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Monday, September 8, 2008

Garmin Nuvi 750 Review (nüvi)

Garmin released the Nuvi 750 recently and unfortunately, it's not much different than their previous 4.3" GPS navigation unit. However there are still key features that makes the Nuvi 750 one of the best, if not the best on the market.

Let's get a few things straight with this particular unit. Forget about any Bluetooth feature on any portable GPS navigation devices. The current technology and quality of Bluetooth connectivity with GPS units is still very early and very poor. Wait a few more years until wireless communication, especially through Bluetooth comes through.Fortunately, you won't have to spend extra money on this unit since it doesn't feature a Bluetooth interface, saving you frustrations with the technology and almost 200 dollars from a similar, Bluetooth-equipped unit. As always with Nuvi units, the screen is quite clear and crisp, easily visible in any light condition on its 4.3" LCD touchscreen.

It does have text-to-speech technology, allowing it to actually announce every street name instead of just "Turn left in 50 yards". Though this is great technology, keep in mind that most text-to-speech technology is featured in virtually every GPS navigation unit being released the second half of 2008.
Some of the key feature of this unit is the FM transmitter and an audio line output, allowing the unit to put out audio such as directions and alerts through your car's audio system. Another key feature of the unit is its built in MP3 player, audio book, as well as an image viewer. This will allow you to turn your Garmin Nuvi 750 itno a versatile media unit, capable of playing your favorite songs. There is even an MSN Direct expandability option, which will allow you to receive information regarding movie times, weather, and more about your nearest major US city. In addition there is also an option for users to expand the unit to be able to receive traffic.

The Garmin Nuvi 750 does not have XM NavTraffic, but who needs that anyway when you have FM-based traffic receiver. However, let's not forget Garmin's signature "Where Am I?" feature which allows a driver to find the nearest hospitals and other emergency facilities.According to a plethora of user reviews, this unit stands as one of the best in reliability, performance, and ease-of-use. And we would agree with all of them. Test it out for yourself!

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Saturday, September 6, 2008

Garmin Nuvi 270 Review (nüvi)

As always, Garmin produced another simple and cheap GPS navigation unit that will certainly be one of many backbone products of the late 2008 year. The Nuvi 270 is for the world traveler and intercontinental businessmen (or businesswomen) always on the go from nation to nation.The unit is much like the previous Garmin 3.5" navigation devices such as the Nuvi 250. However, there are still some important new features that we will cover here.

What's New
Most late-2008 release GPS devices will include the high sensitivity WAAS system built in. The feature is not evident anywhere on the device (no status bar, no display, etc.) but with the Nuvi 270, you will experience a much more accurate and smooth GPS service. WAAS was used by the aviation industry prior to being globalized in navigation electronics. Yes, you will use a similar system to that of a Boeing 747 flying over your house. You will also receive signal much faster and you will also be more unlikely to lose the signal (unless in covered areas of course), thanks to the WAAS receiver.

The Garmin Nuvi 270 also has built in maps for the United States, Canada, and surprisingly, the complete European map database. As we said before, this could be such a useful device for the international traveler, easily mountable on any rental car.

What's the same
The Garmin Nuvi 270 has an identical design as their previous Nuvi release. The unit features a 3.5" LCD touchscreen with easy to read text and bright contrasting colors, buttons, and icons. In addition, it's just over 3/4" thick, allowing it to be compact yet versatile. Because of the small screen, the Nuvi 270 has a great battery life with up to 5 hours on its own lithium-ion power source. Just like its previous counterparts, it has an SD card reader with a USB connection both for map and firmware updates.

There wasn't a whole of change in this release. But Garmin has made it right around the same affordable price for essentially 2 upgrades to their previous Nuvi 250. All around, it's compact, versatile, and offers a simple navigation companion for your intercontinental travels.

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GPS Navigation Reviews Updates

Hello everyone,

Sorry for the lack of updates! Several things have taken place with both the website and the industry. For one thing, electronics tend to have new releases in the early second quarter of the year and the late third quarter in order to prepare for gift-giving seasons that we joyfully call Christmas!

In addition, we will no longer use Shopzilla shopping guides for each individual product as their service server has been corrupted and hasn't been fixed for awhile now. Please use Amazon as your price comparison guide.

