It seems the single use digital device is a gonner. Garmin is using the term “travel assistant” to describe one of its newer entries into the gps field. The nuvi 350 is a combo device with a decent screen at 2.8” by 2.1” and is marketed as the size of a deck of cards. You get a pre-loaded “City Navigator NT” with maps of the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico. There’s a text to speech feature that will tell you the next street name and how to pronounce it. Worried about traffic up ahead? The nuvi uses the GTM 10 FM TMC traffic receiver…if there’s trouble the nuvi will give you an alternate route. Nice huh?
One of the nuvi’s big plusses is its portability… with a suction cup for your dashboard. Just open, flip up the antenna and you are good to go. On foot, just pop it in your pocket or purse and use it to navigate to your next appointment in the city. The four hour charge is replenished via your pc’s USB or even in your car.
If you travel a lot, you could find the loaded travel kit a handy addon. There’s an mp3 player, audio book player and picture viewer along with currency and measurement converter, calculator and even for a few extra bucks and language and travel guide, all fitting on the 700 mb of internal memory.
But all this directional stuff comes in at just under $1000. If you arethinking gps to begin with, this may be a great alternative to a nonportable device only good for your on the road travel.