Review: Garmin StreetPilot C550 Review by GPS Lodge

"The C550 is the must have GPS for the foreseeable future."


For the past month we have been driving all over the place guided by the Garmin StreetPilot C550 GPS, it has been an excellent experience. The unit has a lot going for it, and it more than delivers on the promise of getting you from here to there; it pampers you as you go with confidence and style. The interface is clean, the routing well done, and the traffic reporting very helpful and very well done. This is an excellent product that I would recommend to anyone looking for a mid-tier GPS. It’s on the pricy side with it being at the top of the mid-tier line, but if you have high expectations, the Garmin StreetPilot C550 can deliver.

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July 20, 2006

Win a Free Garmin Zumo 550 Motorcycle GPS

In celebratioin of their new Garmin Zumo 550 motorcycle GPS, Garmin is giving away a Garmin Zumo to those who register by July 31st at their website. The unit is specifically designed to be used on motorcycles with lots of customized features like glove friendly controls, Bluetooth to helmet audio capability, and it's waterproof. Garmin has loaded this up with some interesting features, and some nice touches. Fuel reminders with an easy route to gas stations, review your tracks on Google Earth when you get home, and swap trips and waypoints with other zūmo's.

See the entry form box on the right side of the Garmin Blog page.

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Shah Capital buys Magellan for $170 Mil

An investment group led by Shah Capital Partners (SCP) today announced they have reached an agreement to acquire Thales Navigation, makers of the Magellan series of GPS units. Reports are out that say the deal was for $170 million USD. We reported on this possibility back in May. This is good news, I think that Magellan has lost its way recently and didn’t bring the innovation to the GPS marketplace that they were capable of and needed to do. These are the people that got the jump on automotive navigation, and where are they today in the European Market, or the US market, where the entire category is exploding? Garmin is eating their lunch in the US, while TomTom is doing the same in Europe. Let’s face it, competition is good for consumers, and while I am happy to hear about the recent launches of the new RoadMates, I am even more happy to hear about this purchase. In the near term, Shah capital had better pump some dollars into R&D (like Garmin did 2 years ago), and in eighteen months, I would expect some innovative products popping out the other end.

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Mapquest Rolls out Multi-Point Routes

Mapquest has rolled out a beta of its new multi-stop Route Builder feature. This new tool lets travelers save time and money by mapping out their entire journey – and multiple destination stops in between – in one convenient step. So, if you aren’t yet using a GPS, the new multipoint routing at Mapquest can help you out. I tested it and it seems intuitive and pretty useful. You can start by putting in a starting and ending destination, and then move on to add other stops. If you want to change the order of your stops, you can easily move stops around and the route updates before your eyes. As you would imagine, with multiple stops, the direction set gets pretty long, so they have included the ability to hide segments of the directions as you work your route, and then allow you to reveal them all to print.

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Boston's Big Dig a Big Headache for Online Maps

In case you haven’t already heard, the Big Dig here in Boston has had some big problems, which has resulted in a closure of many key connector ramps from the main artery to the Logan Airport tunnel. There are detours set up that may last weeks to months as they repair faulty fixtures in the ceiling of these connector tunnels. The Boston Globe today wrote up a piece on how the online map world can’t keep up with these significant but (hopefully) temporary detours. TeleAtlas is mapping the Big Dig even now as the mess is unfolding, but unfortunately they won’t be getting the new detour information through the system in time to help travelers getting to the airport under the new detour laden routes. I did a quick check of a couple of online mapping programs and they sent you right through the closed ramps, whoops. It’s a complex pathway for road data to travel from TeleAtlas van to your GPS, but man if we could ever shrink that to a few days…. Now that would be big.


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New Aviation GPS: Garmin GSPMAP 496


Garmin introduced the GPSMAP 496, a full-color, portable aviation device that expands on the GPSMAP 396’s features by incorporating Garmin’s SafeTaxi™ airport diagrams, Garmin’s Smart Airspace™, AOPA’s Airport Directory data, enhanced high-resolution terrain database, aviation database with private airports and heliports, accelerated GPS update rate, and pre-loaded automotive maps of North America or Europe. These features are in addition to the real-time XM WX Satellite Weather™ that puts powerful weather information at the pilot’s fingertips.

They will be giving one Garmin GPSMAP 496 away - Details below.

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MotionBased Wants to Know What You Think

MotionBased, the training website owned by Garmin, is looking for product upgrade ideas. So, if you have some input, go fill out their online survey and maybe you can win a year of free service. Now there you go, consumer driven innovation – gotta love it. The contest/survey runs through July 31st.

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

CBS: Quick Overview of GPS Market

CBS recently posted an article where they cover the wide swath that is the GPS market today. They reviewed and ran through almost 10 GPS devices or services, highlighting the advantages of each. Interesting little read if you want a quick average Joe read on the market.

They cover:

  • Garmin GPSMap 76CSx
  • Garmin StreetPilot C550
  • Pioneer AVIC-s1
  • NAVMAN iCN750
  • Navizon service
  • Verizon Navigator Service
  • Pharos Traveler GPS 525


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  • July 19, 2006

    Wall Street Journal Reviews iPod/Nike+ System

    Walter Mossberg has taken a look at and likes the new iPod/Nike + fitness training system that links your iPod Nano to your new Nike+ shoes through a wireless sensor to help you train better. While not a GPS, the sensor can gauge your strides, and give feedback to you through your iPod Nano. I wrote up a piece a couple of weeks ago on this system, and it’s good to see a review come out from a reliable source like the Wall Street Journal.

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

    Rikaline GPS-50 - GPS Watch


    The Rikaline GPS-50 watch isn’t the first GPS watch to come along (recall the Suunto x9i ), and I am sure it’s not the last, but it is the first I have seen with the SiRF star III chipset. It has a bunch of features, but at the same time is low on capability; it can measure temperature, altitude, and track where you are, while also featuring an optional solar charger to help you get through the long hikes you might take this on. The 45 gram watch only offers a tracklog of 600 points, which has an adjustable interval of 1 second to 10 minutes. So at 1 second intervals, you are overwriting every 10 minutes… that’s not a long tracklog. But the good news is that this continues the miniturization trend that can get GPS components into a lot of easy to use (carry) devices, so that GPS based information is only an arm's length away. No word on price or availability.


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

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