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Old 01-08-2011, 07:16 AM   #1
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Garmin?

This may have been discussed before but do any of you have a preference for the Garmin or any other navigation device? I am thinking a getting one and would like to get some knowledgeable feedback. If there is a thread that has covered this please head me in the right direction (no pun intended)! Thanks,

AKL

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Old 01-08-2011, 07:36 AM   #2
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I have a Garmin 1390T which I have been using for about a year. The "T" means it has lifetime traffic warnings, which has proven to be top notch in avoiding big traffic delays. Excellent product, sound is crystal clear, constant map and software updates, so it is always current. I'd highly recommend it, but be sure to also get the "life time map updates" with the unit; it is cheaper than adding later.
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Old 01-08-2011, 09:04 AM   #3
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MY wife and I have been using a Garmin 330 for years. We decided to upgrade to the 1300LMT. Lifetime traffic and map upgrades. Best buy was running a deal on them a couple of weeks ago for around $130. Once you get used to the menu structure of one manufacturer, it seems to be faster to stick with them on the next upgrsde.

The free traffic service does come with advertisements when it's routing, but it's a small banner at the top. The screen is a nice, convenient size.

I don't think it's superior to the other manufacturers, but it's a great little unit.
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Old 01-08-2011, 09:07 AM   #4
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I think the most important thing to look for is free map updates. I have Garmin which works fine, but it's about 3 year old now. It needs a map update, but last time I checked, the update was $70. You can buy new GSP for a few bucks more. JMHO
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Old 01-08-2011, 09:51 AM   #5
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Very pleased with a 4 year old TomTom

I waited to buy till prices dropped from $600 to below $200. Now the same unit might be less than $100. Used it in perhaps a dozen states, everywhere from very very rural (WY, UT, ID, etc) to very big city (Atlanta, DC, etc). Updated it perhaps 3 times with firmware updates, perhaps 4 times with maps. Used telephone support once...best I've had in 40+ years. There is a user contributed maps updates that is free in between perhaps quarterly updates. Updates were free for the first year IIRC, then cost in either one time update price or yearly subscriptions. I tend to update only if I know I'm taking a trip and going to be somewhere there is new construction.

Mine is one of the low end ones, without all the real time updates, gas prices, etc.. I haven't missed them, I figure they might be information overload. But the ability of the unit to let me detour around obvious traffic tie-ups has been invaluable. Find the nearest hospital in rural Idaho. Yes they are nice.

They have an easy enough interface so my wife, definitely interface challenged, can use it with no coaching and a little patience. I never send her anywhere new without it. Even if we don't turn it on, it is so nice to have. Shuttles between 3 cars.

Never used a Garmin. They have a good reputation.

I think your feeling towards these two brands might well depend on which you had experience with and which generation it was as they all catch up with each other in features on the next update.

Agree that any life time update might be worth lots. But how long these companies will be in business is questionable. Cell phone GPSs and in-car units have driven prices through the ground. They have to maintain their data bases of map info so their costs remain high. Higher costs plus lower prices means struggles.
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Old 01-08-2011, 11:10 AM   #6
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Thank you all who have responded to date. This is what I was looking for in insight and user stories. Since this will be my first device I need all the help I can get. Interesting take Mike has on costs and JFP on Garmin device. Others all have helped too. I cannot believe all the choices of Garmin and they run the gamete in price and features. I do not have Blue Tooth so I guess I need one that doesn't feature it? Best Buy has some good deals going now and I don't think I want to spend over $200 on one. Loads of testimonials on some of the seller sites. Thanks again to all who responded.

AKL
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Old 01-08-2011, 12:41 PM   #7
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Don't be concerned about having one with Bluetooth; while you may not have need for it now, you may in the future, and then it would be a plus. Focus on screen size and layout, features you will use (traffic, sound clarity, map updates, support, etc.), and if the model that meets those items also has a couple you do not currently need, so what? You cannot custom order one with just what you want.................

By-the-by, Consumer's Reports also like the Garmins...........
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Old 01-08-2011, 12:51 PM   #8
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personally i dislike having the wires dangling or trying to figure out the best way to route them. since i have an iphone i use google maps most of the time, but for an actual gps solution there are quite a few apps available ( or if you're on an android phone, etc. ) that do a good job.
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Old 01-08-2011, 05:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonycarreon
personally i dislike having the wires dangling or trying to figure out the best way to route them. since i have an iphone i use google maps most of the time, but for an actual gps solution there are quite a few apps available ( or if you're on an android phone, etc. ) that do a good job.
The Garmins, and probably other brands, have internal batteries. They will go for a very long time without needing to be plugged in. I've relaced the batteries on my 7 year old Garmin, the replacements are easy to find and easy to replace.
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Old 01-09-2011, 03:55 AM   #10
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I have 2 Garmins. Excellent products and great tech & customer support. I have a Nuvi 780 that"s about 4 years old, and running strong. And a newer unit that's even better (thinner and larger screen). Accurate and intuitive.

