March 31, 2008

Garmin Gets More Mobile - Blackberry and Samsung

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Garmin also announced a bunch of mobile news as they build out their mobile phone navigation capabilities. They are putting new features into their Blackberry presence with server hosted navigation that includes realtime traffic and gas prices, on top of the turn by turn navigation that has the familiar Garmin interface. Their dead simple interface asks "Where to?" or offers you to "View Map" - the two basic needs when you turn to a navigation device. The Deal on the BlackBerry devices is for Centennial based units who will make available via download a free, seven-day trial subscription of Garmin Mobile for BlackBerry on new and existing Centennial BlackBerry 8310 Smartphones.

Also available is the Garmin Mobile interface and navigation for Samsung phones where an SD card carries the software- pop it in and start navigating.

More at Garmin Mobile

Thanks Allory for sending this in.

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March 31, 2008

Garmin "Send to GPS" - Google and MapQuest

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Garmin is getting hooked up with a couple of online giants as the GPS maker is tying the knot with the online map and directions providers. While it may seem like a small step forward, the bottom line is that millions of searches for direcitons and locations are done every day on these mapping portals. Maybe the Send to GPS capability will open consumers' eyes to the idea of the interactivity between the mapping sites and the GPS.

This follows on the heels of MapQuest announcing a deal with Inrix to provide traffic data through the mapping portal.

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March 30, 2008

Review: Garmin Colorado 400t Full Review

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The Colorado 400t recently launched into an ever expanding category of handheld GPS units, where Garmin has had a long track record of offering solid handheld capabilities in a package that suits customers well. I have been using a Garmin handheld for close to 10 years, and in that time, I have used them to navigate up mountains on hikes, navigate to geocaches around the country and navigate across New England on week-long bike rides. Over that time, I've assembled a wish list that pretty much got erased with the release of the Colorado series. The Colorado 400T comes with a lot of key features that make using it a pleasure.

There are a few big features that make the Colorado 400t a hot handheld: Big color screen, shaded Topo maps, easy access to features with the Rock n Roller wheel, wireless sharing of information with other Colorado users, advanced geocaching features, and the ability to set up profiles allowing you to set up preferences for different uses.

There were a couple of key questions in my mind going into this review: Is the Rock n Roller wheel really something that is easy to use, are the interface changes usable and intuitive for a longtime user, will the interface give me any new advantages over what I already have, and is the screen size and overall size of the unit an issue versus my trusted eTrex Vista unit.

ArrowContinue reading: "Review: Garmin Colorado 400t Full Review"

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March 30, 2008

GPS Steals and Deals - 3/30

Not as much movement this week in prices, although one highlight is the TomTom ONE deal at Staples - $139; see below.


Big News This Week is the Nuvi 200W still under $200
. If you are looking at an entry level Standard Screen unit (i.e. Nuvi 200), without Text to Speech, consider the extra $40 for the Nuvi 200W at $199. Basic Widescreen navigation, 48-state maps, easy to use interface; See the Widescreen difference. More info below.


Standard Screens - 3.5-inch


  • Garmin Nuvi 200 at Amazon - $159 No Text to Speech, Continental US Maps, solid interface and routing. (Saw it this morning on sale at big box stores for $199) See My Full Review - Nuvi 200 for more info.

  • Garmin Nuvi 260 at Amazon - $233 Text to Speech, Maps of North America, solid interface. Same quality routing as Nuvi 200, just adds more maps and text to speech. At this point, I am recommending the Nuvi 260 with its updated interface, newer design and slightly lower price; for more see: Compare the Nuvi 260 vs. the Nuvi 350

  • TomTom ONE - $158 and Free Shipping at Amazon. Entry Level TomTom with Maps of North America, no Text to Speech. This unit is $139 at Staples starting today.

  • Nuvi 350 at Amazon $243 - Still a top seller with North American Maps, and Text-to-Speech.
  • Mio C230 - $136 at Amazon; basic GPS Navigation. Text to Speech. Also at Radio Shack for $129

Widescreen Models

  • Nuvi 200W at Amazon $188 - No Text to Speech, Continental US Maps. See My Full Review - Nuvi 200W.
  • Nuvi 660 at Amazon $330 Down again this week - Text to Speech, North American Maps, TMC Traffic Capability included. See My Full Review - Nuvi 660
  • TomTom XL S at Amazon $298 - $50 off this week - Text to Speech, North American Maps.
  • Nuvi 750 - $369 at Amazon - New thin design with Text to Speech and Maps of North America. Route Optimization - plug in multiple stops and let the unit optimize the route for fastest planning.
  • Magellan Maestro 4000 - $159. The unit has voice guided directions (Not text-to-speech), maps of the continental US, and 1.5 million POI. The Maestro 4000 comes with AAA TourBook information that I liked when I reviewed the Maestro 3140 last year. Read that full review for an idea of what I thought of the Maestro products.
  • Garmin Nuvi 780 - $537 - is also advertised at Best Buy for $699 - killer waste of about $160 by going to Best Buy. Has MSN Direct 2, with traffic and gas prices sent to your GPS. See My Full Review of the Nuvi 780 for more information.

It's Running Season and for many, it's time to hit the roads. I am starting to watch the prices on the Forerunners. Steady price these days.


  • Forerunner 305 - $214 at Amazon - Heart Rate Monitor with wrist-mounted GPS Receiver, tracks distance and keeps your speed and pace. Syncs to computer for training records.
  • Forerunner 205 - $159 at Amazon - Wrist-mounted GPS Receiver, no Heart Rate Monitor. Tracks distance and keeps your speed and pace. Syncs to computer for training records.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 28, 2008

Dash Express GPS - #6 Seller at Amazon

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Thought I would pass this along; Dash must be moving some units because the Dash Express is the #6 GPS at Amazon. Granted there is an exclusive deal with Amazon for the first 30 days, so this is the only retailer you can buy the unit at (Other than the Dash website), but hey it's notable nonetheless.

