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Magellan Bows Pedestrian/Car PNDs, With Best Buy Model

11/03/2008 02:17:00 PM Eastern

Santa Clara, Calif. — Magellan is shipping its first portable GPS models with pedestrian modes, including an exclusive unit for Best Buy that offers a super-bright screen.

The two models include the Maestro 4350 for the general market and a similar Maestro 4370 sporting a WVGA display with four times the resolution of standard models, said Magellan.

Both units also have new one-button access to favorite addresses and brands (such as Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts) from whichever screen is in use.

As portable GPS becomes a mass-market item, and as the economy contracts, consumers want less bells and whistles and are more interested in ease of use, said Magellan product marketing senior director Mike Wagner. “It’s not as much about gee wiz technology but how easy it is for the consumer to use the unit,” he said of the new one-button feature.

The Maestro 4350 has a 4.3-inch screen and a pedestrian mode that optimizes a route for walking. It can direct users to cut through a park for a faster route, and it adjusts arrival times and ignores two-way streets.

Other features of the 4350 are text-to-speech pronunciation of street names, three free months of Navteq real-time traffic (with a charge of $39/year thereafter, or a lifetime charge of $99). It has Bluetooth hands-free calling, and shows buildings on the roadside in 3-D in some areas of certain cities. It also has a lane-guidance feature to help exiting on highways, and includes maps of the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. It ships with built-in audio, video and picture players and is available now at a street price of $399.

The step-up Maestro 4370 for Best Buy has similar features plus the WVGA display, also at a street price of $399.

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