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    $119.99
    1. Garmin nvi 265W/265WT 4.3-Inch
    $84.00
    2. Garmin nvi 205W 4.3-Inch Widescreen
    $199.99
    3. Garmin nvi 1490LMT 5-Inch Bluetooth
    $129.99
    4. Garmin nvi 1350/1350T 4.3-Inch
    $129.95
    5. TomTom XXL 540M 5-Inch Widescreen
    $96.54
    6. Garmin nüvi 265W 4.3-Inch Widescreen
    $149.95
    7. TomTom XXL 540TM 5-Inch Widescreen
    $119.99
    8. Magellan RoadMate 5045-LM 5-Inch
    $149.95
    9. TomTom XXL 550TM 5-Inch Portable
    $99.99
    10. TomTom XL 340TM 4.3-Inch Portable
    $199.00
    11. Garmin nüvi 260W 4.3-Inch Widescreen
    Too low to display
    12. TomTomXXL 540S 5-Inch Widescreen
    $176.99
    13. Garmin nvi 1450LMT 5-Inch Portable
    $109.99
    14. Garmin nüvi 255W 4.3-Inch Widescreen
    $179.99
    15. Garmin nvi 1390LMT 4.3-Inch Portable
    $89.99
    16. Garmin nvi 265/265T 3.5-Inch
    $88.00
    17. Garmin nvi 1300 4.3-Inch Widescreen
    $119.82
    18. Garmin nüvi 1450 5-Inch Portable
    $169.99
    19. Garmin nvi 1490/1490T 5-Inch
    $79.00
    20. Garmin nvi 295W 3.5-Inch Widescreen

    1. Garmin nvi 265W/265WT 4.3-Inch Widescreen Bluetooth Portable GPS Navigator with Traffic
    Electronics
    list price: $219.99 -- our price: $119.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B001ELJ9QK
    Manufacturer: Garmin
    Sales Rank: 9
    Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Reviews

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good unit for the price, November 5, 2008
    I was a bit confused at first by the 265w label on the device and on the screen during boot up; however, this unit does have the FM receiver built into the power adapter cable and works exactly as advertised. The routing software is much more intelligent than a previous model I've owned, the interface is notably improved and the text to speech for street names is a very nice addition. Hands-free phone features also work flawlessly.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Absolute Lemon, on 4th unit! Garmin is the pits!, August 12, 2009
    My refurbished 265wt looks and works like new and the features were as I expected. The only thing that I wish it had is the ability to save routes. But you can plan and follow a route by designating a final destination and then again using the "Where To" Feature to add additional locations and then for each selecting the option "Add as Via Point," but you cannot save the route for future use.

    I ran into two glitches when attempting to update the map (free within 60 days of first use). Since it was a refurbished unit, the first use date was more than 60 days before I received the GPS and thus I was unable to download the free update. A call to Garmin easily resolved that - the customer service contact person added it to my account for free download. The second problem was that when I tried to install the updated map I got a message indicating there was not enough space and it refused to install. Another call to Garmin and a software expert used "remote assist" (after my giving him permission to take control of my computer from his location) and made live changes to my GPS. After that the map update was successful. In both cases the Garmin personnel were most courteous, very competent, and easy to understand.

    I also found the Garmin MapSource program very helpful. It can be downloaded at no charge if you already have another Garmin program, and if you don't, you can first download and install the free Garmin Training Center program and then download and install MapSource at no cost. Working in MapSource to create, to view and to edit waypoints and tracks and other features and then using MapSource to transfer the data to the GPS is far easier than trying to do this directly on the GPS.

    Apart from mapping, the "Points of Interest" feature can lead you to unexpected places. After using the GPS "Where To", then "Points of Interest" in the Germantown, Maryland area I selected "Food" to look for lunch. The first two addresses ended up being residential addresses in townhouse developments. Out of curiosity I learned that one house was unoccupied according to a neighbor and at the other house no one answered the door. On my 3rd try I selected the chain "Subway" and that address was right on. Clearly the Points of Interest contains some unreliable information. However, this would likely be true for all Garmin GPS models.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Better than a Nuvi 760, February 3, 2009
    This GPS is rated very highly, and that is why I bought it. I have gotten refurbished phones before, so I didn't think it was a big deal to buy a refurbished gps. Also, I now remember reading that someone had trouble getting the free map update. BEWARE!!
    I have spent at least 4-5 hours total trying to get this update. Long story short, after being on hold several times, faxing an invoice showing proof of purchase, waiting for them to update my account, and then downloading the update, clearing tons of space on my computer to transfer the update, I now have the update. I figure it would have been worth the extra $40 to get the new one (I got it for $179). The unit may be fine if you don't care about the free update. That much time and hassle is not "free".

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good unit for the price, November 5, 2008
    Spent a weekend reviewing various GPS devices to replace my less than 1 year old Mio C320 (avoid these like the plague) that had its battery die about 4 months after purchase. Went back and forth along the entire line of Garmin devices, and finally settled on this one for the blue tooth and traffic, neither of which I'll probably hardly ever use, but nice to have when I want them.

    I was disappointed with the map, the "new" 2009 one, because I have some streets in my neighborhood that have been around for over four years and they're not to be found on this unit. Even the piece of junk cheap Mio had these streets.

    But that's about the only downside there is to it, the only reason I haven't given it 5 stars.

    Having been used to the MIO, and the horrible refresh rate, it is a pleasant change to see smooth scrolling as my vehicle moves. The ability to change the car icon is nice, especially with the plethora of icons available on the garmin website.

    Accuracy is very good as well, and even in turns the unit isn't so laggy that it becomes annoying. And also unlike what I was used to with the MIO, when I come to a stop at the intersection, the map doesn't start rotating randomly on me.

    Speaker is about as I expected, won't hear much over a loud stereo but crank it up enough you can at least hear it if you keep the music down a bit.

    The option to easily download voices is also appreciated.

    It did well with my testing of going point to point, following the instructions, and for the most part you're given the instructions in plenty of time. only once or twice did it not tell me "turn right on such and such" until I was about 20 feet from the street, but that was when I was coming up on stop signs and had slowed down, so it may be compensating for the speed factor.

    Recalculation notice is a bit annoying, my MIO would say it once, sometimes this says it three times before it starts to display the alternate route.

    Still has about 900MB free on the internal memory for additional voices, icons, maps, and such, and with the SD slot there's plenty of room to grow.

    I have a Verizon XV6900 phone with Windows Mobile 6.1, and while the bluetooth paired well and it can see the phone status, battery power, signal, even dialed and missed call lists, it never does get the phonebook. it gets a random entry and that's it - so whenever I turn it on, I have just one user to select from, and it's different each time. Still haven't tracked that one down yet. But every other bluetooth option worked just fine.

    I'm not a fan of the very thick double power cable for it though, and it would be doubly annoying (no pun intended) if I were mounting this somewhere higher up on the window to have that double cable dangling down.

    I can see how the ads would get annoying sometimes (the free traffic is because it is advertising driven) but you don't get them at all if you turn off the traffic feature, and since most of my driving isn't around times that traffic is a concern, i can just leave it for when I really have a use for it.

    Good response to finger input, and while the unit is overall much better quality than the MIO, I really do miss the MIO's ability to have an info pane down the last third of the screen and the map on the first two thirds of it when desired. But there's some of that info available in the data bubbles on the bottom and top so I'll survive.

    Overall happy with the unit, it works well and was worth the cost.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best GPS I have ever Owned, December 10, 2008
    I have owned quite a few GPS units all including Phone, Laptop and Dedicated. Flat out before I even get started the Garmin Nuvi 265WT is the best I have ever owned. Let me just make a couple of comments on the most important features.

    Touch Screen Interface
    Very intuitive and easy to use. Touch screen is responsive but not instantaneous. What I particularly like is the ability to switch to a top down view by touching the screen. Once done you can use your finger to drag the map around at any zoom point. Once done you can hit the back button and resume your 3D view.

    Turn by Turn
    You have two options here. You can use one of the Text to Speech voices or one of natural voices. The text to speech voices will give you more information such as street names. This is what I use and even though you can tell it's a computer generated voice its quality is superb. The 265WT does a good job at keeping you updated. Also at any time you can hit the turn Icon and it will speak the distance to the next turn, giving you street name as well as direction. The audio is quite loud and in my noisy little Scion I have no problem hearing the messages.

    Maps
    I have found the map accuracy quite good. I live in Northern virginal and it seems to be very well updated as many of the very new streets included.

    Automatic Routing
    Very effective. You can choose between the quickest or the shortest with options to avoid U-Turns, Highways, Toll Roads, Traffic, Ferries. The automatic rerouting is faster than my TeleNav phone and my Laptop computers.

    Points of Interest
    On my TeleNav phone GPS system I can enter any business in the national database and I can get directions, address and phone number. This is where the 265WT falls short. The TeleNav system has the advantage of searching online. Since the 265WT is limited to onboard memory there is a limit to the number of points of interest. A good example is I was looking for "Off Broadway Shoes" and the unit could not find them. However a search for "Payless Shoes" worked very well.

    Traffic Alerts
    The lifetime free traffic comes at a price. You will get popup adds. These are very small popups that supposedly only come when you are in the menu. This is not true. I have gotten them while in the navigation screen. For now they it seems to be once per trip but there is nothing to say they wont start getting more frequent. The other thing I don't like about the messages is that you have to hit them to continue and doing so takes you out of the nav screen to a kind of favorites screen. You have to hit the back button to get back to your navigations screen.
    How well does the traffic system work. I live in Northern VA and have coverage throughout my area. The included radio fails to pick up a single signal without using an external antenna. Sadly you can just go down and purchase an FM antenna.. The Power cable has a 3/32" jack. What I did was to pick up a 3/32" plug from Radio Shack and soldered a 4' wire to the tip pin on the connector. Once draped out one of the windows I get very frequent traffic updates.
    Once you start getting traffic reports I found them to be accurate and they do help. You can automatically avoid high traffic arias or do it manually as they accrue.
    I am still debating if the popup adds are worth the effort.

    Bluetooth Integration
    This is my favorite feature. I can keep my keyboard locked Motorola Q in my pants pocket and use my 265WT to make and receive all my calls at a touch of a button. All my phone features are available on the 265WT. Phonebook, Call history, Voice Recognition. The voice quality is quite acceptable on both ends. As a matter of fact the echo I get on my Motorola is not there when using the 265WT as a hands free set.

    Picture Viewer
    I found this to be a very useless feature. If the photos are very big it takes forever for the 265WT to load them. This may be due to the slow access to the SD card slot.

    There are other features like the ability to connect the 265WT to your PC and automatically add favorite locations using GoogleMaps. All in all I am very happy with my purchase and would purchase it again.

    FYI the Nuvi 265WT is the same unit as the Nuvi 255W without the Bluetooth ability and the FM reliever cable (GTM 25). You can even purchase the GTM 25 from Garmin. If you don't want the Bluetooth feature and don't currently need the traffic feature you can pick up the Nuvi 255W cheaper.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Map database leaves something to be desired., January 1, 2009
    I got this unit for Christmas, 2008. Although this is the first GPS that I've owned, I've been passenger on many trips with a friend who has Nuvi 350 so I was already familiar with Garmin. The unit I bought had the 2009 maps, and the firmware was fairly recent. Firmware, etc has since been updated to most recent version(s).
    My choice came down to the nuvi 265WT, 765T or 760. The 760 is a premium unit for a bargain price due it's being last years model, while the 765T had the features I wanted but is still pricey since it's a new model. In the end I opted for 265WT since it had the updated/new features that the 760 didn't have and was at the price that I was willing to spend. I did not really consider other brands, though my impression is that other brands offer more "bells and whistles" but suffer in the areas of ease of use and reliability.
    The unit has worked fine, no problems to speak of, though my actual time spend driving with it has been limited so far (spent lots of time just "playing" with it, though).

    [update 9/11/09]
    I've now used for a week of commuting to work and running errands. I use for commute because of the traffic reporting.

    traffic -- haven't encountered a backup that it didn't warn me about, but have driven through a couple of non-existent backups. I've also found that it can take several minutes for the traffic status to be displayed after power-on, sometimes *after* it has picked a route.

    routing -- the route it gives me to work is rather strange. It routes me off of the freeway onto an expressway that has several lights. I tried it once, and sure enough it took longer than predicted, even with light traffic.

    reliability -- The unit has "glitched" 3 times in the last week. Once it just turned itself off, another time it jumped from the map to the speedometer screen (by itself) while the voice became very distorted, and another time the backlight setting was not as I had left it.
    [end of 9/1/09 update]

    My biggest complaint has to do with the POI database. For example, I searched for local cinema's... it did not have the 20 screen cineplex that is closest to me. When I searched for local Staples Office Supply locations the closest it found was 50 miles away, even though there are at least 4 within 15 miles. I didn't show a nearby Britannia Arms. A large regional shopping center is still called by a name that was dropped 5 years ago. etc...
    The POI management software (such as it is) could use more flexibility. For example, when searching for Staples, the unit was "busy" quite some time searching. There appears to be no way to put a limit the search distance.
    I think the map update policy is in need of revising. A two month "grace period" is not really fair to the buyers. Most of these are sold in Nov & Dec, and the maps are typically updated in the Spring, beyond the 60 day cutoff. Garmin should be guaranteeing map updates for at least 6 months, if not a year. Or, one free update within 2 years or something similar. Another gripe is the Garmin request for an "account" to register the unit. Yet another user name and password to forget.

    [update 1/9/09]
    At 2009 CES, Garmin announced a new map update policy. For $120 you get lifetime updates ("up to" 4 times a year) while a single update will be $69, which (I think) is less than before.
    [end of 1/9/09 update]

    5-0 out of 5 stars Impressed!, December 5, 2008
    After doing extensive research I decided on this unit. Mainly because the 265wt is one of their newer NUVI products and it had the features I was looking for. If you look at the sites that have reviews on the 265wt, most are from nov/2008. I think this unit was released about 6 months ago. Anyway, here's my opinion on some of the key features of the 255WT.

    1. Windsheild mount - works great. The suction cup is very high quality and I have no concerns that it will accidentally detach from the windsheild. I love the swivel capabilites and it allows you a perfect view no matter where you put it.

    2. Satellite aquisition time - incredible! once you perform the initial aquistion, you are set. Now when I turn the on it's ready to go in usually under 3 seconds. Awesome!

    3. Map directions and screen - wonderful. The GPS unit so far has given me perfect directions and the re-route capability works flawlessly. The screen is clear, bright and easy to navigate.

    4. Free traffic alerts - works as described. I love this feature and I hardly saw any ads.

    5. Bluetooth - giddy up! I had my Motorola KZR1 synched up in about 15 seconds. Easy to use and sure makes talking on the phone alot more enjoyable when driving. I've had conversations with multiple people and they could hear me fine. One cool thing is if your phone has voice dialing; because it allows you do it through the GPS unit. Also, all my contacts show up (even with multiple phone #'s).

    6. And finally...the internal speaker. If you researched the 265WT like I've done you'll see ALOT of people complaining that the speaker is too quiet to hear anything. That was a big concern of mine but I felt I would give the unit a try and if it was that bad then I would return it. My thoughts on the speaker are this. The speaker size/quality could and probably should be improved. It's a cheapy speaker...BUT...I CAN hear the directions perfectly fine and can here the other person talking to me when using the bluetooth phone capability. Side notes: You HAVE to turn down your radio if you want to be able to hear it. Also, I was driving with the windows closed (it's friggin winter), so I cannot say how well you'd be able to hear the directions/phone with your windows rolled all the way down.

    Bottom line - it has met or exceeded all of my expectations! I bought it on the day after Thanksgiving (aka Black Friday) and I got an incredible deal! $199.99 with free shipping, no tax, and got %50 off a $25 case logic travel case. I would have spent an extra $150 if I would have bought the same unit from a local retailer.

    Finally if your in the market to buy any GPS my suggestion is wait until it gets closer to X-mas and see if the price drops. I'm guessing they'll do it again. I was fortunate to get it when I did and hence saved a nice chunk of change.

    Hope this helped!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Works perfectly, June 18, 2009
    I was a bit confused at first by the 265w label on the device and on the screen during boot up; however, this unit does have the FM receiver built into the power adapter cable and works exactly as advertised. The routing software is much more intelligent than a previous model I've owned, the interface is notably improved and the text to speech for street names is a very nice addition. Hands-free phone features also work flawlessly.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Absolute Lemon, on 4th unit! Garmin is the pits!, August 12, 2009
    Bought it in April and now I'm on unit # 4! Garmin's acknowledgment is below.

    THESE UNITS consistently loose the voice. When this happens it still navigates but the system starts to hang. Also the navigation will start to hang too if you alter your route. You need to shut off the unit and restart but then it will soon happen again.

    The 1st replacement was a refurbished after they promised me a new unit. With the 2nd replacement, just like the first one, I made sure that not only did I have the most recent map but also that I had all the unit updates. On the 3rd replacement that I received yesterday I didn't update it and sure enough the same problems occur.

    I have spoken to Garmin by phone about 8 times since May and many e-mails. I just contacted Amazon and someone at Garmin Corporate, I'm waiting to hear back. I'm just amazed that Garmin is still selling this unit, why don't they recall these?

    Here is an e-mail from a Garmin support Tech from over two weeks ago:
    "Unfortunately, there has been an issue with the latest software update
    on these units. Our engineers are working on an update to correct this issue, and
    we expect to see this very soon.

    Your account is set up so that you will receive an email notification
    when the update is available, but you are more than welcome to email me
    if you do not hear about this soon."

    4-0 out of 5 stars A very good portable GPS, March 6, 2009
    I've used Garmin SPIII and Garmin SP2610 in over 7 years, and am very happy with their overall performance. I travel by cars frequently, and have been pleased for the most parts with these 2 units. However, they both share the same problem: "almost useless when I was driving in New York City", where tall buildings put both these models into a constant "lost of satellite signals" state.

    After much research, I decided to give this model a trial run, based on this review from one user "...I can leave the unit in the storage compartment under the armrest in the car, and follow the audio directions..." I theorized that if this unit worked in a "storage compartment under the armrest in the car", it will work under my windshield though surrounded by tall buildings in NYC (!)

    Here is my initial report after a 4-day trip in Orange County, CA, where I unfortunately did not have any chances to test the "tall buildings" syndrome, however there were many circumstances that it worked well where my previous 2 Garmin's didn't work. So here it goes:

    1) Pricing: My previous SPIII and SP2610, each costs almost 3 times as much back then. Much lower price for many more features. 5-star

    2) Form: Love the compact, thin size, and its light weight. The unit didn't come with a case. I have a case that came with my Bose in-ear headphones, and it fits perfectly into this otherwise wasted case :-) The glass suction cup works solidly. The unit can be adjusted smoothly once attached, yet is held firmly in place. The power cord also houses the traffic receiver and its length is generous. 5-star

    3) Functions:
    ....a) Pluses: 3D-map; like it for the most part, but have found on very few occasions where multi-level highways are intersected, its 3D image was confused. I could have been taking the wrong highway. 4-star
    ....b) Text-to-voice: great in the city where street signs are readable, or on highways. 5-star
    ....c) GPS signals acquisition: Much faster and more effective than my previous 2 models. It showed more than 3 green signals bars even when I was in my hotel room, or in the ... bathroom (playing with the new gadget ;) I experimented with putting it off the windshield, out of line of sight of the sky, and it worked just as well. This is a good indication how it will perform on my next trip to New York City. I'll report back on the real experience then. 5-star
    ....d) Battery: It turns out that I love this feature, as I never had this on SPIII and SP2610. I realized that I had left the power cord when I returned my rental car in LAX (luckily, Hertz lost-and-found dept was able to ship UPS back to me in a few days.) I was able turn it on, and used the Garmin 265WT w/o this cord. The SPIII and SP2610 would be dead! 5-star
    ....e) Points-of-interest: By all indications, it's as good as I expected, though there were times that I could not locate some local restaurants. It's just a matter of how updated the information is. 4-star
    ....f) Favorites: Aka "waypoints" in older SPIII and SP2610 models. This is markedly improved. In the older models, it stored the coordinates and lost the original address that you entered. I love how to pull up a saved "favorite", not only being able to command it to route there, but also recognizing the address, and as a bonus, I can actually call an associated phone number directly from this favorite destination (imaging a situation like "let me call first to see if s/he is at home, then ... ;) A very practical and brilliant approach! Now that I'm used to this feature, I'm greedy to ask to have the ability to store more than one phone number ;) 5-star
    ....g) Lifetime free Live-Traffic: It appears to be a great feature, but at this point I haven't really had much exposure to report in a meaningful way. I saw the signs of green, yellow, etc... But those didn't turn into any real actions for my driving. Btw, the power cord is doubled as the traffic receiver, so don't lose it! 5-star
    ....h) Bluetooth: This is my first experience with bluetooth in a unit other than my bluetooth headset. Though I'm very pleased overall, this is the one area that has shown the most problems. I relied on this feature entirely since California requires its drivers to use hand-free equipments. Here is what I found with this feature:
    .......70% chance of failing to make outgoing calls using my phone - So disappointed!
    .......98% chance of success to make outgoing calls using the 265WT. I either dialed the numbers using the dial pad on the 265WT screen, or dial by pressing the phone number of saved favorites.
    .......98% chance of success when receiving in coming calls. I used both methods: hit the "SEND" key from my phone, or press the "ANSWER" from the 265WT screen.
    .......The speaker quality though is very clear for GPS text-to-voice operation, sounded as it came from an old and cheap speaker when used with the cell phone. However, not once, anyone on the other end of the phone complains of sound quality, even on long conversations. No one asked if I used speaker phone! Apparently the microphone works well, but the speaker works badly for the phone. Nevertheless the speaker works well for GPS text-to-voice operation. 3-star
    4) Wishes: a case included in the package would be nice. 4-star

    I rated it overall a 4-star, despite of the bluetooth issue.

    pdn

    5-0 out of 5 stars Quite pleased. Also great Customer Service and Technical Assistance, July 7, 2009
    My refurbished 265wt looks and works like new and the features were as I expected. The only thing that I wish it had is the ability to save routes. But you can plan and follow a route by designating a final destination and then again using the "Where To" Feature to add additional locations and then for each selecting the option "Add as Via Point," but you cannot save the route for future use.

    I ran into two glitches when attempting to update the map (free within 60 days of first use). Since it was a refurbished unit, the first use date was more than 60 days before I received the GPS and thus I was unable to download the free update. A call to Garmin easily resolved that - the customer service contact person added it to my account for free download. The second problem was that when I tried to install the updated map I got a message indicating there was not enough space and it refused to install. Another call to Garmin and a software expert used "remote assist" (after my giving him permission to take control of my computer from his location) and made live changes to my GPS. After that the map update was successful. In both cases the Garmin personnel were most courteous, very competent, and easy to understand.

    I also found the Garmin MapSource program very helpful. It can be downloaded at no charge if you already have another Garmin program, and if you don't, you can first download and install the free Garmin Training Center program and then download and install MapSource at no cost. Working in MapSource to create, to view and to edit waypoints and tracks and other features and then using MapSource to transfer the data to the GPS is far easier than trying to do this directly on the GPS.

    Apart from mapping, the "Points of Interest" feature can lead you to unexpected places. After using the GPS "Where To", then "Points of Interest" in the Germantown, Maryland area I selected "Food" to look for lunch. The first two addresses ended up being residential addresses in townhouse developments. Out of curiosity I learned that one house was unoccupied according to a neighbor and at the other house no one answered the door. On my 3rd try I selected the chain "Subway" and that address was right on. Clearly the Points of Interest contains some unreliable information. However, this would likely be true for all Garmin GPS models.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Better than a Nuvi 760, February 3, 2009
    Before I decided to buy this Nuvi 265wt model, I had bought the Nuvi 760 model on Black Friday. The 760 model was okay at best. I had it for about three weeks until I realized that the upper right hand corner would not respond until after pressing that corner at least five times. So I decided to return the Garmin and I was thinking about getting a tomtom or magellan. But then I saw the 265wt on sale for $200 and I decided, since I bought the 760 for $250, maybe I could save money and just give Garmin one last try...As soon as I opened the 265wt, I fell in love with it!

    The 265wt FAR OUTWEIGHS the Nuvi 760 by a mile! The screen refresh rate on the 265wt is much better, the satellite locks on faster, the colors are brighter in my opinion (and yes, they were at the same brightness level!), and the free traffic is so much better on the 265wt. With the 760, I had free MSN Traffic for three months and comparing that with the 265wt traffic, they are exactly the same. Except with the 760, you have to pay a yearly subscription. Furthermore, with the 265wt, you can custom load POI's (Points of Interest) and so I have loaded mine with all the locations of In-N-Out Burger and Rudy's BBQ in America, which is awesome. They also have Custom POI's which show you where speed camera's and red light camera's are, if that's your kind of thing. But I'm a law abiding Texan, so I never mess with Texas and that kind of illegal stuff...

    The only thing that the 760 had that the 265wt doesn't have is mp3/audiobook and the FM Transmitter with audio jack.
    About the FM Transmitter - it was a cool feature but it wasn't practical because in Dallas, where I live, there are thousands of radio stations. There are hardly any open radio stations. You think there's an open one, but then all of a sudden, you hear the voice of a person speaking a different language (must have been Chinese Talk Radio) or you hear a Mariachi Band playing. Then you go one decimal point higher, and there's the Hip-Hop Station. With so much static in Dallas, the MP3/Audiobook Player really becomes useless...

    The only time I was able to use the transmitter without static was when I took a trip up to Oklahoma. In Oklahoma, there isn't much radio stations as there are only cows and fields in Oklahoma. I finally was able to put the 760 to the true test of using the MP3 player. However, what I found really dissappointing was that as I was listening to Richard P. Feynman's Audiobook, "The Elementary Particles and the Laws of Physics: The 1986 Dirac Memorial Lectures", I fell asleep on I35 and almost got into a car crash near Oklahoma City. It was then I realized that the Nuvi 760's MP3/Audiobook player was more of a driving hazzard than a helpful tool to get me safely to Norman, OK where I needed to go.

    Therefore, HANDS DOWN the 265wt is not only a better GPS than the Nuvi 760, but it's also a FAR SAFER GPS!!! If you want MP3's or Music without static, get an Ipod and connect it to your car. It's far better...

    3-0 out of 5 stars Nice GPS but don't buy refurbished! Hours were spent trying to get the FREE map update!!, July 31, 2009
    This GPS is rated very highly, and that is why I bought it. I have gotten refurbished phones before, so I didn't think it was a big deal to buy a refurbished gps. Also, I now remember reading that someone had trouble getting the free map update. BEWARE!!
    I have spent at least 4-5 hours total trying to get this update. Long story short, after being on hold several times, faxing an invoice showing proof of purchase, waiting for them to update my account, and then downloading the update, clearing tons of space on my computer to transfer the update, I now have the update. I figure it would have been worth the extra $40 to get the new one (I got it for $179). The unit may be fine if you don't care about the free update. That much time and hassle is not "free". Read more


    2. Garmin nvi 205W 4.3-Inch Widescreen Portable GPS Navigator
    Electronics
    list price: $249.99 -- our price: $84.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0015F1L7A
    Manufacturer: Garmin
    Sales Rank: 12
    Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    GARMIN Nuvi 205W 4.3 Inch Auto NavigatorUnit dimensions, WxHxD:4.8 W x 2.9 H x .8 in D /12.2 x 7.4 x 2.0 cmDisplay size, WxH:3.81W x 2.25 in H /9.7 x 5.7 cm; 4.3 in diag /10.9 cm Display resolution, WxH:480 x 272 pixels Display type:WQVGA color TFT with white backlight Weight:5.2 ounces /147.42 g Battery:rechargeable lithium ion Battery life:up to 4 hoursHigh sensitivity receiver:yes RoHS version available:yes Maps and Memory:Basemap:yes Preloaded maps:yes /regional Ability to add maps:yes Built in memory:internal solid state Accepts data cards:SD card /not included Waypoints/favorites/locations:1000 Routes:0 Features:Voice prompts /e.g. Turn right in 500 ft.:yes /internal speaker3D map view:yesAuto re route /fast off route and detour recalculation:yes Choice of route setup /faster time, shorter distance, off road:yes Route avoidance /avoid highways, tolls etc.:yes Custom POIs /ability to add additional points of interest:yesFM traffic compatible:yesMSN Direct for U.S. compatible:yes Where Am I. feature /find closest hospitals, police and gas stations, nearest address and intersection:yesPicture viewer:yes Configurable vehicle icons /select car shaped icons for map navigation:yes World travel clock, currency and measurement converter, calculator:yes Touchscreen:yes Qwerty or ABC keyboard /choose keyboard layout:yes Garmin Lock /anti theft feature:yesAdditional:This USB mass storage device is compatible with Windows 2000 or later and Mac OS X 10.4 or later.Part Number: 010-00718-40 ... Read more

    Reviews

    4-0 out of 5 stars Best I can find, but room for improvement
    I have owned a Garmin c320 for a few years now and was looking for some new features, like coordinates and altitude. I first bought the TomTom 330 XL, which was a disaster. After lots of research, I bought this and kept it. Here is my long list of pros and cons:

    PROS:

    1. Best routes. (See my cons) This may be one of the main reasons Garmin dominates in the US -- good routing. Of course, I wish it had more a brain and could think about traffic lights and general traffic in certain areas at certain times (not actual traffic reporting), but I guess needing brains is good.

    2. Where Am I? (See my cons) This will list your nearest street address. In this screen it also shows altitude and your coordinates.

    3. Easier broad map access. On my c320, you had to dig in the menus to find a broad map view, so you could touch areas on the map and go to it. On the 205w, you can just touch the map while driving and it will take you to the broad map. You can then touch an area that you want to make a Via Point and change your route that way.

    4. Speed Limit sign. You can set it up to show the current speed limit on the screen. It has been super accurate to the instant of a speed limit change in real driving. If the sign is missing on the screen, you also then know that it doesn't really know how to calculate arrival time from the road. You may want to use that information to take or avoid that road on your next trip.

    5. Very compact. My c320 was much bigger, so this is super small.

    CONS:

    1. Touchscreen. This may change as I use it, but the touchscreen is no where near as sensitive as my c320. It requires some hard touching. It also shows fingerprints much worse than my old GPS unit.

    2. Ball mount. This gives a better range of motion than the mount on my c320, but it feels like I need to push really hard on my GPS unit to get it to snap in. This may change in age, too.

    3. Keyboard speed. When I'm typing in a city, street, etc., the keyboard is a full QWERY keyboard, which is an improvement over my c320 (I think you can choose ABC keyboard), but there are two things I don't like: 1) there is a delay from when you type to when it shows, so if you type fast, you can't see what you're typing, if you make a mistake, you don't see if very fast; 2)the spacebar is tiny and way off to the right, while dumb menus are in the bottom middle -- very annoying!!

    4. Charging cord. On my c320, the charging cord would plug into the mount and there wasn't a charge jack in the GPS unit itself. This was nice because you could leave the power cord in the mount all the time and take the GPS with you - you never had to plug in, just clip the GPS in and out. Now, the power cord won't stay put and it falls out the door, etc. because it must be plugged into the back of the GPS. I suppose with the mount the way it is, it's not possible to have a jack in the mount and GPS, but I think they should work on that.

    5. Current road. The TomTom XL 330 did show what road you are currently on and what the next road to turn onto was. Garmin only shows the next road name.

    6. Routing pet peeve. Sometimes I won't want to take its routing because I know of a better way. Let's say I turn off of the normal route -- it will recalculate and have a shorter time than before I turned. What's up with that? Why didn't it take me that way to begin with?

    6. Routing choices. I don't like the fact that I can choose either Fastest Time or Shortest Route. I would imagine that some of the time, the best route would be in between those to extremes.

    7. Missing POIs. There are just so many cases where I'll be looking for something and it's not in the Garmin -- even for stores and restaurants open for years. I know you'll have this will all GPS units, but for the #1 seller in the US, can't they figure out a way to get the users involved? How about incentives for users to fix problems online and give them discounts on map updates? If you have the best maps and POIs by far, why would anyone buy any other company?

    8. Tinny speaker. I'm not impressed with the speaker, it is much worse sounding than the deep c320, but you can hear it. It's just not pleasant.

    9. Voice choices. It would be nice to choose your voice, but I don't see that option, unless you choose another language.

    10. Nearest intersection. This is within the "Where Am I" place in the menu. It could be very useful in an emergency to have the nearest intersection in addition to the nearest address. However, I've found that they should have labeled it, "random intersection within a few miles." It will generally show me a major intersection, and sometimes ignore dozens of closer small intersections that would be much more beneficial to the police, fire, ambulance, etc.

    11. Volume. I hate how they have the volume setup. On the c320 there was a wheel on the side of the unit -- that's best. On the TomTom, there was a place on the main driving screen that you touched and then moved the volume slider. On this 205W, you must hit Menu, Volume, move it, then back, then View Map. This is just awful. I want a Mute button on the driving screen and a separate volume button there, too. This is widescreen after all. I hope this doesn't cause accidents, because I think it will. When I answer my phone, I want fast access to mute!

    12. Need customization! Let me choose 3 shortcut buttons for the driving map view. That way I can put Where Am I, Volume, and POI on the main screen. Please!! I also want to change my route color to red instead of light purple.

    13. POI choices. This is something I've never found a GPS that does this how I want it. If I'm looking for gas or food, it is usually on a long trip. If I want to go to fast food, let's say (that wouldn't happen!), I would choose Restaurant, Fast Food. It will show me all the restaurants by how far they are from me now. That's not what I want, so I choose Near...My Current Route. That's closer to what I want, but it still shows how far it is from where I am now. I want it to show me that, but also how far I'd have to deviate from my route.

    [UPDATE 6/5/09] 14. Battery life. The battery life is just awful in my unit. It might last a few hours, and if it is sitting idle for a couple weeks, it's almost dead. My c320's battery was far superior. It has been this way since it was new. I suppose mine could be defective..

    Overall, this is an excellent unit and I would buy it again because I believe the Pros outweigh the Cons and no competitor has yet beat it.

    [UPDATE 3/18/10] I'm still using this and it's working well, except for the battery life. I did find that you can add the EcoRoute features if you upgrade your firmware from Garmin's website. Sorry, I can't post instructions, but the feature is very cool. You add your car's miles per gallon and the current gas price and it tells you how much it will cost to get to your destination, along with other features.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Very good 'cheap' GPS if looking for basic navigation
    I have had this unit for about 8 months. It has given me no problems what so ever. The bad thing about it for me is how basic it is. If you want bluetooth compatibility, traffic updates, movie times, etc on your GPS, then this is not the device for you. But if all you want is to get around and find places, then this unit will work well.

    The price seems a little high right now for what it does ($180). For that price I would expect bluetooth compatibility. This unit does not say the road names, it just says turn left or turn right in 200 feet(not a big deal). When you look places up, it has their phone number and address (usually) which is nice because if its late at night, you can call first to see if they are still open.

    This GPS has an SD card reader on the side, which can be used to view pictures in slideshow mode when you don't need the unit for navigation.

    The screen is very bright during the day, so you can easily see the screen. And a nice feature is that when it gets dark, the screen automatically changes colors to 'night' mode, which helps when driving at night (the screen dims and the bright white background colors change to dark blues and blacks).

    The trip features are nice. It keeps track of your average speed, how long you spent moving, how long you spent stopped, total travel time, how many miles you've gone, etc.

    It takes about a minute to a minute and a half to find your location from a cold start, but if you leave it powered all the time (with a car in which the cig lighter stays on when you turn the car off) it never loses the location (not sure if that is bad for it).

    The battery life is very good (about 4-5 hours).

    There are many add-ons that a technologically advanced person can add to it. Such as custom points of interest (you can download them or even make your own, and you can set alerts so that it warns you when you are close to a certain place or when you are speeding in a school zone). You can add different vehicle icons to use as the car on the screen.

    Overall, it is a decent, but very basic navigation device. Not many bells or whistles, but it gets you from point A to point B well.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Back to Great Navigation ... at its BEST
    I agree with others that mp3, bluetooth, fm, announcing street "names," etc., is overboard and is NOT what makes a good GPS. Certainly Garmin has to make those for persons who want them; but for really just GOOD AND FAST navigation, the new series (205W etc) is all that's necessary and is awesome at that. What is a good GPS ... the Garmin handheld 60CSx ... which I have! So I compared the two which isn't really realistic since they both have different purposes, but both do navigation extremely well. Only the 60CSx will maintain its connection in extremely difficult areas (sky scraper buildings, overpasses, canyons, forest canopy, etc); but the 205W is not a slouch here either.

    Satelite information ... Speed: the 205W is every bit as fast as the 60CSx, if not just a tad faster, and that, in itself is amazing. It gathers satellites easily and once obtained, reconnects almost instantaneously after being turned back on. Get off Interstate 35E in Dallas and try to get back on ... it's a nightmare. But for the Nuvie 205W it was easy and very clearly described and stated ... a great GPS.

    I was skeptical at first about the new series until I read what Garmin accomplished here and other comments from reviewers: fast chip, storage for 1000 favorites, trip minder, clear directions and markings with distances given, road mph and your current mph (on screen) and time arrival at the objective (waypoint to go to), beautiful wide screen, easy mount dismount, etc. I could go on and on but ... if it is toys you want (mp3, bluetooth telephone, fm, etc.), don't buy this one. BUT if you want the absolute BEST for the BUCK navigation ... this series has it. The reaction speed of the unit is really impressive.

    My wife loves this unit and how easy it is to do what she wants (that, my friend, is a good sales talk ...).

    Garmin's back to great navigation is ... great and at a great price. Your friends will be impressed.

    Only complaint ... no online operators manual ... yet? But since I already had the 60CSx, it was easy to figure out and Garmin menus are easy and direct you to what you need to know. I have owned and used the 205W Nuvi since July 14, 2008. Very satisfied!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Nice Choice
    I am very impressed with this product and it sure is nice knowing I will never be lost again as I have in the past (just ask my wife).

    If you could afford the extra expense, I would recommend choosing the larger 4.3 display (205W). The 205W's only drawback is the street name is not announced which is something I thought I might regret but it is easily seen at the top of the display.

    A GPS power supply for the car is included. I mention this because it is not clearly stated in the product details.

    This 205W model would be what the majority of customers would need in a GPS without all the useless features that the more expensive models offer.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best value in wide-screen GPS... plain & simple.
    The Garmin nuvi 205W is simply a great GPS and the best value of any widescreen GPS. It has a no extra bells and whistles (no MP3 player -LOL, doesn't speak road names - annoying, no maps of Alaska or Canada - not needed, no FM transmitter to listen to MP3 - useless gimmick, etc.). The 205W is a useful widescreen GPS - plain and simple. It has over 6 million POIs (restaurants, lodging, shopping) and can be customized to add your own POIs. It has a trip computer which I used last week on a road trip to Hershey Park which was pretty neat (tracks time traveled, speed, distance, etc.). This newly released Garmin GPS has the new user interface which shows the road speed limit, your speed, next turn arrow and distance to next turn all on the main screen. The mapping information is the best available on the market and will provide you with clear directions on where you want to go. The Garmin 205 (regular screen) and the 205W (widescreen) are both highly recommended - just a matter of preference in screen size.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Very Good Entry Level GPS Unit
    The Good: Good routes, clear voice, plenty of volume, and accurate maps.

    The Bad: No external volume control, POI database fairly small, no text to speech, and map colors seem a bit kindergartenish.

    Overall: The Garmin Nuvi 205w is a solid entry level unit for basic navigation needs. If you're looking for extras, this isn't the place to find them. Below you will find my detailed, usage based review.

    SETUP: Your overall comfort level with technology and electronics really drives how important this aspect a device is because you should only perform it infrequently if more than once. Fortunately for the Nuvi 205w, there isn't really anything to do. Other than product registration and charging, the unit is ready to use out of the box. While some may change a few of the settings, most will have no problem going with the defaults.

    DISPLAY: This is an area where the published information doesn't tell the correct story. The difference between the W and non-W units is more than just 3.5" (Nuvi 205) vs. 4.3" (Nuvi 205w). The Nuvi 205 is correctly labeled as being QVGA (320x240) resolution. However the Nuvi 205w is incorrectly labeled as WQVGA which would be (480x240). If this were the case, the only difference you would notice is that you have a larger area displayed at the same resolution. In reality, the Nuvi 205w has a resolution of (480x272) which is actually Sixteenth HD1080. So why do you care? Those extra 32 pixels give you a crisper display on the w units.

    SOUND: When choosing which unit to buy, I went to a local retailer to compare units. I ran the same simulations on a Nuvi 205 and a 255w. I already described the difference in display above. When I compared the sound, I was disappointed that the text to speech on the 255w lacked the clarity of the basic instructions on the 205. I decided to opt for clearer, but simpler guidance. I've used both types in other GPS units, and I find that the clarity in verbal prompts is more helpful that spoken street names. On the 205w, the next turn is listed at the top of the unit, and you can watch for it along your route. This is also an area of cost consideration as the difference in base price between the 205w and 255w is $70. I just didn't think it was worth it. The one feature I would like to have seen is an external volume control on the unit. If you decide to adjust the volume, you have to press the menu button and choose the volume icon on the main screen. However once you have a good volume, you probably won't be making many adjustments since this unit has neither an MP3 player nor Bluetooth capabilities.

    NAVIGATION: The sound and display don't mean a lot if the unit doesn't get the directions correct. I tested my 205w in areas that I drive frequently to see how it would do in generating routes. Of the five different trips I tested, each was at least 10 miles. The routes the 205w generated were essentially the ones that I would choose, and I had direction prompts before I could place the unit in the windshield mount. I intentionally missed a few turns or turned early to force a route recalculation. I found that the process was quick, and it was able to get me back on route quickly. The only area where the unit did not excel was differentiating between a highway and the access road. I have had more sensitive units that would enter route recalculation before I made it to the stoplight at the end of the exit ramp. The 205w did not notice that I was off route until I turned on the street at the end of the ramp. This is a fairly contrived test so you can decide if you think it is important for your usage.

    USABILITY: This is an area where the Nuvi 205w gets high marks. The user interface is very easy to work with. One other reason to splurge for the w model is to have the QWERTY keyboard layout. For some reason, the non-w units only have alphabetical order layouts which I find very unintuitive. Menu navigation and data entry are a snap. The only thing I would change is the color coding on the maps. It seems that they tried to use all the colors from a box of crayons with all of the street color coding. This gives the maps the appearance of something out of a kindergarten coloring book. I have to admit that this is pretty minor, but I would have liked something a little more grown up such as the Navigon color schemes.

    EXTRAS: There's not a lot to comment on here. The 205w has a photo viewer, and you can navigate to a picture that is tagged with coordinates. Frankly, I would have rather seen this feature left off and saved a few more dollars on the base cost. The maps only take up about half of the internal memory so the need for an SD card reader would not exist without the photo features.

    It is pure novelty, but I did like the ability to add additional vehicles and voices from the Garmin web site. I added a few vehicles and the Halloween voice. I found the voice amusing, but it annoyed my wife. If you connect the 205w to your PC, the web site can install them directly to the unit.

    The 205w does not ship with a USB cable, but most people already have more of these than they know what to do with. If you have a digital camera or non-iPod MP3 player, you probably already have what you need. The car charging cable that ships with the unit is very stiff, and I found that I had to maneuver it more than I would have liked in order to run it from the unit to the power jack without creating an obstruction to my instrument and windshield view.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Good value, great product!
    I bought the Garmin nuvi 205w after experience and return of two Magellan products for about two weeks, the two Magellans, Maestro 3225 and Roadmate 1412 were buggy and felt cheap compare to Garmin.
    The Garmin nuvi 205w is just great, responsive, clear maps, extremely quick satellite reception from a cold start, you don't even have to be outside, just standing next to a window will do the trick. Built quality is superb, it feels like a little brick, the PC software to load IPO's is great; you can also look for an address on Google maps and click "send" to load the location to the Garmin.
    Accuracy in busy NYC streets is amazing, it will recalculate after half a block when you miss a turn, also, on the Henry Hudson Pkwy it will detect if I'm on the main road or the service road, and they are really close to each other.
    So far I'm very satisfy, easy to use, responsive and does not have anything that I don't need !


    1-0 out of 5 stars Won't display approaching streets.
    I upgraded from my old 200W to the 205W when it was stolen. The 205W locks on to satellites much faster, otherwise, it is more or less the same, which is good, except for one MAJOR unacceptable change. Unlike the old 200W, it will not display the approaching street name on the top information bar. It does it on freeways, but for some inexplicable reason, won't do it on streets. Countless times I have driven past the street I wanted to turn on, forcing a u-turn. What good is a GPS if it does not tell you this? On dark canyon roads, I have missed the street by miles because I did not know that I passed the street. This makes this GPS worthless, I loved the 200W, but I hate the 205W. What was Garmin thinking by deleting this valuable feature? I will never buy Garmin again and neither should you.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A good non-geek GPS unit
    I have an older Garmin V that I have used for about 7 years. The old Garmin is great for driving around provided you plan ahead and update the maps to show where you're traveling. If you forget, you miss critical detail and you'd better have good local maps. I still have that unit and use it mostly in the woods due to its limited memory.

    So on a recent trip to Sacramento, I decided to upgrade to a newer unit that had more memory. The 205W worked so well out of the box I was a little disappointed. The tech on these is so simple now it's almost 'boring' to use. It navigated rapidly and accurately and provided clear directions within minutes. Most amazing to me was how well it picked up satellites compared to the Garmin V. Extremely fast and even worked resting in the space between the seats of our rental car. Pretty cool.

    I'm not sure you can go wrong with the 205W. I've been a GPS geek for about 10 years and we use them at work.

    The 205W is intuitive enough for most folks to use right out of the box and the routing is good. By 'good', I mean it's fast and accurate. If you accidentally drive by something it quickly recalculates a route for you.

    The screen is nice and bright too, even in daylight. It is wise to bring along the supplied 12 volt cigarette lighter plug as it seems to last for very short times on battery alone and there is no way to replace the battery or bring along a spare. Fortunately, you can charge it off a mini-usb port from your computer too so it's not a big issue but if you're the forgetful sort, perhaps a replaceable battery model is better for you.

    This is not a unit you'd really use in the back-country. It's designed for highway use and works great for that. There are other more costly units that more effectively marry the needs of sportsman and the occasional traveler.

    It does nicely link up with Google Earth via your computer (you'll need to latest free version of Google Earth). It does not appear to provide a real-time GPS position signal to your computer (my 7 year old Garmin V does though) so if you're looking for that capability this doesn't appear to be a solution for that specific problem. However, if you are traveling and wish to save the addresses / places that you visited it easily imports that information and it's pretty cool to see those points overlaid on Google Earth.

    You can add an SD card and put photos and stuff on it like you might on a USB memory stick but I don't think many people use that sort of capability.

    You can easily download different icons to show your position. I downloaded the tank. The tank rules. It's a gimmick but it shows the folks at Garmin have a sense of humor.

    You can view your route in the traditional overhead routing or 3D; both work really well.

    The provided suction cup mount works very well. It uses a ball mount that allows for infinite positioning. If you want a really rugged mount I'd strongly recommend the Ram-Mount systems available online. I bought one for my ATV and it's amazingly stout and simple. I digress.

    If your primary need for a GPS is a very simple, plain and effective unit for over the road travel, this will exceed your needs and your expectations in an easy to use package.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Nice to have a navigator
    I was sold on this product when we used it cross-country to find lodging for the night. Couldn't remember the name of the motel chain a friend recommended, but scrolling through the listings for our night's destination city, I recognized the name, drilled down to the details (which include phone numbers), called the motel's number on my cell phone and got a reservation. The Garmin then led us directly to the motel (which would not have been easy to find otherwise). I have been less impressed with the navigator's performance near my own home, as over time I have developed favorite paths to frequent destinations, and the Garmin rarely chooses those. I turn it off rather than listen to the constant "recalculating route." It has made me more adventuresome, however, as I know I can go to places I've never been before without getting hopelessly lost in the process. I am unfamiliar with other GPS units so I am unaware how this compares with others out there. We were given it as a gift by my daughter and son-in-law who had used a similar one in a rental car while on vacation. It suits my needs and it is very simple to use. Read more


    3. Garmin nvi 1490LMT 5-Inch Bluetooth Portable GPS Navigator with Lifetime Map Updates and Traffic
    Electronics
    list price: $349.99 -- our price: $199.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B003ZX8B3W
    Manufacturer: Garmin
    Sales Rank: 36
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    nvi 1490LMT features FREE lifetime map and traffic updates. ... Read more

    Reviews

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great Screen - Great Fratures - Some Quirks, December 4, 2010
    Having been a Garmin owner for about 5 years I had no doubt what brand I was going to buy, my old Garmin served me well but it was time for a new one and the wide screen was a key feature I wanted in my new one.

    The screen is impressive, while going from 4.3" to 5" does not sound like much it is really amazing how much more map and information that fits well on the screen. The screen itself is anti-glare that works, and very bright if you want it, I have the brightness at 60% and that is fine even in bright sunlight. The images are very crisp and clear, street names and such are auto-sized to not obstruct the map but big enough to read easily. The volume when it is reading out direction is also outstanding, so loud I have it also on 60%. So a solid 5 Stars on the screen and voice volume, as well as the pronunciation of the street names!

    Quirk: When I first got it I was in my office and opened it, plugged it in to just power and fired it up, it kept asking for me to agree to the license terms and no matter how I answered it rebooted itself, did this like 4 times and then was ok. This would happen each time I turned it on. Not a big issue really, as soon as it "sees" the sats it stops doing it and is fine. Little off for the scare factor, it has never done it again.

    The update process is very easy but long, likely very long on a slower PC and/or slow internet connection, the map data is huge. That said it is the nature of the beast and Garmin makes it as painless as possible, the registration and update process was very slick.

    Once all updated and ready to go it is time to go through the options, you don't have to, out of the box it picks everything, but I think most will find it worth it, there are a lot of options on how you want it to find routes, deal with traffic (comes with lifetime traffic info), how you want the maps to look in many aspects, 2D, 3D, Track top to your direction or top to always north, and all kinds of additional information that can optionally be on the map screen. Out of the box Garmin has every bell and whistle turned on which I guess I understand but this is why I say it is worth getting it where you like. From the factory you will only see 4.3" of map on route as it has 4 tabs of optional information along the right side. I wanted 5" of map so I disabled the side tabs in settings, very nice option, you can also pick what tab is showing what information from a good selection of options.

    Quirk: If you are using the traffic information and have the traffic avoidance enabled you can get some really odd routes, since I was just trying mine out around town and to work and back I knew it was telling me wrong turns, a little time in the manual and I found out why, it was automatically altering the route around traffic alerts, while this may sound like a good thing and would be if it told you it was doing that, in my case it was not, no other route is going to help and I did not know what in the heck it was doing :) I found you can have the best of both worlds, keep trafic information turned on but disable traffic in the avoidances setting tab. Then it warns you of traffic on your route, lets you see where, and gives you a detour option at that point you can take or ignore. It would be better during the route calc process if it said it had added detours, and when it does it on the fly it should also, minor quirk once you know. This is a 3 star feature in the auto mode. 5 star would be to tell you and offer y/n detour options for each point.

    Junction View to me was one of the most impressive features, I go through one very complex set of interchanges for 3 freeways with express lanes to bybass interchanges and local lane to pick up any direction to or from any free way, many a folks have left on the wrong path... When I was aproaching it the garmin flipped to junction view and wow, it had a clearly marked path through the maze, and nailed every lane on the money, and the optimum lane for the follwing turn if there was more than one lane leading into it. Very nice! Another 5 star feature, this would have made my first time through that a lost safer than the old garmin with just a yellow line through it.

    The routes it comes up with are 4.5 star, it hits most very very well but will toss a few more odd ones out than my old Garmin did, they all do some, I think this could do better, the good news is these are not horrible routes, just not the better or best always.

    The next 4 star item is the power cord/FM Traffic radio, it is like having jumper cables going up your dash, why it is not in the unit is beyond me, I am stumped so far as to how to route the cables a lot more cleaner than this and have traffic info.

    Another option is to skip the traffic radio and run on battery, with the right settings you can get 3 hours, but with my settings I can get just over 2 hours on battery before the warning. The final power option is just power, that is an optional cord you have to buy that is a lot less bulky than the powered traffic cord. So battery life and traffic radio/power cord is 3 star.

    Bluetooth phone paring was very easy and works great, the noise cancelling is pretty good also on its mic, so your caller can hear you and not road noise. 5 Star

    Another nice feature is the speed limit that shows up in a little speed limit sign icon by your actual speed, if you are going over the limit for the road, the actual speed turns red in the display. (I will not say how I know but it is a relaible source!) 5 Star, speed limit signs on a lot of our local town roads is a problem.

    I was also impressed that I could pick maximum map detail and it keeps up even in the city, during fast turns in very high street density it will occaisionally repaint the screen instead of smooth scrolling with your motion but it does it so fast, unlike my prior Garmin, they it is not distracting or leave you hanging with a partial map. This is 5 star all the way.

    Overall I have to say I am very happy with the Garmin 1490LMT, I could not give it a full 5 for the things it fell just a little short on to me, but if I was to make the decision on a model again with what I know, I would buy it again, I think it would be hard to beat.Garmin n�vi 1490LMT 5-Inch Bluetooth Portable GPS Navigator with Lifetime Map Updates and Traffic



























    5-0 out of 5 stars My Garmin n�vi 1490LMT 5-Inch Bluetooth Portable GPS Navigator, October 14, 2010
    I immediately began using my Garmin n�vi 1490LMT 5-Inch Bluetooth Portable GPS Navigator. I planned several trips, researched numerous items as to locations for my upcoming trip. During the trip I searched for my nearest Starbucks coffee houses, rest areas and restaurants. I found this little device to be invaluable, for my Spouse also (who, not being a computer person... immediately began using it). I am addicted...I love it. Can't wait to start planning the next trip. I did have 2 instances of misdirection to areas that were not as requested...(1)a Starbucks (was not where I was directed...I accredited this one to the fact that Starbucks had closed some of its stores in recent months)(2)a restaurant was not where I was directed. I believe Streets / Lanes / Avenues and Ways played a big part in this misdirection. I love my Garmin n�vi 1490LMT 5-Inch Bluetooth Portable GPS Navigator.
    One last item... my vehicle is equipped with OnStar and the first cell phone to be turned on in the vehicle is usually the first to be picked up by the OnStar Bluetooth phone system (it only handles one at a time).... The Garmin n�vi 1490LMT 5-Inch Bluetooth Portable GPS Navigator will pick up a second Bluetooth cell phone and is loud and clear. Thanks Garmin.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Worth It, November 24, 2010
    So you may pay a little more for the life time maps, but it;s worth it! Worked great out of the box. Be prepared, it took 4 hrs to upload the new maps, but hoping next update doesn't take that long. Its easy to work and quick to respond. One of the best buys I've made recently. My sister has the 13?? Garmin with the 4.7 screen. The 5 screen does make a difference and now she wishes she had gotten the one I have. Pay a little more for a bigger screen, you'll be amazed at the difference!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Elegant Display! Stylish finish. Beauty with brains., December 1, 2010
    I bought the GPS a few days back. I received the GPS yesterday.
    Pros: Display, handsfree call quality, satellite reception, fast processor.
    Cons: Needs a MicroSD card a minimum of 4GB

    I updated the first map update in 3 hours. The device comes with a USB cable. The GPS is loud and clear. Tested the Bluetooth feature with my iphone 3G. Connected with ease and I am able to see the phonebook and call history in the GPS. Tested a few calls. Clear on both sides of the call. I am impressed by the speed it calculate routes. I am getting satellite reception even indoors. I will try to update the review after a few trips.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great GPS, December 3, 2010
    The Garmin Nuvi 1490LMT is a great GPS unit. I updated the new maps immediately and found them to be very up to date. I contacted the Garmin Customer Service because the map was a litle slow to update at higher speed. They were very helpful and solved my problem quickly. The Nuvi now operates quickly and flawlessly. The Bluetooth feature is great! It was very easy to set up, the microphone picks up good and the external speaker is very clear. I bought this through Amazon.com and was very pleased with their service. They had the best price, easy to use website, and free fast shipping.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A great GPS, December 3, 2010
    This is a great GPS, large screen, finds satellites quick and if you mess up a turn it re calculates real fast. The junction view is great, shows you exactally which way to go when you have several options and a second to decide.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Nice GPS, December 14, 2010
    I have this GPS for couple of weeks and I like everything about it. I have been a Garmin user for 4 years so did not want to make a switch to other brand. The screen is nice, it gives correct directions (I could validate on the routes I know). I will know more in couple of weeks when I leave for a longer trip.
    I have not used the bluetooth yet, some people complained about ads for real time traffic, I did see ads pop up but they were not annoying in any way. If you don't know this GPS tells the speed limit and the car's speed display changes color from black to red if you drive faster than the speed limit. So, far I have been able to identify couple of stretches where it showed wrong speed limit (off by 5 miles/hour). The real time traffic information is nice, it shows a "red/yellow/green" icon in the left denoting how the traffic is and if it anything other than green it lists the delay you can expect in minutes. I am happy with my pick, got it on black friday and hope you enjoy the review!

