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October 28, 2008

Garmin Gets in the Halloween Spirit, Offers Spooky Downloads for Your GPS

Garmin's Boo Bundle Halloween Vehicle Icons Pack

If you're the sort who would rather ride shotgun on a broomstick this Halloween than the standard, boring vehicle icon, then Garmin's new "Boo! Bundle" is for you. Available as a free download, the Boo! Bundle includes six new ghoulish vehicle icons. Also available is the Vincent Price'esque "Dr. Nightmare Voice Pack".

Download 'em both, set your nüvi GPS to pedestrian mode, and put some high tech excitement in your trick or treating this year!

October 25, 2008

Garmin nüvi 785T Video Walkthrough

Too lazy to read the 16-page complete review? Here's a quick video walkthrough of the nüvi 785T:

 

October 24, 2008

Garmin nuvi 785T Review

Verdict: Inches closer to navigation perfection

Garmin nuvi 785T Review

Map Screen 3D Buildings Lane Guidance

The nuvi 785T introduces 3-D lane assist, 3-D building view, faster screen redraws, route planning, and host of other new enhancements to Garmin's already top-notch nuvi product line. A few grievances aside, the new 7x5T series is a major update from previous nuvi models, and ups the ante in GPS navigation.

Continue reading "Garmin nuvi 785T Review" »

October 14, 2008

Magellan RoadMate 1430 Review

Verdict: Solid navigator that's easy to use. Oddly priced higher than the Maestro 4250.

Magellan RoadMate 1430

Main Menu Windshield Mount TrueView

The RoadMate 1430 is the latest model in Magellan's celebrated RoadMate product line.

The RoadMate 1430 doesn't have the Bluetooth, AAA TourData, or Voice Recognition found on the higher-end Magellan Maestro models, but it does have a strong set of core navigation capabilities aimed at the driver more concerned with ease of use than bells and whistles.

Continue reading "Magellan RoadMate 1430 Review" »

October 3, 2008

Garmin nuvi 785T Unboxing

Garmin nuvi 785T

Garmin nuvi 785T Retail Box Garmin nuvi 785T with Windshield Mount Garmin nuvi 785T: What's in the Box

I just received Garmin's highly anticipated nuvi 785T and will be posting the full review within a few days. In the mean time, here's a few unboxing photos to whet your appetite.

Continue reading "Garmin nuvi 785T Unboxing" »

October 2, 2008

TomTom Announces Quarterly Map Update Service

TomTom's new "Map Update Service", due out later this month, will deliver updated maps to subscribers on a quarterly basis. Subscriptions will cost about $55 per year per country of mapping data for the entry-level TomTom ONE and ONE XL models. Pricing is expected to be slightly higher for the more expensive GO models (the GO models include more mapping detail, such as IQ Routes, speed limit information, etc.).

A subscription-based update model allows customers to receive updated maps more frequently than annual software update purchases, and positions TomTom more as an online subscription service than a retail hardware company. Profit margins on GPS hardware have declined sharply over the past year, and TomTom is wisely predicting that there's more money to be made in software than hardware.

Given the recent pricing trends in GPS navigation, TomTom's subscription service isn't much cheaper than buying a new device every 2 years, so it will be interesting to see if consumers respond to the new subscription model.

TomTom's website says the Map Update Service isn't yet available in North America. No official word yet on subscription pricing for the GO models, or when it will be available here in the US.

October 1, 2008

GPSmagazine Announces Improved Testing Standards

GPSmagazine Test Gear: Luxmeter and Sound Level Meter

As part of our continuing efforts to provide quite simply the best GPS reviews available anywhere, we've updated our testing standards, and will begin accurately measuring screen brightness and sound output levels for all new products we review.

Screen brightness will be measured using a Mastech Digital 4-Range Luxmeter (LX1330B), and speaker loudness will be measured using an Extech 407732 Type 2 digital sound level meter (sensitive from 35 to 130 decibels).

So now we'll know exactly how much brighter/dimmer and louder/softer each GPS system we review is. And that means you'll know too. You're welcome.