Garmin Astro 220 - Dog Tracking GPS

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In an interesting move responding to their hunter constituents, Garmin has announced the Garmin Astro, a dog tracking GPS combination. The Garmin Astro 220 allows you to equip your dog with a transponder and you get to track him/her on a modified Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx, their very capable top of the line handheld unit - see my recent review of the Garmin GPSMAP 60CSx. The Astro 220 is being announced at the SHOT Outdoors/Hunting show (not the CES 2007 believe it or not) in Orlando.

In classic fashion through Garmin added some features that make the hunting experience better like adding a simple waypoint marker routine that allows you to capture when and where specifically you encounters bird flushes if you are hunting upland game. It also comes equipped with hunter specific icons for marking other waypoints. Nice job.

Interesting pictures below of the unit and the dog mount....

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Garmin VIB-10 Adapter

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The Garmin VIB 10 is a new unit that allows the StreetPilot C550 and presumably future units to have RCA outs and be connected out of sight so that it feeds your car stereo system with a direct connection through the AUX input on most aftermarket systems these days. That's the upside, but the downside is that the adapter replaces the current C550 power adapter and eliminates the traffic feed antenna. The VIB 10 is being shown at the CES 2007 show along with other new Garmin GPS units.

"The VIB 10 is an ideal way to utilize your car's audio system for navigation voice prompts, phone calls, and MP3 playback," said Dan Bartel, Garmin's vice president of worldwide sales. "It also reduces cable clutter while still allowing the unit itself to be moved from vehicle to vehicle for maximum utility."

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Garmin Zumo 450

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Fresh on the heels of the Zumo 550 shipping, Garmin has announced the Zumo 450, a more affordable unit It retains teh glove friendly design, the waterproof housing, the left handed controls, and the oversized buttons. It skips the Bluetooth feature that is present in it's big brother. The Zumo 450 is being launched at CES 2007 along with a lot of other new Garmin GPS units.

"The zumo 450 is positioned towards the budget conscience rider who wants a solid and reliable GPS designed for motorcycles," said Dan Bartel, Garmin's vice president of worldwide sales. "Whether riding a cruiser or sportbike, the zumo's intuitive interface and motorcycle-specific attributes make it ideal for any rider on the go."

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Garmin at National and Alamo Car Rental Outlets

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Garmin announced today in conjuction with a whole bunch of new GPS announcements at the CES 2007 show that they are teaming up with National and Alamo car rental groups to offer a Garmin GPS (based on the Garmin StreetPilot C330) for daily rental at these outlets; cost is $10.99 a day. In a pretty bold statement, Dan Bartel, Garmin's VP os Worldwide sales said, "Garmin is pleased to be the new navigation provider for Vanguard Car Rental." Translation "Magellan and its claims to fame with their NeverLost products at Hertz are old news."

If you are keeping score:

Garmin
National/Alamo
Avis/Budget
Enterprise
Dollar/Thrifty

Magellan
Hertz

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January 4, 2007

Garmin Zumo 550 Review

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The Garmin Zumo came to the market after the TomTom RIDER, and seemed to have missed the big riding season by the time it shipped late in the Fall. It appears from a new review from YourNav that the Zumo is a pretty strong contender, and should pull away from the pack with its ease of use and strong featureset.
"There are a few things which the RIDER is better at ... but in general, this zūmo is the better unit, and wins hands down."
The Zumo was designed to ride, with several design features that makes it perfectly suited to head out on the road on a motorcycle, including a glove friendly touch screen, Bluetooth compatibility for wireless headset based voice directions, and a water tight housing that should keep you going in the right direction even when the weather turns bad. There are some nice touches that I like, rubberized buttons (like the Mio C310x), and an internal antenna that doesn't have to flip out. The unit is TMC and XM traffic capable, and nicely enough comes with a windshield mount also for car use.

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January 3, 2007

Garmin Acquires French Distributor

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Garmin announced that it has acquired EME Tec Sat SAS ("EME"), the exclusive distributor of Garmin's consumer products in France. Following the acquisition, EME will change its name to Garmin France SAS. The company will retain its management, sales, marketing and supporting staff, consisting of approximately 50 people, and will continue to be located at its current headquarters in Nanterre, a suburb of Paris. Sounds like things are heating up in Europe.

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January 1, 2007

Garmin Nuvi 660

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The Garmin Nuvi 660 is the first widescreened (4.3-inch) Garmin Nuvi to hit the market, and was launched in late summer of 2006. It keeps with the thin is in Nuvi Form Factor, and offers traveler's aids (audiobook, music, conversion calculator, etc) in addition to navigation. The Nuvi 660 also features a very bright screen that in my use stands up to direct sunlight so that you can see what the GPS has to tell you in the brightest conditions. The Nuvi 660 also has Bluetooth capabilities, and also comes with TMC Traffic standard, with a great little receiver built right into the 12 volt power plug.

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December 29, 2006

Garmin Training Center For Mac OS X Tiger Edition

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Garmin announced the Garmin Training Center software is now compatible with Mac OS X version 10.4 "Tiger." Garmin Training Center software is used with Garmin's Forerunner and Edge series fitness products. Garmin announced last year that they would move towards offering their software on Mac in the future. This is good news for those of us who use Macs.

"This is a great day for Garmin and Mac customers because it is the first time a major GPS manufacturer has offered direct Mac support," said Dan Bartel, Garmin's vice president of worldwide sales. "With this new Mac compatible software, Mac owners will have our popular training tools at their fingertips."

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December 28, 2006

New Garmin GPS Units at CES 2007

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The CES show in January has been a great opportunity for manufacturers to introduce to buyers their newest and greatest products that are going on sale in the coming months, just before the hopping summer vacation and driving season. For GPS manufacturers, like Garmin, this is the biggest sales opportunity other than the holiday buying season. CES isn’t the only opportunity for manufacturers to introduce items before the summer driving season, as March will bring around a similar show in Europe, CeBIT.

We know that Garmin will be introducing the new Garmin Nuvi 670/680 at the show, as they have already been mentioned as an award recipient for the new MSN direct/SPOT capabilities for the unit. But, what else will Garmin introduce?


UPDATE: I have posted my Review of the Nuvi 680

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Welcome New GPS Users

I am getting a lot of email from new users of GPS units, and I want to say welcome to the GPS Lodge, and welcome to the world of GPS Navigation. We've got a lot of information here about some of the most popular GPS navigation systems of the season, and I thought I would help you out by pointing out a few posts that might just make things easier for you:

Mio C310x
A lot of people bought these over the holidays, and I reviewed the unit a couple of weeks ago. I was able to interview the product manager and she gave me some information about the plans for the Mio c310x upgrades and updates.

Garmin
If you got an "x" model handheld GPS, don't forget to get your rebate forms in.

Garmin has several excellent models, and you can take a look at all of our Garmin reviews here, or here are some shortcuts to popular model reviews:

  • Garmin Nuvi 350 Review
  • Garmin Nuvi 660 Review
  • Garmin C340 Review

    TomTom
    TomTom just released their US Map upgrade, so don't miss out on this update to your map database. It includes a lot of new roads, Points of interest, and more. Also see my review of the TomTom ONE.

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