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PCHardware - GPS & Navigation

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    $119.99
    1. Garmin nvi 265W/265WT 4.3-Inch
    $84.00
    2. Garmin nvi 205W 4.3-Inch Widescreen
    $24.73
    3. Garmin Portable Friction Mount
    $109.99
    4. Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS Receiver
    $199.99
    5. Garmin nvi 1490LMT 5-Inch Bluetooth
    $24.73
    6. Garmin Portable Friction Mount
    $129.99
    7. Garmin nvi 1350/1350T 4.3-Inch
    $129.95
    8. TomTom XXL 540M 5-Inch Widescreen
    $5.85
    9. 4.3" EVA Case for Garmin Nuvi
    $14.98
    10. TomTom GPS Dashboard Mount for
    $96.54
    11. Garmin nüvi 265W 4.3-Inch Widescreen
    $149.95
    12. TomTom XXL 540TM 5-Inch Widescreen
    $119.99
    13. Magellan RoadMate 5045-LM 5-Inch
    $149.95
    14. TomTom XXL 550TM 5-Inch Portable
    $99.99
    15. TomTom XL 340TM 4.3-Inch Portable
    $199.00
    16. Garmin nüvi 260W 4.3-Inch Widescreen
    Too low to display
    17. TomTomXXL 540S 5-Inch Widescreen
    $176.99
    18. Garmin nvi 1450LMT 5-Inch Portable
    $109.99
    19. Garmin nüvi 255W 4.3-Inch Widescreen
    $8.43
    20. Garmin 4.3-Inch Carrying Case

    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 Portable Friction Mount
    Electronics
    list price: $39.99 -- our price: $24.73
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B002OL2MU4
    Manufacturer: Garmin
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Portable Friction Mount ... Read more

    Reviews

    4-0 out of 5 stars Best Solution for NUVI in my Prius and my Ford: Theft Protection As Well!!, June 1, 2007
    My Prius has a rough dashboard and a windshield that slopes very sharply. Thus, the suction cup mounts are not good solutions. Fortunately, the friction mount is a great solution. It works much better than I expected. Very stable, does not slide, and lets me adjust my Nuvi to a variety of different angles. I can place the GPS anywhere on the dash or even on the center console. Also works great when transferred to my wife's Ford.

    Only downside to the device is that it has a rather large footprint, but not prohibitively large. I like the fact that I can easily use this in both of our family vehicles depending on where we need the GPS.

    UPDATE: Now that I have used this mount regularly since May, I have to say this is the best mounting solution I've found for a GPS or any other device for my car. It hasn't slid out of place once!! Given the rise in GPS units being stolen from cars, this mount allows you to easily stash your GPS Unit and mount out of sight and then put it back into position with ease.

    2009 Update: Still using this in my Prius and my wife has one too. It's held up quite well. It IS a bit bulky to store out of the way when not in use, but still a good solution. I usually remove my GPS from the mount (a simple process) and then place the mount as far under the seat as it will go. Not perfect, but the best solution I've found to date.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Well designed, May 19, 2007
    This mount works great. The selection of Garmin mounts is confusing as some are two parts and some are one. If you have a Nuvi with the included windshield mount, then this is the only part you need to buy. The included mount disassembles at the ball and socket joint and attaches to this one. I can't say it will never come off the dash if I do some really high speed maneuver, but so far it's held steady for all regular driving.

    I like that it's easy to move the mount and gps unit down to the floor when I park. Yeah a thief could still see it if they came right up to my car but at least it's not obvious from halfway across the parking lot like a windshield mount is. A thief that sees an empty windshield mount is probably going to assume (correctly) that I've just put the unit in the glove compartment.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Finally, the right mounting solution, June 16, 2007
    I have become addicted to my Garmin Nuvi 660 and used it for six months with a successful windshield mount. But now I have bought a new car. I discovered that the windshield suction mount left an ugly black ring on the window of my old car. (I assume I can get this cleaned up when I detail the car for selling.)

    So no way was I going to put one of those on my beautiful new car. I tried the Garmin dashboard mount but shied away from the "permanent" disc. I found the "temporary" disc was just not up to the job of holding this device in place -- at least on my vehicle. I found this very frustrating. I read about the Portable Friction Mount, found a Best Buy store that had it in stock and ran out to buy it.

    Though it is not terribly good looking, it does the job very well. I tried whipping around a few tight turns in parking lots and the whole thing stayed put. As another reviewer said, this lets you easily remove the thing and put it on the floor so it's not obvious. That may be more valuable than you would think. I know somebody who removed his Garmin Nuvi (and took it with him) but left the window mount in place. The car was broken into and the window mount alone was stolen. (Probably that was a pretty frustrated thief.)

    Also, this will be easy to transfer to a rental car. And it will make it easy for my wife to borrow my Nuvi. Hmmm!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Stable but here's an easy improvement, June 26, 2007
    While the friction mount on the bottom of the beanbag is pretty darn stable even with stops, starts, and turns I sometimes would find it sliding across the dash. The solution has been to use one of those little 6x4 inch mats sold at Radio Shack or Walmart for keeping cellphones on the dash. The mat is sticky on one side but leaves no marks or glue. I have not had one slide since using the mat. I even bring the mat with me in rental cars. This gives a very secure mount that is very easy to take from car to car.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Just the right mount for a Garmin Nuvi (works with all Nuvis), December 2, 2007
    The first time I tried this mount was in a rental car for a Garmin C530, and I never thought it would stay on the slightly sloping dash of the Pontiac Grand Prix but it held firm going up and down San Francisco's hilly roads. That prompted me to buy one for my car. Essentially this mount is a bean bag with a mouse pad like rubber base but its engineered to stay where you put it and not slide around unless you move it. The good thing is that it stays put even if you brake suddenly, and if you drive in bumper to bumper rush hour traffic like me every day you'll appreciate this even more!

    The advantages are:
    - No sticking on windshield. This is a BIG advantage as the windshield mount starts to come off easily after a year of usage, less if you leave it in your car while it's parked in the sun. There is nothing worse than your GPS sliding off while you're driving round a tricky bend, especially if you are new to the area. Sometimes it can be downright dangerous.
    - The windshield mount also alerts thieves that a GPS is in the car. A friction mount can be placed down under the car seat when you leave the car without needing to disconnect anything so that you're ready to go quickly when you come back to the car.
    - The other big advantage is the ability to move it around to the position you want it. If a passenger is sitting in your car you can just slide it to their side and they can input the information while you are driving. It also makes it easy to slide it closer to yourself. Since I have the Nuvi 660 I often make calls with the bluetooth feature while driving, it is easy to slide it towards me when I am speaking to someone in order to get better voice reception.

    This mount works for all Nuvis as they have the "snap the ball in the joint". If you buy any model of Nuvi then this is all you need, no other adapter parts are needed. It's also easy to switch this mount between cars or move it to a rental car when you travel. It has been the best and most useful accessory I could buy for my Nuvi 660.

    5-0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT, September 1, 2007
    I purchased the Garmin Nuvi 350 to use for work since I travel quite a bit for my job. I was hesitant about buying the friction mount because I worried that it wouldn't stay put. I'm happy to report that I was wrong.

    I recently used this friction mount with my Nuvi 350 on a long trip from NJ to Maine. Not only did it stay put exactly where I placed it on my dashboard for the entire trip, but it stayed put in a near accident. On one of the many highways we traveled, there was a car accident ahead and everyone in my lane slammed on the brakes. Now, mind you, we were all traveling at approximately 60-65 miles per hour. I'm most happy to report that we didn't collide with anyone. ---> Amazingly, the friction mount and my Nuvi didn't move an inch.

    You can buy this friction mount with complete confidence. If it didn't move in the situation I was in, it won't move with normal driving. Not only that, but it is easy to remove and stow your friction mount and Nuvi without leaving evidence that you have a GPS (now a favored target for theives).

    3-0 out of 5 stars Slides easier as it ages, December 5, 2007
    I've had this item for 3 months, and initially was very impressed with it's holding power on the dash. It's not magic - it will come off if you make a sudden turn or floor it from a stop light - but generally it stayed put, even through some *very* curvy roads in West Virginia at a "spirited" pace.

    Over time, however, it seems to have absorbed the oils or possiblly Armor-All out of the dash (leaving a distinct dry spot on the dash in the shape of the mount), which has impacted it's performance. It still generally stays put, but takes much less aggressive a maneuver to make it move. I am currently trying different cleaners to try to reclaim some of the original grip.