    3-0 out of 5 stars Garmin 1490LMT - Okay, NOT great, December 6, 2010
    I have had many Garmin automotive units since the bulky Streetpilot unit in the 90s.

    The main positive feature of this unit is the screen size. It is very large and size DOES matter.

    The "Lane Assist" feature works, but it is the least useful version I have seen on any of the many brands' units that have this feature (under various names).

    The "junction view" feature is really emphasized in all the Garmin promotional propaganda, but it is overrated and under implemented by Garmin. In the Manchester, NH area, there are several major freeway interchanges and NONE have the "Junction View" implemented.

    The Navigon iPhone application does a much better job with "Lane Assist" and I have yet to see Navigon's app not display a "Junction View" at an interchange.

    The lifetime free traffic only works in larger cities (dependent on a relationship with a broadcast FM station to use a portion of their signal). Of course, you are required to accept the spam from Garmin's "free" traffic service with the free traffic.

    Out of the box, when I tried to update the maps before first use, Garmin's map updater informed me that I had insufficient space for all of North America to be loaded! So, I deleted all the non-emglish voices from the 1490LMT, after which I was able to download the entire map.

    My favorite exhibition of Garmin's lack of attention to detail: Dunkin Donuts is listed under the "Deli/Bakery" Point of Interest instead of "Bagel/Donuts."

    If you want a big screen navigation unit, this is currently your best choice (though I suspect Navigon will soon have an app for the iPad).

    Oh well, I am off to the bakery for a cup of great coffee (Dunkin Donuts)!

    5-0 out of 5 stars A great Product!, December 15, 2010
    This is my first GPS, and right out of the box I was impressed on the ease at which I could find restaurants, stores, and just places to go. Very simple to save and just hit go to go there. My 5 year old son was even finding places to set to favorites,. i.e. Toys R Us.. A nice 5 inch screen, very bright at 50 percent. Volume is load and clear even at full volume. I only set it to 40%. I haven't use the bluetooth function yet. Comes with everything you need, mount, car charger. The voice alerts are spaced well and to not get annoying. You will know where your turn is before you see it. I find myself driving through cities that I would of avoided doing so because I didn't want to get lost finding something. Now just type it in and hit go and I am on my way. this is a great product and well worth the price. Map updates take about 45 minutes or so to complete, but were pretty straight forward. The pedestrian option is nice if your on foot and out in a city getting around. Overall, if your looking for a gps and not sure, you will not regret buying this one.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Affordable GPS with a little bit of everything, December 8, 2010
    Let me start by saying that I received this GPS at a price point of $169.99. At the time, I already had the 1350LMT, but I ended up returning it only because I got this GPS at a better price and it was a higher model.

    Let's start with some nifty things about it:

    - The garmin screen automatically detects the time of day and based on that, it switches the screen mode automatically - day screen mode is white, night screen mode is black. I thought that was a nice feature.

    - The 5 in. diagonal screen actually makes a difference compared to the 4.8 diagonal screen (1350LMT)... plus the black outline is much better than the grey outline. Everything obviously seems that much bigger and you can see things better.

    - The lifetime software/map updates is what makes purchasing the LMT GPS line worthwhile. It's nice to have access to these features, but when it comes to downloading and installing it onto your advice, it takes awhile. It doesn't take 10 hours like the previous reviewer, but it does take some time. I would recommend just leaving it on when you go somewhere or overnight.

    - The lane assist feature is twofold - in the upper left hand corner, it highlights which lanes you should be in while you're going towards your destination and right before you swap lanes, the GPS slides in a picture of which lane to go in exactly. It's nice, but sometimes the picture slides in too late or not enough time to prepare you to switch lanes... just an FYI. It's a nice feature though.

    The disappointments about this GPS that I personally experienced is...

    - Sometimes the GPS makes you go the roundabout way to a place little bit. I tested the strength of the GPS' credibility in areas I know like the back of my hand. My way was always quicker and realized that unless I don't know the area, that's the only time I really depend on the GPS. I don't doubt the GPS will get me where I need to go, but I do question whether that was the fastest way to get there.

    - The multiple destination sorting feature - I did see a previous review that spoke so highly of this feature. Perhaps that hyped it up for me, but I personally didn't care for it. It was a little confusing to see how it all worked at first - btw you have to input all your destinations as via points and then go to the Route feature option and ask the GPS to optimally reorder the points to your preference or you can do it manually. The first time I used it, the GPS was crazy and had me to do all these U-turns and didn't really lead me to the destinations, but since they were all close to each other, I just ended up driving to the points on screen instead of listening to what the GPS was telling me to do.

    - Bluetooth - I've read a lot of GPS reviews on this feature on GPS and let's face it... the bluetooth will never be that good on a portable GPS system. The only time a bluetooth will be quality performance when it's integrated with a GPS system is when it comes with the car in the dash. The bluetooth feature is usable, but I still stick with my bluetooth earphone. People sometimes had a hard time hearing me when I spoke through the bluetooth of the GPS, but it's a good back up bluetooth to have.

    - Lifetime traffic - before I bought this GPS, I saw all the terrible reviews about this feature and I'd have to say I agree. The lifetime traffic feature doesn't accurately indicate how heavy the traffic really is until you get there. But hey, it's a free feature. At least it tells you there IS traffic...

    All in all, the purchase satisfies me because I believe in the Garmin brand, but I wouldn't endorse paying the regular price for it. I wouldn't pay close to $300 for it. The 1350 LMT is just as good, if not better. Read more


    4. Garmin nvi 1350/1350T 4.3-Inch Widescreen Portable GPS Navigator with Traffic
    Electronics
    list price: $399.99 -- our price: $129.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B001UO0RKS
    Manufacturer: Garmin
    Sales Rank: 30
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Amazon.com Product DescriptionThe widescreen nvi 1350T adds free traffic alerts to the nvi 1350. In addition, this ultra-thin GPS has preloaded maps for North America or Europe, announces streets by name, guides you to the proper lane for navigation, offers pedestrian navigation options and calculates a more fuel-efficient route with ecoRoute.

    Ultra-thin, affordable, feature-rich navigation with traffic alerts. Click to enlarge.

    With nvi 1350T's widescreen display, you'll always get the big picture. Click to enlarge.

    Easy-to-use touchscreen interface. Click to enlarge.

    Preloaded with nearly 6 million points of interest. Click to enlarge.

    Includes a wealth of travel tools and more. Click to enlarge.

    Navigate City Transit
    With its enhanced pedestrian navigation capabilities, nvi 1350T is the perfect travel companion for getting around town. Download optional cityXplorer content to help you navigate city public transit. Know where to walk, where to catch the bus, subway, tram or other transportation and how long it will take to get there. cityXplorer maps are available for select cities throughout North America and Europe. And with prices as low as $9.99, you'll have money left over to spend in the big city.

    Take It With You
    Twenty-five percent slimmer than other nvis, you can take the ultra-thin 1350T anywhere. It easily fits in your pocket or purse, and its rechargeable lithium-ion battery makes it convenient for navigation by car or foot.

    Know the Lane Before It's Too Late
    No more guessing which lane you need to be in to make an upcoming turn. Lane assist guides you to the correct lane for an approaching turn or exit, making unfamiliar intersections and exits easy to navigate.

    See More
    With nvi 1350T's widescreen display, you'll always get the big picture. View map detail, driving directions, photos and more in bright, brilliant color. Its sunlight-readable, 4.3-inch display is easy to read--from any direction.

    Get Turn-by-Turn Directions
    nvi 1350T's intuitive interface greets you with two simple questions: "Where To?" and "View Map." Touch the color screen to easily look up addresses and services and get voice-prompted, turn-by-turn directions that speak street names to your destination. It comes preloaded with detailed City Navigator NT street maps, nearly 6 million points of interest (POIs), 2-D or 3-D maps and the speed limit for most major roads. Its digital elevation maps show you shaded contours at higher zoom levels, giving you a big picture of the surrounding terrain. With the 1350T's enhanced user interface, you can slide your finger to conveniently scroll between screens. You can also upload custom points of interest (POIs). And with HotFix satellite prediction, nvi calculates your position faster to get you there quicker.

    Receive Free Traffic Alerts
    Steer clear of traffic with nvi 1350T's integrated FM traffic receiver and free lifetime* traffic updates. Receive alerts about traffic delays and road construction that lie ahead on your route. Next, simply touch nvi's screen to view traffic details or detour around the problem area. Watch informational video

    Go Beyond Navigation
    Navigation is just the beginning. nvi 1350T saves you gas and money with ecoRoute--a green feature that calculates the most fuel-efficient route, tracks fuel usage and more. The 1350T includes many travel tools including JPEG picture viewer, world travel clock with time zones, currency converter, measurement converter, calculator and more. With photo navigation, you can download pictures from Garmin Connect Photos and navigate to them. It's also compatible with MSN Direct (receiver purchase and subscription required). With its "Where Am I?" emergency locator, you always know your location. Simply tap the screen to get your exact latitude and longitude coordinates, the nearest address and intersection, and the closest hospitals, police stations and fuel stations. The 1350T features Garmin Lock, an anti-theft feature, and is compatible with our free Garmin Garage where you can download custom custom voices and vehicles. Enhance your travel experience with optional plug-in microSD cards.

    • Lifetime traffic extends for the useful life of your Garmin traffic receiver (as long as you own a compatible Garmin GPS) or as long as Garmin receives traffic data from its traffic supplier, whichever is shorter. Traffic content not available for all areas. See www.navteq.com/rdstraffic for traffic coverage areas and www.garmin.com/traffic/fm/navteq.html for program License Agreement containing complete terms and conditions.

    What's in the Box
    nvi 1350T, pre-loaded City Navigator NT for North America, lifetime traffic, FM traffic receiver with vehicle power cable, vehicle suction cup mount, dashboard disc, and quick start manual.

    Which nvi is Best for You?

    Note: All nvis come with detailed NAVTEQ maps containing more than 6 million pre-loaded point of interest locations.

    Device
    Screen Size inches (W x H)
    Included Maps
    Text-to-Speech (Directions in Real Street Names)
    Traffic
    Bluetooth
    Media
    FM Transmitter (audio through car stereo system)
    Multi-Point Routing
    Battery life (hours)
    Cont. U.S., Hawaii, and Puerto Rico
    AK and Canada
    Europe
    nvi 205 2.8 x 2.1
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (with optional receiver)
    Photos
    up to 4
    nvi 205w 3.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (with optional receiver)
    Photos
    up to 4
    nvi 255 2.8 x 2.1
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (with optional receiver)
    Photos
    up to 4
    nvi 255w 3.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (with optional receiver)
    Photos
    up to 4
    nvi 260w 3.81 x 2.25
    Photos
    up to 5
    nvi 265T 2.8 x 2.1
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (receiver included; Lifetime Traffic)
    Photos
    up to 4
    nvi 265WT 3.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (receiver included; Lifetime Traffic)
    Photos
    up to 4
    nvi 275T 2.8 x 2.1
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (receiver included; Lifetime Traffic)
    Photos
    up to 4
    nvi 285WT 3.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (receiver included; 9 months free);
    Photos
    up to 4
    nvi 465T 3.81 x 2.25
    FM (receiver included; Lifetime Traffic)
    Photos
    up to 4
    nvi 755T 3.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (receiver included; Lifetime Traffic)
    Photos, MP3s
    up to 4
    nvi 760 3.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (with optional receiver)
    Photos, MP3s
    up to 5
    nvi 765T 3.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (receiver included; Lifetime Traffic)
    Photos, MP3s
    up to 4
    nvi 775T 3.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (receiver included; Lifetime Traffic)
    Photos, MP3s
    up to 4
    nvi 780 3.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (receiver included; 9 months free); FM (with optional receiver)
    Photos, MP3s
    up to 5
    nvi 785T 3.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (receiver included; 9 months free); FM (with optional receiver)
    Photos, MP3s
    up to 4
    nvi 850 3.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (with optional receiver)
    Photos, MP3s
    up to 4
    nvi 855 3.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (with optional receiver)
    Photos, MP3s
    up to 4
    nvi 885T 3.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (receiver included; 9 months free); FM (with optional receiver)
    Photos, MP3s
    up to 4
    nvi 1200 2.8 x 2.1
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (with optional receiver)
    Photos
    up to 4
    nvi 1250 2.8 x 2.1
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (with optional receiver)
    Photos
    up to 4
    nvi 1260T 2.8 x 2.1
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (receiver included; Lifetime Traffic)
    Photos
    up to 4
    nvi 1300 3.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (with optional receiver)
    Photos
    up to 4
    nvi 1350 3.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (with optional receiver)
    Photos
    up to 4
    nvi 1350T 3.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (receiver included; Lifetime Traffic)
    Photos
    up to 4
    nvi 1370T 3.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (receiver included; Lifetime Traffic)
    Photos
    up to 4
    nvi 1390T 3.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (receiver included; Lifetime Traffic)
    Photos
    up to 4
    nvi 1490T 4.4 x 2.5
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (receiver included; Lifetime Traffic)
    Photos
    up to 4
    nvi 1690 3.81 x 2.25
    NAVTEQ Traffic, 2 years free (Garmin nLink! service)
    Photos
    up to 4

    1 ...
    Read more

    Reviews

    4-0 out of 5 stars Very good but . . . .
    I have this unit for 10 days now and overall I am very happy with it. For its mainstream feature, navigation, it is excellent. I had a Garmin 350 before this which I loved but it was stolen from my car. I had a Magellan after that which was crap. The price on this unit was great ($247 - Amazon).

    I chose it over the 1390T because I opted to not get bluetooth. It is the only difference between the units. I felt the bluetooth quality would be poor based on other reviews of bluetooth in general on GPS units. The main reason was in the way most people use bluetooth. In a typical day I am in and out of my car often. I always need my bluetooth immediately in case I get a call. I don't always need my GPS. And since my previous unit was stolen, and theft of these units is a big problem everywhere, I keep the unit hidden or sometimes remove it from the car. So if you are like me but you get this unit for bluetooth, you will need to stop and mount your gps everytime you get in the car whether you need it or not, just to have blue tooth capability. If you forget and the cell phone rings, you have no bluetooth. So I purchased a separate bluetooth speaker phone from Jabra (very good unit# which is always attached to my visor, pretty good quality, and always there when I need it. I saved about $75 by opting for the 1350T over the 1390T.

    A few minor disappointments. The Lane Assist feature works great but is not available everywhere. I used it around NYC and it was helpful. I drove through Pennsylvania and upstate NY and it was not available. Marketing material hypes this feature but they neglect to tell you this one point. But when it is available, it is a great feature. That brings me to traffic. Same story here. I was driving through PA and hit a 1 hour traffic jam. No warnings from the traffic feature because it was not available in that area. When I got to the Scranton, PA area the traffic alerts started working. It alerted me of a major traffic jam ahead and it even rerouted my trip automatically. The reroute would have been a significant addition in miles but would be worth it to avoid the traffic, right? I decided to ignore the re-route just to test the unit to see if the alert was accurate and I was willing to endure the traffic. As I drove my original route, no traffic anywhere. So had I listened to the traffic alert, I would have driven 50 miles out of my way for nothing. Bottom line is, don't let the traffic feature be a deal breaker for the unit you choose. But then again, I got the 1350T for about the same price as the 1350 #same unit without traffic). Updating the map was more difficult than it should have been. I consider myself a very technical person with computers and gadgets but the map update did not go smoothly and took me several tries. I could see where many people will have difficulty with this if they attempt to update the map.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Had to contact Garmin Tech Support to Calibrate 1350T
    Let me be perfectly clear...I really like my new Garmin 1350T GPS.

    The only difficulty I had after taking it out of the box and charging it for the first time was a problem in having the GPS "easily "recognize" exactly what available screen (option/letter/number, etc.) that I was "pointing" to on the touchscreen. I thought I had a defective unit so I contacted Garmin's free Tech Support. The technician took me through an easy, yet undocumented (to me at least) calibration procedure that only took a minute or so. Since then the unit has performed as advertised.

    Also...You NEED to have a cable with a standard USB connection on one end & a Mini-USB connection on the other end. Garmin DOES NOT automatically include this cable in the box along with the 1350T. Without this cable, you can't connect this GPS to your computer in order to register it online or receive your free updated (if available) mapping or operational software.

    Be advised also that not ALL USB/Mini-USB cables are alike. These cables may all LOOK the same but there really are TWO different types. One will only let electric current through in order to charge your internal GPS battery, while the other will not only charge the battery, BUT WILL ALSO carry data back and forth between your computer and the 1350T. Be sure to obtain the kind of cable that can perform BOTH functions.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good but some problems!
    After using my friend's Nuvi in Scotland last year I said I have to have one of these! It worked great and saved us many lost hours while effortlessly assisting us through hundreds of poorly signed round-abouts. He had a basic but very reliable Nuvi without many features other than direction finding, which is the main idea. I wanted a reliable Nuvi but with a few of the more interesting features. After reading reviews I eliminated the 700 & 800 series because of all the reported freezes. I eliminated any with bluetooth functions for the same reason. After a lot of reviewing I went with the 1350T. I wanted lane assist and I wanted cityXplorer mapping because we go overseas a lot and I wanted to have enhanced pedestrian capabilities. I live in a rural town so free traffic alerts wasn't too important but I do spend time in Phoenix, San Diego and LA occasionally so it was a plus.

    I ordered the unit just prior to a trip from Phoenix to Sacramento. I'm a manual reader so I printed a copy of the instructions from the Garmin web site and read them thoroughly before messing with the unit (the quick start instructions included with the unit are worthless). Before doing anything else I bought a USB cable so that I could connect to my computer. Everyone should have the cable and it's ridiculous that Garmin doesn't provide the cable with the unit because you need it to register and get current software. Once I had the cable I connected to Garmin's web site and registered the unit and updated the maps and firmware. It's a little tricky but not too difficult...and I'm not very technical. I also purchased and downloaded radar detection software because Phoenix, Tucson and much of Arizona is loaded with scum-sucking radar detectors. I also did the screen calibration on page 47 of the manual because several reviews indicated that it made the touch screen interface much more reliable. I wanted to take some out-of-the-way highways on my trip so I programmed in some "via points" to use along the way. These are points that allow you to divert to another location or highway while keeping the same ultimate destination programmed. The night before the trip I was playing with the unit checking out the "browse map" function. It seemed to be a worthless function and it wasn't responsive with the screen being too small to be useful anyway. Just as I was about to get out of the browse mode the screen went dark. The unit was fully charged but I could not turn it back on again. I tried with the car plug adaptor, the USB cable, the on/off button...everything. The next morning before my trip it still wouldn't start. I sent the unit back and requested a replacement. After getting the replacement I went through the same processes again as outlined above except that I won't use the "browse map" function again. I took the unit on a trip from No. Arizona to Orange County then San Diego and back again. For the most part the unit worked very well. It did freeze once and the screen went dark again when I was programming in a location. I waited about 10 minutes and to my great relief it did restart but I was about to toss it out the window if it didn't restart. One time in a very complicated freeway interchange in San Diego it lost position and started "recalculating". If I had not known where I was going I could have easily taken the wrong offramp.

    While traveling through Riverside, CA the Garmin indicated that there was some traffic ahead. I touched the screen to see the traffic map and the screen indicated the length and time of the potential delay. It was a short delay so I continued on and it turned out to be very accurate. I was impressed but another time in San Diego it indicated a short delay and there was no delay at all. So, just be aware that it's only as good as the information it receives from the reporting station.

    For fun I also wanted to load some thumbnail pictures for my home and family destination "favorites". I could find no directions on how to do this, even in the full manual printout so I called Garmin. It's easy to do. Just connect your Nuvi to your computer, double click the Garmin icon and open the Garmin folder. There is a jpeg folder in the Garmin folder. Drag your jpeg photo and drop into the jpeg folder. Then eject and disconnect your Garmin. To add the picture to a "favorite" select "favorite"; "press for more"; press "edit"; "change photo"; select a photo and you're done.

    I noticed that when going to a location and returning the directions to and from are not always the same. It sometimes sends you slightly out of the way either coming or going. I think that's because it seems to have a penchant for giving you right turns instead of left turns when starting out from a location. For instance, when departing from a shopping center it might have you make a right turn leaving the center, rather than making a left turn, even if it's slightly out of the way. It's not a big deal but I find that curious.

    I know a lot of people don't want to read the long manual but in my opinion it will save you a lot of early aggravation and will help you use all of the nice features this unit has. I have also found that if you take your time and don't start pushing functions before the unit has made a calculation or transitioned to another screen the unit is more reliable.

    Pros:
    1. Volume works great. I'm hard of hearing and 70% is plenty loud.
    2. Satellite response time is quick and recalculating time is generally very responsive
    3. Lane assist is a great feature especially on major thoroughfares and freeways.
    4. Speaks street names clearly and is surprisingly close on correct pronunciation. (Spanish street names can be fun though). Male & Female voice available.
    5. Shows posted speed limit and actual driving speed which is a great feature.
    6. Turn list viewing is a nice feature especially in unfamiliar areas with a lot of turns ahead.
    7. I like the time or distance to destination feature. The time estimates to a destination have been quite accurate. It's a nice feature especially on long legs.

    Cons:
    1. No USB cable included
    2. No manual (you must print from web site and it's over 60 pages).
    3. May lose power and not restart for some time (or not at all as with my 1st unit). This is the reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5.
    4. Even though I made the screen calibration, when typing in addresses some of letters don't response as easily as they should.
    5. Browse Map feature glitchy and worthless.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This one keeps up with you in the city!
    The 1350T is the second Garmin GPS unit I've used, and it's far superior. It keeps up with me in the city and very quickly recalculates the route if I make a wrong turn. The lane assist feature is also very useful and gives me quick, visual confirmation when I approach multi-lane intersections. I bought the 1350T for this lane assist feature, and I'm glad I did.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Worth every dollar
    This product was well worth the release date that I waited for. The traffic delay feature helps me avoid road delays. It works great. Just be careful when you up date the maps on line from Garmins web site. I thought the up date would help, you'd think! Instead it messed the unit up. So bad that after two days of hours on the phone with their tech dept. That I sent the unit back to Garmin. They are going to replace it with a brand new one. The people at Garmin are really nice and very helpful. Its just waiting on the phone so long for your turn.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Free Traffic for Life is Not So Free.
    This GPS works great, and I agree with many of reviews posted so far. Just know that 'free lifetime traffic alerts' means that you will get pop-up ads on your map display when you are at a stand still. Though there are no pop-ups while you are motion, this is a rather annoying feature. I would have purchased another unit if I would have known this fact.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Garmin 1350T
    I did a lot of evaluating before I chose this GPS device. I determined what was important to me after actually using another Garmin, Magellan, and Tom Tom GPS. The 1350T is everything that it is advertised. Yes, there is advertising but is very insignificant when not moving in the Traffic mode. The Advanced Lane function and Text to Speech functions worked great. I used it in Honolulu last week and was curious how the text to speech would work with the Hawaiian pronounciations. It did pretty good. Another nice feature that I have used is the Pedestrian mode function. It works great! The battery charge is what is advertised, about 4 hours. So, if you need help with directions while walking in the city, this does a good job. Good GPS!!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Didn't think I needed this
    I received this as a gift. I thought I'd use it every once in a while, so I kept it. Boy was I wrong!! I use it all of the time! Even if I know how to get someplace, I have used it to find stores, gas stations or restaurants nearby. I love the lane assist feature, as it lets me know in advance if I need to be ready to make a left turn or a right turn. The traffic update has been great too. I sometimes use the Nuvi just to determine length of time it will take to travel between two points - or how much longer till I get home.

    Only con was that it had trouble picking up satelite reception while driving among the tall buildings of Manhattan.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Nuvi 1350T
    I really like this unit as it has been greatly refined from the last Garmin I bought 4 years ago. The maps and display show great detail. the touch screen works very well. The only down side is the unit only comes with a car charger and MUST be used with the car charger to receive the Clear Channel traffic reports. Would be very nice if the FM antenna was built into the unit. I think for what you pay Garmin, they should include a $3 A/C power brick.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Poor logic
    It generally works, but overheats and shuts down for 5-6 hours and makes some really bad navigation decisions. It has traffic info so it wants to take alternate routes, but has no knowledge of real travel times on those roads, so usually it's worse than sticking to the bad traffic route. It makes some of the same types of questionable decisions on regular routing where it cobs together a bunch of small streets into some theoretical opitimized solution, when you know the freeway is going to be faster. If you leave it on the dashboard during the summer, even for a short period of time, it can overheat and shutoff completely, so that you think sending it back to the factory is the only option left.Six hours later, it finally came back to life. Read more


    5. TomTom XXL 540M 5-Inch Widescreen Portable GPS Navigator (Lifetime Maps Edition)
    Electronics
    list price: $229.00 -- our price: $129.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B003B3P2CO
    Manufacturer: TomTom
    Sales Rank: 228
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    TomTom XXL 540M 5.0 GPS with Lifetime Map Updates, USA, Canada & Mexico Maps, Over 7 Million POIs, Text to Speech ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent!, April 29, 2010
    Although I just got this unit, I am very impressed! It's very quick starting up, very quick in determining my location and seems to be very accurate in terms of exits, roads, etc. My only disappointment is that the "lifetime" map feature is based on the "useful lifetime" of the device and TomTom reserves the right to determine what the useful life is and can withdraw support for it whenever they choose to. That significantly reduces the value of the "lifetime" map offer, but for an extra $30, it's probably still worth it, assuming they don't stop supporting it within a year!

    1-0 out of 5 stars Unable to use maps, September 27, 2010
    I really loved this GPS until it was time to update the maps. When I did, the GPS stated it was "unable to use" the new map and since I didn't backup my maps, there was no way to go back to the old one. Looking through the GPS forums, I discovered this is a problem with Tom Tom GPS devices ranging over the last couple of years. If you decide to purchase the xxl 540, be sure to backup your maps right out of the box. There is a rather convoluted fix for this I found on the web that involves deleting the maps from both your GPS device and computer and then reinstalling from scratch.It did work for me, but before you try it, I would backup your maps to a second computer.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Easy to use, slow to update, August 6, 2010
    Easy to use GPS, clear and concise directions provided, easy to see screen. This is my first GPS and I have found it very easy to get set up and learn. However, TomTom Home is extremely slow to update, both when downloading a map update from the web and updating the GPS memory. Total process took over 3 hours! Downgrading to the prior version (2.6) of TomTom Home did not help, so I went back to the latest version (2.7x). So far this is my only disappointment.

    It is very accurate and timely showing streets and announcing upcoming turns, even is rural areas. Screen is easy to see, even in bright sun on the dash. Window suction cup works well for mounting unit. So far, I love it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars WOW! Better than I expected., September 13, 2010
    I'll say this right out of the gate. I'm a loyal Garmin guy. I have a Garmin Nuvi 255W and my wife has a Nuvi 200. We have had them for a very long time and they work flawlessly. So why did I buy a TomTom? Well I was going to upgrade the maps on my 255W when I noticed a lightning deal on the TomTom 540m. For 20 dollars more I could take a chance on a brand new unit with a 5 inch screen. Hmmmm, what should I do? I read further and found out the TomTom had free map updates for life! Wow! I was planning a trip to Canada with my wife and needed the best possible maps. I finally decided to take a leap of faith and ordered the TomTom. I downloaded the TomTom software onto my Mac and it worked great! I setup my account and downloaded the current maps. That takes a while because the maps are almost 2GB. You can also download a lot of additional free stuff like speed traps and safety cameras. Once I had everything up to date I took it on a trial run from home to work. Here's what I found.

    Once I got to work I tried to save my current location and it took me a while to figure it out. There is no documentation to really go over this unless you download it and read it. After a lot of trial and error I figured it out. On my Garmin all you have to do is touch the symbol that represents your vehicle and save location. Advantage = Garmin

    Everything else was pretty much the same but different. To reach the menu of options you just touch anywhere on the screen. The icons are pretty easy to identify but took some getting used to. On my garmin there is a little speed limit sign in the lower left corner. On the TomTom it took me a while to figure out it even had that feature. Lets say I'm doing 50 in a 55. It shows up on the screen as 50/55. Once I realized how it worked I liked it. It also blinks red when you are going too fast. I only know this because there is an area in Detroit where the speed limit is 70mph and the TomTom thinks it's 55.

    Another feature I absolutely love is the lane assist. I know that the newer Garmin's have this feature but my 255W does not. This thing is awesome when you get to a confusing intersection.

    The text to speech is pretty good but only one voice speaks the street names. If you change it you will only get "turn left" or "turn right". If you miss your street or exit it does not scream "Re-calculating!". It just does it. I do wish it were a little easier to alter your route. On my Garmin there is a "detour" button. The TomTom has a find alternate route button in the menu but you have to look for it. A "detour" button would be much easier.

    Things I really like:

    1. Lane assist!!!!!
    2. Super fast processor and locks on to satellites quickly.
    3. Very accurate real time locations.
    4. Speaks street names well.
    5. Very detailed maps of every little thing.
    6. Bright colorful screen. (In night mode it looks like your driving under a star lit horizon.) Very cool!
    7. You can purchase cool voices like Homer Simpson, Darth Vader or create your own.
    8. Lifetime map updates (4 times a year.)
    9. Current road always listed at the bottom. Street you are going to at the top.

    Things I didn't:

    1. Very difficult to save current location.
    2. No detour button.
    3. Need to go through the menu several times to find basic features. (Trial & Error)
    4. If you miss a turn and it needs to recalculate, it goes through so many streets that by the time it figures out the next turn you already drove past it.
    5. No easy way to cancel a route once you start it.
    6. When adding a route on the fly (e.g. exit for gas) it does not ask if you want to add the destination as a via point. It just goes there and you have to re-enter your final destination to get back on your way.
    7. The mount.... It holds to the windshield well but if you go to turn it or move it up and down it will pop off real easy! Once you have it where you want it and snap it on it will stay. Taking the unit off (intentionally or not) is easy. Putting it on is a real pain. Don't try to do it one handed while driving! Trust me!

    Overall this is a solid unit that I hope to enjoy for many years to come. I would recommend it to others. Hopefully this review will help you decide.


    Garmin n�vi 255W 4.3-Inch Widescreen Portable GPS NavigatorTomTom XXL 540M 5-Inch Widescreen Portable GPS Navigator (Lifetime Maps Edition)

    1-0 out of 5 stars Not worth it, September 20, 2010
    I bought this to "upgrade" from my Tomtom One XL. I couldnt find one thing better than my old unit except for the larger screen.

    1. I immediately noticed the flimsy mount and cheesy way it connects to the rear of the unit. When driving, the GPS jitters all over then falls off. There is never a "good" time for something to flop off your windshield while you are driving!)
    2. The "lifetime maps" is great if you can get your code working (took me over an hour and several reboots). Updating maps will take you several hours (google this you will see what I mean)
    3. Operationally speaking, it's about the same as any other Tomtom. It sets up navigation from point A to B. However, finding out where you are is NOT its strong point (kinda defeats the purpose I think). Sitting at a stoplight, my position bounced around showing me on adjacent streets and all over the place. When moving it's not as bad, but when there are lots of streets around it very often showed me on the wrong street. NOT GOOD when trying to navigate on unfamiliar streets (which is why you buy a GPS for in the first place, isnt it?).
    4. This problem may be just my unit, but I noticed that it takes a LONG time to acquire satellites (average of 4-5 minutes), and then loses contact with the satellites periodically for no apparent reason. The GPS was mounted on my window, the weather was clear, so obstruction wasnt the problem.

    My advice: if you already own a Tomtom, this is not a good upgrade. If you dont, check out Garmin's Nuvi instead.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Happy with my new TomTom, July 23, 2010
    I just wanted to provide this small tip to new users of the TomTom. It's about the suction cup for the windshield - I've read review that it doesn't hold well, and one person said that if he wet the cup before sticking, that worked for a while. The windshield mount that comes with the TomTom actually is designed to hold - but the instructions aren't clear. So here's how you get it to hold really tight - you couldn't even pull it off.

    You will need to figure out the position of the mount first, then separate it from your TomTom, since you can't do the rest of this with it attached. With the suction cup facing the windshield (away from you), turn the disk that is in the center all the way counter clockwise. Then stick the mount onto your windshield where you want it, and while you push it with your hand, use your other hand to turn the disk in the center all the way clockwise. That motion, turning it clockwise, makes the suction cup really tight. Then you can put your TomTom back onto the mount.

    Hope this helps some folks. My mount fell off a couple of times, then I realized what I'd done wrong.

    When I went to the web site to set up the My Tomtom account and check for updates, I have to say that it wasn't super intuitive - at first it wouldn't take my code. Not sure why that is, but after going through some stuff I was able to do it. The GPS itself is very nice, I like the choices of voices, and the display is nice. It does reroute quickly when you make a different turn than it tells you.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Really great overall, only 2 imperfections, July 22, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    Really great overall. Only a few things keep me from suggesting 5-star. I find the screen is a nice large size and easy to read. Data input is easy, doesn't make you type the beyond enough letters to pick from a scroll list, and there are 4 keyboard choices with large keys for my thumbs to work without a problem. I really like the life-time maps concept for current maps (compares to phone navigation that usually is always latest maps). Map updates are expensive otherwise. Routes seem correct and smart. Built in traffic would be nicer (as with the "MT" model), but that is what the optional accessory is for this model. However, I haven't bought or used the traffic accessory that is RDMS (radio-based), which looks expensive, and supposedly limited to major roadways compared to internet-based traffic updates of phones and internet-based systems. The verbal directions are effective and well worth it. Overall, I really like it. It is a nice device if you want a one-time purchase, a dedicated device, and a large display. All things considered, it really only falls short on no configurable street name speech speed for enunciation and screen touchy so that I keep setting my volume to 0 when I want it to repeat the last direction, which keeps me from saying 5 star. So my rating is I really like it.

    A dedicated GPS device will tend to have a much better GPS receiver than phones and I haven't had a problem at all with GPS signal. It can show you active GPS data signals from all sources. Location tracking seems very fast, current, & reliable. It seems to take 30 seconds to 2 minutes to get a GPS signal when I first turn it on. It seems to remember where I last was and assumes you are still there, and you can plan a new route from there and start. By the time I get to my first turn it seems to be already up and tracking me. If you connect it to a PC by USB to update, it supposedly can update GPS satellite locations for the next 7 days at a time to get the signal even faster.

    The spoken turn-by-turn with street names is a must for me so I know which street to turn on when there are several close together. This is especially useful if there are GPS signal problems which I have had on *other* devices so I can watch for the street if it is lagging my location a little bit. The volume & speaker quality seem great, better than phones, and can automatically adjust based on your speed to account for road noise. However spoken street names only works with the computer voice. The device comes with 4 English human voices (3 female, 1 male) and one computer voice (female), and you can download a different male computer voice, Simon (UK) for free. The human voices are a bit clearer, but no street names. Some devices, like some phone navigators, offer human recorded street names and if none available automatically mixes in a computer spoken street name. I wish I could have this mix a human voice when available and fill in with computer spoken street names & messages. It is only one or the other, so I just leave the computer voice on. The default computer voice is decent for main directions & numbers, but mispronounces quite a bit. For example, the 10th largest US City, San Jose, is spoken as "San Hua-Se" instead of "San Ho-say". But realistically that is entirely forgivable and you can navigate by it without error. What is more difficult is the enunciation of street names which are spoken too fast and not enunciated well. I prefer the downloadable Simon (UK) computer voice which seems a bit better compared to the softer female voice to catch enunciation. If unfamiliar with the streets, which is the main case for me to use a navigation device, I need to hear the name enunciated well so I can see road signs and understand what the name will look like, and this falls short, but is still workable. If you can look at the screen and just see the name, it solves it, but isn't always convenient while driving. A good vent mount like NAVGEAR 14027 Universal GPS Vent Mount really helps. I actually mute it most of the time now to avoid frequent interruptions because I can so easily just see the screen and what is coming up and when, but I risk forgetting about a turn. The computer voice seems like 1990s computer text to speech, inferior to free software on many PCs today. The Magellan spoken street names are far superior and nearly perfect. (But I like this TomTom so much more than my Magellan that I still prefer this for most other reasons than speech perfection.)

    The touch screen is a bit too touchy. Press with your finger nail like a stylus and it works quite well. You get into trouble when you press too gently with your whole finger. When new, you will probably be too careful with the screen and press too lightly and have problems like I did. It is still a little touchy, but much better after I learned to use my nail. It actually seemed great out of the box, then after I updated the device the first time which installed an updated version of the software (which added enhancements like 4 keyboard choices), the screen seems to me to be more touchy. This is actually problematic and annoying at times. You touch the screen to bring up the menu or select a menu item. But sometimes it registers 2 presses and closes the menu or selects the item that was at the same location without a delay from the first selection. Seems like they could add a delay between registering presses in menus. A bit too often I would end up somewhere else from it registering 2 presses. The most problematic is pressing the lower-left to have it repeat a direction, which also brings up the volume control starting in the same spot with the 0% at the same location you just pressed. It nearly always ends up immediately changing my volume to 0 when I wanted it to repeat the direction, and now I miss all spoken directions until I can fix it, which is more difficult while driving. I am still very happy with it despite a bit of a touchy screen. Makes data entry nice & fast, which is probably why it is turned up.

    The software is much nicer than Magellan and the community map modifications is great. Updating the device is simple enough and the software seems nice. Enabling the lifetime map service kept failing without a clear error. It turns out you need to run the update first to fully update the device the first time, then it would let me enter the lifetime maps activation code. Restarting the application was the only clue and told me to update. Once activated, it doesn't make it clear elsewhere in the app that it understands it is activated and goes back to failing when reapplying the code. When I first activated, it listed a new map to download, but I just updated the device software first, so it should have had the latest software and I didn't have the time to download. But when I went back later the code wouldn't come up again to list the same map update it did last time. Eventually it worked out after some confusion. Updating the device the first time took several hours over my DSL to get the 1.6 GB map update and transfer to the device.

    After 3.5 months, I still love the device, but the car charger broke. The tip cracked off. I called the toll free support number, had virtually no hold time, and they were *extremely* nice, apologetic, and have shipped me a new charger that should arrive in 3-5 days. The warranty lasts 12 months and supposedly covers most things. But if you have traffic service (which is through your charger), it would take more work for them to work out transferring over the account to your new charger.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Check warrnty terms before you buy it, May 3, 2010
    Everything is great until you have to contact customer support.
    Before you buy this GPS you must to know: You have only 30 days warranty to replace your device with a new one (isn't it useful!!!). If it will brake after it, you will get "refurbished" device, which is not exactly what you expect. It will be a USED unit, scratched all over, and in my case - not working! I spent 3 months talking and emailing to TomTom, and it seems there is no solution. You will end up with someone's old GPS.
    I will never buy TomTom again.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Do not buy this get the GARMIN nuvi INSTEAD, September 18, 2010
    Well, you get what you pay for. It's so true and has proven it every time. I bought this GPS because it was the deal of the day (I paid $ 120.00). It came with lifetime traffic and lifetime map updates, so I was really happy with the price. After I received, I updated the NEWEST MAP and tried to go to Manhattan to visit a friend. (I live in CT)
    I tried to enter the address wich is located in East 16th street. I could not enter EAST 16th Street, it was only offering 16th street but not East 16th Street. I called Tom Tom customer service they told me I need to download the latest map (which I did way before I called). When I told them my problem, they could not help me with the issue
    they said they were sorry. I entered the same address to my 3 years old Garmin nuvi and 3 different choises came up.
    I am very very disoppointed with that TOM TOM GPS and I will never ever buy it again. Take my advice buy Garmin series and stay away from Tom tom.
    I sent back the Tom Tom and got Garmin nuvi 1490T. I paid almost 3 times the money ($ 280) but it was worth every penny.

    1-0 out of 5 stars DO NOT BUY, October 3, 2010
    I bought this item from amazon thinking i was getting a good GPS (i've had 2 garmins before). After less than 2 months, the device just turned off while i was driving. It completely stopped working. I called tom tom several times and each time you're on hold for about 40 minutes. To add to this, they did agree to replace it, but they ask that you send it UPS or FedEx to them and they DO NOT reimburse you the expense (which is another $15 to mail it). I have yet to receive the replacement but DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT BECAUSE OF BOTH THE PRODUCT AND SUPPORT SYSTEM. HORRIBLE! Read more


    6. Garmin nüvi 265W 4.3-Inch Widescreen Bluetooth Portable GPS Navigator (without Traffic)
    Electronics
    list price: $199.99 -- our price: $96.54
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B003L5Z0IS
    Manufacturer: Garmin
    Sales Rank: 56
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Garmin's nüvi 265W offers Bluetooth compatibilty as well as predictive technology that provides faster satellite lock, a redesigned screen with more information, terrain maps, and an exciting new photo navigation feature. The 265W provides complete maps for North America and the handy Text-to-Speech feature, so you get turn-by-turn spoken directions with the real names of streets (e.g. "turn left in 50 feet at Nebraska Way", rather than merely "turn left in 50 feet").

    The nüvi 2x5 models all sport the slim design that Garmin introduced with the 200-series last year, so they all fit comfortably in your pocket or purse, and a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that makes them convenient for navigation by car or foot. All of the models include useful travel tools like a JPEG picture viewer, world travel clock with time zones, currency converter, measurement converter, calculator and more. The 265W also offers a wide 4.3-inch (diagonal) screen that displays 70% more of the road around you.

    Important Product Information: This device features a "screen lock" feature. This is a standard feature on all nüvi 2x5 and 7x5 Garmin units. If you slide the "Power" key to the right, it will lock the screen and prevent any accidental touches. Once the screen lock feature is engaged, the screen will go black/gray after about 15 seconds to save power on the device. To unlock the screen, just slide the "Power" key to the center position. This feature is really targeted for "Pedestrian" mode so that a user can put the device in his or her pocket/purse and quickly unlock the screen instead of powering on/off continuously. For more information, see page 5 of the product manual.

    Hands-free Calling
    In more and more places, it is becoming illegal to use cell phones while driving without a hands-free kit. WIth Bluetooth capability, microphone and speaker, you can match your nüvi to any Bluetooth-capable phone to make hands-free mobile phone calls. Simply dial the phone number with the nüvi's touch screen keypad to make a call on a compatible phone. To answer an incoming call, just tap the screen and speak into the built-in microphone. Making and taking calls on the road has never been easier, or safer. In addition, Garmin makes it a breeze to look-up and dial numbers from your personalized phone book or even tap into your cell phone's call history log.


    FM Traffic
    With an optional receiver, you can get alerts from TMC Clear Channel about traffic tie-ups and road construction that might lie ahead on your route. All you have to do is simply touch the screen to view traffic details and you'll be ready to detour around any problem area. And if you end up missing a turn, or you're forced into a detour that is not relayed through the traffic receiver, the nüvi's sophisticated automatic routing will get you back on track in no time.
    In most areas, TMC Clear Channel traffic broadcasts are continuous — there's no waiting for scheduled traffic news updates or random alerts. Because traffic broadcasts are received via a "silent" FM data channel, you can still listen to music or news programming on your car radio without interference from incoming FM traffic data transmissions.

    Widescreen
    See More of What's Around The super-bright, 4.3-inch (diagonal) touchscreen display gives is anti-glare for ease of viewing during the day and automatically changes its color profile for easy viewing at night or in dim light. It offers 2d or 3D perspective views.

    The widescreen format gives you 70% more actual screen area than a 3.5-inch screen. Primarily this translates into a better view of the area through which you are driving. This is especially useful in showing you what parks, restaurants, ATM, gas stations, etc. are nearby, or in letting you know whether a detour is a good idea. Also, the device itself is larger, meaning controls on the screen are more widely spaced and somewhat easier to push.

    What's in the Box?

    nüvi 265W, Preloaded City Navigator NT for North America (full coverage), vehicle power cable, Vehicle suction cup mount, USB cable, Dashboard disc, Quick start manual

    Notes

    • Optional software for language translation, detailed travel guides, and savings programs allow you to customize your nüvi to fit your travel needs
    • Like most USB Mass Storage Devices, the nüvi is not compatible with Windows 95, Windows 98 or Windows Me.
    • Visit Garmin.com to get the latest firmware updates for your nüvi to keep it current and performing at its best.

    Which nüvi is Best for You?

    Note: All nüvis come with detailed NAVTEQ maps containing more than 6 million pre-loaded point of interest locations.

    Device
    Screen Size inches (W x H)
    Included Maps
    Text-to-Speech (Directions in Real Street Names)
    Traffic
    Bluetooth
    Media
    FM Transmitter (audio through car stereo system)
    Multi-Point Routing
    Battery life (hours)
    Cont. U.S., Hawaii, and Puerto Rico
    AK and Canada
    Europe
    nüvi 2052.8 x 2.1
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (with optional receiver)
    Photos
    up to 4
    nüvi 205w3.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (with optional receiver)
    Photos
    up to 4
    nüvi 2552.8 x 2.1
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (with optional receiver)
    Photos
    up to 4
    nüvi 255w3.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (with optional receiver)
    Photos
    up to 4
    nüvi 260w3.81 x 2.25
     
    Photos
    up to 5
    nüvi 265T2.8 x 2.1
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (receiver included; Lifetime Traffic)
    Photos
    up to 4
    nüvi 265WT3.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (receiver included; Lifetime Traffic)
    Photos
    up to 4
    nüvi 275T2.8 x 2.1
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (receiver included; Lifetime Traffic)
    Photos
    up to 4
    nüvi 285WT3.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (receiver included; 3 months free);
    Photos
    up to 4
    nüvi 465T3.81 x 2.25
    FM (receiver included; Lifetime Traffic)
    Photos
    up to 4
    nüvi 755T3.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (receiver included; Lifetime Traffic)
    Photos, MP3s
    up to 4
    nüvi 7603.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (with optional receiver)
    Photos, MP3s
    up to 5
    nüvi 765T3.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (receiver included; Lifetime Traffic)
    Photos, MP3s
    up to 4
    nüvi 775T3.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (receiver included; Lifetime Traffic)
    Photos, MP3s
    up to 4
    nüvi 7803.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (receiver included; 3 months free); FM (with optional receiver)
    Photos, MP3s
    up to 5
    nüvi 785T3.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (receiver included; 3 months free); FM (with optional receiver)
    Photos, MP3s
    up to 4
    nüvi 8503.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (with optional receiver)
    Photos, MP3s
    up to 4
    nüvi 8553.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (with optional receiver)
    Photos, MP3s
    up to 4
    nüvi 885T3.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (receiver included; 3 months free); FM (with optional receiver)
    Photos, MP3s
    up to 4
    nüvi 12002.8 x 2.1
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (with optional receiver)
    Photos
    up to 4
    nüvi 12502.8 x 2.1
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (with optional receiver)
    Photos
    up to 4
    nüvi 1260T2.8 x 2.1
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (receiver included; Lifetime Traffic)
    Photos
    up to 4
    nüvi 13003.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (with optional receiver)
    Photos
    up to 4
    nüvi 13503.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (with optional receiver)
    Photos
    up to 4
    nüvi 1350T3.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (receiver included; Lifetime Traffic)
    Photos
    up to 4
    nüvi 1370T3.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (receiver included; Lifetime Traffic)
    Photos
    up to 4
    nüvi 1390T3.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (receiver included; Lifetime Traffic)
    Photos
    up to 4
    nüvi 1490T4.4 x 2.5
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (receiver included; Lifetime Traffic)
    Photos
    up to 4
    nüvi 16903.81 x 2.25
    NAVTEQ Traffic, 2 years free (Garmin nüLink! service)
    Photos
    up to 4

    1 ...
    Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Good for the techo-challenged crowd, July 13, 2010
    The last GPS I got I couldn't even figure out how to turn on...they have really come a long way as far as ease-of-use. This one...opened the box, easily assembled it onto the base with no directions, plugged it in, turned it on (okay, I had to go to directions for that, but they are very clear), followed all the steps (very intuitive - it walks you through it) and there I was - it had me pinpointed to my exact position in the parking lot - wow. So I plugged in an address, and yes, I'm old-school - I was shocked with this relatively inexpensive machine started TAlKING to me, nice voice too - very clear directions, tells you exactly how far to go before turning. This is the new model, which is why I got it, but it seems to have all the best features discussed in reviews of older models (I read a lot of reviews). Again, I'm not proficient in technology (my 11 year old niece has to help me with my phone and forget an I-Pod) but from my point of view this has all that a typical driver would need - I even think my even less-technically proficient parents would like it and I plan to try it out on them.

    Update after a week: The screen shows several things I hadn't noticed, like your speed, the speed limit for the road you are on (some roads, not all roads), the expected time that you will get to the destination, the direction (North, South, East, West) and how far it is in miles. It's not distracting, as these notations are on the perimeter. The voice directions are very good, a warning prior to coming to a turn and then a 'turn left on ____ St.' when you get there and how far it is, as in 'turn left in point-three miles'. And it tells you which side of the street (left or right) your final destination is on, which is very helpful on a busy street.

    Also nice is the 'Map' feature: It's simply a map of where you are, showing an automobile icon that moves as you go along...it shows landmarks, street names along with the speed limit and your speed so you don't have to look down at the speedometer and guess if you're going the speed limit and what it is. This can be used even when you don't have a destination plugged in. Plus, the machine saves addresses so you just have to tap on an address from a list of places you've been, instead of retyping it. It also saves the cities, so you can pull it down from a menu instead of typing it in...so I would consider it generally 'user-friendly'.

    I got the portable Garmin Friction Mount to hold it in place (it's a beanbag type thing) which is really great, as you can easily stow it on the floor so no one decides to 'borrow it' if they see it on the dashboard. Overall, couldn't be more pleased...this one doesn't have 'traffic alerts', so if you want 'traffic' there is another Garmin model that would be more suitable.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Intuitive and easy to use, July 15, 2010
    I was amazed at how intuitive and easy it is to use. While traveling to a city in another state I was confronted with a train stopped and blocking the crossing in front of me, blocking my planned route. With confidence in the Garmin I turned around and took another route. It guided me street-by-street and turn-by-turn. I got to my appointment on time. The display is clear, even in bright sunlight. The voice is pleasant, and clearly loud enough to be easily heard.

    The only problem I had was in assembling the mount. It requires a really hard push to install the ball socket of the mount into the base. Don't be afraid to break it, as I was at first try. It's designed to close tolerances, to maintain the friction necessary, to hold the Garmin display firmly in position.

    Pushing a wide, and easy to access button at the base of the suction cup mount allows you to remove the display and power cord for storage elsewhere when not in use. This is a great security and convenience feature. It has a remote mountable push button remote control that activates and deactivates the voice control feature.

    A very useful accessory that is not included is a DC/AC adapter. This device has on one end a male AC plug that plugs into your home duplex AC wall outlet and on the other end a female DC car socket. This adapter will allow you to keep your Garmin's battery fully charged. The battery discharges in about two weeks, with no usage, showing no indicator bars on the battery charge indicator.

    The Garmin does contain a USB plug that will allow you to charge the battery via your computer. This works OK, but,it puts an unwanted load on my computers USB power supply. My old cell phone 400 ma rated DC output adapter fully charges the Garmin in under 2 hours. Garmin offers a 1000 ma rated adaptor, as an accessory, for under $20.00.

    5-0 out of 5 stars AWESOME, August 10, 2010
    Bought this item initially for my wife when she has to make trips to Houston. After reading the reviews and deciding our particular needs I chose the nuvi 265 wt . I owned an older Garmin (deluxe IV ) and to be honest I was somewhat disappointed with it and my wife couldn't stand it . It was the sheer number of positive reviews that made me choose a Garmin again. WOW !! this thing is awesome . Took it on a trip to San Antonio and was amazed by it . VERY simple to setup , VERY easy to use . The hardest part was trusting it to direct me accurately due to the experiences with the prior Garmin navigator. It never missed a turn . And with the "points of interest" feature , changing our agenda or adding a stop was a breeze. Also the WT features a traffic information update that informs you with live traffic information ( time delay ) if there is a report along the route your on . Press two buttons and the nuvi will give you a detour option . Miss a turn due to traffic or other mishap and it will automatically recalculate your route from where you are going to get you back on track . The best part is my wife really likes it and even gave it a nickname . Definitely would buy again .

    4-0 out of 5 stars Man's best friend, July 16, 2010
    Men are infamous for NOT asking directions. This device makes it possible to uphold that reputation and STILL get there. I'm computer literate, but circa 1990. I wouldn't know a blue tooth if it bit me so I probably will never use this GPS to it's maximum. But I do know that I could just turn it on and in my first outing off the beaten path it directed me to a dirt road I never would have found on my own using detailed local maps.

    I bought this for my wife but she is out of luck; besides, she doesn't mind asking directions.

    Of course it was delivered on time, in perfect condition by Amazon

    4-0 out of 5 stars Decent, but has its bugs like every GPS does, August 24, 2010
    We recently got this GPS because a sudden and difficult trip demanded we have one, and we could not find the power cord for our current one, a Nokia. It was easy to say we'd eventually find that power cord, but wouldn't it be nice to have one GPS for each car?

    So having had the dinky Nokia, I have some basis for comparison. The Garmin is far superior in two ways- it is fast to find the satellite signal, and the maps it came with were good and current. It is a little more helpful too - it tells you which side of the road your destination is on so if you're in an unfamiliar area you know where to look. Less important, but additionally, the voices are much better than our old Nokia, less robotic, and less likely to muddle up a complex street name. The Garmin was also easy to use right out of the box. It gives you sufficient heads-up time on turns and exits and advises you on where they will be, left or right. But...

