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March 27, 2008

Dash Express Hands-On Preview

Dash Express

Few GPS navigation devices have been more eagerly anticipated than Dash Navigation's "Dash Express". The wait is finally over, and the unit is shipping and available for purchase.

Sure, it may look like any old GPS, but Dash Express is the first Internet-connected navigation system that uses two-way wireless connectivity to provide real-time traffic data for highways AND surface streets, Yahoo! internet searches for basically unlimited POIs, and a whole lot more.

Anyone who currently owns a traffic-enabled GPS knows that the traffic data it provides is anything but reliable, and coverage is generally poor. Unlike traditional traffic data, Dash Navigation has gone to extraordinary lengths to provide accurate data and keep you out of traffic. Next generation traffic awareness combined with Internet connectivity sounds great, but does it work? Read on.

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March 16, 2008

Zoombak GPS Car & Family Locator Review

Verdict: Good, basic vehicle location capabilities at a relatively low cost. Not suited to indoor tracking

Zoombak's Advanced GPS Car & Family Locator

Zoombak's Advanced GPS Car & Family Locator is a relatively low-cost Assisted GPS (A-GPS) tracking solution designed to help you locate your car, and your loved ones in it, and help bring them home safely. The system, which retails for $249, plus a $15/month service fee, can be carried as a portable tracking device or permanently installed in a vehicle. The company also sells a pet-friendly version for $199, which is identical except that it includes a dog collar instead of a vehicle installation kit.

I tested the Zoombak Car & Family Locator and found out how the system competes with other tracking and locator solutions out there. Is Zoombak the low-cost, easy to use tracking solution you've been searching for? Read on.

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March 10, 2008

TeleType Releases GPS Designed for Truckers and RV Drivers

TeleType's WorldNav

I get a lot of emails asking for a GPS specifically designed for truck drivers. Until now there haven't been many options for those riding on multiple axles. TeleType's WorldNav system lets you enter your truck's height, weight, and length, knows about commercial truck restrictions on certain roads, and a host of other large-vehicle specific features (even Hazmat routing). Available in 3.5 and 7-inch versions. Read on for all the details.

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March 6, 2008

BrickHouse Child Locator Review

Verdict: Good for Finding Your Keys or Wallet. Pets and People...Not so Much

Loc8tor Plus & Panic Tag

This device is also sold under the name "Brickhouse Security Child Locator with Distance Alert".

Billed as "the ultimate tool that will help you keep tabs on your children, pets and possessions", Loc8tor Plus is a wireless handheld device that can track multiple homing tags up to 600 feet away. Slap a homing tag on anything you want to keep tabs on, and the next time it goes missing, use the Loc8tor handheld to find it.

The system relies on radio frequencies (RF) instead of GPS, making it better suited to indoor use, and retails for about $169 (the Plus version includes the Loc8tor handheld, 3 homing tags, and 1 panic homing tag). I tested the Loc8tor Plus and found the system adequate for finding a lost set of keys at home, but not up to the task of tracking moving objects, such as children or pets.

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March 4, 2008

Navigon's 2100/2120 Max Brings A La Carte Pricing To GPS Features

Want features found on higher-end models but don't want/need all the bells and whistles? Navigon is betting customers will want to pay for only the features they care about, and has announced the new Navigon 2100 and 2120 Max -- two new GPS units that let customers add on features they're willing to pay for.

The 2100 Max is a 4.3" widescreen GPS that will retail for $299, and can be upgraded with a host of add-ons, including Zagat Guide data, lifetime traffic subscription, and up to 12 map updates every three years. The 2120 Max is a Canada-only model that includes Canadian maps and sells for $329. Read on for all the details.

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March 3, 2008

TomTom Announces GO 730 and GO 930. Brings IQ Routes and Advanced Lane Guidance.

TomTom GO 930

TomTom's newly announced 730 and 930 models bring two new technologies to TomTom's popular GO product line: "IQ Routes" and "Advanced Lane Guidance". IQ Routes leverage historical traffic data to know the difference between Sunday afternoon traffic and Monday afternoon rush hour. Advanced Lane Guidance displays a Navigon-esque 3D rendering of the upcoming junction, and shows you which lane you'll need to be in.

Available in April 2008, the GO 730 and 930 will retail for $500 and $550 respectively. Read on for the full details on both new models.

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