updated 10:35 am EDT, Tue September 7, 2010
Garmin intros new connected navigation devices
Garmin has introduced a range of new portable navigation devices, including the 5-inch nüLink 1695 as well as the nüvi 2200 and nüvi 2300 ranges for budget-conscious drivers. The 1695 is an extra-large five-inch model centering on Garmin's nüLink service, which gives users access to Google Local Search and updated traffic, weather, fuel price, flight status and other information. Users can also buy optional services through the nüLink Store, such as weather forecasts that use Nexrad radar info and weather alerts.
The device uses trafficTrends and myTrends to ease daily commutes. The former uses historical data and recurring trends to recommend the best route and the latter remembers your most common destinations and routes to them automatically when a user is moving. Bluetooth is built in to let users make hands-free phone calls.
Google Local Search gives a description of the location, a business address, phone number and popularity rating. White page telephone listings let users find a person by their address or phone number. Garmin's ecoRoute is standard, letting users choose the most fuel-efficient route rather than just the quickest.
The nüLink 1695 includes maps of North America and is priced at $450. This includes one year of nüLink with each month after that costing $5.
The 2200-series devices have 3.5-inch touchscreens, and all have the trafficTrends and myTrends features, as well as ecoRoute. It starts with the $150 2200, which has map info for the lower 48 US states, Hawaii and Puerto Rico, the $160 2250 that adds maps for all of North America and the nüvi 2250LT, which brings lifetime traffic alerts.
The 2300-series devices have a larger 4.3-inch screen and let users preview more than one route. The nüvi 2300 kicks off the range at $200 with 48 states, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Next up is the 2300LM with lifetime map updates, at $240. The $210 2350 adds North America coverage, with the $230 2350LT getting lifetime traffic updates. The 2350LMT gets both lifetime maps and traffic updates for $270.
The nüvi 2360LT adds Bluetooth, speech recognition and a three-axis compass, along with 3D terrain view and a dual-orientation display. It costs $260. The LMT variant adds lifetime maps info and $40 to the price tag. Finally, the 2370LT costs the same $300 but adds European maps.
As with most Garmin launches, the company hasn't committed to a firm release date.