 - $279

    Circuit City
    Garmin StreetPilot C340 - $349 (read my review of the Garmin StreeetPilot C340)
    Mio Digiwalker C310x - $149 (read my review of the Mio C310)

    CompUSA - Running a T-Giving Night sale on items, including the Mio. 9PM - Midnight.
    Mio Digiwalker 310x - $179 (read my review of the Mio C310)
    Black Friday Deals - They will also offer several other GPS devices on Friday but the prices are easily matched or beaten online.
    Garmin C330 - $399 (Read: Garmin C330 Review or Compare the Garmin C-series line)
    TomTom ONE - $449
    Magellan 2000 - $399

    OfficeMax
    Averatec Voya 320 - $224

    Radio Shack
    Magellan eXplorist handheld - $99
    Magellan RoadMate 300 - $199

    Sam's Club
    Polaroid GPS - $399

    Sears
    Dual GPS - $249

    Staples
    Mio Digiwalker C310x - $149 (read my review of the Mio C310)
    TomTom ONE - $449 (read my review of the TomTom ONE)

    Update: Yes the Circuit City model will be the Mio C310x. I am getting more info on the "x" designation; which is at a minimum a software upgrade. Thanks to Larry (comment below) for pointing this out. More news as it comes..... -Scott

    Update #2: I just stopped by a Staples store and they are re-setting the entire shelf with GPS units. The manager confirmed that Staples too has the Mio C310x on their shelves where it will retail for $449 regular price, although I have seen a scanned ad stating $399 regular price.

    Update #3: I just got confirmation that the Mio C310x uses a Mio branded version of the iGo navigation engine. That software is similar to what is on the Mio H610. Good looking software and interface. Hope this helps.

    Update #4 - 11/16: - I have confirmation from a representative of Mio that the Mio C310x is the unit that will be sold on Black Friday. There was some concern if the model was going to be the C310 or the C310x.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (45) | social bookmarking
  • Holiday GPS Buying Guide - Best GPS Gifts

    It's that time of year again when big things come in little packages. Here's to all those presents that have your name on them, and maybe even those that you wrap up for someone else. Here's a list of GPS units that I think are sound units and a good value for what you are getting. That doesn't mean that they are the cheapest models, just that they are solid and offer a lot of features for the money. I prefer flat models and I think that the industry is moving in that direction. There’s a premium to pay for that convenience, so check out some of the non-flat models if you want lower prices or other features. Finally, there are a few great handhelds and fitness models out there for gifting; see below.

    Best Automotive GPS Overall
    nuvi660sm.jpgIt's the one I would want to rip open as my present: The Garmin Nuvi 660. I loved it and it worked very well - read my review. The screen is the brightest and best I have seen. It's top of the line features like Bluetooth integration and traffic alerts sit atop a platform of solid navigation in a beautiful flat form factor. At Amazon and GPSNow.


    Flat Form Factor GPS Units I Recommend
    Mio C310x - yes, this little beauty with a recently upgraded interface running a Mio version of the iGo software is an inexpensive, but decent little GPS. (Read my Review) If you are fortunate, you might snag one on Black Friday in what I think is the best deal this year on a GPS. $149 on Black Friday; ~$400 everyday.

    tomtomonesm.jpgTomTom ONE (if you have a data connected phone) - has a flat form factor and it offers TomTom PLUS services (like traffic feeds and weather forecasts) through a data connection on your mobile phone. (Read My Review of the TomTom ONE) $449 on Black Friday and about $499 everyday.

    Garmin Nuvi 350 - (Compare the Nuvi Line) Well designed and solid. No traffic (optional add-on antenna for traffic), and no handsfree Bluetooth connections, but flat, and a great navigator at a decent price. At Amazon and GPSNow.


    Non-Flat GPS units I Recommend

    If you want an inexpensive GPS and are considering an i-series Garmin (i3, or i5), I very much recommend moving up to a Garmin C-series product; the experience is better with the larger touchscreen. I say this because a lot of readers have returned them and bought the C-series after using the i-series for a while. While I think that the i-series is a good navigator, the slight upcharge (~$40 from i5 to C330) is worth it for the C-series, consider one of these two below.

    Economical GPS for the Computer Savvy
    c320sm.jpgOutright best value is to buy the Garmin StreetPilot C320 and add a 1GB SD card. The user will need to download the maps from the included maps disc to the 1GB SD card. This will cost you under $300 for a very functional easy to use GPS. At Amazon and GPSNow

    Economical Out of the Box Navigation
    Garmin StreetPilot C330 - (Compare the SteetPilot Line) has preloaded maps so you don't need to worry about downloading data to an SD card. Turn by Turn directions, preloaded maps, millions of Points of Interest. At Amazon and GPSNow

    Best GPS Navigation Software
    DeLorme StreetAtlas 2007 - this is great software for the PC. I love the interface and the long list of capabilities and features. I am finishing up my review on this, but I will tell you this is a great way to plan and go for long roadtrips. Best handled with a co-pilot as you can really get a lot out of the software with this while driving.