    As mentioned many times, the ability to remove it from the car, put it on the floor, move it to different cars, etc. is very nice. I would buy it again.

    5-0 out of 5 stars really easy to set up and use., August 15, 2007
    I justed pulled my Nuvi 660 off the window attachment, the ball just popped right out, then pushed it onto this ball. It works great, even has a lock/unlock, so you can slide the GPS out of the base easily, or lock it into place. It's easy to move the GPS to get just the right angle but it stays put once It's how I like it. I don't have too much trouble with the unit sliding around. I have a large, flat dash and if it were going anywhere, there's nothing to stop it, but it stays where I put it(I'm not a speeder and don't take turns sharper than I have to). As I live in California where I can't use the window attachment, I wish it would have come with this option. I wouldn't want to stick sticky tape on my leather dash. So far, I"m real happy with it.

    UPDATE: After a month or so driving around with this thing on my dash, I'm as happy as ever. It hasn't moved at all, over pumps, up or down really steep hills, even with the power cord pulling on it (as I have it plugged into my cigarette lighter all the time). It's light enough and small enough to move easily and tuck away, it doesn't get in the way at all when I'm driving. I think it's perfect and I love it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Works great, March 10, 2007
    Although I was skeptical, this holds onto the dash in both my Highlander and RX300. The ball attached directly to the mount that came with my Nuvi 360. No other kits were required.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Works with the Garmin Nuvi 660 -- no additional mount to purchase, June 14, 2007
    As one of the other reviewers stated, it is unclear whether certain Garmin GPS units require one or more additional parts for the portable mounts. This portable friction mount works perfectly with the Garmin Nuvi 660 -- you do need the bracket that holds the GPS unit from the suction cup mount that ships with the Nuvi 660. Just remove it and snap it on to the ball of the friction mount.

    The mount itself works perfectly -- my GPS stays put in typical California driving (which has included a few sudden braking maneuvers at rush hour). Excellent solution for those who want to be able to use the GPS in multiple vehicles.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Best Solution for NUVI in my Prius and my Ford: Theft Protection As Well!!, June 1, 2007
    My Prius has a rough dashboard and a windshield that slopes very sharply. Thus, the suction cup mounts are not good solutions. Fortunately, the friction mount is a great solution. It works much better than I expected. Very stable, does not slide, and lets me adjust my Nuvi to a variety of different angles. I can place the GPS anywhere on the dash or even on the center console. Also works great when transferred to my wife's Ford.

    Only downside to the device is that it has a rather large footprint, but not prohibitively large. I like the fact that I can easily use this in both of our family vehicles depending on where we need the GPS.

    UPDATE: Now that I have used this mount regularly since May, I have to say this is the best mounting solution I've found for a GPS or any other device for my car. It hasn't slid out of place once!! Given the rise in GPS units being stolen from cars, this mount allows you to easily stash your GPS Unit and mount out of sight and then put it back into position with ease.

    2009 Update: Still using this in my Prius and my wife has one too. It's held up quite well. It IS a bit bulky to store out of the way when not in use, but still a good solution. I usually remove my GPS from the mount (a simple process) and then place the mount as far under the seat as it will go. Not perfect, but the best solution I've found to date.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Well designed, May 19, 2007
    This mount works great. The selection of Garmin mounts is confusing as some are two parts and some are one. If you have a Nuvi with the included windshield mount, then this is the only part you need to buy. The included mount disassembles at the ball and socket joint and attaches to this one. I can't say it will never come off the dash if I do some really high speed maneuver, but so far it's held steady for all regular driving.

    I like that it's easy to move the mount and gps unit down to the floor when I park. Yeah a thief could still see it if they came right up to my car but at least it's not obvious from halfway across the parking lot like a windshield mount is. A thief that sees an empty windshield mount is probably going to assume (correctly) that I've just put the unit in the glove compartment.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Finally, the right mounting solution, June 16, 2007
    I have become addicted to my Garmin Nuvi 660 and used it for six months with a successful windshield mount. But now I have bought a new car. I discovered that the windshield suction mount left an ugly black ring on the window of my old car. (I assume I can get this cleaned up when I detail the car for selling.)

    So no way was I going to put one of those on my beautiful new car. I tried the Garmin dashboard mount but shied away from the "permanent" disc. I found the "temporary" disc was just not up to the job of holding this device in place -- at least on my vehicle. I found this very frustrating. I read about the Portable Friction Mount, found a Best Buy store that had it in stock and ran out to buy it.

    Though it is not terribly good looking, it does the job very well. I tried whipping around a few tight turns in parking lots and the whole thing stayed put. As another reviewer said, this lets you easily remove the thing and put it on the floor so it's not obvious. That may be more valuable than you would think. I know somebody who removed his Garmin Nuvi (and took it with him) but left the window mount in place. The car was broken into and the window mount alone was stolen. (Probably that was a pretty frustrated thief.)

    Also, this will be easy to transfer to a rental car. And it will make it easy for my wife to borrow my Nuvi. Hmmm!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Stable but here's an easy improvement, June 26, 2007
    While the friction mount on the bottom of the beanbag is pretty darn stable even with stops, starts, and turns I sometimes would find it sliding across the dash. The solution has been to use one of those little 6x4 inch mats sold at Radio Shack or Walmart for keeping cellphones on the dash. The mat is sticky on one side but leaves no marks or glue. I have not had one slide since using the mat. I even bring the mat with me in rental cars. This gives a very secure mount that is very easy to take from car to car.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Just the right mount for a Garmin Nuvi (works with all Nuvis), December 2, 2007
    The first time I tried this mount was in a rental car for a Garmin C530, and I never thought it would stay on the slightly sloping dash of the Pontiac Grand Prix but it held firm going up and down San Francisco's hilly roads. That prompted me to buy one for my car. Essentially this mount is a bean bag with a mouse pad like rubber base but its engineered to stay where you put it and not slide around unless you move it. The good thing is that it stays put even if you brake suddenly, and if you drive in bumper to bumper rush hour traffic like me every day you'll appreciate this even more!

    The advantages are:
    - No sticking on windshield. This is a BIG advantage as the windshield mount starts to come off easily after a year of usage, less if you leave it in your car while it's parked in the sun. There is nothing worse than your GPS sliding off while you're driving round a tricky bend, especially if you are new to the area. Sometimes it can be downright dangerous.
    - The windshield mount also alerts thieves that a GPS is in the car. A friction mount can be placed down under the car seat when you leave the car without needing to disconnect anything so that you're ready to go quickly when you come back to the car.
    - The other big advantage is the ability to move it around to the position you want it. If a passenger is sitting in your car you can just slide it to their side and they can input the information while you are driving. It also makes it easy to slide it closer to yourself. Since I have the Nuvi 660 I often make calls with the bluetooth feature while driving, it is easy to slide it towards me when I am speaking to someone in order to get better voice reception.

    This mount works for all Nuvis as they have the "snap the ball in the joint". If you buy any model of Nuvi then this is all you need, no other adapter parts are needed. It's also easy to switch this mount between cars or move it to a rental car when you travel. It has been the best and most useful accessory I could buy for my Nuvi 660.

    5-0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT, September 1, 2007
    I purchased the Garmin Nuvi 350 to use for work since I travel quite a bit for my job. I was hesitant about buying the friction mount because I worried that it wouldn't stay put. I'm happy to report that I was wrong.

    I recently used this friction mount with my Nuvi 350 on a long trip from NJ to Maine. Not only did it stay put exactly where I placed it on my dashboard for the entire trip, but it stayed put in a near accident. On one of the many highways we traveled, there was a car accident ahead and everyone in my lane slammed on the brakes. Now, mind you, we were all traveling at approximately 60-65 miles per hour. I'm most happy to report that we didn't collide with anyone. ---> Amazingly, the friction mount and my Nuvi didn't move an inch.

    You can buy this friction mount with complete confidence. If it didn't move in the situation I was in, it won't move with normal driving. Not only that, but it is easy to remove and stow your friction mount and Nuvi without leaving evidence that you have a GPS (now a favored target for theives).

    3-0 out of 5 stars Slides easier as it ages, December 5, 2007
    I've had this item for 3 months, and initially was very impressed with it's holding power on the dash. It's not magic - it will come off if you make a sudden turn or floor it from a stop light - but generally it stayed put, even through some *very* curvy roads in West Virginia at a "spirited" pace.