Dash is the first internet connected GPS offers Yahoo! local search, up to the minute traffic, historical average speeds and a networked traffic capability where you learn about traffic from other Dash users.

Take a look at my First Impressions GPS Review on the Dash Express for more information.

At Amazon - The Dash Express

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GPS Review: Magellan RoadMate 1200

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Magellan continues to put out newly packaged units for the market, keeping the line updated with some pretty high end features like voice recognition on the new Maestro Elite 5340 Elite with GPRS mobile connectivity to give you live updates on traffic conditions and some limited connectivity to the internet while driving. So while the high end of the market is important for driving news and profitability with those higher profit units, a lot of people understand that the start of the GPS battle is waged on the entry level end of the market. Those battles are fought with deep discounts, specials where a $15 dollar difference can drive units off the shelf by the dozen. The issue is that with so many people coming into the GPS market, and buying an entry level unit for their first unit, you really need to lock them up with a great experience, so when they are destined to upgrade you keep them as loyal consumers, and they upgrade within your line. Ok; long story short, it appears the Magellan RoadMate 1200 falls short on the quality needed to get people to stay with the Magellan name, according to a recent review by CNet, where they thought the unit fell short in a few key areas.

CNet saw that slow performance in a couple of areas really brought the experience and overall usability to a screeching halt. Slow at registering inputs had them waiting after screen taps so that they said they "Spent a lot of time looking at the hourglass", while some sluggishness in turn commands had then getting the command as they were passing the street they needed.

The Magellan RoadMate 1200 is a standard screen unit, 3.5-inches, with maps of the US (48-state), and 1.3 million POI (A little on the short side for my tastes).

ReadMore on the CNet Review of the Magellan RoadMate 1200

At Amazon - The Magellan Roadmate 1200

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March 27, 2008

Magellan Maestro 4000 - $159/ Garmin Nuvi 200W $188

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Not a bad deal on an entry level widescreen unit from Magellan. I mean widescreen for $159?

What to you get?

The Maestro 4000, the unit has voice guided directions (Not text-to-speech), maps of the continental US, and 1.5 million POI. The Maestro 4000 comes with AAA TourBook information that I liked when I reviewed the Maestro 3140 last year. Read that full review for an idea of what I thought of the Maestro products.

at Amazon - The Magellan Maestro 4000

If you want a Garmin - the Nuvi 200W at Amazon $188 - No Text to Speech, Continental US Maps. The difference is that the Garmin has 5-6Million POI so looking for a local business will have a much higher success rate. The Garmin not have the AAA TourBook content, but has what I believe is an easier interface to use. See My Full Review - Nuvi 200W

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Dash Express GPS - First Impressions Review

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I have only had the Dash Express a few days, but what I can say is that there is a new revolution out there in GPS devices, and I think it's been quietly brewing since they announced the idea to the public so long ago. There are a lot of features and capabilities that are here that make one think there is something a lot bigger than just directions here; there is real well thought out design work to make your life better by using the Dash.

Is the Dash perfect? No, and I think the people at Dash would say the same thing, but they already have plans to improve. With the connectedness, the Dash units are capable of frequent firmware upgrades that allow Dash to tweak and improve as they go. To be clear, they are starting in a very good place. I am of the impression that they took the time to get to market and used it wisely.

The big thing with the Dash is that it is the first connected generation of GPS units to market. Expect the others to come rushing in, but this is it right here, the next generation of GPS units. The unit has both a WiFi antenna and a mobile phone radio in it to connect back to Dash servers and connect to some limited internet capabilities. This allows you to search on Yahoo! Local search, and get all kinds of traffic data back from Dash. You are also acting as a traffic probe and sending your own traffic and road speed data back to them anonymously so that you can help out other fellow Dash users (and yourself) by mapping traffic patterns. I've already done my share of traffic mapping over the last few days; hope you other Dash users in Boston can appreciate my tracks.

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Unboxing - Dash Express Connected GPS

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Part of the coverage of the new Dash Express GPS that ships today is to show you what comes with the Dash Express and a little peek inside the box. I was told the other day by Dash that they are doing their best to get Dash Express units out to people who pre-ordered their units for delivery this morning. Yes, that's right, you stuck with them, were nice when they delayed shipments on the units for a month, and now Dash is giving a little back so that they are getting units on your doorstep Thursday, the day that the rest of us though the unit would simply ship, not deliver!

DashExpressOpenBox.jpgHere's a look at the Dash Express inside the box.



DashExpressInsidebox.jpgPull out the Dash Express to reveal all the goodies in the bottom of the box.



DashExpressMountSide.jpg

Here's a side view of the pretty sturdy mount.




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What's in the Dash Express Box: 1) The Dash Express Unit, 2) The Suction Cup Mount, 3) A Mount Extender for getting it away from the windshield and closer to you, 4) An AC wall charger, 5) A Mini-USB cable, 6) A Car Charger that plugs into the mount, 7) A Dashboard adhesive disk, 8) A Dash Express travel pouch, 9) A Getting Started guide and 10) a Dash Express Installation guide.


At Amazon the Dash Express

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Dash Express on Sale At Amazon - New Lower Price $399

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It's been a long time coming, but the Dash Express is finally shipping, and they made sure that they will make some headlines with an exclusive partnership for the first month's sales through Amazon.com, as well as a BIG price drop from the early numbers of $600 - $800, and down from previously advertised level of $599; now available for $399.