    Handhelds
    Best Handheld All Around

    Garmin GPSMap 60CSx – this model line recently got upgraded to include the SiRF star III chipset and add-on memory cards to increase the amount of map data you can carry. Big screen, altimeter and electronic compass make this the top of the line and it’s built on a good base of features that make a handheld GPS worth having. I am using this model right now and will write up a review in the coming days. $50 Rebate through 12/31 - At Amazon and GPSNow.

    Best Pocketable Handheld
    Garmin eTrex Vista Cx – this smaller handheld GPS has a lot of the same features that the GPSMAP 60CSx has, only in a smaller package. The smaller screen is not hard to read, and the smaller screen means longer battery life. I have used a vista for a long time and like them a lot. $50 Rebate through 12/31 - At Amazon or GPSNow.

    Best Entry Level Handheld
    Garmin eTrex Venture Cx - Skip the monochrome units and move up the color unit with expandable memory and a USB connection for faster map downloads. With the rebate this is within range of the older generation monochrome, serial connection eTrex Legend; spend the extra money it’s worth it.
    $50 Rebate through 12/31 – At Amazon .


    Fitness GPS
    GPS for Runners

    Forerunner 305 – Improved heart rate monitor and watch-like fit on the wrist. Tracks progress and helps you train. I reviewed the Forerunner 205 and liked it; I would love the extra that the heartrate monitor adds. At Amazon .

    GPS for Bikers
    Edge 305 Bundle – similar to the Forerunner, this bikers GPS is sure to thrill. I know I want one. This will track your progress and has bike specific capabilities. Can be bought with heart rate monitor and a cadence monitor. I want it all, but you can get a less expensive combination with only one or the other. If that’s the case, I would drop the cadence and go with only the heart rate monitor version. At Amazon .


    Note: Both Mio and TomTom use Teleatlas maps which are currently less accurate than the NAVTEQ maps that Garmin uses (my experience). I know that Teleatlas is working hard to catch up, but this may be an issue for you if you live in an area where roads are rapidly changing and you absolutely need the best maps. Teleatlas has launched initiatives to get better map data and they are in the process of doing that now, so I think that the gap is closing.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    November 14, 2006

    Review: Delphi NAV200

    Delphinav200_wside.jpg
    The Delphi NAV200 is an affordable GPS that recently came onto the market with some quality features that allow you to get to where you’re going. The small form factor is appealing and the use of the SiRF star III chipset is a mark of quality for pulling in the sometimes-tough satellite signals. The unit has a lot of features in this little package, including navigation, media player capability (movie/MP3), photo viewer, as well as packing in a reverse game, a calculator and a world clock. In my use, the unit provided sound directions and navigation, never getting me lost, but there were some user interface concerns and some usability things that were concerning. ArrowContinue reading: "Review: Delphi NAV200"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

    Mio C310x - the upgrade to the Mio C310

    MioC310GPS.JPG

    Update: Mio Has Announced a Map Update for the Mio C310X! - 6/29/07

    There has been a lot of traffic and news looking at the Black Friday GPS Deals that are coming the day after Thanksgiving, and well Black Friday is here. For breaking news and an update check out Black Friday GPS Mop Up - the Mio C310x Fest.

    Update: See our Review of the new Mio C310x GPS
    Update: I talked with Mio and got an update on Map fixes and more. See the post.

    I used the Mio C310 back in the summer, and liked it a lot. This is not a low quality GPS; these folks are for real. (Read my Review on the Mio C310) I happen to be using the Mio H610 right now (been too busy to announce it), and it is using the Mio branded iGo navigation engine from PDAMill. I will say that I like it a lot, and that the interface is fairly clean and easy to navigate. From what I can remember and from what I can tell from using the Mio H610, I would say that this is a good improvement. Hardware is the same on the two; still SiRF star III chipset with a flat form factor and a decent touchscreen.

    Update: I have posted my Review of the Mio H610, which uses the same basic navigation software as the new C310x. Check it out for insight into how this new software performs.