Use a web site like www.pricescan, to search prices, and buy online. Much cheaper and no sales tax.
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Old 01-09-2011, 04:29 AM   #11
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Garmin is the most robust out of them all.

Get the lifetime traffic and map update models.
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Old 01-09-2011, 07:01 AM   #12
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My wife has a TomTom One XL; purchased about a year and a half ago. Very easy to use (really a consideration for her), nice large clear screen, bluetooth, long lasting internal battery and DC power adapter, etc.

Easy to use internet interface with firmware and map downloads. My kids use it all the time to find friend's houses locally and to and from universities. Got it on sale at Best Buy for around $125...nice simple unit.
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Old 01-09-2011, 07:12 AM   #13
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Been looking at the new model 3750 which can be had for just under $300 including tax & shipping. Main recommended feature is glass screen rather than plastic and thin easy to read case. If the glass is so superior to the plastic I might be willing to spring for the extra bucks. Any opinions on this model?

AKL
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Old 01-09-2011, 07:14 AM   #14
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The one bad thing about TomTom is their customer support:
I had to call their support line and after 4 or 5 attempts where I have been in the queue for 30+ minutes each I simply gave up on the product and the company.
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Old 01-09-2011, 08:06 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Allen K. Littlefield
Been looking at the new model 3750 which can be had for just under $300 including tax & shipping. Main recommended feature is glass screen rather than plastic and thin easy to read case. If the glass is so superior to the plastic I might be willing to spring for the extra bucks. Any opinions on this model?

AKL
The glass screen is a plus; the plastic tends to become marked over time. One major advantage I did not mention is the Garmin "Lane Assist" (which this model has), tells you what lane to be in before you have to be there and shows you a three dimensional image of a multi lane interchange (with signs) and what lane you need to use, well before you get there. Really helpful on interstates.

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Old 01-09-2011, 09:27 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JFP in PA
The glass screen is a plus; the plastic tends to become marked over time. One major advantage I did not mention is the Garmin "Lane Assist" (which this model has), tells you what lane to be in before you have to be there and shows you a three dimensional image of a multi lane interchange (with signs) and what lane you need to use, well before you get there. Really helpful on interstates.


Thanks again JFP, I really like the lane assist feature too. Also to have more of a heads up actual speed indicator. The 4 to5 mile error in the P-car digital readout way over in the left corner of the dash is tricky and hard to see. This Garmin might be a big help.

AKL
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Old 01-09-2011, 09:40 AM   #17
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You will also find that the Garmin has both the posted speed and your actual speed in the display for most major roadways, and your speed changes colors as you exceed the posted limit; also a nice feature.

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Old 01-09-2011, 10:49 AM   #18
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Some features I like

are the both audio and visual lane assist...tells you what lane to be in well before the lanes merge or branch off, even tells you what the signs at an interstate exit will look like by flashing a picture of the sign. The reminder that I'm going over the speed limit would seem intrusive unless you could set it to tell you how much over to allow you...say 6 miles over to no more than 80 if those are the local thresholds for reckless driving. The tom tom has just a "don't exceed this speed limit or I'll give you a loud 'bong' feature that helps on an interstate.

Multiple options on how you want the screen portrayed...facts on the side to bottom, for example. Choose which facts you want displayed. Displays the name of the road you are on and the next one you will be turning onto as well as distance to that point.

I'm not sure I'd buy into this technology at the $300 price point, you may not like it. It took my wife about 2 years of my using it before she started to feel comfortable with the idea. You can get well more than basic for the $150 point if you watch the sales. And with all things, the about to be replaced models are the ones on sale.

One warning...if there is a new road that closes an old one, all of them can get totally confused until they can get their maps updated. They opened a bypass that went through the country and it really was insistent I turn around or turn into a corn field. Sometimes you are right and it is wrong.

Two warning...learn to listen and not look as you can get distracted and CRASH. I've seen it happen to people.
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Old 01-09-2011, 11:49 AM   #19
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Mike covered a lot of the more useful aspects of these units; but by far the most useful had been the Garmin's traffic alert system. I had just purchased the unit, and was coming up I 95 from our other home in SC, when the Garmin's automatic “traffic alert” triggered and directed me to get in the extreme right hand lane as quickly as possible. At the time, I was rolling at about 85 MPH in very light traffic, with nothing apparent ahead. I did as the Garmin suggested, and as we approached an exit ramp at the crest of hill, all I could see for miles was brake lights. We took the exit (again at the Garmin's insistence) and the unit took us on a 5 mile detour route around the traffic and back onto I 95, without any input from me. It has performed equivalent nearly miraculous detours numerous times since, which (to borrow a MasterCard quote) is "priceless"....

That said, any GPS system is only as accurate as its last database update, and is not a substitute for common sense. If the speed limit on the road you are on changed from 35 to 25 MPH, or the next intersection changed to “No left turns” 5 min. after the latest database update, no local authority is going to accept “My GPS told me to do it” as justification for breaking the law………….
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Old 01-10-2011, 06:24 AM   #20
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I like my Garmin. Works well, pretty intuitive etc.

I think I paid $150 for it on sale.

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