    There are a few things about this unit that I find highly annoying. On start up, the screen displays an irritating legal disclaimer saying you shouldn't diddle with it while driving as it is unsafe, and you take responsibility for anything that might happen when you use it. I'd be ok with this if it happened the first time I used it, but it happens every time you turn it on.

    Another issue is that it just plumb drops the signal. Yes, it is fast to find it when you're starting out on a trip, but it doesn't seem to hold that signal. I was on a test run in a suburban area where there was presumably little interference when it made this noise I'd not yet heard, but knew meant bad things, and looked down to see it admitting it had lost the signal. The Nokia had never done this. The Garmin was purchased to help get me to a remote location in the middle of nowhere, and this incident was not confidence building. It did, in fact, lose signal several times during my mountainous trip to God's country. Worse yet is that when it loses the signal, you have to hit "OK" on the screen to unlock the warning for it to proceed again. You're moving, so you just want it to get on with re-finding the signal, it shouldn't have to ask permission! What was that about not diddling with it while driving?

    I've also found that it picks some bizarre routes. Using it around town to get used to it, I found it was choosing streets that would indeed work, but there were other streets more major that it might have better selected.

    One of its worst "habits" is its inability to differentiate direction when you are moving in a small area, like if you have to do a turn-around, or are in a gas station on a corner, re-entering traffic and it "thinks" you're on the road perpendicular to the one you are on. It doesn't know where you are til you're moving some distance, and sometimes that distance is more than you'd like. I have exited just such a corner gas station and been urging it "Come on, come on, you can do it" while the screen view is spinning around cluelessly and it's showing an inaccurate picture while giving directions that don't suit where you are. I understand that satellites are far away and to expect pinpoint accuracy is unrealistic, but if the device doesn't "know", it shouldn't "act" like it does, spouting off directions that do not apply to your location. (Equally goofily, the Nokia's default position when it didn't know what was up was to randomly tell you to "Make a U turn" - it was senseless but consistent so you knew it was just buying time til it figured things out.)

    I'm detailing these complaints because only you know what matters to you. Every GPS has its quirks that can get on your nerves. Overall, this one's easy to learn and gets you where you're going with some burps on the way. The lingering negative? The Nokia was about half the price and despite my hopes, the Garmin is not twice as good.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Auto Navigation, July 27, 2010
    This was the first unit I have ever purchased, I used all the feed back here to decide what unit I needed. I could not be more pleased with its ease of operation and all of its capabilites. Have tested it several times and had no issues at all I would recomend this to anyone who has had no experience with one,its a winner. I am sure there are many more units that are good and cost much more, but for this price I can't see how you could top this one. Really satisfied with my choice, thanks also to all of you who have given great feed back for us to look over, it really helped when making a first time purchase. As always great Amazon service as well.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Problematic, locks up, November 30, 2010
    This is my third Garmin GPS product, and I am very disappointed.

    While most of it behaves as expected, it would appear that Bluetooth functionality was not properly tested.

    About one connection in four fails, and I have to re-connect. Not what I want for a hands-free speakerphone.

    If I attempt to do anything with the GPS shortly after the Bluetooth connection, the device will freeze, requiring a hard reboot in order to work.

    Every time the Bluetooth connects, the GPS lowers the volume.

    Call mic quality is very poor, and not very useful for conversations.

    Don't buy this product; get one of the cheaper GPS units without Bluetooth instead.

    ---

    Also, Garmin has done a very poor job of updating their maps. 4-5 year old road changes are not reflected in the latest maps, and their built-in business directory is full of errors.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I recommend this GPS, August 16, 2010
    I bought this GPS before our Boston vacation and I am very pleased with it. The graphics are easy to read. The display is very user friendly and simple. Set up was also easy. It made driving around Boston much manageable. I was impressed that it did not lose satellite communication when driving thru Boston tunnels. We only had one small glitch in locating our hotel. I am not sure why it did not map it correctly, but it was about a block off. Normally, not a big deal unless you have never been there before and in heavy traffic. Overall, it is a very quality product and a good value.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Good device, September 29, 2010
    This is my first GPS, and it was easy to install and to operate. I really recommend this device to any first GPS user.
    Like every electronic equipment, you need to be curious and try all the features to understand all the features. It would de good if it had a more detailed instruction manual. The bluetooth works wonderful with my phone!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Hello, can you hear me now....?, December 1, 2010
    Wow, GPS has come a long way in the last 5 years. This is a GREAT little unit for the price. Also, the maps are very current after you do the update after registering...I live in a very new area in Las Vegas and my address was always a challenge for any gps provider. This took me right there in the direction a local would drive. The ONLY reason I did not give it five stars is because it seems you cannot mute the persons voice on the directions...so, if you are using the bluetooth and talking to someone, the periodic directions are obnoxious. Maybe the higher end models allow for this. But, all that said, really great unit. Also, in my 2002 Subaru Outbook the ambient noise does make it hard to sometime hear the other person talking even with the volume cranked up. Read more


    7. TomTom XXL 540TM 5-Inch Widescreen Portable GPS Navigator (Lifetime Traffic & Maps Edition)
    Electronics
    list price: $259.00 -- our price: $149.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B003B3P2CY
    Manufacturer: TomTom
    Sales Rank: 199
    Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    TomTom XXL 540TM 5.0 GPS with Lifetime Traffic and Map Updates, USA, Canada & Mexico Maps, Over 7 Million POIs, Text to Speech ... Read more

    Reviews

    4-0 out of 5 stars My first TomTom and won't be my last!
    History with GPS Navigation:
    I've used built-in Honda (Alpine), standalone Garmin, and Ford 'Sync' audio GPS navigation devices.
    I loved the Honda navi for its size, and I hated it because updates were sparse and expensive.
    I loved the Garmin for being up-to-date but I hated it because it always seemed to change its mind a lot, or direct me into strange areas.
    I didn't really care for the Ford Sync navigation, as it wasn't a visual navi. Included for free with the car, but I choose not to use it. Maybe only good as a 'back-up' in case the TomTom fails-- though I don't think it ever will.

    I sold my Honda and needed a new navigation system.

    I bought the XXL 540TM for...
    1) Screen size
    2) Frequent map updates (4x a year + Map Share)
    3) Ability to customize it (lots of settings to play with)
    4) Well Known & Quality (I've always heard 'Garmin' is the best, but when I've tried Garmin, I didn't like it!)
    5) Lane Guidance
    6) IQ Routes (figuring out which roads were best to use)

    By the way, in case you were wondering the "TM" stands for "Traffic" and "Maps", indicating there are free traffic and map updates. I had NO problems entering the "Lifetime Maps & Traffic" code provided.

    What's in the box:
    -> GPS device itself
    -> Window mount (with suction cup)
    -> Dashboard 'sticky' pad
    -> USB cable (to connect to PC)
    -> Car Power adapter
    -> Set Up Guide
    -> Slip of paper with 1 code, valid for Lifetime Map/Traffic updates

    The first thing I did was hook it up to my PC and run all the updates. (A newer map was available + GPSFix + Map Share.) It took about 1.5 hours to update all of it. After it was done, it took up about 96% of the 2GB built-in memory. (I didn't check how much it used before updating.) Not a lot of 'wiggle room' to add more features. No built-in SD slot to add memory, either.

    One major downside is that I don't like how easily the device 'pops off' the windshield mount. (See further explanation under "The BAD" below.) I am considering getting a (non-adhesive) weighted/padded mount to put on the dashboard.

    The GOOD:
    + Screen size met my expectations. Easy to see everything on the screen

    + Startup time (including time to lock onto satellites) seemed fairly quick

    + Roads were up-to-date and labeled properly. Didn't find any errors

    + Allowed me to customize just about everything I wanted to.

    + It functioned perfectly as a Navigation device. This is where I felt Garmin was lacking. With all the features a Garmin has, it never seemed to 'navigate' the way I liked. Of all the features, the 'Navigation' is the most important, and TomTom does it well from what I've seen.

    + It pronounced some 'hard to say' roads perfectly! I'm sure I'll find some that are not right, but Garmin/Sync had a hard time saying road names.

    The "OK":
    +- Traffic is only updated by RDS (sent by local FM radio stations). This is what I paid for. RDS updated only major roadways (Interstates) and marked some accidents / road construction / road closures. It only worked when the power cord was plugged into the accessory power port on the car (as the cord functions as the antenna.) I would have preferred TomTom's GO/Live line of products which has a built-in 'cell phone' to grab more detailed and current traffic information. But, these were out of my price range. The XXL 740TM does "just enough" traffic to make it useful.

    +- It takes some time to calculate a long distance route. But, I also know that it is using IQ Routes to choose the best roads. It seemed 1 or 2 seconds longer than it needed to be, but certainly not a huge problem.

    The BAD:
    - Internal memory not expandable. 96% used up without any 'extras' installed? Hope I don't need more...

    - When browsing maps (dragging my finger) it is a bit 'laggy'. I don't expect perfection, but it seemed sluggish. Fortunately, I don't plan to browse maps often, so I'll deal with it. I tried turning off Points Of Interest (POIs), and turning off 3D maps (using 2D maps instead), and it really didn't seem to make a difference. I'm impressed with the detail it showed, but wasn't thrilled about waiting 10 seconds for the entire screen to finish 'drawing'.

    - Windshield mount seemed to 'pop off' too easily. When suctioned to the windshield, I have to use 2 hands to 'hold' the GPS and keep it attached to the mount while I adjust. I suppose it is useful for people who leave the mount stuck on the windshield. I prefer to remove the device AND the mount and hide them when not in use. (I figure a thief will know that the mount is for a GPS, and that the GPS is hidden in the car somewhere.)


    I have yet to try this out on a LONG or COMPLEX road trip, but I have no doubts from what I've seen so far that it will be just fine.

    OVERALL, I'm happy with the device. Happier than I was with Sync, Alpine, or Garmin. I consider myself an 'Average' navigation user (not a beginner, not an expert) and will update the review after using it more.

    Sidenote: I ordered through Amazon, using "Beach Camera" seller. It was delivered ONE (1) business day after I ordered it! I used 'Standard' shipping, and FedEx (Home service) had it delivered fast. Very pleased with Beach Camera's shipping emails and speed!

    =
    UPDATE 11/18/2010:
    I thought I'd provide an update after 6 months of using this TomTom device:

    1) I am still very happy! It's the 1st GPS I've used that "just works" and I'm glad I don't have to mess with it.

    2) I've mastered the technique of adjusting the screen position while simultaneously holding the suction base. Back in May when I first reviewed it, I was concerned about how 'easily' it popped off. Now, it is still annoying, but I've minimized the amount of times it happens by holding it appropriately. It doesn't annoy me enough to buy a different stand/holder.

    3) The suction cup still holds on quite well. It hasn't fallen off yet. (I attach/detach from the windshield every time I use it.)

    4) Traffic Receiver: I've been satisfied with alternate directions/road closings. It is quite accurate, even in rural areas where I didn't expect road closures to be displayed.

    5) Long-distance travel: I've used it for a few long trips (1000+ miles) and had no problems whatsoever with it. I found the 'estimate' of time to be extremely accurate. It was no more than 10 minutes off. (I calculated the time I stopped for gas and added it to the original estimate.)

    6) Battery life: I've found the battery life to be holding a little less charge than it used to, but nothing that I feel is alarming. Most of the time, I have the power cord connected anyway (so I can grab the traffic updates with the antenna built into the cord.)

    Overall, this is my favorite GPS. I've been hooking it up to the computer less and less (meaning I am forfeiting new 'map share' corrections). I even decided NOT to get the latest map update. Why? Well, I feel everything is working just fine the way it is. I may update if I have the free time. This is in sharp contrast to my previous GPS experience, where I'd pray for updates to fix stubborn issues. The TomTom is just fine and I have had no major complaints. I am NOT in the market to buy a new GPS because I'm finally satisfied.

    1-0 out of 5 stars One Happy Owner...-NOT ANY MORE! Beware TomTom Customer Service.....
    I am a long time Garmin user. Being too cheap to pay extra for map upgrades I decided to shop for a new GPS figuring to replace it every three years and live with the aging maps. I saw this GPS with FREE traffic and FREE map updates but hesitated because of the negative reviews about service, maps, etc.

    SERVICE: Before I bought this unit I found and called the tech support number for TomTom (1-866-486-6866) to see if I would be on-hold for "6-hours". It was more like 3-minutes. The tech support rep was very helpful, answered my questions about Garmin vs TomTom (she owned one of each), and talked frankly about the problems they did have regarding the lifetime map updates.

    After purchasing the unit I did have trouble with the lifetime map update codes and had to call tech support again. They picked up immediately this time. The trick is to upgrade the firmware and the one-time map update first- and then enter the code for the lifetime maps. Total time on the phone 10 minutes or less (and then it is 6 hours for the download).

    FEATURES: They are covered in the other reviews. I'll just mention that my older eyes love the 5" display & the brightness. Sound is nice and loud too.

    PERFORMANCE: We took a camping trip to Hocking Hills Park in rural southeastern Ohio this weekend. The unit worked great even in the rural hills. The route put us at the campground 15 minutes ahead of our friends who printed out a google map. When you are on a main road the unit displays the speed limit and your speed. When you get more than a few miles above the limit the display shows in red- usefull here in Ohio where they really like to write traffic tickets.

    VALUE: I don't talk on my cell phone while driving so I would have no use for bluetooth. Given the free map updates, free traffic, large display, etc. it's hard to beat the bang-for-the-buck of this unit.

    Brief update 7/10/2010:

    Likes:

    1.) The unit does a much better getting you back on track from a big parking lot than my Garmin did. When I start out parked in the driveway it even tells me to turn around when possible to start my trip.

    2.) I really, really like the big 5" screen

    3.) Comes off the windshield easier than the Garmin.

    4.) The "Lane Assist" feature is great when driving in unfamiliar territory.


    Dislikes:

    1.) When looking for a store it would be helpful if the unit said the destination was on the right or left. In a commercial area it can be hard to pick up the address.

    2.) I have to turn the unit on every time I start the car. The Garmin started up automatically unless I turned it off.

    3.) The Garmin is much better at picking up Points-of-Interest. The TomTom could not find my Gym (which is over two years old) or a nearby Mcdonalds (about a year old).

    UPDATE 8/02- Unit died after four weeks (just over the 30 day exchange-ugggh). Ok- that happens. But the Peoples Republic of Customer Service at TomTom are completely awful to deal with. They are excellent at reading you all the footnotes & exclusions in their customer dis-service policy though. The best thing about my old Garmin unit was that in four years I never had to call customer service. If I could have a do-over I'd buy another Garmin (even without the traffic & maps) and I'd buy it from Costco so I could just exchange it instead of the ordeal of dealing with manufactures.

    5-0 out of 5 stars First opinion of this device is great
    I just bought it two days back. I was kind of skeptical with the map updates and activation code not working, after reading through so many reviews related with update failure etc.

    So I started with a full explorer backup of the device at windows level. It took about 45 minutes. Then I took another backup using Home software. That was another 45 minutes.

    Then I deleted unwanted voices to free up some space. It probably removed some 30-40MB of space. There was close to 400MB free after this step.

    Then I entered the activation code for lifetime free map updates using the Home software. It worked fine (at least it did not give me any errors).

    Then it detected that there is new versions of map available for download. I downloaded the new maps, which took another 20 minutes or so, and took further 30 minutes to update the device.

    The downloaded size of new maps was about 1.7GB, whereas the previous versions of maps occupied 1.43GB. Now my device has close to 60MB free out of the 1.9GB memory it has. I think if I would not have deleted unwanted voices, I would have come close to filling up all the space.

    I also downloaded the GPSquickfix.

    For the safety camera, when I had entered Canada as the home country, it did not show any information available to download. But after I switched it to US (from within HOME software), then it showed the data for US-Canada safety cameras, and I was able to download them.

    So overall, I did not face any issues earlier reviewers of TomTom XL/XXL series had mentioned.

    Regarding performance, I was pretty impressed with the speed it took to acquire satellite signal. I have a four year old HP-IPaq GPS (which runs TomTom software), and this new one is much faster than the HP one.

    Now before I made this purchase, I had bought Garmin 755T last week. I did not like it for one main reason that it did not have up to date maps of my area (especially it didn't show my home even after 7 years it is on TomTom maps). I updated the maps to latest, and still didn't show my home street. Contacting the customer support for Garmin was a pain, with 30-40 min. of wait every time I tried to call them. It was a breeze to contact TomTom support. First time I was connected instantly, and every time after that, it took only few minutes to get connected. Finally, I did not like the colour schemes and sounds which came with Garmin. May be that is my personal preference. But Garmin is not too much customizable, pretty basic stuff you can configure. So it went back within few days.

    Hope this review will be useful to you all.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Activation code did not work for Lifetime Maps out of the box
    I really like this GPS - I upgraded from another tomtom for the lifetime maps and lifetime traffic feature. Also tomtom has now integrated the traffic receiver into the lighter power plug (much sleeker then pictures I saw of older traffic receivers). The downside is that the lifetime map activation code that shipped with the product did not work. When I called tomtom they had me scan the activation code code and post it to them. After a week of not hearing from them and called again and the support rep told me they now need my receipt (nice of them to let me know). I posted that 5 days ago and I'm still waiting for them to notify me that they either the activation code that shipped with the box is now good or they assigned me a new working code. It appears that tomtom shipped these units BEFORE entering the activation codes in their database. This has cost me hours on the support line (two calls - so far and counting). Another negative was that the mount was defective. To tomtom's credit they shipped me a new mount right away that works fine. Hopefully, I will have my lifetime activation code soon and all will be good. I just find it pretty lame for any company to advertise some key new feature (like LIFETIME MAPS) and then actually ship a product where the feature does not work out of the box. Come on tomtom you can do better then that. That's enough to turn-off many current and future buyers. The performance of the touch screen (both typing and map browsing is very slow and primitive when compared whith an Iphone/Ipad/Itouch). But I wanted a standalone GPS - without the mount and map activation problem this would likely get a 4-star.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Just opened the box
    Information about the 540TM is currently pretty sparse, so I thought I'd list what you get.

    In addition to the manual, USB cable and sticky mounting pad, you get the new combined power cord and traffic receiver. This cord looks like the old power cord (I have a 335S), with the exception of a small pod (about 1.5" x 0.75") near the GPS connector. The cord is also flat instead of round, probably because it has more wires in it.

    The "Lifetime Maps" option comes in the form of a voucher card. You enter the magic number into the TomTom Home "use activation code" screen.

    (Update 5/5/2010 - there were initially some problems getting up-to-date maps, but they seem to be resolved now).

    Out-of-the-box version info:
    App 9.051.503855.2, OS 483784 (1016, 2/27/2010) GPS V1.20, Boot 5.5237
    Map: "USA_Canada_and_Mexico_P' v835.2419 (From August, 2009)

    The traffic receiver worked well - I'm actually on Camano Island, WA, about 50 miles NW of Seattle. There are 4 RDS/TMC stations in Seattle. The receiver locked on easily once I got out from behind the 500ft. hill between me and Seattle. I requested a route to Portland, OR and it knew about traffic problems in Portland - pretty cool.

    I had one problem - it kept continually replotting a route to Portland even after I'd told the Traffic Preferences to "ask before changing the route". Turning the GPS off and on seems to have fixed the problem.

    There's also an option to decrease the time (in minutes) between traffic updates. It's possible that the traffic information was changing so rapidly it basically locked up the GPS, hence the option to slow down the updates.

    I was able to transfer my Favorites from my 335S (copy "mapsettings.cfg").

    5-0 out of 5 stars Worked well right out of the box
    I was skeptical about buying a new product with no reviews but after using it a few times I think I did the right thing. It worked right out of the box and although it would not accept my map update code it did it anyway so I guess the code is not needed if you have the lifetime update model. It comes with a car charger and a USB cable to connect to a PC and also uses the USB's 5 volt power to charge, so you don't need to buy the home charger if you want to do it this way. When connecting to USB you have the option to make a computer connection or just charge. Today I used it to go to a place that I have been before and it directed me to a way I didn't know about that was a few less miles than my usual route. The spoken directions are clear and easy to understand. On major roads it knows the speed limit and shows both your actual speed and the limit, you can choose to be notified with a tone that you select if you get a little heavy with your right foot. The screen is big enough to use a finger to select menu options and type, on my last GPS I had to use a stylus due to it's small size. The only thing that I wish it did but doesn't is when you approach the destination it does not say which side of the street it's on, I found this useful with my Garmin so that you know which lane to be in. So far that's my only gripe.

    UPDATE 27 MAY 2010
    After extensive use for almost a month and with the two issues resolved I have upgraded my score to 5 stars. It has now accepted my lifetime map code and performed an extensive map download which took almost an hour and my gripe about not showing the destination side of the street is also resolved. I highly recommend this unit.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Comparison to Garmin nuvi 265w

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    I already own a Garmin nuvi 265w that we use in my wife's car. I wanted to get a GPS for my car because I'm so good at getting lost. Having used both quite a bit now, I thought I'd compare the two.

    Things I like better about the TomTom
    1) the TomTom has a bigger screen by about 1 inch (measured diagonally). This is a feature I would have thought would make a big difference, but in everyday use, I didn't really notice much difference. Overall, yes, it is a positive feature, but it just doesn't carry as much weight as I would have guessed.
    2) The TomTom does a much better job of acquiring satellites than the Garmin does. Not only is it able to determine my position when I'm in my house (most parts of it, anyway) which is something that the Garmin has never been able to do, but it acquires satellites much faster than the Garmin does when I'm outside. This is a huge plus!
    When you first power up the TomTom, it walks you through some quick tutorials so you can quickly familiarize yourself with its features.
    3) When you are on the highway and you come to an interchange, you get guidance on which lane you should be in, and many times even get a generated picture complete with green and white signs showing you what the interchange should look like. In all cases that I've seen, it was 100% correct about all the important things--number of lanes, which were going to exit, and even correctly denoted the HOV lane. I was very impressed.
    4) The TomTom allows you to go in and edit the maps. You can set/change the speed limit, mark roads as impassible either temporarily or permanently, etc. You can then opt to share these changes with other TomTom users. TomTom verifies these changes (not sure how--I'm guessing they just wait until a designated number of people all make the same change) and then lets other users download the changes, if they want. I found changing the speed limit a little challenging because you have to mark the section of road that the speed applies to and once you start marking, scrolling around and zooming in/out was not very easy (maybe I was just missing something). Marking a road as inaccessible was very simple.
    5) Both the Garmin and the TomTom allow you to specify if you want to avoid toll roads, ferries, etc., but the Garmin only allows you to set "avoid" or "don't avoid" whereas the TomTom allows adds another option for each avoidance category, "ask me every time". This makes an awful lot of sense for carpool lanes because sometimes you have someone else in the car and sometimes you don't; I want the GPS to ask me which it is if a carpool lane exit on the freeway, for example, would save me some time.
    6) If you get the "TM" version, the TomTom will provide free map updates and traffic data for life (T=traffic, M=maps). I haven't found much use for traffic, but the maps are great because buying maps for GPS units is expensive. I recommend the TM version for this reason.
    7) There is one (and only one that I've found) place where the Garmin tells me to turn where there wasn't a road. The TomTom has never done this (even in the same place).

    Things I like better about the Garmin
    1) You can change the voices on the TomTom, but if you want it to read street names, you really only have 1 choice and it doesn't sound as natural as the Garmin does. Also, the Garmin does a better job in general at pronouncing street names. With very few exceptions, the Garmin gets the pronunciation just right just about every time. Also, like I said, the Garmin sounds more natural--like a human speaking to you instead of a computer. The TomTom sounds more "computerish" in many cases.
    2) I prefer the timing of when I get directions from the Garmin over the TomTom. They both give verbal directions at about the same time, but I find the Garmin does a better job at telling me what I want to know when I want to know it. I think this is just a personal preference, though, and others may disagree. Related to this, the TomTom tends to give 2 or 3 steps in a row when they are close while the Garmin tends to do 1 at a time (example "turn left on A Street, then turn left on B Street then you have arrived" from the TomTom vs. "Turn left on A Street" from the Garmin. Both will then tell you to turn left on B Street as you approach it). The Garmin will do 2 instructions at a time if necessary (like if you are getting off the freeway and you need to be in the correct lane--both will say something like "Take exit 100 on right, then keep left") but the TomTom does it more and I prefer the Garmin approach. I also prefer Garmin's way of telling me what to do at a round-about.
    3) Sending locations to my GPS via a service like Google Maps is easy on both units, but easier on the Garmin than the TomTom. I also don't like that once you install the TomTom software, it always runs on your computer. As far as I'm aware, the Garmin software is nothing more than an Active X plug-in. This is actually why the transfer is easier--with the TomTom, you are sending data to the stand-alone application whereas with the Garmin, it's just a browser plug-in.
    4) The suction cup on the Garmin is easier to use--it operates with a lever while the TomTom has a little knob or dial that you have to turn and it's a little awkward. I've also never had the Garmin fall once it was mounted, but the TomTom has fallen off once or twice. Also, the Garmin swivels better once it is mounted than the TomTom does. Finally, the USB plug is easier to plug in on the Garmin than on the TomTom. None of these are huge deals, but worth noting. On the other hand, the cigarette lighter power adapter for the TomTom fits more snuggly than the Garmin. In one of my cars, the socket is a little loose and the Garmin plug frequently loses its connection, but I haven't had that happen with the TomTom's yet.

    Notes about both
    Both my Garmin and my TomTom come with lifetime traffic updates. I have never seen any benefit to this on either unit, so I wouldn't get too excited about this feature.
    Both GPS units are easy to navigate and intuitive to use. They are different from each other, but I found both pretty easy to use.

    So which is better? Gee, that's a hard one; I love them both. They both have strengths and weaknesses. I think the TomTom has more/better bells and whistles but the Garmin is better at the basic GPS functions with one blaring exception--the TomTom acquires the satellites better/faster and that's important. I think if I was forced to choose between the 2, I'd go with the Garmin, but if the Garmin suddenly disappeared and was replaced with another TomTom, I wouldn't be too upset; both are great units!

    5-0 out of 5 stars I like it!
    I sold my Garmin 265T to buy the TT 540TM. My much older TT was able to find an address that the Garmin couldn't and overall, I like TT's maps and flexibility. I have only used this TT for a week but this is what my experience has been so far. The size is great, the mount is awkward. (Why can't they change that mount?). Satellite reception was quick and the menus were user friendly. The lane assist and traffic worked great on my first trip. Very helpful and accurate. Time arrivals were accurate as well. I have two issues that I am awaiting a reply to from TT. One is that I have had to reset my device when connecting to my Mac a couple of times because it wasn't being recognized. I never had this problem with the older TT. The other issue is that I navigated to my home address yesterday and took the PA Turnpike at the suggestion of the device. I know the route well and also know local ways of getting home. Traffic never showed up on the device and I was stuck in a major delay of 45 minutes for 6 miles. This was frustrating as there was no traffic bar at all despite the fact that the charger/traffic receiver was connected. I have to wonder if the device needed resetting again. After these issues are resolved I hope to upgrade my rating. If these two problems didn't occur I would rate it a 5.

    UPDATE! It appears both issues were related as the Traffic feature showed up immediately after resetting. TT customer service very helpful in trying to make certain this does not happen again and led me through the steps to reinstall the application (very easy to do) and that seemed to resolve the recognition problem. I drove it all over the place today and it found the traffic on every route I planned. So I rate the GPS a 5 and the mount a 3.5.

    4-0 out of 5 stars TomTom 540XXL
    Works very well and is easy and intuitive
    Things I like:
    * IQ routes with traffic
    * I commute in the greater Chicago area and the automatic re-route function has proven to be very accurate and timely in its suggestions when incorporated with lifetime traffic
    o I have only been able to "beat" the suggestion when I know specific information about the road or route, i.e. at 5:00pm it is always best to work the far right lanes and take the manual tolls on I-294 south starting at Dempster through O'Hare.
    * The redlight camera notification - it has saved me a couple of times
    o Ability to add cameras to the database
    * 5" screen
    * Ability to set a desired time of arrival (the unit will then give you +/- minutes so you can tell, without having to calc in your head, if you will be early, late or on time) Yes this does seem like a wasted function until you use it, then you're hooked
    * One touch button screen that can be customized
    * All route data is viewable without having to scroll the screen, i.e. time of arrival, distance to arrival, time remaining, heading, speed,
    * Speed limit displayed with current speed - flashes red if speed limit is exceed
    * Customized alerts
    Things I don't like
    * Zoom level does stay fixed
    * Street names do not always appear when no route is planned

    5-0 out of 5 stars A fine choice
    I ordered this to replace an older TomTom (GO-720) which gave us wonderful service for a few years. The appeal of this one was the free lifetime traffic (we did ok with the MapShare map updates on the 720, so free map updates were only a minor selling point for the new one).

    I opted for one-day shipping - pretty expensive, but it got here in less than 24 hours!

    First thing, I downloaded updated map, then tried to download the list of safety cameras. That got me a fatal error, repeated each time I tried to do it. Finally called Tech Support, and was told that safety camera info is not supported in the US, but only outside the US where it is legal. It's too bad they don't bother to tell US customers about that up front.

    Then I opted to Add POIs, and was confronted with a 95 page buffet of POIs, submitted by anyone and everyone. Most are rated, which helps, and a few were flagged as having been "reported, and under investigation by TomTom staff for possible removal, which gave me a bit of confidence in them. There were lots of useful ones in that list (such as a list of Ohio Turnpike service plazas, Radio Shacks nationally, Credit Union Service Centers nationally, breweries and brew pubs in several states, etc.), and they don't take up too much room.

    On our first test drive, in a small town where there are rarely any traffic tieups, the built-in traffic receiver actually connected, although I don't expect it to get any alerts around here. It should be great when we visit bigger cities.

    The XXL picks up GPS satellites much faster than the old 720. It even got a few while we were indoors in a cafe.

    The 5" screen is noticeably easier to read than the old one (4.3"), although the traffic bar takes up a bit of the extra acreage on the screen.

    In summary, this is a very nice update to the old GO-720, with a number of appealing new features. Read more


    8. Magellan RoadMate 5045-LM 5-Inch Widescreen Portable GPS Navigator with Lifetime Maps and Traffic
    Electronics
    list price: $229.99 -- our price: $119.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B003ZHVBQM
    Manufacturer: Magellan
    Sales Rank: 28
    Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Amazon.com Product Description

    The RoadMate 5045-LM is a 5-inch GPS navigator perfect for any size vehicle. The huge 5-inch screen is 35% larger than a standard 4.3-inch screen.No need to worry about finding your way, since you get lifetime map updates included with the RoadMate 5045-LM.

    Get free lifetime map updates! The RoadMate 5045-LM includes free map updates for the life of the navigator. Never again worry about finding the restaurant in a new part of town or locating the new parking garage.You will always have the latest available maps.

    Premium features include lifetime traffic alerts, highway lane assist, OneTouch favorites, highway exit POI, Built-in AAA TourBook and maps of the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico.

    Magellan has partnered with the most trusted name in travel--AAA.Only Magellan products include the exclusive, built-in AAA TourBook with Diamond ratings and descriptions on AAA-approved places to stay, play, dine, and save.

    Personalize your travel experience with the OneTouch menu of your favorite places and searches. Bookmark your favorite coffee shop, restaurant, gas station, or bank to find the nearest location, anywhere you travel!

    Perfect for any size vehicle, the Magellan RoadMate 5045-LM is a premium navigator packed with features!

    RoadMate 5045-LM Features

    Exclusive OneTouch Favorites Menu
    Easily bookmark favorite destinations and searches with personalized bookmarks so you can find them anywhere you travel. Find your favorite café or restaurant in any city with a single touch.

    Free Lifetime Map Updates
    Receive up to four map updates per year, for the life of the GPS navigator.No extra cost!

    Lifetime Traffic Alerts
    Real-time, subscription-free traffic updates sent directly to your GPS unit.Get updates whenever you need them.

    Exclusive AAA TourBook Guide
    No membership required… The Magellan-exclusive built-in AAA TourBook guide provides ratings and descriptions on AAA approved places to stay, play, dine, and save.

    Highway Lane Assist
    Realistic highway signs point you in the right direction, when approaching interchanges and exits, to ensure that you’ll choose the correct lane.
     

    Huge 5.0" Touch Screen
    The huge 5.0-inch touch screen is ideal for any vehicle including SUVs and Trucks at 35% larger than a standard 4.3-inch product.

    6 Million Points of Interest (POI)
    Gas stations, restaurants, hotels, ATMs, and millions of other destinations are searchable from the huge POI database.

    Highway Exit POI Search
    Search for gas stations, restaurants, hotels, and more near upcoming highway exits.

    QuickSpell with SmartCity Search
    Enter destinations with only a few touches. QuickSpell with SmartCity search helps you quickly enter addresses and narrow location searches, making destination entry easy.

    Multi-destination Routing
    Plan a trip with multiple stops in the order you want or have the device optimize it for the most efficient route.

    Spoken Street Name Guidance
    Hear street names and directions for a clear understanding of when to make the next turn while you keep your eyes on the road.

     

    Premium Maps
    Travel the United States, Puerto Rico, and Canada with all the maps you need, pre-loaded on your device.

    What's in the Box

    Magellan RoadMate 5045 GPS Receiver; Pre-Loaded Maps of the United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico; Windshield Mount; Vehicle Power Adapter; USB Cable; User Manual ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars WARNING: Magellan has changed to TELE ATLAS MAPS and no longer uses NAVTEQ
    I previously had a Magellan Maestro from 2006 but it recently was stolen. I loved the unit and wanted to replace it. When I found this RoadMate for under $200, I thought I would give it a try. I have several observations:
    1. 2010 maps provide a lot better navigation experience than the old ones from 2006.
    2. RoadMate has a comparatively huge display that is very appealing
    3. RoadMate does not support voice command, while Maestro did/does. However, I was never able to train the voice command system to consistently accept my voice commands. Not only do I not miss this feature, I somewhat prefer not having voice command, obviating any temptation to use it.
    4. RoadMate traffic alerts work well, especially since unlimited usage is included at no charge, ever. A small triangle display shows a red border when an incident exists en route or near. There is no audible announcement. One must tap the icon to see a summary. Often but far from always, at least one alternative route will be offered. Simply tap the appropriate "detour" icon to change to that alternative route. One must tap the "Report" button from the summary screen to see a map indicating all incidents. That is slightly tedious, but I cannot think of a more efficient way to do it. The major downside is that sometimes I have run into traffic jams that were not reported. I don't think I can legitimately blame the unit for that. Overall I find the traffic feature useful and intuitive.
    5. This unit gives audio directions along with the visual. The audio is much less verbose than the Maestro, and therefore I find it greatly improved. It also is a lot smarter about calculating routes. Older maps often routed me circuitously. This unit almost always chooses sensible routes.
    6. Use the auto-expand feature to better select the proper lanes through an intersection, turn, or other situation, such as a freeway split. This is a big improvement over the older models.
    7. Overall, navigation is greatly improved. The timing of audio cues is much more appropriate. For example, the chimes indicating a turn come only after passing the last possible wrong turn. Still, they keep up. For example, I have made three quick freeway ramp changes, one after another, and the lane directions were still in time to be followed.
    8. Magellan and AAA data bases for "points of Interest" are separate and often must be queried separately to find all "hits". This is only a slight inconvenience, noticeable mostly when using "Search by Name". The "one touch" feature is nice, but actually I have little use of it. If you have many many addresses, it could be very useful. I also like the address book having a lot of new features where a lot of information can be entered. All good stuff.

    Overall, I rate this an excellent unit at the price point of under $200. I would purchase it again preferentially over the $350 Maestro. Then again, I don't use voice command.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Great unit... while it works
    I had really high hopes for this GPS. I shopped for quite awhile and owned a Garmin that was due to be updated but decided to replace the unit rather than pay to upgrade. After reading a lot of reviews of the Garmins with quality control issues I opted to give Magellan a try. I have owned the unit around 2 months. I took a trip from Indianapolis to Santa Fe, NM and used the unit the entire time. Last weekend I drove from Indy to Chicago and back again. I guess I have used it about 3000 miles and here is my impression.

    First the bad points:
    1. The unit will power down occasionally. It has happened to me 4 times so far.

    2. The spoken directions ie.."Turn right" are crystal clear. The problem is when it says the street names. The street names are muffled. Usually I can understand what it says but other times I have to look at the screen to figure out what street it is talking about.

    3. I put in a route to take me home from a casino near Chicago. It said there were roads that were closed in my route. A road closed icon even came up on the screen. I thought OK it will just route me around the closed road. Well I got up to where I could see the barricades and it told me to turn on the road it knew was closed. I went on past the closed road of course and it recalculated a different route it took a lot longer to go that way. It would have been quicker to go back the way I came in which would have been back tracking a little bit but the unit was not smart enough to realize this.

    4. I was almost home the other night and knew what exit I needed to take on I-65. It was telling me to go 1.3 miles further then take that exit. I didn't even think there was an exit 1.3 miles further on the interstate so I took the exit that I knew was right and I checked when I got home and there wasn't another exit for around 10 miles. This makes me wonder how often it sends me on a wild goose chase in areas that I am not familiar with. Ignorance is bliss I guess.

    5. Sometimes the auto zoom will zoom out so far it looks like a satellite view. And to top it off this happens when you are in a really congested areas where you really need a lot of detail. It happened to me once in Oklahoma City and Chicago.

    6. When typing on the keyboard the unit pauses and hangs up causing you to have to press the same key a several times before it registers. This makes entering an address frustrating and time consuming.

    7. Adds show up on the screen while you are driving. I understand that the Garmin adds only show up when you are stopped. I didn't find the traffic alerts helpful. It has an icon on the screen that turns red when there is trouble ahead. Instead of just automatically rerouting you it requires you to click on the icon and then it will give you alternate routes. You select the one you want and then it will take you on your new route. You have to do this while barreling down the interstate at 75mph. Kind of defeats the purpose if I kill myself in the process. I just wished it knew which route was the least congested and route you to that one automatically.

    The only good point for me is the screen is big and easy to read.

    I am going on another trip next week. I am going to take it to Las Vegas and drive to Tucson, AZ then to San Diego and then up to LA then back to Vegas. If it performs any better I will update my review.

    All of the other reviews were so positive but I am really disappointed in it's performance. Perhaps the others just haven't used it as extensively as I have. I am probably going to replace it with a Garmin. Even my old Garmin is light years ahead of this unit.


    Update 11-16-10
    Just got back from another long trip. I had my mother along and she is around 70 years old and not very tech savvy. By the end of the trip she was making fun of the GPS unit wondering how bad it was going to screw up every time I turned it on. This unit is not able to do basic routing about half of the time. I don't understand all of the positive reviews. The phrase I hear in my sleep at night is "When possible make a legal U turn." because that is what it says more often than anything else. I wish I could return to Amazon but its been too long. Save your money and buy something else. You have been warned.

    1-0 out of 5 stars don't waste you time and mney
    I purchased this item because I wanted the live traffic and also the step by step directions. The step by step directions is handy in that you can review the turns and directions in order that you can determine howthe GPS is navigating you.

    I have been very happy with this product in that it seems to be right on with traffic delays and arrival time. However, there is one major annoying feature that I absolute dislike. The GPS has advertisement that shows up that you cannot get rid of. I guess that's how Magellen pays for the free traffic by selling advertisement. After a while you become use to it, but I rather not have it and I wish there was a way to turn it off.

    Another issue that I have experienced is that in areas of tall buildings once in a while, like downtown LA, the GPS seems to get lost due to lost signal.

    But in all, I have been very happy with it and it seems very accurate.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great GPS
    I've been waiting for years to finally buy a GPS for my vehicle. My son and daughter-in-law have had one for about 4 years, and from time to time I would borrow it to make trips with. I loved theirs. It's a Magellan Roadmate. (not sure the model number)
    When the 5045 came on the Gold Box deal a little while back, I made the leap and bought it.
    I'm disappointed because it's not nearly as intuitive as the older one. When you defy the route it absolutely refused to reroute, and just continually tells you to make a u-turn or whatever. The only way I can find to reroute is to cancel the trip and start over from wherever I am at that point. Very annoying.
    The instruction booklet is worthless. It also has a mumbled speech. It's difficult to make out what it's saying. There are other disappointing annoyances with it but I'll just sum it up with "I'm pretty sorry I didn't just buy one of the older models identical to what my son has". At least its user friendly.
    The only reason I didn't was because I wanted the most up to date maps. Not that they've helped me. Several addresses just don't even exist for this new model and they are residences that have been around for 50 years, not just newly built homes.
    On a number of trips to places that I already know where I'm going and am very familiar with, this thing wants to take me all sorts of weird directions. Sometimes even in the opposite direction of the town I'm heading to. NOT happy with it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars WARNING: Magellan has changed to TELE ATLAS MAPS and no longer uses NAVTEQ
    Warning to everyone, Magellan has just switched over to TELE ATLAS maps and no longer with NAVTEQ as of October 2010. I bought a second 3045 LM unit: the first 3045-LM had NAVTEQ (bought one month ago in September) and the second unit bought 2 days ago had TELE ATLAS. I ran the 2 units side by side and there was a huge difference in routing. The TELE ATLAS unit had terrible routing: it would take me on some insane routes that made no sense that were often circuitous and long. The NAVTEQ unit on the other hand had perfect routing. In addition, there was no true re-routing on the TELE ATLAS unit: it would try to force me to take a U-turn. The NAVTEQ unit would re-route perfectly. To sum up, I would avoid buying any new Magellan units as the latest 5045's (and 3045's) now use TELE ATLAS maps and the routing is terrible compared to the previous 5045's (and 3045's) manufactured a month ago, which have NAVTEQ maps. All the 5045's are not the same: the ones manufactured within the past several weeks have the TELE ATLAS Maps and terrible routing but the 5045's manufactured one month or so ago have NAVTEQ maps which have excellent routing. You should call customer service to confirm that Magellan is now using Tele Atlas and complain, as anyone who bought LIFETIME maps will be affected. I had just converted over from Garmin and was very happy with the Magellan NAVTEQ unit, but the newest Magellan units all have TELE ATLAS and have terribly inept routing. When reading through these reviews, I caution everyone to be mindful as to when the unit was manufactured: a rave review may be referring to a NAVTEQ unit that was manufactured one month ago as opposed to the new TELE ATLAS unit that was manufactured more recently.

    In order to see if you have a TeleAtlas versus NAVTEQ unit, Go to Menu, then hit the "tools" button, scroll down to "Product Information", then you will see "Base Map Version 41", which will indicate that this is TeleAtlas. The Navteq version of the 5045/3045/3055/3065 units will have "Base Map Version 39"

    ADDENDUM 10/30/10
    i just wanted to alert amazon for suspicion of fake reviews on the Magellan 5045 gps. I wrote a 1 star review exposing the fact that Magellan made a major switch mid-model cycle to Tele Atlas Maps from Navteq maps, and subsequently, the map routing has taken a major turn for the worse. I find it odd that from June 2010 to October 28, there were only 26 reviews. The day after I write a one star review, all of a sudden...concidentally...27 more reviews pop up in 3 days between October 29th and 31st, most of which are lauding it with 4-5 stars (and most of them written by people who have never written a review before). I find it suspicous and wonder if these are fake 5 star reviews written by Magellan in order to "bury" my one star review. It's just odd that only 26 reviews were written in 5 months and then after my 1 star review was written, 27 more reviews (mostly 5 star) suddenly appeared.

    You may see a full discussion of Magellan's unexpected move to TeleAtlas maps at the gpspassion.com forum. The news is posted on their front page news:

    [...]

    5-0 out of 5 stars Magellan RoadMate 5045 is a winner
    I previously had a Magellan Maestro from 2006 but it recently was stolen. I loved the unit and wanted to replace it. When I found this RoadMate for under $200, I thought I would give it a try. I have several observations:
    1. 2010 maps provide a lot better navigation experience than the old ones from 2006.
    2. RoadMate has a comparatively huge display that is very appealing
    3. RoadMate does not support voice command, while Maestro did/does. However, I was never able to train the voice command system to consistently accept my voice commands. Not only do I not miss this feature, I somewhat prefer not having voice command, obviating any temptation to use it.
    4. RoadMate traffic alerts work well, especially since unlimited usage is included at no charge, ever. A small triangle display shows a red border when an incident exists en route or near. There is no audible announcement. One must tap the icon to see a summary. Often but far from always, at least one alternative route will be offered. Simply tap the appropriate "detour" icon to change to that alternative route. One must tap the "Report" button from the summary screen to see a map indicating all incidents. That is slightly tedious, but I cannot think of a more efficient way to do it. The major downside is that sometimes I have run into traffic jams that were not reported. I don't think I can legitimately blame the unit for that. Overall I find the traffic feature useful and intuitive.
    5. This unit gives audio directions along with the visual. The audio is much less verbose than the Maestro, and therefore I find it greatly improved. It also is a lot smarter about calculating routes. Older maps often routed me circuitously. This unit almost always chooses sensible routes.
    6. Use the auto-expand feature to better select the proper lanes through an intersection, turn, or other situation, such as a freeway split. This is a big improvement over the older models.
    7. Overall, navigation is greatly improved. The timing of audio cues is much more appropriate. For example, the chimes indicating a turn come only after passing the last possible wrong turn. Still, they keep up. For example, I have made three quick freeway ramp changes, one after another, and the lane directions were still in time to be followed.
    8. Magellan and AAA data bases for "points of Interest" are separate and often must be queried separately to find all "hits". This is only a slight inconvenience, noticeable mostly when using "Search by Name". The "one touch" feature is nice, but actually I have little use of it. If you have many many addresses, it could be very useful. I also like the address book having a lot of new features where a lot of information can be entered. All good stuff.

    Overall, I rate this an excellent unit at the price point of under $200. I would purchase it again preferentially over the $350 Maestro. Then again, I don't use voice command.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Great unit... while it works
    Initially, I was pleased with my 5045 LM. Little quirks here and there that differed from my Garmins and from the GPS on my Android phone. Biggest thing at first was its unreliability in displaying traffic notices.

    This is my 6th GPS, in three different vehicles, and I have been using GPS's on the road and on the trail for about 6 years. I am well versed in their operation. But this last weekend my happiness with this Magellan was changed. Major POIs (Point of interests) like three different state parks in South Carolina are not even listed in its POI database. It also sent me down the wrong direction on a long mountain road that had no exit.

    Today, the last straw. It froze. The voice still worked and the addresses in memory were still there, but it would not fixate a position and the cursor stayed in position even though I was traveling 65 mph. The MPH on the display also remained at zero and the direction heading showed West when I was traveling due East. I tried every button on the utilities menu to reset. I reset to defaults 5-6 times without success. I came home and hooked it up to my computer and Magellan content manager, (what a piece of crud software) but nothing would work. When I unplugged from the car it did not give option to switch to battery , it just stayed on.

    Finally, after changing and manually entering a new GPS location three different times, it finally seems to start working again. I can't imagine this happening while on a road trip like I was 3 days ago. What would one do on an unfamiliar highway at 2 am on a long road trip especially if you were relying on the GPS to safely get you and your family where you wanted to go? I can no longer trust it to perform correctly or consistently. I will always bring a backup.

    Now I read the fine print.. If I send it in for warranty, at Magellan's digression, they can replace it with a reconditioned unit. When I went to buy this, a new GPS was a bit more expensive than a reconditioned unit. I did not want to get a reconditioned unit and spent more money for a new one. Thus I buy a new one, it breaks and it appears I will end up with a reconditioned unit. If I wanted a reconditioned unit, I would have bought a reconditioned unit. They only offer 90 day warranty on reconditioned units and a year on new units. If the company cannot stand behind a reconditioned unit, why should you accept less if you purchased a new unit? I consider this an expensive life lesson.

    I rarely express my advice against a product because everyone has different expectations and a product that does not work for me may be great for you. But when it comes to a GPS we all want the same results: reliability, accuracy and trust as no one wants to get stuck in a far away town or highway, with family in the car, and not know which way to go or where to turn.

    I advise that you turn away from Magellan and buy from a company that offers good support and products. I cannot, in good conscience, recommend this unit to anyone who wants to put their family's well being and lives in jeopardy just to save a few bucks. Buy a different unit from a different company.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Swing and a miss
    I had really high hopes for this GPS. I shopped for quite awhile and owned a Garmin that was due to be updated but decided to replace the unit rather than pay to upgrade. After reading a lot of reviews of the Garmins with quality control issues I opted to give Magellan a try. I have owned the unit around 2 months. I took a trip from Indianapolis to Santa Fe, NM and used the unit the entire time. Last weekend I drove from Indy to Chicago and back again. I guess I have used it about 3000 miles and here is my impression.

    First the bad points:
    1. The unit will power down occasionally. It has happened to me 4 times so far.

    2. The spoken directions ie.."Turn right" are crystal clear. The problem is when it says the street names. The street names are muffled. Usually I can understand what it says but other times I have to look at the screen to figure out what street it is talking about.

    3. I put in a route to take me home from a casino near Chicago. It said there were roads that were closed in my route. A road closed icon even came up on the screen. I thought OK it will just route me around the closed road. Well I got up to where I could see the barricades and it told me to turn on the road it knew was closed. I went on past the closed road of course and it recalculated a different route it took a lot longer to go that way. It would have been quicker to go back the way I came in which would have been back tracking a little bit but the unit was not smart enough to realize this.

    4. I was almost home the other night and knew what exit I needed to take on I-65. It was telling me to go 1.3 miles further then take that exit. I didn't even think there was an exit 1.3 miles further on the interstate so I took the exit that I knew was right and I checked when I got home and there wasn't another exit for around 10 miles. This makes me wonder how often it sends me on a wild goose chase in areas that I am not familiar with. Ignorance is bliss I guess.

    5. Sometimes the auto zoom will zoom out so far it looks like a satellite view. And to top it off this happens when you are in a really congested areas where you really need a lot of detail. It happened to me once in Oklahoma City and Chicago.

    6. When typing on the keyboard the unit pauses and hangs up causing you to have to press the same key a several times before it registers. This makes entering an address frustrating and time consuming.

    7. Adds show up on the screen while you are driving. I understand that the Garmin adds only show up when you are stopped. I didn't find the traffic alerts helpful. It has an icon on the screen that turns red when there is trouble ahead. Instead of just automatically rerouting you it requires you to click on the icon and then it will give you alternate routes. You select the one you want and then it will take you on your new route. You have to do this while barreling down the interstate at 75mph. Kind of defeats the purpose if I kill myself in the process. I just wished it knew which route was the least congested and route you to that one automatically.

    The only good point for me is the screen is big and easy to read.

    I am going on another trip next week. I am going to take it to Las Vegas and drive to Tucson, AZ then to San Diego and then up to LA then back to Vegas. If it performs any better I will update my review.

    All of the other reviews were so positive but I am really disappointed in it's performance. Perhaps the others just haven't used it as extensively as I have. I am probably going to replace it with a Garmin. Even my old Garmin is light years ahead of this unit.


    Update 11-16-10
    Just got back from another long trip. I had my mother along and she is around 70 years old and not very tech savvy. By the end of the trip she was making fun of the GPS unit wondering how bad it was going to screw up every time I turned it on. This unit is not able to do basic routing about half of the time. I don't understand all of the positive reviews. The phrase I hear in my sleep at night is "When possible make a legal U turn." because that is what it says more often than anything else. I wish I could return to Amazon but its been too long. Save your money and buy something else. You have been warned.

    1-0 out of 5 stars don't waste you time and mney
    The GPS sent us in circles. I called Magellan and they told me some models had a software glitch. They tod me not to reorder this model until they worked out the problem. Amazon refunded all my money. These GPS cause too many problems. I'll go to map quest when need and print out diretions. Map quest has only gotten me lost 1 time in about 10 years.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good product, has one annoying feature
    I purchased this item because I wanted the live traffic and also the step by step directions. The step by step directions is handy in that you can review the turns and directions in order that you can determine howthe GPS is navigating you.

    I have been very happy with this product in that it seems to be right on with traffic delays and arrival time. However, there is one major annoying feature that I absolute dislike. The GPS has advertisement that shows up that you cannot get rid of. I guess that's how Magellen pays for the free traffic by selling advertisement. After a while you become use to it, but I rather not have it and I wish there was a way to turn it off.

    Another issue that I have experienced is that in areas of tall buildings once in a while, like downtown LA, the GPS seems to get lost due to lost signal.

    But in all, I have been very happy with it and it seems very accurate.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great GPS
    I've had this now for a few months, and so far no problems. Did a map update and firmware all went great. Love the Triple AAA ratings and Highway exit features. The 5" screen makes a big difference, plus they added a new mount for there newer models, the power plug is mounted on the window mount, so now you can slide gps on and off with out the hassle of trying to plug in the power adapter. Would and will buy again, makes nice gifts.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Roadmate 5045
    Don't buy Magellan if you have Windows XP and you ever plan on upgrading the maps and software. I have spent over 6 hours trying to install Magellan's content manager. Content manager needs to have .net framework installed first. I had .net V1.1 installed, and Content Manager did not work. I upgraded to .net V4 and it still does not work. Phone support from Magellan was of no help. Magellan suggested I call Microsoft for technical support. I'm not going to spend $50.00 with Microsoft only to be told it isn't their problem. What can I do but send the unit back?

    I never had this issue with my Garmin or my TomTom.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Wish i kept the slightly older cheaper Magellan models
    I purchase 2 new Magellan Roadmate within last 4 months prior to this model Roadmate 5045LM,satisfy with the cheaper Roadmate 1424 4.3 inch screen basic,however reliable. Was happy with Magellan,so i sold it and move up to better and larger model Roadmate 3045LM with Lifetime map 4.7 inch didn't really have chance to use it on long trip,but little time i have it has no problems. Then i saw Roadmate 5045LM Lifetime map with yet larger 5 inch screen,now that's what i really wanted so i sold my 3045LM. To my disappointment the 5045LM was inaccurate and not reliable mainly when routing so therefore i could no longer rely on it with confidence to take me on the most efficient route,fortunately my wife just purchase a new Garmin Nuvi 1450 which we use side by side on this trip. The Garmin have no problems other than lose signal one time doing the 4,000 miles trip. We were in Florida heading north from Miami decided to take the toll road turn pike home,the Garmin told us to turn right but the Magellan told us to go straight approx. 224 miles before we will reach the turn pike entry,obviously the Magellan was wrong,because when we follow the Nuvi 1450 shortly after we turn right approx. 10 to 15 miles we tap into turn pike entry and this is just one incident i remember. I just read that some user said that Magellan has switch over to TeleAtlas map in Oct 2010 and that perhaps the factor contributing to this nonsense routing,i didn't check the software map version whether it was 3.9 NavTeq map or 4.1 the TeleAtlas map version before i return it back to Amazon. The other problem i notice is that screen fades out under direct sunlight where the nuvi 1450 was readable. I am happy that Amazon gave me back full refund and i will buy from them again. I may buy Magellan down the future if they ever fix that problem,other than that i will stay with Garmin for now which i have 4 of them one for each member of the family. Hope this information help you.


