August 25, 2011

Garmin Nuvi Essentials Line; Nuvi 30/40/50

Garmin Nuvi 50

Garmin announced their Essentials line today - a line-up that includes basic GPS units in varying screen sizes with a reasonable list of features. The Garmin Nuvi 30 is a 3.5-inch basic GPS with turn by turn directions, spoken word directions, as well as junction view and lane assist. Since 3.5-inch units are essentially dead, let's talk about the bigger models....

Garmin Nuvi 40 Essentials Line

The real fun starts at the Nuvi 40 level where the screen size jumps to 4.3-inch and adds an "LM" version where the unit comes with lifetime maps and traffic. Some quality features are maintained in this "Essentials" line which used to be a premium feature, but alas, overtime are features that are expected by everyone. Features here that I like and are worth noting:

  • Speed Limit indicators - used to be barely accurate, but are pretty good these days; generally won't catch a lower speed limit in a highway construction zone though.
  • Lane assist and Junction View - this is Garmin's version of helping you out when complex highway intersections are coming up; they show you which lane to be in in order to make your turn. Helpful in areas where you are uncertain of which lane to be in. Not so much when there is only one exit lane and ramp.....
  • Where Am I? - a simple tap of the icon and you get location information to tell first responders if you are in trouble.
  • Comes with the fun ability to download new vehicle icons from the "Garmin Garage" to change the icon to all kinds of fun creations depending on your mood or the time of the year.

Check Prices first at Amazon:

Garmin Nuvi 40 - 4.3-inch "Essentials" unit

Garmin Nuvi 40LM - 4.3-Inch "Essentials" unit with lifetime map updates

Garmin Nuvi 50 Essentials Line

The Nuvi 50 also has an "LM" version, but comes with a 5-inch screen. The feature set-up is similar, and gets you going in a 5-inch model without a lot of higher end extras to drive up the price. Why a 5-inch screen? Well Today's 5-inch screen is yesterday's 4.3-inch screen, and with prices dropping on components, it's a reasonable price. I have used units up to 7-inches, and those are not always easy to manage. So for everyday use, 5-inches are OK, but much bigger means harder to handle, put on the windshield and hide under the seat, in the glove box, etc.

A key feature addition here is that with the extra real estate, you get a split screen for the Lane Assist/Junction View capability.

Check Prices first at Amazon:

Garmin Nuvi 50 - 5-inch "Essentials" unit

Garmin nĂ¼vi 50LM - 5-inch "Essentials" unit

More at the Garmin Essentials Nuvi 30/40/50 web page

Read More in: Garmin GPS News

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Posted by Scott Martin at August 25, 2011 8:53 AM

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