updated 11:40 am EDT, Tue July 22, 2008
Garmin nuvi 500
Garmin on Tuesday kicked off the launch of a new line of nuvi GPS units that are some of its first tailored to be used both for driving and for the outdoors. Both the US-only nuvi 500 and the North America-wide nuvi 550 have the same 3.5-inch design as many road-going nuvis and provide full street maps but also have a waterproofed touchscreen and topology maps for use either on hikes or on rivers. The interface has also been changed to add a quick toggle for the map type as well as a compass option.
Beyond the outdoors features, the new line also has support for loading in photos from geocaching and photo sharing services that are tied to specific locations, and also have a historical Route 66 guide with special landmarks associated with the cross-American highway. Optional receivers provide access to either Traffic Message Channel road condition warnings or MSN Direct information about nearby gas prices and other local details.
Garmin should ship the two nuvis during the summer at $500 each for the stock 500 model as well as its 550 counterpart.