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Buying a GPS - Need Opinions

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  • Buying a GPS - Need Opinions

    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).
    Able to leap tall tales in a single groan.

  • #2
    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.
    Last edited by gunnut; 15 Oct 08,, 05:59.
    "Only Nixon can go to China." -- Old Vulcan proverb.


    • #3
      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.
      Last edited by chankya; 15 Oct 08,, 08:56.
      "Of all the manifestations of power, restraint impresses men the most." - Thucydides


      • #4

        +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:)
        A grain of wheat eclipsed the sun of Adam !!


        • #5
          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).


          • #6
            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.


            • #7
              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.


              • #8
                Originally posted by zraver View Post
                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.:))


                • #9
                  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.
                  Able to leap tall tales in a single groan.


                  • #10
                    Best of...

                    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.
                    Reddite igitur quae sunt Caesaris Caesari et quae sunt Dei Deo
                    (Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's and unto God the things which are God's)


                    • #11
                      Still map and compass guy myself.


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Officer of Engineers View Post
                        Still map and compass guy myself.
                        They keep falling of my wind screen:))


                        • #13
                          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. 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!
                          “When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” ~ Jimi Hendrix
                          "No one can make you feel inferior without your consent." ~ Eleanor Roosevelt


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by dave lukins View Post
                            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.
                            Able to leap tall tales in a single groan.


                            • #15
                              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.