November 30, 2007

Bluetooth Handsfree for an extra $1 - Garmin Nuvi 360 Deal

Nuvi350sm.jpg

Amazon pricing is all over the place, and today we find the Garmin Nuvi 360 ($327) available for just about $1 more than its sibling the Nuvi 350 ($326). You want a text to speech unit with North American Maps, high sensitivity GPS receiver, and a dead simple interface? Check out the Garmin Nuvi 360. It's only an extra buck.

At Amazon the Nuvi 360 (with Bluetooth Handsfree) or the Nuvi 350

Check out My Review of the Nuvi 360


For all more Holiday GPS Gift Picks see my

GPS Holiday Gift Guide



Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

November 29, 2007

Google Maps with My Location - Non-GPS Solution

Google has rolled out a beta for its Google Maps Mobile that allows anyone with a select set of phones to use Google Maps on that phone and get their location. The technology isn’t relying on GPS signals, but instead relying on its mapping and understanding of mobile phone towers. The software will still pull in GPS signals if your phone has them.

In pulling it up this morning on my phone, I was able to get the new 2.0 version of the application (go to www.google.com/gmm) and about 10 seconds after the maps loaded on the screen there I was – a little blue dot on the screen. The only problem is that I was set as an “Approximate Location to within 1700 meters”. Ouch – not bad in the country, but let’s see later what it’s like in the city. Just for reference, I can pull up my location on a GPS +/- about 10 feet. The other issue is that for a while it was jumping around, presumably as it found itself associated with different cell towers. Hey, it’s a beta, and I’ll take it for now.

Update: Just as bad int he city. Sitting in downtown Boston, I get Location within 1700 meters..... and that covers most of downtown; from Cheers all the way to Southie, and from the Aquarium way into the Back Bay. Good luck getting directions that make sense there.

In other news, Google is trying to solve Global Warming……. wow.

More on Google Maps with My Location

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

November 28, 2007

Three Easy Tips to Avoid that New GPS from Being Stolen


With lots of people are getting new GPS units during the holiday season, there will most likely be a surge in GPS thefts as a result. Police in our area near Boston are already talking about thieves hitting crowded malls and picking up a few GPS units that are hanging prominently on windshields left and right. Easy pickings and easy to re-sell them.

Avoid GPS Theft:
1) Take the GPS and its mount off the windshield/dash and stow it.
2) Take the GPS with you for an extra level of pre-caution.
3) Consider wiping the suction cup marks off the windshield with a soft cloth – they can tip off thieves that there’s something valuable in the car.

TomTom recommends that you take your GPS with you, with a little graphic that reminds you when you power down. Garmin has done so far as to offer a feature called Garmin Lock - a PIN code needs to be entered into the unit before it can be used, rendering it useless to thieves (You can also go to your "Home" and the GPS will unlock as a result of being there.)


GarminNuvi200Ad468.jpg

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

November 27, 2007

Don't Forget: Win a Garmin Nuvi 260 from GPS Lodge

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Sign up NOW for your chance to win a new GPS in the GPS Lodge Holiday GPS Giveaway. This year, we’ll be giving away a Garmin Nuvi 260, a new slim Nuvi with Text to Speech.

I reviewed the Nuvi 200/250/270 - and really liked it; the Nuvi 260 adds text to speech, which is just a great feature to have.

After reading all the comments and all the emails, we decided to give away a unit that seemed to fit a lot of needs:

  • Maps of North America
  • Dead Simple Interface
  • Text-to-speech (TTS) – says road names
  • Great customer support
  • 6 Million POI
  • Flat design to pack light and easy.


    So, sign up on our mailing list and we will draw one subscriber’s name on Monday December 17th, so that we can get it out in time for you to drive through the woods to Grandma’s house…..

    Already on our Mailing List? You already qualify!

    Just put your email address in the box below and hit “Subscribe”. Good Luck!

    Enter your Email


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    For all more Holiday GPS Gift Picks see my

    GPS Holiday Gift Guide



    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
  • November 27, 2007

    Holiday Gift Guide Highlight: TomTom GO 720

    I wanted to highlight the TomTom GO 720 today – a higher end pick from my Holiday GPS Gift Guide. The TomTom GO 720 was just recently launched and comes in above the TomTom ONE line with some premium features that make life nice. With the $100 off through the TomTom GiveGive program, the price is pretty nice on these units these days (Usually a $100 instant rebate/price rollback).

    TomTomGO720sm.jpgThe TomTom GO 720 offers Bluetooth Handsfree capability, Text to Speech (TTS), in a widescreen unit with a high sensitivity GPS chipset. The TomTom GO also offers the ability to record your own voice for the turn prompts. It will walk you through the 50 or so prompts that you can record, and then use as an added (non-TTS) “voice” to guide you. Very fun and pretty easy. The TomTom GO 720 also has a couple of features that can make it a pretty good bet.

  • Help Me! is a button that gets you quickly to a list of emergency places with information you may need in case they need to find you.

  • MapShare is a program that allows you to make minor changes to the maps on your unit and share them with the larger community. The changes are policed and you should benefit from these changes as more and more users come online and connect up to make the world a better-mapped place.

    At Amazon the TomTom GO 720



    For all more Holiday GPS Gift Picks see my

    GPS Holiday Gift Guide



    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking
  • November 26, 2007

    Garmin Nuvi 660 - $399 at Amazon

    GarminNuvi660sm.jpg
    Amazon is certainly kicking off the Holiday Season right with a great deal on one of the best units out there; The Garmin Nuvi 660 - $399. The Nuvi 660 comes with a TMC traffic receiver and the antenna is integrated into the power plug, so there are no extra wires to hang onto or have flapping around the dashboard. The unit comes with 3 month trial subscription on the TMC traffic and it will cost about $60 a year after that (pretty standard). It's optional, so if you don't want it, don't pay the subscription.

    The unit is a bright widescreen unit with maps of North America, Text to Speech (TTS), and Bluetooth handsfree mobile phone capability. For more information read my Full Review of the Nuvi 660 .

    Amazon has some wildly swinging prices these days as they work through short inventory and a public that is all to happy to gobble up great deals. This won't last for long.

    at Amazon the Garmin Nuvi 660



    For all more Holiday GPS Gift Picks see my

    GPS Holiday Gift Guide




    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    Limited Time - More GPS Deals at Tiger Direct

    DeLormeBundle.gif
    There are several GPS units on sale at Tiger Direct and Tiger GPS. Check out the selection of units including the Garmin Nuvi 260 GPSiconfor $249, and the DeLorme PN-20 Bundle with Topo Maps and an SD Card and Reader for $299.

    Check out all the GPS Deals This Week
    icon at Tiger Direct.


    Thanks Mike for sending this in.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    November 25, 2007

    Holiday Gift Guide Highlight: Nuvi 200/250

    I thought I would walk through a few of the models on my GPS Holiday Gift Guide to offer a little more insight into them. GarminNuvi200sm.jpgToday we look at the Garmin Nuvi 200 and the Nuvi 250, a relatively new line of units from Garmin.

    Both are entry level Garmin units, that are thin and flat. Prices online are generally <$250 for these, and reflect the best you can get in a top notch interface and trustworthy unit.

    The Nuvi 200 has maps of the continental US + Puerto Rico and Hawaii. The Nuvi 250 has maps of all of North America (adds Canada and Alaska). Neither have Text to Speech, but they do have clear spoken voices and offer accurate turn indications at appropriate distances before the turns.

    The unit is quick to calculate routes and grab a satellite signal. It comes in a slim sleek design with no pop-up patch antenna like the older Garmin Nuvi 300 series. The easy interface that greets you with a "Where to?" and "View Map" choices is an easy way to get into the unit and get going. Definitely my pick for easy to use and easy on the pocketbook.

    See my full review on the Garmin Nuvi 200/250/270.

    At Amazon: Garmin Nuvi 200 and Garmin Nuvi 250.

