May 13, 2007

Garmin Nuvi 360 Review


- Hands on Review by -

The Garmin Nuvi 360 has been out on the market for a while, actually quite a while, but I wanted to get you a first hand review of the product including its Bluetooth Handsfree capability considering that this unit is one of the lowest priced units where you can get a solid map set, optional traffic capabilities and handsfree Bluetooth features. The downward trend in pricing on GPS systems has this unit priced right in the middle of the pack, and increasingly affordable for the mass market. The Garmin Nuvi 360 is an excellent choice for people who are considering models in this price range.

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April 9, 2007

Review: Garmin Nuvi 250

Craig Ellison of PC Mag has posted his review of the new Garmin Nuvi 250, and he is not overly thrilled with it. He does complain about the unconfirmed but likely switch out of the SiRF star III chip for another “High Sensitive” GPS receiver in the Nuvi 200 series. So, it’s baffling to me to make a big deal over the potential loss of sensitivity indoors when he plainly says about the chipset change; “That might be why the 250 displayed fewer signal-strength bars and lost satellite lock indoors more easily than the 350. That said, I didn't experience reception problems on my road tests.” Huh, if it doesn’t matter in use, then why make a big deal of it?

He does comment accurately on the lack of Text to Speech (TTS) capability on the Nuvi 200/250/270 line and indicates that it is a must have feature in his book. I’m less rigid, and think that while non-TTS models will eventually disappear from the market, a quality device like the Nuvi 200 is a good choice if that’s what you can afford. A lot of his comments on value are based on street prices for the Nuvi 250 and list (or guesstimated street prices) prices of the Nuvi 200 series, so you’ll need to wait until the Nuvi 200 series to hit the street to see what type of value it will offer you. He may be right, and he may not.

You can read my Review of the Nuvi 250, and then read PC Mag’s Review of the Nuvi 250 for comparison.

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March 25, 2007

Garmin Nuvi 200/250/270 Review


-A Hands On Review by

Update: The Garmin Nuvi 200W and 250W WIDESCREEN GPS units are announced!

Update: See my Full Review on the new Nuvi 200W/250W Widescreen units

The Garmin Nuvi 200/250/270 has shown up to extend the Garmin line into the value end of the market just as this end of the market is exploding. Late last year, the holiday shopping spree on value GPS systems blew the doors off the retailers, and catapulted the GPS onto the mainstream stage.

"Garmin has a winner on their hands...solid through and through."
Garmin is too big and too smart to let an opportunity like that slip past. I have been using the Nuvi 250, and from my travels with it, Garmin has a winner on their hands and they will put a lot of pressure on the value end of the market to bring on their “A” game; a demand that a many won’t be up to. Garmin has brought to the market a true Garmin GPS, no big corners cut, no big misses in their design. I am pretty happy to be able to bring the first full review of the unit to you; so let's take a look.

  • Complete information on the Nuvi 200/250/270 at GPSLodge
  • For a full list of my own Hands on Full Reviews of GPS units; Click - Hands On Reviews
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  • March 16, 2007

    Nuvi 250 Arrives for Review at GPSLodge


    Update: I have posted my Review of the Nuvi 250

    Well, the Garmin Nuvi 250 was officially announced yesterday, and I am happy to say that we have a new Nuvi 250 at the GPS Lodge for review. The Nuvi 250 is a very stylish and attractive unit, that has some classic lines making it new, but distinctively a Nuvi. It's amazingly small and has a bit of that uncontrollable appeal that comes with holding an iPod for the first time. You roll it around in your hands a few times, put it down and then pick it up and do it again. It appears above next to a Garmin C340, which is part of the older C-series that the Nuvi 200 series is thought to be replacing.

    The Nuvi 200 series will be differentiated by their map content. The Nuvi 200 will have the continental US, the Nuvi 250, will have North America (all US+Canada+Puerto Rico), while the Nuvi 270 will follow in the footsteps of its big brothers, the Nuvi 370 and Nuvi 670 to add North American AND Euro maps pre-loaded.

    The Nuvi 250 has a 3.5 inch touchscreen and comes with NAVTEQ maps/POI's weighing in with over 6 million POI locations.

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    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (3) | social bookmarking

    February 18, 2007

    Garmin StreetPilot C580 Review

    The gang over at CNet have given their two cents worth on the new MSN connected Garmin model, this one being the Garmin StreetPilot C580 with MSN Direct. Their review borrows heavily from their original review of the StreetPilot C550, which it should since it shares almost all the same features and performance as the newer C580, except the whole MSN direct thing...

    They liked the StreetPilot C580 and gave it a high rating of 8/10 in their review. I don't blame them, I think that they are spot on, as I liked the C550 when I reviewed it myself, and I liked the Nuvi 680's MSN direct features when I reviewed that. CNet didn't have any trouble pairing the CtreetPilot C580 with their Treo Bluetooth phone, and were able to transfer their contacts to the GPS. As they drove around the SF Bay area, they had solid navigation and good results from the MSN features. I would have liked it if they talked a little bit more about the features, but the bottom line is that they liked the unit and recommended the relatively small upcharge for the C580 over the C550.

