April 30, 2008

Garmin Earning Up 35%; Stock Down

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These are some crazy times; Garmin's earnings were up against last year, but not up enough for the stock market to feel comfortable, and as a result, Garmin's stock lost a few bucks after teh earnings announcement. To be clear, the earnings were the best Garmin ever had, and sales are up 35% overall, with 43% increase in automotive sales, 30% in Marine sales, 19% increase in Aviation sales, and a 16% increase in Fitness/Outdoor sales. Garmin also cited their strategy of distributor acquisition in Europe as a main reason for gaining sales there.

The problems come when Wall Street expected more from them, and from the fact that operating margins shrank, meaning that prices are shrinking faster than costs versus a year ago.

CEO Min Kao said
"We are pleased with our performance in the first quarter, particularly given the general slowdown in the global economy. Demand for our automotive/mobile products continued beyond the traditionally strong fourth quarter holiday season, with another quarter of robust triple-digit growth. While the first quarter is typically our slowest quarter, we were
nonetheless able to achieve healthy growth in each of our business segments and each geographic area."

Read the full press release (pdf)

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April 30, 2008

Forerunner 205 & 305 On Sale at REI - $124 & $164

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REI has a pretty big sale every year, and if you're already a member, you might just want to swing by to grab a Garmin Forerunner. These are the best prices I have seen on these items. Sale is from May 2 - 11.

Forerunner 205 - $124.99

Forerunner 305 - $164.99

The Forerunner 205 grabs satellites and allows you to train with the benefits of gathering a whole lot of data including where you have been, pace, time, etc. The data syncs back to your computer through Garmin's Training Center where you can track your data. The Forerunner 305 adds a wireless heart rate monitor. See the Garmin website for more on the Forerunner.

Also, if you are buying something at full price that's not already on sale, you can use this code May 2-11, and it's good for one item per REI Membership. Not a member? It's only $20 for a lifetime membership; what the heck?

Online you can use code: ANNV20

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April 29, 2008

TomTom ONE 130, 130S and the ONE XL 330/330S

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TomTom has announced their newest addition to the TomTom ONE line for 2008 slimming down the model adding a new foldable mount that makes the entire package more portable. The TomTom one 130 and 130S bring a lot to the entry level end of the TomTom line with Maps of North America, MapShare - the ability to make corrections of your own to maps and then elect to share and receive other updates from community members and in the case of the TomTom 130S you get Text to Speech.

The EasyPort mount looks like an interesting development replacing the push on/pull off mount that TomTom uses previously on the ONE and GO lines. (As an aside you have to wonder what's in store for the GO line on the next iteration if the EasyPort is successful). When folded the whole unit is only about an inch and a half thick, easily stowed and carried. When folded out, the suction cup is pushed to the windshield and with the turn of a bezel the unit sticks tight. I'll look forward to checking it out when I review it.

One other feature that is worth mentioning is the optional ability to add TMC Traffic to the ONE line which makes for a nicely expandable entry level product line.

At the same time TomTom is announcing the TomTom ONE XL 330 and 330S which are the widescreen versions in the launch.

The TomTom ONE 130 will list for $199 and the TomTom ONE 130S for $249.

The 4.3-inch widescreen versions, the TomTom ONE XL 330 will list for $249 and the TomTom ONE XL330 S for $299.

With the launch of the GO 730 and GO 930 this makes for a pretty well rounded line.

The TomTom ONE 130/130S is 6.1 ounces, has a 3 hour battery life and is 3.8"x3.2"x1.0".

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April 28, 2008

Garmin 700 Series Standard on New Suzuki SX4

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Garmin announced today that they are going to have a Garmin Nuvi 700 series as standard equipment on the Suzuki SX4 starting this summer. The unit will have a mount integrated in the dash but still allow the unit to be taken out and used elsewhere. An upgrade is avilable that will bring the functionality of the Nuvi to the level of the Nuvi 780, complete with MSN Direct capabilities (More information see my Nuvi 780 Full Review), like gas prices as well as Handsfree Bluetooth calling.

Suzuki is enhancing the unit's POI database by adding a number of lifestyle-oriented, Suzuki-recommended destinations and landmarks to the system. These locations include hip music venues, popular surf spots, offbeat road trip attractions and other activity-focused destinations that are clearly marked with a Suzuki "Way of Life" icon on the navigation screen. A dedicated community site will also be launched to support the sharing and downloading of user-generated recommendations for destinations and drive routes among Suzuki SX4 owners.

Press release after the jump.....

ArrowContinue reading: "Garmin 700 Series Standard on New Suzuki SX4"

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April 28, 2008

Mapping out the details - TeleAtlas Details the Mapping Process

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The Boston Globe had a nice article explaining a little bit more about how the TeleAtlas folks create maps and get them from their Road Vans to you on your GPS units. They also mentioned that TeleAtlas is working on 3-D maps:

"Atlas is also moving ahead on its 3-D strategy, showing off maps of New York City, Los Angeles, and Toronto at the Consumer Electronics Show in January. Imagery collected by its fleet of camera vans has been transformed into a scrolling street map that resembles a video game - think "Grand Theft Auto" without the theft."