    Compare Prices on the Compare Garmin Nuvi 200
    or the Garmin Nuvi 250


    For all more Holiday GPS Gift Picks see my

    GPS Holiday Gift Guide



    Wal-Mart.com USA, LLC
    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    TomTom GiveGive - $100 Rebate

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    TomTom has a pretty big promotion going on right now. This includes $100 off most GPS units all over the place. Didn’t get $100 off? Well then you’ll be entitled to a $100 rebate. The list of stores giving Instant Rebates is long, so if you bought a TomTom ONE for $125 this past weekend, don’t expect that you will get another $100 off. Valid purchase dates now through 1/5/08; postmarked by 2/6.

    Head on over to the TomTom Site for more info, or download the rebate form (PDF) here.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    November 23, 2007

    Black Friday Mop-up - 2007

    Happy Black Friday Folks; Thought I would post on the Black Friday Mop Up, to see how folks did and let you know what I was up to.

    I went to Staples, and picked up a whole lot of back-up hard drives to bolster the system here at GPSLodge. I also got shut out on GPS units.

    Last year, no one was talking GPS, this year, everyone was talking GPS - 20-somethings and chain smoking grannies. Big difference a year makes.


    Didn't get what you wanted or need recommendations -

    Check out out GPS Holiday Gift Guide



    TomTom ONE 3rd - I was there at 4:50AM this morning, and could have gotten a TomTom ONE 3rd edition; they were handing out tickets. The woman behind me really wanted one and since it was going to be her first GPS, I let her have the last TomTom ONE ticket. Looked like they had maybe a dozen units. Still onsale; TomTom ONE at Amazon for $149 now, or TomTom ONE 3rd at $169 with a leather carrying case and home charger.

    Navigon 2100t – Totally sold out in minutes. They had a couple dozen on hand and they went fast. People were buying more than one, as there were no limits on the amount.

    Navigon 2100 Price Match (PM) – I asked the manager about PM on the $179 price I paid last week, and he agreed to. So, I got some money back, but could not get the free traffic option/deal.

    Garmin Nuvi 260 – Sold out fast. I wanted to buy one for a gift this year. I was hoping that they would be around longer with the higher price tag, but the units sold out and they couldn’t order any online either. Bummer. I guess I won’t be buying this gift at Staples this year. See Nuvi 260 Amazon has a lower price on them today - $295; down from yesterday.

    Magellan 3100 – People wanted these and they sold out. Folks were ordering them at the store for delivery. Guess they didn’t read my review.

    Mio C230 - Another strong unit for Black Friday (Not at Staples) - TTS, and a good entry level unit - still $139. Mio C230 at TigerDirect
    icon


    Leave a Comment
    How was your Black Friday Experience? What did you get? What did you get locked out of?

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (40) | social bookmarking

    Win a Garmin Nuvi 260 from GPSLodge

    Nuvi260withBow.jpg
    Sign upNOW for your chance to win a new GPS in the GPS Lodge Holiday GPS Giveaway. This year, we’ll be giving away a Garmin Nuvi 260, a new slim Nuvi with Text to Speech.

    I reviewed the Nuvi 200/250/270 - and really liked it; the Nuvi 260 adds text to speech, which is just a great feature to have.

    After reading all the comments and all the emails, we decided to give away a unit that seemed to fit a lot of needs:

  • Maps of North America
  • Dead Simple Interface
  • Text-to-speech (TTS) – says road names
  • great customer support
  • 6 Million POI
  • Flat design to pack light and easy.


    So, sign up on our mailing list and we will draw one subscriber’s name on Monday December 17th, so that we can get it out in time for you to drive through the woods to Grandma’s house…..

    Already on our Mailing List? You already qualify!

    Just put your email address in the box below and hit “Subscribe”. Good Luck!

    Enter your Email


    Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz


    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
  • November 22, 2007

    Win a Garmin Nuvi 260 - GPSLodge.com Holiday GPS Giveaway

    Nuvi260withBow.jpg
    Sign ups start tomorrow for the GPS Lodge Holiday GPS Giveaway. This year, we’ll be giving away a Garmin Nuvi 260, a new slim Nuvi with Text to Speech.

    I reviewed the Nuvi 200/250/270 - and really liked it; the Nuvi 260 adds text to speech, which is just a great feature to have.

    After reading all the comments and all the emails, we decided to give away a unit that seemed to fit a lot of needs:

  • Maps of North America
  • Dead Simple Interface
  • Text-to-speech (TTS) – says road names
  • great customer support
  • 6 Million POI
  • Flat design to pack light and easy.

    So come on back tomorrow and sign up for your chance to win a brand new Garmin Nuvi 260 from GPSLodge.com.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
  • Black Friday Deals on Thanksgiving!

    Happy Thanksgiving folks - Black Friday deals are coming early this year.

    Lots of deals around the web TODAY!

  • Best Buy has a couple of GPS Units at BF Prices online NOW - check out the Nuvi 200 - $169, and the Nuvi 660 - $399, the SP C550 - $329, and the TTOne LE - $119 ("Coming Soon").

  • Circuit City has a T-Giving Sale right now - including the Mio C220 at $99, and the TomTom ONE - $129 among others

  • Amazon has been dropping prices randomly - may happen again today. One reader wrote in that they had TTOne for $124 yesterday (back up to $149 now), but it seems that they are doing their best to hang with the big discounts.

  • Costco - has the Nuvi 650 for $299 online.


  • Stop by our full list of hands on full GPS reviews - we've used them all, and walk through the good and the bad.

  • See all the Black Friday GPS Deals and sales
  • See my recommendations on which units are the best Black Friday Deals.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (3) | social bookmarking
  • November 21, 2007

    Black Friday GPS Deal Recommendations

    After taking a look at the models available for Black Friday, I have to say that there are a few good deals and a few bad deals. A deal isn’t any good if the GPS stinks, so know what you are buying. I mean things are so GPS Crazy, my local GROCERY STORE is selling a GPS for $99 on Black Friday! (Visco VSC-N530A - Ouch; see better ones below)

    I know there are different objectives out there; so, here’s a quick rundown of the best deals on some of the better GPS units. Read my reviews to know what you are buying... please. Figure out what's important to you, read the reviews and then head on out to buy.

    Take a look at all of the Black Friday GPS Deals if you want to see the full list. I recommend that you check the circular for positive identification of the model that you are going out after before waiting in line.


    Update: As other stores drop prices on GPS models, Amazon is following the prices down so check out the Hot Selling Amazon GPS Models for great prices. You might just skip the lines!

    Best Deal Under $100 - Mio C220 GPS or Navigon 2100
    Mio C220 - An entry level GPS with a standard 3.5-inch screen and a SiRF star III chipset. Does NOT have Text to Speech (TTS). I like th eunit for its solid entry level capabilities. Interface is a bit rough to use, but I think that the data entry on the Navigon is just plain tough.

  • Pep Boys (Early Bird) - $79
  • Office Max - $99
  • Circuit City - $99
    I reviewed this unit earlier this year. See my Full Review of the Mio C220 GPS.

    OR

    Navigon 2100 - $99 at Staples. Has Text to Speech and the potential for free traffic at Staples all for $99. The unit comes with some downsides, so please go read my Full Review of the Navigon 2100. Tough interface and one that will frustrate some users. Know what you are buying; read the review.


    Step Up Entry Level – TomTom ONE 2nd or 3rd Editions or Garmin Nuvi 200
    TomTom ONE - Again, Entry Level GPS, no Text to Speech, but an easier interface than Mio. North American Maps.

  • Staples - $124 (3rd ed)
  • Radio Shack - $139 (3rd Ed)
  • hhgregg - $129
  • Pep Boys - $139

    Note: Watch Amazon for TomTom ONE 3rd edition sales; was $125 earlier today (Wed.).

    Garmin Nuvi 200 - Solid Entry Level GPS; Continental US Maps Only, no Text to Speech, but the simplest interface available.

