December 31, 2007

Compare Navigon 2100 vs 5100 vs 7100

A lot of people have been asking about the differences between the various Navigon models, so I thought I would put up a quick comparison table across the Navigon line (Comparison of the 2100, 5100, 7100). Over Black Friday, there was a huge on the Navigon units, as they were a big hit at a couple of stores. They also offered a Navigon 2100T model, which was the Navigon 2100 WITH the traffic service, versus an add-on after the purchase for the Navigon 2100.

If you want more information on the Navigon 2100, see my Full Review of the Navigon 2100.

2100 5100 7100
Screen 3.5" 3.5" 4.3"
Text-to-speech yes yes yes
Reality View yes yes yes
Lane Assist no no no
Maps Cont. US US/Canada US/Canada
Traffic $99 Lifetime Incl'd Lifetime Incl'd
Zagat Ratings $37 Incl'd Incl'd
RAM 64MB 64MB 64MB
Points of Interest 1.2Mil 5-6Mil 5-6Mil
Bluetooth No No Yes

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

December 30, 2007

Magellan Maestro 3200

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The Magellan Maestro 3200 line is the slimming update to the Maestro 3100 line that has been out for a while. The most obvious change is the super thin, svelte look of the device that is certainly striking.

The Magellan 3200 is the entry level unit in the line with a few nice features like its Quickspell capability to dim the keyboard letters that don't make sense as you are typing in words on the screen; definitely helps speed data entry when looking for an address.

The Maestro 3200 has 1.3 million Points of Interest, which is on the light side of things, but workable. The unit comes preloaded with maps of the 48 US states, plus Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Unlike the 3210, the 3200 does not come with "AAA" information pre-loaded. The Maestro 3200 gives voice based turn by turn directions, but not Text-to-speech.

At Amazon the Magellan Maestro 3200

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December 30, 2007

"Home" Button Foils GPS Thief


By now, most GPS units have a "Home" button, which you can set to quickly navigate to your house from where ever you are. It's a nice innovation that can make life very easy. It can apparently also snag a thief.

In Amityville NY, police stopped a man on a bike and questioned him about the several items he was carrying, including a GPS. After giving evasive answers, the police checked the GPS and the address that was filed under the "Home" button. The man on the bike didn't live there, but the man at the "Home" address indicated that the GPS was his.... busted.

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

December 29, 2007

Omnitech 4.3" Widescreen GPS

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A lot of folks are asking about the Omnitech GPS - a widescreen GPS that comes pre-loaded with US and Canadian NAVTEQ maps. The unit comes with a SiRF star III chipset, a 4.3 inch touchscreen, a 12V power cord and an A/C home charger. The unit also comes with Text-to-speech, which is the ability to say road names. Immensely helpful when roads are closely situated, not such a big deal when you are in a more remote situation where the road that you are going to turn onto is the only one for a mile....

The price has been all over the place on the unit, so shop around if you are interested in buying this.

In doing some searches around the internet, I found several resources where users wrote in about the unit freezing up when calculating routes, and that it creates some very odd routes; definitely a bad sign. To be balanced there are some people who rave about the performance and the ease of use. I still go back to the idea that it’s easy to design a GPS, but it’s hard to design a good GPS; I am not yet convinced that this is a good GPS.

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

December 29, 2007

Kindle Based GPS

kindle_gps.jpg

So if you bought a Kindle from Amazon, you might be able to hack it and bring in some Google Maps with some fake GPS triangulation work. I have used the Google Maps triangulation capability on my Blackberry and it stinks. It’s off by hundreds to thousands of meters which can make a world of difference if you need to navigate in a city.

Anyway, it’s still pretty cool if you can grab some Google Maps on the Kindle. Head on over to Reversing Everything to see the details. You can also access Minesweeper and some interesting functions like picture viewer.


Via Giz

Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

December 28, 2007

TomTom Bluetooth Compatible Phones

TomTomlogoSM.jpg

ClubTomTom, TomTom's US corporate blog, has an updated listing of bluetooth phones that are compatible with their GO 720 and GO 920 models. The list is getting longer, and it's always a good thing to see. Many have the ability to work with the TomTom PLUS services, and all are handsfree capable so you can talk over the phone through the GPS unit.

