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Very cool... I've been looking at this just recently.
How do you like it?
Is it easy to move between cars and/or take with you (ie, if you go out to dinner in a city what do you do with it)?

Since it has a rechargeable battery, are there no wires from the unit to the cigarette lighter?

Can inputs go in via voice, or touch-screen only?

Why did you opt for the C320 instead of the C330?
 

· OMGWTFBBQ
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My dad just bought the C330 and likes it a lot. He and my mom are coming in this weekend for a family function that we have to drive a few hundred miles for. He's going to bring it. I'm looking forward to trying it out.
 

· This side up.
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·clyde· said:
My dad just bought the C330 and likes it a lot. He and my mom are coming in this weekend for a family function that we have to drive a few hundred miles for. He's going to bring it. I'm looking forward to trying it out.
Let us know your thoughts on the unit.
 

· trailingthrottleoversteer
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I got the 320 instead of the 330 because I was worried about crashing the hard drive if I ever dropped it or got loose in the car. I'm still getting used to how small it is. I can use it without the power cord for up to 8 hours. It's touch screen only.

The mount has the power cable built in, so It's real easy to unsnap it and take it with you. The whole thing fits into the little Garmin bag.

 

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Just got a c330 myself, will throw in my 2 cents. Have only been able to try it once in the car so far, so I need to caveat that it may just be my unfamiliarity at this point.

Liked the display and small size. Only drawbacks I found so far are:
1. if you're wearing polarized glasses, you can't see the screen unless you tilt your head 90 degrees sideways - not sure how other NAV units are, but it might be worth checking beforehand. The screen for the built-in NAV in my wife's ML350 appears to have the polarization aligned vertically, whereas the c330 is horizontal.
2. when we were waiting at a stop light to make a turn, it would only display the current intersection/turn arrow, and we couldn't figure out how to go to "map" mode so that we could zoom out to look at the overall route. That would be a great time to be able to scan the rest of the map while waiting for the light to change, but instead we got "locked" into the intersection/turn-by-turn mode. Could be some setting or other button that didn't seem as obvious to us at the time.

Sunilsf - the battery doesn't require any cords, but the lighter adapter is integrated into the suction mount. So if you use the suction mount, might as well plug it in. The suction mount is fairly easy to mount/unmount, so we just unmounted it and put it in the glove box when we parked. I believe inputs are touch screen only. We did like the speed/response of the model, it was pretty easy to type in addresses, menu/screen changes were quick and snappy compared to the older models.

liuk3 - will be using it to get to the Vegas school, so you and the boys can check it out then.
 

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sunilsf said:
Do you mount it to the left or right of the steering wheel? Do you find that the cord for the lighter adapter gets in the way of the other controls (climate control, radio, etc)?

Thanks for the feedback.
The length of the cord and keeping it out of the way would necessitate the center of the windshield, to the right of the steering wheel. If you've got a co-pilot, then obviously that location lets them work the controls.

I haven't tried the left side, which looks like a great spot, especially if you were solo - close enough to reach and out of the way. I'm not sure if the cord would reach, but I guess one could buy an extension if it didn't

Downside of the center location is that mounting it low puts it quite a ways forward, so it's actually too far to reach. I'm thinking about trying high up, by the rear view mirror, but then it would have a bigger drop if it fell off. :eek:

I don't use the unit daily or frequently for local driving, so it's only in the car for longer trips. Thus, the cord isn't much of an issue for me in terms of getting in the way. :dunno:
 

· trailingthrottleoversteer
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
When I was going thru the airport yesterday, I had a laptop, GPS, Digital camera, ipod and Treo 650 in my carryon. The screener looked at me like I'm strange? What's up with that??:rofl:

Well...I used it yesterday and it got me from the Atlanta airport to Buckhead with no problems.
I just noticed the issue with the polarized glasses myself, and the screen size is a little hard to get used to. Does not matter if you use day or night mode - it's hard to see unless it's close. But....as I found out yesterday - when getting directions, you dont really look at the map that much, you listen to the voice commands and look at the text (street names) at the top of the screen.
I was mounting the unit on the left of the dash (E46) and was not bothered by the cord, but the on a hunch I set the unit on the console in front of the shifter, pointing up at about 45 degrees and it had enough view of the sky and still worked - but I did not like looking down at it. I think that once it locks in all the sats, you can move it around.

cchan: if you look at the upper corners of the screen you will see a "+" and "-". You can zoom in and out with those.
 