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    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    January 25, 2007

    Garmin Nuvi 680 Full Review


    -A Hands on Review by GPSLodge-

    The recently announced Garmin Nuvi 680 is a widescreen, bright, flat form factor GPS system that is based on one of the best GPS units out there, if not the best, the Nuvi 660. The key difference is that the Nuvi 680 has the capability to get information updates from the MSN Direct service that provides data feeds over the FM band in many major cities across the US.

    "Having the MSN Direct Service onboard the Nuvi 680 is a great addition to an already excellent navigator."
    While these data feeds can be seen in gizmos like this Melitta Coffee Maker, these feeds can also be seen in other useful places like on a GPS on my dashboard! (Let's face it the Melitta wouldn't fit on the dashboard anyway.) For the Nuvi 680, it has the ability to pull down information about weather, movies, traffic and gas prices.

    For a full list of my own Full Reviews of GPS units; Click - Hands On Reviews

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    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (23) | social bookmarking

    January 18, 2007

    Garmin Nuvi 680 arrives for Review

    The Garmin Nuvi 680 was announced for last week's CES 2007 show, where it was one of the most talked about GPS units due to its MSN Direct connectivity. The Nuvi 680 is based on the Nuvi 660 platform - super bright widescreen, thin form, and solid navigation (See our review of the Nuvi 660). The MSN direct capability connects the unit to FM data feeds sent out with four core features that you can receive on the Nuvi 680: Weather, traffic, gas pricing and movies. True to form, Garmin has integrated the features into the existing interface so that is easily recognizable.

    In a quick look at it, there are a few changes that tip you off that this is is different, as it has the little MSN butterfly on the main menu page as well as a temp reading in the top menu bar. So, I am off to but some gas and maybe check out the movies; I hope the traffic isn't bad on the way; but I guess the Nuvi 680 will tell me if it is.

    UPDATE: I have posted my Review of the Nuvi 680

    (what's in the box after the jump...)

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    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

    January 7, 2007

    Review: Garmin Nuvi 680 Review

    The Garmin Nuvi 680 is sure to be the darling of the GPS world for the near future with its connectedness and its Nuvi 660 heritage. The MSN direct capabilities of weather, traffic, movie times and gas prices are probably only the beginning of the connected revolution as we know that MSN Direct has more wireless capabilities to offer, and Dash Navigation is going to enter the market with their 2-way connected Dash Express GPS, putting pressure everyone to provide more and more information. Interface is key, as you’d never be able to browse the internet on a small screen while driving down the highway… you need intelligent design to help you. It appears that Garmin has done a great job so far, as Craig Ellison from PC Magazine has posted his review of the Nuvi 680, giving it an Editor’s Choice award.

    He tested the unit out, cruising around my old town of Cincinnati, looking for gas stations, movie times and new routes around town. Since the unit runs on the basic Nuvi 660 structure, which he likes (His Review of the Nuvi 660, and my review of the Nuvi 660), he concentrated on the new Location Based Services. He liked the ability to find this information at the touch of a screen but again, as with the Nuvi 660, you are going to have to pay up for this cutting edge capability.

    Read More at PC Mag

    More Nuvi 660 information.

    At Amazon

    Get a whole lot more information on the Garmin Nuvi 680.

    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    January 4, 2007

    Garmin Zumo 550 Review

    The Garmin Zumo came to the market after the TomTom RIDER, and seemed to have missed the big riding season by the time it shipped late in the Fall. It appears from a new review from YourNav that the Zumo is a pretty strong contender, and should pull away from the pack with its ease of use and strong featureset.
    "There are a few things which the RIDER is better at ... but in general, this zūmo is the better unit, and wins hands down."
    The Zumo was designed to ride, with several design features that makes it perfectly suited to head out on the road on a motorcycle, including a glove friendly touch screen, Bluetooth compatibility for wireless headset based voice directions, and a water tight housing that should keep you going in the right direction even when the weather turns bad. There are some nice touches that I like, rubberized buttons (like the Mio C310x), and an internal antenna that doesn't have to flip out. The unit is TMC and XM traffic capable, and nicely enough comes with a windshield mount also for car use.

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    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    January 2, 2007

    Review: Garmin StreetPilot 2820 Review


    There is a good review of the very capable Garmin StreetPilot 2820 GPS over at PocketGPS world. Nice write-up with a good set of pictures to highlight key features of the SP2820. The unit is a higher end Garmin with Bluetooth connectivity and the ability to connect to your computer to do some advanced pre-planning of trips via the Mapsource software. For those of you who use this software for Garmin Handhelds, this should be a familiar experience. The unit supports either TMC or XM satellite traffic.

    ReadMore at PocketGPS World

    More info at Amazon

    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

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