  • Best Buy - $169 - My Full Review Garmin Nuvi 200/250/270 Update: Available NOW ONLINE at BB for $169


    Widescreen - Rock Solid - Garmin Nuvi 650 - $299 Costco
    Not even a Black Friday event; you could have already bought one of these. It's a great deal. See my original post on the low price where I cover its features.

    Widescreen Indulgence – Nuvi 660 or TomTom GO 720

    Nuvi 660 – Built in TMC traffic receiver, North American Maps, Text to Speech, super bright screen.

  • Best Buy - $399
    See my Full Review of the Nuvi 660

    TomTom GO 720 – Text-to-speech, MapShare technology for up to date maps, add your own voice commands for turns.

  • hhgregg - $399
    See My Full Review of the TomTom GO 720


    Happy hunting; I will report on what I went out for and got (or didn't get) on Black Friday.

    Stop back on Black Friday because other retailers will have online specials throughout Balck Friday and the Weekend!

    Finally, on Friday we will start to have sign-ups for our Holiday Drawing - GPS Lodge GPS Give-away.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (5) | social bookmarking
  • November 20, 2007

    Garmin Nuvi 650 - $309 - Amazon

    Garmin_Nuvi_660

    Not to be outdone too much by Costco, Amazon is now offering, or has been offering the Garmin Nuvi 650 for $309. Bit of a wait, but this is again, an insane price for this very bright, widescreen Garmin navigator.

    Garmin Nuvi 650 is a widescreen unit with North American maps and Text to Speech. Very Good buy. You can read my Full Review of the Nuvi 660 for an idea on the unit performance. The difference is that the Nuvi 660 adds Traffic and Bluetooth capabilities, as well as the FM transmitter, that the Nuvi 650 does not have.

    At Garmin Nuvi 650

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    TomTom ONE 3rd Ed. - $150 NOW

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    Dell has the TomTom ONE 3rd edition for $150 now; skip the lines and spend the extra $20-$30?

    Your choice. The TomTom ONE 3rd edition is a pretty good little device.

    More at Dell - TomTom ONE 3rd Edition

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (3) | social bookmarking

    Amazon Black Friday & $10,000 Shopping Spree

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    Not t be left out of the fun, Amazon is getting into the Black Friday madness. They are not going to line you up at midnight and hand out numbers or anything.

    How it Works: Amazon is going to offer new deals every hour starting at 6AM Pacific time running throughout the day until 6PM Pacific time.

    Don't know if you get a new GPS in these deals, but I am going to kick myself if I get a better deal sitting on the couch after getting up at 4AM to go find a deal at a cold store near me.

    You might as well stop by now and sign up for the Amazon $10,000 shopping spree sweepstakes. That will buy you a lot of gifts for friends and family!


    at Amazon Black Friday Deals


    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    Magellan - 2008 CES Awards


    So Magellan won a couple of awards ahead of the CES 2008 trade show scheduled for just after the new year in January. The annual trade show brings out the best of the best and is the big electronics show to kick off the New Year. This year, the Magellan Maestro 4250 automotive unit and the Triton 2000 handheld unit are being honored with Innovations Design and Engineering Awards. Clearly their partnerships with AAA and National Geographic are big players in the award as Magellan has worked hard to include data from third parties to bolster the sometimes-anemic information that is usually a part of a standard offering.

    ArrowContinue reading: "Magellan - 2008 CES Awards"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    November 19, 2007

    Garmin Nuvi 760 in Volvos

    GarminVolvo.jpgGarmin announced that Volvo Cars Corporation has selected the Nuvi 760 (See My Full Review of the Nuvi 760) as a customized navigation solution for select Volvo cars, including the new Volvo C30 and Volvo XC70. The Volvo specific Nuvi 760 will be available at dealerships across Europe and North America.

    “Garmin is delighted to work with Volvo to offer its customers a high quality satellite navigation system. Volvo and Garmin are passionate about safety, engineering and quality, and we believe customers will appreciate the design of this navigation solution,” said Roger Jollis, Garmin’s director of OEM & mobile marketing. “This transaction strengthens Garmin’s growing position as a recognized supplier to the automotive industry.”

    ArrowContinue reading: "Garmin Nuvi 760 in Volvos"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    November 18, 2007

    Gray Monday and Tuesday Discounts - The Nerds

    The Nerds are running a special with an extra $20 off any purchase over $250. This brings some units, like the Nuvi 350 pretty darn close to Black Friday deals - sleep in and get the deal now?!?!?

    Google Checkout must be used along with the coupon code AFFGOO20 to get the discount. This coupon is good for all customers and there's no limit on how many times it can be used. This coupon will go live Monday morning at 9am and stay active until Tuesday at midnight.

  • Garmin Nuvi 350 - $332 before discount

  • TomTom GO 720 - $411 before discount

  • Garmin Nuvi 660 – $509 before discount

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking
  • Magellan Maestro 3100/3140 Full Review

    MagellanMaestro3140Front.jpg

    The Magellan Maestro 3100 and 4100 series was introduced a while ago and in the meantime the Magellan 3200/4200 series has been introduced, bringing a fresh face and a few more features to make the line more enticing. A lot of readers have asked for a first hand review of the Magellan 3100 series from me, as they are showing up in increasing numbers at great prices and ahead of the holiday shopping season, I thought I would get some thoughts down to help people decide what to buy in this complex market.

    The maestro 3100 has 48 state maps and has verbal instructions, as well as 750 thousand POI (NOT a lot), and some basic features that come on Magellan units these days like QuickSpell. The unit is based on the SiRF star III chipset and a 3.5-inch screen. I picked the Maestro 3140, which adds North American NAVTEQ-based Maps, has 4.5 million POI, Bluetooth, “AAA” Points of Interest information and Text-to-speech. The units are not tiny but small enough to fit in a shirt pocket, as they have a compact flat form factor. The units are touch screen based, and have no external buttons except for the power switch and a reset button. The Maestro 3100, and 3140 are coming in at some pretty compelling prices, so, are they worth it, and will they get you from here to there with ease and confidence? I was not overly impressed with the previous incarnation of Magellan’s flat form factor product, the RoadMate 2000 unit, and thought it was dated in its interface’s design components. The Maestro has a lot of improved features, so let’s check things out.

    ArrowContinue reading: "Magellan Maestro 3100/3140 Full Review"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (7) | social bookmarking

    November 17, 2007

    Navigon 2100 Full Review

    Navigon2100Front.jpg


    Navigon has stormed onto the US GPS scene in the past month or so with the launch of their new line of GPS units, the 2100, 5100 and 7100. The Navigon 2100 is especially hot right now as it appears to be one of the big Black Friday Units for 2007. The 2100 and 5100 being standard screen, 3.5-inch units and the 7100 a widescreen unit. Navigon is taking an approach that is in the minority in the GPS world, in that they are offering TMC traffic with the 5100 and 7100 including a lifetime subscription to the service that usually costs around $60 per year. At the heart of the Navigon offering in my opinion is a beautiful design on the exterior and a different approach to design when it comes to the interface. With animated menus and icons, the unit takes on a decidedly "flash based website" feel that is more up to date than other units.

    With all of the requests made to me over the last week for a review on this specific model, I went out and grabbed one to see what the Navigon 2100 was made of, and see how it will do in this very competitive market. I will have to say that many of the people writing in for this review of the Navigon 2100 called it the Navicon 2100; so for those folks, this is the Navicon 2100 review!

    Also just a note that the Navigon 2100t is a Navigon 2100 with traffic installed. So while I do not have the traffic option turned on for this review, the other attributes will apply. Who knows if I hit Black Friday right, I may be posting more on this as a Navigon 2100t review.


  • Compare the Navigon 2100 vs 5100 vs 7100
  • Software Update Available for the Units

    ArrowContinue reading: "Navigon 2100 Full Review"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (78) | social bookmarking
  • Costco; Garmin Nuvi 650 - $299; Nuvi 680 $480

    Garmin_Nuvi_660

    Big discount on the Nuvi 650 widescreen unit at Costco. Garmin Nuvi 650 is $299 after a $150 "coupon" that redeems at checkout online. Offer is "While Supplies Last." and through 11/26.

