Cool Tech Reviews

Just Cool Tech

November 26, 2008

It’s already Black Friday at Amazon

Amazon is another online retailer that isn’t worrying about the traditional distinction that Black Friday is for brick and mortar stores – they are having their own Black Friday Sale online and as a matter of fact it has started already! Some tech bargains that I saw:

They are apparently rotating the deals, so it may well be worth checking in from time to time to see what is new.

Posted at 1:10 am. Filed under Amazon, Bargains, Black Friday, Brands, Companies, Digital Picture Frame, GPS, LCD TV, MP3 Player, Philips, Portable Audio, SanDisk, Sansa, Sharp, Television, TomTom

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April 28, 2008

Standalone GPS prices to plummet?

Toby Sterling at the AP has an assessment of the GPS market which is bad news for makers of standalone GPS boxes, but good news for consumers – GPS market at turning point with sliding prices, demand off:

Consumer navigation devices have gone from expensive gadgets to mainstream gear in just three years, but Europe’s largest maker is struggling.

The experience of Netherlands-based TomTom NV — which saw earnings fall 83 percent in the first quarter — suggests the market for stand-alone global-positioning systems is at a turning point.

“What we saw for the first time is that selling prices fell, but volumes didn’t improve enough to compensate,” analyst Eric de Graaf of Petercam said after the results were reported Wednesday. “It’s a signal the market is getting saturated.”

Some analysts believe that as stand-alone versions are overtaken by cell phones and other devices with navigation technology built in, GPS devices will become low-margin commodity products, like pocket calculators. But others think a smart company could turn GPS devices into premium products the way Apple Inc. made its iPod music player stand out from a host of cheaper devices.

Now, 10 percent of U.S. drivers and 20 percent of those in Europe own a navigation device. But prices for basic stand-alone devices have fallen below $200 from $500 or more.

TomTom’s main competitors are Garmin and MiTAC which are numbers 1 and 3 in sales respectively and all three combined amount to 80% of the market. MiTAC is indicating 15% lower sales while Garmin hasn’t reported as yet and is cushioned by making industrial GPS units for aircraft and ships.

The big competition in the future is apparently expected to be from cell phones, but I find standalone GPS units hard enough to read, much more trying the same thing on the average cell phone screen. Still, in a saturated market, price should continue to fall and manufacturers will keep adding bells and whistles to try to prop them up.

Posted at 2:50 pm. Filed under Bargains, Companies, Garmin, GPS, TomTom

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October 6, 2005

Review: Garmin StreetPilot 2720

Craig Ellison says he likes it at PC Magazine:

With its extraordinarily comprehensive feature set and a list price of $1,099, the new StreetPilot 2720 assumes the top spot among Garmin’s GPS automotive offerings in more ways than one. Not only is it the top of Garmin’s line, but we are awarding it our Editors’ Choice for high-end in-car GPS navigation systems as well. We still think the Lowrance iWAY 500c is the best product in the midrange price category, with the TomTom GO 300 close on its heels (a review of this product is coming soon). The Garmin 2720, however, has even more configuration and setting options, an impressive text-to-speech ability (not found in the other two products), and add-on options that raise the bar (and the price).

Whew! The price is on the steep side, but check the rest of the article for all the features and a slide show. It comes with one of those Garmin “weighted beanbag,” er, portable friction mounts with which I’m not familiar. Hopefully, it really doesn’t jump on bumps or slide around while driving.

Posted at 2:04 pm. Filed under Garmin, GPS, Lowrance, StreetPilot, TomTom

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