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Wednesday, September 12, 2007
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
The Garmin Nuvi 670 was sure to strike one of the strongest impressions out of most of the Nuvi models covered. Like any quality GPS system, it navigates incredibly well. Of course this is a very top end model which means it is packed with features that bring incredibly functionality for the user, all these things are seamlessly integrated into this one beautiful package and performs flawlessly. Something like the Nuvi 670 truly defines the handheld GPS navigator in this wide market, it’s definitely something to check out.
|Figure 1: A model of the nuvi 600’s series, designed for transatlantic usage|
Let’s be honest, no one wants a clunky cumbersome unit in their car, but the Garmin Nuvi’s are different. Like all the Nuvi’s designed by Garmin, they are all sleek and and wonderfully cased - the 670 is no exception. This model does feature a widescreen, which does allow a much broader view of the maps as well as the menu’s and such. The unit itself is still well within compact specs, as well as staying light at a weight of 6.2 ounces. Very easy to bring with you wherever you go and very easy to get it setup for use again. The battery life is on the longer side, featuring a life of 7 hours from its rechargable battery. One of the things that makes this easier to setup is the FM transmitter, allowing you to connect it with your car via FM wirelessly.
|Figure 2: A high end unit featuring the popular 4.3″ wide-touchscreen||Figure 3: The brilliant design keeps the nuvi small, thin, and compact, ultimately making it easy to mount and transport with you.|
The interface on this model isn’t much different from the other Nuvi’s available. It is very easy to go through the various functions of the unit through the touch screen. The touch screen itself is quite easy to see, being widescreen as well as being an anti-glare type. Even under a bit of sunlight the screen itself is fairly easy to see. The touchscreen itself has been great to use, very responsive and accurate when selecting or typing from it.
|Figure 4: Inputting text is incredibly simple and easy to use, thanks to the simple typepad interface||Figure 5: Similar to the text input, inputting numbers is just as easy to type up.||Figure 6: Menus are easy to navigate through with large and clear buttons.|
Getting around town couldn’t be any easier, which is what the Nuvi’s were designed to do. Getting that address inputted into the unit is quick and painless through the touch screen. After that’s done, the map of your area is shown in full color. On this map is an icon of your current position and a path that was quickly calculated to give you best results. From there on you’re basically ready to go. You can set it give you different route styles, such as fastest time, shorter distance, or off road. On top of that, you can even set it to avoid certain types of areas, such as highways or tolls. These are wonderful features that can save time and money in the long run. Along your route not only you are given a vivid map to follow, but as well a voice prompt is activated to speak and tell you when to expect turns to be made and such. This not only keeps your eyes on the road, but it allows you to focus on making the right turns at the right time. As you go along, should you even happen to make a mistakened turn or had to detour due to some unexpected traffic situation, no worries - the 670 automatically recalculates a new route that is still efficient with your time from your current position. The Nuvi 670 is also integrated with a FM traffic receiver. This is an incredibly powerful aspect of this particular model. With the receiver, you can basically toggle a view of traffic congestion and expect any tie ups or construction much ahead of time. With this you can easily make a detour without having to be even close to the points of heavy congestion. The 670 does feature great amounts of points of interests, which are basically places someone may need to go to without knowing where in the first place, this can include hotels, banks, and such. The unit will guide you to those places just as well as any user defined destination.
|Figure 7: The maps utilized by the nuvi is incredibly crisp, colorful, and clear, making navigating a simple task. Above figured is in the 3D view/small>||Figure 8: Easily select route calculation options to alter the route based on your preferences.||Figure 9: All turns during your trip are always announced to you, so you will never stray off the optimal path.|
The 670 does have a prominent other feature and that is bluetooth compatibility with your mobile phone. This painlessly allows you to connect your phone with your navi, ultimately allowing you hands-free calling. You can dial, answer, and speak without even having to touch your phone. The Nuvi has an built in microphone which means you basically just have to speak, without having to touch your phone - making your trip safer and much more convenient. A popular function is also the mp3 player, with this you can take that mp3 collection of yours on the road by just an SD card. There’s jpeg viewing functions, currency convertors, calculators, clocks, and other tools that are useful for your travel convenience. Because of the FM transmitter all audible features, such as phone calls or voice prompts, can be projected through your car speakers. This can make everything much more louder, clearer, and particullarly for your mp3 playback, much more enjoyable. Another useful function is the ability to input custom points of interests, which are any points on the map that you can define. With these points defined, the Nuvi 670 can alert the driver of that point as soon as they begin to approach it. This is useful for school zones or camera locations even. The European version of this model does include a preloaded database of various camera locations all over Europe.