    Great price on a great product. Not a Costco member? You pay 5% more; not bad. The current price of the Nuvi 650 at Amazon is about $365.

    Garmin Nuvi 650 is a widescreen unit with North American maps and Text to Speech. Very Good buy. You can read my Full Review of the Nuvi 660 for an idea on the unit performance. The difference is that the Nuvi 660 adds Traffic and Bluetooth capabilities, as well as the FM transmitter, that the Nuvi 650 does not have.

    Thanks Al for sending this in.




    Nuvi 680 - $480 Costco
    Reader John writes in that there is a special at Costco stores on the Nuvi 680 also. Unadvertised, and there for the asking. Often not on the floor, just as for SKU #249583 and pay for it; they have them in the cage in back. Compares favorably versus the Nuvi 680 at Amazon.

    I used the Nuvi 680 when it came out and liked the unit a lot for its MSN direct features (Traffic feeds, gas prices and movie times). Read my Full Review of the Nuvi 680 for more information.

    Thanks John for sending this in.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

    November 16, 2007

    Inrix Traffic Prediction Capability on deCarta's LBS Platforms


    Inrix announced a partnership with deCarta that should speed some predictive traffic capability to end-users (you and me). This would allow us to take a look at what traffic patterns WILL BE not what they are now, when you want to travel. So it takes into consideration historical information and cuccrent conditions to predict that traffic will be slow in the rain this afternoon at the middle of rush hour, instead of the naïve idea that road speeds will be the same as the posted speed limit (how most GPS units run right now).

    The Inrix data will be available on deCarta’s Traffic Manager on their Drill Down Server platform…. I’ll try to let you know when this makes it to an end user product.

    press release follows...

    ArrowContinue reading: "Inrix Traffic Prediction Capability on deCarta's LBS Platforms"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Garmin Walks Away from TeleAtlas - Agreement through 2015 with NAVTEQ

    Garmin announced today that they have signed a 6-year extension to the agreement with NAVTEQ to obtain maps and build innovative map related services. This allows them to have access to maps through 2015, with an option to get a 4-year extension. This ends Garmin’s bid for TeleAtlas. Looks like TomTom just bought itself a mapmaker. In my mind, with this agreement sewn up, it allows Garmin to move forward in an economical way that keeps costs low: 1) No expensive acquisition costs, 2) No employee and company assimilation costs, and 3) No change over from NAVTEQ to TeleAtlas platform related costs.

    I would imagine Wall St. will love this, their stock is up almost 20% in pre-market trading activity.

    What I am excited about is the collaboration on new mapping capabilities. Garmin has scale to push through new ideas, and they certainly need an answer to MapShare.

    Finally, TomTom is going to get the mapping company that they wanted; I assume. The advantages are that they can streamline innovations like MapShare. The downside of all of this is that with this bidding war, Garmin just pushed TomTom to offer about $2 billion more for the TeleAtlas acquisition.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    Sirius Satellite Radio Traffic Services - "Travel Link"

    Sirius is getting into the data feed game, and will provide traffic feeds to new Ford and Lincoln vehicles under the name Travel Link. Not only will you get real time traffic fed to the device, but you will get weather, sports scores, fuel prices and movie information.

    Might not seem like a lot, but this is definitely a change; more availability of traffic information means more demand for better services. I think that traffic information is the next level of excellent after navigation for an in car GPS. The issue right now is that the data distribution system (TMC and MSN Direct) has limited bandwidth. With more bandwidth comes more data, and after talking with key traffic data providers, there’s plenty of data to be had. I’ve written a lot on traffic capabilities, and have laid out some key advances that are needed and what a traffic service may look like with better technology. Increased bandwidth is one of the pillars of this capability.

    Look for Sirius Traffic Link on Ford and Mercury vehicles equipped with 8-inch touch screen navigators in the 2008 model year. The vehicle comes with 6-month trial subscription to the service.


    Thanks Jim for sending this in.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    November 15, 2007

    Staples Black Friday Ads Out!

    stapleslogo.gif

    Staples has their complete flier out, and it looks like some pretty good deals at the place where you might have found a Mio C310x last year.....

    The Navigon 2100 with traffic at $99 looks like a pretty amazing deal.

    I have a Navigon 2100 and am wrapping up a review on it. Stop back and I will post it before Monday.

    Staples

  • Navigon 2100 w/ Traffic - $99 - Compare at Amazon
  • TomTom ONE 3rd ed - $124 - Compare at Amazon
  • Garmin Nuvi 260 - $249 - Compare at Amazon
  • Magellan Maestro 3100 - $139 - Compare vs. Amazon


    See All the Black Friday GPS Sales & Deals here at GPSLodge.com

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking
  • Custom POI set for E85 Stations

    e85.jpgGoing Green with an E85 vehicle? I know a lot of new cars and trucks are coming out with E85 compatible systems, burning the 85% ethanol, 15% gasoline blend. While you can still use regular gasoline, why not have a set of custom Points of Interest (POI) that will tell you where all of the E85 stations are in the US?

    Garmin has a set of E85 POI available for you.

    Find out how to load them on your Garmin.

    Via Garmin Blog

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

    Garmin and TomTom Settle Patent Suits

    So it looks like the big litigation battle is over, and as I suspected the lawyers got together in a big lawyerly pow-wow and hammered out a deal. The terms are not disclosed, but I would imagine a lot of bottled water was consumed and a lot of paper shredded in the process.

    The settlement resolves all of the pending intellectual property litigation including cases in the UK, Netherlands, Wisconsin, and Texas.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    November 13, 2007

    TomTom ONE LE

    TomTomONENY2.jpg

    The TomTom ONE LE is part of the Black Friday madness, and is an "Exclusive" unit made for Best Buy. A lot of people have been wondering what's the difference and what's the "LE" all about. "How does the TomTom ONE LE Compare vs. the TomTom ONE 2nd Edition vs. the TomTom ONE 3rd Edition?"

    After I checked in with TomTom, the short of it is that the TomTom ONE LE is a TomTom ONE 2nd Ed with the new operating system, Navcore 7 pre-loaded, while still maintaining the North American Maps. Navcore 7 offers Help Me! and MapShare capability plus an updated look that I happen to like a lot. The TomTom ONE LE still has 5 million points of interest and a built in battery.

    The TomTom ONE LE has Bluetooth capabilities, not to do handsfree mobile phone work, but to obtain data for traffic or weather conditions (optional subscriptions). Same as TomTom ONE 2nd Ed.

    The TomTom ONE 3rd edition has the Navcore 7 operating system pre-loaded North American Maps and optional TMC inputs. This last point, TMC traffic capability, is the feature that the others don't have. You'd need the TMC Antenna from TomTom which costs $129, and it includes 12 months of TMC access with the purchase.

    Update: Best Buy has a couple of GPS Units at BF Prices online NOW - check out the Nuvi 200 - $169, and the Nuvi 660 - $399, the SP C550 - $329, and the TTOne LE - $119 ("Coming Soon").


    For all more Holiday GPS Gift Picks see my

    GPS Holiday Gift Guide




    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (17) | social bookmarking

    Garmin Nuvi 760 Review - Editor's Choice PC Mag

    nuvi760rf.jpg


    Another review posted on the Garmin Nuvi 760 and again it gets high ratings. I think that it was great, and clearly the best Nuvi that Garmin has put out yet.

    With the new slim design, and the lack of a flip up antenna, the Nuvi 760 looks like a good place to start, and on top of that it maintains all the great features you enjoyed in the Nuvi 600 series.

    The multi-segment routing AND optimization is a good feature, as well as the Bluetooth phone interface.

    PC Mag clearly thought these were compelling features too in giving the unit an Editor's Choice rating. The only big downside that they talked about was the quality of the traffic updates. I think that they were a great start, and I recommend them to anyone who regularly drives in traffic, but there is a lot of room for improvement in the entire traffic reporting area, not just on Garmin. I personally look forward to that coming change.

