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Garmin Intros Lower-Priced Nuvis

Hannover, Germany — Garmin expanded its high-end nuvi line of portable GPS receivers, adding lower-cost and mid-priced models.

The new nuvi 200 series starts at a $399 suggested retail price where previous nuvi models sold for over $749. The units measure about the size of a deck of cards and are among the first personal navigation devices (PNDs) with built-in antennas. They do not offer MP3 or audio book players, but have a similar user interface to the higher-end nuvi models, said Garmin.

Features on the three-model 200 Series include a 3.5-inch screen, picture viewer, calculator, currency converter, unit converter, world clock and SD card slot for use with Garmin’s travel software. The nuvi 200 is preloaded with maps of the lower 48 U.S. states and will ship in April at $399. The nuvi 250 adds preloaded maps of the full United States plus Canada and Puerto Rico at $499 and the nuvi 270 adds more than 30 countries in Europe at $599 suggested retail price.

At Cebit, Garmin also introduced a new mid-line widescreen nuvi, model 650, with 4.3-inch screen, MP3 player, audio book player and an SD card slot for optional travel guides. It is similar to the current nuvi 660, but it does not ship with Bluetooth, FM transmitter and real-time traffic receiver cable. The traffic cable can be purchased as an option. The nuvi 650 is expected to ship in April at a suggested retail of $699.

Garmin said it is offering the 200 series for consumers who simply want to get from point A to point B and the 650 for those who want a simple nuvi, but with the same 4.3-inch widescreen as on the higher-end models.