>> The Garmin 660 has been praised as one of the best GPS handheld units ever with its widescreen and its real time traffic updates. So what do you guys think the people have gone and did? Well they brought out the 680 and made it even better. I'm Brian [assumed spelling] Thomas with cnet.com and today we're gonna check out the location based services with the Garmin Nuvi 680.
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>> The Garmin Nuvi 680 looks, plays and feels a lot like its predecessor. It comes with all those tele-features; we've got the 4.3 inch widescreen and it looks great in direct sunlight. It also plays MP3's; audio books and if you've got an SD card you can load it up with content, pop it here in the slot and you're good to go. What makes the 680 different from other Nuvis is the addition of MSN Direct. The MSN Direct services bring weather, movies, gas prices and traffic to an already topnotch package. It receives its data via an FM radio signal that's available in most major cities and surrounding areas. So let's see what this bad boy can do. I'm sure you've guys have been in a situation where you needed to find a movie time for on-call; well the Nuvi 680 takes care of that and you can search by a theater nearby or by movie times. Want cheaper gas? Come on guys who doesn't? Well the Nuvi 680 takes care of that with nearby gas stations and their prices. Cheaper prices are gonna be in green, higher prices are red, and people, we're in California; those are actual gas prices here. Whoo. All right, you've got your gas, you're good to go; life for the commuter gets a whole lot easier with traffic alerts. Now a warning signal is gonna pop up on your screen and a message will tell you how long the delay is; it also gives the option to choose an alternate route; if it's only a couple of minutes, I'm pounding through it. Now the MSN Direct service is free for the first year, 50 dollars per year after that, and if you want the life time subscription that will cost you 130. One thing to let you guys know though you'll need to have your unit docked in the car to take advantage of MSN Direct. Now there still are some drawbacks with the Nuvi 680; the price tag, we're talking about 900 plus dollars and we wish it had the external wand controls, plus if you're into multi-destination route support, that still isn't here. But Garmin they just keep packing it in with the features and the location based services, this is stuff that I would actually use. I'm Brian Thomas with cnet.com and if you're looking for the crim de la crim of the GPS hand held units, the Garmin Nuvi 680 is where it's at.
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