I was told the other day by Dash that even those of you who pre-ordered will get the new lower price.

The Dash Express is available for purchase immediately at the Dash Store at Amazon

Stop back later today for my: Dash Express First Impressions Review.


The press release follows.....

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March 26, 2008

Interview: TomTom US President Jocelyn Vigreux

There's a quick news segment with the US President of TomTom, Jocelyn Vigreux, available for viewing. The recent interview covers a bit about TomTom's rapid ascent into one of the leadership positions of the GPS market in the US. It also covers a bit about MapShare, the crowdsourcing of TomTom's map fixes. While the million changes submitted so far by users pales in comparison to the millions a month that TeleAtlas finds and fixes, it's a big start. MapShare allows users to enter changes and change requests into their TomTom GPS and then upload those changes so that others can benefit from the common knowledge. Why not capture these changes and broaden your ability to capture the information? "Fraud", you say? They've got a handle on that already.

Interestingly, Mr. Vigreux indicates that there are a fair amount of people naming their streets after themselves, which is caught and not pushed back out to other users by the system protections that are put in place to avoid fraud. Either way this is a big turnaround from where they were a couple of years ago, when they suffered from map quality concerns. What was once a general market concern is now being played as a marketing strength; witness the launch of TomTom's new site Live Changing Maps which talks through the various aspects of their Map Program from guaranteed latest maps on your unit when you buy it, to the MapShare program.


Via ClubTomTom

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March 25, 2008

Mio Announced Moov 200, 210, 300, 310 for US

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Fresh off the announcement at CeBit of new Mio Moov models for Europe, Mio has announced the lineup officially for the US. The line will feature a newly designed set of hardware that takes the sleek design of the past to a more refined level. The hardware will also have an up to date chipset in it for fast satellite lock times, virtually eliminating lag times when you use the unit on a regular basis. The SiRF star III with InstantFix II capabilities actually predicts into the near future where satellites will be so it knows where to look, essentially to find them when you turn it on the next day.

The Mio Moov 200 and 210 are standard screen, 3.5-inch models, while the 300 and 310 are widescreen 4.3-inch models. The 210 and 310 add TMC traffic built in and come with a 1 year subscription to the service. Not bad for the prices. The list prices for the Mio Moov 200, 210, 300 and 310 are $179.95, $199.95, $229.95 and $249.95 respectively; expect some discounting and sales off of those points. I think these prices are set to pit them against the Navigon deals of late where they must be taking market share from Mio. While $179 may not blow your doors off, thats list price, and for only $249, you get a widescreen with TMC traffic and a 1-year subscription; that's a pretty good price. then if you look at the pricing structure, they are charging $20 more for TMC with a 1-year subscription; who wouldn't want this if they deal with traffic on a regular basis?

Finally the Mio Moov series represents a move away from the iGo software interface that they relied on up until now. Some thing the departure is a good thing, some do not. I will reserve my judgement for when I get my hands on one and try it out myself.

Press Release follows.......


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March 24, 2008

Garmin to Power New Kenwood Models

Garmin and Kenwood are firming up their agreements ahead of 2008 models going on sale so that the Garmin navigation capabilities power the new Kenwood units that include navigation. It keeps both Kenwood and Garmin in their own areas of what they do best. Not only does Kenwood get a great navigation platform, but they can integrate it into some fantastic entertainment units without worrying about developing a navigation interface that would most likely be second rate at best.

Press Release follows...

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Garmin Colorado Software Update - Upgrade Now

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If you haven't already, you should consider upgrading your Garmin Colorado handheld. The last updates (2/18) gets you some nice updates that are listed below for the 400t version. The big thing that I have seen is the added Geocache support, including putting the Geocache image on the map. Should have been on there in the first place (it's on the eTrex), but I lije the responsiveness to the customer feedback.

How to Upgrade: You can use the Garmin Webupdater (for Win or Mac), which checks for updates and downloads the right one for your unit once it's plugged into the computer, or you can go directly to the unit update page and download the file yourself.

From the Garmin Site version 2.4 updates:

  • Improved acquisition time in certain circumstances.
  • Improved power on time.
  • Improved backlight support.
  • Improved support for NiMH batteries.
  • Improved Wherigo player.
  • Added ability to show and review geocaches on the map.
  • Added ability to log geocaches as found.
  • Increased maximum geocache count to 2000.
  • Added support for BlueChart currents.
  • Added ability to view extended information for custom POI's.
  • Added ability for turn preview beep to reset the backlight timeout.
  • Corrected map to display road labels.
  • Corrected map to display small towns.
  • Corrected map to not change orientation when beginning pan mode.
  • Corrected metric nautical setting to display appropriate map scale
  • Support for Colorado Field Notes, at geocaching.com.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
  • March 23, 2008

    GPS Steals and Deals - 3/23

    Well, Happy Easter. If the Easter Bunny didn't drop a GPS in your Easter Basket, maybe you'll just need to get one for yourself.

    Most Garmins are down a few bucks this week, with the exception of the Nuvi 200 - It's down almost $30 this week.

    Best prices might be either at Costco - Nuvi 650 for $299, or the Garmin 660 at Amazon for $338 (See below)

    Big News This Week is the Nuvi 200W still under $200
    . If you are looking at an entry level Standard Screen unit (i.e. Nuvi 200), without Text to Speech, consider the extra $40 for the Nuvi 200W at $199. Basic Widescreen navigation, 48-state maps, easy to use interface; See the Widescreen difference. More info below.


