Garmin Traffic and new models

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Net, net, the Garmin nuvi 1350T seems like a good choice. It is part of the bigger 1200 and 1300 series that is thinner and a new platform. the big thing is free traffic subscriptions which is great and is ad-supported. Alternatively the 1390T has this Junction View which is also pretty nice. I don’t need bluetooth handsfree or Europe.

  • Nüvi 1300 – $249.99 – 4.3′ screen, 48 States of Maps, and Text to Speech (Says street names)
  • Nüvi 1350 – $299.99 – Adds maps for All North America Coverage, and Lane Assist
  • Nüvi 1350T – $349.99 – Adds subscription free traffic from NAVTEQ
  • Nüvi 1370T – $449.99 – Adds Euro Maps to the North American Set, and Bluetooth Handsfree
  • Nüvi 1390T – $399.99 – Subtracts Euro Maps and Adds ‘Junction View’ to see realistic views of upcoming complex intersections

Then there is the 1200 series which has the 3.5″ screen:

  • Nüvi 1200 – $199.99 – 3.5′ screen, and Text to speech with maps of the 48 states + PR
  • Nüvi 1250 – $249.99 – Adds maps for all North American Coverage
  • Nüvi 1260T – $299.99 – Adds subscription free traffic and Bluetooth Handsfree

Amazon only has the 1370T for $450 and will release it on June 8. Main questions are what traffic system to use and you probably also want the Friction mount so that you don’t need to stick it on anything or leave those telltale marks thiefs will recognize and use to stea

Traffic GPS Review

Most GPS devices are using the Clear Channel Total Traffic Network solution. If you are looking to use the TomTom RDS-TMC solution, the NAVIGON traffic system, or any of the Garmin devices that use the FM based traffic, that is where you need to look. Yes, that means that devices from different brands do often use the exact same data from the same traffic service. The differences in those cases come down to presentation. (More on that with graphics further down.)

Some of the Garmin systems use, or can use, the MSN Direct service instead. That system also includes weather forecasts, movie listings, and current fuel prices in addition to the traffic services offered.

If you have a Garmin device and are trying to decide between going the MSN Direct route coverage list, or the FM route coverage map, first check the appropriate coverage maps. That might make your decision for you. Where I live for example the MSN Direct service doesn’t offer flow data, only incident data. The Clear Channel TTN service offers both flow data and incident data. I can also receive the Clear Channel signal in my area, so it is almost no contest for my area.

Otherwise consider the subscription costs, how much you might use the additional services like movie times from the MSN Direct service, and how often you might travel outside your usual coverage area. In the cases of an apparent “tie”, I’ve found the Clear Channel Total Traffic Network (FM, RDS-TMC) system to provide slightly better data in the areas I’ve tested both of them in.

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