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Best road GPS

Started by magellan, April 04, 2010, 08:16:51 PM

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Hey, my mother is taking some of my nieces and nephews cross-country to visit sites and families. She asked me for advice on a good car GPS, but I know only about handhelds. She likes cheaper, but tried and trued products. She doesn't care about all the new bells and whistles as long as it is easy to use and reliable. The best thing I have found so far is the Garmin Nuvi 1350 for $169 at Best Buy. Any suggestions?


My understanding is the the 1xxx series has less map detail than previous models.

You should load some POI files from the POI Factory that might interest your mother on this trip. Rest areas, maybe some fast food chains, or the red light cameras or speed cameras.


That's a good price.  I have a Nuvi 1350t (same thing but includes a traffic receiver) and it's a mixed bag. It is really user-friendly and Garmin has made the user interface slicker. It is probably a great unit for a non-technical person who doesn't have any pre-conceived notions.

The 1350 shows very few street names, and they have tuned performance for 3d view (which it does very well) but it is actually worse in 2d view than older models (slow to update screen). It mangles topo maps - see the other thread here about the nuvi 1490 which is similar in this regard.

It is a very nice looking, solid piece of hardware. Thinner and more substantial feeling than older models of the Nuvi. Also a really nice, bright screen - the best I have seen on any GPS I think.


Quote from: alpine on April 05, 2010, 07:49:29 AM
My understanding is the the 1xxx series has less map detail than previous models.

You should load some POI files from the POI Factory that might interest your mother on this trip

POI's don't show on the screen until you zoom WAY in. And I mean WAAAAAY in, like 250 feet maybe. This has been a complaint from some users and there are no menus to control this. You can, of course search for them.

Also, waypoints ("Favorites" in nuvi-speak) don't show any names. They will display an icon, but not a label.


When you use a POI installer, you can set the notify distance. I have mine set at 1 mile. The warning shows on the top of the screen. Also the POIs can be searched. There nothing like knowing that the next rest stop is only 5 miles away when you gotta go.


I'd put my vote in for Nuvi 255W. I love this GPS and its just under $100 refurbished (and I have a refurbished that's been going great for over a yr): $99.99 at Amazon

Refurbished includes a 1 yr warranty from garmin.
Dan Blomberg
Administrator - GPSFileDepot
GPS Units: Garmin Dakota 20, Garmin GPSMap 60csx, Nuvi 255W, Nuvi 250W, ForeRunner 110, Fenix 2, Tactix Bravo, Foretrex 401
See/Download My Maps!


Thanks for all of your help. I guess my choices are now with that and the 255W. It sounds like the first is not that bad. Let me know if anyone else has any other ones that they think is the best.


I have 2 Garmin products, and 2 Tomtom products. Though I have purchased all of them for very diverse purposes, and have not really tried to do a "side by side" comparison of "model matched" units, I can say I like the Telenav mapping and user interface on the Tomtoms better than the Navteq maps and user interface on the Garmin for street use. The menus are a bit more intuitive and seem to flow along a more logical path on the Tomtom. Again that is just my opinion, and that is based on what I have observed from my own equipment and what I have observed on other peoples units who have allowed me to "tinker" with their toys. Both my Mother and my wife (both technology haters) do well on the Tomtom with little to no prompting from me. I think the most important thing for a "road only" nav unit is screen size. The bigger the better! Voice prompting is fine, but there is nothing like a "quick visual" on a simple map (2D) to get your bearings when you get distracted or change your mind at the last minute.
So, there is my 2ยข