    Here are some key changes that will help you compare the Mio C310 vs the Mio C310x:

  • The C310x uses Mio Map mapping software (a Mio-branded version of iGo)—bringing a completely different look & feel to the user interface. The C310x continues to use the same underlying Tele Atlas map database (not quite as good as the NAVTEQ; but getting better).
  • The C310x offers pre-loaded US maps (50 US States + Guam & Puerto Rico), with Canadian maps on an included DVD (We now know that these Canadian maps are not there.
  • The C310x still offers an MP3 player, which can play while navigating
  • The C310x software supports additional viewing modes (horizon tilt, zoom & pan while in 3D mode), pedestrian navigation mode, as well as other UI customization options
  • The Mio C310x does omit the A/C charger in the box, and you’ll have to decide if it’s a big loss. A lot of people who bought the Mio C310X got an AC charger. The data from Mio is mixed if the Mio C310x is supposed to have an AC charger.


    Didn't get what you wanted? Need some guidance on what GPS to buy? - Check out our Holiday GPS Buying Guide

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (75) | social bookmarking
  • Price Watch - Nuvi 660 at $749

    Garmin_Nuvi_660
    So, while Amazon has been flirting with low prices two places are actually doing it. The Garmin Nuvi 660 is potentially the must have GPS this year, and I personally think that it's the best GPS I have ever used (read my Review of Garmin Nuvi 660). Anyway, enough of the praise, but I have been frustrated with the pricing that's all over the place no this model.

    Two places I have recently seen it for a great price:

  • GPSNow also has the Nuvi 660 at $749 and a lot of my readers have told me that they are happy with their prompt service and fast shipping.

  • BJ's is a north east club chain from about Maryland to New England. I was in BJ's this past weekend and they had a pallet of Nuvi 660's available at $749 (the boxes were empty to prevent theft, but they had a ton behind the counter).

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
  • Garmin Zumo is Shipping!

    garminzumo.jpg

    The Zumo's are here, the Zumo's are here! Hey so for everyone waiting on a Zumo 550, I just got word from GPSNow that they are coming in and will ship today or tomorrow if you get an order in ASAP. This motorcycle focused GPS is rugged and ready for the ride with design features that work on the road like: a touchscreen that works with gloved hands, water resistant, and Bluetooth enabled to transmit commands to a helmet. Others have realized that the very flexible routing and its ability to manipulate routes and tracks on the computer are an attractive feature.

    More at GPSNow

    Still taking pre-orders at Amazon

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    Geocaching with your Mobile Phone

    Trimble announced that it has a new application for your mobile phone that will allow you to use the GPS-enabled phone for geocaching. While this is a nice move to involve those without a handheld device, it somehow sends the vision of a bunch of mobile phone talking idiots out there in the mud getting their italian loafers all dirty. Anyway, I suppose if you aren't cut out for walking in the woods, you wouldn't dream of trying it. This adds to Trimble's set of mobile phone based GPS programs including a training aid and an off-road navigation program.

    ArrowContinue reading: "Geocaching with your Mobile Phone"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    November 13, 2006

    Garmin Launches New Marine Units - GPSMAP 4008, 4012, 545, and 400 series

    garmingpsmap4040.jpg
    Not exactly what I usually cover, but I thought I would put this up. Garmin has launched some pretty interesting marine units with some cool capabilities for the (above) average boater. Lots of technology coming into play here with 3-d mapping above and below the water line, satellite image capable, and XM weather mapping feeds. Some pretty interesting features here for the marine side, where things can cost a lot. Any hope of this making its way to the consumer portable navigation devices? Please? (Press Release Follows)

    Garmin announced a new and completely redesigned line of chartplotters, sonar, and charting that offers powerful features, state-of-the-art satellite photo-generated cartography, and a sleek user interface and design. The products were introduced today at the 2006 Marine Equipment Trade Show (METS) in Amsterdam.

    ArrowContinue reading: "Garmin Launches New Marine Units - GPSMAP 4008, 4012, 545, and 400 series"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    New GPS: Harmon Kardon Guide + Play GPS-500

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    Harman Kardon is going to enter the US market with a GPS in the new year. The Harmon Kardon Guide + Play will offer a 4 inch screen and a built in media viewer. The unit will offer the ability to sort music on attributes like artist, genre, etc. The HK Guide + Play can also plat MPEG4 and WMV files in case you want to watch movies on the trip.... Like other companies entering the US market, this is expected to be the first in a series of GPS navigation systems for Harmon Kardon. The unit will take up to 4GB SD cards, and will hold up to a 5 hour charge on its internal battery. The unit will launch in January - $499 List price.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Geocaching gone Bad

    A lot of people with handheld GPS units have at least heard about Geocaching, and many have participated in the hide and seek game of finding hidden treasures via latitude and longitudinal coordinates. Well, one geocaching event recently went bad. Some Geocachers were searching out the Cache, "Don't be a Horses..." and apparently some of the local citizen's were concerned that the cache was a bomb. Apparently, the cache is located outside a bank, and after the police, the bomb squad, and the FBI got involved things were finally resolved.