More Information and Reviews

  • My Full Review of the GO 720
  • My Full Review of the GO 920

    Club TomTom - Bluetooth Compatible Phone List

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

    Top 5 Post-Christmas GPS Units

    After all of the pre-Christmas buying and all of the unwrapped GPS units that found their way to dashboards already, there are still GPS units pouring out of stores these days. I was at a big box retailer yesterday and saw a few people lined up at the GPS display asking questions and drooling over the new units. (I didn't interrupt to tell them that prices online were probably better.)

    Amazon is generally a pretty good read on what's popular and what's not. While the ratings can change on an hourly basis, they do give a great view into what the public is buying at prices that are often hard to beat.

    Nuvi 350
    - Potentially the best selling unit in the US of all time, this thin GPS unit set the standard for thin GPS units back in the day. Still a very competitive unit with features like Text to Speech, and maps of North America, it's now at a pretty breakthrough price of under $300.

    Nuvi 200 - The value model in the Garmin line that offers a solid user interface, good routing and maps of the 48 states plus Hawaii.

    TomTom ONE - Potentially one of the biggest breakthroughs of the 2007 holidays, the TomTom ONE is also a value model in the US Market, with a good user interface, and a good company behind it. The $149 price due to the $100 GiveGive price promotion is helping to sell a lot of these (good for purchases made through 1/5/08).

    Garmin Nuvi 200W - The Widescreen version of the Nuvi 200 above - this gives a better navigation experience since you can enter your data more easily and see a lot more of what's going on around you while navigating.

    Garmin Nuvi 660
    - The intermediate level unit is a little over a year old, and comes packed with a lot of features including text to speech, TMC traffic, with the antenna integrated into the unit's power plug, a widescreen and maps of North America.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (3) | social bookmarking

    December 25, 2007

    Merry Christmas from GPS Lodge

    I wanted to thank all or our readers for a wonderful year. I hope that in some way that we've helped you get some news, critical information and a few reviews on GPS units across the last year. As we enter the fourth calendar year covering the world of GPS navigation, I can't believe how far we've come and how many people are now talking about GPS these days. It was a geeky niche when we started, a curious wonder this time last year, and now a full fledged mainstream must-have this past year.

    This year was only the beginning though, as we look ahead into 2008, I still expect to see a lot of innovation and excitement coming to the GPS segment.

    I'll be posting on a slower schedule until the New Year, when we'll come back in full force with more GPS news, reviews and information on how to buy and enjoy GPS Navigation.

    Cheers,

    Scott

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    December 24, 2007

    Gifts Cards Still An Option for GPS

    amazonlogo.jpg

    Ok - so you still want to get that GPS? Shipping deadline past? Try giving an Amazon Gift Card.

    Redeemable for all kinds of great GPS units. I fully expect another round of some minor discounting in the days following Christmas, as people come back to use up those gift cards. Clearly GPS was one of the hottest categories this year. I don't expect major cut and run price drops, but I could be wrong.

    Next up? CES 2008 January 7 -10 - where we'll hear the first of three major sets of announcements for new GPS units in 2008.

    Stop back for all the news.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    December 21, 2007

    TomTom ONE In Stock - Now Shipping - $149

    TomTomONE_3rd_edition.jpg
    Amazon finally has the TomTom ONE in stock again and is now shiping it; select next day shipping for delivery on 12/24 if ordered by Saturday's cut-off.

    At Amazon - TomTom ONE - $149

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    December 20, 2007

    Traffic.com Driving Directions with Traffic Avoidances

    Traffic_ComTripPlanner.jpg

    Traffic.com started up a Beta test of some new features that is starting to show off what's tom come in the world of traffic avoidances. Now if I can just take it with me when I drive.....

    Traffic.com is demonstrating how you can take into account current traffic flow conditions in areas with a broad set of traffic flow monitors to determine what the best route is right now, taking into account the current traffic conditions.

    "Direct Drive"
    Click on the image above to enlarge the image so that you can see the system offers you the "Direct Drive" with base time plus delay time for a total of 1 hour and 56 minutes. This route is in Blue.

