Thursday, July 3, 2008

Garminnuvi 880

Say hello to the 880, the newest member of Garmin’s nüvi family. And when I tell you to say hello, I mean it: The nüvi 880 is the first portable GPS device to boast full speech recognition capabilities. You can access almost all of its functions using your voice infact, only a few tasks require the touch screen. I found it a truly amazing (albeit expensive) experience that works surprisingly well. With a list price of $999.99, the Garminnüvi 880 is positioned at the very top end of the GPS market. But it has nearly every feature I’ve come to expect in a luxury navigator, including text-to-speech conversion,multisegment routing, an excellent Blue-tooth phone interface, and even integrated media players and travel tools. There’s built-in support for Microsoft’s MSN Direct service, too, providing useful information such as live traffic, weather, movie times, and even local gas prices. The real showstopper here, though, is the amazing speech recognition functionality. On my tests, the unit comprehended my voice commands with astonishing accuracy, despite the acoustically challenging environment of a noisy car.Frankly, I’m hooked.  This is the GPS device I want on my windshield.

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