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Garmin Brings Big-Screen PNDs, More

LAS VEGAS — GPS supplier Garmin is launching a variety of in-car products ranging from portable navigation devices (PNDs) with bigger screens to its first two dashboard cameras.

The company is also launching its first fitness band and an updated portable head-up display (HUD).

The big-screen PNDs include the company’s first four car PNDs with 6-inch screen size. The company is expanding its selection of 7-inch car PNDs to two. The company also offers 7-inch PNDs for RVs and trucks.

The 6-inch PNDs will ship at the end of January along with new 5-inch models in the Nuvi Essential series, which is the company’s opening-price series. In 2013, the company offered screen sizes of 3.5, 4.3, 5 and 7 inches across its three series, which include the step-up Nuvi Advanced series and top-end Nuvi Prestige series.

With larger screens, the PNDs display more drivingrelated information at a glance. A new interface keeps the driving map onscreen at all times and displays additional information in slide-in windows, such as points of interest along the route and real-time traffic.

Six new 5-inch models retail for a suggested $119 to $179, and the four 6-inch models retail for $169 to $199. Some come with lifetime map and traffic updates

These new Essential PNDs also offer multiple new features previously available only in the Advanced series. They include a quick-search bar, which makes it easier to find addresses and points of interest, and a map tools panel, which is accessible from the map view to change volume or check for traffic information. A new Up Ahead function, which displays nearby points of interest, appears alongside the driving map and constantly informs drivers of nearby services, including restaurants.

The 2014 Essential series will include the first Essential models that receive traffic information.

For people wanting bigger screens, the company plans January shipment of the 7-inch Nuvi 2798LMT car navigator with bundled BC 20 wireless backup camera at a suggested $399.

The navigator’s features include Garmin Real Directions, which uses voice guidance to tell drivers to turn at landmarks, buildings and traffic lights rather instead of announcing upcoming turns by street name. It also offers voice command, free lifetime traffic and active lane guidance.

In dash cams there are two models, one with GPS. The high-definition cameras mount to windshields to continuously record a wide-angle view of the road. Garmin Dash Cam 10 without GPS retails for a suggested $229, and Dash Cam 20 with GPS retails for a suggested $249.

New HUD+ packages include the company’s current portable head-up display with an included smartphone navigation app at a suggested $179.

Like before, HUD+ projects navigation information onto a windshield from a Bluetooth-connected iPhone, Android or Windows Phone 8 smartphone that’s running a navigation app.

Previously, the company offered its HUD at $149, but consumers had to buy a separate $50 Garmin StreetPilot app or $50 Navigon navigation app.

The devices display turn arrows, distance to next turn, current speed and speed limit, estimated time of arrival, potential traffic delays, safety-camera locations and visual lane-guidance prompts.