    Update 11/24/2010 Warning!!!
    Just got off phone with Magellan tech. support asking him what happen to people who bought the early production Roadmate 5045LM with the Navteq map and will they still continue to get Lifetime map update? The answer is yes,however it will be converted to TeleAtlas map next time you updated to 2011 map. I was considering finding an early made 5045LM or other sister model Roadmate with Navteq map,now i'm not so sure i want to do that now,unless i decide to buy a non-Lifetime map unit with Navteq map and have no plans ever to update, then it would be ok.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Very disappointed
    I've been waiting for years to finally buy a GPS for my vehicle. My son and daughter-in-law have had one for about 4 years, and from time to time I would borrow it to make trips with. I loved theirs. It's a Magellan Roadmate. (not sure the model number)
    When the 5045 came on the Gold Box deal a little while back, I made the leap and bought it.
    I'm disappointed because it's not nearly as intuitive as the older one. When you defy the route it absolutely refused to reroute, and just continually tells you to make a u-turn or whatever. The only way I can find to reroute is to cancel the trip and start over from wherever I am at that point. Very annoying.
    The instruction booklet is worthless. It also has a mumbled speech. It's difficult to make out what it's saying. There are other disappointing annoyances with it but I'll just sum it up with "I'm pretty sorry I didn't just buy one of the older models identical to what my son has". At least its user friendly.
    The only reason I didn't was because I wanted the most up to date maps. Not that they've helped me. Several addresses just don't even exist for this new model and they are residences that have been around for 50 years, not just newly built homes.
    On a number of trips to places that I already know where I'm going and am very familiar with, this thing wants to take me all sorts of weird directions. Sometimes even in the opposite direction of the town I'm heading to. NOT happy with it.
    Read more


    9. TomTom XXL 550TM 5-Inch Portable GPS Navigator (Lifetime Traffic & Maps Edition)
    Electronics
    list price: $259.00 -- our price: $149.95
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B003FSTAHS
    Manufacturer: TomTom
    Sales Rank: 85
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    TomTom XXL 550TM - Box ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars No nonsense GPS with a large screen, July 10, 2010
    I got TomTom550TM about two weeks ago. It replaced my TomTom Go 730 with 4.3" screen.

    This will be my 5th GPS device so far. I consider TomTom Go 730 a pretty modern GPS with a lot of good features, so I will review TomTom 550TM in comparison to that one.

    Let me start with the cons:
    - No Bluetooth hands-free, FM transmitter, SD reader, etc. But, I disabled the BT and FM in my Go anyway and I do not miss them at all.
    - Fewer menu options; mostly due to missing extra functionality, and some regarding what is displayed on screen. I find displaying the current speed and the speed limit on the screen redundant, it would have been nice to have the choice to display perhaps the compass instead.

    And the pros:
    - Simple menu! Who cares about 8 things when you are trying to just enter a new address?
    - Large screen is a relief to your eyes. Driving in summer is enough strain on the eyes.
    - Clever interface. The lanes are clearly displayed on the screen at critical times.
    - Reads names of streets just like the Go does (though this is a standard feature now).
    - Last but not the least lifetime traffic and map updates. Traffic updates are a nice to have, though I never was in a situation that they were critical with my older TomTom GPS. However, map updates are a must. I found myself looking for non-existent ramps and exits more often in the last year, so 550TM with its lifetime map updates will hopefully get rid of such annoyances.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great GPS, November 17, 2010
    I hope many of you know that these negative reviews are written by Garmin employees. I'm very surprised because the first Garmin Streetpilot a few years back was great at routing, but my last two, including the 255W, was horrid, always sending me the shortest way, no matter what I put in or what the traffic was. This meant that unless I basically knew the area I was triving to, I was taking far longer than I needed to. Garmin just said,"We don't see it." I have herd this complaint from a number of Garmin users, and after questioning, I find most of them just think that's the way GPSs are. Well, they aren't, and my new TomTom XXL550 is awesome. Takes me the fastest way, reroutes around traffic and obstacles quickly, and gives me far more options than my Garmin EVER did. It shows me the overall route and asks me if I want another route.. just that is worth the price. The Garmin interface is nice, but for me, routing is everything, and the TomTom is just different, not bad. To stop a route, just tough the screen, touch route and press clear. How hard is that?

    2-0 out of 5 stars A lot to like... And a lot to dislike with it., August 24, 2010
    I selected the XXL 550TM specifically for its lifetime map and traffic updates; if there's one thing I hate, it's being nickel and dimed to death to keep a map current.

    Setup was quick and easy, and I was using the unit within minutes of opening the box. I thought the interface was reasonably intuitive. It found satellites quickly, seemed to know all the addresses and locations I used it to locate on my first trip with it, and overall first impressions were favorable. However, by the end of the 1,000 mile, two-day trip, I'll be returning the unit for the following reasons:

    1. The clever window mount is actually nice, but the TomTom itself keeps popping off the mount ring. It's spring-loaded, and too loose, while the universal joint on the mount itself is too stiff. Getting the thing oriented properly on the window is a chore unless you like it tilted at an angle, or happen to get it right the first time.

    2. Points of interest were frequently well off-the-mark by 1/4 mile or more. In one case, a restaurant was depicted on the north side of a highway when it was on the south side of it. Corrections can be submitted, and 100% accuracy is probably unreasonable, but the POIs were "off" more than "on" for me.

    3. The underlying GIS data, provided by TomTom subsidiary Tele Atlas, left much to be desired on numerous fronts. One of the most annoying is its insistence on identifying and depicting named railroad sidings as if they were small cities. It showed Buda, Maloy, and Sinnard, Colorado on I-25 north of Denver... Never heard of any of them, and only after searching GIS data online did I find out they were railroad sidings! Who but a railroad buff knows or cares? And what relevance do they have to driving? None! This is a case of just taking government GIS data and using it unfiltered.

    4. Speaking of poor GIS data, the city of Denver, Colorado is not depicted on the map -- even at tight zoom levels. The largest city in the state; the state's capitol city; the name used in sports teams and cultural venues -- and it's nowhere to be found. Also gone is Aurora, Denver's largest suburb. At low zoom, Lakewood -- the 2nd largest Denver suburb -- is used to name the entire metropolitan area. You can see it yourself on the Tele Atlas web site. Amazing. Even my Denver home is "corrected" to exist in Englewood, another suburb, instead of Denver. Maybe this is what happens with the company digesting and providing the data is in a European country with no real national, regional and certainly no local knowledge.

    My bottom line is this -- if I can't trust this unit to properly identify the largest city in a US state, and if railroad sidings are brought to my attention as if they are cities, what exactly *can* I trust about the information provided by the TomTom?

    It's being returned. Maybe Garmin will be better. At least their GIS data, from NAVTEQ, knows there's a Denver -- and where it's located. And, based on queries on their web site, doesn't point out railroad sidings as if I'd care about them.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Glad I didn't believe negative reviews!, November 16, 2010
    I was the happy owner of a TomTom One 140 for the last 2 years. It was a Christmas gift I was thrilled to get because I'm directionally impaired. I loved it, menu was much easier to operate than Garmin, it got me where I needed to go, told me what lane to be in, a wonderful relationship that came to an end because of a careless mistake. I forgot I had put it under my seat and when repositioning the seat I heard a horrific "crunch". The incident made the GPS completely nonfunctional.

    I began looking up reviews for the most recent TomToms and Garmins. Seemed like the newest wave of TomToms were getting consistently negative reviews which made me nervous about getting a newer model. Complaints you'll read on amazon and elsewhere include everything from the GPS not being able to find Denver, CO--which by the way my TOMTOM just mapped out a route to center city Denver--inability to expand memory, dislike of the "easier" interface, problems with missing turns, showing only roads, not water on the map, a host of others if you read the reviews including horrible customer service.

    After going to a local store and playing with both the Garmin and TomTom models I decided on the XXL 550TM. The lifetime maps and traffic were a big draw as was the sale price.I was easily able to figure out how to add my "Home" address, a few favorite addresses and pretty easily navigate around the menu. Used it yesterday straight out of the box and it worked like a charm. Found the GPS signal very quickly and it was quite a cloudy, overcast day. I was driving to a place I go weekly and the TomTom originally set me up using the turnpike which is my normal route. Within 5mins of my drive a message came up saying my trip time would be increased by 38mins did I want to re-route. I touched yes. It recalculated the route very quickly.It took me a different route which was about 10mins longer than my usual route but a route I never would have guessed I could have used to get to my destination. The new version of advance lane warning worked wonderfully, even made me say "wow" out loud!
    For the trip home the traffic issue must have cleared because it brought me home the way I typically drive.

    Today was a bit problematic in a variety of ways. Based on reviews I read I did uninstall my version of TOMTOM home so as not to create confusion from my old GPS unit. I also created a new account before I attached the GPS to the PC but realized whatever bug there was with this process TomTom seems to have fixed because I easily could have navigated the menu to creat my account first. Next I entered the promotion codes and they worked seemlessly.

    Problems began when I downloaded TomTom home. I initially made the mistake of not changing the box from United Kingdom to United States. So I downloaded the UK version and when I connected the GPS nothing happened. It took a second phone call for the women with tech support to take me thru and advanced uninstall and downloading the US version for Windows Vista. Download worked and started to update but mid way it aborted. Another call to tech support and they took me thru steps to uninstall the old version of map on the GPS to create space for the newest version. Once this was done the rest of the update when without any glitches.

    I ended up having to make 4 phone calls to tech support today but unlike prior reviews, all tech support people were in the US, the wait for support was minimal, the support personnel were very helpful and patient. I'd give them high marks for excellent customer service. They must be aware there have been prior issues because while navigating thru the phone menu they tell you they are working with JD Powers to improve their customer service.

    I know have a 5inch screen GPS, which I'm loving, that is easy to use and works great. So glad I didn't believe all the naysayers!!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good value for your money, December 8, 2010
    I have owned and used the Tomtom for 6 months now and still love it. I was really surprised by all the negative comments, which is why I decided to write a review. I definitely agree with some of the complaints listed but my personal experience has been great! I did not own a gps until I bought my tomtom and only used google on my phone and my boyfriend's Magellan (2 years old) quite a bit prior to purchasing. There are a few features I prefer on his but I think mine has done a better job with routing. I bought it from Costco and it came with a travel case (which I like and use frequently) but since this summer it's come down in price quite a bit and Amazon had it on sale just last week for 129 but no case.

    5" screen
    Pro: I love the size! It's great being able to see such a large display and not have to squint to read the street names. And even when it's very bright outside you can still see the display.
    Con: The only thing you can do to adjust the brightness is select "day" or "night", which is generally sufficient but I wish they had made it so you can adjust it manually in steps. Also, it doesn't automatically adjust based on the time of day, which the Magellan is programmed to do based on sunrise/sunset.

    Voice turn-by-turn direction -
    Pro: The initial computer voice that sounds kind of like a computer says the street names and tells you when to turn.
    Con: Only the initial computer voice says the street names. If you want to use a different voice it won't say street names.

    IQ Routing
    Pro: So far I have had great success avoiding traffic and successfully re-routing, which is a HUGE considering Los Angeles traffic. It even updates as you're driving so if it finds a faster route it will quickly re-route you. I have even taken it on trips with me. Recently I took it on a trip and when I was trying to find place to meet up with friends I was there faster than other people driving using their GPS's.
    Con: Unless it's plugged in you will not get traffic and sometimes when I was in a rush I forgot to plug it in and didn't realize until I was heading into traffic.

    Start up time
    Pro: It usually finds a gps signal within two to five minutes upon first time use for the day. If I've been coming in and out of stores, it's pretty much upon turning it on. It is much faster than my boyfriends Magellan. Also, if you need it faster on initial start you can choose to get started from the last known location.
    Con: None that I have experienced so far.

    2D/3D display:
    Pro - its easy to switch between displays depending on how you want it. Depending on where I'm at I switch back and forth since 3D is really helpful on crazy intersections with lots of lanes but 2D is better when I'm not sure how much longer I have ahead.
    Con - the 2D display does not give you a North up choice so based on whatever direction you're going the map will face that direction, which can be a bit disorienting at times. But then I'll usually shift back to 3D and it's fine. But I can see how this would be frustrating for someone who prefers a North Up perspective. I would prefer that it use a compass indicator in the corner. And another reviewer didn't like that there's no turn-by-turn list, which I agree would be nice to have in order to see what's ahead.

    POI searches - it has been awesome at finding anything based on my location that I've looked for and there have been a lot of things I've put in and it's found with no problems at all. It's one of my favorite features.

    I was able to use this product right out of the box. I haven't had any issues with it in 6 months. However, among many of the complaints was the computer updating and I have not actually done this since I purchased it. It's worked so well and has been up-to-date that I just haven't taken the time to connect it to their website. After reading the negative reviews though, I must admit that I'm a bit apprehensive about it now.

    Overall, it's been a great product for me. Extremely reliable and easy to use. It's not perfect but for a first time owner I have been very satisfied.


    5-0 out of 5 stars I don't get the negative reviews..., November 24, 2010
    I've owned this GPS unit for a while now and reading the negative reviews... they don't make much sense to me. Perhaps Tom Tom came out with a stripped down model with the same name recently? Most of what they say the unit doesn't do (read street names, switch to night vision, etc.) mine does just fine. So, it's one of three things, either they are Garmin employees like one rater said =), they have a different (worse) version, or they have no idea how to operate the unit. At any rate, I'm pretty happy with my purchase, and love the free map upgrades!

    1-0 out of 5 stars Nightmare with TomTom XXL 550TM, August 29, 2010
    Over my many years, I have discovered a product is only as good as its customer service. TomTom does not even rank one star with me because of my poor experiences with their customer service. Here is a listing of my TomTom Issues:

    1. Non-intuitive computer interface for registering and updating.
    2. Rude personnel in technical support.
    3. Lack of responsiveness if something is non-functional out of the box(traffic/receiver/charger).
    4. The manual is insufficient, essentially useless.
    5. No comprehensive manual available for this unit.
    6. Window mount unit keeps popping off.
    7. If you are not persistent, you can end up with a non-functioning device.

    My Story:
    When I first connected it to the computer, it immediately installed the TomTom HOME software and searched for map updates; it bypassed any option to create an account and register the Promotion Code. This is an important deficiency for the first time user. Although the warning sheet indicated that the account should be established first, it did not note that you should interrupt the automatic download to register. This caused the download to hang-up.

    After the hang-up, I clicked on [BACK] and established my account with the Promotion Code. Then I returned to [Up Date Maps]. During this update, a dialog box appeared telling me there was an update to the application software and asked if I wanted to download that. I clicked NO since the map update was in progress. I assumed I could update the application later, wrong. After waiting of the phone over fifteen minutes, a rude technical support lady told me it would download the new application independent of which box I checked. This apparently interrupted the map download and caused another hang-up. This person constantly talked down to me; I finally just hung up the phone.

    When I finally got the map downloaded, it tried to install the new map, but was unable. A dialog box appeared indicating lack of available memory in the device. After much searching of the TomTom Website, I finally found a procedure for clearing some of the memory using the HOME software, "Manage My Device" menu. These instructions were not totally correct, but they gave me some idea of what was happening.

    When I finally installed the new map, I thought I was ready to go, not so. When I disconnected the unit from the computer and turned it on, the screen said "No Maps Loaded." I then decided to delete everything using the HOME software and the "Manage My Device" menu and start over using the "Update my Device" menu in the HOME software. This did NOT work and I was left with an UNUSABLE DEVICE--"No Maps Loaded."

    As a last ditch effort, I deleted everything on the unit using Windows, My Computer. Because the unit is quite slow in communicating with my relatively fast computer, the entire process took several hours. I was up until the wee hours of the morning trying to get a functional device. After deleting everything using Windows, I then used the "Update My Device" in the HOME software. This took a long time to download the new application, the updated map plus some simple rudimentary voices that do not announce street names. This arduous process finally resulted in a functioning unit; however, without the computer voices that announce street names.

    I then tried to download one of the TomTom computer voices that would announce street names; these are either Simon or Susan. They are both about 45Mb in size. The HOME software indicated that it was installed, but when I turned the unit on, the voice was not in the list of voices. At this point, I risked calling TomTom again; this time I got a helpful tech support lady. Apparently the device does not recognize newly installed files until you disconnect from the computer, power it down, remove the USB cable, and then power the unit up. Also, note that, as far as I can tell, the voices are not individual files on the computer. You cannot use Windows to add an individual voice from your computer backup to the device; you must use the HOME software.

    None of the issues I have described above are explained in a manual or on obvious places on the Website. Why do companies like TomTom release new products only for the customer to do their beta testing???

    There is no complete manual for this specific device; apparently the XXL 550TM is too new to have a complete manual. After TWO DAYS of working with this unit, I finally achieved what I thought was a fully functioning device -not so fast.

    I then tried to use the unit for a trip to Denver. I had two immediate problems. First, the "Fold & Go Easy Window Mount" was so tight that any on-window adjustments caused the mount to pop off of the device. I finally removed the small rubber covers on the rotating ball and loosened the screws to allow the mount to move more freely. This fixed that problem. Second, half way through the trip, I realized the car charger/traffic receiver was not working. This accessory was faulty. When I returned home, I tried an identical charger/receiver from my wife's unit and that one worked fine.

    In an attempt to get a replacement for the traffic receiver/charger, I again found the TomTom Technical Support unhelpful and rude. TomTom is unwilling to send me a new traffic receiver/charger until I fill out a bunch of paper work to prove I indeed purchased this unit with Traffic Information (even though I had already registered the unit as described above). More important, they are not willing to promise me that they will have a replacement receiver/charger in stock to replace mine. They would not commit to any such assurance. Their Website currently indicates this item is NOT AVAILABLE FROM TOMTOM--go figure! I don't have weeks or months to wait for some indeterminable backordering to get a fully functioning GPS.

    So, if the vendor is not willing to exchange my unit for a Garmin with similar features, I guess I am stuck. My wife and I are currently trying to return both units and buy a Garmin. Buyers beware if you are considering a TomTom device.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Worth the price I paid - very good GPS, November 9, 2010
    I purchased this unit to upgrade my old TT1 3rd edition GPS which gave me many years of excellent service. The XXL 550TM is a very responsive unit and the turn by turn street name directions are great. The out of the box female voice is clear for the most part. It is good to have the traffic available right on the screen as well, however sometimes you are in heavy traffic and it does not seem to be aware of the delay. While I appreciate the displeasure some have shown over the lack of multi-destination programming, I have no issues with inputting my destinations one at a time. The way I personally do it is to put them all destinations in before I leave my staring point so that each destination appears in the recent destinations screen. Then I just pick each one along the route. In my opinion, it takes roughly the same amount of time to do this as it does to program multiple destinations.

    I am really writing this review more to give some technical tips to those considering this unit if you already have an existing tom tom GPS that you are replacing.

    I would recommend uninstalling the tomtom one software from your pc, rebooting and downloading and installing the latest version of tom tom home 2 from the website. My experience has been that upgrading in place seems to sometimes lock up and cause the need to uninstall anyway. Then, if you already have a tom tom one account with your old gps registered to it, you need to call tech support and have them unregister your old device and register you new one. You can then plug it in and sync it up.

    If you plug your new gps in first, the software complains and offers to make the switch, however it fails. Tech support told me they are aware of this issue. Of course you always have the option of opening a separate tomtom one account for the new GPS, but you need a separate e mail address for each.

    Tom Tom tech support seems to get a lot of bad reviews, however my experience was good. The phone was answered quickly, and the rep seemed fairly knowledgeable overall.





    5-0 out of 5 stars Glad to be back in the TomTom Fold, December 1, 2010
    I've had a couple different brands since my original TomTom One a number of years ago... and am so glad to finally be back to using TomTom. I've been using for about two weeks so far -- including on a 1200 mile family road-trip and it worked absolutely flawlessly.

    I've heard old complaints about missing features, however all of the view list of turns, etc. options have been back on these for some time. If you happen to get some old stock, just update from TomTom Home and sll should be well.

    1-0 out of 5 stars No Turn-By-Turn Directions List, July 23, 2010
    Unfortunately the TomTom XXL 550TM does not provide a list of turn-by-turn directions. That single lack of feature makes this one of the most unwisely designed GPS, inspite of the IQ routes and Lifetime free traffic & map updates. This unit is a stripped down version of other TomTom models. Read more


    10. TomTom XL 340TM 4.3-Inch Portable GPS Navigator (Lifetime Traffic & Maps Edition)
    Electronics
    list price: $229.00 -- our price: $99.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B003B3P2C4
    Manufacturer: TomTom
    Sales Rank: 33
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    XL 340TM 4.3IN TRAFFIC/MAP ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars great unit, but there are things you need to know., September 18, 2009
    just received my new GPS today, plugged it into my mac, and installed tomtom's mac version of their home software. everything has worked well so far and the free map update installed fine. there are two main things that purchasers need to know:

    1) space is very limited on the device. there is only 2 GB of internal flash memory and out of the box there was less than 50 MB free. the very first thing you should do is to delete voices in languages you don't use. this will free up a couple/three hundred MB. they can get backed up to your computer so you could always put them back in the future. once a bit of space is freed up you'll be able to update the device without issue. after removing spanish and french voices, running update which installed a new dave voice, and then installing the free map update i was left with 89 MB free. when i tried to run update before removing the voices, the unit warned me about lack of space and aborted without creating any further problems. maybe the mac version of home is more robust than the windows one in this respect.

    2) the device only supports USB 1.1 transfers which max out at a bit over 1 MB/sec and can be slower. so doing a full backup or a map update will take quite a while (1-2 hours) and this is normal.

    for me, those limitations are more than offset by the large, bright screen, text2speech capability, crowd-sourced map/route updates, and cheaper southern africa maps (we're moving there soon). especially given the cheap sale price i found. i will provide updates as i put unit through paces on cross-country trip and then intercontinental move.....

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good features for the price: $149, October 12, 2009
    I'm pretty tech savvy and have used different GPS devices in the past. I chose Tomtom over Garmin mainly due to tomtom HOME support, better user interface: tomtom has more info on the screen including the street name you're driving on.

    Most negative reviews here are from issues updating map which is larger than the old one (about 5 Mb larger) and causes error.
    but it's simple to go around it.

    1. connect to home computer. turn the unit on. select Yes to connect. Tomtom Home will install on your computer.
    2. on Tomtom HOME menu, go to "Manage my ONE XL". On Items on Device, click voices. you can back up then delete all foreign computer voices (recorded voice files are small, so doesn't matter). just keep DAVE, and Susan computer voices( you need at least one computer voice for spoken street names). You should free up about 130 Mb (much more than you need)
    3. now you can update new map with no problem. it does take a long time. after you're done, you still have 125 Mb extra to download customized items, map corrections in the future. customized car symbols are really cool, as are start up and shut down images. these customized items and map corrections are so small: tiny to 0.5 Mb that with > 125 Mb free, you can keep updating for years to come.

    Pros: 4.3 inch screen, great routing, advanced lane guidance (it does work well), IQ route (faster route based on historical traffic data), very quick GPS fix <30 sec (but you need to connect to computer at least every 7 days so that a GPS file can be updated to help fix signal quickly), a little longer for a cold start or if you forget to sync with your computer more than 7 days, but it's still around 1 minute or less to fix the signal. also very strong signal, almost full bar inside my house. Text to speech (for spoken street names) is computer voice, so it's OK. recorded voices are nicer but unable to do text to speech. the included Easyport mount is great, simple, stable.

    Cons: the screen brightness at 100% is still not as bright as I want (I also use Tomtom Navigator 6 on my smartphone with better contrast, brightness) but you still can see fine on a sunny day. The computer voices for text to speech are not as clear when you drive and play music.

    In summary, this tomtom has a lot of great features for the price. if you don't need bluetooth (for hands free call with your cell phone, which is not good anyway because your volume always appears tiny to the other end), FM transmitter (which is not practical if you need to play your CD in the car), or live traffic receiver (which is spotty based on the info I've read), This 340S is the one to get. most people own smartphones these days with internet, so they can get live traffic, up to date points of interest from Google map, play mp3 and pictures. So you don't really need those features from a GPS device (which is more expensive)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The search for the best GPS, November 15, 2009
    (please keep in mind the date of this review, it is from Nov. 2009 and some things have changed since then)

    I have used many GPS devices such as Garmin, TomTom, Navigon, etc.. And in the end the TomTom products always seem to be superior. Every time I buy a new GPS, I sit in my driveway and do a few simple tests. The first is how fast is it ready to navigate. I don't think anyone will ever be faster than TomTom. Second, how easy is it for me to find a local store I shop at every week... for example the local Kroger's grocery store that's close to my house. Again, TomTom can help me route to this very quickly and with minimal amounts of button pushing. To be fair, other devices may be able to find the same place, but not without having to scroll through 1000 POI's, or without having to push 50 buttons... Third, I need weather and traffic, and as much information as I can get about where I am, where I am going, and what's in between.. the more information the better as far as I am concerned. TomTom again is excellent in this area and now with a built in data connection provided by a cell signal, I can have all the information that I want, anywhere and anytime. I have tried the FM traffic version of this, and the MSN version of this, but MSN is going to stop offering this service next year (2010), so don't waste your time getting a device that you plan to use MSN on, and the FM signal range and quality of data has left me a bit underwhelmed. Once again the TomToms "Live" feature has found a great way to provide real-time information to me regardless of where I am. Yes, this feature is free for the first three months, and then runs about $10 a month. If you buy this GPS, try the Live feature out for a week or so and if you don't see the value, then go back to buying printed maps, because you are not ready for the future of GPS devices. One of the interesting features of the Live service is the ability to use Google search right from the device. At first I was not sure what use this would be, then I found myself in a situation where a location I thought should be a POI was not found on the device, or perhaps I was not looking in the right place, or had the category wrong... who knows.. But I went to the Google search feature, and told it what I was looking for, and Google pulled up some listings just like it does on your computer, and I selected what I wanted, and the device created the route from that. So for some reason if the GPS device can't understand or find what you are looking for, then Google is there to fill in the gap. Another great feature of the Live service is the location of cheap gas! Yes, that's right, the Live service can tell you all about the gas prices around you, and help you get to the cheapest. Who couldn't benefit from that? Additionally, the "TomTom At Home" software that you install on your computer does a great job of updating the device, make changes to it or even plan routes or travel from it. Lots of GPS's lets you update the device from the web, but none allow as much interaction with the device outside of basic map updates then the "At Home" software. If being able to interact with the GPS device using your computer is important to you, then I would suggest getting a TomTom for now. For me, this device has all you can ask for in a car GPS (PND for you tech geeks), and the price is right. The device is advanced, yet easy to interact with, so I feel even for a first time GPS user, or non-tech type of person, you would still be very happy. I have spent a long time on my quest for a great GPS device, and I hope this little bit of information will be helpful to you on yours.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Tomtom is selling a product with a known defect, and does not note this on their website., June 11, 2009
    If one follows the instructions and updates the software and Map on a new Tomtom unit before backing up the brand new device, one will be left with a non-functioning unit that must be returned to the manufacturer. The Map update that Tomtom suggests customers download as a matter of course, and which one is prompted to update as a new customer WILL NOT FIT on the device, and the updating process may render the unit useless, as it did in my case. No where is this noted in the FAQ or in Support or on the Web Site or in the downloading procedure or instructions. Having owned literally dozens of software driven devices, I have never before encountered a company that so brazen disregards its customers' well being, by suggesting they download and install a software update or driver that will render the device inoperable. A web search has revealed that many others have had this identical problem, and Tomtom Tech Support is fully aware of this issue. Yet they will not post anything cautioning their customers, or revise the suggestion to download and install the latest Map. I found out the hard way, and will not have a GPS for trip I expressly purchased it for. I must pay to ship the unit back to Tomtom. When/if it works, this is probably a great device. But companies must be responsible, and I imagine that Tomtom will receive many more angry reviews along these lines. Beware.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Don't Listen!!, August 30, 2009
    I've been in the market for a new gps and I decided on this one. Of course I saw all the reviews talking about the map update problem. I decided to email tom tom to get their take on it. I was told that yes the updated map is alot bigger but if you go into your tom tom home application on your cpu and delete a couple of those silly voices that we never use first. Then the map will fit just fine. Remember, you always have the option to re add those voices later from tom tom home. So does a need a little work from us to be perfect...yes, but it makes it worth it as tom tom is hands down the best Navigation out there!!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Solid no-frills GPS with a few neat and fun features, August 5, 2009

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    The 340S is a solid, no frills GPS that incorporates some of the best features TomTom units offer. The best of these features are IQ routes, mapshare, and highway "advanced lane guidance". The 340s also allows you to have some fun with easy to download voices and car icons. Also as a point of reference to other reviews, the TomTom Home software worked flawlessly for me. Now it was already loaded into my computer so that may of helped but I encountered no problems updating the device, downloading gas prices, downloading mapshare updates, voices, etc.

    The heart of a good GPS is routing, re-routing, and the point of interest (POI) database. TomTom is good in the first 2 and ok in the third. TomTom uses something called IQ routes. It gathers information from TomTom users and used that information when planning routes. So it knows when a particular street gets congested at 5:00 pm on Friday and will route you where its IQ route database considers a faster route at that time. This is not the same as real-time traffic. The route it chooses will be the fastest on average with out any accidents or other obstructions. You can also elect to have mapshare updates on your unit. This uses information gathered from users to correct or update with new information the base map in the unit. Both IQ routes and mapshare are very useful. Re-routing is very fast.

    The POI database does leave something to be desired though. Around my house it has missed a couple of restaurants that Magellan and Garmin units both had, but overall with any POI you are getting millions of points. And one sample like that is not definitive. What is lacking though is a category search for restaurants. Restaurant POIs are one of the biggest types of POIs I search for when traveling. Magellan and Garmin units both list types of restaurants, BBQ, American, Asian, etc. TomTom just starts listing them all. Small but baffling design flaw.

    Some other considerations: custom voices. TomTom really excels here. There are celebrity voices you can purchase for around $13 with for instance Homer Simpson, Mr. T, and John Cleese (do not buy the Cleese, I did and it is basically just his voice saying turn right, turn left). But some of the voices say more (not street names but more phrases). There are free voices from other users. My favorite is Cartman. It brings a whole new level of hilarity and amusement to a GPS unit. Fair warning though that is a deserved `R-rated' voice. There is also a Darth Vader voice (when you reach your destination it says `your journey to the dark side is complete'), and many more free voices. One drawback to TomTom units though is that you need to have a `computer voice' selected to actually have street names spoken. A voice like Cartman (or the celebrity voices you buy) will tell you to turn right without a street name. Although it will be a turn right warning unlike anything you ever heard on a GPS unit. You can download these voices via the Home software and the usb cable. You can also download gas prices but they will not be updated till you have the unit connected to the Home software and say yes download prices again, they are not `live'.

    Overall this is a competitive entry level 4.3 inch screen GPS. It is fairly compact for a 4.3 inch size screen and the screen is pretty good quality although in direct sun you do lose some readability. In addition to the excellent IQ routes and mapshare, there is also advanced lane guidance on highways. A graphic comes up showing you your exit lane, exit number, and exit name. It also brings some funny commentary if you have the Cartman voice selected. One other consideration with a TomTom is a large selection of safety preferences that I have not seen on other brands. You can set a warning for instance when driving faster than a set speed or when driving faster than a speed limit (this only works for highways and is fairly but not always accurate).

    First-time users or people looking to step up to a 4.3 inch unit or a new unit should consider this. I personally really enjoy the voices on the TomTom. But people tell me I am easily amused. At the time of this review, I feel the unit is priced competitively for a 4.3 inch screen unit. It doesn't seem to have the best POI database, but IQ routes, mapshare, and voice choices make it a unit worth considering.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent routing!, April 22, 2009
    This unit is worth buying just for the IQ routes! The most important feature of any GPS is its competence in routing. I have owned several brands of GPS, including Garmin and Mio. This one has the best routing yet! It always seems to choose a route that a local driver would choose. Some local drivers could even learn some better routes with this thing.

    The text to speech voice works well. Like other TomToms, it is very easy to customize in terms of the information you wish to display on the screen.

    The screen could be brighter. The windshield mount does not hold as securely as one would wish. I use an Arkon vent mount.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Nice GPS Unit, BUT BEWARE, June 5, 2009
    This is a good GPS unit, but be extremely careful about it's flaw of having no ability to accept a memory card. I would recommend this product, but use it out of the box and do not do/accept any updates, especially map updates; there is a 50/50 chance that you will either accidentally unplug your unit from computer too quickly and render it useless, or one of Tom Tom's updates (especially the map that is too large for the unit) will do the job for you.

    Out of the box this unit is great, although it does need the satellite coordinate application from Tom Tom to quickly find satellites, otherwise you will be waiting several minutes each time you carry the unit inside or power it off and on again.

    Pros: larger than normal screen, easy to use "tap" keyboard, large, loud speaker, boots fast, has maps that are mostly up to date out of box, map corrections

    Cons: a little bulky (for unit that does not accept external memory card), USB input is on bottom and 1/3 inch inside unit, lack of post-purchase support since they created device with literally no room for future expansion and still haven't created map update small enough to fit on unit, brightness sucks in direct sunlight

    I would recommend that anyone take a careful look at this unit. It works great out of the box, boots very fast, has a loud speaker and a large screen, but I am a bit leary of the fact that no one at Tom Tom recognized that that the map update they are recommending you use is 1.9GB, while the unit only has about that much storage capability. With the applications such as voices, IQ Routes (which is a very questionable application) and some other minors apps, there is absolutely no room for the updated map. I performed the map update immediately upon receiving the unit and while it took nearly two hours to download and update (and I have a very, very fast internet connection), my unit worked fine until last night; I attempted to check for and upload map corrections, but for some reason I must have unplugged the unit a few seconds too early and rendered it useless or something else happened. Tom Tom support can do very little to help restore this model as I did everything from manually backing up the unit to my computer, too flashing it with their application. I know own a nice looking GPS that does not work, but Tom Tom says they will send me a new device after I send them the receipt. We will see, but I think sending it back from where I purchased it is probably the best option because who knows if they will every make a proper update.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best I've had..., July 7, 2009
    UPDATE 10-29-09
    I tried out the Magellan 1470 Roadmate with lane assist to find out how good that lane assist was. Magellan uses small highway signs on their GPS with a tiny arrow on the sign showing the lane to be in. These signs are tiny and hard to read and you need to find the actual corresponding highway sign and then adjust your lane to what is shown on the GPS. This works fairly well EXCEPT at night when the actual highway signs are lit up and sometimes poorly lit up or sometimes not lit up at all. It's very nerve wracking to try to read a tiny sign on the GPS then find the actual sign on the highway, lots can go wrong. The TomTom lane assist shows the highway signs and the total lanes on that highway and puts big green arrows on the lane(s) you need to be in. I used this Magellan 1470 on a 900 mile trip and was always a little uncomfortable with their lane assist. IMHO the TomTom lane assist is far superior to the Magellan even tho the Magellan was a super GPS in every other way, much better in POI locating than the TomTom. Bottom line, if lane assist is your cup of tea (like it is to me) get the TomTom, if looking up POI's are your bag, get the Magellan.

    ORIGINAL REVIEW
    I've owned a Mio, Garmin, Navigon and now the TomTom XL 340-S and thankfully I never hooked mine up to a computer after reading all the problems incurred by others and mine works just great, finds the satellites within a few seconds. The main reason for so many different units is my hunt for a good lane assist feature, this TomTom has a fantastic lane assist. Here in southern California on these freeways you need to know what lane to be in well ahead of time and boy does this TomTom deliver precise verbal and visual directions. On the freeways you start getting verbal directions two miles away from your next maneuver, lots of time to change lanes, on city streets the distances vary based on your cars speed, very nice feature. The Navigon had very good graphics but TomTom's are much better. I was a Garmin fan but they are way behind TomTom in features for a reasonable price. The only thing I find behind the Garmin and Navigon is the computer pronounced names of some streets, mainly Spanish names, the TomTom mangles them more than the others but with the street name showing at the right top side of the screen its no big deal, most street names are pronounced perfectly and "Dave" seems the best at pronouncing the street names . The TomTom has so many nice features the other brands are left in the dust IMHO.

    1-0 out of 5 stars a huge waste of time!, July 1, 2009
    I just spent nearly 2 hours on the phone with tom tom customer support only to find out that by updating the included map on the unit that I had wiped it out. The only remedy is to return it. This should have been posted on their website but it wasn't. Even their tech people took forever to figure out the problem. Now I'll be without the unit for a week or two and I need it. I will NEVER buy a tom tom again. Way too much work for a device that is supposed to help make things easier.

    5-0 out of 5 stars great unit, but there are things you need to know., September 18, 2009
    just received my new GPS today, plugged it into my mac, and installed tomtom's mac version of their home software. everything has worked well so far and the free map update installed fine. there are two main things that purchasers need to know:

    1) space is very limited on the device. there is only 2 GB of internal flash memory and out of the box there was less than 50 MB free. the very first thing you should do is to delete voices in languages you don't use. this will free up a couple/three hundred MB. they can get backed up to your computer so you could always put them back in the future. once a bit of space is freed up you'll be able to update the device without issue. after removing spanish and french voices, running update which installed a new dave voice, and then installing the free map update i was left with 89 MB free. when i tried to run update before removing the voices, the unit warned me about lack of space and aborted without creating any further problems. maybe the mac version of home is more robust than the windows one in this respect.

    2) the device only supports USB 1.1 transfers which max out at a bit over 1 MB/sec and can be slower. so doing a full backup or a map update will take quite a while (1-2 hours) and this is normal.

    for me, those limitations are more than offset by the large, bright screen, text2speech capability, crowd-sourced map/route updates, and cheaper southern africa maps (we're moving there soon). especially given the cheap sale price i found. i will provide updates as i put unit through paces on cross-country trip and then intercontinental move.....

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good features for the price: $149, October 12, 2009
    I'm pretty tech savvy and have used different GPS devices in the past. I chose Tomtom over Garmin mainly due to tomtom HOME support, better user interface: tomtom has more info on the screen including the street name you're driving on.

    Most negative reviews here are from issues updating map which is larger than the old one (about 5 Mb larger) and causes error.
    but it's simple to go around it.

    1. connect to home computer. turn the unit on. select Yes to connect. Tomtom Home will install on your computer.
    2. on Tomtom HOME menu, go to "Manage my ONE XL". On Items on Device, click voices. you can back up then delete all foreign computer voices (recorded voice files are small, so doesn't matter). just keep DAVE, and Susan computer voices( you need at least one computer voice for spoken street names). You should free up about 130 Mb (much more than you need)
    3. now you can update new map with no problem. it does take a long time. after you're done, you still have 125 Mb extra to download customized items, map corrections in the future. customized car symbols are really cool, as are start up and shut down images. these customized items and map corrections are so small: tiny to 0.5 Mb that with > 125 Mb free, you can keep updating for years to come.

    Pros: 4.3 inch screen, great routing, advanced lane guidance (it does work well), IQ route (faster route based on historical traffic data), very quick GPS fix <30 sec (but you need to connect to computer at least every 7 days so that a GPS file can be updated to help fix signal quickly), a little longer for a cold start or if you forget to sync with your computer more than 7 days, but it's still around 1 minute or less to fix the signal. also very strong signal, almost full bar inside my house. Text to speech (for spoken street names) is computer voice, so it's OK. recorded voices are nicer but unable to do text to speech. the included Easyport mount is great, simple, stable.

    Cons: the screen brightness at 100% is still not as bright as I want (I also use Tomtom Navigator 6 on my smartphone with better contrast, brightness) but you still can see fine on a sunny day. The computer voices for text to speech are not as clear when you drive and play music.

    In summary, this tomtom has a lot of great features for the price. if you don't need bluetooth (for hands free call with your cell phone, which is not good anyway because your volume always appears tiny to the other end), FM transmitter (which is not practical if you need to play your CD in the car), or live traffic receiver (which is spotty based on the info I've read), This 340S is the one to get. most people own smartphones these days with internet, so they can get live traffic, up to date points of interest from Google map, play mp3 and pictures. So you don't really need those features from a GPS device (which is more expensive)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The search for the best GPS, November 15, 2009
    (please keep in mind the date of this review, it is from Nov. 2009 and some things have changed since then)

    I have used many GPS devices such as Garmin, TomTom, Navigon, etc.. And in the end the TomTom products always seem to be superior. Every time I buy a new GPS, I sit in my driveway and do a few simple tests. The first is how fast is it ready to navigate. I don't think anyone will ever be faster than TomTom. Second, how easy is it for me to find a local store I shop at every week... for example the local Kroger's grocery store that's close to my house. Again, TomTom can help me route to this very quickly and with minimal amounts of button pushing. To be fair, other devices may be able to find the same place, but not without having to scroll through 1000 POI's, or without having to push 50 buttons... Third, I need weather and traffic, and as much information as I can get about where I am, where I am going, and what's in between.. the more information the better as far as I am concerned. TomTom again is excellent in this area and now with a built in data connection provided by a cell signal, I can have all the information that I want, anywhere and anytime. I have tried the FM traffic version of this, and the MSN version of this, but MSN is going to stop offering this service next year (2010), so don't waste your time getting a device that you plan to use MSN on, and the FM signal range and quality of data has left me a bit underwhelmed. Once again the TomToms "Live" feature has found a great way to provide real-time information to me regardless of where I am. Yes, this feature is free for the first three months, and then runs about $10 a month. If you buy this GPS, try the Live feature out for a week or so and if you don't see the value, then go back to buying printed maps, because you are not ready for the future of GPS devices. One of the interesting features of the Live service is the ability to use Google search right from the device. At first I was not sure what use this would be, then I found myself in a situation where a location I thought should be a POI was not found on the device, or perhaps I was not looking in the right place, or had the category wrong... who knows.. But I went to the Google search feature, and told it what I was looking for, and Google pulled up some listings just like it does on your computer, and I selected what I wanted, and the device created the route from that. So for some reason if the GPS device can't understand or find what you are looking for, then Google is there to fill in the gap. Another great feature of the Live service is the location of cheap gas! Yes, that's right, the Live service can tell you all about the gas prices around you, and help you get to the cheapest. Who couldn't benefit from that? Additionally, the "TomTom At Home" software that you install on your computer does a great job of updating the device, make changes to it or even plan routes or travel from it. Lots of GPS's lets you update the device from the web, but none allow as much interaction with the device outside of basic map updates then the "At Home" software. If being able to interact with the GPS device using your computer is important to you, then I would suggest getting a TomTom for now. For me, this device has all you can ask for in a car GPS (PND for you tech geeks), and the price is right. The device is advanced, yet easy to interact with, so I feel even for a first time GPS user, or non-tech type of person, you would still be very happy. I have spent a long time on my quest for a great GPS device, and I hope this little bit of information will be helpful to you on yours.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Tomtom is selling a product with a known defect, and does not note this on their website., June 11, 2009
    If one follows the instructions and updates the software and Map on a new Tomtom unit before backing up the brand new device, one will be left with a non-functioning unit that must be returned to the manufacturer. The Map update that Tomtom suggests customers download as a matter of course, and which one is prompted to update as a new customer WILL NOT FIT on the device, and the updating process may render the unit useless, as it did in my case. No where is this noted in the FAQ or in Support or on the Web Site or in the downloading procedure or instructions. Having owned literally dozens of software driven devices, I have never before encountered a company that so brazen disregards its customers' well being, by suggesting they download and install a software update or driver that will render the device inoperable. A web search has revealed that many others have had this identical problem, and Tomtom Tech Support is fully aware of this issue. Yet they will not post anything cautioning their customers, or revise the suggestion to download and install the latest Map. I found out the hard way, and will not have a GPS for trip I expressly purchased it for. I must pay to ship the unit back to Tomtom. When/if it works, this is probably a great device. But companies must be responsible, and I imagine that Tomtom will receive many more angry reviews along these lines. Beware.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Don't Listen!!, August 30, 2009
    I've been in the market for a new gps and I decided on this one. Of course I saw all the reviews talking about the map update problem. I decided to email tom tom to get their take on it. I was told that yes the updated map is alot bigger but if you go into your tom tom home application on your cpu and delete a couple of those silly voices that we never use first. Then the map will fit just fine. Remember, you always have the option to re add those voices later from tom tom home. So does a need a little work from us to be perfect...yes, but it makes it worth it as tom tom is hands down the best Navigation out there!!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Solid no-frills GPS with a few neat and fun features, August 5, 2009

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    The 340S is a solid, no frills GPS that incorporates some of the best features TomTom units offer. The best of these features are IQ routes, mapshare, and highway "advanced lane guidance". The 340s also allows you to have some fun with easy to download voices and car icons. Also as a point of reference to other reviews, the TomTom Home software worked flawlessly for me. Now it was already loaded into my computer so that may of helped but I encountered no problems updating the device, downloading gas prices, downloading mapshare updates, voices, etc.

    The heart of a good GPS is routing, re-routing, and the point of interest (POI) database. TomTom is good in the first 2 and ok in the third. TomTom uses something called IQ routes. It gathers information from TomTom users and used that information when planning routes. So it knows when a particular street gets congested at 5:00 pm on Friday and will route you where its IQ route database considers a faster route at that time. This is not the same as real-time traffic. The route it chooses will be the fastest on average with out any accidents or other obstructions. You can also elect to have mapshare updates on your unit. This uses information gathered from users to correct or update with new information the base map in the unit. Both IQ routes and mapshare are very useful. Re-routing is very fast.

    The POI database does leave something to be desired though. Around my house it has missed a couple of restaurants that Magellan and Garmin units both had, but overall with any POI you are getting millions of points. And one sample like that is not definitive. What is lacking though is a category search for restaurants. Restaurant POIs are one of the biggest types of POIs I search for when traveling. Magellan and Garmin units both list types of restaurants, BBQ, American, Asian, etc. TomTom just starts listing them all. Small but baffling design flaw.

    Some other considerations: custom voices. TomTom really excels here. There are celebrity voices you can purchase for around $13 with for instance Homer Simpson, Mr. T, and John Cleese (do not buy the Cleese, I did and it is basically just his voice saying turn right, turn left). But some of the voices say more (not street names but more phrases). There are free voices from other users. My favorite is Cartman. It brings a whole new level of hilarity and amusement to a GPS unit. Fair warning though that is a deserved `R-rated' voice. There is also a Darth Vader voice (when you reach your destination it says `your journey to the dark side is complete'), and many more free voices. One drawback to TomTom units though is that you need to have a `computer voice' selected to actually have street names spoken. A voice like Cartman (or the celebrity voices you buy) will tell you to turn right without a street name. Although it will be a turn right warning unlike anything you ever heard on a GPS unit. You can download these voices via the Home software and the usb cable. You can also download gas prices but they will not be updated till you have the unit connected to the Home software and say yes download prices again, they are not `live'.

    Overall this is a competitive entry level 4.3 inch screen GPS. It is fairly compact for a 4.3 inch size screen and the screen is pretty good quality although in direct sun you do lose some readability. In addition to the excellent IQ routes and mapshare, there is also advanced lane guidance on highways. A graphic comes up showing you your exit lane, exit number, and exit name. It also brings some funny commentary if you have the Cartman voice selected. One other consideration with a TomTom is a large selection of safety preferences that I have not seen on other brands. You can set a warning for instance when driving faster than a set speed or when driving faster than a speed limit (this only works for highways and is fairly but not always accurate).

    First-time users or people looking to step up to a 4.3 inch unit or a new unit should consider this. I personally really enjoy the voices on the TomTom. But people tell me I am easily amused. At the time of this review, I feel the unit is priced competitively for a 4.3 inch screen unit. It doesn't seem to have the best POI database, but IQ routes, mapshare, and voice choices make it a unit worth considering.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent routing!, April 22, 2009
    This unit is worth buying just for the IQ routes! The most important feature of any GPS is its competence in routing. I have owned several brands of GPS, including Garmin and Mio. This one has the best routing yet! It always seems to choose a route that a local driver would choose. Some local drivers could even learn some better routes with this thing.

    The text to speech voice works well. Like other TomToms, it is very easy to customize in terms of the information you wish to display on the screen.

    The screen could be brighter. The windshield mount does not hold as securely as one would wish. I use an Arkon vent mount.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Nice GPS Unit, BUT BEWARE, June 5, 2009
    This is a good GPS unit, but be extremely careful about it's flaw of having no ability to accept a memory card. I would recommend this product, but use it out of the box and do not do/accept any updates, especially map updates; there is a 50/50 chance that you will either accidentally unplug your unit from computer too quickly and render it useless, or one of Tom Tom's updates (especially the map that is too large for the unit) will do the job for you.

    Out of the box this unit is great, although it does need the satellite coordinate application from Tom Tom to quickly find satellites, otherwise you will be waiting several minutes each time you carry the unit inside or power it off and on again.

    Pros: larger than normal screen, easy to use "tap" keyboard, large, loud speaker, boots fast, has maps that are mostly up to date out of box, map corrections

    Cons: a little bulky (for unit that does not accept external memory card), USB input is on bottom and 1/3 inch inside unit, lack of post-purchase support since they created device with literally no room for future expansion and still haven't created map update small enough to fit on unit, brightness sucks in direct sunlight

    I would recommend that anyone take a careful look at this unit. It works great out of the box, boots very fast, has a loud speaker and a large screen, but I am a bit leary of the fact that no one at Tom Tom recognized that that the map update they are recommending you use is 1.9GB, while the unit only has about that much storage capability. With the applications such as voices, IQ Routes (which is a very questionable application) and some other minors apps, there is absolutely no room for the updated map. I performed the map update immediately upon receiving the unit and while it took nearly two hours to download and update (and I have a very, very fast internet connection), my unit worked fine until last night; I attempted to check for and upload map corrections, but for some reason I must have unplugged the unit a few seconds too early and rendered it useless or something else happened. Tom Tom support can do very little to help restore this model as I did everything from manually backing up the unit to my computer, too flashing it with their application. I know own a nice looking GPS that does not work, but Tom Tom says they will send me a new device after I send them the receipt. We will see, but I think sending it back from where I purchased it is probably the best option because who knows if they will every make a proper update.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best I've had..., July 7, 2009
    UPDATE 10-29-09
    I tried out the Magellan 1470 Roadmate with lane assist to find out how good that lane assist was. Magellan uses small highway signs on their GPS with a tiny arrow on the sign showing the lane to be in. These signs are tiny and hard to read and you need to find the actual corresponding highway sign and then adjust your lane to what is shown on the GPS. This works fairly well EXCEPT at night when the actual highway signs are lit up and sometimes poorly lit up or sometimes not lit up at all. It's very nerve wracking to try to read a tiny sign on the GPS then find the actual sign on the highway, lots can go wrong. The TomTom lane assist shows the highway signs and the total lanes on that highway and puts big green arrows on the lane(s) you need to be in. I used this Magellan 1470 on a 900 mile trip and was always a little uncomfortable with their lane assist. IMHO the TomTom lane assist is far superior to the Magellan even tho the Magellan was a super GPS in every other way, much better in POI locating than the TomTom. Bottom line, if lane assist is your cup of tea (like it is to me) get the TomTom, if looking up POI's are your bag, get the Magellan.

    ORIGINAL REVIEW
    I've owned a Mio, Garmin, Navigon and now the TomTom XL 340-S and thankfully I never hooked mine up to a computer after reading all the problems incurred by others and mine works just great, finds the satellites within a few seconds. The main reason for so many different units is my hunt for a good lane assist feature, this TomTom has a fantastic lane assist. Here in southern California on these freeways you need to know what lane to be in well ahead of time and boy does this TomTom deliver precise verbal and visual directions. On the freeways you start getting verbal directions two miles away from your next maneuver, lots of time to change lanes, on city streets the distances vary based on your cars speed, very nice feature. The Navigon had very good graphics but TomTom's are much better. I was a Garmin fan but they are way behind TomTom in features for a reasonable price. The only thing I find behind the Garmin and Navigon is the computer pronounced names of some streets, mainly Spanish names, the TomTom mangles them more than the others but with the street name showing at the right top side of the screen its no big deal, most street names are pronounced perfectly and "Dave" seems the best at pronouncing the street names . The TomTom has so many nice features the other brands are left in the dust IMHO.

    1-0 out of 5 stars a huge waste of time!, July 1, 2009
    I just spent nearly 2 hours on the phone with tom tom customer support only to find out that by updating the included map on the unit that I had wiped it out. The only remedy is to return it. This should have been posted on their website but it wasn't. Even their tech people took forever to figure out the problem. Now I'll be without the unit for a week or two and I need it. I will NEVER buy a tom tom again. Way too much work for a device that is supposed to help make things easier. Read more


    11. Garmin nüvi 260W 4.3-Inch Widescreen Portable GPS Navigator
    Electronics
    list price: $229.99 -- our price: $199.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0011ULQNI
    Manufacturer: Garmin
    Sales Rank: 335
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Amazon.com Product DescriptionGo wide with the ultra-cool nüvi 260W that speaks street names. This widescreen navigator is attractively-priced and simple to use. Like the rest of the nüvi 200-series, you’re just a few screen taps away from anywhere.

    Navigate With Ease
    nüvi 260W comes ready to go right out of the box with preloaded City Navigator® NT street maps, including a hefty points of interest (POIs) database with hotels, restaurants, fuel, ATMs and more. It even announces the name of exits and streets so you never have to take your eyes off the road. Simply touch the color screen to enter a destination, and nüvi takes you there with 2-D or 3-D maps and turn-by-turn voice directions. In addition, nüvi 260W accepts custom points of interest (POIs), such as school zones and safety cameras and lets you set proximity alerts to warn you of upcoming POIs.

    Take It With You
    Like the rest of the nüvi 200-series, nüvi 260W sports a sleek, slim design and fits comfortably in your pocket or purse. Its rechargeable lithium-ion battery makes it convenient for navigation by car or foot.

    Go Beyond Navigation
    Navigation is just the beginning. nüvi 260W includes many travel tools including JPEG picture viewer, world travel clock with time zones, currency converter, measurement converter, calculator and more. It also comes with Garmin Lock™, an anti-theft feature, and is compatible with our free Garmin Garage where you can download custom vehicles that show your location on the map. Enhance your travel experience with optional plug-in SD cards such as Garmin Travel Guides for detailed data on attractions.

    Compare all Garmin nüvis
    Click the button below to compare by series, user type, and features.






    What's in the Box
    nüvi 260W, preloaded City Navigator NT for North America, vehicle suction cup mount, vehicle power cable, dashboard disk, and quick start manual.


    All nüvis come with detailed NAVTEQ maps containing more than 6 million pre-loaded point of interest locations.
    1 ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Amazingly Accurate, February 25, 2008
    I bought the GARMIN n�vi 260W to help with work and family travels. After extensive research with Magellan, Mio and Tom-Tom, I bought the Garmin for three reasons. 1) Ease of use. 2) Screen clarity. 3) Amazing accuracy. And no, despite where I live, I have no affiliation with Garmin. I don't even know anyone that works for them. I am in the architectural business.

    I have tried several GPSs while traveling with business associates, friends or in rental cars. As such, I have seen them in real world action. All of the devices saved me time and most found the place I needed to be. I could used any of them and been somewhat satisfied.The problem: I am a perfectionist. As such, I want the unit to be the best. So, after using a text-to-speech Garmin GPS unit earlier this year, I knew that was one feature I could not live without when I pulled the trigger on a purchase. Text-to-speech is a must have on GPS. A MUST. If you have never used a GPS, trust me, you have to have text-to-speech. It eliminates the frustration of urban driving and having the non text-to-speech units tell you to turn right in 200 feet, only to find two roads that are 200 feet away and have to pick one and hope it is right.

