Sony Debuts New nav-u Handheld GPS

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Sony Electronics has taken the wraps off its new NV-U71T nav-u handheld GPS system, aiming to make live simpler for drivers who face complicated driving conditions. The NV-U71T is the second offering in Sony’s navigation sytem lineup.

“It’s safe and easy to use while driving, and it comes with everything you need to get started,” said Allan Jason, Sony Electronics’ VP for mobile electronics and portable audio products. “Our aim is to make navigation easy without sacrificing any of the features drivers need to get where they’re going.”

The NV-U71T offers a 3.5-inch, 960 by 240-pixel, antiglare touchscreen LCD display, USB connectivity, a built-in speaker, a suction-cup mount, and maps for the United States (including Alaska and Hawaii), Canada, and Puerto Rico are pre-loaded in the unit’s 2GB of flash memory. THE NV-U71T features a RDS-TMC Real Time Traffic receiver which can notify drivers of heavy traffic, construction delays, and other events, and supply alternate route information. The real-time traffic service required a separate $4.95 per month subscription, but NV-U71T buyers will get the first 90 days of service for free.

The NV-U71T also features a new Gesture Command function, which lets users execute frequently used commands (such as “take me home”) through simple finger movements on the touch screen. Drawing an inverted “V” on the touchscreen with a fingertip activates the feature. The unit’s built-in lithium-ion battery offers up to six hours of operation between charges.

The NV-U71T should be available “this winter” (we’re assuming the northern hemisphere winter, which technically extends through mid-March of 2007) for about $500; pre-orders are open now via the SonyStyle site. Sony will also offer additional vehicle kits (with bracket and car charger) for about $100, as well as an external GPS antenna ($100) and travel case ($30).

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