They also talked about the 4 times per year updates moving towards real-time updates where you'll be getting changes as they are confirmed. Not hard to do if the map company is owned by the GPS maker (i.e. TomTom and TeleAtlas).

ReadMore at Boston Globe

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Garmin Edge 705 - First Impressions


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We have been lucky to have some great weather up here near Boston - and I took advantage of it the other day to go for a shake-down ride on my bike; the first of the season, and the first with the Edge 705. The Garmin Edge 705 is probably one of the more long awaited pieces of biking gear that has hit the market in a while. I have been hoping for one for a LONG time, wanting color maps, navigation, bike computer functions with heart rate monitor capabilities. The wireless sharing aspect and the ability to send data to friends has been on that wish list too.

The Edge 705 does all of this, color mapping and navigation so you can ride to your heart's content on back roads without missing a turn, all keeping a solid lock on satellites with a high sensitivity receiver. The Edge 705 has ANT+Sport wireless short range capability that allows you to add Heart Rate Monitors (HRM), cadence and power meters to your accessory list, to capture even more data to track and analyze. The ANT wireless technology allows you to send routes to others in your group, like virtual cue sheets for the day's ride.

So how did things work out on the first ride of the year?


ArrowContinue reading: "Garmin Edge 705 - First Impressions"

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April 27, 2008

GPS Steals & Deals - 4/27

TomTom is moving out some deals on the TomTom ONE which is $139; see below.

Standard Screens - 3.5-inch

  • TomTom ONE - $139 and Free Shipping at Amazon; Entry Level TomTom with Maps of North America, no Text to Speech.

  • Garmin Nuvi 200 at Amazon - $157 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 - $209 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. Best Buy has it for $269, Circuit City for $299, but they throw in a Bean Bag dash mount for free... a $39 value... Save $40 and buy it all online.

  • Nuvi 350 at Amazon $231; down this week - Still a top seller with North American Maps, and Text-to-Speech. Want Bluetooth? Get the Nuvi 360 that adds Bluetooth Handsfree, for $249.

  • Magellan Maestro 3100 - $129 in store only at Radio Shack; Very basic, and I would consider it a value entry product. I was not impressed when I used the 3140 which added several features to the basic 3100 model; See My Full Review Magellan Maestro 3140. Honestly, for $10 more I would buy the TomTom ONE.

Widescreen Models
  • Nuvi 5000 - The Big Bad Boy of GPS units with a 5.2" screen is on sale, and is only $559 at Amazon. Big screen and dead simple interface for solid usability and great navigation. Price continues to drop across teh last few weeks. Best Buy has it for a mere $699 after $100 savings; ouch.

  • Nuvi 200W at Amazon $206 - No Text to Speech, Continental US Maps. See My Full Review - Nuvi 200W.

  • Garmin Nuvi 260W - $349 at Amazon - The Nuvi 260W is just out, and has a high price on it as a result. I think a fair price is about $60 more than the Nuvi 250, which would put it in the $290 - $299 range. I expect the price on the Nuvi 260W to drop into this range by June.

  • Nuvi 660 at Amazon $324; up a bit this week; still the best seller at Amazon - Text to Speech, North American Maps, TMC Traffic Capability included. See My Full Review - Nuvi 660


  • TomTom ONE XL S at Amazon $250 - Text to Speech, North American Maps, MapShare. Also at Office Depot for $249. I think the Text to Speech is worth the extra money, but if you don't need it, the TomTom ONE XL is only $223.

  • 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.

  • Nuvi 760 - $438 at Amazon ($499 at Best Buy)- 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, adds Bluetooth handsfree and built-in TMC traffic. See My Full Review of the Nuvi 760.

  • Garmin Nuvi 780 - $501; down a few bucks this week - 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.


  • Garmin Forerunner 405 is available for pre-order - the watch-like GPS enabled fitness device has a smaller design with all kinds of functionality, including wireless sharing. Probably won't deliver in time for the Boston Marathon tomorrow though...... Garmin is launching the Forerunner 405 at the Boston and why not, one of the best marathons in the world meets one of the coolest fitness devices. I like biking more than running, so, I tend to think the Edge 705 is cooler.... I took my first ride with it recently.

  • 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 - $149 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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April 24, 2008

Maestro 5340 Elite - Now Expected in July

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For those of you who couldn't wait to sink $1200 into a super widescreen (5-inch), connected GPS from Magellan, well you are going to have to wait a while longer. The unit that was originally announced back at CES 208 in January and was slated for a Q1 2008 launch isn't happening (yea, no kidding, it's already Q2!!! I know). We now see some confirmation as Tiger GPS who has been taking pre-orders for the advanced unit, is now saying "MAGELLAN IS NOW PROJECTED TO RELEASE THIS PRODUCT IN JULY 2008".

Should be interesting to see this hit the market, as they have teamed up with Google to provide search capabilities, and the unit will deliver some more sophisticated connectedness to provide better POI search, as well as traffic and gas prices. The unit will also have historical average speeds to make it a more complete traffic solution. Its Bluetooth handsfree capabilities comes with a dual microphone with noise canceling technology to help make for crisper conversations.