    I decided to wait until a wide screen GPS came out that didn't have so many bells and whistles and was priced fairly. The GARMIN n�vi 260W 4.3-Inch fit the bill. Pulled the trigger still knowing that GPS units drop in price every month it seems and I would knowingly be mad in 90 days when the unit was 20% cheaper (oh well).

    Back to the GARMIN n�vi 260W...I am amazed how it can find the driveway of my house at the end of a cul-de-sac directly adjacent to a road that is named the same. It is so accurate that it lets me know if I pulled into the wrong driveway 15 feet away from mine (I know, I tried it). It is so easy to use; I didn't even use the manual - once. It is that user friendly. I even downloaded new voices via the Garmin site without a manual. I like the fact the screen is very clear and refreshes quickly. I can even use my polarized sunglasses with the Garmin 260W screen and it does not distort the screen colors or have numerous horizontal lines (if you use polarized glasses, make sure to try out any GPS screen before you buy. Many look blank when using polarized glasses).

    The POI seem to be pretty good, but I really haven't used it long enough to evaluate POI depth. I do know that the maps seem to be fairly accurate in terms of new roads since I have yet to find a road that does not exist on the map.

    Not everything is perfect with the Garmin 260W. The downside is the time to acquire a satellite. The 260W takes longer than I like...sometimes up to one minute. However, once it gets a hold of the satellites, it never looses them. Plus it gets such a strong signal (with no external antenna); I can use the device on my lap in the passenger seat (when I am not driving and after it finds a satellite). Another couple of downers are it has very few voices that work with the text-to-speech feature. I hope Garmin increases the choices via a web download in the future (I want celebrity voices...please). Plus, I would have liked a case, any case to be included for the price I paid.

    Overall, the unit is amazing and the larger screen size of 4.3 inches really helps those with fat fingers and those that don't want to squint to read a map. I am just sorry I had to wait this long to own one. It is a must have for those that travel to unfamiliar areas.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Problems with Satellite Acquisition and other Issues, June 7, 2008
    I received the Garmin Nuvi 260W as a gift. I have subsequently read comments about many different GPS units and have concluded that:

    -a hand held GPS is a complement to, not a substitute for a good road map and some common sense. All GPS units have positives and negatives; none are absolutely perfect. These are not toys, but they are not self sufficient navigational tools either. Given enough time, every owner of every unit will have a story about how he couldn't find a particular point of interest, or was directed down a dead end street or across a 4-lane divided highway!

    -considering screen sharpness, ease of use and other features, the Garmin 260W is one of the best in its price class.

    -Garmin also has the best customer service of any of the companies.

    The purpose of this review is NOT to repeat what others have written but to discuss workarounds for the various limitations of this unit.

    COMPUTER ACCESS: To download firmware, software upgrades and maps, access to garmin.com is a virtual necessity. Since a computer cable is unfortunately not included with the unit, the user will need to buy a USB 2.0 A / mini B cable. It can be found on Amazon.

    At garmin.com, download the web updater and whatever updates it prompts and also, remember to download the updated TTS (Text to Speech) voices. We find that "British" English is sometimes easier to understand than the American counterpart and suggest that it be downloaded as well.

    The USB cable will also charge the Garmin's battery but the unit does not operate when plugged into the computer. The optional AC converter is only required if the user wants to operate the unit on 110 volts.

    SATELLITE ACQUISITION: Failure to reliably acquire satellite is the biggest single weakness of the Garmin 260W and the reason for the 3* rating. The user never knows in advance whether, after the 30 second boot up, it will take 15 seconds or 15 minutes to find a satellite.

    Customer service suggests that the preferable satellite acquisition position is the top edge (NOT the face or back) pointed straight up to the open sky with the unit held still (which means you should not be driving).

    When the unit is powered up out of the box and acquires a satellite for the first time, leave the power ON for an hour to download almanac data.

    If the unit is moved to a new location with the power off, powering up the unit is similar to an initial power-on, and it can easily take 15 minutes to locate new satellites.

    If all else fails, do a hard reset (see the instructions for "clearing user data"). Note that all user data (favorites) is in the gpx file in the gpx folder so save it to your computer and restore it after the reset. Again, leave the unit on for an hour after satellites are acquired.

    POINTS OF INTEREST: Some of the data is not current. If a particular restaurant, etc., cannot be found, enter it by its street address and then change the name.

    MODIFYING A ROUTE: This unit is less flexible than some. If a favorite place is selected and the GPS simulator mode activated, the proposed route will be highlighted. "Sliding" the screen with an appropriate magnification will allow the route to be compared with a computer or road map alternative. To force Garmin to select a particular road or direction, add a VIA point (gas station, motel, whatever). Because Garmin only allows one via point per route, several such points may be needed and the driver may have to skip stop between them.

    ADD: June 26th. The Garmin 260W will NOT display routes downloaded from Mapquest. That feature is reserved for more expensive units.

    ADD: June 26th. Failure to arrive at a specific house number may relate to mistakes on the part of developers, subdivision planners or mappers rather than the GPS. If necessary, give an address TWO favorite places - one labeled (per gps)that has the desired address; and one labeled (actual) determined by touching the car icon when standing in the driveway.

    ADD: Aug. 4. Polarized sunglass lens fix: If you have the brightness set low (to conserve the battery when walking or biking, for example), polarized sun glasses may make it difficult to read the display which is also polarized. But, if you turn the display VERTICAL, the polarized settings will align and the display will immediately brighten up.

    BATTERY LIFE: We've run two hours on battery without losing a green bar. Battery life can be extended by reducing the brightness level to the lowest acceptable.

    In summary, the Garmin Nuvi 260W will do pretty much everything it is supposed to do EXCEPT acquire satellites quickly every time. If the company fixes this problem with a new firmware upgrade, the 260W deserves 4 stars. If the unit were also to allow multiple via points and route selections, then it would, in our opinion, earn 5 stars.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Very happy but some Nuvi glitches, May 5, 2008
    I've used this product for several trips and I've never used another GPS. I love the text-to-speech feature, which is very natural; the instructions are usually very clear, but it is worth glancing at the green bar at the top of the screen to see the full instruction. The map with the graphics can often clear up confusion. The other great thing about the map is it labels upcoming streets so you are not peering at street signs.

    I purchased the friction mount, which is great because I can take it off my dash and put it under the seat very easily. Around here, there have been a lot of break ins of cars with suction marks on the windshield.

    A couple of glitches so far:

    1. The Nuvi did not know the street that I was headed to in West Virginia.

    2. Once in West Virginia in the mountains, the Nuvi could not pick up a satellite signal.

    3. Out on a road trip, I stopped at a restaurant. I restarted my car and turned the Nuvi on again; I have the security feature on, so it asked for my pin. I misentered the pin -- AND IT LOCKED ME OUT UNTIL I RETURNED TO MY HOUSE. That's it -- one shot -- get it wrong, and no navigator for you. Even my ATM machine lets me try more than once. I'll check to see if you can set the number of tries, but I don't think you can.

    4. Occasionally it gives instructions that can't be followed -- like when it wanted me to get over four busy lanes in 0.2 miles.

    5. Note that when it says "Keep Left" it does not mean, get in the left lane. It means don't take the swerve to the right option by mistake. I got over to the left and was then told to exit right.

    6. If the next turn is coming up very quickly, the Nuvi will give you the next instruction immediately. But I turned onto a highway where I had to go 40 miles; and the Nuvi did not give me the next instruction until we were almost on top of the exit and it was too late to get into the lane to make the turn.


    I'm still really happy with my purchase and it will be endlessly useful navigating in more urban environments. It recalculates routes quickly. It also tells you on what side a turn or ramp is, which is wonderful.

    LATER: Maybe I missed this in the instruction manual, but there are some other neat features that I discovered by playing around. 1) If you touch the car symbol, you get the option of saving your current location as a favorite destination; 2) If you touch the green bar at the top that contains a direction, you can see and scroll through all of the directions so you can see which way you'll be going; 3) I stumbled into a way to set a way point (although I don't remember how). There's no particular reason to have a waypoint -- that is, you can route to your first destination and then route to your second, so no difference; except perhaps if you are trying to generate an alternate route to your destination by perhaps avoiding a closed road.

    Would love to have, but don't think it does, a feature that lets you select a particular turn or direction in the list to route around.

    This is the only GPS I've ever owned, so my next comment is probably applicable to GPS systems everywhere, but I've found that the Nuvi is quietly changing my life by making me bolder about going to new places, particularly if it involves night driving. Trying to drive to a new place by yourself juggling your complicated handwritten instructions or your printout from Mapquest was always a challenge; doing it at night was downright stressful. You still need your directions just in case, but with the Nuvi I haven't had to look at them yet. I didn't realize how narrowed my world had become because I hesitated to drive to some place I had never been.

    LATER: See user comment below that claims that if locked out you can simply power Garmin off and on and try again. I haven't tried this, as I have disabled the security function.

    Also, I was in an insanely complicated intersecting freeway knot and I took a wrong turn. Garmin's recalculation was sufficiently slow that I had real problems getting back on the right track, as I had to keep making decisions to turn long before it finished its recalculations. I had to choose some random direction and go in it long enough to allow Garmin to recalculate the route. So it's not perfect.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Love the Screen Size, March 29, 2008
    Over the years, I have gone through all the major providers of GPS-enabled mapping software. Eventually settled on Garmin maps as the most up-to-date, most frequently updated. Hating to carry lots of gadgets, though, I have for several years been using Garmin maps on my PDA (Treo 700w).

    Worked OK, getting GPS coordinates from a Garmin 10 via blue tooth. But, often required resting reading glasses on the end of my nose so I could make sense of the information and imagines on the small screen. Not particularly safe way to drive, of course.

    No need for glasses with the large display on the 260W. I am very glad I went with the wider screen. It's not so much that there is more to see on the map as it is the case that the device takes full advantage of the wider screen's capabilities for messages on what's coming up, icons and boxes that may need to be touched to move among screens, make adjustments. Easier to operate while driving (which, of course, none of us do).

    I am also glad that I went for the model that includes vocalizing street names. Does really improve confidence in following the Garmin's guidance when in unfamiliar areas and makes for safer driving.

    As with all such products, local knowledge will sometimes beat the route-finding software. But, it gets you there.

    Mine came loaded with City Navigator 2008. As I write this, it's late March 2008, and the Garmin web site projects that City Navigator 2009 will be out in April. Should determine what your unit comes with and, if it's 2008, will you get a free upgrade to 2009. Updates are essential in my opinion and a significant annual cost of owning such devices.

    I also bought the weighted dashboard mount. It sits unopened as the window mount that comes with the unit works great on my car and the numerous rentals I end up in.

    SD card reader slot is interesting. Works fine but what's it's purpose? I did put hundreds of photos on it and the Garmin will display them. Picture software is very basic though (e.g., even though related photos are organized by folder on the SD card, slide show program throws everything it can find into one hodgepodge show). Plugged into an USB port (cable not included but you may well have the required one that came with some other device - I did), the Garmin becomes an SD card reader. Maybe that has some value to someone. And, maybe there is just something I am missing here.

    Other products provide endless possibilities for customizing screens. This device does not and that took some getting used to. Makes it much simpler to operate though and, after some adjustment, I am generally comfortable with the choices that Garmin decided to make for me.

    But 5 stars because just cannot beat the big, wide, bright screen.



    4-0 out of 5 stars Good value - lacks support info, features, May 14, 2008
    This is my first standalone GPS receiver (I have previously used a computer-based GPS - too bulky for everyday use). Overall, I'm pleased with my purchase. FWIW, my "disclaimer" is that I was a satellite technician on the Block II GPS (NavStar) satellites. So, I actually worked on the satellites themselves (vehicles 13-24) for almost 5 years, but I'm just now getting a unit for our cars. Go figure! ;-)

    On to my review...

    The Good
    * The screen is wide and clear. About the only time I had trouble seeing it (glancing, really) was driving towards the sunset with my sunglasses on. You really can't expect it to overcome that level of contrast, so I don't fault the display for this.
    * Reasonably fast calculation. The computer-based GPS I am replacing with this unit often took several minutes to calculate a multi-state trip. This unit typically completes route calculation within 20 seconds or less.
    * It does a recalculate pretty quickly as well (typically just a few seconds). So, if you decide to take a slightly (or even radically) different route, it "goes with the flow" and will still get you there.
    * I was concerned about this unit not having a way to output the audio to either an external speaker or to the car FM radio (these features are available in more expensive Nuvi models). I was pleasantly surprised at how clear the TTS voice is, albeit a bit distorted from time-to-time. On occasion, I had to turn down the radio or pause my iPod to hear what it was saying, but for the most part it is very clear and understandable.
    * I've not tried to stress the battery life to the max, but I've been pleasantly surprised so far at how long I can use it without being plugged in. It's not a unit designed for extensive hiking/backpacking, but for short hikes it seems like it will at least keep you oriented in regard to roads, etc. I've not explored (pardon the pun) whether or not one can load topographical maps for off-road use.
    * Size and portability. This is a nice, slim unit. I can put it in my shirt pocket and carry it with me. Even with the suction-cup mount and power supply, it's fairly easy to move from vehicle to vehicle.
    * Satellite acquisition is good. Unlike another reviewer, so far I'm pleased with the speed of acquisition. My laptop GPS unit almost always takes 1-2 minutes to be good to go. The Nuvi typically takes only 15-20 seconds to acquire if I'm out in the open (i.e., not between tall buildings, indoors, under a bridge, etc.). I've ready what other reviewers have said, but I've not experienced it so far (I probably just jinxed it, however!).

    The Bad
    * The documentation is bare-bones. Even when visiting the Garmin website, I found no additional information on how to use the device to get additional features to work. Sure, you can upload pictures for viewing (woo hoo!) and upload "cool" (read: "Dorky") vehicle 3-D icons, but other than that - the "Quick Start Manual" seems to be all there is.
    * About 20% of the time, there seems to be a slight hesitation in the voice - almost like it is loading something from the flash memory. It ends up sounding something like "Turn r...ight on M...ain Street". Still understandable, but a bit disconcerting.
    * There is a way to search for intersections as a destination point. All fine and dandy, but you still have to know the exact names that the Garmin unit will identify these intersections with. If you are trying to get to a major highway intersection, you would do best to zoom in on it and "click" (with your finger) the roads involved to see what they're named. Either memorize them or write them down, because once you go back to finding that intersection, you'll need to refer to that exact name (e.g., if it says "Bell Blvd." even though you know it's also "Highway 183" - use "Bell Blvd."). Even having a computer open running Google Maps doesn't always help you as Garmin's map supplier may not agree.
    * As related to the above point, unlike online resources like Google Maps, Mapquest, etc. - you can't just have it direct you to a town or city. You *have* to know the actual address or intersection or it will refuse to try to route you. It would be _nice_ (HINT, HINT - Garmin!) if it would just say "well, here's an arbitrary address in the city you've requested" and let you deal with the consequences.

    The Ugly
    * As I'm sure many purchasers will do, I tried it out around my home location (trips to the grocery store, work, etc.) just to see how it would perform. I often found that it chose routes that I knew were not optimal. When I would deviate from its suggestions, it (thankfully) doesn't fuss and say "Off route" as I've heard other units do. It simply recalculates and things straighten out. However, I would like a better way to "encourage" it to take a particular route other than creating a via point (and you *only* get one per trip!).
    * Trying to plan a trip via this unit is frustrating. It is really designed for point A to B driving. Granted, I knew that when I bought it. However, it seems that the interface could have been improved a bit in trying to set up a multi-stage trip. The only way around this that I've found is to: (a) Search for a location, (b) go to Recently Found Locations (or whatever it's called), (c) Save the location. Once you've done that, you can reference this point in your favorites and use it as an anchor for your trip.
    * The voice prompts can be a bit overdone. "In .2 miles, turn left at Main Street" - immediately followed by "Turn left at Main Street". I realize this is the correct default behavior, but it seems that there should be a way to adjust the threshold of the "nanny" approach. It's not a huge deal - it just gets irritating when you have a lot of turns.

    Summary
    Besides the peccadilloes I've mentioned above, I still really like the unit. My advice is to do advanced planning (using a computer) to get a feel for the layout if you're going on a long trip. Create via points where they make sense (and save them to your Favorites). Be willing to break up longer trips into smaller ones just so you can get better/more customized routing from the unit.

    + Great screen visibility, TTS clear and correct pronunciation, works pretty well for what it was designed to do.
    - Interface limitations/poor choices, refuses to help "guess" destination points, relies far more on built-in help than even what Garmin's website has for documentation.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great GPS after trying many others, September 19, 2008
    The Garmin Nuvi 260W is a great little GPS:
    The text to speech is clear, the screen is more than bright enough, the maps are large on the 4.3 inch screen. Route calculation is fast.
    I regularly use it on battery power which is long, 4 or 5 hours, even more if you turn down the screen brightness.
    However, it seemed at first that satellite acquisition was very slow, sometimes as long as 12 minutes.
    I think I found a way around that.
    If I turned the GPS off at home, it located satellites within 30 seconds of being turned on again at the same location; if turned off before arriving home, which I was in the habit of doing, it took about 12 minutes to acquire the present location.
    It seems it did not know where to look for the satellites, and took a lot of time finding them. A software fault probably, but workable.
    After I discovered this, I left the unit on up to my destination and the problem was solved.

    Something nobody seems to have mentioned; when a store or restaurant is located by this unit, it gives the address AND the phone number of the intended location, and I can call ahead and make sure they are open and have what I want. This has saved so much time.
    Also, touching the car icon on the map gives you a workable "Where am I?" which can be saved to favorites.

    The 260W does not have all the features of a higher end Garmin GPS, like routing, blue tooth, traffic, etc, but Garmin has deliberately omitted these from the (slightly) lower end products.
    The documentation is very limited, but reading a downloaded pdf for the Garmin 350 helps with the 260W.
    Garmin seems to believe that no one wants to read a manual.

    All in all, a very good GPS, very easy to use. Garmin may have proved that no manual is needed.


    5-0 out of 5 stars Garmin nuvi 260W Review, February 17, 2008
    Beacause I do so much traveling this GPS offered ezactly what I was looking for. Portable GPS with voice directions and an easy to read screen. These feature work very well and it is very customizable.

    PROS
    Small device with Wide easy to see display
    Voice directions are clear
    Device automatically readjust directions if wrong turn is taken
    Easy to use device no instructions needed

    CONS
    No travel case included
    Extra parts will need to be purchased if you want system professionaly installed
    Not much documentation
    Device always poers on when car starts, this should be my decision but i can turn it off.
    Maintains travel averages (speed with min. max.)

    All in all I am very satisfied with my purchase. I would advise to shop for the best price before ourchasing.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Pleased Customer, June 5, 2008
    I did my homework before buying my first GPS unit. I did not want nor need the top of line units with all the bells and whistles. I had rented a couple of cars with GPS units and found out what I liked and what I didn't like. First off, do not but any unit without the text to speech feature. Without this feature the unit will tell you that your turn is approaching but not the name of the street. The text to speech feature will speak the name of the street that you need to turn on. This feature is a must have. Without it you will staring at the screen waiting for the update to see if you are nearing your turn. With this feature you can listen without the need to be looking at the screen. The wide face is very easy to see. I knew that it did not come with a carrying case but since it never leaves my car that was no big deal. I also bought the bean bag holder and I have not even used the suction cup. I was warned that thieves may target cars with a suction cup ring on the windshield as they assume that the unit is in the car. I stow the unit in my center console when not in use and put the bean bag under the seat. This unit starts up in about 30 seconds and I have not opened the user manual once. It is so easy to use right out of the box. If you are looking for an easy, accurate GPS this is a very good pick.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Some Design Flaw, April 19, 2008
    So many 5-star reviews give potential buyers a false sense of confidence. As a matter of fact, after you read those 5-star reviews, you realize those users also complained about the same flaws. I always think 5-star should reserve to a product near perfect or meet all of its stated specifications. NUVI 260W is very useful but with some flaws:
    1. The sensitivity & time to acquire satellite signals are not good enough. While I was in San Jose airport, with same location in the waiting area, nuvi 260W never acquires the signal successfully. However, mio c310 easily got it. Also the time to sync the satellite signal is not preditable. Sometimes it takes 5 minutes or forever. Sometimes it takes only 10 seconds after turned off for a short period of time & turned on again. This inconsistency is really annoyed if you are in a hurry.
    2. Every time the unit is turned on, it goes through the same time-consuming power up sequence. It should be designed to retain the condition just before the previous power-down. After the first time use, the unit power-up time should not be more than 5 seconds.
    3. The Text-to-Speech feature is great except the voice is not very clear. The person sounds as if she got cold or there is a hole between her teeth. A good product should not be released with beta test. The voice should be human-like, not computer-like.
    4. In pedestrian mode, you walk & navigate with 260W, it doesn't do anything except the map shows where you are & very jerky, not stable at all. There is no Text-to-Speech, not even say anything at all. This must be a design flaw & must not pass beta test, let alone product release.
    5. Battery usage is about 2 hours after fully charged, not 5 hours as claimed.
    6. I found that SD card, mpeg or jpeg features of most GPS are not very useful. Either they are too primitive or not user-friendly. I bet most people don't care about them at all.

    I used nuvi 260W only for three weeks & found it useful enough except the above areas mentioned can be & should be improved.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Technology is hitting the sweet spot., April 10, 2008
    Garmin is really getting it right. I first used good GPS in a Hertz rental car. I was so impressed, I tried to buy one. It was a very complex machine, cost well over $1,500. The Garmin Nuvi 260W is even better. It always pays to wait. I don't think they can get it much better than this. Really happy with this device. It is so accurate, it can tell if I pull into my neighbors driveway instead of my own. Read more


    12. TomTomXXL 540S 5-Inch Widescreen Portable GPS Navigator
    Electronics
    list price: $199.00 -- our price: Too low to display
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B002OL2NT4
    Manufacturer: TomTom
    Sales Rank: 197
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Amazon.com Product DescriptionThe TomTom XXL 540S is complete navigation in a XXL widescreen device. Switch on and it's ready right out of the box. Spoken turn-by-turn instructions, including street names, will guide you to any address in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico--including more than 7 million pre-loaded points of interest.

    Complete navigation in a XXL widescreen device. Click to enlarge.

    EasyPort mount folds neatly onto the back of your device. Click to enlarge.

    Advanced Lane Guidance uses photorealistic images to bring even more clarity to complex multi-lane exits. Click to enlarge.

    Complete XXL Widescreen Navigation and Spoken Street Names

    IQ Routes
    IQ Routes technology* gives you the fastest route every time by using actual average speeds of travel on your route to calculate your trip rather than only posted speed limits, so you'll always travel the smartest route.

    Advanced Lane Guidance
    Advanced Lane Guidance** uses photorealistic images to bring even more clarity to complex multi-lane exits so you can be more confident on the road.

    5-Inch Touchscreen
    An extra-wide 5-inch touchscreen helps you find your way, worry-free.

    TomTom Map Share
    TomTom has the most accurate maps, and with TomTom Map Share technology, you can instantly modify street names, street direction, POIs, road speeds, and turn restrictions on your own device.

    Get Help
    With the "Help Me!" menu, there are added safety features so you can easily access local emergency providers.

    EasyPort Mount
    The award-winning Fold and Go EasyPort mount folds flat against the device, making it easy to take with you from car to car.

    The XXL 540S is complete, widescreen navigation.

    *Feature only available in the U.S. and Canada
    **Feature available in the U.S. only

    What's in the Box

    TomTom XL 540S device, EasyPort mount, USB cable, adhesive disk, car charger, and user's guide.1 ... Read more

    Reviews

    4-0 out of 5 stars Still needs many improvements to make it a great gps unit, December 17, 2009
    I bought the TomTom XXL 540S a few weeks ago. This gps is the big brother to the TomTom XL 340S. This gps just has the bigger and brighter 5" screen.

    I have very mixed feelings about the gps. There are many things that I like about it, but there are also so many small details and functions that are lacking on it that TomTom either decided not to work on or decided to exclude. These little things that are missing drive me absolutely crazy at times and I don't know if I can stand them or not. I may consider returning this gps and getting either a Garmin or Magellan instead. I don't know yet. I really hope TomTom starts addressing some of these issues.

    Some of my pros vs cons are below which I hope will help others who are trying to decide on a gps.

    Pros:

    + IQ Routes (TomTom uses historical speed data for roads based on the time of day and day of the week, so that it can give you the best possible route)
    + Big 5" Screen, which is easy to see.
    + Very loud speaker. (Option in Volume Preferences to link the volume to your cars speed if you want)
    + Satellite acquition is fast (less than 10 sec for me). Shows usually around 9 satellites.
    + Map Color can be changed.
    + Can change the color of the car symbol in 3D mode
    + Auto Day/Night mode changes the brightness and color.
    + Ability to prepare a route with any Depart and Destination coordinates.

    + Shows the current street that your on at the bottom of the screen and the next street to turn on in the top right corner.

    + Advanced Lane Guidance on the highway is displayed really nicely. Shows an arrow with the lane that you need to be in and also sometimes shows a 3D sign for your exit. It is nice and big and it stays on the screen long enough to be viewed so that its clear to see where you need to go.

    + Status bar can be customized to how you like it. It can be displayed either horizontally or vertically. Can show the remaining time, remaining distance, current time, arrival time, your speed and the speed limit, distance to your next turn, compass, ect.

    + TTS (text to speech) instructions are very helpful in letting you know where to turn and also preparing you for your next turn as well. For instance it will say something like "After one qurter mile turn right". Then as you get closer to the street it will say "Turn right Main St. Then take the second left"


    Cons:

    - POI (Points of Interest) Map Screen shows the POI name, street and cross street, phone, city, and state. But it gives NO street addresses! So you don't know the address or what side of the street the POI is on, unless you call the place ahead of time and ask. All you get is a checkered flag shown in the middle of the street with TomTom saying "you have reached your final destination". On the Go model the POI Map Screen has a "Details" button that shows the street address, zip code, and food cuisine type for instance. Why TomTom decided to remove this on this model I have no idea.

    - No AutoZoom enable/disable option (like on the Go model). You can manually zoom in or out on the map, but about 5 sec later AutoZoom will kick in and take you right back to what TomTom wants you to see. Its very frustrating because I like to zoom in and out sometimes so that I can see more map detail, but TomTom won't allow me to for anymore then about 5 sec. When I turn on the gps the zoom level that TomTom has picked is so bad that most all of the street outlines around me have completely vanished from the screen. All that I see are a bunch of street names just floating around on the map with no streets being shown.

    - Doesn't speak which side of the street your destination is on. (If you enter a street address for a destination however it does show a little arrow on the map pointing to the left or right hand side of the street when you are approaching your destination. Along with a little checkered flag on the side of the street your destination is on.)

    - Change Preferences screen is 6 pages deep and only has a button to advance foward to the next page. There is no back button. So if you say accidently go past the screen you wanted to be on you have to then press the foward button 5 more times just to get back to that page.

    - No simple way to get into the Browse as Text turn lists display from the main screen.

    - Browse as Text route instructions, the text and arrows for the turn list is just way to small. Also there is no Auto Scroll function. To view the next page of new upcoming turns you have to scroll down the list manually yourself.

    - POI Map Screen in Night mode shows the cross street text in black, which is extremely difficult to see unless you get very close to the screen.

    - 3D mode during the day the maps background brightness isn't consistent across the whole screen. There are noticable lines across the screen where you can see the various brightness stages. Towards the bottom of the map its the brightest and then as you pan up the screen it gets slightly darker.

    - Can't enter the street name untill after you have entered the city. Its bad news if you know the street but unsure of the city. You should be able to search for the street in any city near you or near the city that you entered (if it was incorrect).

    - TTS (text to speech) of multiword street names sounds sometimes garbled.
    - TTS pronounces some words and streets pretty poorly.
    - Can't change the color of the car symbol in 2D mode.
    - Can't search restaurants by cuisine type.
    - No MicroSD memory card slot for expansion. Room is pretty tight with only 2GB of internal flash memory. After removing all of the voices except for computer voice Susan and removing most of the car symbols. I still only have 105mb of space free remaining.
    - Only supports USB 1.1 transfers. So when you install maps or performing backups its very slow.


    Miscellaneous info: gps chipset on mine was a GL2 BCM4750 (Global Locate 2), The CPU speed is 266MHZ. 64MB of RAM.

    4-0 out of 5 stars The way it should be. Good product with good support., February 26, 2010
    This is a good product, that is reliable, works as expected, and comes with good customer support. After I purchased and tried out this TomTom XXL 540S, I promptly installed and used TomTom Home to update it, and used the Map Guarantee for my free full update. All this worked exactly as expected. Once I had the device and started using it, I noticed how easy it was to operate and configure. It does a better than expected job of routing, and map accuracy is also pretty good. The Text to Speech function works pretty good, this is what gives you spoken street names, places and addresses. The voice is clear and loud (I had to turn down the volume a bit from maximum). It does fumble some odd or foreign street names.

    More recently I got a notice of new maps available in TomTom Home, and attempted to purchase and update while signing up to the Map Update Service, which is an excellent value, as you get 4 more map updates during the next year, and you do get those, as TomTom releases 4 full map updates per year, every year. This is where the support comes in. During this update I was offered 1 full map update for about $12 when combined with the Map Update Service for about $52. This is for the North America Maps which include the US+Canada+Mexico. It let me purchase the full map update, but not the Map Update Service, and it would not let me download and install it. I called TomTom customer support line on a weekday about 10AM, got a customer support representative in just minutes, and when I explained my issues to him, he was ready with a solution. It involved TomTom correcting a problem with my online account so my purchase registered correctly, and manually deleting some files from TomTom Home and the TomTom device, after which the update was successful. We also figured out that this same issue was preventing QuickGPS data from updating, and that was corrected as well. Over all I spent about 40 minutes on the phone. Excellent and polite service.

    I also had ordered a Magellan 4700, and this device was compared to that. After 2 software updates, no map updates, and no map updates expected for 12-18 months (as per Magellan documentation), their map guarantee is worthless. Also, in the less than 30 days I had that unit, I applied 2 software updates to correct issues with crashing, performance, satellite acquisition, and position accuracy, it still did not work correctly and I returned it.

    There are some things I wish they would improve. On this 5" unit it becomes apparent that their display is low resolution. I like the Magellan display much better. However, the Magellan is much slower to power up, and seems much less responsive. The TomTom turns on and off very quickly. And as long as QuickGPS data is current (a QuickGPS update is good for about a week), it gets a fix in less than 15 seconds. In 3D view, which is normal for navigating, you can see some color banding as the shading goes off into the distance. The TomTom is a little thicker than the Magellan, but some of that is due to the larger speaker the TomTom uses. I like the compact windshield mount, but it is a little tricky to snap on and off the device. The windshield mount has a fairly stiff swivel joint, so you need to adjust it with care using two hands or with the device detached. The joint being stiff is a good thing, as there is little flex, vibration or bounce during driving. But if you attempt to adjust it with your hand on the TomTom, you will just detach it from the mount. I believe this is intentional, so that the mount does not move when you attach or detach the device for theft or break in deterrent. The device reminds you to remove it on the shutdown screen for this reason, the reminder can be disabled. I wish they would make a more feature rich version of this device. It is their largest display, but only has the most basic features. This is equivalent to the ONE series. It does not have bluetooth, live services, or any extras except for an optional traffic receiver/power cord. I tried the traffic receiver, but coverage is spotty, and updates take too long to be really usefull. A TomTom GO Live edition with an internet connection through a bluetooth connected phone is much better, but also pricier. I got this for it's large display, as my folks are going to be using it, and they have trouble seeing, and operating a small touch display. More room for fingers and bigger text. One last issue, this unit has 2GB of memory, and it is just enough. There is little room for extras. I have removed foreign language voices, especially the text to speech, and all extras I did not need to maintain some free space, and allow the few customizations that I installed. I installed a vehicle cursor that matched my car, and custom shutdown and startup screens. This issue is fixed on the TomTom XXL 540S World Traveler model, which has 4GB of memory, to load additional maps for more countries. This model does not have a SD card expansion slot for additional storage. I wish I could get terrain/elevation mapping, and 3D landmarks. Watch the sky above the horizon in the display, it changes from day to night. There are clouds in the sky during the day, and twinkling stars at night.

    Overall I am very pleased with my purchase. The price at Amazon was good during Christmas, and free trial of Amazon Prime let me get free fast shipping on it. It meet the needs of my folks, and is easy to use for them. I have pre-programmed their most common destinations into it, and it performs well. With my familiarity of the TomTom interface and its easy operation, the mostly don't need my help, and if they do, I can usually walk them through the menu.

    Sorry that this was so long winded, but I hope this provides some useful information for your decision making. And please understand, that for the purpose I purchased it for (my folks) it works really well and I am very satisfied. The issues I bring up are from my point of view, which would be a more advanced and demanding user. I have looked at a number of Personal Navigation Devices from various manufacturers, and I think the TomTom is the easiest to use, with good maps, frequent map updates, and good customer support.

    Falko

    5-0 out of 5 stars You'll have no trouble seeing this one!, December 2, 2009
    I have owned several GPS units, including models from Garmin and Navman. I upgraded to this model from the TomTom 140S. This model has twice the screen size. The screen is brighter, and the sound is louder and fuller. I cannot recommend it highly enough. Routing is excellent. The Points of Interest database is huge. Advanced lane guidance is very helpful. The large screen makes data input easier. Like all TomToms, you can configure it to your liking.

    The only negative is that battery life is reduced because of the larger, brighter screen.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Tomtom vs. Garmin, January 22, 2010
    Tomtom 540s feedback.
    I have 2 portable GPS units Garmin 265WT and Tomtom XXL 540s (Garmin n�vi 265W/265WT 4.3-Inch Widescreen Bluetooth Portable GPS Navigator with Traffic). Pros and cons bellow show advantages and disadvantages after using both gps solutions.

    Tomtom does better than Garmin:
    1. Nice big 5" screen.
    2. Lots of customization available. I found nice color combination using my.tomtom service that I like.
    3. IQ Routes allow to avoid local congested streets with lot's of traffic lights. Navigation decisions are way better with this option.
    4. Map share is very helpful. I was able to fix wrong left turn in no time.
    5. GPS receiver is very sensitive. It locks on satelights inside my house (Garmin can't)
    6. Customizable POI allows me to keep all favorites organized by categories. Also, alerts when approaching POI are useful. Warn me when I approach safety and speeding cameras.
    7. The best detour options available. Allows you to avoid road block, part of the road, etc. Garmin has useless one detour option that sends you on different and usually much longer path.

    Tomtom needs to improve:
    1. Where is free traffic updates that Garmin offers? This is very important missing function.
    2. Default color selection looks like cartoon and make unit feels old. However, you can customize it to your likening.
    3. POI are not organized as well as on Garmin (Navteq) GPS. Restaurants are not organized in categories (Japanies, American, French, Berger etc)
    4. Lots of POI with many small shops, but big stores like Lowes are missing. ** See Update **
    5. Tomtom still doesn't know what side of the road your destination is located. Software using Navteq maps know it for many years already.
    6. Garmin knows almost all local road speed limit. Tomtom knows only highways.
    7. This fancy easy-port-mount was a pain to use until I loose 2 screws to let it turn easier. The unit just separated from the mount every time I wanted to adjust it's position or needed to mount it in the car. It almost fell couple of times. The problem disappeared after adjustment. You can find 2 screws under rubber peaces on the mount it-self.

    Update 02-22-2010 -
    1. New map v8.45 has way better list of POI. So far I was able to find almost all big or small POI in my area.
    2. Tomtom works great and offers really good routes - very satisfied with my purchase.
    3. I'm waiting for lifetime map and traffic - hopefully they will be offered for reasonable amount.
    4. Would be nice if this unit had SD-Card slot. Not a deal breaker, but would be helpful. It has only 2GB of memory so map is taking almost all of it.

    Update 05-20-2010 -
    GPS works great, but plastic disc that you glue to the car dashboard is junk. GPS keeps fallen down after couple of hours. GPS holds fine for many days if I attach it directly to the windshield (making sure that windshield is clean).

    5-0 out of 5 stars Want to go there - it will find the fastest route!, March 14, 2010
    I purchased the TomTom XXL540S before my recent trip to PA from NC. While not that handy on the interstate (over remembering from a map), I was very impressed with the turn-by-turn instructions along the way - to the point of showing water features alongside the highway and exactly following the position on the road with what I saw on the screen.

    After arriving at my destination, I had to ferry my mom from her house to a town some 8 miles away through back roads, none of which had I driven. The TomTom said it was 7.3 miles & 14 min. After 2 miles, mom told me to turn right at an intersection while TomTom told me to go straight. Thus began an arguement between the female TomTom voice and mom. Recalculating TomTom told me to take the first left, recalculating to 15 minutes (so we lost 3 min and a couple miles). Mom argued, NO, continue on straight. We did. TomTom told me to turn right at the next road, to which mom popped "Oh, she doesn't know what she's doing - she's lost!" So we continued on at which time TomTom told me to turn around - against mom's urging to continue on. After two more attempts by TomTom to turn us around, we reached a road that took us even further from our final destination.

    All the while, as I missed more opportunities to turn, TomTom's IQ function continued to tell me to turn around, failing that automatically found the next left turn with estimated time of arrival. We finally reached a turn some 5.6 miles away from where we made the first, directing us back along a dog-leg path that ended up 11.2 miles and 20 min. longer (for a total 18.5 miles one way) than if we had stayed the original 7.3 mile track through back-country roads.

    After arriving 15 min. late (instead of early), mom finally gave in to allowing her (TomTom) to direct us back to home. Some 14 min. and 7.3 miles later (after dark), I pulled into mom's driveway. Asked later why mom took me on such a round about way, she said that was the only way dad knew how to get there - after >20 years living in the same place. He made that trip sometimes more than once a week. If he had the TomTom, they would have saved over 10,000 miles and 20,000 minutes of drive time. I don't know how to put a price on time saved in your lifetime, but I can say it's got to be much more than the price of a TomTom.

    By the way, that 7.3 mile destination was the funeral home. Dad had just passed away. I think I'm getting one of these for each of my boys, so they don't waste their years of taking the long way home.

    3-0 out of 5 stars A Good but Not Great GPS, February 15, 2010
    I purchased this unit to replace my aging Garmin 550c unit so that is what I'm using as a point of reference.

    What I Like:

    * Large bright screen, very easy to read.
    * Fast start-up time and signal acquisition.
    * Trip information at bottom of screen including compass and road speed.
    * Reasonably easy to set up once you understand the interface. Lots of options.
    * Online map update procedure with sharing.
    * Plenty of detail available on the screen (User definable)
    * Volume is good. Plenty loud.
    * Can program by latitude & longitude coordinates

    What I dislike:

    * No SD Card expandability - Very limited available memory.
    * Limited number of favorites.
    * Searching POIs not very convenient.
    * The mount is cheesy. It attaches OK but is prone to wiggle and wobble and FALL OFF with vehicle vibration.
    * The enunciation leaves a lot to be desired. Street names are almost unintelligible sometimes. Particularly if the streets are "ethnic" type names. Its' fine with Main Street, or Second Street but some of the others are laughable.
    * Some spoken names are inconsistent. On a recent trip I was traveling on Route 209 in PA. At times the enunciator spoke "Highway two hundred nine" (that's fine). In other parts of the same road it spoke it as "Highway two west nine". What's up with that? Pretty dumb.

    I have to say I'm a bit disappointed that the speech and the routing isn't better. I expected more. This unit is three years newer than my "old" Garmin and I really expected a considerable improvement. I'm not saying it's bad, just that they still have a ways to go to make a really GREAT GPS.

    I have to rate it as nice unit for the price ($150 or less).

    03/03/2010 ADDED
    Today I downloaded my free map upgrade. It's a huge file and took 7 hours over my wireless connection!! It seemed to load onto the device OK. One thing I did not do (much to my chagrin) is BACK-UP my unit in TOMTOM "Home" software before downloading the new map. Therefore, I lost all my 40+ carefully entered "favorites". Grrrrrrr! Don't expect the software to automatically do this for you because it won't! Hopefully the new file will take care of some of the glitches. We'll see ...

    UPDATE: Don't see much difference really. The speaking of street names is still pretty goofy (worse than my old Garmin) and the Route 209 speaking error (mentioned above) still exists. It's a shame really. This unit has the potential of being great. Guess you have to spend the extra 200 bucks for real quality? If I had a "do over", I would stay with Garmin and suggest you do the same.

    I finally had to buy new mount for my car. The piece of junk supplied caused the unit to fall at least four or five times. The stock mount is junk.

    10/28/2010
    The battery has never been great from the beginning and here it is 8 months later and it barely holds a charge. Pretty poor. I have zero faith that TOM TOM will help me ( from the other reviews). Don't bother updating maps. Wait for a special and just by a new unit. Maps are WAY too expensive! That goofy speaking error is still going on. No fix yet, and probably never will be.

    When I'm ready to replace this unit I will definitely be looking at other manufacturers. Too bad ... I really wanted to like this unit, but the goofy speech, pronunciation and the poor battery life leaves me cold.

    Wish I had waited for a "lifetime" map deal. (Even though "lifetime" isn't what it appears.)


    5-0 out of 5 stars Satisified Again, December 8, 2009
    I had owned a Tom Tom before and was satisified but wanted an updated version and also one that spoke the street names. It is everything I had hoped for. I also wanted a larger screen and purchased the 5" screen and it really makes the difference. I also liked the Lane Change feature. I will be honest that the instructions that comes with the unit are not very good but I went on line and got the information I needed. It is an awesome unit and I would recommend it to everyone. I purchased this through Amazon and it was really quick service. I paid the extra $10 bucks to get it quicker and had it in exactly 2 days. My first shopping through Amazon but was extremely satisfied with the service.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great gps, November 16, 2009
    I picked this up for a great price and it works great. Acquires signal fast from within my home with 9 satellites. 5 inch screen is great, though it still has the resolution of a 4.3 inch screen. I dont use hands free calling or voice input (not hard to plug in data). Has alot of POI which is a big plus. Storage is 2gb internal memory. It routes very fast, in a manner of seconds.

    The retail price is $299. I would not pay that much for this. If you can get this gps for $200 or less then pick it up.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Happy, December 15, 2009
    I love the GPS. It works everytime, finding the shortest route. They shipped it out fast. Only thing is I should have checked other web sites because I found it on 2 other sites for $60 Less.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Disappointed, November 25, 2009
    I upgraded to the larger screen XXL 540S from a GO 720. Based on my experience with the GO 720 I was really disappointed in this thing. It constantly had to be re-set to the way I wanted it to work. Everytime I turned it on there was something new to fix. Finally when I was running map upgrades on TOMTOM Home, I received an error saying map couldn't be updated. All I had now was a blank screen with "NO MAPS SELECTED"! When going back to TOMTOM Home to try to re-install I received the message that my device and maps are up to date. Trying to talk to TOMTOM to fix it is like pulling hens' teeth. I returned the device and went back to my GO 720. Bigger isn't necessarily better. Didn't last two weeks! Read more


    13. Garmin nvi 1450LMT 5-Inch Portable GPS Navigator
    Electronics
    list price: $319.99 -- our price: $176.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B003ZX8B2S
    Manufacturer: Garmin
    Sales Rank: 52
    Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    nvi 1450LMT features FREE lifetime map and traffic updates. ... Read more

    Reviews

    4-0 out of 5 stars Garmin's nuvi 1450LMT is Outstanding, October 24, 2010
    Researching GPS devices was and is worse than buying a car with all the different product offerings and features plus none of the model numbering seems to make sense which was even more frustrating. You can't tell a low end unit from a high end unit. Garmin is no different either.

    Through all of that I am very pleased that I settled on the Garmin 1450. IMO Garmin has made a wonderful device. The UI is very intuitive and very easy to operate even with my big hands. The touch screen is very accurate and responsive. From power up to satelite acquisiiton takes seconds. The turn by turn instructions are very clear but a bit too chatty. We have found the street name pronunciations fairly entertaining. The points of interest have been pretty accurate as has the gas station mapping and the hospitals and such. The bread and butter of a GPS is really whether it can get you where you need to go especially if you as the operator have no idea. I have travelled outside my area of familiarity a few times now and this GPS receiver has been flawless. The screen size is very nice and easy to read while driving.

    This unit I purchased has liftime maps and traffic. So the first thing I did was register the unit and update the maps. The web site is pretty easy to navigate on. The map update was simple but just expect it to take awhile. The traffic portion seems to work however to date it has not offered any alternate routes so I can't judge its effectiveness. Nor have I tried the blutooth functionality.

    This unit comes with everything you need so unless you want extra power cords or something there is no need for anything extra. The window suction cup works well. The unit fell once but I found I did not seat the suction cup very well. They do have a weighted mount that sits on the dashboard which would be better if you have a co-pilot and you need to look for alternate addresses or something. I found putting the unit in the middle of the window creates an annoyingly large blind spot. So I now put it to the left of the steering wheel.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Love my new Garmin, November 21, 2010
    Garmin has a wide variety of models, which is a mixed blessing. You can probably find what model you want, but finding it takes a bit of effort. I decided Lifetime Map and Traffic updates made sense for the long haul - this model has it. I also bought the 5" display since I can see it better on the dash. Love the new features compared to my 3 year old Garmin, such as Lane Assist, Junction View, my speed displayed, speed limit displayed. Would have liked a case included.

    Only complaint is that it is a bit tricky to disengage from the window holder while it is suctioned to the window. Garmin's tech support via email, was outstanding, with their response to a few of my start up questions. Recommended.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Many bells and whistles, but poor "touch" screen and routing, November 22, 2010
    After using a hand-held unit for 10 years and watching the apparent progress of the mobile units, I had high expectations for my first mobile GPS. First, the positives: I liked the idea of map updates being included. the 5" screen was easy to read. The spoken street names and lane change assistance were accurate and very helpful. I found myself referring to the little speed limit sign on the map screen more than I expected. The initial software setup and map update was painless, but time-consuming.

    I used it for a couple weeks before deciding that it just wasn't worth the money. For example, the extra money does not buy you a better POI database: at least 5 of the 40 or so restaurants it listed near my house have been out of business for years, in one case about 4 years.

    Planning a route using "via points" is cumbersome and hit and miss. The most obvious "via points" to use are intersections along your route, but when you do that, the software invariably directs you to exit at the intersection and perform maneuvers for a few minutes before getting back on your intended route. At one intersection, it routed me off the highway, 2 miles south, U-turn, then 2 miles north back onto my route. At a cloverleaf interchange, it routed me through every exit and entrance ramp at the interchange before resuming my route. It's comical unless you're in a totally unfamiliar area.

    The FM traffic feature is also a mixed bag. It seemed to be fairly accurate when it was working, but sometimes the automatic re-routing was so convoluted that it could not possibly have saved time. Also, when you start up the Traffic feature in a new city, it takes 10-15 minutes to update itself. So, on a recent trip, the traffic feature didn't kick in until 10 minutes after I left the DFW airport in my rental car, at which time it correctly informed me that I was in the middle of a traffic jam.

    "Touch" screen is an exaggeration, but I suppose the Garmin marketing guys were opposed to calling it a "mash-your-finger-into-it" screen. The QWERTY keyboard screen had an intermittent dead spot in the vicinity of the "N" and "M" where, sometimes, no amount of touching/pressing/mashing would get a response. One of my biggest complaints during my de facto trial period was that you could not pan/scroll the map screen. I eventually realized I was just not pressing hard enough. Several re-calibrations didn't seem to have any effect.

    I've read of other Garmin touch screen issues (gpsreview.net, et al), so this might be a recurring problem. At a minimum, it means poor quality control. I returned mine to Amazon for a full refund. I haven't bought a replacement yet. I'm considering whether all the bells n whistles n lifetime updates are worth the significant extra cost when the hardware, POI database, and basic routing functions still seem a little beta.

    4-0 out of 5 stars It's Great, BUT...., November 26, 2010
    This Garmin 1450LMT (Lifetime Maps and Traffic) is a very nice GPS but it does have some draw-backs. I have used Garmin for years and have been satisfied with them if you can overlook some of their problems. One of the problems is that although you get lifetime traffic if in a covered area, you also get lifetime advertisements in a covered area. They pop up and eventually go away but they are annoying to the max. The only way to get rid of the ads is to disconnect the traffic receiver which defeats its purpose. To just make them disappear from the screen quickly, you have to touch the back arrow and go to the main screen and then select View Map again. The second problem is that if you decide you want to Update your Maps because its free, you had better be on a very fast internet connection. I am on a T-1 line (fastest and costliest) line around and it took 4 hours to update my maps. And whatever you do, don't interrupt the process or you will have a display that is total trash. Then there is the added feature of inserting a Micro SD card. Sounds great but listen up. You can add pictures to your Favorites as an added feature. You can have pictures (jpegs @ jpgs) on the card and you can see them with the Picture Viewer feature and you can add those pictures to your Favorites. HOWEVER. Once you turn the GPS off, those pictures are removed from your Favorites. You can still see them with the Picture Viewer, but in order to have the pictures attached to Your Favorites, you have to connect the GPS to the computer and save those pictures to the GPS INTERNAL memory folder called pictures. Seems that it will not go back to the external Micro SD card to pick up those pictures after Turn Off. Then there is the Language problem. If you select American English, you get clear and concise commands to "Turn Left", "Turn Right" etc. If you want the voice to tell you not only when or where to turn but to tell you what to turn onto ( so and so street) you have to select American English -Jill. These may be nit picky things but you would think that at some point all of these small things would be incorporated into a fully loaded unit. As far as use is concerned, it is simple and frustrating. Simple in that you can tell it where you want to go, but it may take you there in a way you never wanted. Although you can select "Shortest Route or Fastest Route", don't be surprised if you get to see a portion of the country side you have never seen. It will get you there eventually but to be safe always carry a paper map. Garmin is still the best GPS on the market but just once it would be nice to have a product that has everything in one package. Enjoy but don't expect everything to be perfect.
    Isaac

    4-0 out of 5 stars Good solid product, November 14, 2010
    The first unit shipped died in less than a week, but Amazon was excellect in arrangeing to replace it. The new one works fine. I noted that it had a much higher serial number and slightly different packaging. My conclusion is that Amazon had some early production run units in the inventory that should be sent back to Garmin.

    Anyway, prior to this I had some experience with a older TomTom. Both are fine on the basics. The pluses for me on this unit is the larger screen, abiliity to use GPS co-rdinates or a street intersection as a destination and POI's. The former is especially useful for locating trailheads at the end of dirt roads or other locations not having a formal address.

    Biggest limitations I've found probably relate to third pard data: A- the map database (I recently could not add an adress for a newly constructed museum in the area. I think that the address just diddn't exist in the data base. I used the nearest intersection instead.) B- The Garmin unit's "real time" traffic service is only as good as the data broadcast by NAVTEC. (In the Phoenix area for example, it seems like it takes quite a while for delays appear on the screen and a while for them to disappear after the delay has been cleared. Also the severity delay's are substantially underestimated.) All this means that the driver should not be afraid to override the route shown if it conflicts with personal experience. Also note that the program rarely if ever suggests U-turns which can result in some silly routes; however if you know a U-turn is the best solution, the re-calc time is very quick. In short the features work best if you think mof it as one more information source rather than a voice that must be obeyed.

    5-0 out of 5 stars So Glad I Got This One!, November 27, 2010
    My review is going to be geared to those who have owned previous Garmin units, and perhaps have several year old models. I have had a Street Pilot c550 and a 205W. I was never happy with either the screen brightness or the volume on the Street Pilot. When I bought the 205W it was a new model and promised a very bright screen and loud directions - it had neither. Still, I used it until about two months ago, when for no reason it suddenly dumped all my saved destinations. Swell. I figured it was time for a new unit, and I wanted Lane Assist and Junction View. Was originally going to buy another unit that has the feature where it will help you get back to your parked car, but that unit isn't going to be available for an unknown period of time, so I settled on the 1450lmt. I didn't care so much about the traffic, but I definitely wanted lifetime maps. So - excellent Amazon service with delivery, amazingly fast. Right out of the box, it picked up a signal in my apartment - wow. Downloaded an updated map and it only took about 45 mins. total, no problems. Tried it out today. Screen is beautifully bright - I don't actually need it on 100%. The voice is LOUD and clear, and again, I don't need it full volume. Those two things alone totally delighted me. It is ready to navigate almost instantly when I turn it on, including in my carport, where my previous model never got a signal. It has very accurate and exhaustive small local POIs, which again impressed me, as the 205W still showed places that hadn't existed for 5 years, and that was when it and the maps were new. The junction view/lane assist is easily visible and will be invaluable in unfamiliar areas. I haven't actually seen the traffic alerts in use, but I have cruised the screens and checked the scans, and it seems as if it will be helpful. I know it can't be perfect, but I'm sure it'll be better than not having it at all. I've also had fun downloading different vehicles and voices. I just might be tempted to pay for Spongebob (most of the voices are free). SO happy I didn't buy the unit I was originally intending to buy, and got this one instead with its great 5-inch screen. It's a vast improvement on my 3 year old previous model. Garmin's really started getting it right!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Enjoying my Garmin nuvi 1450LMT, December 10, 2010
    I needed to update maps on an older Magellan GPS I received as a gift and when I found out how much updates cost I started looking closer at newer GPS' with lifetime maps. I first purchased a 5" TomTom XXL540LMT because of price but had so much trouble trying to download updated maps with help from TT Customer Service. After 5 hrs and 5 techs they said it was a defective product and return it. So I returned it but decided to try another that had caught my eye.

    The Garmin nuvi's had much better ratings. I picked out Garmin nuvi 1450LMT (we travel across country once a year) and started having the same trouble updating but the Customer Service at Garmin handed my call over to a higher up Computer Tech and she had me do a few things that within 45 minutes I was downloading updates with no problems. Because of their expertise and product features I think I will stick with Garmin from now on. Only drawback with this particular model is that it lets me know how much gas I am using when I go anywhere, if I care to look. Hahaha, I better stop looking.

    Easy to use, looks great, keeps track of trips, has lots of great features. Can be updated every 3 months but probably will only update once a year. Very satisfied with my purchase and Garmin Customer Service.