|Figure 10: The popular mp3 playback feature allows the user to play mp3’s off their SD cards||Figure 11: A feature in which the user may sign up for to play audio books provided by Audible.||Figure 12: The photoviewing functions can view pictures on the widescreen directly from the internal storage or memory cards you may have.|
This has proven to be a very strong unit and is definitely a leading product in the GPS marketplace. It’s simple to setup and simple to operate, because of how easy it is to actually use it, this is suitable for both novice users and veteran GPS users who want more out of their GPS devices. There’s just so much you can do with so much power. Thanks to the efficient navigating properties of this Nuvi, you will ultimately save time and money in the long run. You’d be surprised at how much this product can really do and you really just have to get your hands on one to truly reap the benefits from having a travel assistant. This a fine performing product and works flawlessly from testing. Good as a gift or good as a toy for yourself. This is definitely a product that should be given high regards.
Friday, June 22, 2007
Jason @ Hackszine writes -
Google launched the Street View feature in Google Maps today at the Where 2.0 conference. For select cities, you can now view street-level panoramic photography as you browse around a map location. It's like being able to take a virtual driving tour of a city, right from your desk.Google Maps street view - Link.
There is a little minifig that you can drag around the map. When you release it, a small flash application is overlayed above the map which displays the panoramic photo for that location. Greg Sadetsky used the freeware ActionScript decompiler, Flare, to investigate the viewer's source. If you curious about how the viewer works, that might be a good place to start - [via] Link.
Fabian K. notes that Google has been using GeoIP lookups quite frequently to restrict beta features to specific locales and the street view feature is no exception. If you are outside the US, you can enable street view by adding a &gl=us to the end of the maps.google.com url. You'll still only be able to view the handful of cities that have pano-image data, but you can at least get a glipse for what's coming -
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Friday, March 02, 2007
|If you're looking to upgrade your GPS device, or you're new to the market, these are a few of our recent favorites. |
The GPS market is growing by leaps and bounds, with more and more features available beyond basic navigation. Make sure your device has all the right features you need to stay on track plus pack along a few cool extras for the road.
So what exactly makes a GPS device good these days? To start a modern navigator should have a large readable display, a strong receiver, a variety routing options, built-in maps, and a large points of interest (POI) database. One of our favorite bonus features—text to speech—is sure to please. A unit with a text-to-speech engine is able to pronounce street names in addition to providing directional change instructions. And that's just navigation-wise. Multimedia players are a nice addition as long as they're easy to use and there's ample additional storage for your songs, videos and pictures. Bluetooth capabilities are convenient too for making hands-free calls directly from the POI database. And that's why the following devices are our most recent favorites. Some excel by including innovative features, while others find their strength in providing excellent performance, ease of use or a nice price.
The nüvi 680, the latest in a long line of high quality GPS devices improves on its predecessors by adding a new and exciting technology: location-based services. Garmin has partnered with MSN Direct to offer a variety of information based on your current location such as Traffic, Weather, Gas Prices, and even Movie times. In addition to this important travel info, the nuvi 680 retains all of the features that we love about the nuvi line. You'll find a bright 4.3-inch screen, SiRF Star III GPS receiver, a Bluetooth speakerphone interface, and an MP3 player.
If you're planning on using your GPS outside of the car, but still would like a few travel tools, games, and multimedia features thrown into the mix, the Mio Digiwalker H610 is a good choice. In addition to a standard automobile profile, it also has pedestrian and bicycle modes. Travelers will also enjoy features such as a world clock and a currency converter. Those in need of entertainment will appreciate the full featured audio and video players, photo viewer and selection of games. All this functionality is packed into a deceptively diminutive package. And since the H610 is based on the latest SiRF Star III receiver, and includes a comprehensive POI database, it will get you where you're going with ease.
In the market for something a bit simpler and perhaps more affordable? The Intellinav One features a 3.5-inch nonreflective touch screen with a 20-channel SiRF Star III receiver, preloaded maps for the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, plus a massive POI database. Its multimedia players, however, are fairly basic. Even so, the Intellinav One boasts two hard to come by talents: multi-segment routing and text–to-speech conversion. The latter is a nice convenience where the device is able to pronounce street names in addition to providing basic "turn right, turn left" directions.
Finally, if you seek a GPS for just direction and don't need fancy multimedia features, the Navman F20 is a truly affordable entry-level system (based on the SiRF Star III GPS receiver). Its menu structure and interface couldn't be simpler, with dedicated buttons for Fuel and Parking. Tapping these buttons allows you to find the nearest gas stations or parking lots—both very common POI searches. And unlike many budget GPS devices, the F20 includes complete maps for the United States as well as a POI database preloaded on a 2GB SD card.
So whether you're GPS junkie looking to upgrade, or a newbie hoping to leave those torn paper atlases behind, one of these devices should meet your needs. Below are brief descriptions and links to the full reviews of our favorite devices—be sure to take a look before you begin shopping.