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View Full Version : Buying a GPS - Need Opinions



RustyBattleship
15 Oct 08,, 05:48
My wife's sense of direction (as well as one of her best friends who also is our daughter's mother-in-law) has a horrible sense of direction.

I was on Mapquest the other day for nearly half an hour directing them to a Church they had to go to and wound up 10 miles west of it. If they were the guides for Lewis and Clark, they would have wound up on the north coast of Greenland.

I want to buy my wife a GPS gizmo for her car. I thought Magellan was within my price range but my daughter thinks Tom Tom is better.

I looked some over at Best Buy but found a problem with the alphabet key. It is arranged like a regular keyboard. But that is only helpful if you type with all 10 fingers by touch system (as I learned many moons ago in High School on some old Remington manuals).

Is there one out that has the alphabet in ALPHABETICAL arrangement as all you can use is either a finger nail or (in my case since my fingers are so big) a ball point pen.

And less than $300.00. MUCH less.if possible.

Oh, and voice command is essential because even after her cataract surgery some things are still blurry (as with me who will need the surgery in a couple of months).

gunnut
15 Oct 08,, 05:55
Yes sir, there is.

Garmin anything around $200 to $250 range should be very good, featuring a 4.3" screen and alphabets arranged alphabetically (at least the one my dad has).

It has turn by turn direction with very loud and clear voice.

It does NOT say the street names out loud though. It only tells you to turn in x miles/feet or to keep right/left in x miles/feet.

One slight problem is the map does not have carpool lanes. If you're on the carpool lane and deviates from the main freeway, it will think you made a wrong turn and get confused for a short while.

Here we go, the model is nuvi 200w.

chankya
15 Oct 08,, 08:33
I have the Garmin Nuvi 660. I recently had an opportunity to test it out quite etensively.

It's excellent and does say street names out loud for turns. Gives you a warning about 300mts before a turn and then just before the turn.

Only drawback I found was that sometimes the system tells you to turn onto a road when it turns out the road itself is turning. I was using it in a place with bad sign boards and multiple small turnoffs. So it was a bit confusing at times. On such occasions a look at the map it has clears things up. But still quite confusing on voice directions alone. No such problems on highways and cities though.

It comes in at around 300 on amazon but you could probably get a deal if you look on deals2buy or edealinfo or such sites.

As an aside I was quite impressed to see that it could route me through a ferry crossing.

Hope that helps.

Jay
15 Oct 08,, 14:06
chankya,

+1 on Nuvi.

But then unlike car based GPS, the hand held are relatively slow in updating co-ordinates (not in the straight roads), when you are in NY/NJ where you have too many one ways and small alleys and those jug handles, Nuvi will take you for a spin:)

jame$thegreat
15 Oct 08,, 18:50
My mother has a Tom-tom. It is the most annoying things she has ever purchased, by far. If you follow the direction to the t you will get there, but if you should not here or understand something while you are driving you will get lost and absolutely pull over until you can make sense of the update. A lot of times it won't get the most direct route, but you will get there (this is especially applicable in cities).

Taurkon
15 Oct 08,, 19:29
I own two Garmins. One is the iQue M5 (PDA that is also a GPS) and my wife used it a lot when she was in sales. They don't make it anymore but it was excellent as far as quality and functionality was concerned. 10/10

I currently use a Garmin Zumo 550 motocycle GPS. Again, great quality, feature rich, and very user friendly (expecially for biking... left hand controls and BT support for my cell phone)

I don't think you can go wrong with Garmin.

zraver
15 Oct 08,, 19:48
I use the TomTom One XL you can get it from Walmart for under $250 4.3in screen, you cans et the keyboard style you want, loud voice and you can choose what voice you here, touch screen etc etc Only think it does not do it text to speech.

dave lukins
15 Oct 08,, 20:13
I use the TomTom One XL you can get it from Walmart for under $250 4.3in screen, you cans et the keyboard style you want, loud voice and you can choose what voice you here, touch screen etc etc Only think it does not do it text to speech.

Same here zraver...Fantastic piece of equipment, at least in the UK. I don't go to the toilet without it. Must have something to do with old age.:))

RustyBattleship
15 Oct 08,, 20:16
Wow! Thanks guys. Lots of good ideas out there. So far it looks like Garmin is leading the pack, but I still want to hear more comments. Sorry, that's the engineer in me who studies every possible design flaw and try to beat Murphy's laws to the punch.

