updated 03:55 am EST, Fri January 4, 2008
Garmin unveils Mobile PC
Garmin recently introduced a new product called Garmin Mobile PC, a kit that turns laptops and other mobile PCs into portable GPS stations. Garmin Mobile PC uses the same "Where to?" and "View Map" interface found in the Nuvi and StreetPilot product. The software can use Outlook addresses, or a list of nearly 6 million points of interest to find individuals, restaurants, gas stations, and other civic cervices. Garmin Mobile PC uses the company's new GPS 20x sensor, while the software-only version can function with many third party serial- or Bluetooth-connectable GPS receivers. Garmin Mobile PC will be on display at CES 2008; pricing for the software-only version is $60, while the bundled hardware kit costs $100.
The included GPS 20x sensor connects to PCs through a USB connector, and includes non-skid pads for dashboard mounting. Garmin Mobile PC offers turn-by-turn, voice-prompted directions, with automatic route calculations for missed turns, similar to the company's traditional navigation devices. Users can customize routes to exclude undesirable areas or bad roads, and an electronic breadcrumb trail shows the path that was driven previously.
In addition the software-hardware bundle, the company is offering users of Garmine Mobile PC free access to the Garmin Online services, which provides access to live weather, flight status, hotel rates, and other travel specific information.