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Too fast, too furious: new in-car GPS

Too fast, too furious: new in-car GPS

One of the fastest-growing areas of consumer electronics has to be portable GPS devices. It seems like just as we're finishing up a review on one model, the company has already announced its successor. But we're not complaining, as the manufacturers continue to add useful tools to these systems beyond the standard navigation features. Here is a sampling of the latest devices from various companies:

Garmin StreetPilot 2820: Building on the StreetPilot 2700 series, the 2820 adds Bluetooth connectivity to this high-end system for hands-free calling. The new functionality lets you pair your Bluetooth-enabled phone with the 2820, as well as make and receive calls using the phone's contact list; plus, you can dial numbers for any of points of interest (restaurants, hotels, and so forth) in the system's database. The StreetPilot 2820 has a built-in MP3 player, comes with preloaded maps of North America, and can receive real-time traffic information via an optional FM RDS-TMC traffic receiver or an XM NavTraffic receiver. The 2820 is expected to ship in June for $1,099.

Magellan RoadMate 3000T/3050T/6000T: This trio of GPS devices marks a new venture for Magellan. Sporting sleeker and more compact designs, the 3000T, the 3050T, and the 6000T focus on ease of use, multimedia functions, and traffic services. The flagship model, the 6000T, includes Bluetooth functionality, as well as a built-in traffic receiver and text-to-speech guidance. All three models have an integrated battery, a photo viewer, a music player, and Magellan's SmartDetour feature. The 3000T ($599) is expected to ship soon, while the 3050T ($649) will be available in June. The 6000T will be available in July, but pricing has not yet been set.

Navman iCN 750: Navman has done something unique here. Its iCN 750 features NavPix technology, which lets you navigate to destinations using pictures. With the 750's 4-inch touch screen, you simply select the picture of the desired location, and NavPix will determine the best travel route. Pretty cool, no? Of course, we'll reserve final judgment until we get it in for a test-drive. The Navman iCN 750 is expected to ship in May for $799.95.