    "Fastest Now"
    The optimized route in pink is estimated to take 1 hour and 13 minutes to make the trip from San Fernando to Long Beach in the middle of rush hour. The "Fastest Now" route takes you in a round about way to your location minimizing your travel time and your traffic headaches. The issue arises when a new accident comes up, or something similar and you are already on the road.

    What's Next?
    I'd love to see some more sophistication that would include Historical Average Speeds so that you know that if you leave in an hour you're still in a mess, but in two hour's time, things start to clear up.... Then bundle all of that on a stand alone GPS that is connected, and what do you have? The Dash Express that I rode around with last week.

    I think that 2008 is going to be the year traffic took off.

    Thanks Jim for sending this in.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    December 19, 2007

    Best Selling GPS - Hurry Still in Time for Christmas!

    I am still getting a lot of emails and comments about what GPS to buy and so, on, but the bottom line is that you need to decide soon. To illustrate, Amazon is running a bunch of deals on shipping over the coming days to make sure you can get your GPS in time to put it under the tree.

    Wednesday - Last FULL Day for 2-Day Shipping
    Thursday - Order by 3PM (PST) and get 2-Day shipping
    Friday - Last FULL Day for 1-Day Shipping
    Saturday - Order by 1PM (PST) and get 1-Day shipping

    All estimates are for getting items on or before 12/24; some items are excluded, and only on offers by Amazon.

    Anyway, cruise over there to check out the Best Selling GPS Units.

    Need some recommendations? - Check out our Holiday GPS Gift Guide.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Nav-Mat Friction GPS Mount for the Dashboard

    Navmat.jpg
    A lot of GPS readers have written in recommending this particular friction mount for dashboards. It's illegal to mount a GPS to the windshield in California and Minnesota, so if you live there or are traveling there, grab one of these (or use that sticky dash mount disk that will stay on the dash).

    Garmin has their own friction mount, with an extension for the Nuvi series. It's worth considering the NavMat friction mount too.

    It's made by Bracketron - check out their website for more information.

    At Amazon - The Bracketron NavMat GPS Friction Mount


    NavMat2.jpg

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

    TomTom Sales Way up in November

    TomTomlogoSM.jpg

    It was reported today that TomTom edged out Garmin in the US for total GPS units sold in the month of November, behind the TomTom Give Give sales event and a whole lot of Black Friday work to get units on Black Friday circulars. The sales figures exclude WalMart which had rival Garmin’s devices on special for the big sales day.

    NPD research indicates that US Market Share for GPS units sold in November was 30.6% for TomTom and 29.3% for Garmin – a reversal of the usual ~50% for Garmin and ~20% for TomTom in the US market. Clearly the $100-off GiveGive sale helped a LOT.

    While they claim that TomTom’s US market share is still above 30% for December, my uncertainty is that they blew through inventory and Garmin’s deeper bench of models and inventory will have them come out strong in the final seasonal sales. For instance, at Amazon, the TomTom ONE has been sold out through January since about the first of December, while Garmin units have been on special since then, rotating deals to push different models, in essence following TomTom’s price lead.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    December 18, 2007

    TMC Traffic City and Road Coverage

    TMCCoverage.gif

    GPS Lodge reader Rob pointed out that it can be hard to find out about TMC Traffic coverage for most GPS units, and so I thought it would be good to point out coverage for the US is limited to the top 65 or so metro areas in the US.

    The data is fed to Clear Channel from their data provider Inrix, which is then sent out as a data feed on the FM spectrum. Your GPS will pick it up if it has the TMC traffic feature and you have a trial or paid subscription to the service. The coverage was upped earlier this year, so that more roadways around cities were added as well as initiating new coverage on other cities. The same data feed provides coverage to Garmin, TomTom (TMC and TomTom PLUS services via mobile phone), Mio, Navigon, etc.

    One of the better maps (shown above – click for a larger version) I have seen is at Garmin’s support and sign-up pages for TMC. It's not totally up to date, but it's pretty clear.

