February 24, 2008

Garmin Nuvi 780 Full Review - MSN Direct 2

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UPDATE: MSN Direct will stop service January 1, 2012 - buyer beware that the traffic and other information services will not work after that date.

Just announced at CES 2008, the Garmin Nuvi 780 is the new widescreen navigator from Garmin that has the MSN Direct version services built in. Being part of the 700 series, it includes a lot of the high end extras that you'd expect including text-to-speech, maps of North America, 5+ Million POI, Bluetooth Handsfree and the ability to do optimized routing. This Nuvi 780 was equipped with the SiRF chipset.

As you start to get into higher end GPS units, you start to add features that are certainly advanced and can make life great if you are an intensive user of the GPS. For instance, the Nuvi 780 has advanced routing features that allows you to input several locations and allow the Nuvi to optimize the route. Something road warriors will appreciate. For me, the MSN Direct services make it pretty obvious that gas prices are going to be a must have capability going forward for any connected GPS.

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February 20, 2008

Garmin Profit Jumps

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Garmin's sales for the 4th quarter were up 99% versus year ago to $1.2Billion in the quarter. That's too bad, they were up 100% last year; missed it by that much...... Anyway, earnings were also up 70% to $1.39 per share. Things were up all over the place as sales grew significantly in their Automotive, outdoor/fitness, aviation and marine. Growth was seen in all geographies too.

Wall St hit them a bit after the announcement as the street is a little concerned over the decline in selling prices. I have noticed that Garmin used to carry a premium price over TomTom on many models, but are now undercutting them on some models. It is certainly a more aggressive market out there as people are fighting for their share of the explosive growth. Expect TomTom Earnings out in a few days...

Garmin also mentioned that they expect retail prices to drop by 20% this year; not sure if that means a drop across the board, or average price when you include the new high end units that have yet to hit the market. But to me a 20% drop on a $260 Nuvi 350 means a Nuvi 350 that is around $199 for the holidays.

Dr. Min Kao, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer said, "Garmin experienced an exciting fourth quarter, which brought a strong finish to fiscal 2007. The strong holiday season demand we experienced clearly demonstrated that our products are well-positioned to take advantage of the growing interest in portable navigation devices. Independent market research indicates we have maintained a strong leadership position in North America, and our market position in Europe continues to improve as well."

Press Release is below....

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Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Garmin ANT+ Technology Flexible Wireless Sharing

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The technology that is powering more and more of Garmin's devices these days is called ANT+ wireless technology. It's a short range wireless technology that Garmin gained when they bought Dynastream back in December of 2006. The technology allows the Heart Rate Monitor (HRM) to talk to the Forerunner 405, or the cadence meter to talk to the Edge 705. The interesting thing about it is that you can start to pair these device add-on's with other equipment. Upgrading from the Forerunner 305 to the Forerunner 405? You can bring the HRM from the older Garmin and use it with the new one.

The ANT technology is also the wireless protocol in the new Garmin Colorado series, which allows the handheld units to talk and exchange routes and waypoints. The Colorado can also accept a HRM and/or cadence monitor to record that information if you were to use your Colorado on a bike.

Garmin Blog has more information on the ANT technology.


Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

February 16, 2008

Garmin Nuvi 750 - $299 Today Only

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Thanks to readers Warren M. and Edly who posted this tip -

Garmin Nuvi 750 for only $299 at the
Home Shopping Network; today only.

That's about $100 cheaper than anywhere I can find online. Read My Full Review of the Nuvi 750 for more information.

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

February 10, 2008

Nuvi 200 Pink Edition - $65 Extra

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Garmin has had the Pink Nuvi 200 for a while over in Europe, but has let it out of the bag here in the US just in time for Valentine's Day, exclusively at Best Buy. Cost is $249, just the same as the regular gray Garmin Nuvi 200.

Of course, if you want a good deal on the Nuvi 200, you can just skip over to Amazon where it's selling in the non-Pink variety for $185 and you can save $65.

At Amazon - Garmin Nuvi 200

For More Information on the Nuvi 200, check out my Full Review on the Garmin Nuvi 200/250/270.

While we're talking about hot sellers.....

  • Nuvi 660 widescreen GPS with TMC Traffic - $379 - #1 seller at Amazon

  • Also notable, the TomTom ONE has returned to almost holiday sale pricing at $169.

    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
  • February 7, 2008

    Nuvifone Video

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    The Hype machine has started, and I'll admit I will give it a few turns of the crank before it's done. I mean hey, it's not often that the little old GPS gets out and walks around the technology block to go and grab the cool trophy for a new phone design.

    It looks like Garmin is partnering with Google for internet search; good move. Makes me wonder if they are starting to line themselves up for Google search on a connected GPS? If you want to see, checkout Garmin's online images with screenshots of what the Nuvifone might look like.


    Anyway, here's Garmin's take on their evolution.... Nuvi to Nuvifone. The second one is about some of the Nuvifone capabilities. Pretty good; worth a look:





    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    February 6, 2008

    Garmin Deal with Ford Trucks

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    Garmin has announced a deal that has them working with Ford to add navigation, among other things to the new herd of Ford trucks coming to Dealers starting this Fall. The deal is part of a modernization and toughening of Ford Trucks to deal with the fact that they are mobile offices for so many workers on the job site. With Ford Work Solutions, a broad umbrella term for the launch, you will have in-dash computer capability, a digital system for keeping track of tools (RFID), and a cable in the bed that you can lock your tools to.

    Ford Work Solutions will be available this fall on the 2009 F-150, F-Series Super Duty pickups, and E-Series vans. Transit Connect vans join Ford truck’s commercial vehicle lineup with this technology in mid-2009.

    Press Release follows.....

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    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    February 4, 2008

    Garmin Super Bowl Ad

    GarminSuperBowlAd.jpg Don't know if you had a chance to see the the Super Bowl ad from Garmin, but it is a lot better than last year's. I am sure you'll see the 30 second version playing on TV over the coming weeks, but if not, it's worth checking out at the Garmin Super Bowl Ad Mini-site where you can see the Garmin Super Bowl ad, see the Director's cut and download that catchy tune. Being from the Boston area, I can't say that I loved the outcome of the game, but I loved the ads....

    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    January 30, 2008

    Garmin Nuvifone

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    Garmin has entered the mobile phone race as of tonight, with the release of the Nuvi Phone, a touchscreen phone that of course includes a GPS and navigation. I guess the rumors of them working on a phone from last April were true...The Nuviphone will use 3.5G technology, and creates what Garmin is calling its future. The new phone will help them answer the marketplace trend that has more and more phones becoming the navigation vehicle of choice.

    It will be interesting to see how the details on the phone look.

    Via

    Press release below....

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    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    January 29, 2008

    Garmin Nuvi 780 - Now Shipping

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    UPDATE: For More Information read my Full Review on the Garmin Nuvi 780 with MSN Direct 2

    The newest Nuvi to the Nuvi 700 series is the Nuvi 780, which comes with the MSN Direct receiver and a trial subscription to the service.


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    Announced just a few weeks ago at the CES 2008 show, the unit if full featured with a widescreen (4.3-inch), text to speech, and the expanded MSN Direct Version 2 which expands the services to include News, Stocks local events and "Send to GPS" capability from MSN Live Maps.

    This Send to GPS feature can be especially helpful when doing searches on the internet and with a few clicks of the mouse, you can elect to send the location to your GPS. Go jump in the car and the location will show up under the "Web Favorites" button.

    GPSNow is shipping the Garmin Nuvi 780 and had plenty in stock when I last checked. At Amazon - Nuvi 780 with MSN Direct 2

    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

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