    Over time, however, it seems to have absorbed the oils or possiblly Armor-All out of the dash (leaving a distinct dry spot on the dash in the shape of the mount), which has impacted it's performance. It still generally stays put, but takes much less aggressive a maneuver to make it move. I am currently trying different cleaners to try to reclaim some of the original grip.

    As mentioned many times, the ability to remove it from the car, put it on the floor, move it to different cars, etc. is very nice. I would buy it again.

    5-0 out of 5 stars really easy to set up and use., August 15, 2007
    I justed pulled my Nuvi 660 off the window attachment, the ball just popped right out, then pushed it onto this ball. It works great, even has a lock/unlock, so you can slide the GPS out of the base easily, or lock it into place. It's easy to move the GPS to get just the right angle but it stays put once It's how I like it. I don't have too much trouble with the unit sliding around. I have a large, flat dash and if it were going anywhere, there's nothing to stop it, but it stays where I put it(I'm not a speeder and don't take turns sharper than I have to). As I live in California where I can't use the window attachment, I wish it would have come with this option. I wouldn't want to stick sticky tape on my leather dash. So far, I"m real happy with it.

    UPDATE: After a month or so driving around with this thing on my dash, I'm as happy as ever. It hasn't moved at all, over pumps, up or down really steep hills, even with the power cord pulling on it (as I have it plugged into my cigarette lighter all the time). It's light enough and small enough to move easily and tuck away, it doesn't get in the way at all when I'm driving. I think it's perfect and I love it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Works great, March 10, 2007
    Although I was skeptical, this holds onto the dash in both my Highlander and RX300. The ball attached directly to the mount that came with my Nuvi 360. No other kits were required.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Works with the Garmin Nuvi 660 -- no additional mount to purchase, June 14, 2007
    As one of the other reviewers stated, it is unclear whether certain Garmin GPS units require one or more additional parts for the portable mounts. This portable friction mount works perfectly with the Garmin Nuvi 660 -- you do need the bracket that holds the GPS unit from the suction cup mount that ships with the Nuvi 660. Just remove it and snap it on to the ball of the friction mount.

    The mount itself works perfectly -- my GPS stays put in typical California driving (which has included a few sudden braking maneuvers at rush hour). Excellent solution for those who want to be able to use the GPS in multiple vehicles. Read more


    4. Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS Receiver With Heart Rate Monitor
    Electronics
    list price: $299.99 -- our price: $109.99
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000CSWCQA
    Manufacturer: Garmin
    Sales Rank: 14
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Package Includes: Forerunner 305, Heart rate monitor, docking cradle, expander strap, AC charger,PC/USB interface cable, Quick start guide, Garmin Training Center CD & owner's manual

    The Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS System combines form and function. This combination running partner and personal trainer is designed for athletes of all levels. It features a high-sensitivity GPS receiver, new courses feature, and robust ANT wireless heart rate monitor for optimal performance. The super-sensitive GPS tracks your every move, even working on tree-covered trails and near tall buildings. The heart device monitors your heart rate, speed, distance, pace and calories burned so you can train smarter, more effectively. These taskmasters will continually push you to do your personal best. Courses feature lets you download recorded courses and compete against previous workoutsAuto Pause pauses and resumes training timer GPS features - GPS with high-Sensitivity SiRFstarIII architectureWireless communication between system devices via ANT protocol Display Size(WxH) -1.3 x 0.8 (33 x 20.3 mm) Lap Memory -1,000 lapsRechargeable internal lithium ion battery - lasts 10 hours (typical use) Waterproof -Submersible in one meter of water for up to 30 mins.Alerts -Time, distance, pace and heart ratePhysical Size(WxHxD) -2.1 x. 7 x 2.7 (53.3 x 17.8 x 68.6 mm)Weight -2.72 oz. (77 g)

    Heart rate monitor features -Transmission Range -approximately 3m (9.8ft)3V CR2032 battery - lasts 3 years (1 hour per day) Physical size(WxHxD) -13.7 x 1.4 x 0.5 (348 x 35.6 x 12.7 mm)Weight -. 74 oz (21 grams) ... Read more

    Reviews

    4-0 out of 5 stars Excellent workout tool, May 3, 2006
    I like this thing quite a lot. I've had it for about three weeks, and have used it on 12 workouts so far. I use it primarily for running, with biking a secondary usage. The main reason I wanted it was for the instantaneous readout of distance, running pace and heart rate, the latter needed for the speed work I want to do this running season.

    The core functionality (distance and heart rate monitoring) works perfectly. There's none of the signal drops I've had with other heart monitors. Once the satellites are initially acquired, I've only had one dropout when I was outside. The initial acquisition of the satellites can be quirky and can take some time. The accuracy (according to the readout) is +/- 25ft, depending on how many satellites can be found. I've compared the distance measurement on the GPS with a known, measured distance on one of the trails I run on (the Chicago lakefront path). The GPS always increments a mile when I'm within 5 or 10 feet of the mile marker sign on the path. Well, I guess that's the least I should expect from a $350 GPS unit! Of course it's bigger than a normal running stopwatch, but that hasn't bothered me at all. The heart rate strap is also very comfortable and well-designed.

    The display is crisp and has one outstanding feature: The information presented on the various pages can be completely user-customized. The default screen layout is rather poor, but in just a few steps I could replace it with the information I wanted to see while I run. There are almost 40 different data fields you can choose from for display. Examples: current pace, average lap pace, average run pace, heartrate, distance.

    The only disappointment is the point-in-time (instantaneous) pace measurement: It varies wildly during a run. I see swings as big as +/- 3 minutes/mile. I'm a marathoner and I know my pace is fairly consistent during a run. I just looked at my run today, and according to the data the first mile varied from 5:57/mile to 12:06 mile. I suspect the problem is either in the averaging algorithm (too short a distance?), or in the uncertainty that results from different satellites coming in and out of view. The variations seem to get worse under tree cover compared with an open area. Luckily there's a lap-average pace that can be presented, and at least that value is useful and more accurate. The bottom line is that you can't look at the watch and say "right now I'm running 9 mins/mile". There is the ability to specify a pace smoothing factor, but I have it maxed out and still see the variations. The elevation readout also seems inaccurate, but that isn't important to me.

    Upload of workout data to the PC software (Training Center) is transparent. The PC software is very good for presenting time/distance/pace/heartrate/calorie data. However the maps it shows are very crude. I've worked a bit with one of the online, subscription services (MotionBased). That looks really good and provides some additional functionality beyond the included Training Center software, although I still haven't decided if it's worth the $$$ yet for long-term data storage. MotionBased allows export to Google Earth, and it's tremendously cool to see your running path superimposed on a satellite image. You can recharge the unit through the USB port on your computer, although it's slower than using the dedicated recharger.

    I had hoped that owning this device would prove motivational for me, and indeed it has. I can't imagine running or biking without it. Updating my training log is trivial now: Plug this thing into my computer, and it's done. My hope is that a future software update will do something about the pace calculation (maybe a few additional levels of smoothing?). If so, the Forerunner 305 would earn 5 stars+++.


    Positives:

    Flawless heart rate sampling
    Great distance measuring and lap-average pace calculation
    Seamless integration with a PC
    Fully-automatic training log update
    User-customizable display


    Negatives;

    Wildly-varying pace readout.

    5-0 out of 5 stars All I hoped for!, August 28, 2006
    With a few one-star reviews, I was a bit hesitant to order this. Now, after two weeks of use (10 runs of 2 to 2.5 miles each), I have no regrets with the purchase whatsoever.

    I haven't had any of the problems reported by any of the one-star reviewers. It syncs to the satellite in a reasonable* amount of time, seems to track my pace very well, tracks distance well, and the heart rate monitor seems WAY more accurate than the dedicated exercise machines at my local gym.

    *by reasonable, it does take a minute or two to sync to the satellites each time. That's the only thing I could possibly think of improving, but it's not a big deal. Being the super-impatient person I am, I often turn on the watch, set it on my front porch, go back in and change into my running outfit, and by the time I come back out it's ready to go.

    I haven't seen the pacing issues others have reported. I'm a beginning runner... but if I keep a solid pace... it reports about 10mins/mile... if I push a little harder... about 9mins/mile... if I let up... about 11mins/mile. It seems very consistent over my entire 2-2.5 mile run.

    I have a 2.1 mile run where I've done the same exact route about 6 times... and when I compare the maps of each run... they overlap almost exactly.

    I have thyroid and heart issues, and this watch gives me the confidence to know I'm not exceeding my max hr for too long (I can easily get into the 180's) and gives me the feedback and stats to keep me motivated.