    Head over to the Garmin website, and you will see a complete list of covered cities. Most cities have a pop-up map for road coverage (roads covered are shown in a red hue) around major cities. You can also check coverage at the Total Traffic Network site.

    Read More on Traffic information and coverage topics or a primer on TMC Traffic here at GPSLodge.com

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

    December 17, 2007

    Dash Navigation - Hands On

    DashNav.jpg

    Dash Navigation is planning a launch of their internet connected GPS device in the new year, and I was fortunate enough to take a ride with the unit last week and two folks from Dash, Gina Bender, Director of Communications and Eric Klein, Senior Director of Product Marketing. The newly designed unit is sure to be on display at CES 2008, and I was able to see first hand what's going to be the core offering of Dash. Dash also announced today that they are taking pre-orders for the unit at their website, with delivery happening in the first quarter of the year. The unit will cost $599, and will have a monthly subscription rate as low as $9.99 with 2-year commitment.

    screenshot-saved-search-1.jpgConnectedness is the key premise of offering a better user experience, allowing for updated maps, internet connected fuzzy logic search, the ability to "Send to GPS" addresses from any internet browser that you want. The Dash website has also been updated to provide some online capabilities so that you can configure your unit and save certain data sources and searches at your "My Dash" page.

    Traffic alert and planning features are pretty important next generation offerings that are enabled by the design choices made by Dash. Not only did they pre-load historical speed data from Inrix, but because you are connected, you can receive traffic alerts that
    are generated by other Dash users out on the roads. We were driving around Boston today and with about 50 of the 2,000 Beta users (out of 53,000 applicants) on the roads of Boston for the last couple of months, we saw traffic patterns that those units anonymously reported in. Construction near us showed up in red at a local intersection and as we drove around you could see the "trails" that were reported by those beta users due to other small construction projects. Very cool and amazing.


    Finally, when we were looking at the unit, an update came available, and asked us if we wanted to download it. Oh, yea, connected GPS gets updates where ever you are, if you want. You had the option to delay, but it just underscored for me the fact that this thing is going to be up to date and the applications will be tweaked to make certain that they are the best possible experience that you can get. I was assured that this was not a regular enough event that it would be annoying. This asked because we had just turned the unit on, and as it was booting, it checked for an update.

    DashUpdating.jpg

    Dash asking for an update - Always up to date software and Maps.....


    Stay tuned for more news on Dash, and look for them at CES 2008.

    Below you will find a video that Eric Klein did recently which mirrors a lot of what he covered with me personally here in Boston.



    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (4) | social bookmarking

    December 16, 2007

    Last Chance: Win a Garmin Nuvi 260 from GPS Lodge

    Nuvi260withBow.jpg
    Sign up NOW for your last 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
  • Garmin Nuvi 350 Sale - $299

    nuvi350front.jpg

    The Garmin Nuvi 350 is one of the most popular sellers these days in the GPS world. The unit has text-to-speech, maps of North America, and 6 million Points of Interest. Now it's selling at the breakthrough price of $299.

    As an aside, I saw this same unit "On Sale" in Best Buy for $349 - Save $50 and get it online with free shipping!

    Hurry - these deals don't usually last.

    At Amazon - Garmin Nuvi 350 for $299

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    December 14, 2007

    Garmin Nuvi 750 - Hot Seller

    GarminNuvi750.jpg


    The Garmin Nuvi 750 is one of the newer and hotter widescreens on the market right before Christmas. With the latest software and the slim new Nuvi design, it makes for a great high-end package. The unit has a long list of features, but a few standouts are:

  • High sensitivity GPS Chipset
  • North American Maps with 6 Million Points of Interest
  • Beautiful, bright widescreen
  • Multi-destination optimization and routing
  • FM Transmitter to send audio played on its MP3 or Audio book player to your car stereo

    See my Full Review of the Garmin Nuvi 750/760/770 for more information.

  • Want to add Bluetooth and TMC Traffic? - Check out the Nuvi 760.
  • Want to then add European Maps too? - Check out the Nuvi 770.

    At Amazon – The Garmin Nuvi 750 Widescreen GPS

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking
  • Mio C220 Trouble? – Install SD Card First!