Thanks Jim for sending this in.


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April 23, 2008

TomTom Earnings Off

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TomTom reported earnings for the first quarter of 2008, and it was not as good a quarter this year due to significant price pressure on the well known GPS maker. So, apparently TomTom didn't grow revenue this past quarter like they have in the past. Tough competition and the tough economy has to be impacting sales of consumer electronics like this, with discretionary spending under pressure. I guess if you can't afford a tank of gas, let alone a new widescreen GPS.

Overall revenue was 264M Euros vs. 296M Euros last year, while US revenue was up 133% to 85 Million Euros.

"Retailers in Europe slashed personal navigation device inventory during the first quarter," said Dresdner Kleinwort analyst Ulrich Rathe, "leading to a massive 30% decline in sales in that geography." For the company as a whole, sales fell 10.8% in the first quarter.

TomTom's average retail price was down 42.6% to about $185, from $324 a year earlier. A quick check back in my archives had the TomTom ONE selling for $290 in March 2007, while it is frequently seen for $139 - $149 these days, and the TomTom GO 910 was at $439, while the TomTom GO 920 is selling in the mid-to upper $300's today. The price drops are dramatic, and the effect is that the big guys aren't making as much money, but they are keeping the low cost competition at bay as they are having a tough time achieving critical mass.

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Inrix Expands Traffic Network to Europe

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Inrix is taking on Europe as the next big traffic solution to go after. Teaming up with ARC Transistance, the leading network of European automobile clubs and mobility organizations across 43 European countries and territories, gives Inrix the capability to access the market, and improve the capabilities based on their technology platform and data handling capabilities. Right now, this might not mean much to you in your morning commute tomorrow, but as this partnership grows, the learning and the approach to traffic will undoubtedly create better models and solutions for drivers on both sides of the Atlantic.

Inrix supplies data to most traffic enabled GPS units through the TMC traffic data network.

ArrowContinue reading: "Inrix Expands Traffic Network to Europe"

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Cheap Nuvi 660 - A Traffic Alert Revolution?

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I have been a big fan of Traffic Alerts for a long time, and here at GPS Lodge, we think that getting saved just a few times a year is worth the money you will pay for the subscription rates. I have seen absolute nightmares on the highways around Boston in my commuting that would have tied me up for hours if I didn't get the alerts to bad traffic ahead. A detour on surface roads and through some rural towns got me home on a little longer timeline than normal, but nothing compared to the traffic jam on the highway. In the end, I was sitting at home while others without a GPS were probably still sitting in traffic.

The Garmin Nuvi 660 has been at the top of a lot of Best Buy type lists for a long time, and for the last few months, it's been at the top GPS seller at Amazon. Integrated TMC Traffic comes with the Nuvi 660, as well as a free 3 month subscription to traffic alerts.

Thousands of people are buying the Nuvi 660 simply for the fact that it's a great buy; widescreen, text-to-speech and maps of North America wrapped up by one of the best user interfaces around. Could this turn into thousands of subscribers to TMC Traffic? The TMC revolution could be around the corner with thousands of converts buying it for it's price and other features, only to realize the quality of life benefits for not too much money.

More Information - My Full Review of the Garmin Nuvi 660

At Amazon - Garmin Nuvi 660

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April 22, 2008

TomTom MapShare - Keeping Maps Up to Date

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You've probably heard of MapShare by now from TomTom; if you haven't, it's how you can make corrections on your TomTom device to minor map and POI issues, then share them with the community of TomTom users. The community has uploaded over a million map changes since it went live last year.

Some people may not know that this doesn't make map upgrades a thing of the past. In order to use MapShare, you need to have maps that are no more than 12 months old.
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If you don't have the last map upgrade, you will get this funny box on the main screen of your TomTom HOME computer application that will warn you that you are missing out on thousands of Map Updates because your maps are too old. It gets to a point that TomTom needs to update the whole package, and then it can supplement the most recent upgrade with MapShare fixes.

So, if you are fanatical about keeping your maps up to date, there are a few easy steps:

1) Load up and use TomTom HOME on a regular basis; there are Windows and Mac versions. You'll need to set a login account for the application using your email and your device.
2) Subscribe to MapShare - On your GPS, Hit the Map Corrections Icon, and explore that area, signing up to share your corrections and receive them from others (with the level of security you are comfortable with available under Correction Preferences).
3) Connect your device to TomTom HOME and "join" MapShare by going to "Tools", "MapShare"
4) Check for updates and install any MapShare correction updates.... your Red Light (shown above) will turn to green and tell you how many Map Updates you are using.

Always good to have the latest maps...... Map Share is available on TomTom ONE, TomTom ONE XL, TomTom ONE XL S, TomTom GO 720, TomTom GO 920, and the TomTom GO 920T.

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DeLorme Earthmate PN-20 - Skis the Arctic

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Ed Viesturs will be setting out on the 2008 Canadian Arctic Trek for Earth Health with a Delorme Earthmate PN-20 in hand. The PN-20 is a WAAS-enabled, bright-color-screen handheld receiver capable of displaying multiple map and imagery types. He will have it outfitted with a customized mapset that has detailed TOPO maps and landsat images of the terrain he expects to cover as he skis 150 miles across Baffin Island on a trip that is designed to raise awareness about climate change.

