December 13, 2007

Garmin Nuvi 260 vs. Garmin Nuvi 350


I have had a lot of people ask about which product they should buy – the Nuvi 260 or the Nuvi 350. On the surface both are pretty similar, but they are actually quite different in what they can do for you so, read on and find out what’s right for you.

The Nuvi 350 is a little bit older, launched during 2005, it was a wave of change that changed the market to flat and compact. The Nuvi 260 was launched in 2007, and features the newer more compact design that is across the newer model line, like the Nuvi 200W/250W and Nuvi 750/760/770 series.

First of all what do they BOTH have:

Standard size color touch screen, Maps of North America with 6 Million Points of Interest, Text to Speech, small and flat form factor, easy to use interface, picture viewers, and the same navigation overall.

What’s Different between the Nuvi 260 and the Nuvi 350?

The Nuvi 350’s case and form is a bit different, as it has a slightly thicker case and a swing up patch antenna that needs to be raised to work. The Nuvi 260 is a newer look that is thinner (slightly) and more svelte looking. The Nuvi 350 has a slightly longer battery life – up to 8 hours according to Garmin, versus 5 hours for the Nuvi 260. I think that the 5 hours of battery life is fine, and the extra in the Nuvi 350 isn’t a big deal.

Media – The Nuvi 350 has an MP3 player, an Audiobook player and a headphone jack, the Nuvi 260 does not.

Traffic – The Nuvi 350 has the optional ability to add TMC traffic, the Nuvi 260 does not. This is a big difference and one worth thinking about as it may effect the future of how you use your GPS. This may be worth adding if you drive in commuter traffic every day, and pretty key feature at that. For some people this makes a big difference and that the added traffic feature is a big advantage of a GPS. For others, no big issue. Read more on TMC traffic.

At Amazon - The Garmin Nuvi 260 or the Garmin Nuvi 350

Both appear on my 2007 GPS Holiday Gift Guide; at this writing the Nuvi 260 is about $40+ less than the Nuvi 350.

Hope this helps.

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Posted by Scott Martin at December 13, 2007 7:16 AM

Recent Comments

Having purchased a Nuvi 200 w/o TTS, I ended up buying the 350. What the 350 does have that I found very useful over the 200 is:

Better reception with the flip up antenna. A useful attention tone option for the next prompt. It appeared to be quicker and more responsive, a faster cpu? Comes with an A/C adapter. Provides better battery life, which was useful for me when walking with it or jumping into another vehicle. The mount is also superior with the cord being integrated into it. A headphone jack enabling you to plug it into another source. There are 8 english voices to choose from.

The screen of the 200 is brighter with a better viewing angle. The graphics are also slightly improved and the unit has a better exterior design.

Having not used the 260 w/TTS I am not sure which of the 350's options are carried over. Otherwise the 260 might be the way to go if significantly more affordable.

Posted by: dlc at December 16, 2007 12:23 AM
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