    Last but not least, I've bought dozens and dozens of items from Amazon over the years, and this is the first review I've taken the time to write - hope that gives you an indication of how happy I am with this product. ;-)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Better than 405 & Polar...GOOGLE EARTH alone is worth the upgrade!!!, May 27, 2009
    I have had the 305 for about 6 weeks and am very pleased with it. It is my first GPS watch and has exceeded my expectations. I had read the concerns with the altimeter and agree, it does not provide useful or accurate information so no surprises there. The real issue for me was how well it would measure distance. I have found it to be very accurate and reliable. I have several runs that I have clocked with the car and measuring tools on Google Earth; the Garmin hit my mile split expectations anywhere from spot on to 20-30 feet from what I believed the true splits to be. At the end of the 10 mile run I was also within 20 feet of expectation. So maybe one mile measures a few feet long, another a few feet short, but cumulatively it was right on my prior expectations.

    The heart rate monitor does jump around a bit on pulse rate but once I settle into a run it seems more reliable and is certainly useful. I have found that if I put the chest strap on a few minutes before running I don't get the wild initial readings when I start running.

    As to my headline that it has changed the way I run, because the distance measurements are so accurate the Forerunner has freed me from the old measured courses I have run for years. Instead I just take off wherever I feel like going with complete comfort as to splits, pace and distance (and yes, I am one of those who really cares whether I ran 5.00 versus 5.25 miles when calculating my pace). I set the watch to ring at each mile so I can simply glance down and figure my pace. It is also great when traveling as you can run any distance accurately without any planning effort.

    I also enjoy downloading data to Sporttracks (third party free software) to see my runs overlayed on a map. Often it maps so accurately it will clearly show which side of the street I ran on and where I crossed from one side to the other. Running has never stopped being fun, but the freedom this device has afforded me has added a new element of enjoyment.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An Improvement, April 19, 2006
    This is a definite improvement over the 301. I had several complaints with the 301:
    (1) The heart rate monitor did not track well, and would often jump up to 240, which was a problem when looking at average heart rate later;
    (2) The tracking was bad sometimes in the woods, where I run (it could vary half a mile on a four-mile course, and even worse, the elevation could spike 1,200 feet at times and completely change the profile of the run);
    (3) The unit was not ergonomic, the buttons were difficult to push, and the screen was hard to see; and
    (4) It took forever to acquire the satellites.

    The heart rate monitor comes with a new sensor that is more flexible, comfortable, and offers more reliable data. The tracking is much better and more consistent. The unit is much more like a watch, the display is great, and the buttons are much easier to push while on the go. However, it still takes a while to acquire the satellite signal. It is a bit improved, and is not dissimilar from other Garmin products, so I'd have to say that it's OK.

    The BIGGEST improvement is that this model is more like a typical GPS in that it offers many different modes and screens to track various types of information (one can toggle between three different screens). For example, on one screen, I have the current time, sunrise, sunset, and running time. On another screen I have the grade, altitude, average pace, and current pace. On yet another screen I have heart rate, calories, distance traveled, and heading. It is totally cool.

    I use this thing for running, biking, rollerblading, mountaineering, skiing, and just about everything else outside. I am really happy that I spent the money for the upgraded version.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Great - when it actually works, HORRIBLE customer support, June 9, 2006
    I got my first Garmin 305 about 2 months ago. The first day I got it the Enter button stopped working. I returned the Garmin 305 to the dealer and was quickly shipped a new one. I am currently using the second Garmin, however the heart rate monitor function on the watch stopped working about 2 weeks ago. I contacted customer support and they said they would ship me a new one, however they only shipped a new chest monitor instead of the watch. Needless to say I still have the problem. Calling customer service is EXTREMELY painful. The wait time is 30-35 minutes just to talk to someone. I have tried to call morning and afternoons and it does not change the wait time. (I am actually on hold right now as I type and am going on 25 minutes.) I should have known not to give my old Polar to my wife.

    The 305 functionality, when it works, is very cool. Mine locks in on satellites within 1-2 minutes and does a good job measuring average pace per lap. I love the auto lap function which I have set at 1 mile. The instant pace is off due to the delay in tracking with the satellites. It is actually showing my pace delayed about 10-15 seconds. I have gone to just using the average lap pace and it gives me what I really need to know. The only problem I have besides the heart rate not working at all, is the distance tracking on one particular trail I run. The trail has a lot of tight switchbacks and the area is covered with trees. The distance registers about 1.5 miles short on a 12 mile loop. It does work well everywhere else I run.

    New update: I finally got through to customer support and they are making me send my watch in for service. Maybe I'll enjoy just running with no data for a while, yeah right!

    4-0 out of 5 stars Pretty Nice, some room for improvement, April 20, 2006
    I have had my Forerunner 305 for almost 3 weeks now. Previous to this I used a Polar S150 (wired bike mount) for several years and a entry level Polar before that, so I am used to basic heart rate monitor but not advance data recording or GPS.

    I have tested the Forerunner 305 running, biking and swimming and have been generally very impressed.

    General: The concept of acquiring satellites before I get going took a little getting used to. After the first couple of times I generally get satellite acquisition within about 30 seconds as long as I am outside or in my enclosed front porch. I set the unit down so that it is completely stationary while acquiring satellites. I get spotty to no reception indoors. The heart rate monitor functions well in comparison to my Polars. I have only had erratic heart readings at the end of one bike ride (fixed by adjusting the strap), which is better performance than I generally would get with the Polars (Except for Swimming, see below). The grade measurements are so erratic as to be totally useless. I have had the grade measurement vary from 8% to 25% back down to 5% within one minute of sustained climbing on the bike. I believe this is due to a poor averaging algorithm (2 point average as opposed to smoother averages involving more points). This is something I intended to test once I figure out how to access the raw data. Data recording is interesting, but is highly dependent on the software used to analyze it. Training center software is decent but unsophisticated (lack of user configurable option is disappointing in a $300+ product). Motion Based has been fun to use, especially the map player. As noted in a previous post of mine errors in distance calculations arise due to Motion Based insistence on connecting erratic track points recorded when you are standing still.

    Running: To this point I have done about half a dozen runs of 3-3.5 miles each on a couple of different courses. Mostly I run on trails with trees (no real leaves as of yet) with some street and open field running mixed in. Generally in the trees I average an accuracy of about 25 ft, which I consider to be pretty good. The tracks and distances are both reproducible to within this approximate 25 ft range. I have found the "instantaneous" pace to be somewhat erratic but generally within approximately 5% of the short term mean. The auto stop feature (I have it set to stop if pace falls below 30 min mile) working decently on the run but occasionally does not register that I am stopped. Overall I am very excited to easily track my running distance and have a pretty good idea of my pace.

    Biking: Used for approximately 10 bike rides both on and off road. Despite some concerns that the antenna faces the wrong way when mounted on the handlebars (I mount mine by wrapping the monitor around a piece of foam) I generally get great GPS reception on the bike. Accuracy is generally about 15 ft on open road and 25-30 ft.on trails. The speed and distance seems to be very accurate and the precision (reproducibility) is within 1%. The auto stop feature works extremely well on the bike, starting and stopping the unit within 1 second. The one down side is that the buttons you are most likely to use for cycling are on the side of the unit (the up/down and occasionally the mode button).