    See More Product Info on the Garmin Nuvi 750/760/770, and see My Review of the Garmin Nuvi 750/760/770 here at GPSLodge.

    ReadMore on the Review of the Nuvi 760 at PCMag

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    November 12, 2007

    Sharper Image to Market Own GPS

    sharperimagegps.jpg

    Apparently Sharper Image, the company known for some pretty high priced items in those catalogs that few buy from but everyone gets, comes the news that they have contracted to make their own GPS that will play games and music.

    It's being reported that Moneual is going to contract to make the unit, which will be manufactured in South Korea.

    Look for the high priced eye candy next year just in time for that holiday catalog.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Black Friday - Amcor A3900 GPS

    The Amcor A3900 GPS is part of the Black Friday Madness this year, and should be offered for around $99. The unit is a standard screen size, 3.5-inch unit that appears to use the iGo base software that is customized for the unit. Mio and others use the same software engine, customized for their liking. For me, with some caveats, the Mios work very well. They have options on their version that offer a lot of capability.

    I have used other units with the iGo software and they perform just fine but hardware can be a concern when running through these lower end "off-name" units. Buttons can stick, or speakers can not be loud enough, etc.

    I have not used the Amcor A3900, so I can't tell you if the unit is good or bad. Considering the other options for Black Friday, if you really want a GPS, there are better more tested units out there for the same price or less, and much better units at slightly higher prices.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (4) | social bookmarking

    TomTom ONE HD - Networked Traffic Solution

    Big news in Traffic reporting out of TomTom today; TomTom has announced (for the Netherlands only right now) the new TomTom XL HD which is a widescreen TomTom with a built in wireless modem that will connect and provide more descriptive and better traffic information. You will also act as an anonymous probe that will survey traffic conditions and report back findings to the central computer. The service will be in cooperation with Vodaphone, and will carry a 10 Euro (~$15) per month subscription fee. Sound familiar? It should, it’s a lot like the Dash Navigation plan to offer the same type of service.

    The TomTom launch is only in the Netherlands for now with plans for the US.

    “TomTom High Definition Traffic information is a big change for our users when planning their daily journeys. They know more about traffic flows and how to avoid them than anyone else. This creates a feeling of control and comfort. This world premiere provides TomTom users with a breakthrough solution to a structural, every-day problem and marks a significant change in mobility management and route guidance,” says Harold Goddijn, chief executive officer at TomTom. “With High Definition Traffic, drivers can plan their day in a smarter way, based on accurate and precise traffic information. We are looking forward to expanding our High Definition Traffic offering to other European countries in 2008.”

    More infor from the press release follows...

    ArrowContinue reading: "TomTom ONE HD - Networked Traffic Solution"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    November 11, 2007

    GPS Holiday Gift Guide – The Best GPS Gifts

    Gps Lodge Blogpire Gg-1The GPS market has taken off in 2007, and it was just a year ago when a GPS first hit Black Friday and awoke a sleeping giant. Again this year, I am happy to share what I think are some of the best GPS units on the market coming into the holiday season. I have used all of the models below, with a few exceptions where I used a similar model, and I know them fairly well.

    I hope you can find a GPS that’s the perfect gift for someone you know (or maybe even yourself). I can’t tell you the one best GPS for you to buy, because people have different needs and different budgets, so I gave you a list of GPS units by price range. Check out the key features list at the end of the post if you need some help understanding the list.

    If you have questions, post them in the Comments section below and I’ll try to answer them the best I can.


    Need a GPS for a European Trip or with both Euro and US maps?: Check out my post on GPS Units for European Vacations.

    Entry Level Units – Standard Screen $150 - $250
    GarminNuvi200sm.jpg

  • Garmin Nuvi 200 or Nuvi 250 – Slim design and the easiest interface to use. Solid navigation capabilities and 5-6 million of Points of Interest. Nuvi 200 has continental US + Hawaii+Puerto Rico maps, Nuvi 250 has All of North America. Read my Full Review of the Garmin Nuvi 200/250. If you can, pay the extra ~$30 for the widescreen Nuvi 200/250 (see below); small up-charge for big experience boost with widescreen.


  • TomTom ONE 3rd Edition – Uses the new TomTom NavCore 7 software, which includes MapShare and Help Me! Capabilities, not found on the 2nd edition. Easy interface; no Text to Speech (TTS), and Maps of US and Canada, with 2+ million POI. Overall the 2nd edition is good, 3rd edition is better.

  • Mio C230 – Basic navigation with a decent map set (continental US), ~1.7 Million POI and Text to Speech. The interface is good, but a little more challenging to get used to than the Garmin interface. Worth the step up from the Mio C220 for the TTS feature. Read my Full Review of the Mio C230, or the older C220 Full Review


    Widescreen Entry Level $250 - $399

  • Garmin Nuvi 200W or 250W – Again dead simple interface in a widescreen version, 5-6 million POI. Generally only a few dollars more than the standard screen versions; worth the upgrade. Nuvi 200W has continental US + Hawaii+Puerto Rico maps, Nuvi 250W has All of North America. Read my Full Review of the Nuvi 200W/250W

  • tomtomONEXLsm.jpgTomTom ONE XL or TomTom ONE XLS – Widescreen Version of the TomTom ONE regular. The TomTom ONE XLS adds Text to Speech for about $50. Includes the upgrade to NavCore 7, this adds Help Me! and MapShare. See my Full Review of the TomTom ONE XL.

  • Mio C520 – Good navigation with some good features to boot. Includes Text to Speech, 6 million POI, a nice split screen navigation that gives you map on about 2/3rds of the screen and data like your next turn series on the other 1/3rd of the screen. Six Million POI. Read My Full Review of the Mio C520.


    A Step-up - <$400

    Want Text-to-speech in a Garmin? Try these two:

  • Nuvi 260 – Thin no flip up antenna, North American Maps, 6 million POI.Nuvi350sm.jpg
  • Nuvi 350 – Older design that set the standard for flat units; very popular, very solid, North American Maps, 6 million POI.

    TTS on a Widescreen Garmin?

  • Nuvi 650 – Beautiful bright widescreen with Text to Speech and North American Maps; cheap upgrade from the Nuvi 350, 6 million POI.


    Higher End Units >$400
  • Garmin Nuvi 660 – Adds TMC Traffic capabilities and Bluetooth Handsfree to the widescreen and North American Maps, 6 million POI. See my Full Review of the Nuvi 660
  • Garmin Nuvi 750 – New slim design with Where am I? and multi-point route optimization capabilities. Six Million POI.
  • Garmin Nuvi 760 – Adds Bluetooth and TMC Traffic capabilities, six million POI. Read my Full Review of the Garmin Nuvi 750/760 TomTomGO720sm.jpg
  • TomTom GO 720 – widescreen, MapShare, Bluetooth Handsfree and optional TMC Traffic. Also, record your own turn voices. Read my Full Review of the TomTom GO 720

    Garmin vs. TomTom vs. Mio [vs. Magellan]

    A lot of people want to know which to purchase, and I tell them that they will have to decide for themselves. Read my reviews, and think about the GPS user and what is important to them. You cannot go wrong with a Garmin, and TomTom is very good. Mio is still a value play, and for that savings you give up some ease of use.

  • Garmin has the easiest interface and with that they shed some features that add a bit of complexity to the user experience. It’s like an Apple design mentality vs. a PC.
  • TomTom is still a good interface and getting better, and then have recently added some features like MapShare or record your own voice for turn prompts (GO 720 and GO 920) to units that are hard to resist.
  • Mio has a lot of features and is often about 15-20% lower in price than the other two. The interface is better than most other lower priced brands, but not as clean and easy as either Garmin or TomTom. I have no problem recommending Mio for those who are not “Technically Challenged” in understanding how to do things on a computer. Me no problem, my grandmother, not so much.
  • Magellan, I leave out of my list this year, as I am not happy with their interface these days. Features are compelling, but the interface is a drag on what could be a great product. Sorry Magellan, maybe next year.