    4-0 out of 5 stars 1450 lmt, October 12, 2010
    The first time I used the Garmin 1450 LMT it had some problems. Like it was not taking me home the fastest and best routes. The Garmin web site is not that user friendly so I had to call Garmin and they were able to update the GPS and it works fine.
    I wish it would show you the names of your favorites places while you are driving not just a pen mark. And it does not show you the names of up coming streets on the view map section like the older c550 did.
    Over all it is a good value and well worth the expense.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Garmin 1450LMT, November 20, 2010
    Easy to read 5 in screen. Easy access to all features. Posted speed limit and speed a plus. Lifetime updates a money saver. Best NAV for the money today.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing gps, December 9, 2010
    This garmin is amazing. I have had no problems with it since I bought it on black friday of 2010. The only thing that happened is the traffic feature stopped working on the unit but only because there was an outage in all areas and no one was receiving traffic info at all. Once it was fixed (was down for 4-5 days) the traffic feature has worked perfectly and has even saved me from getting to work late! The size of the screen is amazing that lets you see alot of stuff and the features are awesome and the unit gets reception super fast (within seconds). This is an excellent purchase for this price. Elsewhere this unit goes for close to 300. Do not think twice about this unit. Read more


    14. Garmin nüvi 255W 4.3-Inch Widescreen Portable GPS Navigator
    Electronics
    list price: $219.99 -- our price: $109.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0015EWMX8
    Manufacturer: Garmin
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Amazon.com Product DescriptionGo wide and get peace of mind with nüvi 255W. This affordable, widescreen navigator leads the way with voice-prompted turn-by-turn directions that speak street names and optional MSN Direct® services to get you there on time and keep you informed. It's packed with millions of destinations and maps for North America or Europe. Like the rest of the sleek nüvi 2x5-series, this portable navigator is priced right and ultra-easy to use.

    See More With nüvi 255W's widescreen display, you'll always get the big picture. View map detail, driving directions, photos and more in bright, brilliant color. Its sunlight-readable, 4.3" (10.9 cm) display is easy to read, from any direction.

    With the nüvi 255W's widescreen display, you'll alwasys get the big picture
    Navigate with Ease
    nüvi 255W comes ready to go right out of the box with preloaded City Navigator® NT street maps, including a hefty points of interest (POIs) database with hotels, restaurants, fuel, ATMs and more. It even announces the name of exits and streets so you never have to take your eyes off the road.Simply touch the color screen to enter a destination, and nüvi takes you there
    with turn-by-turn voice directions, 2-D or 3-D maps andsmooth map redraw rates as you navigate. Its digital elevation mapsshow you shaded contours at higher zoom levels, giving you a big picture of the surrounding terrain. In addition, nüvi 255Waccepts custom points of interest, such as school zones and safety cameras and lets you set proximity alerts to warn you of upcoming POIs. With HotFix® satellite prediction, nüvi calculates your position faster to get you there quicker.

    Take It With You
    Like the rest of the nüvi 2x5-series, nüvi 255W sports a sleek, slim design and fits comfortably in your pocket or purse. Its rechargeable lithium-ion battery makes it convenient for navigation by car or foot. With its "Where Am I?" emergency locator, you always know your location. Simply tap the screen to get your exact latitude and longitude coordinates, the nearest address and intersection, and the closest hospitals, police stations and fuel stations.

    Go Beyond Navigation
    Navigation is just the beginning. nüvi 255W includes many travel tools including JPEG picture viewer, world travel clock with time zones, currency converter, measurement converter, calculator and more. With photo navigation, you can download pictures from Garmin Connect™ Photos and navigate to them. The 255W is compatible with our free Garmin Garage™ where you can download animated vehicles that show your location on the map. It also comes with Garmin Lock™, an anti-theft feature. Enhance your travel experience with optional plug-in microSD™ cards such as Garmin Travel Guides for detailed data on attractions.

    Compare all Garmin nüvis
    Click the button below to compare by series, user type, and features.






    All nüvis come with detailed NAVTEQ maps containing more than 6 million pre-loaded point of interest locations.1 ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Garmin Nuvi 255w
    Was exactly what I was looking for. Widescreen unit that spoke the actual street name at a budget price. Was originally shopping on auction websites but Garmin's 1 year warranty doesn't support refurbished units sold on auction websites. Was also scared about it being a refurbished unit, but so far no issues. I've updated the software and downloaded the latest maps, all without issue. Doesn't come in a fancy retail box, but does include the mount and suction cup. Based on my experience, I would recommend the unit to a friend.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great product- very happy
    I expected this unit to be able to help me find the best routes, points of interest, etc. It's relatively intuitive to use, and, unlike a competing brand (which I sent back) was able to find it's initial location immediately, with great ease. I'm having a lot of fun with it as I'm learning how to use it. Some of the reviews I had read thought the voice on the text-speech feature irritating. I LIKE it. The tone and pitch are right on for my ears. Also, it's able to pronounce what I consider to be difficult street names with ease and precision. The nicest surprise about it is that this little navigator is able to tell you the speed limit for EVERY street or highway you're on, as well as show you how fast you are going relative to the speed limit. That's more valuable to me than a radar detector would be. It also tells you your anticipated arrival time, which it adjusts for traffic slow downs. The 255W has a 4.3 inch screen, which is quite easy to see from my dashboard as I'm driving. Don't try to change menus or find points of interest while you are driving!! This is more distracting than texting while driving. You will need to pull over to find these things, unless you have a passenger who can help you with this. This limitation would disappear if it could accept voice commands. All things considered, this unit is perfect for my needs at this time. It's also portable and can slip into my purse with ease when I am walking in an unfamiliar area. My only wish would be that it had bluetooth connectivity, but that's an easy work-around with a bluetooth earpiece.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Near Perfect.
    Arrived as advertised. refurbished unit like new with new unit warranty. Unit had old firmware and maps, but Garmin provided downloadable updates at no charge. Works great and great Garmin Customer Service

    5-0 out of 5 stars Garmin Nuvi 255w
    I actually could not decide between the Garmin Nuvi 255w or the 750 model, so I decided to buy them both for comparison. I mounted them both to my car windshield and gave them various addresses to find together. I found that both models took the same routes and announced upcoming turns and street names at practically the same time. One thing I noticed about the 255w was that it was updating my position on the road more often, I'd say about 3 times as often as the 750. This made for smoother graphics on the 255w of the vehicle moving along displayed roads, where the 750's display was more of a "jerky" movement. I also found that the display on the 255w was a bit brighter, clearer, and more vivid than on the 750 in both daylight and at night. Another feature I like on the 255w is the graphic turn indicator in the upper left corner, which the 750 lacks. This is a small arrow which shows upcoming turns and the distance to that turn. It also show things like a fork in the road, (ie: a Y intersection), and which fork you will be taking. The 750 just displays text on the top line for upcoming turns without the arrow. It's just a little extra feature on the 255w which I happened to really like. The 255 also automatically adjusts the font size of displayed text so that even lengthy text will fit.
    Another feature on the 255w is a display of the posted speed limit on the road which you are currently on right above your current displayed speed. I found myself not even looking at my car speedometer as I could easily see my current speed and the speed limit of my route at a glance. The 750 doesn't have this feature. I also like how they moved the zoom in (+) and zoom out (-) buttons on the 255w to the same side of the screen which makes it a bit easier. On the 750 the zoom buttons are on opposite sides of the screen.
    Now there are some features on the 750 that the 255w does not have. The 750 can broadcast it's sound over your FM radio with the supplied cigarette lighter cable, and it has a headphone jack, which I found to be nice features. The 750 also has an MP3 player and an Audio-book player, which the 255w does not. Another really nice feature of the 750 is the car locater. This is a great feature if you are parking in a really big lot, such as at an amusement park or a fair. The 750 marks your location when you remove it from the car, then you take it with you and it remembers where you parked and takes you right back to your car. The 255w doesn't have the car locater.
    I also thought the the voice prompts of the 750 where more pleasant sounding than the 255w's. The 750 sounds more like a real female voice, where the 255w sounds more robotic.
    Another thing to consider was that I paid $50 less for the 750 and it came with the FM transmitter cable and a USB cord to connect it to your computer for updates and downloads.
    My final decision was to keep the 255w and return the 750 because I really liked the graphic turn indicator and the posted speed limit and current speed indicators. I didn't find a need for the 750's MP3 player and Audio book player, but that is up to personal preference. Since the USB cable was not included with the 255w, I purchased it on this site for $10. I also intend to purchase the MSN direct cable when it is available in August 2008.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best In Its Class - Great For Traveling
    If you spend much time driving in unfamiliar territory, especially if you rent cars in big cities, a good portable GPS makes an amazing difference. And the Garmin 255W is the best one I could find in the $250 - $350 range.

    First this thing just plain works. I haven't had any issues with mine. It was easy to set up and figure out right out of the box, and it's easy to use. It never has had trouble getting sufficient signal unlike earlier and cheaper models.

    I chose the 255W for several reasons: It uses some of the newest and best maps available. It has one of the more usable touch screens for entering destinations. It's fast to acquire satellites. And Garmin almost always comes out on top in reviews--especially in routing.

    Ultimately, you buy a car GPS to get you from Point A to Point B as easily and efficiently as possible. And that's what the 255W does best. If you've ever had a "Brand X" GPS take you on some strange route that adds 20 minutes to your trip, has you turn the wrong way down a one way road, tell you to turn AFTER you've passed the street, frequently loses the satellite signal, or has old maps missing streets, you know how important this stuff is.

    The 255W has a really clear display that's easy to see in any light. It's small enough to use on foot. The windshield mount works great and it's easy to toss in the glovebox when you park. It even tells you the speed limit on most roads. The "points of interest" feature works very well to find places to eat by type of cuisine, gas stations, etc.

    The difference between the 255W and 205W is the 255 speaks street names and includes Alaska and Canada. The 205 and 205W will tell you to "turn right in 500 feet" which isn't as helpful or obvious as "turn right on Ivy Street in 500 feet". The "W" models are widescreen which makes entering destinations easier due to having a bigger "keyboard" and also lets you see more map area while driving.

    All in all this isn't the cheapest GPS in its class but it's one of the best. My only gripe is you need an expensive add-on to get live traffic data--something that's included with the Magellan Roadmate 1430 which is close to the same price. But the Garmin 255W is a better GPS in every other way.

    5-0 out of 5 stars LOVE the Garmin Nuvi 255W
    I received this GPS system about a week ago, and I haven't found one thing to complain about yet. The features are great, and all entirely user friendly. No need to read the manual, just plug it in and go! The Garmin Nuvi 255W connects to satellites extremely fast--So when I get in my car and turn it on, we're pretty much ready to go immediately. The new display posts speed limit signs of major roads flush left on the screen, which is a new feature that is also really helpful, if you're driving in an unfamiliar area. The widescreen display makes it possible to view the names of roads that you are passing on the screen--which makes it much easier to differentiate between which road to turn on when there are two streets on your right (not clearly labeled) that are only one house apart...which has happened to me twice... Also, the fact that the Garmin Nuvi 255W speaks street names is also helpful in times like these. In addition, another feature I find to be immensely helpful is how fast the Nuvi 255W recalculates your position if you do miss a turn. I love the detour feature, it saved me a ton of time when I heard there was an accident on the highway and took back roads that I would have never known existed! I would recommend the Garmin Nuvi 255W to anyone looking for a fast, reliable, and easy to use GPS system.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great widescreen, street naming unit at a budget price
    Was exactly what I was looking for. Widescreen unit that spoke the actual street name at a budget price. Was originally shopping on auction websites but Garmin's 1 year warranty doesn't support refurbished units sold on auction websites. Was also scared about it being a refurbished unit, but so far no issues. I've updated the software and downloaded the latest maps, all without issue. Doesn't come in a fancy retail box, but does include the mount and suction cup. Based on my experience, I would recommend the unit to a friend.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great product- very happy
    I've never owned a GPS personally, but have had the occasional opportunity to use friends and family's GPS that comes with the cars, most notably the ones in Honda's CRV's... and have wanted one ever since.
    After picking up the Nuvi 255w, I gotta say, this comes pretty darn close to the experience with the expensive factory-installed units... only smaller. In short, I can't think of much I don't like about it.
    It picks up the satellites quickly (I've never noticed a lag), routes fast, has good animation (maybe 6-8 frames a second?), and is very, very accurate. The preloaded maps don't include some of the roads that have been built in our town in the last year (which is to be expected), but does include our street, which isn't even available on Google Maps yet. (Go figure) It's light, looks good and comes with everything you need EXCEPT the USB cable to hook it to the computer. If you don't have this, the only way to charge it is to use the cigarette lighter adapter that comes in the box. I just used the one that came with my digital camera, and it works fine. The screen is easily readable in the sun, and I love how it automatically dims to 20% at night.
    One purpose this can be used for, which I never thought of before, is a portable yellow pages. Not only does it give you the address of the business, it also gives the phone number. Pretty cool. I didn't have the problems with the sounds of the voices like others have. They sound good to me... a little mechanical, but good.
    The interface is a seller for me. Keep in mind that I don't really have much experience to compare it to, but it's obvious they've put some thought into it. The icons are a bit garish and cartoony, though... it's no iPhone.
    The cons: The documentation sucks. Not that you really need it... the directions didn't tell me anything I didn't already know after fiddling with it for 10 minutes.
    It doesn't ALWAYS speak the street names... most of the time, though.
    Some of the voices are annoying. The British accent seems to talk in slow motion, but I think it's the easiest to understand.
    I think they could work a little harder on the interface from a design standpoint. Nothing major, just a few tweaks here and there could really make it shine.
    The Mac support is little lacking.

    All in all, I'd buy another one in a heartbeat. It truly is a great value, and I have no regrets. My only advice to Garmin is to reduce the number of different models by more than half. It's a nightmare to try and make a confident decision with the sheer amount of choices and features that seem to make little sense as to why some are more expensive than others.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Not a bad little unit, but a few quirks
    I purchased the Nuvi for my Jeep Wrangler. I had a factory GPS unit in my Toyota 4Runner that I loved... the Nuvi 255W appealed due the size of the unit and one's ability to remove it from the car and carry it around as a hand held if walking city streets. It was also appealing because it offered 'elevation contours' at higher zoom levels so you got some feeling of the lay of the land rather than the flat depictions you get on a lot of automotive GPS units.

    This review is heavily weighted text wise on the negative. That does not mean I think this is a bad unit... it is fine for around town and certainly a good unit to pick for your first GPS. I do have to say, that comparing it to my old GPS (factory unit in my 2004 4Runner), this unit is not as good. My old GPS has more useful mapping features and routes more reliably.

    It is, however, good to be aware that no GPS is perfect and understanding going in where the quirks are with this one will lessen any frustration you might feel in finding them later.

    The good - it's a cute little unit, simple, easy to operate, easy to install and does... as promised... update and reroute much _more_ quickly than my other GPS (no, I don't know the manufacturer Toyota uses). Have to give Garmin kuddos on that it's pretty awesome in comparison to other units I've tried. Actually real impressed with that. The batteries last a good long time. I haven't actually measured the time, but a guess says that it's close to the 4 hours spec'd.

    The bad - My unit only displays elevation contours at zoom levels of 20 miles or higher. Basically, that's a completely useless feature albeit slightly interesting. I had understood that one could view the elevation contours at zoom levels of 5 miles or higher, later read 8 miles or higher - both of which are close to useless but OK... better than not having it at all. Involved in a conversation with Garmin product support at the moment on that. I'm not clear whether my unit is operating correctly or not. The positive, Garmin product support is responsive.

    UPDATE ON THIS - It finally turned out that to see the elevation contours at lower zoom levels (you can see them at zoom levels as low as 2 miles) you have to reduce the amount of detail displayed. Go into Tools-Settings-Map-Map Detail and set the level down (it is set to 'more' by default') to normal, less or least and you will start to see the contours at lower zoom levels. This is a fault with their included (and web) documentation.

    The text-to-speech (TTS), not so good. It's very tinny sounding... I've got the unit set to American English - Samantha. I can understand it in my 4Runner. I have difficulty understanding it in my Jeep Wrangler (hard top) which is clearly noisier. My understanding is that Garmin really compressed the voice in this unit, far more than in previous units... and yeah, it sounds like it. I like my older unit better - better voice quality and it simply tells you how far to the next turn and what direction to turn.

    The TTS is quirky, not really ready for prime time yet. It seems to do well with English sounding street names like 'Questhaven'... does NOT do well with Spanish based street names (which if you live in So Cal as I do, is an issue). San Elijo is pronounced 'san' 'eli-joe' as a simple example. Via de la Valle is both 'SR 6 Via-de-lane-val' (I listened intently, it did pronounce 'la' as lane... then it occurred to me there must be some translation of an abbreviation for lane, which is truly odd but OK I could see that makes some vague sense in software programming land) and then, surprisingly, the actual correct Spanish pronunciation when I got off on the exit. Apparently the street was in the database twice? Who knows!? A programming 'feature'. A street called Olivenhain was pronouced 'O-lee-ven-tian' (it's actually pronounced 'O-lee-van-hain'. The TTS is definitely seeming more of a toy/curiosity to me than a "can't be without it" feature. I'd not be buying a unit thinking this was an critical part of the decision but it's nice.

    The routing I am still evaluating - in general, the unit seems to route well and quickly. It does, however, do odd things that I have not encountered in the same areas with my older unit (I've been using them simultaneously to test the Garmin unit)... as I was driving out of my driveway after having set a destination it said 'turn right on (my street) to street y'. The problem was that street y didn't connect to my street, it wasn't even in the same town. So yeah, not sure what was up with that. When I routed to a different destination I knew I needed to take street a, turn right to street b, and turn right on street c. The unit told me 'take street a .3 miles and turn right on street c'. It completely lost the intermediate street, which BTW, does show on its map and which has to be taken (streets a and c do not connect). I live in a _very_ urban area, near the 5 fwy in north county San Diego. There are NO new streets in this area, all has been established for over 10 years. My older unit, with probably a 2003 map database in it, does not make these errors in this area. So, not thrilled with the routing. It's definitely making mistakes in this area it shouldn't be making.

    There are quite a few features present in my 4Runner's now 4-5 year old GPS system that are not present in the unit. I deeply miss the 'route overview' feature, the Garmin unit does not have that. This allows you to easily review the route the unit set up to a set destination. With the Nuvi, you have to take your finger and scroll to see where it is going to take you. It also does not offer an option to view the route as a series of turn by turn directions. I use that quite a bit and miss it here. Lastly, it does not allow you to put in a series of destinations. My older unit allows you to keep adding destinations to the route. Not here, you get one. Then you can add another after you get there. I also miss the display of how far you have yet to go on your route. My old unit counts this down for you and provides an estimate of ETA on the map display. Not present here.

    The menu system is a bit too deep for my tastes. I have to hit too many buttons to get back to the map display when, for example, I am entering POIs. I can do that in one step in the 4Runner unit.

    The 'finger scrolling' is not overly responsive and yes, it does better if you use your fingernail rather than fingertip. I didn't mind that too much, but you might wonder initially if the unit does scroll the map... yes, it does... try with your fingernail. The zoom up/down buttons are kinda in a bad spot. I find that if I want to scroll sideways that I hit them accidentally quite a bit.

    You will read complaints about the lack of a USB cable with the unit. Personally, I didn't view that as an issue. Garmin uses a standard connector and the cables for both my (Sony and Canon) digital cameras worked fine as did the one for my ScanDisk MP3 player. I'm fine not having an extra identical cable.

    The documentation is light and I received a manual for a 205W series unit with the 255W. Yeah, OK they're similar but nevertheless it's a bit disconcerting at first. I'm sure Garmin was in a hurry to ship the new units.

    So... all in all... it's not bad, but there are definitely things to be aware of. I don't hate it, I'm not in love with it either. I wish Garmin would spend more time giving us the rich mapping features instead of integrating stuff that IMHO isn't useful and does run up the cost of the unit - like Bluetooth for your phone (the placement of the unit for this is all wrong, you want your Bluetooth close to your head and your GPS at eye level on your dash), audio books (we have MP3 player jacks in our stereos now guys, you cannot compete with the sound quality) etc. I get the photo navigation (but how many of you will use that? it's a curiousity for most of us), traffic and content updates (but I won't use that either since I'd use it rarely and don't want to pay a monthly fee for it). Those are navigation related, the other stuff is redundant and Garmin cannot provide as good a solution as the vendors that specialize in these areas.

    For anyone that is researching GPS units, I highly recommend spending some serious time on http://www.gpsreview.net. It's a very informative site and the forums are active.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This gave me more that I was expecting...
    I expected this unit to be able to help me find the best routes, points of interest, etc. It's relatively intuitive to use, and, unlike a competing brand (which I sent back) was able to find it's initial location immediately, with great ease. I'm having a lot of fun with it as I'm learning how to use it. Some of the reviews I had read thought the voice on the text-speech feature irritating. I LIKE it. The tone and pitch are right on for my ears. Also, it's able to pronounce what I consider to be difficult street names with ease and precision. The nicest surprise about it is that this little navigator is able to tell you the speed limit for EVERY street or highway you're on, as well as show you how fast you are going relative to the speed limit. That's more valuable to me than a radar detector would be. It also tells you your anticipated arrival time, which it adjusts for traffic slow downs. The 255W has a 4.3 inch screen, which is quite easy to see from my dashboard as I'm driving. Don't try to change menus or find points of interest while you are driving!! This is more distracting than texting while driving. You will need to pull over to find these things, unless you have a passenger who can help you with this. This limitation would disappear if it could accept voice commands. All things considered, this unit is perfect for my needs at this time. It's also portable and can slip into my purse with ease when I am walking in an unfamiliar area. My only wish would be that it had bluetooth connectivity, but that's an easy work-around with a bluetooth earpiece.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Near Perfect.
    The 255W does everything advertised, and does it well. My only gripes are the lack of certain features that could have been implemented easily at virtually no cost, like MP3/Audiobook capability. That, and that the documentation is barely adequate.

    But as far as the primary GPS functionality is concerned, this is one excellent piece of hardware. The revised chipset allows the GPS to make satellite connections quickly. The speech synthesis is more than satisfactory.

    I would strongly urge those considering this product to purchase the "Garmin Portable Friction Dashboard Mount." This will not only make it trivial to move the unit between two or more cars, but the lack of a window-mounted suction cup means no tell-tale ring-shaped mark to alert potential thieves to the fact you may have a rather nice piece of electronics in the car.

    If I could give this unit 4.5 stars, I would.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Works great
    Arrived as advertised. refurbished unit like new with new unit warranty. Unit had old firmware and maps, but Garmin provided downloadable updates at no charge. Works great and great Garmin Customer Service

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great unit with significant bugs
    Overall the Nuvi 255W is a great GPS unit. The unit takes very quickly locks on to satellite signals, tracks very well and when you miss a turn or do something unexpected, recalculates a new route very quickly. I recently took it on a trip from Michigan to Washington, DC and it proved to be extremely useful. There are some quirks that I elaborate on below.

    Good points: Hotfix (TM) to lock on to satellite signals works well. Tracking is excellent and without noticable lag. Likewise, it quickly notices that you're off track and recalculates a route quickly. Display is excellent - the layout of information on the screen is very good showing upcoming turns at the top, your speed, the local speed limit and the estimated time of arrival at the bottom. The automatic zoom in and out of the map works well too. I never came across a situation where I felt that the map showed too little (zoomed in too close). On I-76 in PA, I travelled through a mile long tunnel and it tracked me perfectly even though it obviously could not get satellite signals inside the tunnel. There is a sharp turn left just out of the tunnel (going east) and it had no trouble locating me at the turn so soon after I got out. Very commendable.

    Not so good points: The quality of the voice (for announcing street names) leaves a bit to be desired. It is robotic as many people have commented and the pronunciation isn't great. It took me a while to recognize the word "ramp". I first assumed it was some Australian term! (I used the Aussie gal to do the announcements - I found her voice the least annoying). But as I got used to it, it ceased to bother me and I could recognize all she said.

    I noticed several mistakes in the POI list - for example it did not list the Mobil station nearest my house but listed a party store as being a gas station (about 1/2 mile from the Mobil). I could not locate any of the Smithsonian Institution Museums in the list - a very glaring omission. In fact when I tried to locate museums near Washington, DC, it would not identify Washington, DC at all. It listed several Washingtons all around the country but not in the District of Columbia. I could not even locate the District of Columbia when doing this. It was annoying. Strangely it found a Smithsonian Institution somewhere in Virginia (No, not the Udvar- Hazy center though it located that as well) - I did not follow up.
    It would not let me locate a commuter store in Herndon/Reston, Virginia that was closest to my hotel. When I tried to use the street adress it would not accept the Building # (12530 Sunrise Valley Drive, Herndon, VA 20171 ). It was listed in the POI database but at the wrong address.
    When I tried to go to Safeway located at 413 Elden Street, Herndon from the Vienna station parking lot, it chose a route that while direct had me make a U-turn to get into the store parking lot. That would have been OK except that the road did not have a left-turn lane at that point and so making a U-turn would have been dangerous. Even stranger, when it asked me to make a U-turn, the symbol indicated a U-turn to the right! but the store was on the left side (as it knew). That confused the heck out of me the first time. I traveled the route again the next day just to make sure that I wasn't reading it wrong and it did it again. However on other occasions, it did correctly show a U-turn as being a turn to the left (all those were legal U-turns). All of this was a little disconcerting.

    The 255w does feature a compass - but not a good one. In the map view, if you touch the display button to the left of the "Menu" button (bottom center), it brings up a display that features some stats about your trip and includes a compass of sorts. It gives your heading not in terms of degres but only in terms of one of eight directions (N, NE, E, SE, S, SW, W, NW). This is not as useful as the heading in degrees.So it you're into Geocacheing as I am, this might be a bit irritating but it is usable. Read more


    15. Garmin nvi 1390LMT 4.3-Inch Portable GPS Navigator with Lifetime Map & Traffic Updates
    Electronics
    list price: $299.99 -- our price: $179.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B003ZX8B1E
    Manufacturer: Garmin
    Sales Rank: 89
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    nvi 1390LMT features FREE lifetime map and traffic updates. ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars It's a mixed bag but overall is pretty good, November 9, 2010
    12/10/2010 Addendum: Alert - I bought a second nuvi 1390LMT and that one started giving me pop-up warnings after it turned on. Two different pop-ups were observed. 1. "This accessory is not supported" 2. "XM is not supported." Upon closer inspection, I noticed that the USB power plug and USB plug receptacle on the nuvi were severely corroded. They had come that way from the factory and I had not noticed the defect during installation. I called Garmin and they advised me to return the device to Amazon for replacement, which I have done. Got to love Amazon for their excellent return policy. Also have to question Garmin quality control to let something like this slip through. I have posted an image of the corroded plug and receptacle in the customer images area. Now back to my original review.....

    In a nutshell, the 1390LMT performed reasonably well. It has features that I will never use or will use infrequently at best like Bluetooth and EcoRoute. The "Where am I?" feature is very useful. The initial satellite acquisition took a couple minutes which is normal. Subsequent satellite acquisition was pretty quick after the initial acquisition. I like that I will never have to pay for another map update. For the rest of the story, read on...

    I bought the 1390LMT as an upgrade to my aging StreetPilot c340 Garmin StreetPilot c340 3.5-Inch Portable GPS Navigator. I actually have no issues with my c340... it is a solid, basic GPS that usually gets me where I want to go. I say usually because the maps are now 3 years old and it sometimes doesn't know about new streets and such. Plus, as most GPS's will occasionally do, you sometimes get directed to non-existent locations. Someday I'll tell you the story of being guided to Home Depot only to find that I had "arrived" but all I saw was a big open field with a bunch of mooing cows but no Home Depot. Another time I was told to turn left into a parking lot and once that happened I was stuck in an endless loop of mis-direction by the Garmin. Most hardened GPS users will have similar tales... being told to turn left when the display indicates a right turn and things of this nature.

    In any case, I was not willing to pay the high price for a map upgrade for my old and comparatively large & clunky c340 so I began to search for a replacement. I looked at and read a mind-numbing number of reviews for Magellan, TomTom and Garmin GPS's. Since I had had relatively good luck with my Garmin c340 (I'll tell you about my misadventure with the nuvi 1300 later on in this review) I took a look at the bewildering product mix of GPS's that Garmin produces. Each series of Garmin GPS has between 2 to 8 variations. For instance the 1300 series includes the nuvi 1300, 1300LM, 1350, 1350T, 1350LMT, 1370T, 1390T and 1390LMT. That's a lot of choices and that is just for the 1300 series. You've also got the 205 series, 500 series, 705 series, 1200 series, 1400 series, 1600 series, 2200 series, 2300 series, 3700 series representing about 45 differing GPS devices.

    Let me help you if you are as lost as I was... the "T" stands for Traffic. "L" stands for Lifetime. "M" stands for Maps, "W" stands for Widescreen and so forth. So a 1300T gives you lifetime Traffic updates whereas a 1350LMT will give you lifetime maps -and- traffic updates. And within each model you will get varying amounts of other features like Bluetooth, the speaking of street names, photo navigation, MP3 player, 3D terrain view and such. Then you've got 2.8" displays, 4.3" displays and 5" displays. You will also have to decide what maps you want included with your GPS... do you want or need Canada and Mexico? If so, make sure the model you choose has those installed by default. Or you could add them later I think by purchasing the map you need but of course that will entail spending more money. It can literally take years off your life trying to decipher all this and decide on a GPS that is most appropriate for you.

    My take on this is to get the most basic GPS you can deal with. 4.3" screen is probably the best size for most people and cars. Truckers may want the 5" screen. Traffic updates don't work in rural areas and many small cities. Even in big cities, traffic updates are of dubious value (many people complain about this feature.) Do you really need an mp3 player in your GPS? Probably not. Do you really care about "EcoRoute"? Probably not. "Lane Assist" sounds really helpful, and it is when and where it works, but it doesn't work everywhere so it's not as helpful as it sounds.

    It's not easy picking a GPS. But I chose the 1390LMT contrary to my advice to you. It has a lot of feature bloat. Many of the features I will not use and quite honestly, all -I- really want a GPS to do is get me to my destination as accurately as possible.

    As it happens, I have both my c340 and the 1390LMT installed in my car so I can evaluate their performance simultaneously, side by side. It's quite strange because sometimes they are both talking and saying exactly the same thing at exactly the same time. Other times, like announcing upcoming turns, the 1390LMT will speak up first... sometimes by just a couple seconds, other times it announces the next turn as the last thing it says after announcing a previous turn... for instance it will say "Turn left on Main Street then turn right in 1 miles." Whereas the c340 will say "Turn left on Main street" and after a while it will say "Turn right in point-three miles." I can't figure it out but usually the 1390LMT gives more detailed instructions and generally does so with a bit more advance notice, which is greatly appreciated, especially at highway speeds.

    I did notice that the screen icons and menus have changed somewhat between the c340 and the 1390LMT. Similar in many ways but just different enough that if you are familiar with the old layout, the new layout will frustrate you a bit until you un-learn the old way of navigating the menus/screens. One thing that really frustrates me is that "Spell Name" for a location requires an additional screen touch. With the c340 I'd just have to touch "Where To?" and then "Name Search" but with the 1390LMT I have to touch "Where To?", then "Points of Interest" -then- "Spell Name." One extra button push may not seem like a lot, but it is if you are not used to it.

    I briefly owned a nuvi 1300 about a year ago and due to terrible touchscreen responsiveness, I returned it. I'm very happy to report that that is no longer an issue with the newer devices. Apparently a firmware/software update a few months ago addressed that and other issues. The touchscreen on the 1390LMT is quite responsive and accurate.

    The volume and sound quality of the 1390LMT is decent enough although the c340 had a fuller sound whereas the 1390LMT has a scratchier, more treble sound. I did not notice any distortion that some people have reported at 100% volume.

    Screen brightness is good and the screen can be seen pretty well even in bright light although it does wash out a little. The screen also does a pretty good job in the glare department, reducing it to a manageable level.

    What I like the most is the "Where am I?" feature. When you click that button on-screen, it shows you your exact latitude and longitude coordinates, the nearest address and intersection, and the closest hospitals, police stations and fuel stations. You can also then save that locations as a favorite. Very handy.

    What I like the least is when you arrive at your destination, the nuvi does not always say what side of the street it is on. As a comparison my c340 would say, "Arriving at Home, on left."

    The Bluetooth works but it's not the best quality sound. I prefer my Plantronics bluetooth headset Plantronics Voyager 510 Bluetooth Headset [Retail Packaging]. But in a pinch (like when my headset battery dies) this will work. I had no issues pairing my phone to the nuvi.

    If you are looking for your first time GPS, this -might- be a good choice, but you could save money by getting the more basic 1300LM which gives you the lifetime maps updates and dispenses with many of the non-essential "features." On the other hand, if you liVe in a large metropolitan area and you think the Traffic feature would be beneficial, then get one of the models that have that features.

    I could probably write a lot more but I've probably bored you enough by now. I like the 1390LMT overall but don't and won't use many of the features so I should have opted for the 1300LM which would have provided me the main function of getting me where I need to go and lifetime maps which is important and will save me lots of money in the long run.

    Inexplicably, the nuvi 1390LMT sometimes routes me crazily. For instance I was .1 mile from an expressway that would have taken me to my destination the fastest, but the GPS routed me on local roads... the same distance but would have taken much longer. I made sure that the settings were for "Fastest" not "Shortest" so I can't explain this bizarre behavior. It happens frequently so I just go how I know to go and the Garmin will then "recalculate" the route and the second time is usually the right route (or the route that I think is the best.)

    I'd recommend getting the Garmin Portable Friction Mount as it will make hiding your GPS much easier when you are in parking garages and other places where GPS theft is a likelihood. The suction-mount rarely works well in the long-run. My c340 was always falling off the windshield because the suction would be lost, particularly in super hot, or very cold weather.

    Finally, in order to install the newest maps, you -will- have to delete unneeded voices from the device to make room for the maps. With memory price as cheap as it is, it's totally baffling why Garmin doesn't include enough memory with enough overhead to handle a map update. Why should less tech-savvy people have to deal with hooking up the device to a PC, navigating to the proper directory location and then carefully deleting the correct files in order to make room for a map update? It's ridiculous in my opinion. Nevertheless, it is what it is so if you attempt to update your maps, be forewarned that you will need to make room for them by deleting some voices that you will never use anyway.

    Happy trekking.

    UPDATE: 11/12/2010 - I can't believe I forgot to include this on my original review, but the length of time it took to download and install the map update from Garmin was absurd. Ittook over an 1.5 hours. I had read other people saying that the map update took this long but I just assumed they had a crappy/slow internet connection or just didn't know what they were doing. Well, they knew what they were doing and it does take this long. I have a very fast RoadRunner internet connection. I download huge files frequently and I have never, ever, had a download take so long. It felt like I was back in the dial-up days. So be forewarned, again, that the map updating process is not something that you can do in 10 minutes. Plan on more like an hour... at least.

    UPDATE: 11/16/2010 - I've learned that the "inexplicable" routing choices by the nuvi was due, in part, to the fact that Traffic was enabled. If the nuvi thinks that there is a traffic issue, it re-routes you. The problem is that you are not aware that this is happened, you don't know why you are being re-routed and the instances where it has happened to me, there was no traffic issue at all that would have necessitated re-routing. I don't like that feature and have now dis-abled it.

    UPDATE: 11/22/10 - In case you are considering a Tom Tom instead of a Garmin, I was too. I just went to a Sam's club and was toying with a TomTom XL335TM TomTom XL 335TM 4.3-Inch Portable GPS Navigator (Lifetime Traffic & Maps Edition). To be totally fair, I do not own it and was not able to use it while driving, but as far as navigating the menus and using the touchscreen, I spent quite a bit of time with it and in my opinion the Garmin is much easier to operate. The Garmin menu system and touchscreen was simply a better overall experience for me. Just thought I'd pass that along in case you are teetering between the two.

    UPDATE: 12/13/2010 - I traveled to Buffalo a few days ago and the Traffic function came to life once I got into the Greater Buffalo area. And yes, it was essentially worthless. It alerted me to traffic delays that never materialized and it wasn't really clear to me what to make of the alerts it was giving me anyway. Maybe I'm too dense. I also started seeing the pop-up advertisements that others have commented and complained about. I did not find them obnoxious, they were quite small and only displayed when I was stopped. No big deal.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Adds while driving., November 24, 2010
    I got this GPS from another store. Out of the box I noticed it had two stuck pixels. This might be not a big deal but it is very visible when driving at night and is kind of annoying.
    The more important issue that just struck me is popup ads on the screen. Every time you start driving you see them. They can pop up even when you stop on the red light. When you start driving the popups go away ater few minutes, but isn't starting moving on intersection when the light switches to green requires double attention on the road ?
    I find these ads obtrusive and I would rather pay or get rid of the traffic feature that causes this.
    I am not a lawyer but it could be these ads are actually illegal. For example California Vehicle Code �2890 (West 2004) specifically states that any display visible to the driver is illegal, with a few exceptions including global positioning display. However an ad popping on the GPS screen is not a part of positioning process.

    So to make the story shorter here are the highlights. Don't take me wrong. The GPS is still among the best out there. But here is what I would like to get improved:

    1. Popup ads. A big minus!
    2.If you know the road do not rely on the GPS to give you a better route. I noticed that the routing is not always optimal. Sometimes it is just anecdotal. It takes you off a freeway, directs to another one, then leads through some back roads and will return close to the original freeway. The time lost is 5 minutes on a 15 minutes route. Note this is at night with no traffic whatsoever.
    3.Traffic feature is not that reliable. Sometimes it reports traffic when there is literally no a single car on the road. I suspect the above mentioned mis-routing could be caused by this.
    4. Reported speed limits are 5 miles lower or higher than the actual one in about 50%.



    2-0 out of 5 stars Traffic is not free, it's ad supported, November 17, 2010
    It does everything I bought it to do, and it does it well.

    The problem is I PAID for this item, and they have no right to show me ads. Today I accidentally clicked on an ad and it froze up on me.

    I called costumer support, and they told me my only options are to turn off traffic, or to pay them another $50 dollars.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Awesome GPS!, October 19, 2010
    This is a fantastic product. Own a Garmin 885T, but 1390LMT tops off in every aspect. Free lifetime maps and traffic is the way to go. The unit acquires the signal and locks on pretty fast, faster than 885T. Of course the 1390lmt does not have the voice commands, but that is not a big deal. I definitely recommend this product. High audio output, bluetooth. Did not experience screen freeze or self reboot. Love it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best GPS, December 12, 2010
    This is my third GPS, and the best.

    Pros:
    1. It is super fast acuqiring signal.
    2. It is very sensitive to your car movement, allowing fast route correction alert and other turning alert.
    3. The route algorithm is excellet. It actually give me better route in areas that I am very familiar with.
    4. Very intuitive user interface. You do not need manual.
    5. Text to speech is excellent, very smooth, just like real speech.
    6. It does tell you your destination is on right or left when you arrive. Very nice!
    7. The buildin bluetooth is very good. The voice is clear and loud. The other side can hear me clearly everytime. Much better than my current Jabra bluetooth unit, which goes to dumpster now. :-)
    8. 4.3 inch screen is perfect. I returned a 5 inch GPS couple months ago, just because it is too big and blocks my sight.
    9. Touch sreen is easy to use. Very responsive.
    10. "Where Am I" is great feature. I used it to find fuel station once when I ran out of gas and it did well.
    11. The line assistance works. It really helps. I am surprised that this kind of info is even available in local driving.

    Cons:
    1. There are ads popping up. Not very annoying (just one line on your right up corner, and only when the car stops (say, in front of a red light). But it is still a big con and the biggest one.
    2. The map updating requires installing new software on your computer. It took more than 1 hour to finish the whole process.
    3. Hard to overview your overall route. You have to use zoom out button to see your overall route, which is not very convenient.
    4. The map interface display limited info. For example, you have to select one of the following to be displayed: your estimated arrval time, you remaining distance to your destination, etc. I usually want these infos listed.
    5. No battery indicator.
    6. Self-start everytime when I start driving. (someone may put it in the pros category, but I do not like this idea.)
    7. I have to press some stupid button everytime before starting to use the unit, saying I understand some terms blah, blah. Very annoying.

    Pending:
    1. I have not seen how the traffic info helps yet. Maybe I can see it when there is a big accident on the way. But I feel it should work given that it accurately tells me there is no traffic when there is really no traffic :-)

    I gave 5 star just because I really love it though the cons list is not short :-)

    Update (12/15/2010): The traffic function works like a charm. It actually routed me in a different way (about 2 miles longer than my normal route) in my home after work when I took off early and there was heavy traffic. The new route saved me about 20 minutes in a 40-60 minutes drive as I knew how long it normally takes just by following my normal route. The route is selected based on accurate estimation on delays in each routes. The delay minutes for the selected route is shown on the map and is updated in real time. The feature really really works. I feel very happy I bought this unit with traffic update.

    4-0 out of 5 stars wow what an improvement, but..., December 6, 2010
    The 1390 is my second Garmin Nuvi. My first is a Garmin Nuvi 370. I have used it in both the US and in Europe. My main critique was that the screen was not bright enough in bright sunlight and my second is that the voice from the GPS was not always clear and understandable. The new Garmin Nuvi 1390 is a significant improvement is both areas. The screen is bright enough to see clearly even in bright sunlight and the voice from the GPS is crystal clear.

    The 1390 shows the speed limit on the main screen next to your current speed(lower right hand of the screen). That is helpful in keeping my speed within legal limits. In most cases it is correct. In some cases road construction zones change that speed limit and this temporary change is not reflected on the screen. The other new feature is the lane preview in the upper left hand corner of the screen. It tells you well ahead of time which direction your next turn will be and which lanes you need to be in the make the next turn.

    My one critique is that the new method of entering data is not as easy as the one of my 370. It was easy if I wanted to get out of a data screen and return to the map. The only way to return in the 1390 seems to be a series of backups. I would still buy the 1390 despite this critique. It seems that Garmin has made two significant advances and one small back step. Perhaps I will get used to it, but I will continue to use both in my family.

    I also like having both lifetime maps and lifetime traffic. Map purchases can be expensive and maps that are not up to date are not very helpful and can be harmful. I have added lifetime maps to my Nuvi 370, but it was an additional cost purchase. In my area, the traffic is not terribly useful, but perhaps in other areas where I will travel it will be.Garmin n�vi 1390LMT 4.3-Inch Portable GPS Navigator with Lifetime Map & Traffic Updates

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best GPS unit, December 13, 2010
    Well, this is easily the best GPS unit I have used so far.
    I have Garmin 350, 650 in the past and they were good too. I bought this because of lifetime maps.
    So far I have used it for a month and have had no problems. Well, if u compare it to a magellan or tom tom it is the best that there is.
    apart from all the routine features, i like to traffic updates(unlike others users), it has saved me a lot of trouble. The others might not be appreciating the traffic feature as they have not looked at in detail...
    For example, if it says there is a delay of about 2 mins on the route and you see no traffic in front of you, Garmin is not wrong..... but it is telling you that there is traffic on your route 50miles ahead!!! this helped me be on time for my exam....!!! when you get an alert that you have traffic ahead, just hit the traffic button and it will ask you if you want to avoid that...its that simple....

    this feature has helped me on my way to Dallas from Fort worth....trafffic can be very busy on 35...
    Ecoroute is helpful aswell, as it calculates mileage for you...
    i give it a 5 star...
    it has many other features, which already have been described by the others...
    including bluetooth...and junction view....

    5-0 out of 5 stars Easiest GPS I've used ever, December 14, 2010
    1)Get in your car 2)Bring out the Nuvi 1390LMT from your glovebox/bag 3)Turn it on (abt 30 seconds) 4)Assign a location/address (assuming you know where you want to go) in under 30 seconds. Thats it. Yes, it's that simple to use!

    I've been skeptical about getting a separate GPS device since I own a smartphone- I often Yelp/Google search a destination, then copy that address straight into Google Maps/a GPS app. The problems I ran into: THE GPS ON SMARTPHONES ALL SUCK. I've tried Google GPS Navigation on my Samsung Captivate, Motion X and Magellan Roadmate for my iPhone 3GS. I gotta tell ya- they don't come close to having an actual separate GPS device. Smartphone GPS's are glitchy, slow, crash often, and when you receive a call while its navigating things get real ugly! The Garmin 1390LMT is punctual, simple, straightforward, and convenient.

    I love the way the 1390LMT looks- slim, black, sharp. Doesn't stand out as a bulky item. I drive a honda civic coupe and it doesn't bother me. Since I drive in California I need to stick it on the bottom left corner of my windshield, which is totally fine. I usually don't plug it in until the battery is 1/2 drained. It lasts for a good 3-4 hours worth of driving before I hit the 1/2 way mark.

    UI is very simple & easy to use- never opened up the user manual, got everything down the first day.

    Turn-by-turn navigation is again, punctual and responsive. Every turn is captured immediately and should you make the wrong turn or decide to go a different way, it recalculates in under 15 seconds (my estimate average for the areas I drive, which are city urban to sub-urban areas).

    I'd def buy from Garmin again- but I won't have to because this product is everything I need to get around! Read more


    16. Garmin nvi 265/265T 3.5-Inch Bluetooth Portable GPS Navigator with Traffic
    Electronics
    list price: $329.99 -- our price: $89.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B001ELJ9P6
    Manufacturer: Garmin
    Sales Rank: 110
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    GARMIN NUVI 265T STREET GPS SYSTEM ... Read more

    Reviews

    4-0 out of 5 stars Gets you from A to B
    This is a review of my first stand alone GPS unit. I have used iGuidance on my PPC with a bluetooth receiver in the past. The reason I purchased the 265t is for the "integrated FM traffic receiver" with the lifetime subscription. The integrated FM traffic receiver is one of my main gripes because it's not actually integrated into the unit itself. It's integrated into the power cable by an unsightly tumor that runs long about 3 inches along the length of the cable. So if you're in between cars and need the traffic capability, you can't forget the power cable. Other than the power cable, it's a nice simple looking unit.

    The screen is clear and visible except for the most extreme angles of glare in which you might need to adjust it just a touch. The screen is very responsive when panning around the screen and even has a fairly accurate mouse pointer function if you want to get to a particular place on the map. The icons are clear and the tracking is smooth. The only improvements I could wish for is if the displaying information was able to be configured. Sometimes I just like to be ignorant of the speed limit and would rather like to know the distance to my destination rather than the ETA without having to keep tapping at the screen. A little arrow pointing north would also be nice.

    Compared to my old iBlue receiver and iGuidance software the 265t locks onto satellites eons faster to get you going on the road ASAP. The FM receiver does warn you of upcoming traffic with a little icon in the upper left corner with an expected delay time but I can't comment on it's diverting capabilities yet, even with a recent traffic heavy trip from NY to Toronto. Some areas just don't have the traffic information when you need it which isn't the fault of the unit, but the lack of coverage of the traffic reporting area.

    One difference I would like to point out where iGuidance may have better function over this nuvi is that you can detour around specific roads in the route list, whereas detouring with nuvi is perhaps oversimplified. Once you hit detour, you're at the mercy of the unit.

    Overall, it's a fun little gps. It's pocketable, functional, not too gimmicky, and has more POI than I imagined. There might be a few more menus you wish you didn't have to go through, but for the most part it's organized and has outstanding search capability.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Minumalist view of data and directions are not the best
    I live in San Jose CA and drive in the bay area of San Francisco.

    I have had the unit about 2 weeks now.

    Any gps unit that you buy today should lock on in seconds, give accurate directions, have a display that is not confusing and have a simple menu navigation system. It does all of these things well except give accurate directions.

    My other gps the Tom Tom 130 does everything mentioned above well, but lacks the traffic feature so I will return it. But it always gives very good directions 100% of the time. I just wish it had the traffic capability and I would keep it.

    The directions that the Nuvi 265 gives are accurate most of the time, but occasionally gives strange non optimized directions. I don't know if it is because of the traffic component or not. The directions that are not the best only lose about 5-10 minutes at the most.

    The unit's philosophy is to have a minimalist view of everything. It only displays what you need to know based on the route you are taking.

    My other complaint is that it takes about 5-10 minutes to access the traffic information. There is also no direct way to look at the traffic map. For example if your destination does not involve using the traffic feature, it won't display the traffic map. I wish I could just go to the traffic map directly.

    What I like about the traffic is that it does route around problems and it gives warnings about slowdowns ahead, which is nice. So the traffic feature is nice to have and I wouldn't want a unit without it.

    So my dilemma is that can I live with less than accurate directions some of the time in exchange for the free traffic that does work well when I am going through an area with traffic jams.

    I am also considering the Dash Express and the Navigon 2200T which I may try out.
    ------------
    UPDATE Nov 21 2008

    I am upgrading my rating to 4.9 stars
    For in depth review see this site.
    http://www.gpsmagazine.com/2008/11/garmin_nuvi_265wt_review.php

    The reason is that while it gives inaccurate directions some of the time, it is only because I know a more direct route or I know that even though it gives a more direct route, those streets are slower, than a slightly longer way that I know through experience. So you buy a gps for when you DON'T KNOW where your going, not where you do know where your going.

    The traffic functionality does pop up right away during rush hour, (within a few minutes). If shows you problems and how far they are away. You can see a traffic map by going through a few screens and unzooming. It also shows a yellow or red colored line next to the road if you are in a traffic jam and when it will end. So overall it works really well. I also read that Navteq traffic (the free FM) works better than MSN paid service according to this site.
    http://www.gpsreview.net/traffic/

    I read here that Dash is no longer selling new units, although on their site it shows that they do, they cut 50% of their staff and want to focus on selling their traffic software to other companies. See this page and scroll down.
    http://www.gpsmagazine.com/

    I am getting the Navigon 2200T to try out but consumer reports rates it very low, compared to the 265WT. In fact the only other serious competitor to the 265, on consumer reports, for the price is the Garmin Nuvi 760, its an older model, which costs about the same as the 265, but you have to pay for traffic at $10 a month and it has some other extra features, none of which I would use.

    My only real complaint is the non qwerty keyboard, which bugs me. The only reason that they don't have it is to get you to buy the 265WT which does have it. So the trade of might be to get the 265WT just for qwerty keyboard. I also like the fact that you can transfer addresses directly from Mapquest or Google maps through the computer cable, which is nice.

    Sure if it was perfect it could have reality view lane selector, 3-D maps, voice recognition, historical traffic info, directions to which side of the street, instant Dash Express like traffic interface, ipod connection, fm to car radio input, better cell phone integration(I don't use this), XM satellite reception and everything else you can think of.

    But for now it does have very good traffic options, good directions, very fast response time, nice responsive touch screen, and a very affordable price which is now $40 less than I paid only 2 weeks ago $239.

    So someone show me how you can get something better for the price or close to it.






    5-0 out of 5 stars Outstanding Unit!!
    This is my 4th Garmin GPS and I love it! The other writer mentioned the extra "tumor" for about 3 inches. If that bothers you, well I am NOT that anal and it is hardly even obvious. Who cares about the power cable any way? The unit's screen is clear, bright, easy to read. Lot's of improvements. Considered the 265WT but frankly just prefer the smaller screen for walking or riding a bike, just fits in pockets better and still large enough to see easily in an automobile. I agree that the start-up is FAST-FAST. A great improvement over several previous Garmin models. I highly recommend this one!
    **I have now used this for a few weeks. The screen is actually brighter and the colors much more vivid than previous models I have owned. Up-to-date locations and the voice is an improvement over prior models as well, much easier to understand street names and names of saved people\locations. For the money-you can't go wrong. When I go to Europe again in the future I am getting the 275 model which is the same as this but has maps for Europe as well. Again, I do prefer the 3.5" vs. the 4.3" screen size. It's very easy to see in the car and so compact for walking, hiking etc. Garmin keeps making improvements and this little unit is a GREAT value, highly-highly recommend it.
    ***OK, I have used this for months now and it has NEVER gotten me lost, never. Previous models at least got me lost once. I am more than pleased I made the investment in this little puppy. Fast, easy to see (even in bright conditions, better than prior Garmins I had). It's worth the extra bucks to get this vs. others, well worth it and I could not be more pleased now.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great Product if you have tech skills!
    I purchased this for my mother. Fortunately, I was able to get it working for her. The traffic receiver didn't work out of the box. The included instructions didn't include registering on-line or downloading the required updates. My mother would not have known how to do this on her own.

    I succesfully registered the device with Garmin.com and downloaded the firmware and software updates. After a couple restarts of the device, it recognized the FM traffic receiver and worked flawlessly.

    Overall, it's a great GPS. However, I'm disappointed that Garmin doesn't provide decent instructions about downloading updates.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best bang for your buck Garmin - 265T
    I had a Garmin c320 for a few years that I was mostly happy with, but I was ready to upgrade after hearing about some of the new features. Here are the highlights that, in my opinion, make this GPS the best bang for your buck.

    * Like all Garmins, the interface is designed for ease of use. My grandparents use a Garmin. However, if you are looking for customization, you might want to consider a TomTom.
    * The routing engine is very good. Caveat: Be wary that the points of interest (POI) addresses may be inaccurate. If you have a specific address, enter it!
    * The 265T is much quicker at getting a satellite lock when turning on than my c320. Starting from power on, usually about 10-15 seconds vs. 1-2 minutes before.
    * The traffic service is free (ad-supported). Other makes and models require a subscription, which I'm not a big fan of. The ads are unobtrusive and appear only on startup and on arriving at your destination.
    * Text to speech
    * The new interface is much more helpful, specifically, the upcoming turn direction indicator.

    The higher end Garmin features, such as lane assist, 3-D building view, mp3 player, etc. seem superfluous to me. Voice recognition would be cool, but the 855 and 885T models are very expensive. If you want a widescreen model, the 265WT is exactly the same except for a bigger screen. Still, I don't have any problem reading the 265T's screen and its approx. $50 cheaper.

    P.S. I would highly recommend getting the Garmin Friction Mount as well. This will prevent suction cup rings on your windshield, to reduce your profile for theft.

    4-0 out of 5 stars You may not need/want the widescreen
    This is my first GPS, but I am very happy with the 265T's performance. Used it on a recent vacation to San Diego and it worked great...didn't use a map once.

    Directions were precise, easy to understand and when I tried to outguess the GPS I was usually wrong, but the unit quickly (very quickly actually) recalculated and got me going in the right direction.

    With the spoken street names you may not need the widescreen model. I used the 265T in a rented Toyota 4Runner and my 3 series BMW and I could easily read the screen in both vehicles.
    Pros:
    Small and easy to transport...kept it in my back pocket when I was out of the car.
    Calculates/recalculates very fast.
    Love the "where am I" feature. Makes finding a gas station near the rental car return location very convenient.
    The traffic feature makes this a great everyday GPS. (I'll provide a traffic specific update in a couple of weeks.)
    Cons:
    The software updates right out of the box can be a little confusing and you need a computer with Internet access to download the updates. Most have Internet access, but I'm sure some don't. Keep that in mind if you're buying this as a gift.
    Some directions were delivered a bit late...mostly downtown driving in compact areas. It helps if you drive a little slower.

    Overall great little (big enough) GPS. Amazon was awesome as always. I asked for and received a $40 credit when the unit went on sale a week after I ordered mine. Can't beat AMAZON and I wonder how much longer the brick and mortar stores can survive.

    UPDATE (7 Jan): Traffic Feature
    After about a week using the traffic feature I've arrived at two conclusion.
    1. Although FM traffic in my area advertises traffic flow and incidents (big difference with more info available at the FM traffic website), the Nuvi is much better at reporting incidents. It will give me incident data for most of my metro area in addition to any incidents en route.
    2. Traffic flow is hit/miss. I encounter two areas in my daily afternoon commute that I know are usually bumper to bumper for 5-10 minutes...the Nuvi has not reported either of these. So either the traffic reports are very good and they recognize routine and typical traffic flow back-ups or they are very bad and miss them. Either way, it's worth the $200 price of admission. ALSO, I've noticed that the Nuvi will remember your preferred way home and to work and will default to the route when you enter your destination...nice feature.