    Swimming: I have only tested in an indoor swimming pool, hoping to be able to record my heart rate. Unfortunately, unlike my Polar S150 the heart rate signal cannot be measured in the water. I did these tests with the receiver under my swim cap, which was pretty comfortable and I could access the buttons easily. There may be more utility for swimming in open water.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Amazing, June 26, 2006
    I bought this product with some trepidation, after reading the mixed reviews on Amazon.com, so I made sure that my supplier had a good return policy. However, I have to say that it is an amazing piece of equipment, and kudos to the people that developed it. Sure it has some kinks that I am prepared to put up with, bearing in mind that this technology is in its infancy (especially at this size). I am training for my first marathon and I have found the forerunner to be great for logging and keeping track of my runs and my overall progress. Sure the real-time pace is not hugely accurate, but I feel very confident that it keeps very good track of my distances and overall pace for each of my runs (if I do an out-and-back run, the plotted course and calculated distances are very close). As I do most of my weekday running in boring suburban DC neighborhoods, it is liberating that I don't have to do the same measured route every time to keep track of my pace. I can wander at will, and head towards home when I am getting close to my desired number of miles. The virtual running partner is a great motivator. How else can you get a running partner to start the run at the same time and place as you and to run at a constant pre-set pace? It was a little annoying when I was ahead of him/her and needed to wait to cross the road; meanwhile I watched him/her passing me out!! I tried the auto-stop function for the first time this weekend, it worked ok, but did have some kinks...maybe it was because of very heavy rain and lightening we were having. The heart rate monitor seems to work fine. I have found signal strength to be no problem (I live in DC area, not sure it that makes any difference). My neighborhood has plenty of trees and the parks that I run in are heavily forested (its summer here). As I drove into the park this weekend during the storm my satellite radio kept losing signal under the (very wet) tree cover, but the forerunner seemed to work fine (except for the autostop). I wish their maps were more detailed, they just have the major streets, I guess Garmin chose to provide a stripped down version.....they should have done a better job there. Overall, as a technophile, I love this piece of equipment, and look forward to seeing how they improve it in the future. You do need to understand the limitations of this device though (e.g. somewhat accurate real-time pace information, undercounting overly twisty routes). I guess I am lucky that I have had no problems with it so far (it has only been a month), but I will update this if I need to call their customer service.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great device for running, August 16, 2007
    I have been using the Forerunner 305 for the past five months and can't imagine how I got along without it.

    I primarily use the unit for my running, which has improved dramatically. This is because the unit allows me to easily monitor a wide variety of items on three screens that can be customized to each show four items.

    My first screen shows total time elapsed, speed in MPH, total distance and heart rate. My second screen shows the time for my current lap, the time for my last lap, the lap distance covered so far (I set a lap to equal one mile), and again heart rate. My third screen shows calories burned, time of day, paused time and sunset time. There are many other combinations available.

    For me these settings have enabled me to improve my running by giving me an accurate picture of how I am doing. I can then download each run onto my computer and compare my progress from week to week. The Garmin software is primitive, but is suitable for my needs. There are more sophisticated software alternatives that you can read about in other reviews.

    I have been able to get a GPS signal even on completely cloudy days, and have not lost it when running through paths with lots of trees.

    The heart rate monitor readings do not "bounce around" like they do on many execise monitors, but rather are always steady. This enables accurate heart rate monitoring instead of bouncing around 10 or 20 beats at a time.

    As a separate accessory you can purchase a footpod, which is a transmitter that attaches to your sneaker so that you can use the 305 indoors on a treadmill, which I do very often during the winter months.

    The unit itself is not bulky to wear, and feels pretty much the same as wearing a watch, though of course it is somewhat larger.

    When running I especially like the auto pause feature, which stops the time being recorded for laps and records the time standing still, such as a rest stop or waiting for a traffic light to change. This is far superior to manually stopping the timer, because many times you resume running and forget to turn the timer back on.

    My one minor gripe is that there is no auto off feature, so that if you forget to turn the unit off, you will drain the batteries.

    Overall I highly recommend this unit and have not had any problems with downloading my data or installing software updates.

    UPDATE Sept. 23,2008: If you own a Mac, the Garmin Training Center software is even more primitive than the PC version. I highly recommend a Mac software program called Ascent. It is highly customizable and terrific for organizing your data and training. I wish they made a version for the PC as well.

    UPDATE July 4, 2009: A few weeks ago I bought the Forerunner 405cx (which I have reviewed on Amazon) to replace my 305 and am very happy with my decision. But since the 305 costs less than half of the price for the 405cx, you have to decide whether the new features are worth the extra money to you.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Broken Watch and Terrible Customer Service, September 8, 2009
    This watch was great while it worked but . . . the heart rate monitor stopped working in less than six months. Garmin then gave me the run-around. After I bought my own replacement strap -- $50, didn't help -- the finally agreed to replace the watch, but they insisted that they be allowed to charge my credit card for the cost of the watch -- $155 -- which they promised to return upon receipt of my old watch. They then charged my credit card $329, and, when they got the old watch back, refunded $173. At that point, they stopped communicating altogether. I spent hours trying to deal with issue, and in the end, would have been better off just buying a new watch.

    Again, the product is fine while it works, but if it breaks this quickly and Garmin does not stand behind the product, what is the point? Read more


    5. 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


    6. Garmin Portable Friction Mount
    Electronics
    list price: $39.99 -- our price: $24.73
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B000LRMS66
    Manufacturer: Garmin
    Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Amazon.com Product DescriptionKeep your nüvi in place with this portable friction mount. It'll keep everything in plain sight when you need it and out of the way when you don't.

    Place the mount on any stable surface, and adjust the position of your GPS to your liking. The friction mount weighs enough to keep your device put on the dash, even when sudden maneuvers are necessary. It's ideal for states in which the use of windshield suction mounts is illegal.

    In addition to its convenience, you can quickly place your GPS out of sight, and without leaving any residue on the windshield, both handy for any potential prying eyes.

    Compatible Garmin Models

    • aera 500, 510, 550, 560
    • nüvi 1200, 1250, 1260T, 1300, 1350, 1350T, 1370T, 1390T, 1450, 1490T, 1690, 200, 200W, 205, 205W, 250, 250W, 255, 255W, 260, 260W, 265T, 265WT, 270, 275T, 285WT, 350, 360, 370, 465T, 500, 5000, 550, 600, 610, 650, 660, 670, 680, 750, 755T, 760, 765T, 770, 775T, 780, 785T, 850, 855, 880, 885T
    • StreetPilot c510, c530, c550, c580, i2, i3, i5
    • zūmo 660

    What's in the Box
    Garmin Portable Friction Mount ... Read more

    Reviews

    4-0 out of 5 stars Best Solution for NUVI in my Prius and my Ford: Theft Protection As Well!!
    My Prius has a rough dashboard and a windshield that slopes very sharply. Thus, the suction cup mounts are not good solutions. Fortunately, the friction mount is a great solution. It works much better than I expected. Very stable, does not slide, and lets me adjust my Nuvi to a variety of different angles. I can place the GPS anywhere on the dash or even on the center console. Also works great when transferred to my wife's Ford.

    Only downside to the device is that it has a rather large footprint, but not prohibitively large. I like the fact that I can easily use this in both of our family vehicles depending on where we need the GPS.

    UPDATE: Now that I have used this mount regularly since May, I have to say this is the best mounting solution I've found for a GPS or any other device for my car. It hasn't slid out of place once!! Given the rise in GPS units being stolen from cars, this mount allows you to easily stash your GPS Unit and mount out of sight and then put it back into position with ease.

    2009 Update: Still using this in my Prius and my wife has one too. It's held up quite well. It IS a bit bulky to store out of the way when not in use, but still a good solution. I usually remove my GPS from the mount (a simple process) and then place the mount as far under the seat as it will go. Not perfect, but the best solution I've found to date.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Well designed
    This mount works great. The selection of Garmin mounts is confusing as some are two parts and some are one. If you have a Nuvi with the included windshield mount, then this is the only part you need to buy. The included mount disassembles at the ball and socket joint and attaches to this one. I can't say it will never come off the dash if I do some really high speed maneuver, but so far it's held steady for all regular driving.

    I like that it's easy to move the mount and gps unit down to the floor when I park. Yeah a thief could still see it if they came right up to my car but at least it's not obvious from halfway across the parking lot like a windshield mount is. A thief that sees an empty windshield mount is probably going to assume (correctly) that I've just put the unit in the glove compartment.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Finally, the right mounting solution
    I have become addicted to my Garmin Nuvi 660 and used it for six months with a successful windshield mount. But now I have bought a new car. I discovered that the windshield suction mount left an ugly black ring on the window of my old car. (I assume I can get this cleaned up when I detail the car for selling.)

    So no way was I going to put one of those on my beautiful new car. I tried the Garmin dashboard mount but shied away from the "permanent" disc. I found the "temporary" disc was just not up to the job of holding this device in place -- at least on my vehicle. I found this very frustrating. I read about the Portable Friction Mount, found a Best Buy store that had it in stock and ran out to buy it.

    Though it is not terribly good looking, it does the job very well. I tried whipping around a few tight turns in parking lots and the whole thing stayed put. As another reviewer said, this lets you easily remove the thing and put it on the floor so it's not obvious. That may be more valuable than you would think. I know somebody who removed his Garmin Nuvi (and took it with him) but left the window mount in place. The car was broken into and the window mount alone was stolen. (Probably that was a pretty frustrated thief.)