    ReadMore

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    November 12, 2006

    Review: Garmin GPSMap 60CSx Arrives for Review

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    The Garmin GPSMap 60CSx handheld GPS arrived for review here at the old GPS Lodge and we're happy to take it on a few outings to test it. The Garmin 60 CSx is the top of the line handheld GPS out of the Garmin shop, and recently won the Gear of the Year award from Outside Magazine. The unit comes packed with a lot of features and is able to help you get there and back in style.

    UPDATE: See our Review of the Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx

    ArrowContinue reading: "Review: Garmin GPSMap 60CSx Arrives for Review"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

    October Mailing List Winner

    We are happy to announce our Mailing List winner for October; George from Kentucky. He said he stops by the GPS lodge to keep up with timely GPS news, and says his dream GPS would be a Nuvi type device with traffic and weather overlays. I agree, the technology is there, and knowing where and when weather is going to hit can be a big help in a small portable device. George is no stranger to GPS units either, he’s got an Alpine Blackbird and a Holux GPSlim paired with a T-Mobile Dash that’s running Mapopolis and TomTom… Enjoy the Gift Certificate George.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    November 10, 2006

    What is TomTom Plus?

    tomtomlogo2.jpg
    The TomTom PLUS services are a great way for you to get more out of your TomTom. If you have a Bluetooth connected data capable phone you can download all sorts of things while on the go with your TomTom. A lot of the services cost money, but that's OK when you see what you can get. You can download additional maps, new voices, weather updates and forecasts, and live traffic feeds. While TomTom is getting into TMC traffic feeds, they are and have been primarily using the TomTom PLUS service through bluetooth phones to get you live traffic. In the US, the same traffic provider gets you the traffic data, so there is no data difference in what you are getting.

    You can use TomTom PLUS services from any of the units currently on the market: The TomTom ONE, the TomTom GO 510, or the GO 910.

    More at TomTom

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (3) | social bookmarking

    Steals and Deals on GPS's -11/10

    The news this week was that TomTom is planning a Holiday $50 discount campaign. Can you wait to get your hands on the TomTom ONE? A $50 discount might make it more attractive - program to start 11/22/06. See our Review of the TomTom ONE


    Deals on GPS's. Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Recently stumbled across the low price on the Mio C310 - less than $400 - check out our review of it, and consider it at this very motivating price.
  • Magellan RoadMate 760 - Price drops on this brings it to about $360!

  • Garmin Nuvi 660 Recent Price easing to $829, still well shy of the $1000 list price. - See our review - It's the best GPS I have used.
  • Garmin Nuvi 350– recent price drops put it around $529.
  • Garmin Nuvi 360 is now around $589; breaking the $600 barrier.
  • Garmin StreetPilot C330 – Now below $400 for this very capable, maps pre-loaded device. Earlier this spring this was selling for the mid-to upper $400’s.
  • Garmin StreetPilot C340 – Also price dropped, now selling for around $460. Optional traffic capability. See our review.

  • "2 'fer" Deal at MotionBased - Not really a deal on a GPS, but if you buy a year's subscription to the GPS fitness service, you get a second one free.

    More after the jump....

    ArrowContinue reading: "Steals and Deals on GPS's -11/10"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
  • Garmin Store Opens Tomorrow

    GarminStoreOpening.jpg

    Garmin has been counting down the days to the world's first and only Garmin Store set to open in Chicago in time for the busy holiday rush. 2nd_floor_outdoormarine.jpg

    The grand opening is tomorrow and from the looks of things and reports out of the Garmin camp, they are sparing no expense (except maybe those construction pylons holding up the caution tape). Anyway, it should be interesting to see what's inside. The store will be a well designed, but sparse environment, not unlike an Apple store, where units are featured in elegance and the emphasis is on quality and style. If you stop by, let us know what you think, and pick up a limited edition T-shirt.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Magellan RoadMate 300 vs. 360 vs. 700 vs. 760 vs. 800 vs. 860T

    So with the launch of several new Magellan GPS devices lately, there seems to be a fire sale on their older RoadMate units. The familiar units are going for some unbelievable prices online. Since they aren’t featuring these on their website anymore, one has to think that they are going away. Here’s a run-down of the models to know what you are looking at:

    Magellan RoadMate 300 – 3.5 inch touchscreen interface, you load the maps onto 128MB of internal, but ideally onto your own big SD card from your PC so that you can navigate the country without re-loading another region, voice prompted turn directions, comes with map software, and the ability to hook up to your PC via USB cable. (Not a total great buy as Amazon is dropping prices faster than the other sellers.)

