The right Garmin


Finally decided after two TomTom’s have been stolen (one smash and grab in the front of the house and one from the glove compartment when I left the car accidentally unlocked), I would look to see what else is out there. They are all pretty close now Magellan, TomTom and Garmin. But, Garmin according to one review has a better routing engine while TomTom is worse. The other thing is that I wished I’d locked the devices like the Garmin because once they are stolen, they know where you live and where you go! points out they have a cool lock feature. You either have to be in a particular spot to reset or know the PIN number.

OTOH the Garmin my brother uses, locks up when you are moving. Ugh, really pretty useless. This is called Safe Mode and apparently you can disable it.

So the only question is which Garmin to get. That’s a little bit complicated. If you want one that does real-time traffice via MSN Direct (TomTom and Magellan do this via the Internet and 3G, while Garmin uses the Microsoft proprietary network). So what’s the best model, in comparing the nuvi 785T, 885T and the 1350T at $500 list and $350 list, they look confusingly similar. Same size screen etc.

Here are the differences:

The cheaper Nuvi 1350T is newer, its thinner 0.6″ thick vs. 0.8″ thick and designed for portability, its main drawback is that it doesn’t store routes in it, so isn’t that useful for everyday use. It deleted the MP3 and audio book player and the FM transmitter. I’ve actually found these pretty useless because most of the time there isn’t a free station.

The Nuvi 885T has voice input, but doesn’t have ecoRoutes which tries to find routes that use less gas.

The Nuvi 775T is another puzzle, it has 3-D buildings compared with 885T and has more advanced Bluetooth (A2DP).

Net, net, for regular car use, the 1350T is nearly wonderful and much cheaper, but they obviously crippled the storing of routes. Does that really matter? Personally, I don’t use routes that much. That is, normally, I just go from one point to another

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