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Lansing
11-23-2003, 04:18 PM
This just in via email.... Bought my SPIII about 6 months ago. Is it worth the $150 to update? Seems a little steep given the unit was around 4X - 5x that price.

Any alternatives other than to stay with old software? What's the policy for BMW and other NAV systems?

Thanks, all...
Lansing


__________________________________________________ __________

Garmin is pleased to announce an update to MapSourceTM North America City Navigator v5. The North America City Navigator CD ROM will contain updated map data for the United States (including Alaska and Hawaii) and Canada. In addition to updating many areas within the United States, detailed coverage for five Canadian cities has been added. City Navigator contains detailed residential street level detail for the United States, and includes residential and business addresses in metropolitan and rural areas.

UPDATE POLICY:

Our records indicate that you have unlocked a previous version of North America City Navigator prior to September 17, 2003. Therefore, you are entitled to a preferred rate update of $150.00, which will gain you full access to all the detail on this updated CD-ROM.

ZBB 325Ci
11-23-2003, 05:27 PM
You really need to determine if you need v5... I bought an iQue about 6 weeks ago, and it came with v5 -- so far pretty good, but I have found a few random things missing, but not much up near where I live.

But I can't compare with v4...

Pinecone
11-24-2003, 05:40 AM
Having used version 4, 3.01 and now 5, 5 is pretty slick. More info in places that were pretty bare in the previous versions.

If your current version has everything you need, for those areas where you drive, then I wouldn't upgrade.

The other option is to buy a 2610 (awesome machine) and get v5 included, and then sell your SP III on eBay. A search of completed items shows them selling for anywhere from $430 - $585 for used ones, but as always some sold for more than didn't sell for. I think $500 is a reasonable expectation.

So for $150 you can upgrade the software., for about $250 you can upgrade the entire machine. If you search there is my review on the SP 2610, with comparisons to the III.

ZBB 325Ci
11-24-2003, 06:29 AM
Having used version 4, 3.01 and now 5, 5 is pretty slick. More info in places that were pretty bare in the previous versions.

If your current version has everything you need, for those areas where you drive, then I wouldn't upgrade.

The other option is to buy a 2610 (awesome machine) and get v5 included, and then sell your SP III on eBay. A search of completed items shows them selling for anywhere from $430 - $585 for used ones, but as always some sold for more than didn't sell for. I think $500 is a reasonable expectation.

So for $150 you can upgrade the software., for about $250 you can upgrade the entire machine. If you search there is my review on the SP 2610, with comparisons to the III.

Or you can upgrade to an iQue -- also comes with v5 and has similar features to the 2610 (sounds very similar to Pinecone's review in the other thread whith my experience on the iQue). You can get an iQue for ~$550 (must buy the iQue, car kit and a SD card separately)... You might come out about about even if you sell you SPIII.

Terry Kennedy
11-24-2003, 07:34 AM
What's the policy for BMW and other NAV systems?The BMW NAV supposedly updates twice a year (but the DVD went from 2002.1 to 2003.2, so who knows). Updated DVDs are $199 plus shipping. There is no "unlocking" used - you can go anywhere in the US or Canada and have full map functionality (subject to issues of data completeness). You no longer get a "courtesy update" from NavTech after 6 months to a year of car ownership.

Pinecone
11-24-2003, 03:08 PM
Or you can upgrade to an iQue -- also comes with v5 and has similar features to the 2610 (sounds very similar to Pinecone's review in the other thread whith my experience on the iQue). You can get an iQue for ~$550 (must buy the iQue, car kit and a SD card separately)... You might come out about about even if you sell you SPIII.

The iQue does look interesting.

A couple of concerns just looking at the Garmin page. Are the buttons used the same as the dedicated buttons on the 2610? Can the screen and on screen buttons deal with finger sized pushes?

I personally don't like to have my Plam and GPS in one unit, if for no other reason is I will lose the single device twice as much. :)

The iQue screen is actually slightly larger and higher resolution. Also the layout is more oriented to driving (longer dimension the direction of travel).

31st330i
11-25-2003, 07:56 AM
can someone post a link to the iQue web site?

Pinecone
11-25-2003, 05:05 PM
www.garmin.com

ZBB 325Ci
11-30-2003, 05:34 PM
The iQue does look interesting.

A couple of concerns just looking at the Garmin page. Are the buttons used the same as the dedicated buttons on the 2610? Can the screen and on screen buttons deal with finger sized pushes?