    Magellan RoadMate 360 – moving up from the RM300, this model adds pre-loaded maps and Points of Interest on an SD card. You still get touchscreen and voice prompted navigation.

    Magellan RoadMate 700 – Better screen and Quickspell input minimizes typing while finding a POI or town.

    Magellan RoadMate 760 – Builds on the RM700 and has automatic light and volume adjustments, so the RM760 changes brightness based on ambient light, and ups the volume as you go faster to counter the road noise.

    Magellan RoadMate 800 - Has up to 6 million POI’s, and has the SmartDetour feature that allows you to recalculate a new route around slow situations. Also adds an MP3 player and a photo viewer.

    Magellan RoadMate 860T - adds on TMC traffic feed capability; comes with 15 months of traffic feeds for free.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    November 9, 2006

    Review: Lowrance iWay 250C

    lowrance250c.jpg

    The Lowrance iWay 250C was recently announced and has been doing well in the market as a value GPS that has a lot of nice features in a great flat form factor. While the unit is small it's not small on features, including a 3.5 inch touch screen, pre-loaded maps on the unit for the US and Canada, as well as more than 4.5 million Points of Interest (POI). We reviewed the Lowrance iWay 350C last year and found it to be very customizable in terms of the amount and type of data you wanted to have displayed. The iWay 250C is similar, and has the ability to load up or slim down on the data fields.

    ArrowContinue reading: "Review: Lowrance iWay 250C"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    Helio Drift - GPS enabled phone with Google Maps Built in

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    Interesting news in the GPS enabled mobile phone area with the announcement of the new Helio Drift slider phone. The unit comes equipped with a GPS receiver and the ability to run Google Maps and get door to door directions. The unit also supports buddy beacons that allow you to see where friends are, calling it a "Friendar". The unit also comes loaded with a lot of other nice features that round out a decent mobile phone offering. What's that sound I hear? I think it's the sound of 20-somethings walking away from stand-alone GPS units.

    More at Helio
    Via

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    More Garmin Ads.... Funnier than the last

    So Garmin is showing off their clever holiday ads coming to a TV You-Tube connected computer near you. They are featuring the Garmin Nuvi 660 (See our review of the Garmin Nuvi 660) in its widescreen glory. While the first one had some goofy guy getting lost on the way to a party, this one has a unibrow faced woman searching for all of her presents and holiday needs. Of course with the traffic feed equipped Garmin Nuvi 660, she passes poor santa who is stuck and getting a ticket. Well worth a view.




    Via Garmin Blog

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    November 8, 2006

    Dash Express with Inrix Live Traffic Feeds

    Update: Read all All of the Latest news on the Dash Express Shipping 3/27/08!
    Update: Now at Amazon: Dash Express $399


    dash_express.jpg


    Dash Navigation has announced that they have selected Inrix as their provider for real-time traffic flow data in their upcoming GPS launch in the new year. Recall, Dash Navigation previously announced the first consumer GPS with two-way communication so that it can send location information and then receive relevant traffic and Point of Interest (POI) information back.

    The Dash Express device will go on sale in California in the first quarter of 2007 and roll nationally in the summer.

    The unit has the potential to be a breakthrough device, with an onboard cellular radio and WiFi capability to communicate with the Dash servers and collect not only traffic data, but extra POI information that may be available only on the internet. Yesterday, I talked with both Brian Mistele, CEO of Inrix and Steve Wollenberg, founder and current VP at Dash, and learned quite a bit about the collaboration. So, the other novel aspect of the Dash Express device is that it has pre-loaded historic traffic flow data for major metro areas allowing it to calculate the best route not only based on your preferences, but historic traffic patterns and real-time Inrix based traffic flow data. Very advanced, with the potential for more.

    ArrowContinue reading: "Dash Express with Inrix Live Traffic Feeds"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Inrix Enters European Traffic Flow Data Market


    Inrix, announced today the availability of real-time traffic flow data for key cities within the United Kingdom. Data will be supplied by ITIS Holdings, the UK’s leading provider of traffic flow information and Inrix will have access to traffic for London, Manchester, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Leeds and Liverpool in Q4, 2006. This appears to set the stage for Inrix to do more and more high quality traffic feed data in key markets outside the US.

    ArrowContinue reading: "Inrix Enters European Traffic Flow Data Market"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    New GPS: Sanyo Easy Street NVM-4030

    NVM-4030.jpg
    Sanyo has announced the Sanyo Easy Street NVM-4030 GPS for the US market. An advanced GPS with a not so advanced price of $399. The unit has a 4 inch screen and Bluetooth handsfree calling capability. The flat form factor Sanyo NVM-4030 combines highly-accurate GPS navigation with a NAVTEQ digital map database featuring over 1.4 million points of interest to conveniently find the locations of airports, gas stations, restaurants, banks and hospitals along the route among other popular destinations, as well as the SiRF star III chipset.