    MioC220small.jpg

    Mio wants people to know, especially the folks who recently bought the Mio C220, that you need to put the SD card in the unit for it to work. The Mio C220 has the maps on the SD Card, and it seems that not everyone knows to put the SD card in the unit before firing it up. No SD card means no working GPS.

    Mio Says:
    1. Before you power on your C220, insert the SD Card firmly into the slot on the right side of the device
    2. Once the SD card has been inserted into the device, power on your C220 by pressing and holding the power button for 10 seconds.

    For More information check out the Mio GPS Page on the SD Card for Mio C220

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

    December 13, 2007

    Garmin Nuvi 260 vs. Garmin Nuvi 350

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    I have had a lot of people ask about which product they should buy – the Nuvi 260 or the Nuvi 350. On the surface both are pretty similar, but they are actually quite different in what they can do for you so, read on and find out what’s right for you.

    The Nuvi 350 is a little bit older, launched during 2005, it was a wave of change that changed the market to flat and compact. The Nuvi 260 was launched in 2007, and features the newer more compact design that is across the newer model line, like the Nuvi 200W/250W and Nuvi 750/760/770 series.

    First of all what do they BOTH have:

    Standard size color touch screen, Maps of North America with 6 Million Points of Interest, Text to Speech, small and flat form factor, easy to use interface, picture viewers, and the same navigation overall.

    What’s Different between the Nuvi 260 and the Nuvi 350?

    The Nuvi 350’s case and form is a bit different, as it has a slightly thicker case and a swing up patch antenna that needs to be raised to work. The Nuvi 260 is a newer look that is thinner (slightly) and more svelte looking. The Nuvi 350 has a slightly longer battery life – up to 8 hours according to Garmin, versus 5 hours for the Nuvi 260. I think that the 5 hours of battery life is fine, and the extra in the Nuvi 350 isn’t a big deal.

    Media – The Nuvi 350 has an MP3 player, an Audiobook player and a headphone jack, the Nuvi 260 does not.

    Traffic – The Nuvi 350 has the optional ability to add TMC traffic, the Nuvi 260 does not. This is a big difference and one worth thinking about as it may effect the future of how you use your GPS. This may be worth adding if you drive in commuter traffic every day, and pretty key feature at that. For some people this makes a big difference and that the added traffic feature is a big advantage of a GPS. For others, no big issue. Read more on TMC traffic.

    At Amazon - The Garmin Nuvi 260 or the Garmin Nuvi 350


    Both appear on my 2007 GPS Holiday Gift Guide; at this writing the Nuvi 260 is about $40+ less than the Nuvi 350.

    Hope this helps.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    Cobra calls it Quits in the GPS Market - Kindof

    Bowing to increased pressure and price droops, Cobra has decided to exit the design and selling Mass Market for GPS devices. The NavOne line has had some limited success, but in the face of big competitors and a slew of brands coming in from all over the world at bargain prices, they just couldn’t achieve the footing or scale. "Cobra has not achieved profitability in the mobile navigation category for several reasons. The competitive environment for portable navigation devices has intensified and thus further pushed out prospects for positive returns on our investment," said Jim Bazet, Cobra's President and Chief Executive Officer.

    They did however leave the door open to selling items that are designed and manufactured by others, “We will pursue profitable niche opportunities involving products …sourced from other vendors.”

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    December 12, 2007

    GPS Like System for Firefighters?

    An interesting new system based on the general premise of the GPS system of triangulation of a receiver’s distance from satellites may make its way to helping locate firefighters in burning buildings.

    An Indoor Positioning System or IPS is being talked about by Thales, the former owner of Magellan. The system uses Ultra Wide Band signals that could tell distances inside buildings where GPS signals can’t penetrate. Very cool.

    Via

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    New Vehicle Icons for your Garmin?

    sleigh.jpg

    Want to change your vehicle icons? Well that's easy on Garmin Nuvi and some StreetPilot models.

    The Garmin website has a bunch of vehicle icons that are available, including the slick sleigh pictured here.

