New Garmin 2200 and 2300 nuvi navigators will likely be popular gift items this coming holiday season. The company just announced that the nuvi family will be soon be expanding yet again, with the Garmin nuvi 2250 and Garmin nuvi 2250LT likely to be the first new arrivals. These should be followed in short order by no less than seven different 2300 series models.
The basic difference between the two groups is screen size. The 2200s have a 3.5-inch touchscreen while the larger 2300s will have a 4.3-inch viewing area and a feature for previewing multiple routes.
All of these new Garmin GPS models are being marketed as "entry level" units, with the smaller devices priced in the $150-$200 range. Yet they come loaded with high quality features.
In the 2200 group a few basic differences stand out. The baseline 2200 model comes with preloaded street maps for the lower 48 states plus Hawaii and Puerto Rico, while the 2250 and up come with the full North America city maps package. The 2250 also adds the Lane Assist feature, which helps you find the correct lane for an upcoming turn or freeway exit.
The 2250LT model comes with an integrated FM traffic receiver and free Lifetime Traffic updates from the real-time Navteq traffic update service. For this plus the broader map coverage and lane assist, the nuvi 2250LT seems like a good bargain, retailing just $30 higher than the 2200.
All of the new models deliver turn-by-turn directions with spoken street names, now a standard feature in any good automotive GPS. All include Garmin's "myTrends" technology, which means the unit "learns" your favorite destinations and so can predict where you are going before you even tell it. They also may help you save gas with the "ecoRoute" calculator that lets you choose the most fuel-efficient path to your destination.
Garmin also promises an enhanced user interface for easy operation and scrolling between screens. A host of other features are included, a "photo navigation" option which lets you download pictures from Garmin Connect and then find your way to the location shown. You also get the emergency "Where Am I?" locator, which gives you your location, nearest intersection, and closest emergency services just by tapping the screen.