    Standard Screens - 3.5-inch

    Widescreen Models

    • Nuvi 200W at Amazon $196 - No Text to Speech, Continental US Maps. (Best Buy featured this for $199 this morning in their Flier) See My Full Review - Nuvi 200W.
    • Nuvi 660 at Amazon $339 Down again this week - Text to Speech, North American Maps, TMC Traffic Capability included. See My Full Review - Nuvi 660
    • TomTom XL S at Amazon $298 - $50 off this week - Text to Speech, North American Maps.
    • Nuvi 650 - $299 at Costco; after $100 coupon. Very good deal on a Text to speech unit in widescreen. Essentially the same as the Nuvi 660 minus the TMC Traffic and Bluetooth Handsfree. Deal good through 3/23. - ENDS TODAY
    • Nuvi 750 - $356 at Amazon - down again this week. New thin design with Text to Speech and Maps of North America. Route Optimization - plug in multiple stops and let the unit optimize the route for fastest planning.

    Finally, It's Running Season and for many, it's time to hit the roads. I am starting to watch the prices on the Forerunners.


    • Forerunner 305 - $214 at Amazon - Heart Rate Monitor with wrist-mounted GPS Receiver, tracks distance and keeps your speed and pace. Syncs to computer for training records.
    • Forerunner 205 - $159 at Amazon - Wrist-mounted GPS Receiver, no Heart Rate Monitor. Tracks distance and keeps your speed and pace. Syncs to computer for training records.

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    March 21, 2008

    TomTom ONE $139 @ Staples - 3/30

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    This is still a while off, but I heard that Staples will have the TomTom ONE on sale for $139 next weekend. If you are looking for one of these, you might hang out for a week and pick it up for the deep discounted price. It's on sale now on the web for over $150 now.

    Keep Watch at Staples

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    TomTom - TeleAtlas Deal Looks More Certain

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    Reports are coming out that despite EU regulator concerns about the TeleAtlas/TomTom deal, that it is set to go through. Clearly TomTom will need to make some concessions to reduce the concern about the deal negatively affecting the market. With Nokia in a deal to buy NAVTEQ, it appears that the market is going to need assurances about access to data from the two new owners of the world's mapping data.

    Either way, TomTom is acting to get their mapping needs in order, and that started in earnest last year when they announced MapShare which crowdsources map fixes. The deal with TeleAtlas only makes it more obvious that they are interested in making map quality a competitive advantage instead of a competitive disadvantage.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    March 20, 2008

    Navigon Claims #2 Spot in Feb. for Hot Navigon 2100


    Navigon has claimed the #4 overall GPS Brand spot and the #2 spot behind the sales of the popular Navigon 2100. Clearly they have captured the attention of bargain hunters with the Navigon 2100, as it has been seen retailing for some pretty low prices. While some may think of it as buying marketshare, others I am sure think it a shrewd move to make their brand name well known. The interface is refined, and has a look and feel that shows that they know what they are doing and aren't satisfied to churn out yet another plain old interface that is unremarkable. On the downside, I still found some issues with the ease of use, that I would expect them to iterate on the next improvement round. See my Full Review on the Navigon 2100 for more information.

    Press Release Follows....after the jump.

    ArrowContinue reading: "Navigon Claims #2 Spot in Feb. for Hot Navigon 2100"

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    March 19, 2008

    Inrix in Deal for MapQuest Traffic Maps

    MapquestInrixTrafficMiami.jpg

    Inrix and Mapquest are in a deal that put Inrix enabled traffic and flow patterns on the MapQuest portal site. The deal represents getting 5X more miles of roads and more markets covered than other map portals (Google Maps, Yahoo Maps, etc). As more and more people realize that these services are out there and can really help you, quality of the data and pure coverage is going to drive decision making. Inrix has the capability to house and offer historical average speeds and predictive traffic that will eventually allow the MapQuest user to do some pretty sophisticated planning of trips. I very much look forward to that day.

    The capability was live yesterday and I was able to check it out; and like they said in the press release below, better coverage is key. The traffic feature is also available on MapQuest Navigator, a for fee navigation service for mobile phones.

    Press Release is below.

    ArrowContinue reading: "Inrix in Deal for MapQuest Traffic Maps"

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    March 18, 2008

    GPS Market in US Explodes in Q4

    GPS World Magazine has a good write-up on the GPS market, its developments and some of the critical numbers coming off the big fourth quarter in 2007 which saw cheap GPS deals at every major Black Friday player, and out of stocks online for days as people scrambled to get one of the hottest gifts of the year. While total year shipments jumped 148%, Q4 shipments jumped over 400%. While that's a lot, and there were 6.7 million sold in Q4, there's still plenty of people without one. A couple of key points below, check out the whole article for more information on the US market and the growth in the Asian Pacific markets as well.

    Canalys estimates that around 6.7 million PNDs shipped in the United States in Q4, representing 55 percent of the total for the year. In Q4 2006 the figure was below 1.5 million, showing just how much the market has grown and the extent to which the United States, once tiny compared to the European market for such devices, has become a major arena for the many competitors in this industry, Canalys observed.

    Looking at the market for all mobile GPS navigation devices (which includes smart phones that have integrated GPS and an activated on-board solution), Canalys puts market leader Garmin's share in the United States in Q4 at 47 percent, almost exactly where it was a year earlier. Garmin is followed by TomTom at 21 percent Magellan at 17 percent and then Mio Technology at 6 percent -- the top four hardware vendors have more than 90 percent of the market. A year earlier they had 80 percent between them.