    Also, this will be easy to transfer to a rental car. And it will make it easy for my wife to borrow my Nuvi. Hmmm!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Stable but here's an easy improvement
    While the friction mount on the bottom of the beanbag is pretty darn stable even with stops, starts, and turns I sometimes would find it sliding across the dash. The solution has been to use one of those little 6x4 inch mats sold at Radio Shack or Walmart for keeping cellphones on the dash. The mat is sticky on one side but leaves no marks or glue. I have not had one slide since using the mat. I even bring the mat with me in rental cars. This gives a very secure mount that is very easy to take from car to car.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Just the right mount for a Garmin Nuvi (works with all Nuvis)
    The first time I tried this mount was in a rental car for a Garmin C530, and I never thought it would stay on the slightly sloping dash of the Pontiac Grand Prix but it held firm going up and down San Francisco's hilly roads. That prompted me to buy one for my car. Essentially this mount is a bean bag with a mouse pad like rubber base but its engineered to stay where you put it and not slide around unless you move it. The good thing is that it stays put even if you brake suddenly, and if you drive in bumper to bumper rush hour traffic like me every day you'll appreciate this even more!

    The advantages are:
    - No sticking on windshield. This is a BIG advantage as the windshield mount starts to come off easily after a year of usage, less if you leave it in your car while it's parked in the sun. There is nothing worse than your GPS sliding off while you're driving round a tricky bend, especially if you are new to the area. Sometimes it can be downright dangerous.
    - The windshield mount also alerts thieves that a GPS is in the car. A friction mount can be placed down under the car seat when you leave the car without needing to disconnect anything so that you're ready to go quickly when you come back to the car.
    - The other big advantage is the ability to move it around to the position you want it. If a passenger is sitting in your car you can just slide it to their side and they can input the information while you are driving. It also makes it easy to slide it closer to yourself. Since I have the Nuvi 660 I often make calls with the bluetooth feature while driving, it is easy to slide it towards me when I am speaking to someone in order to get better voice reception.

    This mount works for all Nuvis as they have the "snap the ball in the joint". If you buy any model of Nuvi then this is all you need, no other adapter parts are needed. It's also easy to switch this mount between cars or move it to a rental car when you travel. It has been the best and most useful accessory I could buy for my Nuvi 660.

    5-0 out of 5 stars EXCELLENT
    I purchased the Garmin Nuvi 350 to use for work since I travel quite a bit for my job. I was hesitant about buying the friction mount because I worried that it wouldn't stay put. I'm happy to report that I was wrong.

    I recently used this friction mount with my Nuvi 350 on a long trip from NJ to Maine. Not only did it stay put exactly where I placed it on my dashboard for the entire trip, but it stayed put in a near accident. On one of the many highways we traveled, there was a car accident ahead and everyone in my lane slammed on the brakes. Now, mind you, we were all traveling at approximately 60-65 miles per hour. I'm most happy to report that we didn't collide with anyone. ---> Amazingly, the friction mount and my Nuvi didn't move an inch.

    You can buy this friction mount with complete confidence. If it didn't move in the situation I was in, it won't move with normal driving. Not only that, but it is easy to remove and stow your friction mount and Nuvi without leaving evidence that you have a GPS (now a favored target for theives).

    3-0 out of 5 stars Slides easier as it ages
    I've had this item for 3 months, and initially was very impressed with it's holding power on the dash. It's not magic - it will come off if you make a sudden turn or floor it from a stop light - but generally it stayed put, even through some *very* curvy roads in West Virginia at a "spirited" pace.

    Over time, however, it seems to have absorbed the oils or possiblly Armor-All out of the dash (leaving a distinct dry spot on the dash in the shape of the mount), which has impacted it's performance. It still generally stays put, but takes much less aggressive a maneuver to make it move. I am currently trying different cleaners to try to reclaim some of the original grip.

    As mentioned many times, the ability to remove it from the car, put it on the floor, move it to different cars, etc. is very nice. I would buy it again.

    5-0 out of 5 stars really easy to set up and use.
    I justed pulled my Nuvi 660 off the window attachment, the ball just popped right out, then pushed it onto this ball. It works great, even has a lock/unlock, so you can slide the GPS out of the base easily, or lock it into place. It's easy to move the GPS to get just the right angle but it stays put once It's how I like it. I don't have too much trouble with the unit sliding around. I have a large, flat dash and if it were going anywhere, there's nothing to stop it, but it stays where I put it(I'm not a speeder and don't take turns sharper than I have to). As I live in California where I can't use the window attachment, I wish it would have come with this option. I wouldn't want to stick sticky tape on my leather dash. So far, I"m real happy with it.

    UPDATE: After a month or so driving around with this thing on my dash, I'm as happy as ever. It hasn't moved at all, over pumps, up or down really steep hills, even with the power cord pulling on it (as I have it plugged into my cigarette lighter all the time). It's light enough and small enough to move easily and tuck away, it doesn't get in the way at all when I'm driving. I think it's perfect and I love it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Works great
    Although I was skeptical, this holds onto the dash in both my Highlander and RX300. The ball attached directly to the mount that came with my Nuvi 360. No other kits were required.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Works with the Garmin Nuvi 660 -- no additional mount to purchase
    As one of the other reviewers stated, it is unclear whether certain Garmin GPS units require one or more additional parts for the portable mounts. This portable friction mount works perfectly with the Garmin Nuvi 660 -- you do need the bracket that holds the GPS unit from the suction cup mount that ships with the Nuvi 660. Just remove it and snap it on to the ball of the friction mount.

    The mount itself works perfectly -- my GPS stays put in typical California driving (which has included a few sudden braking maneuvers at rush hour). Excellent solution for those who want to be able to use the GPS in multiple vehicles. Read more


    7. 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


    8. 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


    9. 4.3" EVA Case for Garmin Nuvi 265WT 1300 1350 1370T GPS

    -- our price: $5.85
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B0030BBWHQ
    Manufacturer: eForCity
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    4.3" EVA Case for Garmin Nuvi 265WT 1300 1350 1370T GPS ... Read more

    Reviews

    4-0 out of 5 stars Nice little zipper case for my Garmin., April 16, 2010
    Nice little case for the price. It holds my Garmin 265WT very nicely with its snap-on swivel adapter still attached. The exterior vinyl case is very stiff to mitigate the potential of crushing damage to the GPS. The interior of the case is lined with fabric to minimize scratching damage. The case zipper works fine. And it comes with a little carry strap too. Again, very nice for the price.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Nice, April 30, 2010
    Fits my Garmin 265WT perfectly.
    I had no problem with the zipper.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Compact and Sturdy Case for Your Garmin n�vi, June 17, 2010
    The EVA case is a perfect fit for my n�vi 765T even though the product title says it's for the n�vi 265WT, 1300, 1350, and 1370T. The hard exterior provides very good protection for my n�vi. Its interior is lined with a velvety fabric that won't scratch the n�vi.

    I love that it's so compact -- it's not very much bigger than my n�vi (which measures 4.8 x 0.8 x 3 inches). It is a sturdy, well-made, and high quality case. I couldn't be more happy with it. Recommended.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Stuck Zipper, June 25, 2010
    The cut ends of the elastic bands stitched to the inside of the covers get caught in the zipper. This is nothing more than an inconvenience, but it reflects on the quality of the product and should be eliminated.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Recommended, November 14, 2010
    A nice, little, zippered, semi-hard case that fits my Nuvi 265WT perfectly. No room for any accessories; but perhaps that's a good thing because it does fit and protect my Nuvi so well. Buy it!

    5-0 out of 5 stars 4.3"EVA case for Garmin Nuvi 1300 GPS, November 13, 2010
    This a perfect, rugged case to stow my GPS in purse, backpack, or luggage. It also has extra pockets for memory cards & charging cords that makes this case a perfect fit. It reminds me of my metallic-looking hard side suitcases.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Sturdy but oversized case, October 20, 2010
    The case is sturdy, but a bit big for the Garmen Nuvi 1390T, which is same size as 1370T. I bought the case so I could carry the GPS with me, and space is at a premium, so I have ended up putting this case in the drawer and buying a different one.