More information on this trek and the long list of accomplishments can be found at Ed's website. While more information on the Earthmate PN-20 can be found at DeLorme, where they are also having a Spring Sale.


More on the expedition follows......

ArrowContinue reading: "DeLorme Earthmate PN-20 - Skis the Arctic"

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April 21, 2008

Garmin Forerunner 405 - Available for Pre-Order

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Happy Patriots Day (observed), the day the "shot heard 'round the world" was fired, the whole, One if by land, Two if by sea, Lexington Green and Old North Bridge thing happened; if you don't know what I am talking about, skip the "Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?" auditions. It's also the day the Red Sox play a morning Game to finish up just as the Boston Marathon is starting to pour its main pack of runners into the Back Bay of Boston near the finish.

It's also the coming out party for the Garmin Forerunner 405 GPS enabled fitness watch. Knowing that the Boston Marathon was their launch party, I love whoever set the Forerunner 405 for the above picture - Monday 4/21, the day of the Boston Marathon, and 9:35AM, the start time for the elite women. Brilliant nod to the Boston runners..

Most other people will be stirring around Hopkinton, MA where the runners will be hydrating and keeping warm ahead of their starts.

The Forerunner 405 interacts with a touchscreen, reminiscent of the iPhone. Gestures and swirls control the interface and give you the ability to create new workouts or access their workout history. You can also share wirelessly - the Forerunner 405 can share your locations, advanced workouts and courses wirelessly with other Forerunner 405 users. Now you can send your favorite workout to your buddy to try, or compete against a friend's recorded course. Sharing data is easy. Just select "transfer" to send your information to nearby units.

At Amazon for Pre-Order - Garmin Forerunner 405

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April 20, 2008

Text to Speech - Only $21

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I happen to believe that Text-to-Speech is one of those options on a GPS that is worth paying for. Instead of saying "Turn Right in 400 yards", it will say "Turn Right on Maple St in 400 yards." Big difference when you are traveling in a suburban or urban area where the streets are close together and the name of the road helps you to decide which turn to actually take.

I don't think the upgrade has been easier to make than right now. If you are considering a TomTom ONE XL, spend the extra $21 (at this writing) and buy the TomTom ONE XL S, that adds the text-to-speech capability.


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GPS Steals and Deals - 4/20

The Garmin Forerunner 405 is available for pre-order this week, and just in time for the Boston Marathon where Lance Armstrong will be running. Interesting Op-ed piece by Lance this morning in the Boston Globe ahead of his run tomorrow in the 112th Boston.

The big guys dominate the deals and TomTom is moving out some deals on the TomTom GO 920 - which is the same price as the GO 720.


Garmin Nuvi 5000 is shipping - 5.2-inch screen; this Wider-screen than normal 4.3-inch widescreens offers even better readability on top of the easy to use Garmin interface. See below for more; buy at Amazon for $200 savings over Circuit City.


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 Best Buy for $199 after their $20 price drop - save $40 and get free shipping from Amazon) See My Full Review - Nuvi 200 for more info.

  • Garmin Nuvi 260 at Amazon - $218 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 - $140 and Free Shipping at Amazon; At Office Max for $169 this week. Entry Level TomTom with Maps of North America, no Text to Speech. This unit is $119 at Office Depot after Mail in Rebate.

  • Nuvi 350 at Amazon $236; down this week - Still a top seller with North American Maps, and Text-to-Speech. Want Bluetooth? Get the Nuvi 360 that adds Bluetooth Handsfree, for LESS money....

Widescreen Models

  • Nuvi 5000 - The Big Bad Boy of GPS units with a 5.2" screen is on sale, and is only $574 at Amazon. Big screen and dead simple interface for solid usability and great navigation.
  • Nuvi 200W at Amazon $201 - No Text to Speech, Continental US Maps. See My Full Review - Nuvi 200W.
  • Nuvi 660 at Amazon $314; up a bit this week; still the best seller at Amazon - Text to Speech, North American Maps, TMC Traffic Capability included. See My Full Review - Nuvi 660
  • TomTom GO 920 - $340 Text to speech, North American and Euro Maps, Voice Controlled, remote control and bluetooth handsfree. - For More Information - See My Full Review of the TomTom 920/920T
  • TomTom ONE XL S at Amazon $258 - down $20 this week - Text to Speech, North American Maps, MapShare.
  • 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.
  • Garmin Nuvi 780 - $504; down again this week - 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.


  • Garmin Forerunner 405 is available for pre-order - the watch-like GPS enabled fitness device has a smaller design with all kinds of functionality, including wireless sharing. Probably won't deliver in time for the Boston Marathon tomorrow though...... Garmin is launching the Forerunner 405 at the Boston and why not, one of the best marathons in the world meets one of the coolest fitness devices. I like biking more than running, so, I tend to think the Edge 705 is cooler.... I took my first ride with it recently.