    Features and Attributes to consider when buying a GPS

  • Text to speech (TTS) – this helps with driving in urban areas or where roads are close together; speaks street names for better awareness in making turns. More on TTS.

  • Interface Quality – Mio is good and better than “no-name” brands. TomTom and Garmin are better. If the user is technically challenged, move up to Garmin or TomTom.

  • High Sensitivity Chipsets & Flat Form Factors – All of my recommendations this year have high sensitivity GPS chipsets and are flat. I am not recommending the Garmin StreetPilot C300 series this year because it has neither. Instead, spend the extra $40 or so and move up to a Nuvi. The Nuvi line is great, and the performance and your satisfaction will be much better. Money well spent.

  • TMC Traffic – Traffic is still young and evolving, but it can already help a lot in urban areas where traffic and commuting headaches are a constant struggle. Garmin 660/670 and 760/770 have the TMC receiver built into the power plug. Others (TomTom 720, Nuvi 350/360) have it as an extra cord that is an optional add-on. All TMC subscriptions are about the same cost per year (~$60) after a free trial period. More on TMC Traffic.

  • Points of Interest (POI) - More is better, but due to costs and space issues, some of the entry level units don't have a lot. At 1.3 million or less you won't get all the stores sometimes due to manufacturer's decisions on what to cut and what to keep. Sometimes you get plaza names but not the stores in that plaza. See More on POI


    Looking for more amazing gift ideas? Check out our extensive set of holiday shopping guides on electronics, fashion, cooking, and more.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (8) | social bookmarking
  • November 9, 2007

    Best Buy and Circuit City Black Friday Ads Out!

    Well, the big guns came out in force with some great looking deals on Black Friday GPS systems. No CrapCo brands here;big names, like Garmin and a curious TomTom ONE LE model, that has "Exclusive" written all over it. These are some of the best units available on Black Friday so far at some compelling prices.

    See All the Black Friday GPS Sales & Deals here at GPSLodge.com

    Remember, check back for our take on what the best deals are on Black Friday.

    Best Buy

  • Garmin Nuvi 200 - $169
  • Garmin Nuvi 660 - $399
  • Garmin StreetPilot C550 - $329
  • TomTom ONE LE - $129 (Early)

    Circuit City

  • Garmin StreetPilot C340 - $199
  • Garmin Nuvi 350 - $299
  • Magellan RoadMate 1200 - $129
  • Mio C220 - $99


    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (3) | social bookmarking
  • November 8, 2007

    Compare TomTom GPS; TomTom ONE's vs TomTom GO's

    It's always good to see an easy way to do a comparison of GPS Units, and guess what? TomTom did it for us. Easy to compare TomTom ONE, TomTom ONE XL, TomTom ONE XLS, TomTom GO 720, TomTom GO 920, TomTom GO 920T.

    comparisonchart.gif

    More at TomTom

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Dash Navigation Video

    At Web 2.0 Rob Currie and Mark Williamson from Dash Navigation show off the Dash Express capabilities. They have had a 2,000 unit demo test going on for several months, and have some pretty intense stats to share as the users have logged over a million miles, and they are still driving with the unit on 80% of the time.

    The impressive open source type applications that are available and that are to come may really make this an interesting ride. They demo Zillow, the real estate aware tool that ports to the Dash. Drive down a street and pull up Zillow's estimated values of the house; hit the button and pull up even more detail on the house itself. wow.

    Search is a big part of the product, and they have teamed up with Yahoo Local search. Well apparently people are searching for ways to spend money and most often search for things at the Category level (i.e. Chinese food), at the store level (i.e. Starbucks), or at the product level (i.e. iPod). Their conclusion is that there is an ad supported search model out there. Huh; maybe Google will buy them.

    Here's the video:


    Thanks Jim for sending in.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    How Many Points of Interest (POI) is Good Enough on a GPS?

    I get this question a lot, and too much is never enough in most cases, but the issue comes down to cost of the GPS and the ability to navigate through all of those POI with ease.

    Cost - When GPS companies get the map data from their suppliers, they get much more information that they want to use and cram onto the GPS that they sell you; millions of POI, and a lot of information on roadways that may not be helpful to the average driver. Their job is to encode the data so that their systems can use it, and cut that dataset down so it fits on the hardware. Storage costs money, and while memory is dropping fast these days, the list price of a GPS is dropping faster. Then there are some benchmarks for storage space as it relates to the amount of data; so for instance, it’s easy to source a 1GB storage chip for a GPS, but the roadways in the US come pretty close to 1GB, and that only leaves yo u a little bit of room for POI; thus you need to chop the number you can fit.

    more after the jump...

    ArrowContinue reading: "How Many Points of Interest (POI) is Good Enough on a GPS?"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

    Garmin has 5% Stake in TeleAtlas; TomTom has 28%

    Word has it that Garmin has launched a hostile bid on TeleAtlas and has taken some distinct action steps in moving towards its takeover of TeleAtlas by taking a pretty decent stake in the company. The Dutch equivalent of the SEC has shown filings that describe a greater than 5% stake in TeleAtlas by Garmin. They only need to disclose in increments of 5% thereafter, so who knows what they might have amassed by today, but it’s probably somewhere south of 10%.

    While that may be good for Garmin, it appears that TomTom beat a pathway to TeleAtlas first and has 28% already, making it the single largest holder of TeleAtlas stock. As such, this might allows TomTom to thwart any move to get a majority for Garmin.

    Readmore on the bidding war at Money Morning.

    Thanks to Jim for sending this in.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    November 7, 2007

    Black Friday GPS Sale - The Sub-$100 GPS!

    Thought it would happen sooner of later, and here it is, the Sub-$100 GPS device. Leave it up to Mio to have the unit for $79 after a $40 rebate at Pep Boys this Black Friday. Recall that Mio rocked the GPS world last year with a $149 deal on the Mio 310x, which at the time was a stunning price.

    Know what you are buying, check out my Full Review of the Mio C220.

    Want more Black Friday GPS Sale and Deal information? Keep checking back at our Black Friday GPS Deals Post.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    TomTom Raises Bid for TeleAtlas

    TomTomlogoSM.jpg
    TomTom has raised the bid for TeleAtlas after rival Garmin bid on the map maker last week. The offer is for $4.2 Billion a big jump from the Garmin offer that is said to be valued at about $3.3 Billion. That’s a big jump and one has to wonder how high the bidding war will go; I mean hey this is better than a hot item on eBay isn’t it? Just minus the listing fee.

    The big issue for the loser in this battle is where to get your map data, from your GPS based competitor or the Big Huge Nokia phone company turned Location Based Services competitor. Bad news either way. Stay tuned.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    November 6, 2007

    TomTom ONE Carrying Case

    TomTomONECarryCase.jpg
    The TomTom ONE does not come with a carrying case, but don’t let that stop you, there’s one available for you that’s pretty nice. No longer do you need to wrap it in an old T-Shirt, to carry it outside your car.

    The case has some strength to it so it will hold up bouncing around a bit, but it is not a hard case, crush-proof thing. It will however keep your TomTom ONE scratch-free when you travel with it. It will fit the TomTom ONE 2nd and 3rd editions.

    At TomTom ONE Case

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    November 5, 2007

    Traffic.com Target of Congressional Investigation?

    trafficdotcomlogo.gif
    Traffic.com, the new subsidiary of NAVTEQ, the target of a takeover by Nokia...... is the target of a possible investigation by the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee' subcommittee on highways and Transit; whew!

    Anyway, according to Motherjones.com: "Under the auspices of the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), in more than a decade the politically connected Traffic.com has received over $50 million in sole-source government contracts to establish data-collection systems in at least 25 metropolitan areas. The stated goal of the program is to help state and local agencies manage traffic flow on increasingly congested roads. But the main beneficiary, according to critics, has been Traffic.com itself... Traffic.com reserves much of the most valuable data for sale directly to consumers through the web and vehicle-based systems."

