Garmin Shows Off New In-Car K2 Infotainment Platform

January 7th, 2013 by Daniel P. Howley, LAPTOP Senior Writer

Users may no longer depend on Garmin’s dedicated GPS devices now that smartphones have built-in navigation software, but that doesn’t mean the company is abandoning the automotive space. In fact, Garmin is looking to make an even bigger impact on your dashboard with the debut of its new K2 infotainment platform at CES 2013.

Garmin drew influence for the new system from its existing marine and avionics system, and says that it is seeking to turn the standard auto dashboard into a digital cockpit. The platform includes a large 10-inch touch screen, a digital and reconfigurable 12-inch instrument cluster situated behind the steering wheel, voice control, infrared sensors similar to those found in Cadillac’s CUE system and smartphone integration. Read the rest of this entry »

Garmin’s Edge 510 and 810 Bring Waterproof GPS to Your Bike

January 7th, 2013 by Daniel P. Howley, LAPTOP Senior Writer

Want to track your biking performance but don’t want to risk dropping your smartphone? Garmin might have the answer. The company today announced its new dedicated biking devices, the Edge 510 ($329) and Edge 810 ($499), and we got to go hands-on with both at CES 2013.

Garmin says the waterproof devices are meant to be strapped to your bicycle’s handlebars and can track information ranging from elevation and speed to the number of calories you’ve burned during your ride and the exact route you took. Read the rest of this entry »

Garmin’s Nüvi 3597 GPS Tells You to “Turn Right After Starbucks”

January 7th, 2013 by Daniel P. Howley, LAPTOP Senior Writer

Garmin’s been on a roll at CES 2013. In addition to its Edge 810 and Edge 510 dedicated biking devices, the company is also showing off its new 2013 nüvi model dedicated GPS units. The systems, which we were fortunate enough to get hands-on time with prior to the show, include voice activated controls, Garmin Real Directions and the company’s new Active Lane Guidance feature.

The models range from the king-of-the-hill 5-inch nüvi 3597 Prestige series to the 4.3-inch Essential series. The nüvi 3597 is an exceptionally attractive device with its large display, thin profile and brushed-metal chassis. Read the rest of this entry »


Top 10 Apple Maps Alternatives

September 20th, 2012 by Daniel P. Howley, LAPTOP Senior Writer

Perhaps Apple dumped Google’s Maps app in favor of its own creation a little too soon. iOS 6 users are complaining about everything from Maps’ lack of transit directions and misplaced landmarks to misspelled towns and Dali-esque 3D images. The default app for the iPhone 5 has also given us directions to the wrong location.

Apple quickly responded to the outcry, saying “We’re just getting started,” but that’s not going to cut it for a lot of folks. To help make your navigation experience a little easier, we’ve put together this list of Maps alternatives. They should help get you by until Google’s rumored iOS 6-compatible Maps app comes through.

2012 Mercedes E350 Tech Drive: A Benz with Brains and Brawn

July 2nd, 2012 by Daniel P. Howley, LAPTOP Senior Writer

It’s no longer enough to have the best performance, sleekest lines, or most plush leather to stay on top of the luxury car world. You have to constantly innovate, and bring compelling new technology to each vehicle that rolls off of the assembly line. Nowhere is that line of thinking more evident than in Mercedes’ 2012 E350 luxury sports sedan.

From its Assist safety features to its Comand infotainment system, the E350 is one truly teched-out Benz. But with many of these features adding considerably to the E350’s $50,490 base price, are they really worth the extra expense? To find out, we spent a week gallivanting around the New York area in a loaded E350. So read on to see whether you should roll in this Benz. Read the rest of this entry »

Hands-On With Chevy’s GoGo Cloud-Based Navigation App

April 5th, 2012 by Daniel P. Howley, LAPTOP Senior Writer

Chevrolet is working to make owning an in-car navigation system much more affordable with the introduction of its GoGo Navigation app. The app, which will be available for the Chevy Spark and Sonic RS when they hit dealerships later this year. We got some hands-on time with GoGo and came away impressed with both its speed and overall functionality. The app itself sits on your iPhone or Android smartphone and is accessible via Chevy’s MyLink infotainment system. Purchasing the app is as simple as downingloading it through the Google Play Store or Apple’s App Store for $50.