  • 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 - $149 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

April 18, 2008

Garmin Nuvi 770 - Engadget Editor and Reader's Choice

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The Garmin Nuvi 770 was voted Engadget Editor and Reader's choice this year for GPS unit. The Nuvi 770 is part of the newer design generation in the widescreen format. Loaded with North American and Euro maps, the unit is ready to roll. The feature that makes the unit in my mind, and one that may only help every now and then, but is great is the ability to let the unit optimize the order of several stops to shorten the time on the road. Great if you are running around town, near home or in a strange city.

I thought the Nuvi 760 was great when I reviewed it last year - See My Full Review, and the only change from the 760 to the 770 is the addition of the Euro maps.

At Amazon - Garmin Nuvi 770

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April 17, 2008

Google Predictive Traffic

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Ahhh, things are getting very interesting. Google has launched the capability to look at what traffic will most likely be like at certain times of the day, all through the week. Pick the day, and the simple slider allows you to pick what time you want to see results for. Color coding can tell you how fast the traffic is moving.

You can not figure out how long your trip will be with that traffic...... yet; I am sure that this is coming.

This technology is based on history and something called Historical Average Speeds.

Go check out Google Maps and click on traffic.

Jim - Thanks for sending this in.

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April 16, 2008

Navigon Software Update - 2100, 5100, 7100


Navigon is working hard to get a better experience in the hands of its users. The new Version 1.2 software release does a lot to get them ahead in the quality game.

It's a pretty impressive list of upgrades. While you might say that Garmin doesn't let go a press release when they update their unit software, but I think at least for this newcomer, Navigon needs to show that they are keeping the consumer front and center, and that updates are taking care of some strong criticism when the unit was launched.

Updated Features:

  • Enhanced routing performance to get you to your destination easier and quicker than ever before
  • Better handling of HOV and carpool lanes to exclude restricted lanes for normal routing
  • Updated ZAGAT POI data
  • Updated user interface
  • New highway icons for Canadian highways on relevant products
  • Improved performance when navigating between menu screens
  • Simplified main screen, larger state selection buttons, revised text strings and better recognizable menu icons
  • Easier to use ZAGAT POI screens make it simple to find your top rated destination
  • Added street names to 3D maps by default
  • Revised voice prompts for highway entrance and exit ramps
  • More precise Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA)
  • Complimentary new map

    Head to Navigon's Website and login to MyNavigon to register your device and download your update.

    Press Release after the jump...

    ArrowContinue reading: "Navigon Software Update - 2100, 5100, 7100"

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  • Traffic Forecast with the Weather?

    Inrix has another announcement and they are now selling their traffic data to a company that bundles information and sells it to TV stations. So, you might just be waking up to a better traffic report soon using some good traffic data.

    "Viewers tune in for fresh and vital information every day, seeking out relevant and reliable traffic and weather reports," said Bill Dow, vice-president, Media Product Management at WSI Corporation. "More than any other story, we depend on traffic and weather news because we're concerned about how daily events can disrupt our lives. What brings us to the screen is information that INRIX and WSI can comprehensively provide to viewers day after day."

    More after the jump....

    ArrowContinue reading: "Traffic Forecast with the Weather?"

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    April 15, 2008

    TomTom GO 720 vs TomTom GO 920

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    Prices are a bit insane these days ahead of the coming launch of the new TomTom 730, 930 units with IQ routes and pre-loaded historical average speed data that they collected from other TomTom users submitting their travel data anonymously.

    So, for instance, do you want the TomTom GO 920 for about the same price as the TomTom GO 720? Recent prices on Amazon put the prices within $10 of each other, I would say that the TomTom GO 920 is well worth the extra money.

    When you buy the TomTom GO 920, you get 4GB of memory, not just 2GB - store more pictures or songs. Not a big deal, but how about Voice Command, a remote control and maps of Europe? Not bad, eh?


    For More Information - See My Full Review of the TomTom 920/920T


    At Amazon - TomTom GO 920

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    Detailed Arizona TOPO Maps

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    Some enhanced TOPO maps of Arizona are now available for download. They are Garmin compatible and easily loaded onto handhelds via MapSource. They feature elevation contours in 40ft intervals (equivalent to 24k). The maps also have a fairly full list of landmarks and features. So, while the maps are free, I would recommend a donation (also at the link below) to help out and give a little motivation for more highly detailed maps.

    Check out GPSFile Depot for more information.

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    April 14, 2008

    Free Bluetooth on your GPS?

    Well, it's not exactly free Bluetooth on your GPS, but prices right now on Amazon make the Garmin Nuvi 360 ($231) cheaper than the Nuvi 350 ($243), the version without Bluetooth handsfree. The Nuvi 360 has maps of North America, a standard screen (3.5-inch), text-to-speech, and a dead simple interface.

    The Nuvi 350 is no slouch, but the Nuvi 360 adds the Bluetooth feature and costs $12 less!

    More for less; not bad.

