It may not have speech recognition like the nüvi 880 GPS, but the new Garmin nüvi 785T does tell you which lane you should be in (and includes a mute button) so you don’t have to take along that annoying third cousin. Garmin’s lane assist technology guides you to the correct lane for an approaching turn or exit, making unfamiliar intersections and exits easy to navigate; realistically displaying road signs and junctions on your route. For hands-free calling, the unit also includes A2DP Bluetooth wireless technology, with a built in microphone and touchscreen keypad.
The 785T also offers real-time traffic info, news, stocks, current events and more via MSN Direct with the first three months provided for free, after which you’ll have to subscribe for about $50/year if you want to continue using the service.
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Garmin has taken on a new line of devices with the GPSMAP 640 that not only has road navigation but a marine chart plotter as well. It comes preloaded with their BlueChart g2 data and City Navigator NT for North America. Of course, the case is waterproof and it has a 5.2-inch WVGA touchscreen and an intuitive interface. The 640 can receive XM WX satellite weather data in marine mode and XM NavTraffic information in automotive mode. Expect the GPSMAP in Q1 2009 with a MSRP of $1,199.99.
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You are lost in the woods. But wait, you have your handy BackTrack to get you out of it. The personal GPS system stores and finds up to 3 locations. With a digital readout, it has a SiRF Star III GPS receiver with a self-calibrating digital compass. Weather resistant, it uses 2 AAA batteries (not included.) Carry it in your pocket or wear with included lanyard. The BackTrack is priced at $73.95 or $74.95, depending on the color combination.
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In case you have recently been shopping for the navigationally challenged in your life, Navigon’s 2000S is the company’s new entry level GPS device with plenty of features. It has text-to-speech, Lane Assist and Reality View Pros, DirectHelp, and a handy speed limit display. With a 3.5” screen, the satnav comes without 3-D landmarks and voice command which is on their higher priced 7200T. The Navigator will be available for $199.99 this holiday season.
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Sony is releasing 4 nav-u PNDs. The NV-U94T is top of the line with a photo viewer that, when a Memory Stick is put into its slot, can display images. With stereo Bluetooth and audio/video player, it lists for $399.99. The mid-sized NV-U84T with a 4.8-inch screen and NV-U74T (4.3-in frame) carry a price of $349.99 each. The compact NV-U44T has a 3.5-inch frame and is a more affordable $249.99. All 4 satellite signal receiving GPS devices feature gesture command with one touch and Position Plus hardware to help prevent false positions.
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Navigon has introduced its 7200T, a slim and portable GPS device with a flat frameless panel touchscreen. With 2D and 3D map views, it features Reality View Pro, Lane Assistant Pro, landmarks in the U.S. and Canada, and free r/t traffic updates for life. Also included is Speed Assistant, multi-destination trip planning, automatic standby, and day/night mode. Pre-order the 7200T on Amazon for $449.99 for a September 28 delivery.
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Garmin has released their Oregon series with a cool touchscreen interface. The waterproof GPS navigational devices weigh only 6.8 oz., and are good for about 16 hours on two AA batteries with a microSD slot for more input. The 200, 300, 400t, 400c, and 400i models feature their HotFix, which calculates and stores satellite info for position calculation. The Oregon allows customizable profiles of automotive, marine, recreation, fitness, and geocaching. With prices starting at $479.99, Garmin is so jazzed about their new toys that they have set up an Oregon mini-site.
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Panasonic pushes GPS to the limit with its new Strada F-Class CN-HX1000D and CN-HW1000D. The gadget has a 7-inch Viera screen for DVDs, an iPod link, a hard drive, 1-seg mobile digital TV, and what Panasonic calls a “from home to car” idea. If you have Bluetooth on your cellie, you can order sat-nav and the Strada will let you know what’s going on at home from the screen in your car. You can also turn on or off appliances. This one doesn’t come cheaply. The Stradas will go on sale in Japan next month with a ¥355,000 (~$3,500) price tag.
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We talked to Garmin about their new Astro 220 Dog Tracking GPS system at CES, and walked away pleasantly surprised at just how well thought out this system truly is. You can track your dog when it’s out of sight, and the handheld portion of the device will even tell you if the dog is sitting, running, or even jumping.