    Go to the Garmin website, and see the directions to download the icon onto your computer; you then connect your Nuvi to your computer with the USB cable, and open up the Nuvi icon under “My Computer”. Get the vehicle icon file “*.srf” and drop it into the “vehicles” folder on the Nuvi.

    Disconnect the Nuvi from the computer, start it and then go to “Tools -> Settings-> Map-> Vehicle/Change” Select the one you like and hit OK.

    Also compatible on StreetPilot 500 series and Zumo units. I played with this when I had a Nuvi 760 in for review; easy to change and fun too.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    December 11, 2007

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

    Nuvi260withBow.jpg
    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


    Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

    For all more Holiday GPS Gift Picks see my

    GPS Holiday Gift Guide



    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
  • December 10, 2007

    TomTom GO 920/920T Full Review

    tomtomgo920frontmain.jpg

    I have been lucky enough to have been driving around with the TomTom GO 920T, their latest top of the line release that was unleashed onto the GPS market barely a month ago. The unit offers a pretty significant slug of features, wrapped in a nice but modest looking widescreen package. At its heart, the TomTom GO 920 is a very capable navigator, complete with North American and European maps pre-loaded, a bright widescreen, a high sensitivity receiver, TMC Traffic feeds (standard on the 920T; optional on the 920), Bluetooth handsfree, a remote control, and a voice activated control capability for address inputs.

    The new GO 920/920T also have the ability to do dead reckoning when the unit loses a signal, like when you are going under the big dig tunnel in Boston, so it tells you where to go despite having lost a signal. Like the TomTom GO 720, the TomTom GO 920/920T has the ability to record your own turn commands through an easy interactive menu, making the navigation a lot of fun, especially if you used kids as your voice talent.

    ArrowContinue reading: "TomTom GO 920/920T Full Review"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (12) | social bookmarking

    Garmin Colorado Handheld line

    garmincolorado400.jpg
    Garmin is readying the Garmin Colorado Handheld GPS unit, most likely for a CES 2008 announcement. With introductions from just about everyone else, the Garmin Colorado is expected to be a pretty big addition to the last family of handhelds to get downloadable satellite imagery. The new layout and format shows a “Rock n’ Roller” input pad on the top of the unit and a rather large 240 x 400 pixel display down low.


    Like I have talked about and dreamed of before, the new Garmin Colorado will offer the ability to exchange routes and data points wirelessly with other compatible devices through their ANT technology. This is also used on the Edge 605 and 705 units, and is a result of their recent acquisition. Too bad they can’t come out with an SD memory/ANT combination card to allow those of us with SD card compatible eTrex devices to exchange data with the new big boys on the block.

    I fully expect a whole line of these units, and apparently Bass Pro Shops has prematurely put the Garmin Colorado 400 up for sale.

    From BassPro.com:
    Make navigation simple with Garmin's Colorado 400 Bluechart GPS Unit. This full-feature, high-sensitivity Garmin GPS unit is pre-loaded with detailed, up-to-date Coastal U.S. marine charts including charts for the Great Lakes, Hawaii and Alaska.

  • Pre-loaded with detailed Coastal U.S. marine charts including Great Lakes, Hawaii and Alaska
  • Unique ''Rock 'N' Roller'' input device
  • 65K Color TFT display
  • 240 x 400 pixels
  • 16 hours on AA batteries
  • Accepts SD cards for optional downloaded maps
  • 2-axis electronic compass
  • Altimeter
  • Temperature sensor
  • Waterproof
  • ANT™ Communications to wirelessly exchange routes, tracks, waypoints, and geocaches between two units
  • Paperless Geocaching supports display of detailed geocache information


    Via GPSTracklog

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
  • Garmin to buy Inrix?

    An analyst thinks that Garmin is going to make a play for Inrix, the often mentioned here traffic information provider to the TMC traffic service. Making the argument, the analyst for ABI assumes that Garmin wants the leverage in the market. Not so sure that’s true, as they just signed a long extension with NAVTEQ, owner of Traffic.com.

    While the theory may or may not be on the mark, the article does provide some validation on an idea that traffic services is going to be big. Specifically, this research says that traffic services could be a multi-billion dollar a year business within a decade.