    At Amazon - Garmin Nuvi 360

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    Inrix - Nationwide Traffic Alerts - 100,000 Miles of Roads Reached


    Inrix is starting to cover more and more roads again with Nationwide Traffic Alerts. Pretty interesting stuff here, as they have incorporated their Smart Dust Network of GPS Probe vehicles, and recently added anonymous cell phone data to monitor the "health" or roadways that don't have road sensor monitors, and when things slow down or stop, alerts can be sent out to Inrix's customers, including MapQuest.

    "More and more MapQuest users are planning trips online and Nationwide Traffic Alerts will make destination planning even more convenient. MapQuest users will be able to get information about unusual traffic congestion as it happens, as well as highway construction and planned traffic impeding events while online or have alerts sent directly to their mobile devices," said Christian Dwyer, Senior Vice President and General Manager of MapQuest. "INRIX continues to innovate and is committed to providing the most comprehensive set of traffic data in the U.S. "

    This means that areas outside of traditionally covered roads can be covered for traffic incident issues.

    If this data also finds its way to Inrix's other customers such as the TMC network (as far as the FM signal can carry), or the mobile phone partners such as TeleNav.


    Press release follows.......


    ArrowContinue reading: "Inrix - Nationwide Traffic Alerts - 100,000 Miles of Roads Reached"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    April 13, 2008

    GPS Steals and Deals - 4/13



    The Nuvi 200W now under $190
    . 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 $188. Basic Widescreen navigation, 48-state maps, easy to use interface; See the Widescreen difference. More info below.

    Garmin Nuvi 5000 is shipping - 5.2-inch screen; this Wider-screen than normal 4.3-inch widescreens offers even better readability on top of the easy to use Garmin interface. See below for more; buy at Amazon for $200 savings over Circuit City.


    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 Circuit City for $199) See My Full Review - Nuvi 200 for more info.

    • Garmin Nuvi 260 at Amazon - $225 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 - $141 and Free Shipping at Amazon. Entry Level TomTom with Maps of North America, no Text to Speech. This unit is $119 at Office Depot after Mail in Rebate.

    • Nuvi 350 at Amazon $249; up a bit this week - Still a top seller with North American Maps, and Text-to-Speech. Want Bluetooth? For <$5 more get the Nuvi 360 that adds Bluetooth Handsfree.

    • The Mio Moov makes its debut at RadioShack this week. Mio Moov 200 - $179; Text to Speech, All 50 State Maps.

    • Magellan RoadMate 1200 - $129 at Staples this week.

    Widescreen Models

    • Nuvi 5000 - The Big Bad Boy of GPS units with a 5.2" screen is on sale, and is only $574 at Amazon. Big screen and dead simple interface for solid usability and great navigation.
    • Nuvi 200W at Amazon $199 - No Text to Speech, Continental US Maps. See My Full Review - Nuvi 200W.
    • Nuvi 660 at Amazon $296 Under $300 - Text to Speech, North American Maps, TMC Traffic Capability included. See My Full Review - Nuvi 660
    • TomTom XL S at Amazon $278 - 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.
    • Garmin Nuvi 780 - $516 - Has MSN Direct 2, with traffic and gas prices sent to your GPS. See My Full Review of the Nuvi 780 for more information.
    • Mio Moov 300 - New at Radio Shack this week for $229; Text to Speech, All 50 States, Widescreen

    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 - $149 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

    April 10, 2008

    Garmin Edge 705 Unboxing - Bike GPS

    GarminEdge705Box.jpg

    The Garmin Edge 705 is shipping, and is ready for spring rides as we speak. As the weather gets warmer, I expect to jump on the bike and try this out, complete with the Heart Rate Monitor and cadence sensor.

    GarminEdge7051st.jpg Snug in the packaging the Edge 705 awaits....


    GarminEdge7052nd.jpg
    All accessories are well wrapped too.


    Peek inside and under the bubble wrap after the jump......

    ArrowContinue reading: "Garmin Edge 705 Unboxing - Bike GPS"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Magellan RoadMate 1200 - $129 at Staples

    magellanRoadMate1200.jpg

    This just in that the Magellan RoadMate 1200 is going to be $129 starting this coming week at Staples.

    The Magellan RoadMate 1200 is a standard screen unit, 3.5-inches, with maps of the US (48-state), and 1.3 million POI, with voice commands (no Text to Speech).

    Basic navigator as an entry level device. CNet did a review on it, and had a few concerns that you might consider. I haven't seen the unit any lower in price unless you were buying a set of Continental Tires for your car, and then you'd get one free.

    Prices at Staples effective this Sunday, 4/13 - Magellan RoadMate 1200

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    April 9, 2008

    Low Priced GPS: Keep Competition at Bay

    bagomoney.pngIt wasn't too long ago when new brands blew onto the market with low priced GPS options while the big guys maintained high prices and probably maintained a lot of profit. On Black Friday 2006, while others were selling GPS units at twice the price, Mio stormed onto the scene with a $149 little unit, the Mio C310x that put them on the map. Since then Mio has launched upgrades, and currently has its Mio C230 as its entry level unit.

    Last year on Black Friday, Navigon stole the show with the low priced Navigon 2100 that shipped with traffic subscription for $99. The Navigon 2100 is still around and shipping like crazy when it's on sale. How's it doing at the regular prices though?