    ArrowContinue reading: "New GPS: Sanyo Easy Street NVM-4030"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (4) | social bookmarking

    November 7, 2006

    SiRF settles suit with u-Nav

    SiRF, makers of the SiRF star III chipset, settled their patent suit with u-Nav in a settlement that has u-Nav paying an undisclosed amount of money and the two companies offering each other cross-license deals on several patents. I've seen situations like this, where both companies are either infringing or close to infringing on patents and with a big cross license deal and a little cash to grease the skids, everyone comes out happy. If you red between the lines, it looks like SiRF did well here:

    "The settlement of this lawsuit reflects our determination to protect our intellectual property," said Nicolas S. Gikkas, Chief Intellectual Property Counsel of SiRF.

    "We are pleased to reach this settlement with SiRF in a timely and equitable manner," said Greg Winner, CEO at u-Nav. "We have respect for the intellectual property created by SiRF over the last decade, and are pleased to have obtained a license to SiRF's core GPS technology."

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Garmin Enters LBS Market With Garmin LBS Toolkit

    newgarminlogo.jpg
    Garmin is moving to solidify its role in mobile phone solutions by launching a location based service, or LBS, toolkit that will allow providers to incorporate Garmin's navigation capabilities into their service offerings. A long standing question in my mind has been the GPS titans' roles in the emerging market for mobile phone applications. With this move, it appears that Garmin is continuing to make sure that mobile phones are inside their circle of influence. It's my point of view that giving solid navigation directions is fairly easy, but that having an easy to use interface integrated with a solid dataset is not, and that's what Garmin can bring to the party here.

    The other thing that is interesting here is that it reminded me of the gas price advisor functionality in the Garmin mobile product. Inrix recently announced that they were going to offer fuel price data through their datafeeds (they provide traffic data through most GPS systems in the US). While it may take a while to get Gas price data to your GPS system, this release here reminds me that Garmin knows this is a nice offering and if the technical hurdles could be cleared, they'd like to see it in a new product too. I think that would be great.

    More on the press release below:

    ArrowContinue reading: "Garmin Enters LBS Market With Garmin LBS Toolkit"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    November 6, 2006

    NAVTEQ to Acquire Traffic.com

    trafficdotcomlogo.gif

    Reasonably big news in the GPS mapping and data feed world, as NAVTEQ has agreed to purchase Traffic.com, provider of traffic data feeds to media outlets around the country. The purchase price is about $179 million.

    This creates an interesting situation. Inrix is also a supplier of traffic data around the US, and is in a position that many believe is superior to Traffic.com’s position, technology-wise. One has to wonder if Inrix will stay as only a traffic provider or will they join up with TeleAtlas, the other major mapping force in the world.

    More from the Traffic.com Press Releas below::

    ArrowContinue reading: "NAVTEQ to Acquire Traffic.com"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    GPS Review: Averatec Voya 350

    averatecvoya350.jpg
    Another review of the bargain priced Averatec Voya 350 has hit the web and I thought I would pass it along. This one reads a little bit like the reviewer is going easy on them, as he cites slow speed and a few operating system crashes as "minor complaints". The unit does have some solid stats and features, and the unit does sound like it's easy to use and well laid out.

    The review says: "With a direct price of $380, the Averatec Voya 350 offers lots of bang for the buck. I expected that this bargain price, which doesn't include a $30 rebate if you order before the end of the year, would mean a boatload of compromises but was surprised to find Voya provides all the essentials: a SiRFstarIII GPS receiver, a generous points-of-interest database, and a simple touch-screen interface."

    ReadMore at InformationWeek

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Mio C250

    mio-c250-gps.jpg
    Mio has introduced in the UK, a value priced GPS that has some impressive features at an impressive price. The best feature I see is that it's from Mio, which I believe is one of the second tier GPS brands that's worth watching. I say that because in using the Mio Digiwalker C310 earlier this year, they got a lot right, which is more than I can say for a lot of the brands that don't come out from the GPS Titans. The unit comes with a 400mHz CPU, a 3.5 inch screen and the SiRF star III chipset. It will play MP3's too. It's priced at 170 Pounds or about $325 US. The flat form factor and the SiRF Star III chipset at this price should turn some heads.

    I will say that from the picture, the unit seems to have gone to some well done icon based navigation around the unit's menus, but the bar down the left side along with icons down the right seem to crowd out the map a bit.