    Via GPS World

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    March 17, 2008

    Win a Garmin Nuvi 200 - Tim Horton's Roll-Up

    TimHortonsGarminNuviGiveaway.jpg

    Gotta love a free GPS; well Tim Horton's is giving away 5,000 Garmin Nuvi 250 GPS navigation devices, as well as some other things like coffee, Toyota Matrix and a few boats. The contest is based on getting a coffee cup, and rolling up the coffee cup rim to see what you've won; odds are 1 in 9 that you win something (like a free coffee or better). There are alternate ways of entering other than breaking into a Tim Horton's and stealing a case of cups, like mailing away for a free entry. See their contest rules for details (pdf link).

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    March 16, 2008

    GPS Steals and Deals - 3/16

    Prices are definitely starting to drop and I expect that they will continue to stay down with potentially a few exceptions, for the start of the summer driving season.

    Best prices might be either at Costco - Nuvi 650 for $299, or the Garmin 660 at Amazon for $349 (See below)

    Big News This Week is the Nuvi 200W under $200
    . If you are looking at an entry level Standard Screen unit (i.e. Nuvi 200), without Text to Speech, consider the extra $20 - $30 for the Nuvi 200W at $199. Basic Widescreen navigation, 48-state maps, easy to use interface; See the Widescreen difference. More info below.



    Standard Screens - 3.5-inch


    • Garmin Nuvi 200 at Amazon - $177 No Text to Speech, Continental US Maps, solid interface and routing. See My Full Review - Nuvi 200 for more info.

    • Garmin Nuvi 260 at Amazon - $240 Text to Speech, Maps of North America, solid interface. Same quality routing as Nuvi 200, just adds more maps and text to speech. At this point, I am recommending the Nuvi 260 with its updated interface, newer design and slightly lower price; for more see: Compare the Nuvi 260 vs. the Nuvi 350

    • TomTom ONE - $169 and Free Shipping at Amazon. Entry Level TomTom with Maps of North America, no Text to Speech.

    • Nuvi 350 at Amazon $254 - Still a top seller with North American Maps, and Text-to-Speech.
    • Deals extended another week on the Navigon 2100; $149 at Staples.
      See my Full Review on the Navigon 2100 for more information. Available at Amazon for $153 with Free Shipping.
    • Mio C230 - $159 at Amazon; basic GPS Navigation. Text to Speech.

    Widescreen Models

    • Nuvi 200W at Amazon $199 - No Text to Speech, Continental US Maps. (Best Buy featured this for $199 this morning in their Flier) See My Full Review - Nuvi 200W.
    • Nuvi 660 at Amazon $348 Down again this week - Text to Speech, North American Maps, TMC Traffic Capability included. See My Full Review - Nuvi 660
    • TomTom XL S at Amazon $299 - $50 off this week - Text to Speech, North American Maps.
    • Nuvi 650 - $299 at Costco; after $100 coupon. Very good deal on a Text to speech unit in widescreen. Essentially the same as the Nuvi 660 minus the TMC Traffic and Bluetooth Handsfree. Deal good through 3/23. Update: As Greg points out below the Nuvi 650 is also available for $299 at Best Buy - online only.
    • Nuvi 750 - $364 at Amazon - down again this week. New thin design with Text to Speech and Maps of North America. Route Optimization - plug in multiple stops and let the unit optimize the route for fastest planning.

    Finally, It's Running Season and for many, it's time to hit the roads. I am starting to watch the prices on the Forerunners.


    • Forerunner 305 - $214 at Amazon - Heart Rate Monitor with wrist-mounted GPS Receiver, tracks distance and keeps your speed and pace. Syncs to computer for training records.
    • Forerunner 205 - $159 at Amazon - Wrist-mounted GPS Receiver, no Heart Rate Monitor. Tracks distance and keeps your speed and pace. Syncs to computer for training records.

      Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (4) | social bookmarking

    March 14, 2008

    Dash Express - Less Than 2 Weeks 'til Ship Date

    DashNav.jpg

    How long until you get your hands on your pre-ordered Dash Express connected GPS? I had the chance back in December to ride along with some folks from Dash and see the Dash Express in action, and have been looking forward to a real review unit showing up for me to play with for an extended amount of time.

    The original ship date was going to be February, but after CEO Paul Lego's delay announcement last month, the new ship data of March 27th is fast approaching. So, I am sure the big question floating around in people's minds is if they will hit that date.

    I don't know if they are or aren't but I am hearing that things are looking pretty good that in 2 week's time, you'll start to have shipments hitting the roads. This should be an exciting time for GPS navigation, as the launch of the Dash Express represents the next generation big leap in GPS capabilities - connected search, networked units and historical average speeds to help get better traffic reporting to you the user. In the meantime, you'll just have to sit back and wait (while sitting in traffic).

    More at Dash

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    March 13, 2008

    Royal Expedition GPS - Typewriter Not Included


    RoyalGPS.jpg

    We used to have a Royal typewriter when I was a kid; didn't get much use though. Those days are long gone and Royal has moved on to Consumer Electronics. They are releasing model the Royal Expedition GPS. Fairly standard unit with maps of US and Canada, 2 million POI with phone numbers of businesses, and a standard 3.5-inch screen. No Text-to-speech on this model, sorry. The Clunk-a-licious design isn't going to win any contests though.

    More at Royal

    List price is $399, but it better not hit the shelves for that much. We're seeing widescreen models hovering around $200-$249 from the big guys.

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    March 12, 2008

    RoadTour - UK Audio Guides for your Garmin

    Roadtourlogo.jpg

    Going to the UK soon and want to tour the country with your Nuvi? Roadtour has audio tours that work with your existing UK maps on your Garmin to give you the option of hearing about the local sites. The package works by highlighting key highlights within a radius around you, and by tapping on the icon, you pull up a short audio history of the site, along with hours and prices if available. If you would like, you can have the Garmin play an audio tour of a local site within a certain radius of you as you drive along. Once the tour is done, you can navigate right to the site by tapping the icon. They seem to have thought of a lot; if you need directions from Garmin in the middle of a mini audio tour, the tour will stop, the Garmin will deliver the directions and the audio tour will start again. Pretty good.