    5-0 out of 5 stars great product for a great price, August 15, 2010
    Similar products are usually more expensive at a store. I'm extremely satisfied with this item and its price.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Garmin Case, September 18, 2010
    Case is nice and sturdy and my Garmin fits in it comfortably. I like the strap it has.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Great deal on a great accessory., September 11, 2010
    I am so glad I went ahead and purchased this case for my new Garmin GPS. I have been able to keep my GPS stored safely when not in use and protected from the elements. I do not ever leave my GPS in the car when not driving due to the fact that I have heard they are a hot item for thieves. Therefore having the protective case, which is extremely durable, has been a wise investment. Read more


    10. TomTom GPS Dashboard Mount for TomTom GPS Navigators
    Electronics
    list price: $39.95 -- our price: $14.98
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B001ET5O70
    Manufacturer: TomTom
    Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    The patented design of ARKON's Weighted Friction Dash Mount focuses on safety. Sewn into the backside of the Weighted Dash Mount is a Safety Loop. ARKON's Friction dash mount also includes a plastic hook that can be adhered to your dash. Though not required, once adhered to the dash, users connect the loop to the hook at any time to insure the stability of the weighted friction dash mount. ... Read more

    Reviews

    5-0 out of 5 stars Dashboard mount doesn't work, March 16, 2009
    The TomTom GPS Dashboard Mount seemed like a great idea... it provides a way for the GPS to sit on the dashboard and is easily removed when you park without anything permanent on the dash or window. The problem is the GPS keeps falling off the mount! The GPS has a suction cup on the bottom of the attachment but it does not stay (stick) on the mount...no matter how we did it. I finally bought industrial strength velcro which I attached to the suction cup and to the mount, which works! I shouldn't have had to do that. TomTom has had complaints about this before... they should be the one to fix it!

    1-0 out of 5 stars I'm stuck on the TomTom...but it doesn't stick to the Dashboard mount., February 25, 2009
    After many hours of shopping for a GPS for my car I settled on a TomTom model XL 330 S. Being brand new to these navigation systems I didn't think I needed anything more sophisticated. I think I made a great choice and I'm very happy with the brand and model I chose. What I'm not nearly as happy with is the TomTom GPS Dashboard Mount for TomTom GPS Navigators I bought at the same time. It looks like it's made well enough, as it's heavy and substantial, but when you try to attach the GPS's suction cup to it to try to anchor the GPS to it, there is just no way! I removed the protective film that protects the surface on the mounting plate from scratching during shipment and cleaned the surface with an alcohol swab they include. I cleaned the suction cup on the back of the XL 330 and tried it again, no better result. I still am using the Dashboard Mount but now the plate which is attached to my GPS sits "under" the Mount as it is heavy enough to keep it from moving too far. A brick would serve the same purpose, but would scratch your dashboard and wouldn't look as nice. Then again the Dashboard Mount looks kind of goofy too. The Mount is not a good/wise investment. rob

    3-0 out of 5 stars Dashboard Mount for GPS, January 6, 2009
    This works but I don't think it is made for the 4.3 inch GPS that I have. It must be for the smaller one because my GPS doesn't fit well into the center of the mount. It would probably work for the smaller one however. Seems like that should have been clarified before I purchased it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars this is a great little product!, February 14, 2009
    I love my dash mount for my Tom-Tom. Attachments to the windshield can leave that tell-tale "footprint", an invitation to a break in. I grab the dash mount, I can put the whole thing in my trunk, under the dash behind a bag, nobody knows there is a GPS in the car. It's easier to adjust for the proper viewing, and I find it much less obstructing than the windshield mounts.

    1-0 out of 5 stars Dash mount is wrong size, August 30, 2009
    The Amazon webpage for this item reads "This mount works with all TomTom products..." Not True! I have the TomTom GO 720 widescreen, and it is way too big for the dash mount. Now I have to go the trouble of returning it. Amazon should change the ad copy.

    1-0 out of 5 stars NOT SO GREAT, May 5, 2009
    The Tom Tom GPS kept falling off the mount. This is the 3rd mount I've tried,and none of them work to secure the GPS. I would not recommend this product.

    2-0 out of 5 stars Useless when it's cold, January 1, 2009
    The TomTom attaches to this with suction and when it's cold, the suction doesn't work. It attaches initially but then the cold makes the rubbery plastic shrink and it falls off, often with the GPS unit still attached! I tossed the box or I would return it!

    When it's not especially cold, it works but I haven't had the chance to try it in very warm weather. I suspect it will be ok but not being able to use it 1/4 of the year makes this a fail for me.

    3-0 out of 5 stars Want to be stopped by TSA?, June 3, 2009
    I bought one of these beanbag mounts as I am in a rental car around 3 times a month and I wanted my own GPS rather than pay to rent one. I have a TomTom Go-930 which is not small but which comes with a short fixed arm on a suction mount. When I tried to attach the mount to the beanbag - I found that the power cable which is on the underside of the Go930 actually protruded below the level of the beanbag. The plug rested on the beanbag base and the Go930 bounced off the mount.
    I had 2 spare mounting disks - so I stuck them one on the other then onto the base of the beanbag. This lifted the base of the Go930 sufficiently that the beanbag now worked. It must be said that it works well and doesn't leave a suction cup 'ring' on the windshield that attracts car thieves.

    It is amazing that the designers did not step through the TomTom product line checking such a basic design issue as whether the suction arms lifted the GPS high enough. This amounts to just careless design.

    Finally - as I said at the beginning I bought the beanbag so that I could use the GPS on rental cars - only I fly to where I pick up the cars. TSA go into bad wobble-mode when they see this thing on their x-rays and call for a check on lane. If you do need to travel with it - carry it separately through security in its own tray like a laptop. It doesn't stop the wobble mode but at least they don't insist on emptying your carry-on.

    5-0 out of 5 stars TomTom GPS Dashboard Mount, July 20, 2009
    Thanks to this gadget, I was able to overcome the problems created by TomTom's poorly designed mounting bracket that is far too short for the GPS and it's connector at the bottom. The bad design of the bracket that came with my TomTom, results in the GPS hitting the dash unless you tip it up at about a 45 degree angle, which sure makes it ridiculous to use and see.

    TomTom gives you a disk for mounting their GPS on top of the dash where its easier to reach, etc., and less apt to fall (when it's stuck on the windshield), but the short arm on their bracket and range of the ball-joint makes it essentially impossible to mount it there! As a retired engineer, my opinion is that their bracket was a really dumb design. (I tried to point this out to TomTom but they did not really get back to me!)

    This clever weighted dashboard mount allowed me to move the GPS closer to me to where I could hang the bottom of the GPS and power connection over the front edge of the dash, where no longer hit the top of the dash. This also brings the GPS a lot closer to you than when it's mounted on the windshield where its much easier to reach to use. Mounting the GPS makes it a lot less prone to fall off and get damaged since there is also less strain on the suction cup.

    Another nice feature is that it makes it easy to pick up the whole
    kaboodle and hide it somewhere when you park the car. GPS units are a great incentive target for car breakins, and hiding everything makes that a lot less likely. According to the police, you don't want to even leave the mounting bracket in plain site and this mount makes hiding it very easy.

    My wife also uses this type of dashboard mount in her car with her GPS, where the windshield is even further away. She really loves it.

    5-0 out of 5 stars I purchased this for my Tom Tom XL 340-S & it was perfect, August 4, 2009
    I purchased this for a my Tom Tom XL 340-S with the 4.3" screen and it worked perfectly. I originally tried the Bracketron UFM-100BL Nav-Mat GPS Friction Dash pad, sold on here, and the neck on the gps system was too short for it. I have a 2007 Corolla and my dash board is pretty flat, so this one was great. We traveled 16 hours, round trip with this and it never moved. I would recommend it if you have a Tom Tom system and a fairly flat dash board. I think it would work for other systems as well, as long as they have the suction cup attachment. I'm recommending this one to everyone. I will be posting photos of it in action shortly. So please check them out. Read more


    11. 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


    12. 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


    13. 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


    14. 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


    15. 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


    16. 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


    17. 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


    18. 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


    19. 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


    20. Garmin 4.3-Inch Carrying Case
    Electronics
    list price: $18.00 -- our price: $8.43
    (price subject to change: see help)
    Asin: B002OL2MUE
    Manufacturer: Garmin
    Average Customer Review: 2.7 out of 5 stars
    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan

    Editorial Review

    Carrying case, nuvi 4.3"... Get durable all-around protection for your device with our sleek carrying case. The stylish case supports your phone while the soft inner lining protects it from scratches. Elastic side panels provide additional support and a glove-like fit. ... Read more

    Reviews

    4-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing quality, December 16, 2007
    I don't understand all the glowing reviews for this case: based on the many four and five star ratings given by other owners, I figured it was a no-brainer and placed my order.

