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>> The Garmin Nuvi 1690 represents the latest and greatest in Garmin software and hardware, but you probably wouldn't know that just by looking at it. So, what exactly has changed? I'm Antuan Goodwin. Let's get a First Look at this bad boy to find out. Externally, the 1690 hasn't changed too much. The most notable update is the glossy frame with chrome trim that wraps the 4.3-inch touchscreen. But look closer, and you'll see the SD card slot has been shrunk to microSD size, and the power lock slider has been replaced with a power button that calls up an onscreen lock option. Flip the Nuvi upside down to check out your power ports, and you'll see a 10-pin dot connector that allows the 1690 to interface with its cradle, which in turn supplies power. But there's a second mini-USB port, which allows synching with PC and Mac and acts as a secondary charging and power port if you happen to be away from your cradle. The biggest changes happen on the inside, as the 1690 is equipped with a cellular data receiver that connects the P&D to the Internet through Garmin's nuLink service. nuLink allows users to access live traffic and incident data, weather updates, fuel prices, and event info, as well as local Google search for businesses and white page search. In addition to the online component, the Nuvi also features millions of preloaded POIs. Now, that nuLink service is free for the first two years, but don't think that Garmin's just offering free Internet access, albeit very limited access, out of the kindness of its heart. Traffic updates and POI searches are ad-supported, so periodically; you'll see small, contextual ads and offers appear. This may be a deal breaker for some privacy freaks, but personally, I haven't found it to be very intrusive at all. After your two years are up, you can opt to pay for the continued service, or just use the 1690 [inaudible] data connection. You've also got more neato, cool features than you can shake a stick at, such as a unit converter. What? But the useful ones include Bluetooth, hands-free calling, multimedia playback of off SD cards, and an eco-routes feature that gives fuel reports and poses driving challenges to improve economical driving. We'll get in more detail in our full review, so be sure to check that out. Till then, I'm Antuan Goodwin. This has been your First Look at the Garmin Nuvi 1690.
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