Garmin introduces XM-enabled GPS systems

In a flurry of announcements yesterday, venerable GPS manufacturer Garmin announced the StreetPilot 2730, the StreetPilot 7200, and the StreetPilot 7500, each with XM Satellite radio, weather, and traffic capabilities. More details after the jump.

Add a subscription to XM and you have weather, traffic, and music along with your navigation.

So, why 3 new models you may ask? Well, it's simple (more or less), the 7XXX series uses a monstrous 7" LCD display that's designed for "larger vehicles such as RVs, semi-trucks, and buses". They're a bit huge for a little car, but look gorgeous.

As you would expect, every model now uses the satellite radio capabilities to gather traffic information and provide for real-time traffic-based routing (although it's not clear that you're alerted to problems that arise while you are en route, I would imagine that to be the case, or at least an easy software upgrade).

The devices are also capable of playing MP3 music files, either on the hard drive or on the SD card (on the 7XXX series).

Not a lot of technical specs are available on any of the models, and the manuals aren't up for download yet (not surprising since the release timeframe is December), but they do look very interesting.

On the list of unfortunates is that fact that you must use an external puck antenna to receive the XM signals, and that same puck does not serve as a GPS antenna. Boy, that was a great missed opportunity. However, there is still an MCX plug for an external GPS antenna.

As usual, the 7500 has Dead Reckoning (requires some installation) and the others do not.