    Well; don't know if it's true, but I'll be happy to take that data and skip traffic jams, thank you. We'll keep you posted.

    Via Rich at GPSTracklog

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Garmin Nuvi 750/760/770 Full Review

    GarminNuvi760Front.jpg
    -A Hands On Review by GPSLodge.com-

    Also, I have posted my Full Review of the Nuvi 755T the new addition to the Nuvi 700 series.

    The Garmin Nuvi 700 series was launched at the top of the Garmin line to make steps forward in both design and functionality. The Nuvi 750/760/770 units are a change vs. the Nuvi 650/660/670 units with a thin design losing the flip up patch antenna of the Nuvi 600 series, and adding some functionality that is nicely useful.

    "I would rate it a Top Pick for GPS buyers"
    The Nuvi 750/760/770 is a widescreen unit with a bright screen, not marginally bright, but plenty bright for sunny days. The 760/770 series also comes with a TMC traffic receiver that is integrated into the 12V plug. It has maps of North America pre-loaded.

    I have been driving with the Garmin Nuvi 760 for about two weeks now, including a trip to New Jersey that had me navigating in unfamiliar territory, from the Philadelphia airport, up to the Princeton area, and back. The Nuvi 760 did a very good job of getting me to where I was going with comfort and confidence. I of course expected this; it's a Garmin.

    ArrowContinue reading: "Garmin Nuvi 750/760/770 Full Review"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (96) | social bookmarking

    November 4, 2007

    GPS Steals and Deals - 11/4

    Check out our Black Friday GPS Deals Post - An ever growing post on the best GPS Deals this year for Black Friday. I'll tell you what's a good deal and what's not.

  • In the stores this week: Good Deals, Bad Deals and missed opportunities.
  • WalMart Sale - Garmin C330 for $198; skip it and get the Nuvi 200 instead (as long as you don't mind missing the Canadian, and Alaskan Maps, for $22 more. New SiRF receiver and flat profile are light years better.

  • BestBuy - Magellan Maestro 3200 for $259. Try Amazon for the Maestro 3200 for $10 less including free shipping. To be fair, there is a free GPS case offer at Best Buy for this model. All other featured models have prices at least $50 more than online.

  • Stop by our full list of hands on full GPS reviews - we've used them all, and walk through the good and the bad.


    Standard Screen Units

  • The Nuvi 250 is Now Under $300 - $272 this week, while the Nuvi 200 is $220. See my Hands on Review of the Nuvi 200/250 for an idea of how well this will perform. Maps are the only difference: Nuvi 200: Continental U.S., Hawaii and Puerto Rico (no Alaska or Canada detail), Nuvi 250: All of North America (no Mexico).
  • TomTom ONE 2nd ed. - $219. I would recommend skipping it and spending the extra few bucks on the TomTom ONE 3rd Ed. at $249. (The 3rd ed. has optional traffic alert inputs; 2nd ed does not. You get upgraded functionality without going through the steps to upgrade the unit via your computer. Saves an hour's worth of computer work. If you want to upgrade yourself, see my post on Upgrading your TomTom ONE.
  • The Mio C220 is selling around $162 through Amazon sellers. Read my Review of the Mio C220. However, at this point, I would recommend the Mio C230 instead ($179). You get Text to Speech capability for <$20 more.
    Nuvi350sm.jpg
  • The #1 selling GPS is the Garmin Nuvi 350 still at about $362. I believe that the Nuvi 350 is the best value out there – great capabilities at a very good price. More info on the Nuvi 350.

  • Garmin Nuvi 360 adds Bluetooth to the Nuvi 350 capabilities and is now $416. See my Review of the Nuvi 360
  • Magellan Maestro 3100 Magellan Maestro 3100for $185.


    Widescreen GPS Units
  • The Widescreen Garmin Nuvi 200W ($258) and 250W ($306). I recently posted my review of the Nuvi200W/250W.
  • The Nuvi 650 offers the widescreen and no Bluetooth or traffic for $386. NOW under $400!

  • Garmin Nuvi 660 - Price around $535. See my Hands on Review of the Nuvi 660

  • The Nuvi 680 is selling at Amazon - $604 - see my Hands on Review of the Nuvi 680.
  • Garmin Nuvi 670 - Need to travel to Europe and navigate when you get there? Garmin Nuvi 670 comes pre-loaded with both US and Euro maps. It's the very capable Nuvi 660 base unit with the extra maps pre-loaded. tomtomONEXLsm.jpg
  • The new TomTom ONE XL is $349 this week. OfficeMax has them for $299. Read my Review of the TomTom ONE XL.

  • The Mio C520 - Now $289. Low Priced Widescreen navigation with Text to Speech. See my review of the Mio C520.

  • The Magellan Maestro 4000 is selling around $245, widescreen with AAA POI content - No Text to Speech.

    Going to Europe?
    Get Pre-loaded GPS Units with North American AND Euro Maps.

  • Consider the Nuvi 370 which has Text to Speech
  • The More Economical Nuvi 270, or
  • The Widescreen Garmin Nuvi 670. (Confused? Compare the Nuvi line here)
  • Check out my recent post for more on European Mapping GPS options.

    GPS Rebates this Week:

  • Garmin is moving out some GPSMap 60 models - $50 rebate on the GPSMap 60Cx and GPSMap 60CSx. I think that for the extra money, get the 60 CSx! See my hands on review of the Garmin GPSMap 60 CSx - Offer Ends 12/31/07.

  • Garmin Forerunner 305 - $50 rebate and
  • Edge 305 - $75 Rebate when you sign up for the Powerbar Nutrition Edge Newsletter Offer ends 11/30/07.
  • Garmin has a $30 rebate on their Garmin Topo U.S. 2008 MapSource DVD - Price is about $50 online. Rebate good through 12/31/07 for upgrade only. Rebate form here (pdf)
  • The $50 rebate drops the widescreen Navigon 7100 to about $400 and the standard screen Navigon 5100 to about $350. Ends 12/31.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking
  • November 2, 2007

    Black Friday GPS Deals - 2007

    BlackFridayGPSSale.jpg

    Black Friday, or the day after Thanksgiving, is a great time to shop for GPS units. Last year, we were right in the middle of a big change - Black Friday meant GPS deals on the front covers of a several circulars. I was out at 5AM grabbing a GPS unit and saw the action first hand. GPS Deals for Black Friday in 2007 are even better.


  • Happy Black Friday Folks - we are collecting stories over at the Black Friday Mop-up page. Leave a comment to tell us yours.
  • Amazon just dropped a bunch of prices on GPS units today check out the Hot Selling Amazon GPS Models

  • Check out Thanksgiving Day Sales - Buy 'em today at BF Prices!

  • Stop by our full list of hands on full GPS reviews - we've used them all, and walk through the good and the bad.

    Deals So Far - (More almost daily now.)

    Bass Pro Shops

  • Garmin eTrex Legend - $99 (T-Giving Day Special)
  • TomTom ONE - $119 w/ MIR (T-Giving Day Special)
  • Garmin Nuvi 350 - $299

    Best Buy - T-GIVING Day has some units at BF Prices Online.

  • Garmin Nuvi 200 - $169 - My Full Review Garmin Nuvi 200/250/270 Update: Available NOW ONLINE at BB for $169
  • Garmin Nuvi 660 - $399 - My Full Review Nuvi 660
  • Garmin StreetPilot C550 - $329
  • TomTom ONE LE - $119 (Early)

    BJ's Wholesale Club

  • Garmin Nuvi 680 - $599
  • Magellan Maestro 3100 - $149 - My Full Review of the 3100/3140
  • TomTom ONE 3rd - $129


    Circuit City

  • Garmin StreetPilot ?C340? - $199
  • Garmin Nuvi 350 - $299
  • Magellan RoadMate 1200 - $129
  • Mio C220 - $99 - My Full Review of the C220

    Comp USA
    Special at Comp USA - $25 Gift card with any GPS Purchase $259 and up.

