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Recommended GPS car navigation?
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timmerk
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May 4, 2008, 08:42 PM
 
I'm looking for a gps car navigation device - not the in-dash one, but the portable kind like TomToms. Price doesn't matter, but I'm looking for the best software - quick interface response, good bluetooth functionality, compatibility with Macs, good quality maps, etc. Anyone have any recommendations? I noticed some units have very buggy software and takes forever to change screens when you tap on an option.

Thanks!
     
mdc
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May 4, 2008, 10:16 PM
 
I have the Garmin Nüvi 350 and I really like it. We've driven from Florida up and down the east coast a few times with it, and lately around the New York State area and the mapping hasn't failed us yet.
     
Cold Warrior
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May 4, 2008, 11:01 PM
 
The Garmin Nüvi models are the best out there. Great GUI, software, etc., and excellent routing.
     
turtle777
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May 4, 2008, 11:04 PM
 
I'm quite happy with my TomTom.

According to several review, TomTom came out on top in terms of UI ease of use.

What I *REALLY* like about my TomTom is the remote control.
First I thought this was the most useless thing ever. But then I came to love it. No more bending forward trying to touch the screen and change settings or reprogram the unit. Now I'm sitting back, all relaxed, and control everything with the remote.

-t
     
ide3308
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May 4, 2008, 11:09 PM
 
TomTom for sure, great battery, great interface
     
Teronzhul
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May 4, 2008, 11:23 PM
 
I have a Garmin Nuvi 360, and my mother has a Tom Tom One LE. The Tom Tom is nicer to look at, in that its screen refreshes about 3x faster than the Nuvi. Sometimes it seems like the Nuvi is watching a slideshow in comparison. The Nuvi has nicer features in general, and definitely has better maps and points of interest. I definitely like my Nuvi better, but it is a considerably more expensive unit than the Tom Tom was, and similar models from each brand would probably be a toss up for me.
     
alligator
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May 5, 2008, 08:30 AM
 
I have a Garmin 760, and it works well. However, the hottest GPS out there today is the Dash. It uses a cellular link to provide real time traffic data, much more accurately than the traffic I get on my 760. If I had to do it over again, this is the new GPS I'd choose. In fact, I may even switch because the traffic info on my Garmin unit is that bad.
     
Andrew Stephens
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May 5, 2008, 04:36 PM
 
I've found our Tom Tom to be fairly So So. Battery life is, quite frankly, appalling. Had two DOA units in a row. The third is holding up OK so far. It does glitch on the directions from time to time but the route planning is OK. Looks good and the display is nice and the actual map looks clearer than the others I have seen

Overall maybe 7/10
     
timmerk  (op)
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May 5, 2008, 05:19 PM
 
Which Tom Tom model? I was looking at the new 730 that was released a few days ago.
     
Paco500
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May 5, 2008, 05:33 PM
 
It probably comes down to personal preference or what you are used to, but I love my TomTom and did not care for the Garmins I have had in rental cars. As far as features are concerned, I use mine to get from point A to point B and the TomTom does it great. My first TomTom (520) could do stuff my current one (One) could not, but I never used it. I'm not sure of the point of being able to view pictures, listen to music, etc, but that may be of use to someone. My 520 was stolen and I don't miss any of the features.

Traffic info has never done me the least bit of good, but perhaps dash has this figured out.
     
imitchellg5
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May 5, 2008, 06:07 PM
 
I love my Nüvi 660. It's really fast, it has a gorgeous screen. Traffic doesn't work at all in my area though, but traffic flow is very predictable around here anyway so that's not an issue for me. The Bluetooth does work very nicely too.

I got a really good deal on it from Amazon, I believe it's still on sale.
     
f1000
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May 5, 2008, 06:35 PM
 
I have a Garmin nüvi as well, and it's pretty good for the most part. The nüvis are extremely compact and have nice loud speakers. One flaw in the nüvis, and for most automobile-oriented "portable" GPS units for that matter, is a lack of a built-in compass. A compass isn't necessary when using a GPS in a car, but is extremely useful when using a GPS on foot.

Another issue with auto-oriented "portable" GPS units is slow acquisition of satellites when removed from a car. When first powered up, the nüvi searches for satellites based on its last coordinates, but this approach doesn't work well if a nüvi is powered on at a location different from where it was last powered off. The nüvi becomes confused and takes awhile, sometimes a long while, to reacquire all the necessary satellites.

To end my post on a high note, Garmin has recently made a plethora of OS X compatible software available to enhance computer to nüvi data transfers. I can map waypoints in my nüvi, for example, and then upload them to Google Earth or Google Maps. Pretty cool stuff.
     
f1000
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May 5, 2008, 06:41 PM
 
By the way, the iPhone 2.0 is rumored to include GPS functionality, so perhaps you should wait before springing for an instant anachronism? A GPS with 3G wireless capabilities is bound to include some jaw-dropping features.
     
mduell
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May 5, 2008, 07:06 PM
 
Any of the widescreen Garmins.
     
- - e r i k - -
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May 5, 2008, 08:52 PM
 
Even if the iPhone 2 comes out with GPS I doubt it will have voice readouts of directions or even a tilted "3D" map so useful for car navigation.

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Mrjinglesusa
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May 5, 2008, 09:21 PM
 
Wife and I are really happy with our Magellan 4250. Nice screen, responsive, and adjusts and reroutes quickly if you make an unexpected turn or detour.
2.3GHz i7 15" Retina Macbook Pro (Late 2013)
     
macfantn
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May 6, 2008, 08:59 PM
 
just wait for the 3g iphone w/ gps
"I'm sick of following my dreams. I'm just going to ask them where they're goin', and hook up with them later"
     
f1000
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May 7, 2008, 11:03 AM
 
Originally Posted by - - e r i k - - View Post
Even if the iPhone 2 comes out with GPS I doubt it will have voice readouts of directions or even a tilted "3D" map so useful for car navigation.
Maybe not initially, but I don't see why it couldn't eventually. Those are all software improvements, not hardware specific.
     
subego
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May 7, 2008, 01:55 PM
 
     
ort888
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May 7, 2008, 02:17 PM
 
Do you need to subscribe to a monthly service for these things? I'm thinking about getting one for my wife, because she is terrible with directions. She moved here from across the country and is just not good at learning the roads.

My sig is 1 pixel too big.
     
Cold Warrior
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May 7, 2008, 02:26 PM
 
Not for standard navigation. The price covers the hardware, built-in maps, and full direction/nav functionality. Most I've seen, including the Garmins, require a subscription for the traffic alerts.
     
   
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