updated 04:45 pm EST, Fri November 9, 2007
ASUS is in the finishing stages of prepping a new range-leading GPS unit, says a new leak from GPSAndCo. The R700 will separate itself from other high-end mapping systems by relying on microSD cards for add-on storage instead of full-size SD. The change will let ASUS offer a full feature set while keeping the device just over half an inch thick with a 4.3-inch screen. New mapping software should be part of the package, according to the claim. The R700 should additionally become one of the few GPS devices with a Traffic Message Channel (TMC) receiver built-in, requiring only a subscription to receive real-time traffic warnings. MPEG-4 videos will also be playable from memory, as will AAC, MP3, and WMA music.
Bluetooth 2.0 will provide hands-free calling for the R700, which will reportedly ship in December for Europeans at a price between €400 and €500 ($588 and $735) with maps already preloaded for the continent. ASUS sometimes brings its GPS units to North America but is not yet known to be exporting the R700 to the region, where it could keep the same features but might receive a lower price.