We had our first peak at it when it was leaked by FCC documents back in July, but Garmin has just made the Nuvi 1690 official, clearing up the speculation around its newest connected PND. Here's the skinny:
The Nu Nuvi features a built-in cellular data connection, which allows it to access a service that Garmin has dubbed NuLink. The most interesting bit of news here is that the NuLink service will be free for the first two years of ownership, after which users will be given the option of discontinuing the NuLink service or paying a monthly service fee. At time of publication, we were unable to find out how much that service fee would be, but we'll update this post as soon as we know.
Through NuLink, people will gain access to live traffic updates, weather data, and fuel prices, as well as movie times and airport flight statuses. Additionally, Google and White Pages searches will augment the Nuvi 1690's built-in points-of-interest database. The user can also push destination to the 1690 from a PC over the Internet and download Garmin alerts and updates through NuLink.
Social-networking buffs will be able to take advantage of Garmin's new Ciao position-aware social network that reports your location to the exisiting GyPsii and uLocate services and allows you to find and navigate to your friends.
The 1690 will also be packed with more practical features from the Nuvi lineup, including Bluetooth connectivity, a 4.3-inch color touch screen, text-to-speech, lane assist, and ecoRoutes. Interestingly, the SD card slot that we've come to expect from the Nuvi chassis has been downsized to a microSD slot. We'd prefer to keep the more robust full-size SD card, which stands up better to repeated insertions and removals.
The Nuvi 1690 should give the TomTom GO 740 Live a run for its money when it comes available later this year at an MSRP of $499.99.