    When it arrived, I was surprised to discover that the leather is coarse and thin and that there is no real padding for the Nuvi.

    Basically, this is two pieces of hard plastic over which some low-grade leather has been stretched. The best thing I can say about it is that it fits the 650 snugly -- at least initially -- which is important, as one end of the case remains open (providing easy access to the headphone port and SD card slot, as well as a potential avenue for the carelessly handled Nuvi to slip out).

    Do not look for a belt clip or carry strap option, either. This is simple protection of the most basic sort.

    I do not expect this case to wear well; it just isn't constructed for regular daily use.

    Given the price and quality of the Nuvi 600s, I expected better in a case.

    BTW, shame on Garmin for not including even some flimsy basic protection like this in the box with the 650!

    Unless it is important to you to get something with the Garmin name on it, I would advise shopping for a more durable and protective alternative to this case.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great Case, Can accidentally turn on GPS, January 3, 2008
    I bought this case from my Nuvi 760, I would buy it again.

    Pros
    + reinfoced front and back makes for a sturdy case that protects the device from both scratches and impacts
    + very snug but easy to get in and out - hasn't ever slipped out
    + good size, it is about as small as it can be
    + soft interior to prevent scratches
    + small sleeve on the side

    Cons
    - It is snug enough to sometimes slide the power switch on the 760 as I take it in or out. I need to make sure it goes in with the switch down and locked so it doesn't come on when I put it in. Coming on on the way out isn't such a big deal since I usually want to use it.

    Overall this is a great case, if you are careful you could call auto-power-on a feature!

    5-0 out of 5 stars works with nuvi 750/760/770 series too...however, October 29, 2007
    Garmin n�vi 750 Auto Navigation System

    i just picked up one of these for a nuvi 750 as the case is listed as compatible on the garmin site. stylish looking case however, the 700 series is thinner then 600 series. if you hold the case upside down, the nuvi will fall out. be caareful.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Does what it is designed to do, April 28, 2008
    First a comment on some previous reviews - This is not a high tech item, it's a protective case. Don't try to make more of it than that.

    Now for my thoughts.
    1) It fits my NUVI 750 like a glove.
    2) The quality of construction is at least as good as any other case I've seen on the market. It also is aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
    3) It slips into my shirt pocket with ease.
    4) I realize that is not a form of structural armor for my device and that I still must exercise a certain amount of care to keep my NUVI from harm. It's not waterproof, fireproof, bombproof etc. It does keep my screen clean, prevents case scratches, protects it from the usual hazards of being knocked about in the console of my vehicle where it resides when not in use.

    To summarize. It does what it is designed to do at a reasonable price.
    Therefore it rates the 5 stars in my book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fits Nuvi 250w, December 4, 2007
    The Nuvi 250w did not come with a case so I ordered this one. It fits perfectly. The whole 200w series is the same size so any of them will fit.

    It's a little expensive but it's a lot cheaper then replacing a cracked screen.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fits very well, August 8, 2007
    Very well constructed, and fit my Nuvi 650 perfectly. I would recommend it to protect your Nuvi

    5-0 out of 5 stars Saves your Nuvi! A must have, June 17, 2007
    This case came with my Nuvi 660. It is well worth having the case for storage in a glove box so that other items do not scratch the screen. There is a soft liner on the inside of the case. It's also a great way to protect your Nuvi if it is dropped. This is also great for the lady that wants to put it in her purse to use show off photos of your kids and grandkids to her friends.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Case for Garmin 200W, February 24, 2008

    Works great for my Garmin 200W even though that is not what it is advertised for.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Nice Basic Case For Garmin, December 17, 2007
    I ordered this case for my Garmin 200W. It works great, nice case - quality construction. I would not recommend this case for any 'rugged' applications. A hard shell case would probably be much better. But this case will suit the needs of most average consumers. It is durable and can be put in a bag or purse. My only complaint is I wish it had a closure tab or strap to give it extra security for the GPS to not slip out but I've not had any problems. Nice basic protective case.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Garmin Case for 600 series, November 3, 2007
    Garmin Carrying Case for Nuvi 660 (010-10823-01)

    Perfet fit for the Garmin 650 and other 600 series GPS units. Simple but solid protection.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Disappointing quality, December 16, 2007
    I don't understand all the glowing reviews for this case: based on the many four and five star ratings given by other owners, I figured it was a no-brainer and placed my order.

    When it arrived, I was surprised to discover that the leather is coarse and thin and that there is no real padding for the Nuvi.

    Basically, this is two pieces of hard plastic over which some low-grade leather has been stretched. The best thing I can say about it is that it fits the 650 snugly -- at least initially -- which is important, as one end of the case remains open (providing easy access to the headphone port and SD card slot, as well as a potential avenue for the carelessly handled Nuvi to slip out).

    Do not look for a belt clip or carry strap option, either. This is simple protection of the most basic sort.

    I do not expect this case to wear well; it just isn't constructed for regular daily use.

    Given the price and quality of the Nuvi 600s, I expected better in a case.

    BTW, shame on Garmin for not including even some flimsy basic protection like this in the box with the 650!

    Unless it is important to you to get something with the Garmin name on it, I would advise shopping for a more durable and protective alternative to this case.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Great Case, Can accidentally turn on GPS, January 3, 2008
    I bought this case from my Nuvi 760, I would buy it again.

    Pros
    + reinfoced front and back makes for a sturdy case that protects the device from both scratches and impacts
    + very snug but easy to get in and out - hasn't ever slipped out
    + good size, it is about as small as it can be
    + soft interior to prevent scratches
    + small sleeve on the side

    Cons
    - It is snug enough to sometimes slide the power switch on the 760 as I take it in or out. I need to make sure it goes in with the switch down and locked so it doesn't come on when I put it in. Coming on on the way out isn't such a big deal since I usually want to use it.

    Overall this is a great case, if you are careful you could call auto-power-on a feature!

    5-0 out of 5 stars works with nuvi 750/760/770 series too...however, October 29, 2007
    Garmin n�vi 750 Auto Navigation System

    i just picked up one of these for a nuvi 750 as the case is listed as compatible on the garmin site. stylish looking case however, the 700 series is thinner then 600 series. if you hold the case upside down, the nuvi will fall out. be caareful.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Does what it is designed to do, April 28, 2008
    First a comment on some previous reviews - This is not a high tech item, it's a protective case. Don't try to make more of it than that.

    Now for my thoughts.
    1) It fits my NUVI 750 like a glove.
    2) The quality of construction is at least as good as any other case I've seen on the market. It also is aesthetically pleasing to the eye.
    3) It slips into my shirt pocket with ease.
    4) I realize that is not a form of structural armor for my device and that I still must exercise a certain amount of care to keep my NUVI from harm. It's not waterproof, fireproof, bombproof etc. It does keep my screen clean, prevents case scratches, protects it from the usual hazards of being knocked about in the console of my vehicle where it resides when not in use.

    To summarize. It does what it is designed to do at a reasonable price.
    Therefore it rates the 5 stars in my book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fits Nuvi 250w, December 4, 2007
    The Nuvi 250w did not come with a case so I ordered this one. It fits perfectly. The whole 200w series is the same size so any of them will fit.

    It's a little expensive but it's a lot cheaper then replacing a cracked screen.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fits very well, August 8, 2007
    Very well constructed, and fit my Nuvi 650 perfectly. I would recommend it to protect your Nuvi

    5-0 out of 5 stars Saves your Nuvi! A must have, June 17, 2007
    This case came with my Nuvi 660. It is well worth having the case for storage in a glove box so that other items do not scratch the screen. There is a soft liner on the inside of the case. It's also a great way to protect your Nuvi if it is dropped. This is also great for the lady that wants to put it in her purse to use show off photos of your kids and grandkids to her friends.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Case for Garmin 200W, February 24, 2008

    Works great for my Garmin 200W even though that is not what it is advertised for.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Nice Basic Case For Garmin, December 17, 2007
    I ordered this case for my Garmin 200W. It works great, nice case - quality construction. I would not recommend this case for any 'rugged' applications. A hard shell case would probably be much better. But this case will suit the needs of most average consumers. It is durable and can be put in a bag or purse. My only complaint is I wish it had a closure tab or strap to give it extra security for the GPS to not slip out but I've not had any problems. Nice basic protective case.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Garmin Case for 600 series, November 3, 2007
    Garmin Carrying Case for Nuvi 660 (010-10823-01)

    Perfet fit for the Garmin 650 and other 600 series GPS units. Simple but solid protection. Read more


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