Navman has announced the UK availability of its 3D satellite navigation device range. The three models in the satnav device line-up start at £99 and went onsale today in Argos, Currys, Dixons and Tesco.

Navman calls the three satnav units 3D models because of the three-dimensional models of key buildings the mapping software contains. The idea behind this is that by showing landmarks such as Big Ben and BT Tower, travellers can get a better idea of their bearings than they would if they were simply following a flat map.

More than 1,000 European landmarks across 21 countries have been mapped and are included on the higher-end Navman S70 3D model.

The S70 3D sports a 4.3in widescreen touchscreen display, while the S50 3D has the same dimensions but comes with a more limited regional map.

The Navman S50 3D, meanwhile, is a smaller, 3.5in touchscreen model, also with a UK and Ireland map.

All three new Navman satnav models uses a Sirf InstantFixII II GPS receiver and offer 12-months of safety camera updates.

Bluetooth support on the more expensive S50 and S70 3D models enables dynamic local search, while owners of the £99.99 Navman S30 3D need to use their PCs to perform and load up search result information.

In addition to the maps, Navman includes a feature known as Local Connect to help the user track down useful services and businesses in an unfamiliar locale.

Unlike the POIs (points of interest) information included on most personal satnav devices, which highlight historic buildings, hotels and petrol stations, the Navman Connect feature links in with a business directory database to provide searchable business listings as and when you need them.

Navman S50 32D satellite navigation device

Navman S50 3D satellite navigation device

Navman Connect works by synching with a Bluetooth-enabled mobile phone.

The Navman S30 3D, S50 3D and S70 3D models are the first products to be born from the amalgamation of Navman with Belgian-based Mio.

Mio, a sub-division of Taiwanese hardware manufacturer Mitac, bought out Navman last year but opted to retain the two brands while pooling development and engineering expertise.