We hope you still find this site useful, we will certainly be covering the latest GPS navigation units as they come this year.

Thanks and enjoy!

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

Panasonic CN-GP50U Review

When Panasonic CN-GP50U was released last year, we were a bit disappointed with the price. It was set at a high $500 price range, which deterred most consumers away. Almost a year later, the price has dropped significantly, allowing it enter the mainstream market at under $400.Display
The great thing about the CN-GP50U is its large 5" wide touchscreen LCD monitor. Most portable GPS navigation units today measures at 3.5" or 4.3". The 5" screen is definitely a nice advantage, allowing you to see much more of the map and much easier street names to read. Only one portable navigation unit has a larger screen than the CN-GP50U, which is the recently released AVIC-F500BT.

Unique Technologies
The Panasonic CN-GP50U features some cutting edge technology only unique to the CN-GP50U itself. There is a voice-command feature that allows a user to simply speak a preset destination rather than trying to type it out or reach forward for the screen. There is also a built-in intelligent "GPS Assist" technology that would continue to guide the driver despite signal loss.

Do you live in busy metropolitan areas? The CN-GP50U also features a Lane Assistance feature that notifies the driver exactly which lane to be in for the right on ramp or off ramp. This is an incredibly valuable technology if you live in places like New York or Los Angeles!

Navigation Features
This portable GPS navigation device is capable of receiving 20 different orbital GPS signals, allowing for maximum coverage and accuracy. The unit also features the latest SiRF Star III chipset, capable of fast routing calculation and user response. The CN-GP50U is capable of text to speech technology, allowing drivers to be notified of upcoming street names instead of general turn instructions. Unfortunately, the Panasonic CN-GP50U only features a small database of 1.2 million points of interest, significantly small when compared to Garmin's 6 million, TomTom's 6-11 million, and Harman Kardon's more than 12 million points of interest.Other Key Features
The CN-GP50U features an SD Card reader and Bluetooth hands-free technology, making hands-free calling safe and simple while driving. Unfortunately the map database is primarily stored with the included 2GB SD Card. You will not be able to use both the navigation and picture slide show simultaneously.

The Panasonic CN-GP50U is a premium GPS unit with an above average price. Its large 5" screen is a nice change to have, but sacrifices compact-design with visibility. It does feature key technologies such as Bluetooth, Lane Assistance, Voice Command, multiple mounting options, and a fast chipset. It does however lack audio and video support as well the inability to put out its audio through auxiliary outputs.
The lacking features may be overshadowed by its great clear and large screen, excellent GPS navigation technology, and unique cutting edge features-- all for less than $400.

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Friday, June 20, 2008

JVC KD-NX5000 Review (KDNX5000)

In-dash GPS navigation is now possible for single DIN receiver locations. All it takes is a quick and simple installation of a standard size stereo and you may have your in dash navigation. There are many advantages to having a navigation system in your vehicle. You could probably think about most of the implications yourself, things such as arriving on time, the inconvenience of getting lost, and getting in trouble by loved ones. There is one more advantage that most people hadn't thought of until now: it could save you gas money! Getting lost costs you fuel. With gasoline averaging near $5.00/gallon, the KD-NX5000 could be an "excessive-gasoline-consumption" preventive measure.Single DIN Navigation?
This single DIN navigation receiver features a 3.5" LCD monitor that will display map and navigation information, as well as your DVDs, DivX, and other popular media formats. Though most people would complain that the screen is too small, we were actually quite content with its size. Remember that most portable GPS units feature a 3.5" screen as well. It was only in recent times that companies began releasing larger screen GPS units.

Unlike other in-dash GPS navigation units, this one is single DIN, capable of being installed in a wider array of vehicles. Users won't have to worry much about incompatible dashboard configuration, obstructions, or other installation worries that generally come with double DIN or flip-out retractable single DIN receivers.Navigation Features
The JVC KD-NX5000 features a high sensitivity WAAS capable GPS receiver. WAAS is a similar technology that is implemented in aeronautics and marine GPS navigation systems. It ensures maximum coverage with incredible accuracy regardless of elevation, terrain, or angle. In addition, the GPS system is built-in to the hard drive of the receiver, ensuring quick-access navigation that is lacking in many of the other DVD-based GPS navigation devices. There are over 13 million points of interest (POI) stored in the KD-NX5000, featuring a NAVTEQ based map database that covers all of the United States, Canada, and the US Virgin Islands. There is also a radio-based traffic receiver that is capable of displaying upcoming traffic alerts in most major metropolitan areas.

