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Old 09-14-2009, 06:15 PM   #1
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Question Shopping for GPS...

I know, I know, we are probably one of the last kids on the block without one...so I figured I'd ask all of you that already have them for some info. Mr.InsideOut would normally be the one shopping for this - but he has a birthday coming up and I want to surprise him - but I have no clue...

Garmin, TomTom, Magellan...so what's the difference and what makes one better than the other? What models/features do you find most helpful? Which features do you think are more trouble than they are worth?

Cost isn't so much an issue - I'm more concerned about "bang for the buck" and ease of use. Right now we use our iPhones - but I think it's time to get something with a bit more "ooomph".

I guess one of the other things I need to know is if there are some that work better in remote "road less traveled" areas? I know with our iPhones, there have been places that there is no signal - so we are out of luck. It seems those would be the places you need a GPS most...

Shari
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Old 09-14-2009, 06:28 PM   #2
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ToTom now has an app for your iPhone. But I assume it needs a phone signal for the data.
Sam and I both have TomToms- got them originally because Garmin didn't play well with a Mac, but I think that has changed.
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Old 09-14-2009, 06:31 PM   #3
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We have a Garmin Nuvi 660. We call him Jack. We have had him for about three years now. We like him very much because of the large scree (3"x4"). He has always done real well for us with a few minor hick-ups.

We have updated the mapware once. Jack is really good going through big cities on the Interstate. He gives advance instructions as to which lane we need to be in. That's a biggy when pulling Lucy.

Jack does seem to work everywhere we have been with no dead spots. We use an external GPS antenna with Jack so that we can mount hin below the dash.

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Old 09-14-2009, 06:35 PM   #4
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I did a fairly thorough search before a recent trip to Montana. I belong to Consumer Reports online but they aren't really current IMO. Product reviews and prices, software downloads, and tech news - CNET is very good and caused me to do enough brow scratching that I deferred the purchase right before the trip.

CNET tends to get too excited about technical whiz-bang and makes daily-use nuts and bolts a bit hard to filter out. The user comments below each model overview can point out practical issues. It's a good place to start in my experience.
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Old 09-14-2009, 06:36 PM   #5
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My experience...

I have an old (by electronic standards) Nuvi 370 that has been with me through the US and Europe. My SO has a TomTom, and our kids have Nuvi 200's, and a Nuvi 1300.

All are good units, but the TomTom interface differs from the Garmins, so it's kind of the odd man out in our family.

The Nuvi 1300 is much improved over the 200's, and the 370. Wouldn't mind having it my self.

Before I purchased mine I spent several hours over a few store visits playing with several brands/models to see which one was most user friendly for me. I would recommend others do the same.

Best of luck,

Kevin
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Old 09-14-2009, 06:52 PM   #6
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This Garmin has a great many features for truckers. if i had to get another GPS it would be this one. i currently have an Alpine W505 with Blackbird GPS.
https://buy.garmin.com/shop/shop.do?cID=275&pID=31541

Mark
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Old 09-14-2009, 07:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InsideOut View Post
I know, I know, we are probably one of the last kids on the block without one.
We don't have one either. We use the "map" and that way we know where we are rather than a computo-voice telling us where to turn. We've never used an ATM either, but we do have indoor plumbing. I've thought of a small one just to tell altitude, but have survived so far.

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Old 09-14-2009, 07:06 PM   #8
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Old 09-14-2009, 07:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by InsideOut View Post
"bang for the buck" and ease of use.
Shari
I chose tomtom 340S, but price did enter, didn't want to spend too much as they are all temp fixes for navigation, like computers they will be superceded by newer better models by the time you learn to use the one you bought.
I like the voice naming the street at turns, the poi's built in and easy to get more online. It is great in finding satillites to work from, even in the house.
Don't like the lack of overall map picture or trying to set routes by specific roads.
My MS Streets and trips does a much better job for planning a trip.
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Old 09-14-2009, 07:10 PM   #10
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We use the "map" and that way we know where we are rather than a computo-voice telling us where to turn.
Another vote here for the map. I usually have a compass in the bag, just in case. I like to think of it as "keeping it vintage".

Good luck on your GPS decision.
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Old 09-14-2009, 07:11 PM   #11
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Thanks for the input so far...keep it coming!

Quote:
Originally Posted by CrawfordGene View Post
We don't have one either. We use the "map" and that way we know where we are rather than a computo-voice telling us where to turn. We've never used an ATM either, but we do have indoor plumbing. I've thought of a small one just to tell altitude, but have survived so far.

Gene
Okay, so I'm not the last one!

So far, it looks like so far Garmin is the preferred brand...
I checked Costco online...they have 765T and 855. Looks like the difference is one is voice activated and the other is 3-D - but basically they appear to be the same based on the specs from Garmin's website. Anybody have experience with either of these models?

BTW...I'm a map reader myself ~ but the other half likes gadgets.

Shari
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Old 09-14-2009, 07:13 PM   #12
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Garmin's Nuvi 550 - its waterproof. has the US & Canada preloaded (or you can get the preloaded Europe model), and has a longer battery life before recharging. And you can add data chips for topo and specific regions. I also have a Brunton pocket transit for a compass as a back-up.
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Old 09-14-2009, 07:14 PM   #13
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We upgraded to a Garmin nuvi 255w which has the bigger screen. It is simple to use, quickly updates routes if you take an incorrect turn. Not the most expensive but a good basic model. Garmins are easy to use.
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Old 09-14-2009, 07:19 PM   #14
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What is this "map" thing you are talking about?

I'm a GPS freak. I have on in my car, on my bicycle and a handheld for skiing/hiking/kayaking.

I guess I just have to know where I am at all times.

Now where did I put my glasses???
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