    I continue to see signs that we are about to get a lot more capability not only in GPS, but online and through mobile phones. The market is ripe for a better way to beat traffic is be aware of what issues lie ahead.

    Accurate travel time estimations require better knowledge of primary and secondary road speeds. Getting that information requires reporting on that data through road sensors, GPS equipped vehicles that can report back on their travel times (think delivery trucks), and anonymous mobile phone data.

    There are three basic ways to collect traffic data:

    Road Sensors – strips or radar type guns monitor volume and speed along a highway. Oldest form of technology.

    GPS Probe Data – Vehicles equipped with GPS and two way communication can report back road speed data. Think taxi’s and delivery trucks.

    Mobile Phone Monitoring – As the millions of mobile phones travel down roads, they report back to cell towers and that information is stripped of the owner’s ID, aggregated and passed on as speed and traffic incident reporting. Newest form of data collection.

    As you would imagine it’s a numbers and technology game. If you can turn the hundreds of millions of phones out there into usable data, it will be a powerful tool.


    The big players are:

    Inrix – road sensors, and GPS “probe” data helps it report on a vast amount of roadways.

    Traffic.com – road sensors primarily and now GPS probe data; now owned by NAVTEQ

    AirSage – Sees how fast anonymous mobile phone users are traveling down a road to deliver data.

    IntelliOne – Similar to AirSage uses anonymous mobile phone data to map road speeds. See their demonstration on Tampa Florida to get an idea of how this works on a vast series of roadways.

    Want to read more? Check out all of my posts on Traffic.


    Via

    Thanks to Jim for sending in the article.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    December 9, 2007

    Garmin Nuvi 200 Price Drop - $169

    GarminNuvi200sm.jpg
    Amazon just dropped the price of the Garmin Nuvi 200 to $169; a bargain price for a unit that was running over $200 a few weeks ago.

    The unit has a very simple interface, maps of the 48 states + Hawaii, a high sensitivity GPS chipset, and a slim form factor.

    See my Full Review of the Nuvi 200/250/270 – I used it this past Spring, and liked it a lot.

    This price may not last long.

    At Amazon – Garmin Nuvi 200 - $169


    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

    December 7, 2007

    Holiday Gift Guide Highlight: TomTom ONE 3rd Ed.

    tomtomone3rdsm.jpg
    The TomTom ONE 3rd Edition is a follow-up, to well the 2nd edition and represents is subtle hardware upgrade and a nice software upgrade that brings the unit into the modern light with some nice features.

    Basics - The TomTom ONE 3rd is a standard screen size unit with North American Maps and about 2+ Million POI. It has a high sensitivity GPS receiver and an internal battery that will last a few hours, but not much longer. We aren't talking all day here. Obviously the unit comes with a suction cup mount, a 12V power cord, the TomTom GPS unit itself, a USB cable and an installation CD.

    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. First available on the GO 720, now available on the TomTom ONE 3rd.

    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 ONE 3rd Ed - Note they are expecting this unit to ship in January. Buy now and get the $100 GiveGive instant rebate that ends Jan 5th.

  • TomTom ONE 3rd at Tiger Direct -$149 after MIR
    icon
  • Click to Compare Prices on TomTom ONE 3rd Ed


    For all more Holiday GPS Gift Picks see my

    GPS Holiday Gift Guide




    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
  • December 6, 2007

    IntelliOne Traffi Demo - Wow.

    So, how about anonymous mobile phone data feeding up to the minute traffic information to make your life better?

    Intellione is hosting a demo of Tampa, FL that is pretty impressive. You'll have to check it out. Google Maps Mash-up that allows you to zoom in on roads and see speeds; click on the road and you get the average speed and the number of handsets that are measuring the speed there.

    When you hit the demo, click on the Google Traffic button to see the difference in coverage.

    Can I get that to feed the TomTom HD device?

    Press Release Follows....

    ArrowContinue reading: "IntelliOne Traffi Demo - Wow."