    A recent check of the Top Selling GPS Units at Amazon tells us a lot:

    #4 - Garmin Nuvi 200 - $149
    #5 - TomTom ONE - $146
    #22 - Magellan Maestro 3100 - $129
    #30 - Navigon 2100 - $160 (without traffic)
    #34 - Mio C230 - $134

    Even with a $15 - $20 discount, the Garmin and TomTom units are outselling cheaper competition, keeping them at bay.

    With prices like these it's no wonder that the big guys are doing well on sales, and the others are not. For a long time, when GPS systems cost a healthy chunk of a paycheck, it was worth saving 20% by going with something other than a big name. Now it's increasingly tougher to get meaningfully cheaper than a $149 price point that the big names are holding right now.

    The trouble is that TomTom and possibly others aren't making the money that their investors want them to. So something is going to change, or has to change if they want their stock price to go up. That change could be a small shift in costs that allow an extra $10 to be made on each unit, which would more than make up for the lower margins recently seen.

    Smaller companies are finding it increasingly harder to get a firm grip on the entry level end of the market, while big names are finding it harder to earn money at this end of the market too, driven by aggressive price cutting.

    Tough on GPS makers and their stock prices, good for your wallet. With all of that said, I fully expect a $99 special out of the big guys for Black Friday 2008.... see you there.


    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

    April 8, 2008

    TomTom Profit Warning - Weaker Q1 Than Expected

    TomTomlogoSM.jpg

    The sky isn't falling, but it is confirmation that the GPS wars have been boiling for some time with some dire consequences. Stiff competition drove TomTom to drop prices, apparently leading to lower margins than they expected, both in the US and in Europe. Moving units on deal in a tough economy appears to be the issue as the big guys battle to keep market share when other makers like Mio and Navigon come into the market discounting to gain market share.

    TomTom said yesterday that they expect 2.0 billion Euros for the year instead of 2.2 billion Euros. The big news is that sales in the first quarter will be around 270-280 million Euros, less than the 296 million Euro it reported in the same quarter a year ago. With the sales and the slow movement, TomTom indicated that operating margins will be in the "low single digits," down from double digits it normally reports.

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    April 7, 2008

    Delorme Earthmate GPS LT-40 & Street Atlas 2009

    EarthmateLT40.jpg
    DeLorme announced the release of its Earthmate GPS LT-40, a next generation GPS for laptop PCs. The LT-40 features the STMicroelectronics Teseo chipset for superior signal acquisition, retention, and positional accuracy, even in challenging urban GPS environments.

    This launch also debuts Street Atlas USA(r) 2009 DVD mapping software, for family and everyday use, and the more feature-rich Street Atlas USA 2009 PLUS DVD, aimed at business and advanced users. In addition to the U.S., each also covers Canada (street-level detail) and Mexico (main roads).

    More at Delorme


    Press Release Follows....

    ArrowContinue reading: "Delorme Earthmate GPS LT-40 & Street Atlas 2009"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Garmin Nuvi 5000 - Now Shipping

    Garminnuvi5000.jpg

    The Garmin Nuvi 5000 is on the market, and is available for a big dash near you. The Nuvi with the 5.2-inch screen has a lot of the valuable attributes that re well-loved by the thousands of current Nuvi owners. Dead easy interface, Maps of North America, Text to speech, route optimizaiton and MSN Direct-2 capabilities. Those MSN Direct capabilities are also found on teh Nuvi 780 that I just reviewed, and that I liked a lot. The service offers traffic, gas prices, news stocks, local events, and weather. While the service costs $49 a year after the free 3 months, the gas prices service could save you that much in a year. I saw as much as a ten cent per gallon difference near my; multiply that by the number of gallons I burn a year, and the MSN service is free.

    Anyway, check out the Garmin Nuvi 5000 at Amazon is a couple of hundred bucks less than Circuit City these days.....

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    April 6, 2008

    GPS Steals and Deals - 4/6

    Not as much movement this week in prices, although one highlight is the TomTom ONE deal at Office Depot - $119; see below.


    The Nuvi 200W now under $190
    . 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 $188. Basic Widescreen navigation, 48-state maps, easy to use interface; See the Widescreen difference. More info below.

    Garmin Nuvi 5000 is shipping - 5.2-inch screen; this Wider-screen than normal 4.3-inch widescreens offers even better readability on top of the easy to use Garmin interface. See below for more; buy at Amazon for $200 savings over Circuit City.


    Standard Screens - 3.5-inch


    • Garmin Nuvi 200 at Amazon - $149 No Text to Speech, Continental US Maps, solid interface and routing. (Saw it this morning on sale at Circuit City for $199) See My Full Review - Nuvi 200 for more info.

    • Garmin Nuvi 260 at Amazon - $232 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 - $163 and Free Shipping at Amazon. Entry Level TomTom with Maps of North America, no Text to Speech. This unit is $119 at Office Depot after Mail in Rebate.

    • Nuvi 350 at Amazon $234; down another $8 this week - Still a top seller with North American Maps, and Text-to-Speech. Want Bluetooth? For <$5 more get the Nuvi 360 that adds Bluetooth Handsfree.

