Better get used to seeing the Sony name today, kiddos. Here we have the NV-U1, a stand-alone portable GPS unit, or portable navigation device (PND) in the original Latin. Its 4.3-inch screen is comparable to the myriad other portable GPS devices on the market, as is the included SD card reader. Come to think of it, it really reminds me of the Mio DigiWalker I played around with last fall.

Truth be told, there's really not all that much that can separate these stand-along GPS units. Sure, they can try to tack on multimedia features and whatnot, but they're still not exactly mainstream consumer items. And with a certain critical mass phone coming out soon that features built-in maps and directions, you've got to wonder about the future of these PNDs. Maybe it'll still wow us when it hits store next month. I have my doubts.

Press Release (in Japanese) [Sony via Akihabara News]