Audio, Video, and more
The unit features a capability to playback many of today's popular media formats such as DivX/DivX Ultra, MPEG1 or MPEG2, MP3, and WMA. It also has some room in the hard drive for users to store media files in the hard drive. The JVC KD-NX5000 even showcases gold plated RCA outputs, which could be used to expand your existing audio system into a high-fidelity listening experience. There are also inputs for Satellite Radio (both SIRIUS and XM) as well as expandability for most dockable iPods and Bluetooth capable devices (additional accessories required).

The JVC KD-NX5000 is a great single DIN GPS navigation unit to have, especially for those lacking double DIN in-dash slots. It comes with a hefty price, but some could appreciate many of its unique features such as its internal hard drive for media storage. The KD-NX5000 has excellent navigation features, but its small screen size may be cumbersome to many people.

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Friday, May 30, 2008

JVC KW-NX7000 Review, Part II: Media & Expandability

Audio and Video Media Support
The JVC KW-NX7000 presents itself to be a versatile unit because not only does it have excellent navigation functionality that even the most novice users could enjoy, but it also offers full support for audio and video playback. Take advantage of the crystal clear 7" LCD screen and turn your vehicle into a home theater system.The KW-NX7000 is capable of playing all sorts of DVDs and even DivX/DivX Ultra, MPEG1, and MPEG2 file formats. In addition, you could even display your favorite photos to show your friends and family riding in your car because it is also capable of JPEG display. Besides full video playback, the KW-NX7000 features AAC, WAV, MP3, and WMA playback support as well.

The wide variety of supported media formats could be accessed via SD Card, USB, CD, or DVD, allowing consumers maximum flexibility in the way they play their favorite music or movie.

JVC designed the KW-NX7000 with technology in mind. There are many current technologies that consumers would like to have today such as Satellite Radio, HD Radio, Bluetooth, and iPod connectivity. Fortunately, the KW-NX7000 is capable of all of these expansion options.

This double DIN in dash navigation unit is also fully capable of receiving both Sirius and XM Satellite radio as well as HD Radio. With additional accessories, the unit could also operate as a Bluetooth-capable receiver, allowing drivers to do hands-free calling. The Bluetooth connectivity could also sync phonebooks with many Bluetooth-capable phones. The unit will then display not only call status but also the caller ID. For iPod users, the unit fully supports direct iPod connection and access for most current dockable iPods through its built-in USB port.

As we mentioned before, the unit also features not only a USB port but also an SD Card reader-- a feature that could be used to transfer music, photos, and even video from other sources to the KW-NX7000. If you're looking to expand your car's audio system, the KW-NX7000 features gold-plated high-fidelity RCA preamp outputs that delivers high quality audio signals to amplifiers or equalizers.

From what we've seen, we liked the JVC KW-NX7000. It featured lots, and lots of options and functions. Its GPS navigation offers great user-friendly features as well as excellent driving tools. It is capable of playing virtually every audio and video file formats out there so consumers wouldn't have to worry much about compatibility. It also had lots of expandability options, ranging from Satellite Radio to Bluetooth capabilities.The only thing we didn't like was its really high price. Priced at around $1200, this feature packed unit doesn't even feature a built-in Bluetooth-- a feature that becoming increasingly standard.

