When Garmin released its first live-enabled sat-nav in the UK, the nuvi 1690, it seemed like finally TomTom had a heavyweight competitor. But Garmin hasn't followed up that promising start with further devices, until now. The nuLink! 2300 series represents Garmin's latest foray into the world of sat-nav interactive data services, and it has a couple of unique tricks up its sleeve. The 2320 is the baby of the range, with UK and Ireland maps, whilst the 2340 extends coverage to Western Europe, and the 2390 adds more European maps and extra features.
The basic live services are as expected. There's Google Local Search on hand if you can't find the destination you're after in the onboard Points of Interest database. This provides a keyword-searchable database that extends well beyond the one stored locally. The search uses a tabbed system integrating the two together, so you can switch between them easily if you want.
There's a six-day weather forecast available, and the temperature is also permanently shown at the top of the interface. You can also subscribe to an Advanced Weather option, which provides animated radar map images, but costs £1.99 a month. This shows you precisely where the rain clouds, or any snow showers, are occurring. Garmin also retains the Flight Status system, which lets you check whether a flight to or from a particular airport is currently on time. In order to use this, however, you first need to activate it via a desktop system running the myGarmin software, despite the fact that it's free.
The feature that is most likely to grab your attention, though, is 3D Traffic. Since 3D is coming after HD in the television world, Garmin seems to be implying this is the next level of traffic updates after TomTom's HD Traffic. But it's actually a rather different approach. Although 3D Traffic does keep track of gridlock on your route, and suggests alternatives if the estimated delay caused by any jams means your current road choices will be too slow, there's an innovative new option.