    They have several packages to choose from, including Heritage sites and Pubs & Inns:

    ROADTOUR Heritage covers 600 of the finest castles, historic buildings, residences, country houses, gardens and monuments, throughout the UK. It includes those belonging to all the main UK heritage organisations such as the National Trust and English Heritage as well as many private establishments (see full list of locations). Each one has a 1-2 minute audio description covering history, interesting stories and architecture.

    ROADTOUR Pubs and Inns - Sawday's have a great reputation for superb guide books and their well established Pubs & Inns guide has received rave reviews (read reviews). After years of research visiting thousands of pubs, they have handpicked 900 of the best in England and Wales. Each entry is accompanied by a vivid, characterful description and most include pictures and also icons which give useful information such as child friendliness, quality food and available real ales.

    Roadtour packages are available as downloads, as CD ROM's and on an SD card; costs are fairly reasonable too starting at under £8. Installation instructions are on their site.

    More at RoadTour

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    March 11, 2008

    iPhone GPS (For Real)


    iPhoneGPS.jpg

    There have been some rumors floating around about an iPhone GPS module and sure enough there is something coming from Nav n Go (the folks who have made the iGo software for the Mio up until now), using an adapter from Gomite called the LocoGPS. The LocoGPS adapter will plug into the bottom of the iPhone or iPod Touch to serve up the GPS software interface over WiFi and the GPS signals.

    Sound like a lot? Yea, I thought so too. It seems that they are not yet OK'd by Apple, so they have to go to these lengths to transmit the GPS software over WiFi waves and hope that things get better in the future. You may still have to hack the phone to get things working - ouch!

    Pricing is undecided and may be available this Spring.

    Via

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    March 9, 2008

    Mio and Interface Maker Nav n Go Part Ways

    Mio and the maker of their software are parting ways. Not a big surprise given that back in January, Mio was saying that the Navman merger would bring software capabilities to the party.

    "Mio Technology brings core competencies in hardware to the table, while Navman brings expertise in software and content, creating a new brand that is better able to create unique, innovative products and services." said Samuel Wang, president, Mio Technology Corporation.

    Nav n Go has on their website an announcement that Nav n Go is stopping deliveries of software to Mio after what they say were "continuous breaches of contract."


    Personally, I liked the Nav n Go software as a GPS interface, and thought it was a better product than most other GPS makers that were new to the scene, but it was a step down from the top performers in the category. It's up to Mio to launch their units based on an easier to use totally new software platform in time for the summer driving season.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    GPS Steals and Deals - 3/9

    Prices are definitely starting to drop and I expect that they will continue to stay down with potentially a few exceptions, for the start of the summer driving season. This past week had the CeBit news and new models out, so it's time to clear out the old ones, or just drop their prices to make room for the new ones.

    Best prices might be either at Costco - Nuvi 650 for $299, or the Garmin 660 at Amazon for $349 (See below)


    Standard Screens - 3.5-inch


    • Garmin Nuvi 200 at Amazon - $177 No Text to Speech, Continental US Maps, solid interface and routing. See My Full Review - Nuvi 200 for more info.

    • Garmin Nuvi 260 at Amazon - $253 Text to Speech, Maps of North America, solid interface. Same quality routing as Nuvi 200, just adds more maps and text to speech.

    • TomTom ONE - $199 and Free Shipping at Amazon, Amazingly, a lower price at BestBuy , Entry Level TomTom with Maps of North America, no Text to Speech.

    • Nuvi 350 at Amazon $261 - Still a top seller with North American Maps, and Text-to-Speech.
    • This week also brings back some big deals on the Navigon 2100; $149 at Staples.
      See my Full Review on the Navigon 2100 for more information. Available at Amazon for $155 with Free Shipping.
    • Mio C230 - $139 at Amazon; basic GPS Navigation. Text to Speech.

    Widescreen Models

    • Nuvi 660 at Amazon $369 - Text to Speech, North American Maps, TMC Traffic Capability included. See My Full Review - Nuvi 660
    • Nuvi 200W at Amazon $208 - No Text to Speech, Continental US Maps. See My Full Review - Nuvi 200W.
    • TomTom XL S at Amazon $299 - $50 off this week - Text to Speech, North American Maps.
    • Nuvi 650 - $299 at Costco; after $100 coupon. Very good deal on a Text to speech unit in widescreen. Essentially the same as the Nuvi 660 minus the TMC Traffic and Bluetooth Handsfree. Deal good through 3/23.
    • Nuvi 750 - $368 at Amazon - down again this week. New thin design with Text to Speech and Maps of North America. Route Optimization - plug in multiple stops and let the unit optimize the route for fastest planning.

    Finally, It's Running Season and for many, it's time to hit the roads. I am starting to watch the prices on the Forerunners.


    • Forerunner 305 - $214 at Amazon - Heart Rate Monitor with wrist-mounted GPS Receiver, tracks distance and keeps your speed and pace. Syncs to computer for training records.
    • Forerunner 205 - $159 at Amazon - Wrist-mounted GPS Receiver, no Heart Rate Monitor. Tracks distance and keeps your speed and pace. Syncs to computer for training records.

      Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    March 7, 2008

    Garmin using MediaTek Chips in Nuvi 2x5 Series


    According to DigiTimes, Garmin is using MediaTek GPS chips in its new line of Garmin Nuvi 2X5 GPS units with HotFix technology. The capability is aimed at reducing satellite acquisition times by predicting where satellites will be and then when you turn the unit on the next day it essentially knows where to look.

