There's nothing like a product refresh to get the New Year off to a bang, or in Garmin's case an thermo-nuclear explosion...
The sat nav expert has shown this week that it was full of busy through the festive period as it has announced three rejuvenated products lines: the Nuvi, Colorado and Forerunner.
Most eye-catching of the three is the Nuvi line which features a new flagship, the monstrous '5000' (top, left). Packing a market-leading 5.2in touchscreen, it has the ability to save 10 routes, monitor congestion and while away the hours with the integrated MP3 player which can be hooked up iTrip-style to play directly through a vehicle's speakers or via headphones using its 3.5mm jack.
Retailing for $799.99 in February, the 5000 should appeal greatly to poor sighted individuals who, if my driving experiences in London are anything to go by, are still given licences in London.
Three smaller Nuvi's, the 260W, 780 and 880, each match up to the 5000 but sport smaller 4.3in touchscreens and boast secretive pricing (probably not a good thing).
Appealing to the intrepid biker / hiker / camper / insert your choice of madman in here is the Colorado range of walkie-talkie format GPS receivers each with 3in screens and independent AA battery power sources. Consequently, each model of the line (constructed of the 400t, 400i, 400c and 300) has its own outdoorsy selection of shorelines, topography and base map specialities with prices starting from $499 and rising to $599.
'Garmin Mobile PC', a kit which converts laptops into portable GPS receivers, has also had an update and the software now mimics the traditional Garmin interface and can usefully access Outlook addresses. A massive 6m POIs are now racked up too plus turn-by-turn voice instructions, live weather forecasts, flight information and hotel rates. At just $60 for the software and $100 for a pack which also includes the USB GPS receiver, this is a great value offering - just don't strap it onto your motorbike.
Lastly, healthy types (also known as irritations joggers) should get a kick out of the 'Forerunner 405' sports watch, a follow-up to the Forerunner 50. It offers onboard GPS, wireless PC synching and can measure distance covered, speed and heart rate. Arriving later this year for $299, it could be that present for the (wo)man who has everything.
Time for a rest now Garmin, methinks.