  • Garmin Nuvi 200W - $249 - See My Full Review Nuvi 200W/250W
  • Magellan Maestro 3100 - $147 Compare at Amazon - My Full Review of the 3100/3140

  • Magellan Maestro 4210 - $299 (plus gift card)
  • TomTom ONE 3rd - $149 - Compare at Amazon

    Costco Club

  • Magellan Maestro 4250 - $349
  • Garmin Nuvi 650 $299 after $150 off - ONLINE NOW
  • Magellan Triton 500 $149 aft. $50 off - ONLINE

    hhgregg

  • Garmin Nuvi 260 - $249 - Compare at Amazon
  • Jensen ?NVX-225? GPS - $99 (Early)
  • Magellan Maestro ?3100? - $139 - Compare vs. Amazon - My Full Review of the 3100/3140

  • TomTom ONE - $129 - Compare at Amazon
  • TomTom GO 720 - $349 See my Full Review TomTom GO 720


    K-Mart

  • Nextar S3 - $129 (see my Review of the Nextar C-3 for an idea of performance)

    Kohl's

  • Nextar GPS - $129 (see my Review of the Nextar C-3 for an idea of performance)


    Linens 'n Things

  • Amcor A3900 GPS - $99 - based on similar operating system as Mio, but can't vouch for this one.

    Long's Drugs

  • Magellan Maestro 3100 - $149 - Compare vs. Amazon - My Full Review of the 3100/3140

    MicroCenter

  • Mio C220 - w/ Earlybird Coupon - My Full Review of the C220

    Office Max

  • Mio C220 - $99 - See my Full Review of the C220
  • Magellan Maestro 4000 - $249

    Pep Boys

  • Mio Digiwalker C220 - $79 (Earlybird) after $40 Mail in Rebate - See my Full Review of the C220
  • TomTom ONE - $139 after $100 instant rebate. See my Full Review of the TomTom ONE XL - same system with a wider screen. - Compare at Amazon

    Radio Shack

  • Navigon 2100 - $149 (w/ traffic subscription incl.) - Read my Full Review of Navigon 2100
  • TomTom ONE 3rd edition - $139 - Compare at Amazon
  • Magellan Maestro 4040 - $299 - Compare vs. Amazon
  • Magellan Maestro 3100 - $129 - Compare vs. Amazon - My Full Review of the 3100/3140

  • Mio C320 - $149 - My Full Review of the Mio C320 GPS

    Ritz Camera

  • Garmin Nuvi 200W - $219 - My Full Review of the Nuvi 200W250W

    Sears

  • Magellan Maestro 4000 - $249 (about same as at Amazon)
  • Magellan Maestro 3100 - $149 (About $40 less than Amazon)
  • Delphi NAV 200 - $129 Fri/Sat deal. (See my Full Review)

    Target

  • Magellan Maestro 3100 - $149 - Compare vs. Amazon - My Full Review of the 3100/3140

    Staples

  • TomTom ONE 3rd ed - $124 - Compare at Amazon
  • Navigon 2100 w/ Traffic - $99 - Read my Full Review of Navigon 2100
  • Garmin Nuvi 260 - $249 - Compare at Amazon
  • Magellan Maestro 3100 - $139 - Compare vs. Amazon - My Full Review of the 3100/3140

    11-07 Free Shipping Banners
    ArrowContinue reading: "Black Friday GPS Deals - 2007"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (33) | social bookmarking
  • NAVTEQ Earnings up 47%

    navteqlogo.jpg
    NAVTEQ announced solid earnings growth related to the strong performance of GPS system growth. Sales were up 51% to $214.8 million, and net earnings were up 47% versus year ago. Big jumps for the map maker that supplies maps to Garmin and others. Recall that Nokia has announced plans to acquire NAVTEQ while Garmin and TomTom appear to be in a bidding war for the smaller and less profitable rival, TeleAtlas.

    Always interesting; stay tuned.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Inrix Secures $15Mil in Funding

    Inrix has received some extra funding, $15Mil. to pursue the traffic data feed space. With the markets set to explode over the coming years, they seem well positioned with a vast coverage network in the US, an agreement to feed data to TMC connected GPS units (as well as the TomTom Plus feed through the mobile phone network), they are also setting up shop in Europe. With the Europeans more tuned into GPS usage (penetration of GPS users is much higher there), and the fact that they deal with traffic a lot with the population density there, I would expect that they would be very receptive to better coverage and better prediction of the traffic landscape.

    When do we get a GPS with their National Average Speeds product? Well, Dash is coming to market soon (Q1 2008), and has already announced a partnership with Inrix, and Inrix followed up this press release below with the statement saying: “Several other major customers have been signed and will be formally announced in the coming months.” Can't wait.

    Press Release Follows…

    ArrowContinue reading: "Inrix Secures $15Mil in Funding"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Garmin Earnings up 59%

    newgarminlogo.jpg

    Garmin announced some impressive earnings on their business, with total sales up 79% and earnings up 59% over year ago. The sales growth was driven primarily by 118% growth in the automobile segment, which now accounts for 71% of total revenues (or about $517Million in the quarter). Sales grew in all regions, 71& in North America, 89% in Europe, and 109% in Asia.

    Our retail orders are strong, and we look forward to a solid 2007 holiday season,” said Kevin Rauckman, chief financial officer of Garmin Ltd. Well there you go; hang on for a rocking holiday season at the GPSLodge.

    More from the press release below…

    ArrowContinue reading: "Garmin Earnings up 59%"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Dashboard Friction GPS Mount

    GarminPortableFrictionMount.jpg
    Don’t want to leave “suction cup” rings on your windshield that thieves use as a telltale sign of a GPS inside? Live in Minneapolis or California where you can’t use a windshield mount? Don’t want to use that permanent adhesive disk to mount your GPS to the dash?

    The answer might just be the Dashboard Friction GPS Mount for the Garmin Nuvi series and the StreetPilot C530, C550. The mount is a beanbag type mount that uses its weight and slip resistant bottom to keep your GPS firmly mounted where you want it. More and more people I correspond with are buying these as a way to avoid one or more of the problems I highlighted above. Specs - 11 x 7.5 x 4.5 inches ; 1.5 pounds

    At Portable Friction Mount for Garmin GPS

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    November 1, 2007

    New TomTom TV Ad - Go Confidently

    New TomTom TV Ad is out on You Tube, and they pick up on a theme that I think is the essence of the GPS for so many users, especially people who see the device as a safety device. "Confidence" - the GPS gives you confidence to go where you may not have been so confident before, and with the advent of buttons like "Help Me" on the TomTom and others, you get the confidence to know that you can find help and that they can find you.

    Key to this confidence message in this ad is the mom driving in the middle of no where, with her sleeping baby in the back seat. I like the cry of the bird in the middle, making you think that a bird of prey is about to get you.

    Via Club TomTom

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Magellan RoadMate 1200

    MagellanRoadMate1200
    GPS Tracklog is talking about the stealth-ily launched Magellan Roadmate 1200 model.... "What?!" you say? Yea, that's what I thought too. The unit is an entry model unit with a limited number of features going for it, and a price to match. The unit uses a 3.5-inch screen, and 48-state maps + Hawaii and Puerto Rico. The unit looks a lot like a slimmed down Magellan Maestro 3100.

    There's got to be something more to having this, because if you are trying to get a low price on a Magellan, you can go with the Maestro 3100 for less than $200, while the new RoadMate 1200 is currently priced ABOVE $200. As the RoadMate 1200 becomes available maybe the prices will drop faster than the Maestro can. This could be a way to get unique models to a few select retailers so they can claim lowest price on a Magellan, or simply a Black Friday GPS Deal type move.

    Update: More from the Magellan Website below:

    ArrowContinue reading: "Magellan RoadMate 1200"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking
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