I need it easy to program because a friend told me about his daughter and friends who were trying to find a certain motel in Las Vegas. They followed the directions of the GPS until it said to make their final turn to the right and come to a stop.

They were in the middle of the desert. Goofed up on programing the address.

sappersgt
15 Oct 08,, 22:29
The only one I've ever used is a Garmin 496, it is truly amazing. I'm sure it's way to much for your wife. Besides surface streets it gives you weather out to 1000 NM. The monthly updates are expensive. I'd hope there''d be a technological trickle down effect using a less enabled (and less expensive) model.

Officer of Engineers
15 Oct 08,, 22:33
Still map and compass guy myself.

dave lukins
15 Oct 08,, 22:35
Still map and compass guy myself.

They keep falling of my wind screen:))

Southie
15 Oct 08,, 22:47
My GPS is a little outdated. It's usually a 3X5 note card that Ashley writes the directions on, and places it on the knobs of the radio. Every once in a while Ashley will voice the directions, just so we feel like we have a GPS. :biggrin: The last time I used a GPS (happen to be in Bluesman's van when we took a trip to VA), I ended up arguing with it when I decided to take a different route and it kept telling me to do a U-turn at the next intersection! :rolleyes:

RustyBattleship
15 Oct 08,, 22:53
They keep falling of my wind screen:))

LOL :)):)):))

I'm map and compass also and knows that moss grows on the north side of trees. But that's only handy up in the North Woods where moss has a chance to grow.

When my wife and Phyliss are lost and asking me to pull up Mapquest and redirect them, the first thing I ask (after they give me what street they are on) is what side of the car is the sun on.

If they say left, they are going west. Usually have to tell them to turn around so the sun is on the right side of the car.

Thank goodness they don't do much driving at night except in neighborhoods they know.

Mobbme
16 Oct 08,, 08:40
Garmin is no.1.

I've had the luck of using 2 versions of Garmin and both were spot on and brilliant.

I had the misfortune of using my friend's TomTom (was on sale) and it disappointed me. My friend even vouched for the TomTom lol

Garmin might be a bit higher priced, but is worth it.

RustyBattleship
16 Oct 08,, 17:49
Garmin is no.1.

I've had the luck of using 2 versions of Garmin and both were spot on and brilliant.

I had the misfortune of using my friend's TomTom (was on sale) and it disappointed me. My friend even vouched for the TomTom lol

Garmin might be a bit higher priced, but is worth it.

I went to Circuit City yesterday to try out their Demos. The Garmin does seem a better deal. BUT, there is one other feature I'd like to see on them. It's built into our daughter's car, but I haven't seen it on the other models.

That is a button called "HOME". After you get to where you are going and need to find your way back, all you have to do is push that button and it reverses your directions INSTANTLY.

So far all Garmins, Tom Toms, Sonys seem to use the same start up screen. I wonder if there's a voice activated GPS where you just speak into it and give the address you want to go to.

Wait a minute. That won't work for my wife unless its programmed to understand a combination a Hungarian accent.

gunnut
16 Oct 08,, 18:37
I went to Circuit City yesterday to try out their Demos. The Garmin does seem a better deal. BUT, there is one other feature I'd like to see on them. It's built into our daughter's car, but I haven't seen it on the other models.

That is a button called "HOME". After you get to where you are going and need to find your way back, all you have to do is push that button and it reverses your directions INSTANTLY.

So far all Garmins, Tom Toms, Sonys seem to use the same start up screen. I wonder if there's a voice activated GPS where you just speak into it and give the address you want to go to.

Wait a minute. That won't work for my wife unless its programmed to understand a combination a Hungarian accent.

My dad's Garmin nuvi 200w has the "HOME" feature.

I think you just hit "settings" ==> where to? ==> HOME and that's that.

Mobbme
16 Oct 08,, 19:56
My dad's Garmin nuvi 200w has the "HOME" feature.

I think you just hit "settings" ==> where to? ==> HOME and that's that.

Yeah, I think thats how its done. You'll have to program/save it in though, thats all :)