    DigiTimes is pretty good at getting the stories right collecting the dirt on the street in Taiwan and letting the world know the story. After a long lag time, I thought that they might have missed when they reported that Garmin was working on a mobile phone, but hey, now we're waiting for the launch of the Nuvifone; there you go.


    Via DigiTimes

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

    Map My Tracks - Mobile Phone GPS Tracking

    MapMyTrackslogo.jpg

    Stumbled across this site last weekend and thought I would pass along.... A site that allows you to download an application to your GPS and Java enabled Mobile Phone, capture your tracks and then display them online. Very cool. There is also the opportunity to track in realtime, making it a cool way to experience a race or outing.

    The site also allows you to check out some of the past tracks that people have uploaded and made public. The interface is a little slow as it processes the data, but it is cool to see the stats on tracks that were published. The interface is easy to understand and is an impressive 3-D Topo type map that has the track information superimposed on it. See Below.

    MapMyTracks.jpg


    More at MapMyTracks

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    March 6, 2008

    Mio Moov - 200, 330, 370

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    Mio announced a new line of GPS navigators that should be making their way to our side of the ocean sometime before summer. The big change is that Mio is moving away from the iGo software that help propel them into their current market share. The Navman software is going to reprise the whole navigate with picture thing; NavPix.

    Mio is using the new SiRF InstantFix II chipset that calculates the positions of the satellites into the future so that when you turn the unit on, the time to first fix is greatly reduced.

    Coming equipped with a standard 3.5-inch standard screen, the Mio Moov 200 regional is listed for about $225, and a Mio Moov 200 Europe for about $275.

    The Mio Moov 330 is a regional version that has limited maps for about $275, the Mio Moov 330, for about $350, both with 4.3 inch displays. The top of the line Mio Moov 370 is also a widescreen with Bluetooth handsfree and TMC Traffic for about $425.

    We're looking forward to taking a spin with the new Mio line in the coming months when they get over here.

    Via

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    March 4, 2008

    Garmin Nuvi 2X5 Series - 205, 205W and 255, 255W


    nuvi+255w.jpg

    Update: See our Full Review of the Nuvi 205/255, and the widescreen version - our Full Review of the Nuvi 205W/255W

    Garmin announced an update to the Nuvi line at CeBit today that makes their entry level devices a lot more appealing. As prices fall, and more consumers get into the market with an entry level unit, Garmin is upping the bar in the hyper competitive low end of the market.

    The new Models all features some very nice upgraded features:

    • New faster processor, making for a faster routing and map drawing.
    • New shaded elevation maps.
    • Now compatible with optional TMC traffic receivers, or MSN Direct service (Gas prices, traffic, local events, stocks, news, and weather.
    • Garmin HotFix capability to automatically calculate and store satellite locations so that you will be able to turn the unit on and go a lot faster greatly reducing satellite acquisition time.
    • Geolocated Picture capability - Download geotagged photos to the Garmin to be able to navigate to a loaded picture; works with Google's Panoramio photo sharing community and Garmin Connect Photos website.

    It appears from the image that the new Nuvi 255W will also have a slightly enhanced interface with a more rounded display data fields and "+" and "-" zoom buttons that are vertically placed on the right side if the screen instead of in the upper left and right corners.

    The Garmin 2x5 model Nuvis will be available sometime in Q2. The list prices should be as follows: Nuvi 205 model will retail for a suggested $199; the widescreen version, the 205W, will retail for a suggested $250. The Nuvi 255 will retail for a suggested $299; the 255W will retail for a suggested $350.

    Press release follows....


    ArrowContinue reading: "Garmin Nuvi 2X5 Series - 205, 205W and 255, 255W"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    Garmin Nuvi 900T- TV on Your GPS

    GarminNuvi900T.jpg

    Garmin announced the made for Italy Nuvi 900T today, where the "T" stands for TV. The newest Nuvi will be able to get mobile TV due to the built in TV receiver.

    “The Nuvi 900T is the ultimate device for those who want to mix business with pleasure,” said Dan Bartel, Garmin’s vice president of worldwide sales.

    The unit will use the DVB-H format and will show on its 4.3" color screen. So are people going to be watching TV while driving? I guess traffic isn't wild enough around Rome! The unit can also play MP3 files and can act as a Bluetooth handsfree device. Expect the Garmin Nuvi 900T to be available this summer.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Navigon 2100 Max & 2120 Max - Widescreen GPS

    Navigon2100maxviews.jpg
    Navigon has announced new line entries to its GPS line, the Navigon 2100 Max and 2120 MAX. These are widescreen versions of their popular Navigon 2100 unit that hit the shelves just before the holidays and helped launch the brand here in the US. The new units give consumers an entry level widescreen to choose from. The Navigon 2100 max is a 48 state unit, while the 2120 max includes maps of North America (and is available in Canada only). The release of the 2100 max also signifies the release of a new feature, DirectHelp, which is the one-button "Where am I Right Now" feature that gets your location and a quick view into where to go to get help at hospitals, gas stations, and police stations. The other significant development is the introduction of "Fresh Maps" that is essentially a 3 year subscription to updated maps; see my other story on this below.

    What's the Difference between the Navigon 5100 and the 2100/2120 Max?

    At first glance you might think that the Navigon 5100 is the same as the Navigon 2100/2120 max, but it's not. Recall that the Navigon 5100 comes with the traffic receiver and lifetime traffic capabilities, while the traffic is an option on the Navigon 2100 max and the 2120 max.

    Press release follows...

