updated 09:50 am EST, Tue March 4, 2008
Garmin Nuvi 2x5 and 900T
Garmin today at CeBIT rolled out upgrades to several of its key Nuvi GPS units, including its lowest-cost devices yet to include smart features. The 3.5-inch 205 and 255 as well as their 4.3-inch widescreen 205W and 255W counterparts all now support Traffic Message Channel data for rerouting on congested roads and can optionally subscribe to MSN Direct for both traffic updates as well as fuel prices, news, and other short information that can be delivered to the Nuvi in real time. Both also use a satellite data cache technology known as HotFix to speed up position-finding, an elevation mapping mode that more clearly marks out hills, and a faster processor that improves routing speed.
Aside from the choice of display, the 205 and 255 series are separated primarily by their text-to-speech capabilities: both the 255 and 255W can voice street names as part of directions rather than providing generic information. The 255 series also provide the widest range of map data and will ship with maps for Australia and New Zealand in those countries in addition to the European and North American maps common to all four entry Nuvi models. Garmin has not discussed ship dates or pricing but notes that an MSN Direct subscription costs either $50 per year or $130 for a lifetime membership.
In a regional launch, Garmin is also releasing the 900T, a new high-end GPS device just for the cell carrier 3. The unit is one of the few European units to support digital TV through the DVB-H handheld standard and includes several entertainment, news, and sports channels that can be viewed at or near full screen. It also supports Bluetooth hands-free calling, Audible and MP3 audio formats, and touch-based games. Pricing is unavailable for the 900T, which will ship to Italy in July preloaded with high-detail European maps.