Back to Part I: Navigation & Display

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Sunday, May 25, 2008

JVC KW-NX7000 Review, Part I: Navigation & Display

JVC is soon releasing its own double DIN in dash navigation unit to compete with the June debut of Pioneer's F-series GPS navigation systems. The JVC KW-NX7000 in dash navigation is one of many new-generation navigation units available to consumers to date.Display
The JVC KW-NX7000 features a large 7" LCD touchscreen that fills up almost the entire panel. The screen is centered but leaves about 1/4" trimming at the bottom side of the panel, allowing for 6 buttons and remote sensors to be placed there. The picture displayed on the 7" LCD monitor is rich in color and high in contrast, capable of displaying crystal clear movies and navigation functions even under the most glaring sunlight environment.Navigation
The KW-NX7000 finds itself in a fierce competition with the recent release of similar in-dash GPS navigation units. However, the JVC KW-NX7000 is one of the best when it comes to GPS usability. The on screen menu buttons are large and definitely easy to select, instead of smaller touchscreen buttons that are difficult to be precise in pressing them.The built-in navigation technology utilized by JVC is WAAS capable, which is the same GPS technology used on many aviation navigation systems-- a system that will ensure maximum coverage and accuracy when traveling at various speeds and elevations. In addition, the unit contains maps of the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, and even the U.S. Virgin Islands with text-to-speech technology that supports 10 different languages. Whereas most units do not have the text-to-speech technology, the JVC KW-NX7000 features an intelligent computer that is capable of pronouncing exact street names and numbers from the on-board map database containing over 12 million points of interest.The JVC KW-NX7000 could also receive traffic data through a radio-based traffic receiver that capable of displaying traffic information on upcoming roads on the screen. In addition, the KW-NX7000 displays company logo icons of well known points of interest such as Shell or Mobil gas stations on the screen as you pass by. There is also a speed limit notification with speeding alerts and other driver-friendly tools such as ETA counter, distance calculator, and multi-dimensional navigation perspectives.

Continue to Part II: Media & Expandability

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Clarion EZD580 (EZD 580) Review

Clarion released a very attractive portable GPS navigation device in the EZD580. The design is very sleek with metallic and black trims. It's full of features and is capable of high-demand performance while navigating, such as audio/picture playback and traffic reception.
The Clarion EZD580 has a nice 4.3" widescreen LCD touch-panel. It's amazingly crisp and clear, providing drivers a much easier view of the maps as well as the menus. What we really liked about the EZD580 is the ultra-bright contrasting route-highlight that is highly distinguishable from the rest of the map. This makes navigation much easier in huge cities or metropolitan areas such as New York or Los Angeles. In addition, the graphic user interface of the EZD580 is very modern-looking, giving that "I got a new high-tech gadget" feel when purchased.

The menus and indicators are pretty self-explanatory and simple to use. But what we didn't like were the relatively small navigation tools such as estimated time of arrival, speedometer, and next-step distance. Though it is on a 4.3" screen, small indicators will nonetheless make it much harder for drivers to see and use.
This GPS navigation device features a high-sensitivity SiRF STAR III GPS chipset that is capable of tracking up to 20 GPS signals from orbital satellites, ensuring high-accuracy and maximum coverage wherever you are. With it comes coverage of all 50 US states as well as Canada with 12 million points of interest. In addition, there is text-to-speech technology built-in the Clarion EZD580, allowing the device to speak street names instead of just "Turn left in 500 yards". The Clarion EZD580 could also display lane and posted signs, notifying you of speed limits and various lane changes.
It is also capable of Bluetooth wireless connectivity with your phone, allowing for hands-free phone calls and even streaming audio from a capable mobile device. If you think it's hard to hear the caller, you could even hook up the 3.5mm headphone jack output to your auxiliary input of your existing car audio system for both phone audio and audio/picture playback from an SD card.
The Clarion EZD580 could read both SD and MMC cards and is also High-Capacity Card compatible, allowing users a maximum of 4GB of storage. You could even connect it to your PC and use the EZD580 as a portable card reader. From it, users could play their favorite MP3 or WMA files along with their playlists (.M3U files). Want to show your friends some pictures? Don't worry, the EZD580 also supports JPEG and BMP files, displaying them like an album thumbnails or slideshow.

Last, but not least, the Clarion EZD580 is capable of radio-based RDS-TMC traffic information allowing drivers to be notified of upcoming traffic congestions and incidents. In addition, the Clarion EZD580 could route alternate paths around heavy traffic or accidents, saving precious hours of your day!

When fully charged, the Clarion EZD580 could last up to 4 hours on its own internal power source. This stylish and high-performing GPS navigation device will sure to satisfy your navigation needs and impress you with its versatility as a driver's tool. Look for the Clarion EZD580 as it begins to appear in stores!

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