    5-0 out of 5 stars an excellent GPS navigator
    This portable GPS navigator by Garmin really comes in handy when you're trying to find your way around in unfamiliar territory. It used to be, of course, that you had to read a map--or try to find someone who would take the time to give you street directions. I remember so many times as a kid the frustration my parents felt when they had taken us on a long road trip to visit relatives and by accident they got lost after making a wrong turn onto the wrong highway. No more of this aggravation! Once it's juiced up and attached to your windshield you'll be ready to go!

    There are many bells and whistles that come with this device, but first and foremost this is a fine device that tells you which roads to take to get from point A to point B. You get your choice of a man's voice or a woman's voice and there's a volume control, too. Other options actually include a British version of English and that's great. (It's not hard; for example, the British version will say "straight on" when they mean just go straight through an intersection). It's also remarkably easy to find directions once you merely type in the street address of your destination. You can zoom in on a map and zoom out with ease, too. If you have any concerns; don't worry--reading the manual for actually using this in your car is scarcely even necessary. Much like classic Windows software (excepting maybe the first few times you use Office 2007) it's all very intuitive and you won't be wasting time figuring out how to work this. I learned many of its main features simply fiddling with it rather briefly.

    One thing that is absolutely wonderful is that you can easily save several addresses so that you can just scroll through the menu until you find the desired destination--and then just press one button to get the GPS up to par almost instantly, telling you which roads to take! It's an incredible little device that really does so much considering how small it is.

    The extra special bells and whistles include notices about traffic jams up ahead. There are shaded terrain abilities; movie schedules and even weather reports included amongst the extras!

    Overall, this GPS navigator by Garmin is excellent. In addition to all the plusses I mentioned above, the colors on the display are crisp and the display is extremely easy to read. It's all very intuitive. I highly recommend this product!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Can be better if FM traffic receiver is integrated
    Own a Nuvi 360 for more than a year and am very happy with it. This time wants to try one with free traffic which is the only reason of getting the 265T, do not want the 4" model.

    When having it side-by-side with 360, most of the time the 265T seems to make the announcement a second or two before the 360 says it. Though the 265T is also the same screen size, but it does look a bit smaller. And it's appearance also looks like the decades-old pager. Good thing is that it does not have the antenna flip. 1 draw back is that it has 3 lines of turn-by-turn display instead of the 4 lines on 360.

    Traffic report is interesting but it's not real-time. Do not know what's the logic. While driving on busy freeway, every now and then it says traffic ahead. I realized the freeway was not free which means traffic was busy but I still could drive 65 MPH and there was no accident.
    Pressing the traffic search icon showed yellow color on the route. When pressing further, it showed the spot where slow/busy traffic was. I don't rely on it but I take it as an advice.

    1 thing bothers me is that in order to use the traffic report, we have to connect the provided car adapter (or power cord) which has the FM transmitter. What that means is if I use other USB cable to charge the GPS, I won't be getting the traffic report. Or if I just take the GPS to other car, I won't be getting the traffic report. Thinking along this line, I am interested in getting another car adapter. Looking up on the internet, I found out that special car adapter is sold for about $100 a piece but the 265T itself that comes with the adapter is selling for under $200.

    Good to see the flip-up antenna is gone which makes it practical for people use it in pedestrian mode. It would be perfect if the traffic FM transmitter is built into the GPS device.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great features for the price
    I have only used my first GPS for 3 days, but I already enjoy the great features
    (1) Free traffic - It works surprisingly well for me in east SF bay area, it accurately and promptly reports conditions of 680 and 880. Even though I use 680 and 880 every day for commuting, I am often hit by traffics on 680 and 880, but today, 265T guided me correctly. This saves me time and money - I think those global warming guys should provide rebate for FM equipped GPS!
    (2) Bluetooth - Works well with my Samsung Beat. It supports address book as well. The only problem is that the Beat always ask for accepting GPS or not even though security is off. I am still trying to find a way so that Beat accepts GPS without asking for confirmation(It always works if the phone tries to connect GPS, no question asked)
    (3) GPS - Response time is very good. Speaker is loud enough for me.
    The only problem I had with this unit is that there is a pixel always stays as dark blue at lower left corner. But Amazon staffs have been really helpful on resolving this issue. All in all, I am very happy with this unit and Amazon service.

    Update: Overall still very good GPS. But now I have two minor issues:
    (1)Like other reviewers mentioned, local travel time is off because it does not take traffic light delays into account. In the case of slight traffic on highway, it often results in wrong judgment(insisting to use local roads)
    (2) GPS lock time had been very good, but somehow it became slower and slower. I had to perform firmware reinstall and it locks very quick again(within 10 seconds)

    Update 2:
    I did not see other reviewer mentioned often, but this device supports custom POI - The most useful one for me is Red light and Speed camera - It gives a warning when your car approaches these cameras!(You can select how far to alert) I found Trapster POI file very accurate and it is free! The CSV files can be easily modified. I would purchase GPS sooner if I knew today's GPS can support so many fancy features - Some are money saving features(It is particular useful for east bay area traveler, lots of cameras!)

    Update 3: 12/10/2009
    Up to 2 block inaccuracy around San Francisco Moscone center. I went to this area serveral times for meetings, this GPS never lost signals in this tough area, but it may show me on neighbour street. I suspect other GPS will have same problem because this is signal quality issue due to surrounded by tall buildings. I simply follow two rules in this situation:
    A. Follow voice prompt for next turn - when it says keep left/right after turn, do keep left/right after the turn
    B. The default 3D normal view shows about 3 blocks, if 2nd turn is 2 block within next turn, it will show up in the map. So after next turn, if GPS put you on wrong street or does not update map, do not panic, drive calmly, the GPS will catch up within 2 blocks. So you either know where is 2nd turn or GPS will tell you in time.
    Following these two simple rules, I have not missed any turn yet.

    Another suggestion is to use simple prompt for warnings. I used "Attention, Red light camera ahead" before, my colleague said it was cool the first time, but it soon became very annoying around Moscone center because there are so many camera.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great product!
    This GPS is much more than just a GPS, I also use it as a bluetooth handsfree carkit for my BlackBerry and now my iPhone.
    It's a smaller GPS than my earlier Garmen's with the most features.
    This model comes with lifetime traffic and the only "price" is the small ads.
    I also find the speed limit and my actual speed useful as this helps me to drive in the speed limit all the time. Read more


    17. Garmin nvi 1300 4.3-Inch Widescreen Portable GPS Navigator
    Electronics
    list price: $249.99 -- our price: $88.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B001U0O7T4
    Manufacturer: Garmin
    Sales Rank: 74
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    The NUVI1300 4.3" Ultra Thin GPS Navigator features a wide screen ultra slim design (approximately 25% thinner than previous models), enhanced user interface, ecoRoute, public transit mode and text-to-speech. The nuvi 1300 offers pedestrian navigation capability enabled through optional CityXplorer maps. CityXplorer maps are available for select tourist destinations in North America and Europe and can easily be downloaded directly to the nuvi. The nuvi's enhanced user interface features improved graphics and a new slide control for menu operation, while ecoRoute suggests fuel-efficient routes to save drivers money and fuel. Also, Garmin's new public transit mode allows you to navigate using buses, tramway, metro and suburban rail systems. ecoRoute - Drivers can view suggestions for fuel-efficient navigation, conserving both money and fuel Public transit - Navigate using buses, tramway, metro and suburban rail systems with optional CityXplorer content. Available for download at garmin site. Where Am I? feature - Find the closest hospitals, police stations, gas stations, nearest address, intersection and coordinates Bright 4.3 diagonal color display; 480 x 272 pixels; WQVGA TFT display with white backlight Trip computer records mileage, max speed, total time and more Built-in travel kit includes features such as picture viewer, world clock, currency and measurement converters and calculator MicroSD memory card expansion slot Offers a 3-D mapping perspective, or 2-D overhead view Unit dimensions - 4.8W x 2.9H x 0.6D; Weight - 5.7 ounces. Built-in lithium-ion battery - Lasts up to four hours depending on usage. Includes sturdy suction cup mount that allows for easy adjustment and quick release POI loader program - Set up proximity alerts for school zones, create custom POIs and more ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Garmin with just the basic features, June 24, 2009
    If you're looking for a Garmin with basic GPS functions, you may want to consider the n�vi 1300.

    It works as advertised, but is missing a lot of features found in other GPS models for a lot less cash. A traffic receiver is available from Garmin for a $118, however check out other Garmin models which have this receiver included. A speed limit sign is not available in this model, but can be found on the 1350, $50 more than this one. A USB cable which is inexpensive to buy, should have been included.

    Bluetooth is another recommended feature. In the 1300 series, you have to go up to the 1370T model to get both Bluetooth and traffic receiver included--at an additional $200 over the price of the 1300!

    A more sensible solution would be to go to another Garmin model like the 265WT which includes: (1) FM traffic receiver, (2) USB cable, (3) Bluetooth compatibility, and (4) Speed limit info. The 265WT is currently on Amazon for $30 LESS than the 1300 but loaded with all these features and latest mapping software.

    Yes, the n�vi 1300 works as advertised, but is just not the value GPS that you can find in other models.

    5-0 out of 5 stars What in the world is with all the complaining?? This is a fantastic little GPS., September 7, 2009
    Ugh. I cannot believe people are making such a hoopla about the omission of a $3 USB cable. I realize that whole $3 argument works both ways, but why in the world people are making such a big deal out of it, is beyond me. I mean you barely USE the dang thing, not to mention the fact that you probably have one around the house already! I sometimes think people just LOOK for a reason to complain.

    Anyway, on to the review:

    First of all, I have the 1300T, which is identical except it includes lifetime traffic. That being said, I have had this going on a month now and find it to be one of the best, if not THE best GPS Vehicle Nav I have come across. I have several handhelds of various names, but in sticking with the scope of this review, I will only mention my previous experience with the vehicle GPS units.

    I've had just about every brand name of GPS unit in search of the "perfect" one. Up until now, the closest I came was with a Nuvi 350 when it was first released in 05, which I foolishly sold as I wasn't using it as much as I had originally thought. Back then, GPS Nav was a nicety and not nearly as "big" as it is today. Since then, I've had units from Magellan, Cobra, Finedrive (Ugh!), Whistler, TomTom, Mio(My favorite TeleAtlas based brand) and Navigon. All had their plusses and minuses but, never really hit that sweet spot. With the exception of one small detail, the 1300 FINALLY gets it.

    I can't tell you how happy I am to be back to a Navtech based device. While TeleAtlas certainlny has come a long way, it's still not as accurate as Navtech. I still have two of my TeleAtlas based units(Mio and TomTom) and have done a series of comparisons between the 1300 and the others, with the 1300 being the most accurate. The Navigon actually has free map updates and is running the very latest maps, but still falls short in comparison.

    The routing alogarythim is also much better in this unit than with rest. With the exception of the Nuvi 350, of course, which routes very similar to the 1300. That's not to say, there are no routing flaws. All GPSes have flaws, and this is no different. However, the strange routes are far less than with my previous units.

    And last, but not least: Appearance. Good lord this thing is gorgeous! The map display is top notch and looks great scrolling through whatever road I may be on. I know this doesn't really matter to some, but for those who like good looking graphics, this is the unit for you!

    Also, I HIGHLY suggest looking for the 1300T, or ponying up for the add-on lifetime traffic kit for the base 1300. That is if you live in an urban area and are affected by traffic on your commute. This has saved me TONS of time, as people around here can't seem to drive through a simple tunnel without crashing daily! I will point out, however, the free lifetime traffic does come at a small cost. There are unobtrusive ads(hotels mostly) at the bottom of the screen when on the traffic menu. These only show when not moving and are quite small. Definitely not something to get in a fuss over, but thought I'd point it out.

    The only thing I would change about this model(and the whole Garmin vehicle line) is the ability to better control your detours. On my previous TomTom, Magellan, Navigon and Cobra, I could tell it how far to reroute and in some instances, choose the route. Garmin just gives you one Detour and that's it. Sometimes even putting you back on the same road a few miles up. This isn't as much of a problem with the traffic module, as it automagically routes you around the traffic. But it would still be nice to have more tweakability.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Nice, but lack of key accessories frustrating, June 24, 2009
    I agree with the previous reviewer: it is way cheap that Garmin doesn't include a USB cable with the unit. However, mine came with instructions (and was very easy to set up, much easier than my previous Garmin, a nuvi 360) and found my current location quickly and accurately.

    There are a few notable improvements I've found so far as compared to the Garmin 360--(1) the touch screen is much more responsive and accurate (2) there seem to be more POI (though, of course, there are still locations that are not listed) (3) there are lots of extra features like the ecoroute thing, which allows you to track your gas mileage and the cost of driving from 1 location to another.

    As far as the negatives, the lack of accessories is the biggest problem. Ironically, if you want to register your product to get a 10% discount on accessories, you have to have the USB cord accessory so that their website can recognize your nuvi. This is not going to bode well for the number of people who will register their Nuvi 1300s, and I assume Garmin will come up with some solution to this in the future (i.e.--a way to register without connecting the nuvi to your computer). When I called Garmin, they promised to send me a USB cord for free, so that might be something to try.

    Overall, great GPS with a few small problems.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Easy to use, fun GPS with plenty of features., February 18, 2010
    Get lost a lot? Have trouble with directions? Want an easy to use solution? Get the Garmin Nuvi 1300.

    I got my Garmin Nuvi 1300 from my parents for Christmas, and couldn't be happier that they picked out this product.

    Pros:
    -Easy to use interface
    -Free map update with registration
    -Free voices and vehicle downloads
    -Easily set favorite places
    -Comprehensive search by name

    Cons:
    -No Bluetooth (not really a big deal) but I got all excited to sync my phone after reading about the feature in the manual. I did not read the fine print.
    -No free map updates for life.
    -Suction cup wont stay on my windshield in the cold.
    -Map navigation is a bit frustrating. When trying to move the map, it tends keep bringing up addresses and asking if I want directions.

    I used to study "google maps" and write down directions before going anywhere new. Now I can just punch in the address and garmin shows me the way. The touch screen works perfectly and responds well all the time. I play around with my friends Magellan and other friends Tom Tom from time to time. The Garmin beats them both by far. The interface just seems much more user friendly. I looked around on technology forums before purchasing and Garmins came highly recommended as well.

    To make a long story short, this product does exactly what it was designed to do, and is easy to use. It comes with many features, and despite its problems, it is an all around good product.

    (ALL)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent choice for a cross-country trek, December 8, 2009
    First of all, I'd like to state that I've only had experience with 3 GPS units. One was in my friends car about 4 years ago that we used to drive from Milwaukee, WI to Chicago, IL to get some pizza. The second was one that came with a rental car that a friend and I had used to get from Natick, MA to M.I.T in Cambridge, MA. The third one was this one, the garmin nuvi 1300. If you want to skip past my narrative-review to just the review-summary, go down to the last paragraph.

    I had seen this product in a Target and I needed a GPS to get from Milwaukee, WI to Tucson, AZ. It's very difficult to choose a GPS after reading some of the reviews here! [...]. Let me say this: the point of a GPS is to get you from Point A to Point B. If you already know how to get from Point A to Point B, then you don't need the GPS (which means don't complain when it takes you a different way than the way you would have gone). Before I made the trek from Milwaukee, WI to Tucson, AZ, I tested this out. I entered in the address from home to my wife's job, and from my wife's job to my job (because we only have one car). It found my wife's job perfectly, but it wasn't able to find the parking lot for my job. I think it's because the parking lot didn't have a street name, so it took me to the street next to my job and said "Mike's jobae will be on right" (I didn't mispell "job", it actually said "job-ae" which was hilarious").

    I trusted the GPS enough to navigate me to Tucson, AZ. It's 29 hours from Milwaukee to Tucson, so I had to stop at a hotel in between. I choose to stop at a Days Inn in Pratt, KS, which was approx 14 hours away. The GPS unit got us there just fine. We didn't have any problems. It told us when to take exits, and where to go. There was a part in Iowa where we had to switch highways every 10 seconds like 5 times (take right to exit I-whatever, take left, take right, take right, take left). I would have been completely lost without the GPS. The one thing that I didn't like was that the GPS took me down US-54 pretty much the entire way. I would have preferred the interstate because there are more gas/food stops. However, when I did stop for gas or food, it would say "Recalculating" and navigate me back to where I needed to go. I never got lost once.

    After Pratt, KS, it was straight to Tucson, AZ. Once again, it took me down US-54. There was a part when we were in Oklahoma when the GPS thought I wasn't on US-54 and told me bogus directions. All I had to do was re-enter my destination and we were good to go. Then, we got on US-70 in New Mexico. While we were in New Mexico, it just turned off. Yep, the screen went black and it wouldn't turn on again. My wife and I figured that it got overheated. So, we left it alone for 30 minutes, and then it came back on. Once we were in Arizona, on I-10 headed for Tucson, it turned off again. But by then, I knew where we were going since I grew up in Tucson. Also, it immediately turned back on again. In Arizona, I checked the garmin FAQ and it said to update the device if it's turning off. Which, by the way, I was extremely hesistant to do so because of some of the reviews. But, I updated it anyways. Also, I discovered that you could change it from "Shortest Time" to "Shortest Distance". Also, under "Where To", if you select "Points of Interest", you can spell out the name of a business (my wife was craving Burger King), and then add it as "Via Point".

    Anyways, after changing the setting to "Shortest Distance" and hearing some travel advice from relatives, we decided to go a new way (Arizona --> New Mexio --> Texas --> Oklahoma --> Missouri --> Illinois --> Wisconsin). I found a Hampton Inn, in Clinton, Oklahoma to stay at. The GPS got us there in 12.5 hours (or it was my crazy driving). It didn't turn off at all which was great. Then, it was just a nice drive from Clinton to Milwaukee. The only thing that went wrong during this drive was that while in St. Louis, we had to get on an interstate leading to Chicago. We were right near the Arch, and it told us to get on Martin Luther King Bridge. While on that bridge, it kept thinking we weren't on the bridge, so for the entire 2 minute drive, it kept saying "turn left at , then turn right....recalculating...". Other than that, it was excellent.

    I've never had a GPS that actually speaks street names, but from some of the reviews, I was expecting it to be a terrible experience. The text to speech (TTS) was excellent. Some of the words sounded weird, but it was funny hearing it trying to pronouse things. I'm not sure what others were expecting from this feature (perhaps perfect pronunciation of every word..come on, even WE don't do that), but it worked great. It speaks whatever is on the screen, even the names you give to favorites.

    So, in summary, this GPS got us from Point A to Point B. There were a few hiccups, but the most serious ones were resolved with a free update. You can add "Via Points" or different destinations to your route. You can choose "Shortest Time" or "Shortest Distance", and it's got great a TTS. I would recommend this GPS to anyone who needed to make a cross-country trek. So, why didn't I give it 5 stars? Because it did have a few hiccups, and I wouldn't call this a "perfect" GPS. I'd love to have given it 4.9 stars. I'm not sure if there is a perfect "GPS", but this is pretty close.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A slimmer Garmin, December 28, 2009
    I am glad GPS is now becoming mainstream, since the prices are rapidly dropping. I am going to compare this newer Garmin 1300 with my old Garmin n�vi 255W 4.3-Inch Widescreen Portable GPS Navigator from last year. Overall the two Garmins are pretty much the same in term of software interface, the only thing that this has is a public transportation, which the 255w model didn't have. The exterior is nicely improved. You can tell that the 1300 has a slimmer profile and feels more compact and a sturdy feel. The 255w was mostly plastic; this model has a lot of rubber on the back.

    Features:
    I noticed there is no SD card slot. For the 255w model this was one way of updating your map by installing the map onto the SD card and if you wanted to use a European's Map just stick the SD card to it. I used to put my pic via SD card arlso. I assume you would use the usb adapter. Both models have usb input and both didn't come with the cord. I just use my PS3 usb cord, which is the same item. Both have traffic capabilities, but neither comes with it. If traffic is a big thing for you then get the 1300T model. Yes the newer touch screen is much more sensitive than the 255w screen. The voice/speaker is also louder but the sound quality cracks a bit at max volume on the 1300. It said it can pick up the GPS much faster, I think it does, but not by much. Why there is no map of Canada is beyond me, my 255w was useful when I crossed the border into Vancouver, BC. At night the map turns into night mode, where the lighter earth area become back and less luminance, just the roads are highlighted. I did a Google map on my PC and exported it to the Garmin, it worked once, but I had some issues, so I stopped doing it. Here is the summary:

    Positive:
    Slimmer design and rubber on the back rather than all plastic.
    Public transportation/ most download onto the GPS
    Louder than older model, but voice crack at higher volume.
    Better screen and more responsive input
    Same Garmin interface as before.

    Neutral:
    No Bluetooth, but it is not necessary
    ecoMode: Gas economy calculator, not going to use it much or at all.

    Negative:
    I would expect the traffic to be a basic feature by now, but it isn't
    No SD card, must use USB cord now.
    no map of Canada
    I got more of a head up on my 255, like exit in 500' ranter then exit

    The model is more of a physical external update to the older models. I am used to Garmin software interface and direction that I didn't see much different. The city/public transportation mode, which you have to download, is a nice bonus if I ever use public transportation. This basic model that I got a nice price at Office Depot (lower then Amazon too) for a gift so I am not complaining.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Really disappointing, October 13, 2009
    I got this after getting super lost one Sunday and loved the ease of use--no need for a manual. Text to speech is wonderful and clear, display is beautiful . . . and it keep getting me lost! Badly. In familiar territory, it has chosen routes I never even heard of: back country roads with no shoulders, hairpin turns, no street lights, all when I could have taken the turnpike or a 4 lane divided highway. Got lost in Baltimore on interstates, gave me the opposite of the correct turn in NJ. It just keeps happening. I'm using the default selection for routing ("fastest") so it's not like I chose eco-route or anything odd.
    By contract, a Navteq unit I'm comparing it to never has gotten me lost once. Unfortunately, that unit has terrible TTS, so I may use distance and direction announcements only and skip the street names, but I got this thing to keep from getting lost and I've taken more bad turns and odd routes with the Garmin 1300 than I ever did on my own. Back it goes.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Gruvi Nuvi!, August 21, 2009
    I received my Nuvi a week ago for my birthday and am thoroughly delighted with it! It's very easy to program and provides nearly flawless directions. The graphics are easy to read, the computer voice (in Jill and Jack formats) is comprehensible and the features are fun. I wish we had this device on recent trips to New Jersey and Virginia. It answers my classic question, "Where is the nearest Dunkin Donuts?" with amazing ease and rapidity. It can locate street addresses and business names with equal facility. It calculates the cost of gas used on a trip, and the number of miles spent at rest and moving. It gives real-time feedback on speed, compass direction and distance to the next turn. I am so impressed by the care that went into the voice interface. I am warned in good time about upcoming turns. And the Nuvi even knows the names of those short access roads I didn't know existed. And to show the level of care that went into the device's design, the suction cup that holds the Nuvi to a dashboard has a little tab to break the suction, making it easy to move the device. That's great design!

    The Nuvi is not quite perfect. Navigating in New England -- with its confusing maze of overpasses, rotaries and one-way side streets -- has occasionally fooled the Nuvi. I have been invited to take a left on a street across an impenetrable metal guardrail. But Nuvi recovered well and immediately recalculated the route when I continued past the turn. First-time Nuvi setup was a little of a hassle -- it took a good half hour to pick up a satellite and to program the definition of "Home". A little patience and a check of [...] got me going. I have not had a problem with satellite pickup since.

    I love my Nuvi and wonder how I ever got along without it. A great gift and a great find!

    1-0 out of 5 stars Piece of crap, October 25, 2009
    I used to have the Garmin 260W. Was fairly happy with the performance. So when I saw this Nuvi with a traffic receiver, I thought it might be a good deal.

    This piece has so many issues:
    a) Sometimes switches off randomly (even when connected to the power outlet). Sometimes doesn't switch on either.
    b) The touch screen is moody. Doesn't become active sometimes. I have to wait for a while and try again to go through the menu
    c) And finally, the directions are so so wrong! It sends me to places where there is nothing. I mean nothing. It says we have arrived and I am thinking where the hell I am. It has happened many times. When I first experienced this problem, I called up Garmin and they updated my maps. Didn't make any difference.

    I am planning to return this and get a new GPS. I am not sure if Garmin even did some testing of this unit. Just too many issues!

    4-0 out of 5 stars My FIRST GPS, March 20, 2010
    I did not buy this on Amazon and I also Bought the 1300 with traffic and map updates for life. Here is why..

    I originally was going to purchase the Garmin Nuvi 255 (without traffic or a free maps updates). When I went to the store to purchase it the 1300 was "on sale" I did some more research with the computers available at the store and I found out that the cost of ONE map update was just as expensive if not more so then If I just bought the GPS with lifetime traffic and map updates. By the way, you do get ONE free map update. But then what happens after that? I live in a city that despite the economy is still growing and changing so the "free" lifetime maps are very important to me and as a bonus I got the traffic. Why not?
    Anyway, So that being said the price and what I got for the price was the deciding factor. I really had so little knowledge about this model ( as if even less knowledge of GPS systems was possible lol)

    So in order for you to get traffic updates you do HAVE to plug it into the car the traffic receiver is in the charger that comes with it IF you buy the one with the traffic option. If you are like me, you were a little confused as a new buyer of the GPS world to find the same models with sometimes a "W" or a "t" after the model SOMETIMES even both. well if you are like me let me save you the headache of confusion.

    T is for traffic
    W is wide view screen

    Performance
    Being this is the first GPS I have used and owned. It can not find all the places I would expect it to be able to find. My Google maps on my phone quite honestly is a better at locating for places I want to go. It is not often that My google maps is confused or looking for crazy far off places that I am not near. However, With Garmin 1300WT it is helpful turn by turn directions gives you plenty of time to make your turn and get in the proper lane.

    I would like it to find places a little bit faster.

    It recalculates in a somewhat reasonable amount of time if you do miss your turn or modify the directions yourself.

    It does have small advertisements that come up on the gps but to be honest I do not notice them much.

    I do recommend it. And I highly recommend the free lifetime traffic and updates. It is well worth it. If you live in a place that is still changing.





    Read more


    18. Garmin nüvi 1450 5-Inch Portable GPS Navigator
    Electronics
    list price: $214.99 -- our price: $119.82
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B002RL8H1Y
    Manufacturer: Garmin
    Sales Rank: 115
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Amazon.com Product DescriptionThe ultra-thin nüvi 1450 has a large 5-inch screen and offers multiple-point routing, spoken street names, lane assist with junction view to guide you through busy highway interchanges, pedestrian routing options, and ecoRoute to find the most fuel-efficient route.


    Junction view guides you to the correct lane for your upcoming turn or exit


    Announces the names of exits and streets so you can keep your eyes on the road


    5-inch widescreen display with vibrant color

    See Even More
    It's easy to see where you're going on nüvi 1450's 5-inch touchscreen display. View map detail, driving directions, photos and more in bright, brilliant color. With its big, bold display, you won't miss a thing.

    Know the Lane before It’s Too Late
    No more guessing which lane you need to be in to make an upcoming turn. Lane assist with junction view guides you to the correct lane for an approaching turn or exit, making unfamiliar intersections and exits easy to navigate. It realistically displays road signs and junctions on your route along with arrows that indicate the proper lane for navigation.

    Plan Ahead
    nüvi 1450 includes advanced navigation features to take the worry out of traveling. With route planning you can save 10 routes, specify via points and preview simulated turns on the 1450's large screen. In addition, nüvi 1450 automatically sorts multiple destinations to provide an efficient route for errands, deliveries or sales calls. A trip log provides an electronic bread crumb trail of up to 10,000 points, so you can see where you've been on the map.

    Get Turn-by-Turn Directions
    The intuitive interface greets you with two simple questions: "Where To?" and "View Map." Touch the color screen to easily look up addresses and services and get voice-prompted, turn-by-turn directions that speak street names to your destination. It comes preloaded with detailed City Navigator NT street maps, nearly 6 million points of interest (POIs), 2-D or 3-D maps and the speed limit for most major roads. Its digital elevation maps show you shaded contours at higher zoom levels, giving you a big picture of the surrounding terrain. With the 1450's enhanced user interface, you can slide your finger to conveniently scroll between screens. You can also upload custom points of interest (POIs). And with HotFix satellite prediction, nüvi calculates your position faster to get you there quicker.

    Go Beyond Navigation
    Navigation is just the beginning. nüvi 1450 saves you gas and money with ecoRoute — a green feature that calculates the most fuel-efficient route, tracks fuel usage and more. The 1450 includes many travel tools including JPEG picture viewer, world travel clock with time zones, currency converter, measurement converter, calculator and more. With photo navigation, you can download pictures from Garmin Connect Photos and navigate to them. Take advantage of the nüvi 1450’s traffic compatibility and navigate away from traffic. The nüvi 1450 is compatible with both the GTM 25, FM traffic receiver with lifetime subscription and the GDB 55, MSN Direct receiver (device receiver purchase required for either option). With its "Where Am I?" emergency locator, you always know your location. Simply tap the screen to get your exact latitude and longitude coordinates, the nearest address and intersection, and the closest hospitals, police stations and fuel stations. The 1450 features Garmin Lock, an anti-theft feature, and is compatible with our free Garmin Garage where you can download custom voices and vehicles.

    What’s in the Box
    nüvi 1450, preloaded City Navigator NT for North America, vehicle power cable, vehicle suction cup mount, USB cable, dashboard disc, and quick start manual.

    ... Read more

    Reviews

    4-0 out of 5 stars Garmin Nuvi 1450
    I've had my Garmin 1450 now for about a week, and I got a great deal on it ($299). I was drawn to this GPS when I saw how easy it was to use for someone like me who has never had a GPS before purchasing this one. I played around with it on the store's display. The large screen can be easily viewed while driving without struggling to view it.

    I love the touch screen feature, and the easy on/off button. It does effectively inform me of which lane I should be in; however, I do not see any road signs pictured on my GPS like the one pictured here. I see small arrows on the top left that display the correct lane to get in. I love that it also displays the time at which I should arrive at my destination.

    It does not have bluetooth capability, and it does not come with live traffic updates (you will have to purchase it separately). I do wish there was a feature that would allow me to return to the main screen without continuously having to press the back button to get back to the home screen.

    I haven't gotten lost using this GPS, and I was told today when I showed up for an appointment that they were impressed that I found their business location, since even people from their city tend to get lost and can not find the address- I am impressed. In my current city, the GPS will map it's way in a totally different location than is the most sensible option. Mapquest, and Google maps would not even use some of the routes. Perhaps it is because, I have it set on the fastest route. The GPS will easily re-route the trip if you miss a turn, or decide to go another direction. I am able to save 10 addresses to my favorites, which is helpful, but I want to save more than 10.

    The points of Interest tab is great. I can find locations quickly for food, gas, coffee, medical attention, shopping, etc.

    5-0 out of 5 stars My research paid off...I'm thrilled!!
    Over the past 10 months I had spent WAY too many hours reading reviews on GPS systems. Something would look like the best thing since sliced bread, then there would be reviews that the tech support was a nightmare, maps were outdated, etc. I liked the bigger size and the way this looked (the Interchange graphics especially)and was going out of state in February, so I had to make a decision. At the time, there were only a few reviews. On the day I prepared to order this Garmin 1450 there was negative review. I thought "Oh, great...", but ordered it anyway, totally overwhelmed & frustrated with the whole endeavor. It has truly been a delight. My husband has had a low-tech Garmin for years & I never liked it. My son has a Tom-Tom, friends have Magellans, etc. We found restaurants, every location we needed, all effortlessly. I was afraid to do the review immediately, for fear it would die in the future, so I have waited 3 months. All is good! The only negative thing I might include is we did need to "reboot" twice on hot days when it was on the dash - I assume because it got hot. The reboot takes only a few seconds & it never happened when I left it sitting on its Friction Mount on the gearshift mound (out of the sun). I am truly quite pleased & grateful that I haven't had problems. I hope whatever you select turns out to be such a successful experience!

    1-0 out of 5 stars unreliable
    This unit replaced an older Garmin. It was easy for us to operate since many of the operations/features were similar to the old one. We received it the day before a long trip (around 1100 miles round trip). We were familiar with the route, but we wanted to give the unit a good test since we have several other trips later this year where we do not know the route.

    The overall features were good to excellant. However, the unit locked up once and it took us a while to get it back on line. The unit also randomly shut itself down 9 times, and it took several minutes each time to get it back on line. Since we knew the route, no problems were caused. But there are times where shutting down on it's own could cause significant confusion or problems.

    We sent this one back. I think a GPS has to be reliable, otherwise why have it (the first Garmin never gave us a single problem). .

    4-0 out of 5 stars Garmin 1450
    I bought the Garmin nuvi 1450 primarily because of the larger screen. The initial reviews were mixed, but there was only a couple when I was looking to buy. Because Garmin makes a quality product and often the negative product reviews are petty on their other products, I decided to buy one. I've been very happy with the purchase. It takes awhile for the Garmin to acquire the satellite. The biggest warning that I would tell a new buyer is to be patient the first time that you want to use it. You need to turn it on outside and wait forever for it to initialize and find the satellite the first time. They say it takes awhile. No, it takes more than a few minutes. I thought it was broken because I was impatient. :<)

    5-0 out of 5 stars For the money, this is sweet!
    Wonderful GPS. I have owned $600 Lowrance units and $200 Tom Tom's. But for the money, this 1450 Garmin is wonderful. The support online for updating the unit and adding some custom touches to the gps are really nice. BUT there are only two items that I don't like about this gps. First, is the "lane viewer" or what ever they call it sucks. (The feature that shows a picture of the signs that you will be seeing) I travel 6 states for business and drive through major cities; Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Cinci, Indianapolis, etc... I had it only show me the picture of the signs that show what lane to be in twice after visiting all these cities. This was a bonus feature for me, not a selling point. That's why I didn't have it affect the way I rated it. Second, is when trying to find a hotel or gas station, it shows them surrounding you. That is great, but I wish there was an option to see what is on the way to your destination. I want to see what is in front of me, not behind. This just makes it harder and longer to find what you are looking for. So once again, not a huge problem for me. Now, if you care about bluetooth or voice navagation, I don't so can't give you a review on that. I mute mine and just glance at it from time to time. But what I can tell you is the ease of finding your destination, the continued updating online, the fact you can rate a hotel or destination, the size of the screen, easy to use, and how you can add a destination or correct a current destination, are things I love about the 1450 Garmin. Great price and very happy with it. I recommend this product!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great GPS with horrid tech support....
    This is my third Garmin GPS and I really like everything about it EXCEPT their tech support. None of the three worked right out of the box, I had to call tech support for all three of them. The first one took about two hours with tech support to get it working. The second one took four hours to get it registered, then I signed it up for the lifetime maps update program which is a fantastic deal. Unfortunately they sent a bad link to the updates and that took two full days for tech support to correct and send the proper link.

    The third one is brand new, A Nuvi 1450. Now that it's working it's a fantastic unit but here's what we went through to get it working:

    It wouldn't register on line, I waited 35 minutes on hold for a tech support person, then spent four hours getting it to register. I tried to use it and got an error message 'can't unlock maps'. Another 40 minutes on hold with tech support, another three hours fussing with it and I was told that I just needed to update the maps (Updating maps on a Garmin takes about 4 and a half hours). I spent the time, updated the maps, turned it on and got the same error message: 'can't unlock maps'. At this point I'd invested nearly eight hours on the phone with tech support, plus the four and a half hours to update the maps and STILL did not have a working GPS.

    I waited till the next day to call Garmin Tech Support... only spent ten minutes on hold that time, and the tech support guy had it fixed in just a few minutes.

    The result of all this: While I really like all three Garmin units and they all work very well I'll be looking for another manufacturer if I need another GPS. Garmins are indeed easy to use, they work very well and do a great job but the greatest product in the world is no better than the tech support offered - and Garmin is failing miserably in that area.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Big screen, good antenna.
    I just upgraded from a Garmin 4.3" screen. This 5.1" screen is much nicer. The software is more refined. It auto zooms in or out based on your speed. The touch screen is very sensitive and fast. The only thing i dont like is the trip view with speedo is not like the dashboard view it used to be. I would definately recommend this unit to anyone.

    1-0 out of 5 stars A lemon! There's a design flaw in this product!
    I love the big screen!

    But ... I've had the unit for a week, and I'm returning it today as a defective product. The unit is much less reliable and much slower than my old Garmin 4.3". Flaws:
    1. The unit has twice shut down while navigating a route. The first time, it took 5 minutes to reboot. Last night, it wouldn't turn back on. Garmin's website says there's a patch for this. The need for the software patch was identified in Feb. Why is Garmin still selling units that need a sw patch?
    2. Compared to the 4.3 inch, it takes much longer to calculate new routes. That's a big problem if you need a new route quickly, such as when you're on the road.
    3. The 4.3 inch shows the road you're on, even if you haven't set a "go to" destination. This unit shows the car as being in a white field, and the road in the distance.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Register and update your GPS before you use it
    We took our new GPS on our vacation this summer and it did all the things folks have complained about. Turning off, locking up. I sent it back and got another one and immediately registered it online and new software was installed, probably patches or fixes for these problems. It has worked perfectly ever since. The first one also had a really weird sound to the voice. The second one was fine. Amazon was great about returning and replacing.

    If you are buying this for the screen with the highway signs for the lane assist, be aware this does not show up very often. Maybe 2 times on the beltway around Baltimore. However on trips to Pittsburgh and other cities, it did not come on at all. The arrow on the top left corner shows you what your next turn is going to be (right, left) and in how many miles. But the cool highway signs don't show up very often. It's still a good item and we love it. Just please register it and update it before you use it.

    Also check the settings. Ours was set to "avoid traffic," which is hard to do if you want to take the route on the highways. We didn't check it until it started taking us off on strange roads. I'm sure this can happen with all GPSs. Just an FYI. All in all, we are pleased with it.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Unstable unit
    This model is unstable. Mine was turned off more than a dozen times in a three months of ownership. Reason is unknown. When contacted the Garmin tech support, they kept saying do a soft reset and/or do firmware upgrade. I did the upgrade twice but the symptom has not been fixed although it got somewhat better just for a while after the update. After about one or two weeks, however, the unit's power became unstable again and the power turned off unexpectedly. Besides, due to small internal storage size, you MUST delete some voice files from the unit to install a new firmware. With unstable power and unhelpful technical support, I would not recommend this model to anyone. Read more


    19. Garmin nvi 1490/1490T 5-Inch Widescreen Bluetooth Portable GPS Navigator with Traffic
    Electronics
    list price: $279.99 -- our price: $169.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B002771V48
    Manufacturer: Garmin
    Sales Rank: 116
    Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Amazon.com Product DescriptionThe large screen nvi 1490T offers multiple-point routing and lane assist with junction view to help you manage busy highway interchanges. It also has subscription-free traffic alerts for most cities, hands-free calling, pedestrian navigation options and ecoRoute.

    Navigation is just the beginning.

    See Even More
    It's easy to see where you're going on nvi 1490T's 5-inch touchscreen display. View map detail, driving directions, photos and more in bright, brilliant color. With its large screen, you'll always get the big picture.

    Navigate City Transit
    With its enhanced pedestrian navigation capabilities, nvi 1490T is the perfect travel companion for getting around town. Download optional cityXplorer content to help you navigate city public transit. Know where to walk, where to catch the bus, subway, tram or other transportation and how long it will take to get there. cityXplorer maps are available for select cities throughout North America and Europe. And with prices as low as $9.99, you'll have money left over to spend in the big city.

    Take It With You
    Twenty-five percent slimmer than other nvis, you can take the ultra-thin 1490T anywhere. It easily fits in your pocket or purse, and its rechargeable lithium-ion battery makes it convenient for navigation by car or foot.

    Know the Lane Before It's Too Late
    No more guessing which lane you need to be in to make an upcoming turn. Lane assist with junction view guides you to the correct lane for an approaching turn or exit, making unfamiliar intersections and exits easy to navigate. It realistically displays road signs and junctions on your route along with arrows that indicate the proper lane for navigation.

    Plan Ahead
    nvi 1490T includes advanced navigation features to take the worry out of traveling. With route planning you can save 10 routes, specify via points and preview simulated turns on the 1490T's large screen. In addition, nvi 1490T automatically sorts multiple destinations to provide an efficient route for errands, deliveries or sales calls. A trip log provides an electronic bread crumb trail of up to 10,000 points, so you can see where you've been on the map.

    Brilliant 5-inch touchscreen display. Click to enlarge.

    Steer clear of traffic with the included FM traffic receiver and free lifetime traffic updates. Click to enlarge.

    Get Turn-by-Turn Directions
    nvi 1490T's intuitive interface greets you with two simple questions: "Where To?" and "View Map." Touch the color screen to easily look up addresses and services and get voice-prompted, turn-by-turn directions that speak street names to your destination. It comes preloaded with detailed City Navigator NT street maps, nearly 6 million points of interest (POIs), 2-D or 3-D maps and the speed limit for most major roads. Its digital elevation maps show you shaded contours at higher zoom levels, giving you a big picture of the surrounding terrain. With the 1490T's enhanced user interface, you can slide your finger to conveniently scroll between screens. You can also upload custom points of interest (POIs). And with HotFix satellite prediction, nvi calculates your position faster to get you there quicker.

    Make Hands-free Calls
    For hands-free calling, nvi 1490T integrates Bluetooth wireless technology with a built-in microphone and speaker. Just pair it with your compatible Bluetooth phone and talk hands-free through the 1490T while staying focused on the road. Simply dial numbers with nvi's touchscreen keypad to make a call. To answer calls, just tap the screen and speak into its built-in microphone. Enjoy convenient one-touch dialing for contacts and points of interest.

    Receive Free Traffic Alerts
    Steer clear of traffic with nvi 1490T's integrated FM traffic receiver and free lifetime* traffic updates. Receive alerts about traffic delays and road construction that lie ahead on your route. Next, simply touch nvi's screen to view traffic details or detour around the problem area. Watch informational video

    Lifetime traffic extends for the useful life of your Garmin traffic receiver (as long as you own a compatible Garmin GPS) or as long as Garmin receives traffic data from its traffic supplier, whichever is shorter.

    Go Beyond Navigation
    Navigation is just the beginning. nvi 1490T saves you gas and money with ecoRoute--a green feature that calculates the most fuel-efficient route, tracks fuel usage and more. The 1490T includes many travel tools including JPEG picture viewer, world travel clock with time zones, currency converter, measurement converter, calculator and more. With photo navigation, you can download pictures from Garmin Connect Photos and navigate to them. It's also compatible with MSN Direct (receiver purchase and subscription required). With its "Where Am I?" emergency locator, you always know your location. Simply tap the screen to get your exact latitude and longitude coordinates, the nearest address and intersection, and the closest hospitals, police stations and fuel stations. The 1490T features Garmin Lock, an anti-theft feature, and is compatible with our free Garmin Garage where you can download custom voices and vehicles. Enhance your travel experience with optional plug-in microSD cards.

    What's in the Box
    nvi 1490T, Preloaded City Navigator NT for North America, Lifetime traffic, FM traffic receiver with vehicle power cable, Vehicle suction cup mount, USB cable, Dashboard disc, Quick start manual

    NOTE: The initial setup is crucial when first using your nvi - it allows the device to find and sync with satellites. The startup screen will allow you to skip through this section but doing so could cause your nvi to have difficulty working the way it should. Without completing this important step, your nvi may default back to the location of Kansas City each time it is turned off and on again, not saving your settings. It also may not be able to pick up the satellite properly.

    Which nvi is Best for You?

    Note: All nvis come with detailed NAVTEQ maps containing more than 6 million pre-loaded point of interest locations.

    Device
    Screen Size inches (W x H)
    Included Maps
    Text-to-Speech (Directions in Real Street Names)
    Traffic
    Bluetooth
    Media
    FM Transmitter (audio through car stereo system)
    Multi-Point Routing
    Battery life (hours)
    Cont. U.S., Hawaii, and Puerto Rico
    AK and Canada
    Europe
    nvi 205 2.8 x 2.1
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (with optional receiver)
    Photos
    up to 4
    nvi 205w 3.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (with optional receiver)
    Photos
    up to 4
    nvi 255 2.8 x 2.1
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (with optional receiver)
    Photos
    up to 4
    nvi 255w 3.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (with optional receiver)
    Photos
    up to 4
    nvi 260w 3.81 x 2.25
    Photos
    up to 5
    nvi 265T 2.8 x 2.1
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (receiver included; Lifetime Traffic)
    Photos
    up to 4
    nvi 265WT 3.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (receiver included; Lifetime Traffic)
    Photos
    up to 4
    nvi 275T 2.8 x 2.1
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (receiver included; Lifetime Traffic)
    Photos
    up to 4
    nvi 285WT 3.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (receiver included; 9 months free);
    Photos
    up to 4
    nvi 465T 3.81 x 2.25
    FM (receiver included; Lifetime Traffic)
    Photos
    up to 4
    nvi 755T 3.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (receiver included; Lifetime Traffic)
    Photos, MP3s
    up to 4
    nvi 760 3.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (with optional receiver)
    Photos, MP3s
    up to 5
    nvi 765T 3.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (receiver included; Lifetime Traffic)
    Photos, MP3s
    up to 4
    nvi 775T 3.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (receiver included; Lifetime Traffic)
    Photos, MP3s
    up to 4
    nvi 780 3.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (receiver included; 9 months free); FM (with optional receiver)
    Photos, MP3s
    up to 5
    nvi 785T 3.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (receiver included; 9months free); FM (with optional receiver)
    Photos, MP3s
    up to 4
    nvi 850 3.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (with optional receiver)
    Photos, MP3s
    up to 4
    nvi 855 3.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (with optional receiver)
    Photos, MP3s
    up to 4
    nvi 885T 3.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (receiver included; 9 months free); FM (with optional receiver)
    Photos, MP3s
    up to 4
    nvi 1200 2.8 x 2.1
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (with optional receiver)
    Photos
    up to 4
    nvi 1250 2.8 x 2.1
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (with optional receiver)
    Photos
    up to 4
    nvi 1260T 2.8 x 2.1
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (receiver included; Lifetime Traffic)
    Photos
    up to 4
    nvi 1300 3.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (with optional receiver)
    Photos
    up to 4
    nvi 1350 3.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (with optional receiver)
    Photos
    up to 4
    nvi 1350T 3.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (receiver included; Lifetime Traffic)
    Photos
    up to 4
    nvi 1370T 3.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (receiver included; Lifetime Traffic)
    Photos
    up to 4
    nvi 1390T 3.81 x 2.25
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (receiver included; Lifetime Traffic)
    Photos
    up to 4
    nvi 1490T 4.4 x 2.5
    MSN-enhanced (with optional receiver); FM (receiver included; Lifetime Traffic)
    Photos
    up to 4
    nvi 1690 3.81 x 2.25
    NAVTEQ Traffic, 2 years free (Garmin nLink! service)
    Photos
    up to 4

    1 ...
    Read more

    Reviews

    4-0 out of 5 stars Nice upgrade, August 11, 2009
    Update: August 15:
    - My con I listed below about the buggy firmware (2.7)... it's VERY buggy. The nuvi "forgets" my settings such as vehicle icon, map detail display level, time format whenever I plug my nuvi into my PC (to transfer waypoints and such). Still keeping the unit but looking forward to an update REAL SOON...hopefully.

    I've owned many Garmin units over the years (GPS V, eMap, nuvi 350, 265W, 750, 755, tried 1260T, 1350). I decided to upgrade to the 1490T because of the larger screen and thinner form factor.

    Just some observations:

    Pros:
    - The display is 5 in diagonal, that may not seem much bigger than the 4.3 but it is. The resolution is the same as the 4.3 wide-screens units but the extra space is well worth it and noticeable! It also makes it easy to hit the right button on the touch screen.
    - User interface has received some minor updates, mostly in the cosmetic department. The font is new and contributes to a refined feel, everything is "smoothed" and looks very good. It's also VERY responsive and doesn't feel like it's lagging.
    - I like the new menu organization, they didn't bury as many of the options and settings in sub-folders.
    - You can change the map display so that the data fields are stacked along the right side as opposed to being in the corners. I like this view a lot. With this stacked view, you can see 4 data fields (3 are customizable) versus the two in the normal corner view.
    - The unit is about half an inch thick, it's very easy to carry around, even pocket-able in a pinch.
    - (updated) The speaker on this unit is MUCH better than on my 755, 1260, 1350; perhaps they had room to add a larger speaker. The spoken directions sound not only louder but fuller and do not distort at high volume.

    Cons:
    - The mounting cradle is a two-step/two-handed affair, unplug the mini-USB then unmount from the two point cradle. The older, better quality cradle is literally one click grab and go from a nice powered cradle. Don't know why they removed that (cost savings?).
    - A common complaint: less detail shown on maps. The newer nuvi's show fewer street names at the same zoom level as the older units. The argument being this reduces clutter. I'm not happy with it, but it's not a deal breaker. Garmin has added alot of other information to the map display and I can understand they don't want to overwhelm the user with text.
    - The latest firmware is 2.7 and it seems to be quite buggy. Issues with Bluetooth, saving favorites, thats all I've experienced.
    - Note, this comes with version 2010.10 maps. Garmin just released version 2010.20 maps. You only get one free upgrade.
    - Very expensive...

    I am planning on replacing my 755T with the 1490T. The larger screen size is just so overwhelmingly impressive it outweighs the cons in my book. If you're not into that type of stuff then the 1490T is probably not for you.



    5-0 out of 5 stars Worth moving up!, October 30, 2009
    I have now had a couple of weeks to work with the new Garmin 1490T.

    I should begin by mentioning that I have been using Garmin GPS units in airplanes for quite some time, and my experience with ROAD GPS units began with a Street Pilot III soon after they were introduced. Currently I also have a Garmin KNA-G510 which drives a 7" in-dash Kenwood display and a nuvi 660. I compared the 1490T to both the G510 and the 660. I did not have any of the issues with "buggy" software forgetting my settings which others have mentioned.

    For me, the 5" screen of the 1490T was one of the attractive features; it provides almost as much viewable map area as the 7" G510 display; the 510 has most of the data outside of the map, whereas the 1490T and the smaller 660 have these as overlays onto the map. The 1490T map appears more "crisp" than either older map display as smaller width lines are used for most features. The older, thicker lines look bolder, but the thinner lines contribute to a sharper looking display. The 1490T labels use upper case and lower case letters rather than upper case only, and this too contributes to a somewhat more legible display in my opinion. One unusual note: at night the 1490T background appears dark blue rather than black. I think the contrast is better with black and would prefer the more dim background of the older units.

    The most dramatic new 1490T feature is HotFix (tm), a feature present in the airborne units since introduction, but new to the road units. The result is a very rapid calculation of position when the unit is turned on. My 660 often requires a full minute longer than the 1490T which might require less than 3-5 seconds. I also have the impression that if my 1490 is charging in my car, it may be partially "on" and maintaining a fix in the background. In either case, the very rapid navigational fix is very noticeable and much appreciated.

    For example, a rapid fix is really useful in a strange area, when you return to your car and need to start driving out of the city, for example. The long wait for a fix as you leave the parking garage, or pull from your parking space seems like an eternity.

    One odd display change - while my older units will usually say something like "Oak St. Ahead" in the green boarder stripe at the top of the screen, the 1490T will say "Driving on Main St". Now I will grant you that in answer to the "where am I now?" question, it may be more important to know that I am on Main Street, but when I am looking for Oak Street, the older displays seem better. While it is true that the 1490T will have a map label for Oak Street (most of the time) and it is located properly on the map, this is somewhat harder to read than the larger type in the green stripe.

    This may also relate to the 1490T approach to placing map labels on streets but not on "things" like parks and neighborhoods. Others have commented negatively on this loss of map labels. I think the 1490 labels more streets, so I am OK with this.

    The 1490T appears to calculate positions and speeds and/or display more quickly; it is hard to tell which. If I decelerate slowly, the 1490 displays the decreasing speeds more rapidly than the 660. This may be due to a more rapid calculation or it might be due to a more rapid display cycle. Either (faster fixes/calculations or faster display updates) could contribute to more rapid updates of map display. It is hard to tell for sure, but it does appear to me that the 1490T map display updates more often and this appears more smooth.

    I have had only a little experience with traffic data, but my first impression is that this is somewhat better integrated into the 1490T. For example, you can tell when you are receiving traffic data on the 1490 from the main map screen and the color indicates traffic conditions.

    I have not had a chance to see the Junction View or Lane Assist feature, but I did like the turn preview feature, which, after a short display interval automatically returns to the map display. If my other units do this, I must have missed it; this is a nice feature as it eliminates a longer glance at the screen and another button push at exactly a time when you might be busy.

    One last positive note: the 1490 has a scale bar AND a north diamond, my 660 has neither. It is a little hard to accept anything as a navigator if it does not indicate "north". Both 660 and 1490T do the same auto-zoom which for some reason I never noticed on the 660. Maybe it is more obvious now that I have the scale bar to read on the 1490. The 1490 shows topo features when zoomed out a ways, and this is nice - a cute feature to show off.

    I was tempted to set up a double system in my car to mirror a double GPS display I have fooled with in the airplane, i.e. one screen zoomed in with track-up, and one zoomed out with north-up. But, aside from the question of whether you really need this in a car and aside from the odd looks one gets, perhaps this would invite one to spend too much time with their head in the cockpit and not on the road.