    ArrowContinue reading: "Navigon 2100 Max & 2120 Max - Widescreen GPS"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (4) | social bookmarking

    Navigon FreshMaps - Quarterly Updates to Your Maps

    NavigonLogo.gif

    In a pretty innovative move here, Navigon answers the age old question "When can I get Updated Maps?"; they've announce the "FreshMaps" solution. Map makers get millions of updates each year, and it's a tough road to get from the new street getting paved to getting it on your GPS device. There has been a lot of movement in this area recently: TomTom has MapShare, the ability to send in minor map and POI changes to share with other users, Dash Navigation is gathering map and road data sent back by its (beta) users learning about new roads as you drive over them, and of course TomTom is trying to buy map maker TeleAtlas.

    Navigon's move sends fully verified map updates to your unit; touting the NAVTEQ capabilities to generate accurate changes and quarterly releases. There is a process to get NAVTEQ data formatted into GPS unit data and sent out to users; not an easy task and clearly Navigon has figured out how to make this cost effective.

    Navigon ups the bar on the map race here, as they essentially set up a subscription model that has you paying $79 for 3 year's worth of quarterly map updates. This is pretty good considering that some GPS makers charge that much each year. My sense is that the map area is ripe for cost savings and efficiency moves. A year ago, I talked with a brand manager who indicated that the cost of a map license was a major part of the cost of the device, upwards to $50. A big hinderance in trying to get to a $100 price point. With recent holiday prices on units in the $100 - $140 range, and this move by Navigon with FreshMaps, my hope is that things have changed in that area.


    Press Release below...

    ArrowContinue reading: "Navigon FreshMaps - Quarterly Updates to Your Maps"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    March 3, 2008

    TomTom GO 730 & 930 - "IQ Routes" - Historical Average Speeds

    TomTomGO930.jpg
    TomTom announced today the launch of new TomTom GO units with what they are branding IQ Routes; or rather GPS Navigation units with a built in database of historical average speeds for roadways. This allows the unit to predict travel time based on what historical traffic patterns allow, not just the posted speed limits on the roads. Come on, we all know that the local highway around the city goes slower at Rush hour, and now this can accommodate that.

    This development doesn't come as a surprise, at GPS Lodge, as we've been following the development in Historical Average Speeds for a while now. The pieces were in place; Inrix had the data, and then got together with TeleAtlas to bundle the map and speed data. It was only a matter of time before TomTom rolled with it. The big surprise is that TomTom is actually using traffic data that it collects anonymously from users, and not just a database from a third party vendor. All that driving around with a TomTom, and when you plug it into the computer and agree to share anonymously with TomTom, you are actually helping to build this traffic model.

    TomTom makes the claim that it affects up to 75% of the routes driven; could this the data from the fleet of Beta Testers?

    The new units also feature a Lane Guidance which will help you drive through complex situations, a feature that Navigon had to its own for a while, but seems like its something that is a big consumer need.

    The TomTom GO 930 adds its Enhanced Positioning Technology capability to help guide you accurately when you hit tunnels and lose satellite contact, and it also comes with North American and European maps pre-installed.

    Expect the new units come April. Prices at $449 - TomTom Go 730, and $499 for the TomTom Go 930.

    Update: Now Shipping - At Amazon - TomTom GO 930 and TomTom GO 930T. Also the TomTom GO 730.

    Press release follows....

    ArrowContinue reading: "TomTom GO 730 & 930 - "IQ Routes" - Historical Average Speeds"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    March 1, 2008

    GPS Steals and Deals - 3/2

    Random sales, and a few good deals around. Best prices might be either at Costco - Nuvi 650 for $299, or the Garmin 660 at Amazon for $369 (See below)


    Standard Screens - 3.5-inch


    • Garmin Nuvi 200 at Amazon - $177 No Text to Speech, Continental US Maps, solid interface and routing. See My Full Review - Nuvi 200 for more info.

    • Garmin Nuvi 260 at Amazon - $248 Text to Speech, Maps of North America, solid interface. Same quality routing as Nuvi 200, just adds more maps and text to speech.

    • TomTom ONE - $199 and Free Shipping at Amazon, Amazingly, a lower price at BestBuy , Entry Level TomTom with Maps of North America, no Text to Speech.

    • Nuvi 350 at Amazon $262 - Still a top seller with North American Maps, and Text-to-Speech.

    Widescreen Models

    • Nuvi 660 at Amazon $369 - Text to Speech, North American Maps, TMC Traffic Capability included. See My Full Review - Nuvi 660
    • Nuvi 200W at Amazon $211 - No Text to Speech, Continental US Maps. See My Full Review - Nuvi 200W.
    • TomTom XL S at Amazon $349 - Text to Speech, North American Maps.
    • Nuvi 650 - $299 at Costco; after $100 coupon. Very good deal on a Text to speech unit in widescreen. Essentially the same as the Nuvi 660 minus the TMC Traffic and Bluetooth Handsfree. Deal good through 3/9.
    • Nuvi 750 - $377 at Amazon - down again this week. New thin design with Text to Speech and Maps of North America. Route Optimization - plug in multiple stops and let the unit optimize the route for fastest planning.
    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    EU Issues Objections in TomTom/TeleAtlas Deal

    TomTomlogoSM.jpg

    Apparently a speed bump has occurred on the pathway to buying TeleAtlas; TomTom has been notified according to news reports that the EU has some formal objections to the TomTom plan to purchase TeleAtlas. The objections don't mean that the deal is off, it just means that TomTom needs to come up with better remedies to the issues at hand. Who knows what those objections are, but the process sounds like it just switched into low gear.

    Via Reuters

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
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