    Via

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    Garmin vs. TomTom - Round I

    Well, this saga isn't over, but the court at the Hague decided last week that Garmin did not infringe on TomTom design patens covering the look of the TomTom device. This appears to be a blow to TomTom who had hoped to stem the flow of Garmin devices in the European market. TomTom was ordered to pay 37,000 euros to Garmin to cover their lawyer expenses. The ruling allows Garmin to continue to sell the Garmin StreetPilot C300 and C500 series GPS units in Europe where TomTom alleged that Garmin designed the StreetPilots to be a me-too rip off of the TomTom GO line. What's next? Well there are still lawsuits outstanding, where Garmin alleges that TomTom has infringed on Garmin patents covering routing algorithms.

    Information from Garmin's press release follows:

    ArrowContinue reading: "Garmin vs. TomTom - Round I"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    November 3, 2006

    Review: Garmin Nuvi 660

    Garmin_Nuvi_660
    Another strong review for the Garmin Nuvi 660 has surfaced; this time from the UK. I think that this is significant because Garmin has a long way to go on the European continent where they trail rival TomTom by a wide margin, upwards to 35% share of the market. We reviewed the Garmin Nuvi 660 in October, and I thought it was the best GPS I have ever used. BIOS simply says, “The Nuvi 660 is a great GPS unit….You’ll pay to get this performance, but if you can stretch your budget you won’t regret it.”

    I think that they are right on.

    UPDATE: I have posted my Review of the New Nuvi 680

    Read My Review of the Garmin Nuvi 660

    Read more on the Review of the Garmin Nuvi 660 at Bios

    If you want to compare the Garmin Nuvi line check out our article: Garmin Nuvi: Compare the Nuvi 350 vs. 360 vs. 660


    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Review: Navman F20

    navmanf20.jpg
    Navman recently introduced an affordable product to the market in the Navman F20, a unit that flirts with the $300 price level in some online shops. So, do you get a bargain or a bad GPS for that?

    The compact Navman F20 is a compact feature solid GPS that has an accurate direction engine, but in a recent review it was found that the Navman F20 has an outdated POI database, and a smallish, weak speaker. The slim and very portable unit is easily swapped from car to car, and has some easy to use navigation buttons on the housing that gets you quickly to some core functions, like finding gas or parking. The unit ships with maps pre-loaded on a 2GB SD card, and with some easy set-up you are ready to navigate out of the box. You get voice prompted navigation but not text to speech that is found in higher end units, so it won’t say most street names.

    ArrowContinue reading: "Review: Navman F20"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

    November 2, 2006

    Lowrance iWay 600C GPS with Satellite Images

    iWAY-600c-SAT_xlarge.jpg

    In what may be one of the cooler developments in the GPS world, Lowrance has released more info on their Lowrance iWay 600C that is expected to not only have great navigation but satellite imagery overlays of major metro areas as well. This could very well be the first step to navigating through a 3-dimensional replica of the real world complete with images of buildings and more. It’s a lot of information to digest, glad to see it on a huge screen – the screen is a 5” color touchscreen. All that satellite data plus road maps, plus 5.5 million POI’s plus 3,000 enhanced US lake maps, plus high detail charts for the Great Lakes and the coastal water ways with nav-aids all site on a 30GB hard drive, with 5GB available for you and your MP3’s. List Price is around $799 – no word on availability.

    More at Lowrance

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    November 1, 2006

    New GPS: MyGuide 4300

    myguide4300.jpg

    A new GPS is out under the My Guide brand name, the new MyGuide 4300. Jumping on the widescreen bandwagon, this 4.3” widescreen unit is powered by TeleAtlas maps and the SiRF star III chipset. It’s a Windows powered GPS unit that has pre-loaded maps on an SD card and is powered by a 400 mHz chip for fast route calculations and audible turn instructions. It is also a personal media player, playing MP3 and MP4 files, as well as being a picture viewer.

    Readmore at MyGuide

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Monthly Round-up for October 2006

    Looking back at October, we ran across a lot of reviews on several models, and wrote up two reviews on key models ourselves: The Garmin Nuvi 660 and the TomTom ONE. There werwe several new products announced, including a new Sony NV-U51 and a new Nokia 330. People seemed to enjoy our comparisons of the Nuvi Line and the StreetPilot Line. Finally, a of people seemed to like what we had to say about what TomTom and Garmin should do with their product lines. Thanks for a great month.