· OMGWTFBBQ
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I'll have a detailed write up later, but overall, I'm pretty darn impressed with the C330 after a 400+ mile trip. No polarized sunglasses difficulties (Oakley A Wire, I think).
 

· trailingthrottleoversteer
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Man this thing is GREAT!

It's bailed me out a couple of times already. I have a Dodge Magnum (V6) as a rental, and because of the steep windshield rake I can mount the 320 up high next to the rearview, and that makes it much easier to see. I switched between the Maui Jim's and the Ray-Ban's (both polarized) and see no difference in the viewing, so I think that the only real drawback it the brightness. It's hard to see in some conditions - there is not enough brightness or contrast.
The mapping and guidance is superb. Another cool feature is that I can leave the mount stuck to the windshield, and quickly pop off the Nav unit (and it powers itself down automatically) and put it in the console when leaving the vehicle. I also like the auto day/night feature where the contrast reverses at night (black on white) so it does not light up the inside of the car.
I think becasue the E46 has so much more greenhouse than the bogus Dodge it was harder to see because of the low brightness level. The Dodge is almost like a coffin inside (minus the squeeks). I'm thinking of trying the external antenna connection and mounting the nav unit lower - out of the sun - in the BMW.
No regrets though. Was worth it just for the help today alone.
 

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Maping Capacity

Frank Rizzo said:
I just got the new Garmin C320 Nav unit. Will post pics if anyone wants. Any questions -fire away. Works well so far (screen is kinda small). Taking it to Atlanta later this week.

I got it from GPSNOW.com:
http://www.gpsnow.com/gmspc320.htm
How great of an area can you load into the unit. For example, if you were going to tour several states on a trip can they all be loaded at once? Is the unit limited to the 128mb chip?

Thanks

Uboat
 

· trailingthrottleoversteer
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Dave: Click on my link and you'll see that I paid $549.

I upgraded to a 1 gig 66x SD card from Newegg.com for $59 and loaded 3/4 of the USA. I think the entire US of A takes up 1.3 gigs, so you could almost cover it with a 1 gig card plus the 128mb they give you.
I'm gonna switch back to the 128 MB card when I get back to L.A. and keep the 1 gig for my digi cam. I noticed that Southern Calif took up about 64mb of the card, but some entire states only take up 16mb. I'll load states as needed.
 

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cchan said:
2. when we were waiting at a stop light to make a turn, it would only display the current intersection/turn arrow, and we couldn't figure out how to go to "map" mode so that we could zoom out to look at the overall route. That would be a great time to be able to scan the rest of the map while waiting for the light to change, but instead we got "locked" into the intersection/turn-by-turn mode. Could be some setting or other button that didn't seem as obvious to us at the time.
After using it more, I think the zooming out problem I described earlier is due to the Garmin's "feature" of zooming in when you approach a turn point. When driving on the freeway, I want to zoom the map out to get a broader view of the route (ie let's say show a 20-30 mile radius). But, when you approach the next turn point, the Garmin will automatically zoom in (<1 mile) so you can see more detail of the intersection/turn, which is nice... But, if that is the time when you want to zoom back out, I found that you will literally be "fighting" the Garmin on the zoom control - while you manually zoom out, it is zooming back in between my zoom out presses. I wish it was a bit more intelligent, and would remember to zoom back out to the view I was at after the turn is completed.

The other thing I do not like about the zoom function is that there are too many zoom increments at the low/close up end of the zoom scale. So after the Garmin automatically zooms in on the turn I am at, the first bunch of zoom out requests don't really do much, then it finally gets going (ie it is like it goes from 0.5 mile view to 0.55, 0.6, 0.65, 0.7, 0.75, then 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 miles - I'm not being exact, but that's what it fels like). Not the right linear or logarithmic scale for the zoom settings, too many close ups that look almost the same.

The other features are great, though. After getting to Vegas for the Sin City HPDE last weekend, I had so many bugs that I caved and wanted to get them washed off :eek: , so I used the Garmin's search capabilities to find a car wash - clicked on Auto services, Car Wash, and boom, in a few seconds it showed us a list of all the places near the hotel. :thumbup:

Different voice prompt language capabilities are cool too. For fun, set it to British English if you want a different accent!

All in all, I definitely like it, but it does have its set of minor quirks.
 
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