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    December 5, 2007

    TomTom HD in US - FCC Site has SIM Card Power Plug

    TomTomSIMPlug.jpg

    The FCC has a TomTom 12V power outlet on their site that appears to be related to their recent TomTom HD announcement for Europe; that has me thinking that they are making concrete plans to bring the TomTom HD to the US; soon.

    The power outlet has a SIM card input that may allow you to obtain traffic (and maybe other) information from the mobile phone networks directly to your TomTom. This would leapfrog the current traffic offerings that travel across the FM airwaves.

    With the traffic HD capability loaded onto the 12V plug hardware, and that hardware going into a mini-USB plug, one has to think that this may be a future traffic option on many current TomTom GPS units. Could this testing be the reason why TomTom is looking for Beta Testers who have their own TomTom units? Let’s hope so. Have you applied yet?

    Picture and info via YourNav


    Thanks Jim for sending this in.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    December 4, 2007

    Holiday Gift Guide Highlight: Garmin Nuvi 350

    Perennially a popular seller the Garmin Nuvi 350 is still a powerful performer in the marketplace with a long history and one of the pioneering units in the flat form factor GPS. It is still a very good unit, with new maps, a SiRF star III high sensitivity chipset, and maps of North America. Originally designed for the traveling business exec, it comes with several tools that one might find useful, like a calculator and the ability to play audiobooks and MP3’s. An important feature for the Nuvi 350 is the Text to Speech capability.

    Nuvi350sm.jpgThe Nuvi 350 is pretty capable, and comes ready to accept an optional TMC antenna for traffic alert services should you want to add those later. I have used its sibling the Nuvi 360, which adds Bluetooth Handsfree, and liked the experience, and the navigation capabilities in a compact, trustworthy unit.


  • At Amazon - the Garmin Nuvi 350

  • Compare Prices on the Garmin Nuvi 350


    For all more Holiday GPS Gift Picks see my

    GPS Holiday Gift Guide



    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking
  • December 3, 2007

    TomTom Needs Beta Testers

    TomTom is looking for a few good men and women to be beta testers for new product and/or product upgrades. If you qualify according to the list below head on over to the TomTom Beta tester page to sign up. Sounds like you need to know your way around a TomTom and be a fairly active driver.

    You won't get fortune and fame but you might just secretly be the first on your block to see the new features coming to TomTom.


    They expect a TomTom beta tester that s/he will:

  • Bea current owner of a TomTom GO 720/920/920T, or ONE 3rd edition, ONE XL, ONE XL•S
  • Test TomTom products and applications for a minimum of 2 to 5 hours a week
  • Start using TomTom product/application within 2 business days of receiving it
  • Always test the latest application version available on the TomTom Beta Test forum
  • Report feedback in English on the beta test forum
  • Report on issues or bugs found during testing within 1 business day
  • Regular reporting of usability experience
  • Answer TomTom survey questions and send in log files (as needed)
  • Participate in our TomTom Beta Test program under a formal Non-Disclosure Agreement

    Follow the next steps to sign up for the beta program:
    1. Sign in with your personal MyTomTom account (or create one).
    2. Select "Sign up" on the left hand side of your screen to complete your details.

    Via ClubTomTom

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
  • December 1, 2007

    Widescreen GPS For an Extra $20 - Garmin Nuvi 200W Sale

    nuvi250W.jpg

    Pricing is just amazing these days – I try to keep an eye on it and right now, at Amazon, not only can you get Bluetooth Handsfree for an extra $1 – moving from the Nuvi 350 to the Nuvi 360, but you can move from a standard screen to a widescreen for less than $20.

    The Garmin Nuvi 200 is a great little device, basic, standard screen, maps of the 48 states + Hawaii, and an easy to digest price - $199. Lots of outlets have the Nuvi 200 at $199 this week. But....

    For only $219, you can move up to the widescreen version of the unit – the Nuvi 200W. That's about the best $20 you could spend if you were already planning to buy the Nuvi 200. See more on why I like Widescreen GPS units.

  • See my Full Review of the Nuvi 200W/250W

    At Amazon – The Garmin Nuvi 200W

    Also at Amazon - The Garmin Nuvi 200


    For all more Holiday GPS Gift Picks see my

    GPS Holiday Gift Guide



    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
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