by Gregg Ellman
Portable GPS units such as the Garmin Drive 50 amaze me by how far the technology has come, how well they work and how good they look.
According to Garmin, the four new models of the Drive line are easy-to-use portable navigation devices specifically designed to help increase driver situational awareness.
I took a Garmin Drive 50 along for a ride where I knew there was one of the sharpest curves I’ve driven on along with speed zone changes, commonly know in my language as a speed trap.
The new alerts include warnings for one-way streets, railroad crossings, school zones, sharp curves, speed limit changes and animal crossings. A fatigue warning even comes up on longer trips.
All of this is on top of the features Garmin is known for to easily get you to your location. These include maps, traffic and the Foursquare POI data base, which includes millions of places to eat and shop.
Directions from Garmin Real Directions tell you about the streets and landmarks on the way.
Accessories including Garmin baby cam, dash cam and wireless backup camera can be purchased separately and paired with the Garmin Drive series.
www.Garmin.com prices from $129.99 to $349.99 depending on various map regions, navigation features, Bluetooth calling and display size and model, $129.99 for The Garmin Drive 50 as tested.
First and foremost is the recording quality; crystal clear is an understatement.
Once connected to your audio software, all you really do is select the Go Mic Connect as the audio input and aim it at the source of the recording.
It’s made with what Samson calls Focused Pattern Technology. According to the website, this aligns its dual microphone capsules to create a pickup beam that can zero-in on a designated vocal source. This lets you narrow its width for more defined results., which can be really helpful in loud environments.
Active noise cancellation also contributes to the high quality recordings.
Depending on your software, adjustments can be made for features such as levels and the noise canceling.
I used it right out of the box for a FaceTime call, which I was told made me sound as clear as ever.
A built-in clip lets it easily fit on laptops and monitors or just use the included free-standing base. There’s a mute button on top and headphone output port and a USB connection on the back for connecting to computers (Windows and Mac) and some tablets.
The small size 4.3-by-0.6-by-3.2-inches, 0.3 lb. makes it portable friendly.
www.indiegogo.com $79 available later this month
The two-material (Co-molded TPE and polycarbonate) shell forms a covering to protect it from scratches and bumps, while keeping the watch fully functional.
If you want to give your stylish smartwatch a change of appearance, the Griffin ultra thin cases snap on in seconds.
They come in a three-pack (polished metallic, matte metallic and clear in my sample pack) and are swappable for a new look to match any appearance you want or just to change things up.
The poly carbonate cases measure just 0.5 mm thick so except for the shell covering the outside of the watch, you won’t even know it’s there.
https://griffintechnology.com The Survivor Tactical case ($29.99) and ultra thin case three-packs ($14.99) are made for the 38 mm and 42 mm Apple Watch