    If I can have only one, I like the new 1490T.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Comparison of Garmin Nuvi 1490T and Magellan Roadmate 1475T, November 22, 2009
    Recently I bought a Magellan Roadmate 1475T at $220 and Garmin nuvi 1490T at $399 and tested side by side in my car just for some real situation comparison. Here are some findings:
    1. Destination Address Input: Roadmate 1475T allows input of city name or zip code, followed by street name and street number. It tolerates inaccurate address information input and provides best guess of where I want to go. For example, when I am not sure about exact street number, I take a guess based on the legitimate street number range that the Roadmate 1475T lists. Also, in case two acceptable city names exist for a given city, using city name to input address will cause error or failure, but a zip code will give an unambiguous entry, plus most time it saves time by entering zip code rather than city name. However, nuvi 1490T doesn't accept zip code entry. You also need to enter state name first if the current location is different from your destination state. nuvi 1490 also requires entry of street number before entering the street name, so you will have trouble if you are not sure about the street number.
    2. AAA Travel Book: Roadmate 1475T contains searchable AAA travel book. I can find nearby attractions or hotels or restaurants with AAA ratings easily with Roadmate 1475T. nuvi 1490T does not have this feature.
    3. Traffic Information: Both GPS have capability of receiving subscription-free traffic information. However, Roadmate 1475T have much more reliable reception of the traffic information than nuvi 1490T sitting side by side in my car. Often time, whereas Roadmate 1475T still have the traffic information displayed, nuvi 1490T cannot receive any traffic information.
    4. Highway Lane Assist: Both GPS units claim to have this feature. However, only Roadmate 1475T has truly advanced Lane Assist. The lane assist in Nuvi 1490T is not reliable and show up only in sporadic occasions, and, when it does show up it only flash up for 2 seconds. Plus, Nuvi 1490T shows only an artistic drawing having nothing to do with the actual exit configuration.
    5. Screen size and view quality: Roadmate 1475T is of 4.7 inch size, whereas nuvi 1490T is of 5 inch size. However visually Roadmate shows much crispier image than does nuvi 1490T. When I looked at the tech specs, it indicates that nuvi 1490T has exactly the same 480 x 272 pixels as a 4.3 inch screen. Therefore nuvi 1490T increases the screen size in the sacrifice of the resolution.
    6. Map Information Display: Roadmate 1475T displays much more information than nuvi 1490T. Roadmate shows the street names of the current and nearby streets. Roadmate shows nearby other landmarks, such as gas station, bank, hospital, restaurant, or mall icons. However, nuvi 1490T usually shows an empty spider's web of the streets with no street names. Novi also does not show any landmarks. Especially in active routing mode, you feel you are driving in a dark tunnel, with no landmark information. This is especially bad for a female user, because research indicate that women rely more on landmarks than men in figuring out the direction.
    7. Turn Signal: Roadmate 1475T provides a bell tone at the last moment of a turn. It makes a "Dong-Ding" sound for right turn, a "Ding-Dong" sound for left turn, and a "Ding-Dong-Ding" sound for a U-turn. Roadmate also shows a blow-out big junction view at the same time. However, nuvi 1490T does not have this feature.
    8. Speed of re-routing: Roadmate 1475T re-routes instantly, but it takes several seconds for nuvi 1490T to re-route.
    9. Reliability: So far I don't see any problem with Roadmate 1475T. However, Nuvi 1490T sometimes forget the setting. One time I was in active routing mode, I had a stop-over in a drug store, when I resumed the driving the nuvi had already forgotten the routing. Roadmate, however, always allows me to resume routing under this situation.
    10. Driving Speed Display: nuvi 1490T displays the current driving speed and most time also displays the posted speed limit, but Roadmate 1475T does not have this feature. However, I noticed situations, in which nuvi 1490T showed the driving speed of 35 MPH but my car odometer showed 45 MPH. One time, I saw the posted speed limit on the road to be 35 MPH, but nuvi 1490T diaplyed a speed limit of 45 MPH. I would not want to risk getting ticketed for relying on Nuvi's speed display.
    11. Speaker volume: nuvi 1490T has louder speaker volume than Roadmate 1475T.
    12. Bluetooth: nuvi 1490T has built-in Bluetooth, but Roadmate 1475T does not.
    I will report more findings as I continue my comparison. But so far I recommend Roadmate 1475T over nuvi 1490T for functionality and for price. Looks like I will return nuvi 1490T within the allowed returning period.
    An update on January 8, 2010:
    When I traveled last month in Connecticut, after a lunch stop at I-95 Exit 81, the nuvi 1490T directed me to enter I-95 North from Parkway South near Beechwood Dr. The road sign at that entrance indicated that it was "for emergency vehicles only". I did not want to get ticketed by Police, so I took a U-turn on Waterford Parkway South and followed the direction of the Roadmate 1475T entering I-95 via correct entrance.
    An update on January 26, 2010:
    Last weekend when I was driving with active routing, the nuvi 1490T suddenly restarted itself three times for no apparent reason. After each restart I had to re-enter routing information. On the third time, it simply refused to start at all. I had to unplug the power cord and wait for several minutes to reset it...and finally got it started. The Roadmate 1475T, however, was running happily fine (Remember that I have been running both units side by side in my car).
    Another problem has been that the nuvi 1490T had trouble receiving traffic alert most of time while the roadmate 1475T receives the traffic alert fine.
    An update on February 28, 2010:
    I believe I have had enough comparison and the winner is clear to me now. So I returned the Garmin nuvi 1490T, and I bought a second Magellan Roadmate 1475T for my second car from Costco for $129.99 after an instant rebate.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Loved it - Loved it - then DEAD in 5 hours (update 07-08-10), July 9, 2010
    I received the 1490T on Tuesday evening and downloaded all the updates and new maps. I paired it with my Bluetooth phone and left it to charge overnight. On Wednesday we left Central Florida for the Panhandle and the 1490T worked flawlessly - this GPS was really terrific and we played with most every function. I turned it off and put it in the center console to keep it safe and left it overnight. Got it out and plugged it in the next morning and the screen flashed white then the Garmin name appeared - that is where it sits today. YES, I tried resetting the unit, turned it off and on and with and without the power adapter plugged in. Nothing works - it comes on and flashes a white screen and then the word "garmin" on the screen and it sits there. We made the trip back home without this amazing GPS and were just totally dissappointed. It was so nuch fun using it going up..
    This was my 2nd Garmin in 1 week to go bad. I purchased a 265WT last week but the bluetooth would shut the gps down when it engaged. I obtained a RMA from Amazon as I decided to just go ahead and jump up to the latest feature rich unit (the 1490T). I previouslly owned a Magellan Crossover for the past 4 years and it is still running great but I wanted to upgrade and add the bluetooth. It appears that even though Garmin is gaining market share, they have sacrificed their quality to hold profits. I am going to try again with another 1490T as we did really love it but we are concerned over the Garmin GPS quality.
    UPDATE - 06-02-2010
    I received an email from Garmin support who offered the following (Thank you for contacting Garmin International, I am sorry to hear that this has happened. Your GPS will require warranty service. Please return your device to the address below ---- Once we receive your GPS Unit and check it into the system, you will receive it back in approximately 10 - 14 days. For most units, the device will be exchanged for a newly overhauled device)

    YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!!! Ship, at my cost to Garmin, wait 10-14 days and get an "overhauled" unit back. After only 5 hours of use on a brand new unit??????????? I'm not a happy camper with Garmin!

    NOW - Amazon on the other hand emailed me a return shipping label to send my dead gps back to them and they sent me a brand new NUVI 1490T (overnight) at the same time. AS I am writing this I am already updating my new unit. Amazon is GREAT - Garmin's customer service policy sucks.. (and this was over the Memorial day weekend - WOW)

    June 23, 2010 - followup
    I've been using the 1490T on a regular basis now and it is working just great. Everything is working including the traffic information updates. I have seen the occasional advertising from the fm traffic receiver but the messages are totally out of the way and cause no problems at all. this is a really terrific GPs and we continue to love it. I downloaded additional POI including the speed and red light cameras. Very nice feature and lets you know in plenty of time to be careful.
    Although I love this unit I still harbor negative feelings toward Garmin and their customer service policy.

    UPDATE 07-08-10
    I received an email from Garmin telling me that I had to download a 'MANDATORY" free update. This update is to fix the previous problem I had on the first unit I had received. I followed the instructions, the download went fine and the new version was updated to 4.40. I disconnected the unit from the computer and the 1490T will no longer run. It is dead as a door nail. I have tried everything but it will not respond at all..

    I am again returning this Garmin 1490T to Amazon but for a full refund this time. This Garmin 1490T and Garmin support is the worst there is.
    quote---
    Here is what Garmin says - Please allow 10-14 days for the repair and return of your device.

    We know our customers rely upon their Garmin GPS device(s), especially during the summer travel season, and we regret any inconvenience this situation may have caused. We are committed to developing products that are known for their quality and reliability and will continue to work diligently to earn the trust of our customers..
    endquote ---
    Garmin has pissed on this customer one two many times.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Best Garmin GPS Yet, September 21, 2009
    Received the 1490T around September 10, 2009. I am replacing a Garmin nuvi 680(cost $800) which is a good unit but becoming dated. I also have a Zumo 550 for my motorcycle. I absolutely love the large screen of the nuvi 1490T(cost $405). It is by far the best GPS screen I have ever used, both for size and clarity. As my eyes get a little older the slightly larger type helps immensely. I am not sure what all the complaints and fuss is about from some of the other reviewers. When I received the unit I immediately went to Garmin's Webloader and updated the firmware. Then, I updated to the latest 2010 maps since Garmin gives you 1 free update in the first 60 days. I like this gps even better than my nuvi 680 or the Zumo 550 for that matter. The unit has lane assist and junction view which you will love if you live in a big city like I do. The traffic service is free and is as good as or better than MSN Direct that I have on the nuvi 680. And, of course the service is free. There is a small ad that appears in exchange for the free traffic service but the ad is tiny and inconsequential because it disappears when you change the screen. Route planning is a huge bonus. The 680 did not have route planning. The 1490T shows the speed limit of the road you are on and more data is available on the screen than was on my 680. The screen is bright and they have improved the volume immensely. I use it on 50% volume. The 680 I had to use on 100% volume. Must be a bigger speaker or something--or maybe even 2 speakers. The unit is thinner than the other nuvi's and pretty light also. Garmin did not include a cover/sleeve with this unit like they did with the 680. The only negative I can think of is that the power cord is slightly thicker than the 680's cord and the power cord plugs into the unit rather than the cradle. This is a small hassle because you have to unplug the cord from the unit when you want to take it off the windshield and hide it in it's case on the floor(which I always do when I park in public). Overall, I gave the 1490T 5 stars. For $400 it is a very very good value. It's a much better unit than my $800 nuvi 680 since it has more and updated features. I think this is the best automobile unit Garmin makes right now. I love it.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Some good, but some backward steps in my opinion, August 7, 2009
    Final Update:
    After some frustration returned it:
    1) You drive on a state highway for miles with detailed view, you only see a web of road networks with little to no text (no cross roads marked, no poi etc). Compare with 660 where it was fun to use the GPS. I asked myself do I need a 5 inch screen @499 to just view this ? NO!!
    2)GOt impression software has been rushed out to meet deadline. Eg. Keyboard style not remebered, they tried to fix it on a update which is BTW available already out a product release at the start fo the month, but still messed up. Now on 'ABCD' style it remembers but defaults to number view when entering street names so need more key presses to get 'letters'. This indicates to me probably pure management of sofwtare testing vs requirements at Garmin. I am sure this will get fixed eventually but I have formed a poor impression on newer garmins. Too many with big price variatiations, but minor differences..

    3) New graphics style- They have managed to make the same information on same size screen (I tried the 765, exact same software as 1490t) looks smaller with new menu button right in the middle of the main navigation route. To see what I mean go to for eg: [...] and check the image of the 660 and then any of the newer ones like the 765.
    Garmin- If things are not broken dont try to fix! What was broken was inability to sort alphabetically. Good new features were lane assist & integrated antenna & multi point routing. What needs fixing is better traffic updates. I am afraid the 300/600 series may become the classic garmin that made the company the market leader at one time!!

    Well thats my review, hopefully by the time others buy they would have updated the sofwtare to fix some of the issues so maybe should check later reveiwe!
    ===========
    Original review:

    My NUI 660 was stolen 3 weeks ago so waited till end of this month for this as thats when it became available..
    My first impressions are not all that positive, that I have got a RMA and wondering if I should buy the 765 ($200 cheaper) or a tom tom or some thing else.
    Basically the 5 inch screen is nice, and compared to 660 ability for multi point routing is good. Although the later seems not that efficent at routing, if any one lives in Boston and drive to South NJ, will know the importance to avoid GW bridge and go on Tapanezee. I tried inserting tapenzee as a way point, but incredibly it calculated to TPZ then drove back via 87s back to GW, instead of a more logical and shorter Garden State Parkway.

    The junction view poped up briefly when driving on mass pike and approaching 128 but seems just a flashy feature because when I was actually got close it never showed up. I just happend to glance and was lucky to spot it the brief moment it poped up.

    My main complaints is compared to 660 experience or in general

    More Update: Unlike 660 if you make a right turn and then have to make another immediately, the 1490t does not say so before the first one. Instead as I made the right tun, accelerated but withing 400ft it says make a right. No pre warning like in 660, and I missed that turn. I am just wondering who makes design changes at Garmin!!!! That will be a deal breaker, unless tells me I am mistaken on this!!!

    1) Pann-ing map is almost impossible, it is jerky than scrolls more than you want. Huge problem..
    2) Even in detailed map it does not label some points of interst or local river/lake names anymore as you are driving. That was a nice feature so consider it as step back from 660.
    3) Autorouting is slower but probably can live with it. Nice if the upgrades went the other way though!! Same with map drawing..
    4) Annoying pop up balloon on map when searching for address. Why, why?? Cant see the map anyway with baloon
    5) Commercials for bes western and others annoying. I think just shows up when idling though, not sure
    6) Traffic allert wiltl sometimes say traffic ahead but never came across and the map does not high light where it is. Traffic feature as in 660 have low confidence it will help daily travel, at least its free now..
    7) High Time Garmin fixes their search method, same issue with 660. For example to seacrh near.. You cannot type boston, ma. If you just type boston you will see an unsorted listing of cities of Boston and you need to scroll to find where boston ma shows up. No logical ordering. Nice if we can specify a state or zip or at least sort by distance to where you are or something better!! Imagine seraching for some more common name than boston!!
    8)Jills voice is now very annoying and rough, maybe new speakers. Also I think it says re-calculating few times when doing so which can be annoying. At least ran into it once not sure if 2 recaluclate events triggered while the first one hadnot completed.
    9) Keyboard style is not remembered between power cycles so might as well not have that option. nobody is going to go to tools menu to change it from qwert to abcd every time.
    10)Keyboard seems more crowded and less responsive than in 660, delelte key not obvious.
    11) Contact list cannot be sorted alphabetically as in 660. hasnt enough people complaint about this already for garmin not to listen???
    12) At power up the display does not automatically rivert to map view if you dont do anything, instead the main menu screen which is useless to watch while driving.
    Update: The display does ebentually go to map mode so this is OK..

    13) Speed display seems consistantly less by 3MPH from actual speed. tested on two cars so wondering if they could not have calibrated it better as it seems systematic..
    14) No MP3 or Audio Books or FM transmitter or line out (I can live without so not big for me, line out would have been nice to hook up with your car audio)

    Improvements
    1) Bigger screen, but less glossy
    2)No anntenna on the back, beautiful exterior design, looks more sturdy
    3) Power attaches to unit not base holder. Have mixed view on this. May be good if travelling no need to take the base holder with you
    4) More customizable options, menu labeling is better, i.e not everything is hidden under food and lodging anymore
    5) speed limit indication is good, and seems accurate even as the limits changes on the same road. Impressive, at least around boston so far!

    Overall dont see anything major to get excited about vs 660. 765 seems to have the same features minus the 5inch screen and $200 cheaper, so may consider that or studying other tom tom too. Wish Garmin will spend more resources on address sorting, seraching etc than adding flashy features as upgrades.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Needs Work, September 8, 2009
    The nuvi 1490T was my first ever Garmin. Like other reviewers, I found the display to be big, bright, and very clear. The refresh rate was also very good, and there was much to like about the unit. Since I have never had a Garmin before, I did not find the "lack of detail" others have complained about to be a problem. The spoken directions were very clear, and plenty loud. Quite unlike the nuvi 885T I tried next.

    But there were problems, too, most notably with the traffic features, which when accessed caused the unit to reboot every time. No fix bug fix was available at the time (early August), so I wound up returning it. In addition, I was disappointed that the nuvi couldn't fetch addresses out of my Bluetooth iPhone. (Apparently, the iPhone is willing to share, but the nuvi didn't know how to ask). Other aspects of Bluetooth connectivity worked pretty well, though in a rather cumbersome manner, such that I doubted I would make use of the Bluetooth features much until they improved. And yes, battery life is shockingly short.

    I think the unit has lots of promise, but that unrealized potential comes at a premium price.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your time with this......, December 21, 2009
    I love the features of this GPS however Garmin has really messed up lately and the quality of their work shines through. This unit constantly freezes up, reboots, stutters when it talks and often times it will not even load the voice files leaving it and myself speechless. I have updated it to the latest firmware using the Garmin Updater tool and still it has problems. It's very slow to respond to key presses and searching for a Point of Interest takes a very long time. This Garmin has a larger screen but it retains the low resolution found on the small units. What this means is that the screen cannot show any more information than the smaller units. The only advantage to the larger screen is that everything is larger and easier to read. To compound the shoddy software Garmin removed features that are found in their lower end models. Gone is the 3D building view along with the nice wired suction cup mount that had the quick release button.

    Due to the fact that this GPS reboots every few minutes I returned it for a refund. It's useless to me in it's current state of beta software.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Not very reliable, October 21, 2009
    I bought this GPS 3 days ago at Costco. I started using it right away, it took about 10 minutes to aquired the satellite signal, after that everytime I turn it on it aquires signal right away.
    I live in Northern Virginia and the reason of why i bought this GPS were for both screen size and traffic, the traffic in this area is very heavy in the morning and in the afterrnoon.
    I was very dissapointed of it on my first trip from Aldie to Alexandria:
    Cons
    1- It took 10 minutes to get traffic update.
    2- There was a 1- minute delay on I-66, so i went ahead and hit the "avoid" button and the GPS turn it-self off and on (reboot) (not good in the middle of a turn), after that I'd lost all the traffic informations and I had to wait about 5 more minutes to get then back.
    3- It switched by itself to the "traffic map" which I'm not sure if it does that automatically if there is a delay in your route, but I didn't like it, so I had to press some buttons to get my normal map back.
    4- I really don't like the zoom in when you are cruising, you don't "see" any side street, avenue. highway of POI around you, i like to "see" the area around me, that's the reason why I have a 5" screen.
    5- Coming back there was a 1-minute delay, on I-495, so I went ahead and pushed the "avoid" buttom, it did the same thing as before it reboot itself again (not good), so again I had to wait to get the traffic info.
    5- The power cord has to be connected on the back of the GPS not on the cradle, which is very incovenience, because if you're taking the GPS with you, you have to unplug the power from the GPS everytime, and to put it back on the cradle you have to plug it back in everytime. If you have the power cord connected to the cradle is easier because you just plug the power cord one time only, so when it is time to take it with you or put it back is just one easy step.
    7- Talking to my wife using the bluetooth, she couldn't hear me very well, eventhough i could heard her very loud

    Pros:
    1-Big screen
    2-Free traffic
    3-Refreshing time is very fast
    4-After the first time, it aquires satellite signal fairly fast
    5-Speake is very loud

    Bottom line is not worth the price, you are better off with the Nuvi 265WT for 199.99 or less, it has the same features with a smaller screen

    I would not recommend it to a friend.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing Map Detail, August 20, 2009
    I have recently bought this gps and tried it out on a 400 mi trip. In my opinion this gps -at least with current firmware- is disappointing when used for navigation. Even at the 'dense' map detail setting, it shows no features at all on the 3D maps, no context, no cities around, no highway crossings. No approaching POIs too. And of course, no mountain or river or lake names. I was struggling to figure out where I am! This problem should be corrected by a new firmware update (is Garmin hearing?) . Navigating in a blind manner is completely useless and annoying.

    To sum up the pros and cons:

    PROs
    1. Nice display, too bright, needs to be set at 50-60% brightness to be pleasant.
    2. Responsive touch-screen, big size makes selections easy.
    3. Fast & smooth moving and rotating map. Pleasant to watch.
    4. Solid built unit, a bit heavy though.
    5. Nice menus, many displayed fields are now selectable.
    6. Excellent ecoroute feature, helps see your driving costs.
    7. Ability to plan and save (up to 10) multi-waypoint routes.
    8. Clear bluetooth connection (bigger speaker) if you manage to pair gps with phone (see cons below).
    9. Micro SD card.
    10. Many more pros, no space to account for all here.

    CONs
    1. The 'less map detail' problem mentioned above.
    2. Heavy and ugly power cable, not nice to look in car.
    3. Short battery life (just over 2 h) due to bright 5" screen consumption.
    4. Panning/browsing screen almost impossible (see rubber-band effect) due to software bugs.
    5. Some settings (like favorites, POIs or other) are 'forgotten' after power cycles, or after connection to PC.
    6. Annoying big info balloons popping up if a place on map is touched. Balloons hide map features.
    7. Big screen don't show more map area, as opposed to 4.3" units, just bigger text and icons. Another disappointing engineering from Garmin.
    8. Bluetooth pairing with phone is plagued with many bugs.
    9. Many other minor bugs, hopefully to be fixed with upcoming software updates.
    Read more


    20. Garmin nvi 295W 3.5-Inch Widescreen Wi-Fi Portable GPS Navigator
    Electronics
    list price: $279.99 -- our price: $79.00
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B003DZ14EU
    Manufacturer: Garmin
    Sales Rank: 169
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Garmin's nuvi 295W offers a new take on an old favorite with Wi-Fi connectivity, a 3 MP camera with auto-focus, dual orientation capability and much more.

    Get Connected
    Wi-Fi connectivity on the nuvi 295W provides a full desktop experience with an HTML browser so you can surf the web whenever and wherever you choose. Check and send e-mail, including Hotmail, G-mail, AOL mail, POP3 and IMAP, and view email attachments of Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, PDF and JPG files. You can also search an abundance of customer-rated points of interest (POIs), such as restaurants, hotels and more, using Google Local Search.

    Get Going
    With a single tap on the dual-oriented screen, you can avoid writing down addresses and go straight to your destination.nuvi 295W offers a 1-touch navigation from your e-mail, address book and local search results.Additionally, the unique 3MP camera geotags pictures so you can create routes to them.You can also send the picture to a friend to route to or upload to the web to auto-locate on a map.

    Get Turn-By-Turn Directions
    With an intuitive interface that greets you with simple icons and a scrollable menu, nuvi 295W is the perfect travel companion for getting around town.With a quick tap on an icon or flick of the menu, you can easily look up addresses and services and get voice-prompted, turn-by-turn directions that speak street names to your destination.It comes preloaded with detailed City Navigtor NT street maps for the US and Canada with nearly 6 million points of interest (POIs) such as stores, restaurants, hotels, entertainment venues, gas stations, ATMs and more, and speed limits for the most major roads.cityXplorer maps are also available for your nuvi 295W.cityXplorer maps provide the latest detailed roads and points of interest for metroploitan areas.

    Go Beyond Navigation
    nuvi 295W isn't just for navigation.A quick tap provides access to the lengthy f
    ... Read more

    Reviews

    4-0 out of 5 stars Replaced my 755T, May 20, 2010
    Just finished my first few hours with the 295W.

    Just received the 295W today to replace the 755T that was unfortunately stolen. I was thinking about waiting for the 3790T or 3760T, but needed something before that becomes available.

    ** UNIT DIMENSIONS / FEEL / RESPONSE **
    First impressions of the 295W are pretty good. Good fit and finish, has the right heft to it to where it does not have a "toy" feel. Fit and finish is nicer than the 755T I had. All functions process more quickly than the 755T did, and the touch screen is much more responsive. On my old unit, either the processor bogged down a bit, or the screen sensitivity was not quite there, but it did not respond like the 295W does. Scrolling with the touch screen is nice both in the menus, and in map view mode.

    ** ROUTING / DIRECTIONS **
    The routing seemed faster than the 755T. I will miss the lane assist when I travel to larger cities like L.A. and Atlanta, but for the vast amount of time, it won't be a big deal. I did purposely take some wrong turns to check the rerouting capabilities, and found that to be very quick.

    That said, it did have one hiccup already. ( i.e.- when chose Lowe's from the POI list, it showed it in two different directions, same address, 5 miles apart. There is only one Lowe's in my town, and it is not a divided highway or anything).


    ** UPLOADS **
    I have not yet updated the map. It seems strange to have JUST released the unit, and the website suggests there is an updated map set available? I am going to see if I can figure out the version, and when the last one was released. Since I can upload over 60 days from initial use, I may wait a bit.

    That said, I did upload some of the extra voices and vehicles that you can get from the Garmin site. It was quick, and seems to be just fine. ( By the way, I did have the problem upload with my prior 755T that made it a brick, and I had to send back and forth with Garmin.)

    ** WEB / WIRELESS **
    Set up with my wireless network. Security settings were easy. The auto download weather is a neat feature, but I don't see myself carrying this around every day in and out of the house the way I probably would with GarminPhone. The Google Local Search worked well though. The pre-loaded POIs were very good I thought, but there were a couple places I figured it wouldn't know, and it didn't. Connected through the web though, it found them in 5 seconds, and then they were added to the unit saved places.


    ** OVERALL FIRST IMPRESSION **
    After being used to the larger 755T screen, this seems a little bit small. Seems like I can't just glance as quickly at it as the prior unit, but maybe that will change with some time. The spoken directions seem a little bit clearer than the 755 was The response of the unit is very good in my opinion. Not sure how much I will really use the wireless, but I can see it handy traveling when I head to the hotel and might be looking for all the food options locally that the bas POI may not have, etc....


    I am headed on a couple hundred mile drive over the next weekend and will see what other opinions arise. I know it's an initial review, but at least I don't have any buyer's remorse at this point. I may still wind up with a 7300 series after those arrive, and put this in the other vehicle, but we'll see.

    **As for the packaging issues mentioned by the first poster, (who may just have wanted to be the first poster, since it certainly was not a PRODUCT review), I can say that while everything did arrive in fine shape, the stuff did just kind of seem tossed in the box. I felt it actually cheapened the Garmin brand to send it this way.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Nice small GPS, but READ THIS about cityXplorer and Support, June 22, 2010
    Update: September 17, 2010
    After a few months of regular use, I still like this unit fine. My biggest problem with it is that the battery drains so fast when it's turned off. Even if I disable wi-fi and gps, it drains a full charge after one or two days of no use. The battery also takes a long time to charge compared to a phone, camera, or mp3 player.

    Update: August 4, 2010
    Just returned from a 1,400 mile trip thru KY, TN, NC, & SC. This GPS worked pretty good most of the time, but it can loose it's postition on the map as well as graphic details if you use the zoom, rotate, or other features while in the course of navigating. On some occassions, I'd wait for a few minutes and eventually it would correct itself. Other times I waited, but I had to power cycle the unit to get it back on course. Also, at gas stops and rest stops, it recalculated the route correctly most of the time. Sometimes I'd get off for gas and the GPS would recalculate my route in the opposite direction of the interstate that I just left! The GPS signal was always strong and satelites were always found within 30 seconds.
    Regarding the Wi-Fi, it was compatible with the free Wi-Fi at the inn's where I stayed, but if it was a place where you have to pay for Wi-Fi service, this device was not compatible. This was also the case in Las Vegas.

    Update: July 12, 2010
    Just returned from Las Vegas. This GPS could not even pick up a satelite at all while walking the strip. Not even on the raised pedestrian bridges where I had a huge view of the sky. However, it got a great signal at The Grand Canyon (of course).

    Update: July 2,2010
    I dock it another star for the false advertising and poor support.
    I purchased the add-on 10 dollar cityXplorer map of Las Vegas from Garmin's website. After I downloaded it, I couldn't find any evidence that it was installed. I emailed tech support to find out how I could confirm that it was installed and working. After three days of back and forth email help from their support I was convinced that I was gonna have to call. I called support, waited one hour to talk to a guy who walked me through the same process that I'd already done. He said, I'll see bus routes on my GPS when I get to Vegas. That's the upgrade?
    They don't have this unit on hand to work with, and they are using support directions for other units which don't have the same menu's as the 295W. A few hours after talking to the tech, I got an email from Garmin saying that the cityXplorer maps enhanced pedestrian mode is not compatible with this model. They issued me a refund for the Las Vegas map upgrade. This is an advertised function of the GPS that does not work.

    My original review:
    My 3 year old Tom Tom was swiped from the car, so I was forced to shop for a replacement. This unit caught my eye right away due to the Wi Fi. I am a cheapskate prepaid phone guy, so the idea of smart phone features without the monthly charges sounded good. The family gave me this for Fathers Day and I've had two days to play with it. Here's my impression:

    This device feels good. Solid and light. Responsive buttons and touchscreen. Good resolution and contrast. Navigation is simple, and within 20 minutes I had learned the layout of apps, menus and interface as well as configured the personal stuff(home address, wi fi connection, 2 email accounts, home page, and a couple of bookmarks). Very simple. No manual needed. I connected it to the computer and registered it at Garmin's website. Serial number is behind the battery pack, so write it down first. I downloaded the device update which took nearly an hour. The one-time map update refused to install. I downloaded it, went to install and the file was corrupt. tried it again. Same result. Oh well, I'll try later. I grabbed a different vehicle icon and some geotags and downloaded the pdf users manual while at the website, and then copied two albums to the device.

    Web Browser - sluggish but effective. I would use it for banking, news, stocks, etc, but I wouldn't do my christmas shopping with it! The + and - zoom buttons work as good as pinching the screen (apple). Wi Fi signal is fair, but will not reach my garage 50 ft. from the router.

    MP3 Player - This is a basic MP3 player that has features like repeat, shuffle, playlist, album art, etc. The internal speaker is not made for listening to music. The headphone jack is oddly not standard 3.5mm.

    Apps - Nice practical assortment. All I need in a handheld really. The tools are well designed for their specific purpose. Biggest let down is that it can't import calender and contacts. That could save a lot of time! Email app is great.

    Navigation - Google Local Search is a brilliant addition to this GPS. It helped me find some lesser known establishments, and provided ratings for restaurants. Satellites are found quickly when outside, but I must be near a window to get a signal if indoors. Route calculation is fast. Voice guidance is clear and surprisingly good at pronouncing tricky street names. It recalculates a wrong turn in seconds.

    Mount - The windshield mount has a quick release button that detaches the GPS from the cradle, as well as the suction cup lever that makes it easy to attach/remove from the windshield. This is much nicer than the Tom Tom set up.

    Overall I am very pleased with this GPS. It will be great for my basic traveling needs. I think it will be especially nice for exploring a new city pedestrian style. I think that this device will allow me to leave my laptop at home on many trips, while avoiding expensive monthly charges of an iPhone or Droid. I give it four stars because I like it a lot, but there is room for improvement (standard headphone jack, synchronized contacts and calendars, an included case or wrist strap, maps that download correctly)

    4-0 out of 5 stars great GPS w/o the phone, May 20, 2010
    GPS Experience:
    I have been a GPS user for over 10 years. I have owned Garmin's, Tom Toms, Magellan's, Mio, DASH, and others.

    Packaging:
    You get a brown box with all the Garmin pieces inside and most important it's recyclable.

    Physical unit:
    The 295t has a power button on the top, it also has a 2.5mm headphone jack/audio line-out on top. It has volume up and down button on the right side and well as a camera button on the right side. The left side has the USB as well as the windshield bracket connection. The nice thing is that you can connect the power directly to the bracket.

    First Impression:
    I just received my Nuvi 295t and I have to say that I excited about the concept of being able to connect to the Internet to surf or to find POI's. I believe that all future PND units will have some kind of wi-fi connection or a bluetooth connection through your phone. The PND companies are loosing market share to all the NAV phones that are on the market. The 3.5 inch screen is SMALL. If you like having a 4.3" screen or even a 5" inch screen you might not like this small screen. Remember this a similar size to most NAV phones on the market today.

    Navigation:
    It has spoken street names (e.g. "Turn right on Elm street in 500 ft."). The directions given were similar to other Garmin units. The directions were accurate. The unit displays the posted speed limit, and your current speed on the bottom right. It displays your arrival time on the bottom left. On the top of the screen it displays the next turn arrow with the street name. The "Jill" directional voice is low and tiny...it must be a small speaker.

    Screen:
    3.5" inches. Dual-orientation automatically switches between portrait and landscape view. The Scrolling menu option was a nice add-on.

    Wi-fi(web surfing, weather, e-mail):
    Web surfing: Connected to an available hot spot was fast a easy. The web pages display as full web pages. You have the option to enlarge or reduce the web pages with a (+) or (-) that displays on the screen. Loading web pages was average with some taking longer to load.
    Weather: while connected via wi-fi you can check your local forecast from the main menu. You would have to use the browser to go to [...] to view radar, and maps.
    E-mail: setting an e-mail account was fast and easy. Once you are connected via wi-fi you can check your email from the main menu. The email icon shows how many un-opened emails that you have in your inbox. I was able to setup 2 e-mail accounts. The screen qwerty keyboard is not the greatest but you can still input the URL's and other info.

    Wi-fi (Google searches):
    Once you are connected via wi-fi and you have the option to use Google Search to find POI's that were not listed in the 6 million POI database. The searches were fast and easy. Once they are found the unit can route you to your destination. You can also use 1-step navigation from contacts, e-mail, and local search results.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Good for automobile navigation and Geocaching..., June 1, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    The Garmin Nuvi 295W is a mid-range navigator with built-in wireless. It features the well-known and reliable Garmin navigation with the added benefit of a slightly updated UI. The icons for navigation within the UI are easier to see and access and are accessed through a touch screen scroll screen on the main screen.

    Fit/finish
    The unit feels very sturdy in the hand. It's solid feel makes it feel like a useful instrument instead of a toy that many other units feel like. The touch screen has a slightly matted appearance that resists smudges and scratches and glare. When in the cradle there is a on/off/sleep button on the side and the volume buttons are on the top.

    Navigation
    Navigation is typical of Garmin GPS units. The default setting is driving mode, in which you can choose different route settings such as faster, more direct, avoiding tools, etc. If you know where you are going it may send you a way that you question, but it will defiantly get you there. If you are going someplace you've never been, you can be rest assured that it will get you there. If you need to deviate from the route it suggests the units improved OS offers lightening fast recalculations. Often times the recalculation will take under 5 seconds.
    You can enter waypoints or places to go either from the built-in Google search (for places of interest), restaurants, gas stations, police, hospitals, and other places along your route. You can also enter an address and save that as a favorite and give it a name of your choosing.
    You can also choose a pedestrian mode. You go to pedestrian mode when you remove the unit from the cradle.

    This is useful for geocaching. It also works well with the myGarmin portion of their website where you can download additions, including up to five geocaches in your area at a time.
    In either mode you can also enter GPS coordinates. If in pedestrian mode it will show you how to walk to that coordinate. If it is farther away it will switch to driving mode, drive you to a point near the GPS coordinates and then allow you to walk.

    Wifi
    The unit has built in WiFi. Setup is quick and easy, though the range is somewhat less than that of say what a laptop computer would be able to pick up, but the signal is strong and reliable. The browser is typical of small units like this and can be improved upon. The e-mail application is great and adding a gmail account is quick and painless because the unit already knows the server settings. Just enter your address and password and you are checking your e-mail.
    The built-in Google Search also looks for places of interest near you or your route and you can add that to your favorites or waypoints and be off.

    Extras
    With all Garmins you can go to myGarmin from their website. You can download customizable maps, geocaches, voices, and new vehicles. Connecting is a snap (hint, choose USB Drive Mode) via the included USB cable which also acts as a charger. You can download map updates, software updates, and lots of fun tools.

    Final Verdit
    As someone who has only used an older GPS unit, I was impressed the this units functionality, build quality, and interface. As with any GPS there are some limitations. These are overshadowed, however, by the extras on this unit and its lightning fast response, interface, and navigation.

    A fun tool for any driver, or any geocacher.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Excellent Little Device!, June 4, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    Overview:
    The GPS is really good. It connects fast, redirects nimbly, and is Garmin, so it is reliable. The battery life seems really good, and the other apps are also very nice to have. It plays music, checks your email, and has a calendar. Basically, it is akin to a smart phone without the phone aspect (and without data charges!). If this sounds like something that you might be intrigued by, I suggest you check one of these out. I very much enjoy mine.

    Detailed Review:
    I have really enjoyed having this little guy around. My previous experience with GPS was a laptop purchased from Dell with a GPS card and CoPilot 11 software. As such, my expectations were pretty low. That system takes five minutes outside of any enclosure to find a signal, and loses it if you sit in your car (it's perfect if you want to carry around your laptop on foot, open, and get directions to a coffeeshop that you could REMEMBER the way to).

    As a comparison, this Garmin Nuvi is awesomely excellent. This thing usually finds satellites in less than a minute, it has good playback quality for sounds (I can hear it over my car radio), the screen is big enough to be functional, but no so large that it is distracting, and it redirects in less than a minute as well. The GPS system is fantastic.

    I have had some difficulties in getting it to check my email using the WiFi capabilities, but I think that is user error, so don't be too worried. The receiver for WiFi seems a bit less powerful than what is in my non-GPS laptop, but that reciever is pretty good, so I expect that this will work well in any urban areas. You should be able to (if you set it up right), get your email at the Starbucks while waiting for your Latte Mocha Frappacino Blast (or whatever).

    The fact that it can display Microsoft documents and PDFs natively is particularly nice, along with the calendar functions, as well. I think that if you want to avoid the data charges of a smart phone, this is probably the best thing that you could buy for yourself.

    The battery life is pretty good. I ran mine for at least eight hours without a recharge, which is nice if you have a long drive ahead of you. The dash mounter and the car adapter are nice touches for those extended trips, although an included AC adapter would have been a useful as well. In the box, you can charge via vehicle or PC.

    I am not sure if the transmissions are encrypted from this device's web browser or not, so I would have a little precaution about what passwords you enter into it. Nevertheless, it is darned useful.

    Conclusions:
    If you are an early adopter, or a tech junkie, this may be the upgrade or update you are looking for. If you are a technopeasant, like me, this is a nice, intuitive device that can get you where you are going with a minimum of trouble, and a good battery life. Someone who understands technology can set up the Internet and email for you on here and then you can just have fun.

    Harkius

    4-0 out of 5 stars Fun, multifunctional handheld GPS with wi-fi, May 31, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    The Garmin nuvi 295W is a nuvifone but without the phone so the same accessories work with it. It has GPS, maps and navigation, lots of information about urban points of interest from ATMs to parking garages, plus wi-fi for web-browsing and email as well as music and widgets. I use it primarily while walking around in Manhattan and it certainly seems to be intended to be used as a handheld device rather than for driving.

    This gadget is fun to handle and explore, with a nice physical form, a responsive touch screen, and useful software but it does have problems with the small, dim display, weak speaker, the 2.5mm jack, short battery life, intermittent satellite communication, and customer support with long hold times and no familiarity with the device.

    It is still very likable and useful.
    **** = I like it
    __________________________________________________________________

    WARNING! Excessive detail below.

    First the good:

    It has an attractive design with a nice rubbery easy-grip case. It is very solid and feels right in the hands. The matte touch screen and related software is very responsive to scrolling and tapping, very crisp. It works with fingers, a stylus, or even the cap of a pen.

    There is no need to read the instructions as the interface and program software are so intuitive. A hard-copy quick start manual is provided but the full manual is available on the Garmin website to download. There is also help available on the device itself. The most difficult task is setting up email. Calibrating the compass is actually fun.

    The maps are accurate and the library of various services and landmarks seems comprehensive although not completely up-to-date: it lists a hospital and a couple of restaurants that have closed recently. It also goes strictly by distance when suggesting nearby points of interest and does not take into account that they may be across a river with a very long travel distance involving bridges or tunnels. Granted, other mapping services also use the "as the crow flies" method but it is still frustrating for someone not familiar with an area. The GPS certainly is accurate in pinpointing current location and even recognizes some walking paths in parks. Route suggestions are useful.

    The 3 megapixel camera works well enough, just point, press the button, let it focus, snap the picture. There is no flash but it can geotag. Photos can be emailed or dragged to a computer when the device is attached by USB.

    It is very easy to load music (or audiobooks) onto the hard drive and then listen. I created a folder on my computer and filled it with mp3s and then simply dragged it over.

    The hard drive shows up as 3.19 GB with 1.66 GB free so there is plenty of room for photos and music and additional map information. It will also accept a MicroSD card for additional storage.

    The calendar, clock and alarm functions, weather, calculator, currency convertor, and notepad, all are handy little widgets.

    Now for the not-so-good:

    It takes about a minute to boot up but there is a progress bar.

    The display is not bright enough even at 100% to read it easily outdoors even when the sky is completely overcast. It also smears easily. The display is too small to see comfortably if it is mounted on a dashboard and web browsing is sometimes tedious despite the easy-to-use magnification and re-centering functions.

    The internal speaker is not loud enough to listen to music holding the nuvi away from the ear, indoors, at full volume. I cannot understand travel directions when walking around town unless the speaker is against my ear, due to normal ambient noise. So headphones are necessary, but the jack is 2.5 mm (cellphone standard) instead of 3.5 mm (as on iPods). I just can't imagine what Garmin was thinking when they decided to carry over that 2.5 mm jack from the nuvifone--perhaps VOIP calls?

    So definitely, between the small display and the need for headphones, this is best as a handheld device.

    The display sometimes refuses to reorient horizontally to vertically or vice versa.

    The wi-fi control is buried down in the menus but I discovered that it is possible to go straight back out to the top menu by holding down the back button icon. However, there should be a primary icon for wi-fi just as there is for the browser.

    It would be nice if it could import a contact list and bookmarks. Who has time to enter all of their contacts on a mini keyboard?

    The nuvi was unable to establish a primary satellite connection until it was in a completely open space well away from any buildings or trees. After the primary satellite connection is made, subsequent connections are much easier but the device often warns that the link is weak and then completely loses the connection. (The 295W still thinks it is on the corner two blocks away from my apartment! ) The satellite connection was also unavailable in a cab so it will need an external antenna in at least some vehicles.

    Battery life is four hours in theory but less than two hours for me while in active use, even after calibrating the battery by fully discharging and recharging it and keeping the display at 75% brightness. The customer service rep said keeping wi-fi off would lengthen the usable time. The nuvi 295W comes with a vehicle charger and a USB charger but no wall charger.

    Customer support:

    Customer support is a big problem. As of May 2010, there is no written customer support information specific to this device on the Garmin website other than manuals. So I called late on a Thursday afternoon and was 25 minutes on hold before a rep picked up and, when I asked, was told that the wait was a little shorter than usual.

    After explaining the problem, I was put back on hold for just a few minutes, then the rep tried to help with updating the software but after installing and using the updater, it turned out that there were none available. Then it was back on hold for a few minutes waiting for a specialist. It was suggested that I try resetting the device to the factory defaults (erasing all my data) or that perhaps I just got a dud with malfunctioning hardware and should return it.

    Incredibly, neither of the reps I spoke with had been trained to support this device nor had they even actually seen one. I am surprised that a company would release a product without training the customer support people for it or at least letting them handle one. (The nuvifone support is handled by a different division.)

    Total time on the phone: 77 minutes.

    To be clear, both reps were very friendly and polite and made every effort to be helpful and were generally knowledgeable about their products, just not about this particular device.

    Eventually, I was able to figure out the issue and of course it was my own error and not a problem with the nuvi 295W.

    5-0 out of 5 stars So nice I wonder how I lived without one!, June 5, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    WARNING! I am not technologically advanced and I am not normally a GPS user. There are already some fantastic reviews from people that know what they are talking about on this product, so if you are an advanced user, check those out first.

    I have never used GPS - I live in a city that is built on a grid system and I have lived here for 30 years, so I have never really had a need. When I travel I use the Google Maps on my Blackberry Pearl and now my iPhone. GPS has long seemed like one of those lazy gadgets that are nice to have but totally not essential.

    Boy was I wrong.

    I took my new Garmin 295W out for a spin the day I got it and I was instantly hooked. The touch screen is crisp and super responsive. The directions have been accurate every single time. The Garmin fit nicely in its holder and was easy to use while driving with both touch and voice. The screen was a little dim but as long as the sun wasn't shining into my car, it was fine. I found the voice a little hard to hear until I plugged the unit into my car stereo system and the screen was a little small to see well while driving, which leads me to feel that this unit would be better used as a hand held, so I tried that out.

    Walking around my town I found the camera to be a great addition and finding restaurants and things to do a breeze! It is a feature I would have never thought to use but I found it absolutely indispensable. I would probably never use any of the other features unless I forgot my phone at home(like email or the web browser), but the 295W is well worth the price just for the GPS and the Points of Interest. I did find the Points of Interest to be a little out of date, though. When I was done, I used the Garmin Locate to get me back to my car and I loved it! No more wandering around looking for my car when I forget where I parked.

    Where this unit really came in handy was when riding my motorcycle. I put in my destination, looped the earpiece into my helmet and I was off. Using the spoken directions I easily and quickly found my way. The unit is so small and portable that I really can't ever imagine being without it, but it will certainly be essential on motorcycle trips - no more stopping the bike, taking off my gloves, opening my pack, taking out a map or my phone and then doing it all in reverse to get going again.

    I didn't mind the packaging on this product - I like that there was so little to throw away and the unit felt very secure and safe. I don't need a package to make me feel like I got my money's worth out of a product, so I would personally prefer more of this type of packaging.

    All told, I love my Garmin 295W. I don't know how I ever lived without it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars No more worrying about getting lost, July 4, 2010

    Customer review from the Amazon Vine™ Program (What's this?)
    The Garmin N�vi has an impressive array of features, and I wanted to try a variety of them out before posting a review. For clarity's sake, I'll break this review down into categories that address the specific functions I tested.

    First off, navigation: The screen is nice and clear and it's very easy to follow the directions. I really like how the screen will show posted speed limits. I'm sometimes confused even on my local roads because speed limits will change and posted signs are rare, making it difficult to remember what the speed limit is on that particular segment of the road.

    The database isn't entirely complete. I've had several problems finding some points of interest that have been in my area for years. The Google Local Search can fill this gap, but that will only work if you're in an area with WiFi. Needless to say, when you're on the road and this isn't available, Google Local Search isn't going to do you much good. My suggestion is to find your destinations ahead of time as you can then either make them a favorite or pull them up in the previous searches.

    I've used the unit both when traveling in areas with which I'm familiar and with which I'm unfamiliar. Naturally, I found that when I'm driving in an area I know well, I often know better routes than what the N�vi recommends. Sometimes I'll take the suggested route just to see how it pans out and there have been times when it was really inefficient. Now, of course no one really needs a GPS device to get around places they already know, but I wanted to evaluate the product this way because it gives an overall sense of how good the routing is. I don't have any major quibbles with it, but it is worth noting that it doesn't always take you on the quickest route. However, it is great for providing you with some back roads directions, and it took me down side streets I wouldn't have otherwise known how to navigate.

    We took the Garmin with us on a trip and found it to be completely invaluable. While running dangerously low on gas one day, we used it to help us locate the nearest gas station. We also used it to help us get to every one of our destinations, some of which were so off the beaten path we would surely have had a lot of trouble finding them without the aid of a GPS device.

    I was formerly a big user of Google maps and, while that does work well, I've never been comfortable with having to try to juggle with a printout, trying to read in snatches at red lights or with quick glances while on a freeway. I love that the N�vi eliminates this. It's so much easier to just glance at the screen and see what my next turn is.

    E-mail: The e-mail feature is really handy for someone like me, who doesn't currently own an Internet-ready phone. Though I don't necessarily feel the need to be constantly connected, it is nice to know I can give my e-mail a quick check in case I'm waiting for anything important. However, because the touchpad keyboard can be really difficult to use (and this is true of when you're typing in the name of a destination you want to search for), I don't think the e-mail functionality is one I'm all that likely to use very often. It can be extremely frustrating to have to go back and try the same letter three times because you have to move your finger a fraction of an inch to get the unit to process the correct keystroke.

    Camera: I like the camera on this device a great deal more than the camera on my cell phone, particularly because it works so nicely when taking a landscape-oriented photo. The image quality is pretty good. I think taking photos will require some practice as the camera sometimes immediately took the picture upon pressing the button but, at other times, required me to push the button several times before the picture was finally captured. I also like how the device allows for some slight editing of the photos when using them as wallpaper. It allows the user to change the photo's orientation and zoom in or out. When you edit a photo, it takes you through both the portrait and landscape versions of the photo.

    Web Browser: The browser function is handy in a pinch, but not something for which you'd throw your computer over. Because the screen is so small (it is a GPS device, after all), it can be frustrating to try to tap the exact position on the screen that will open the link you're trying to open. Naturally, you also have to be somewhere with WiFi in order to be able to use this function, and I imagine that if you're in a WiFi hotspot with the intent of surfing the web, you're more likely to want to bring a more web-friendly device with you. Basically, the web browser is kind of nifty but not at all necessary.

    Battery Life: I had thought that this device might be fun to use for some geocaching, but experience has shown me that it probably wouldn't prove all that reliable for this purpose. This is because the battery life is extremely short. I was amazed that simply running errands around town for an hour or two could pretty much drain the battery dead. You can eliminate this problem by using the dash mount and keeping the charger plugged in, but that's obviously not an option if you're using the device while walking or riding a bike. This was my one serious disappointment with the unit. It should also be noted that, once drained, it does take some time for the battery to be recharged, which I also found rather annoying.

    On the whole, I've found that my Garmin has become one pretty indispensable piece of modern technology. It's not only convenient, it provides me with some peace of mind as I now know that, no matter where I go, I won't run the risk of being lost and I won't have the stress of having to pull over, take out a map, and trying to figure out where I am and how to get back to where I want to be. That alone makes the device pretty precious to me.

    1-0 out of 5 stars i will stick with the old Nuvi, November 8, 2010
    I like Garmin so much that I have one for each of our 3 cars, old Garmin and 2 other nuvi models. Original Garmin is a big clunky thing that cost way too much and has to be loaded with maps that cover only a minimal area. Big old Garmin does not come with lots of memory. So seeing this on Amazon at a good price with lots of add ons, who could resist replacing it. Newest Nuvi was easy to set up and we were off on a maiden voyage 11 miles away. It took forever to locate where we were, even slower than big clunky old Garmin and certainly slower than my other NUVI's. Playing with it, I could also see that unlike my other Nuvi's, I did not seem to be able to easily search for restaurants and gas stations in other distant cities. When traveling long distances. I like to plan our stops along our route.

    Furthermore as we approached our destination I was given one warning about .3 miles away but unlike my other NUVI's there was no visual countdown from that point on... .2 miles, .1 miles, 500 ft etc. Since our destination had no signs nor was there an street number, we sailed past it. Suddenly, Nuvi went from 35mph to a walking speed even though the car was still going down the road. My other Garmins would scold me and tell me to turn around. Old Garmin scolded so harshly, I thought it was my mother! Not this one. It assumed I arrived at my destination and then promptly forgot about me.

    The WIFI and the searches that use WIFI are pretty useless unless you are in a WIFI hotspot. All in all, it is not a bargain if it doesn't easily route you using a reasonable path. And if I am in a car, I want it to stay in a car mode. Old clunky Garmin is still fine and if I plan a cross country trip then I will simply go to one of my other NUVI's that have less add ons but do exactly what I want it to do. It sounded better on paper, kind of like my ex husband!

    1-0 out of 5 stars Garmin really missed the boat on this one., October 15, 2010
    When I first saw the advertisement for the 295W, I thought my prayers had been answered. WOW - WIFI!! With an imminent trip coming up, that meant I could leave my Netbook home, and I would still have access to my e-mail, and the web. In truth, I have little need or use for geocaching, Panaramio, and all the other cute (if not somewhat useless) bells and whistles.

    Let me begin by stating that I am a long-time Garmin fan, user, and customer. I own the old B&W e-Map, the eTrex Vista, a Nuvi 660, a Nuvi 1350, and a 265W. I have used Garmin GPS's for business and for vacation, both in the US, and all over the globe. I buy the Maps, I do the planning, and almost always, derive great benefit and guidance from the products.

    Yes, I am a techno-nerd, but I am also a graduate engineer, and I know how stuff works. I design stuff for a living. I can virtually guarantee that anybody who is reading this short piece either owns, uses, or has seen, within the past 24 hours, a product that I have designed. I frequently bristle when I see one bad review in a sea of rave reviews about a product which was written by some jerk who says the product stinks because he couldn't figure out how to turn it on, or the screen was too dim to see in sunlight (which it was), or some other criticism borne of user stupidity.

    This thing was pocket-sized and had WIFI, GPS and e-mail. What else could I need? The answer is simply, a product that works! As I said, I'm a big Garmin fan, but this was the biggest technological disappointment I have suffered is quite some time. Why? It just doesn't work!! Well, let me qualify that. Certain things do work. It buzzes when you turn it on, the volume does go up and down (although, not nearly loud enough, even at full scale), and it does drain the battery.

    Now, what DOESN'T work: The WIFI and the GPS. After I eagerly opened the box, I had all I could do to wait for the device to fully charge before I began playing with it. The first thing I did after reading the manual (not supplied, but downloadable) was to enter 4 or 5 e-mail account addresses that I knew that I wanted access to on my upcoming vacation. Not terribly difficult. I entered the addresses and the passwords. After turning on the WIFI, the device seemed to find my two networks, as well as those of a few of my neighbors. I selected my primary WEP network, entered the WEP key, and like a friggin' miracle, e-mail! My life was now complete, or so I thought. Then, I selected my other WEP network, logged on, and had a signal - for 20 to 30 seconds!! It kept dropping the network. I went to check my mail, and it said "No network available." I backed out of the 4 or 5 menus required to re-enable the WIFI, logged in again, and it quit on me, again. I thought that, maybe, it was smart enough to check all 5 e-mail accounts, and upon finding no new mail, logged off. Too bad that wasn't the case. Every single time, after logging on, it just kept dropping me. Considering that my primary network was only 20' - 30' from where I was sitting, and the alternate router was maybe 50' from where I was sitting, I got up and walked over to within 10' of the second router. Same problem - it kept dropping me. Regardless, since I was still packing for my early morning flight, I couldn't take the time to contact Garmin tech support.

    The next morning, the real test. Waiting in the lounge at Logan Airport, I turned on the 295W to check my e-mail before departing. It identified the open network, waited, waited, waited, and then threw up an error indicating a server error, or some such thing. Having the time to kill, I went to another location that had open and free WIFI. Same problem. I went to a third location, and same problem.

    Now, I was a bit peeved. In the last 40 minutes I had before being locked in a plane for 7 hours, I actually telephoned Garmin tech support. (The use of that time really pleased my wife). After a 25 minute wait, I spoke to a rep who actually told me he hadn't seen the device and was not familiar with it. He asked that I be patient and wait for him to try to find a manual. A few minutes later, he was back but had NO IDEA how to solve the problem. He said he was going to switch me to the software group. Fortunately, there was a very short wait. After explaining the problem to the newer guy, he asked, "Did it ever work?" I told him that it worked for one day, at my home, with a WEP encoded router. His genius answer: "Well then, it must be working OK." He told me that the unit "...has a problem connecting to public networks." WELL, HELLO!!! When I'm traveling, I'm always connecting to public networks. Restaurants, hotels, airline lounges. I explained that wherever I was traveling, I would be out of range of my own home network. Besides, I already know where the restaurants are within a few miles of my home. I'll spare the rest of the details, but for the next two weeks, three airports, five hotels, this thing was a paperweight - useless.

    Now for the part that Garmin SHOULD have had right - the GPS. It really stunk. I realize that satellite capture in metropolitan areas can be "iffy," but this thing spent 5 to 10 minutes in open plazas trying to catch a few satellites. More often than not, I simply turned it off. I got tired of waiting. And yet, another problem - it wouldn't give me a fix over the Atlantic Ocean. When I travel (and when individual airlines permit), I occasionally while away the boredom by checking how far away we are from, and how many hours are left to travel to my destination. I don't know if it was missing a map set, or what the problem was, but with 6 or 7 satellites full scale, it never locked onto an elevation or location. Every other Garmin I own has done this without fault.

    And yet another thing that didn't work well - the touch screen. Garmin has been doing this so well, over so many models, for so long, I just don't know what went wrong with this product. It was jerky, it zoomed off-screen, and I had to repeatedly zoom out to re-center the map. It just became an intolerable labor to try to use this for anything but a small, static map of a few selected (I'd love to know how) local restaurants.

    I could probably go on for 12 more pages about the problems with this piece of junk, but I have to get to the post office. I couldn't wait to get home to return it, and I want it out of here as soon as possible.

    Garmin, sorry, but you REALLY missed the boat on this one!! Read more


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