    Widescreen Models

    • Nuvi 5000 - The Big Bad Boy of GPS units with a 5.2" screen is on sale, and is only $594 at Amazon, featured this week at Circuit City for $799, after a $100 off "deal". Save $200 and get it online! Big screen and dead simple interface for solid usability and great navigation.
    • Nuvi 200W at Amazon $188 - No Text to Speech, Continental US Maps. See My Full Review - Nuvi 200W.
    • Nuvi 660 at Amazon $320 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 $278 - Another $20 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.
    • Garmin Nuvi 780 - $535 - 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 - $149 at Amazon - $10 off this week - 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

    April 4, 2008

    Garmin Edge 705 Bike GPS Now Shipping


    garmingedge705mapping.jpg

    The Garmin Edge 705 is now shipping for spring riding. The GPS equipped bike computer is a very well outfitted device. With its ANT+ Sport wireless technology it can talk to the cadence and speed sensor, your heart rate monitor and even a power meters if you have a compatible one. Oh yea, and being a Garmin GPS enabled device, you get to map out your ride with turn indications sit back and enjoy while you crank out the miles while grabbing a ton of data for fitness analysis. The 705 also includes a barometric altimeter for accurate ascent data capture. The unit has the ability to calculate calories burned, and has "profiles" that allow you to set it up for more than one bike.

    Sync with your computer to grab the data and analyze it with the Garmin Trainer software, or upload it and participate in Garmin's Garmin Connect online community.

    Meeting up with friends who have a Garmin Edge 705 also? Wirelessly share routes so you are always together when you lead the pack in the dust on the next hill climb.

    The Edge 705 comes with a basemap, but by getting the package with the City Navigator Map Package, you'll have all those backroads that are great to ride on without traffic.

    Stay tuned, I'll have an Unboxing of a Garmin Edge 705 here soon, as I am looking forward to getting out and riding over the next few months to try out the Edge 705.

    Now Shipping at GPS Now - Garmin Edge 705

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    April 3, 2008

    AT&T Navigator - Speech Recognition Phone Navigation

    AT&T has announced that they are rolling out AT&T Navigator, a service that uses speech recognition to drive the navigation software offering. Working with TelNav, AT&T is offering turn by turn voice prompted navigation with speech recognition for address and point of interest entry. The AT&T navigator service also offers some advanced features like traffic flow and incident data as well as gas pricing. Finally, the service offers an integration with the internet that has you entering addresses online and sending them to your phone for advanced planning.

    Standard type pricing - $9.99 per month or $2.99 per day.

    ArrowContinue reading: "AT&T Navigator - Speech Recognition Phone Navigation"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    TrafficCast Bringing Data to Mobium

    If you are familiar with the idea of aggregating traffic data then you'll recognize what TrafficCast is doing. They recently announced a deal with GeoMicro to get their real-time traffic data as well as historical speeds onto consumer based applications. Previously available to professional drivers, the capability is poised to be the must-have feature for high end GPS navigations systems.

    Press Release follows....

    ArrowContinue reading: "TrafficCast Bringing Data to Mobium"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Mio - Plans in Place for Connected GPS


    Mio has already announced that they are working with Qualcomm to figure out the wireless connectivity on a connected GPS, and have now announced that they are working with ATX, a telematics provider to get content streamed to the Mio device. ATX provides services to some of the top car brands in the world including Mercedes, Rolls Royce, and BMW, so getting content to people on the road should play to their strengths.

    Mio is talking up gas prices, traffic, and local content for examples of what will be provided. To me, there are a couple of things that are going to make a connected device worth it:
    1) Better traffic capabilities. With better connectivity, you can pump down more data, and hopefully you are smart in your choice for what and how to provide that data. Historical Average Speeds, Anonymous Traffic Data Reporting, Flow Data are all things that Dash is setting up as the standard as the first one to market.
    2) Killer local content. With great searches comes great opportunities, and a well executed search capability will lead to satisfied customers. I would imagine that there were a lot of bad ideas along the way that were discarded by Dash before they got a system that worked well.

    Mio has now re-stated that they expect a connected device in the market by the end of the year. Magellan has already pre-announced their connected device for launch this year. While TomTom has a connected device, in the TomTom HD, I don't believe is has all of the connectivity features of a Dash, but I expect a US debut later this year with a more full featured device. Finally there is no news out of the Garmin shop, but one has to think that the Nuvifone is going to display this capability and essentially act as their proxy for the first "connected GPS".

    Press Release follows.....

    ArrowContinue reading: "Mio - Plans in Place for Connected GPS"

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    April 1, 2008

    GPSLodge Monthly Round-up - March 2008

    Another Busy month here in the early part of the year as prices get slashed, new models hit the store shelves and we get sneak peeks at those units as they hit the streets. Driving season is right around the corner.

    GPS Reviews

    Dash News

    Earnings Announcements

    GPS Contests

    GPS News

    Garmin GPS News

    Mapping News

    Mio GPS News

    Mobile Phone GPS

    Navigon GPS

    TomTom GPS News

    Traffic News

    Scott Martin Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
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