I personally don't like to have my Plam and GPS in one unit, if for no other reason is I will lose the single device twice as much. :)

The iQue screen is actually slightly larger and higher resolution. Also the layout is more oriented to driving (longer dimension the direction of travel).

I've had my iQue for about 2 months now... One note -- I can't make many comparisons since I haven't used a 2610 or SPIII. The only other nav units I've used are Hertz's Neverlost (a Magellan unit -- a bit dated now but pretty easy to use), and the e65 iDrive-based nav (drove about 200 miles in a 745Li over Thanksgiving + spent an hour or so playing while parked -- iDrive is absolutely a miserable thing to use for Nav with the exception of any address book saved locations. I was rather impressed that Garmin's list of searchable places was much more advanced than what the CD-based e65 had).

The buttons on the iQue are pretty much the normal Palm buttons (Calendar, Contacts, etc), except one is dedicated to cycle you through Garmin's apps (Map, Turns, Route Options, Trip computer, etc -- you can select which ones). I believe the up and down buttons also zoom in and out when the map is up (but I really haven't used those since the auto-zoom mode is pretty good -- keeps you at a level that works).

Quick description -- the iQue is a palm-based PDA (Palm OS 5) that has a built-in GPS receiver and Nav software that does routing and voice prompts. It is a little longer (1-2 cm) than a Palm V or m500 and a little thicker at the GPS antenna end, but with a nice large color screen and soft grafiti (the text input area is on the screen and can be hidden when not needed -- such as when in Nav mode). It has 32MB of built-in memory (some of which is used for the OS and standard Palm apps), and an SD card slot for memory cards (I have a 256MB card in). Just like the other Garmin units, you download maps from your computer to the PDA -- which can be stored on either the built-in memory or on the card.

Since the iQue is first a PDA and second a Nav Unit, it does have a few drawbacks vs a dedicated car-based Nav -- primarily the glare on the screen and usability while in the cradle while driving. Since its a palm, some things can be done by just tapping on the screen, however a couple of the screen-only buttons (like Search or screen brightness -- two of the icons that are always visable on the a small <0.5cm high button bar across the bottom of the screen) are very small and hard to push with a finger)

However, the iQue does have some great integration of the Palm-software with the Nav -- for example, you can set a location for people in your address book. Once set, you can pull up their name, go to the "Que" menu and tap "route-to" and it will route you to them (and they also show up on the map as a waypoint). You can do the same with meetings -- but you'll need to enter the address.

I also bought the car kit, which is essentially the standard Garmin bean-bag mount that has a cradle for the iQue attached to it (with a latch on it -- squeaze a button on the side and it comes right out). The cradle has one wire (about 3-4 feet long) that goes to a combo speaker/cigarette lighter plug). I've found that the unit works well when sitting on the dash, to the left of the guages -- it doesn't move, the iQue is in the line of sight and out of the way / not blocking the window. The excess wire can also be put in the gap between the steering column guages and does not get in the way and also doesn't look that bad (I hate the non-OEM look in general). You can also pop the unit out of the cradle very easily if you need to do a new search or something (say at a stoplight)...

As for the Nav -- it works well... Used it on a vacation in October (drove 1800+ miles -- Atlanta to Key West and back). The Palm-OS find app is replaced by a Garmin Search app that lets you search for places or put in an address, city or intersection (it also has a button for the normal Palm-os Find). The map screens come up and have very good resolution (much better than the e65, which still had jagged lines!) -- can zoom down to as low as 400ft range (approx 1/5 or 1/6 of screen is 400 ft). Long routes (Atlanta to Key West for example) can take a couple minutes to calc, but most local routs only take a few seconds. Voice prompts are pretty good, however sometimes are too frequent -- for some turns will give you up to 4 prompts and sometimes its hard to tell without looking at the screen exactly which turn to take if 2 streets are close together (I like the Hertz Neverlost unit style, which tells you to prepare to turn (right or left) in X feet -- then just gives a little bong sound at the exact turn point) -- I'm guessing the other Garmin units work simarly. Having the screen oriented in portrait mode is great -- you get a good view of what is ahead, without too much on the sides. When driving, you can push the "Q" button (one of the hard buttons on the unit), and it will cycle between the map, turns, etc (user selectable for which ones). A turn preview will pop on top when a turn is upcoming -- not just the map, but any of the apps on the unit.

Hope that helps... Only real problem with the iQue is battery life -- very short compared to other Palm PDAs (I'm guessing they made the battery smaller to keep the size of the unit down -- it easily fits in a front pocket or inside pocket on a jacket). But in the car, it sits in the cradle and is powered from the cig lighter, so really not a big deal.