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March 24, 2006

Magellan about to release the new Roadmate 3000T. Price: $600


Well it looks like Magellan has (finally) gotten with the program and updated the form-factor of its aging Roadmate product line. Magellan was once considered the high-end of automotive GPS navigation units, but Garmin and TomTom have been eating Magellan's lunch and steadily taking market share. With an MSRP of $600, the Roadmate 3000T is priced $400 less than other Roadmate's have been priced at their release date. If you need any more proof that competition is good for consumers, check out the feature list:

  • 3.5" hi-resolution anti-glare color touchscreen
  • 4GB hard disk with SD card slot for additional user storage
  • built-in MP3 player
  • picture viewer
  • Preloaded maps (Navteq) of 50 USA states, Canada and Puerto Rico.
  • 3D bird eye and 2D map views
  • Turn-by-turn visual and voice guidance
  • Over 6 million POIs
  • SmartDetour
  • Auto Re-route
  • Automatic night view (The displayed map background color switches to night view at sundown)
  • SmartVolume™, the volume automatically increases at speeds over 45 MPH
  • QuickSpell (sorts, searches, and checks spelling for rapid address entry with minimal keystrokes)
  • Optional traffic module

Should be available starting late April 2006. Expect an MSRP of around $600.

PC Mag says don't buy the Cobra NavOne 4500


Looking at the specs, Cobra Electonics’ NavOne 4500 portable GPS navigation systems sounds like it could be a winner: 5-inch 320-by-240 pixel touch screen, FM-based traffic receiver, nice mounting suction cup, and multi-language support.

With an MSRP of $929.95, PC Magazine has posted a brief review and gives the unit a decided thumbs down, thanks to its limited routing options, POI database inaccuracies, and uncompetitive pricing. Read the full review HERE.

AviDyne Entegra tops Garmin G1000 in independent head-to-head comparison


Well, it looks live there's (even) more proof Garmin needs to fire its User Interface team.

Recently I compared the Garmin 2720 to Magellan's Roadmate 760 and came to the same conclusion Rotorhub did in their review of aviation GPS units: Garmin's technology is good, their usability sucks. Citing better ease of use, cleaner menu systems, and intuitive button layout, Rotorhub has rated the AviDyne Entegra higher than the Garmin G1000.

Read the review HERE

March 22, 2006

Garmin drops the eTrex Vanture Cx. Cheapskates rejoice.

Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd. (Nasdaq: GRMN), today introduced the eTrex Venture Cx, an entry-level addition to Garmin’s eTrex ® Personal Navigator ® product line. The eTrex Venture Cx is the least expensive eTrex handheld unit that combines expandable memory, color TFT display, USB interface, and advanced GPS auto-routing capabilities in a waterproof design.

Continue reading "Garmin drops the eTrex Vanture Cx. Cheapskates rejoice." »

Russia will offer its satellite navigation system to global users

Russia’s global satellite navigation system will become available for civilian clients in Russia starting next year and open for other users worldwide two years later, Russia’s defense minister said on Tuesday.

Sergei Ivanov said that Russia’s Global Navigation Satellite System, known as GLONASS, will be offered to foreign clients worldwide in 2009, the ITAR-Tass, Interfax and RIA Novosti news agencies reported.

“It will have an enormous commercial importance,” Ivanov said in televised remarks during a visit to NPO Reshetnyov company in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk, which builds satellites for the program. “It will contribute to the national economy’s development in many spheres.”

GLONASS is the equivalent of the US Global Positioning System, or GPS.

Developed during the 1970s, the system originally had 24 satellites, but the number had dwindled, falling into the teens.
Thanks to Russia’s booming oil revenues, the government has earmarked funds to revive the system to its full strength. GLONASS now has 17 satellites, but two of them were temporarily out of order, ITAR-Tass said on Tuesday.

March 18, 2006

Panasonic drops 2 new GPS units

Panaosonic has released 2 new GPS units: the CN-DS120D and CN-D050D. Both units have a DVD drive, but only the DS120D can be used to watch DVD movies. Both units also have a digitial TV tuner for receiving terrestrial DTV. Looks like these units are currently only available in Japan. No word yet on a U.S. release date and/or price.

March 10, 2006

Magellan Roadmate 760 Review

VERDICT: The best 2003 had to offer. Outgunned by today's higher performance GPS units.


REVIEW UPDATE: This GPS model has been discontinued


Continue reading "Magellan Roadmate 760 Review" »

Garmin rolls out 6 new c-Series GPS units

Garmin today announced the c310, c320, c330, c340, c510, and c550. Based on the c300 series, the c500 series will add Bluetooth with a hands-free calling interface compatible with over 200 cell phones, integrated traffic capabilities, an improved display, and a new high-sensitivity GPS receiver. Garmin claims the new GPS receiver used in the c500 will acquire the signal faster, and not lose the signal in heavy foliage or city skyscrapers. Mapping data continues to be provided by NAVTEQ. The c550 adds stereo speakers and integrated microphone, includes a new traffic & weather data receiver (integrated into the power cable). The c550 also allows you to place and receive phone calls (via Bluetooth and a compatible cell phone) from the point of interest database – which includes hotels, restaurants, stores, etc). The c550 comes pre-loaded with maps of Europe and the U.S., text-to-speech announcing of street names, and an MP3 player. The c510 deluxe sounds like it will be a Europe only model, and will allow users to load one region at a time via PC/DVD. The c530 will be sold only in North America and will include all maps pre-loaded.

No word on pricing yet, but Garmin says all the new models will be available in the second quarter of 2006. Check out all the details HERE

March 3, 2006

TomTom updates its lineup, gets iPod friendly

Europe-based GPS maker TomTom today announced three new additions to it’s popular Go series of auto navigation GPS units: the Go 910, Go 710, and Go 510. According to TomTom’s press release, the new units will sport:

  • A wider 4-inch LCD touch screen
  • Improved GPS performance
  • “Hundreds of features and software improvement” (hmmm…..)
  • TomTom HOME dock and HOME software for adding POI’s from your PC
  • Bluetooth cell phone integration
  • Built-in maps of the US, Canada, and Europe
  • MP3 player with iPod support
  • Text to speech functionality
  • Updated TomTom PLUS content & Services

TomTom PLUS is TomTom’s offering of content and services. PLUS already consists of voices, traffic and weather. TomTom says it is improving its weather and traffic services, and adding Audiobooks and Buddies.

TomTom says the new units will be available mid-April 2006. No word yet on pricing. Read all about it HERE