Our review of the Garmin Nuvi 680 finds it to be a highly capable, but quite costly, GPS device. Still, it's worth a look.

In addition to the features you'd expect from a GPS device - clear onscreen and voiced navigation directions (including the mostly accurate pronunciation of street names), high-quality 3D maps, and a points-of-interest database - the Garmin Nuvi 680 offers a basic media player for viewing image and video files and for playing audio, including books downloaded from Audible.com.

The Garmin Nuvi 680's Travel Kit also contains a language guide that pronounces words and phrases in French, German, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish, translated to and from English (you can download other languages and guides for an additional fee).

You also get one free year of the MSN Direct service, which provides traffic and weather information, petrol prices, and movie times via a receiver built into the Garmin Nuvi 680's 12V power adaptor. After the first year you have to pay for this, however. The traffic information is available in limited areas, and even in those regions you may not be covered.

The initial download can take several hours, according to both Garmin and MSN, but we began receiving reports on traffic conditions along our route after only about an hour. When you encounter traffic the Garmin Nuvi 680 offers to route you around it, but we wouldn't have saved much time with the alternates it suggested. Still, this feature could come in handy.

Another nice extra is the Garmin Nuvi 680's Garmin Lock security feature, which lets you designate a four-digit PIN as well as a security location (such as your home). You must either enter the code or be at the security location to unlock the device.

On several occasions the Garmin Nuvi 680 delivered directions too late for us to follow them.

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Verdict


It's neither cheap now without flaws, but the Garmin Nuvi 680 is worth a look for those seeking a full-featured GPS satnav device and media player.


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