    Reviews

  • Review: Garmin Nuvi 660 Review by the GPS Lodge
  • Review: TomTom ONE Review by GPS Lodge
  • Palm GPS Navigator Smartphone Edition Review
  • Review: Mio P350 PDA/GPS
  • Review: Magellan RoadMate 3050T
  • Review: Magellan RoadMate 6000T
  • Review: Delphi NAV200 Arrives for Review
  • Review: HTC P3300 GPS SmartPhone (with TomTom On Board) Review
  • Review: Garmin Forerunner 305
  • Review: Mio P550 PDA/GPS

    New Products

  • New GPS: Sony NV-U51
  • New GPS: Nokia 330
  • Magellan CrossoverGPS (Formerly the GPS known as the RoadMate2500T)
  • New GPS: Navman F20
  • Medion GoPal PNA 460, 465, 470 Widescreen GPS
  • Pioneer AVIC-HD1BT GPS System - With Voice Recognition
  • Microsoft Streets & Trips 2007

    Comparisons

  • Garmin Nuvi: Compare the Nuvi 350 vs. 360 vs. 660
  • Garmin StreetPilot C-series: Compare the C320 vs. C330 vs. C340 vs. C530 vs. C550

    Editorials

  • Editorial: 8 Things I would do if I were TomTom
  • Editorial: 11 things I would do if I were Garmin

    Don’t forget: $50 off TomTom's this Holiday Season

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
  • Garmin Earnings and Profit up

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    Garmin reported strong earnings again for this past quarter, reflecting a strong demand for their GPS systems. Revenue was up 62% and profit was up 19%, but excluding foreign exchange effects it was up 56% over 2005. The strong results were as a result of 168% sales growth in the automotive segment, and
    To a lesser degree the other segments in which Garmin competes. Overall, Garmin sold 1.227 million GPS units, up 73% from year ago numbers. For those of you keeping score that’s about the same number of units sold as TomTom’s numbers, but considering that TomTom doesn’t compete in all the segments that Garmin does, who wins? You decide. I’m impressed with the growth of both.

    It sounds like their production facilities are going all out to keep up with demand and they expect a healthy Holiday sales period during the fourth quarter. They have announced over 60 new products this year, on their way to 70; so stay tuned for more announcements for new GPS units. Expect that these new products are not going to have a major impact on holiday sales, as it’s getting late to announce, ship and sell through anything new by this point.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Garmin GPS Holiday Commercial

    So Garmin has a new spot for the holidays where they are featuring the Garmin Nuvi 660 (See our review of the Garmin Nuvi 660) in its widescreen wonderment. The spot plays on your fears of getting lost in the snowy night and going through some bad neighborhoods and never getting to where you're going. My only thought is that I have had GPS units route me through bad neighborhoods getting me to where I am going, and Garmin never really showed the upside of the GPS as the solution. The tune is well done, and catchy. Try it out.

    I wonder if TomTom is planning anything similar, to coincide with their "GiveGive" Promotion that offers $50 off TomTom GPS units and starts later in November.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Magellan CrossoverGPS (The GPS Formerly Known as the RoadMate2500T)

    magellancrossovergps.jpg
    Magellan introduced their new Magellan CrossoverGPS, previously called the RoadMate 2500T, paving the way for multi-talented GPS units to strut their stuff both on the road and in the wilderness. The unit is pre-loaded with streetmaps and TOPO maps, and is waterproof to get you from your front door to the cabin door in comfort. This should be an interesting implementation and one that might do well as an auto gps, but suffer the consequences of trying to do too much when taken off-road. My key concern would be size, but I’ll delay judgment until I see the unit and use it.

    More information from the press release follows:

    ArrowContinue reading: "Magellan CrossoverGPS (The GPS Formerly Known as the RoadMate2500T)"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    TeleAtlas Revenue Up, Earnings off

    teleatlaslogo.jpg
    TeleAtlas release their earnings and things are looking all right for the popular map data provider. Their revenue was up 29% but their net loss expanded as they continue to invest into other markets, specifically China. Tele Atlas provides digital maps and location-based content to leading personal navigation providers such as TomTom, Mio, Navman and ViaMichelin. Tele Atlas was also selected by Nokia to provide the digital map data for the Nokia N95, the company’s first GPS-enabled multimedia device. They weren’t selected as the provider of maps for the Nokia stand-alone GPS, the Nokia 330, which must have them concerned that Nokia may jump ship on them. Just goes to show you that it’s a competitive market.

    ReadMore at TeleAtlas

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Magellan RoadMate AAA RS2.0

    Magellan, announced partnerships with four of the largest regional AAA clubs to make a customized version of the award-winning Magellan RoadMate portable auto navigation products available to AAA members. We recently saw Rand McNally launch a branded GPS of their own dropping helpful travel content into a GPS in the form of ready-made road trips. The AAA club is famous for their travel information, and the fact that they have access to millions of car-centric people in their clubs. Looks like they may just access those wallets with this one.

    Press Release Follows:

    ArrowContinue reading: "Magellan RoadMate AAA RS2.0"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
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