Read the rest of this entry »


Hands-On With Telenav’s Scout for Cars App

April 2nd, 2012 by Daniel P. Howley, LAPTOP Senior Writer

Telenav’s Scout navigation app has been receiving significant buzz since its debut at CES in January and we got a chance to spend some hands-on time with it just in time for the New York Auto Show. The app, like most others in its class, is stored on a user’s smartphone and syncs up with her vehicle’s telematics system through a Bluetooth connection.

But what sets Scout for Cars apart is that it relies almost entirely on your smartphone. This not only helps insure that you always have access to a GPS signal, your phones, but also enables you to bring saved locations and directions with you where ever you go, whether on the road or walking around an unfamiliar city. Read the rest of this entry »

Garmin Bringing Smartphone Integration, Navigation to Suzuki’s 2013 U.S. Vehicles

April 2nd, 2012 by Daniel P. Howley, LAPTOP Senior Writer

Just ahead of this week’s New York International Auto Show, Garmin has announced that it will begin providing factory-installed infotainment systems for most of Japanese automaker Suzuki’s 2013 U.S. vehicle lineup. The new system, which will be on display at the auto show, includes a 6.1-inch high resolution touch screen, complete with smartphone integration, multi-media playback and, of course, Garmin’s navigation system. Read the rest of this entry »

2013 Mustang GT Tech Drive: Next-Generation Navigation, AppLink, More

March 19th, 2012 by Daniel P. Howley, LAPTOP Senior Writer

The 2013 Mustang GT is one of those rare cars that’s capable of producing a visceral feeling of speed and raw unadulterated power from its looks alone. From its new dual heat extractors located on its hood to its reworked front fascia, the Mustang GT simply oozes machismo. But who says geek cred and street cred can’t mix? Ford has added its Next Generation Navigation system and Sync AppLink to its famous muscle car, which we recently took for a test drive through the busy city streets and serpentine mountain roads around Portland, Ore.

  Read the rest of this entry »

CES 2012 Wrap Up: Everything You Need to Know

January 17th, 2012 by Kenneth Butler, LAPTOP Web Producer/Writer

The 2012 Consumer Electronics Show is over, but so many tech news stories, product showcases and software announcements came from the convention that you’re almost guaranteed to have missed something. If you take a look at our wrap up guides, you just might catch up on something you overlooked. Here’s everything we saw — and loved — at CES 2012.

CES 2012: Best in Show

The Annual Best of CES Awards
Here are the show’s standout products in 13 categories including the best smartphone, laptop, tablet, auto technology and accessory to surface in an unending swell of new gadgets.

Reader’s Choice Award 
The Best of CES Awards spotlights our editors’ top picks from the annual convention, but this year our readers had a decidedly different take on the single hottest piece of new tech.  

CES 2012: The Hottest Products

Best Laptops of CES 2012
Seven of these 8 clamshells fell short of a Best of CES Award, but they certainly garnered their fair share of time in the spotlight. Check out the laptops we eagerly look forward to reviewing this year.  

Best Smart Phones of CES 2012
The show’s smartphone announcements include a big step forward for Windows Phone, larger-than-ever screen sizes and phone cameras with the best specs we’ve encountered.

Best Tablets of CES 2012
This year’s tablets will offer longer battery life, lower prices and clearer screen resolutions.

CES 2012: The Biggest News Stories, Our Commentary and Live Video Coverage

Top 10 Videos of CES 2012
Some tech you have to see for yourself, like the Tobii Gaze Interface which, someday, will take hands-free to a whole new level by allowing you to navigate a computer screen just by looking at it. 

CES 2012: Biggest News Stories
CES doubles as a town hall for the world’s most successful tech companies to make huge announcements. This year, Microsoft embarked on its last CES keynote address and Intel announced partnerships to build smart phones with Lenova and Motorola.

SpoonFed: Top 5 Things I Learned at CES 2012
CES is too big to leave without thoughts on the long-view of tech. LAPTOP Editor-in-Chief Mark Spoonauer learned that despite Ultrabooks’  lionshare of limelight at the show, hybrid Android tablets that connect to keyboard docks could be a bigger trend. 

CES 2012: How Our Staff’s Mobile Gear Performed
We armed ourselves with some of the best gadgets of 2011 and tested them in the fast-paced halls of North American’s largest tech show. Check above to see how the MacBook Air 13, ASUS Zenbook UX31 Ultrabook, Samsung Galaxy Nexus smartphone and other favorite gadgets performed in action. 

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