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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
OK, I'm bad. I did a search, but too much info to filter and digest right now. I need opnions quickly, and don't have time to reasearch it.

My lovely wife wants to buy me a GPS Nav system as a 10th wedding anniv. gift (which is today). This will be used with my new M3 that's due in about 2 weeks.

She wants to spend up to $1000. Is there any one in this price range that stands out. I'll defintely want maps of the entire US, and would like it to include info on restaurants, etc. I would also like to have a decent sized, high legibility screen, as I am farsighted and have trouble reading tiny stuff.

I haven't really researched enough to know what else I want in it.

Please help out a fellow fester so that my wife gets the best bang for her buck.

She's already printed out web pages for the Magellen Road Mate 700 and Garmin Street Pilot c330. I'm looking at the Garmin Street Pilot 2620. Thoughts?

Thanks. :)
 

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The King of Common Sense
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dwette said:
OK, I'm bad. I did a search, but too much info to filter and digest right now. I need opnions quickly, and don't have time to reasearch it.

My lovely wife wants to buy me a GPS Nav system as a 10th wedding anniv. gift (which is today). This will be used with my new M3 that's due in about 2 weeks.

She wants to spend up to $1000. Is there any one in this price range that stands out. I'll defintely want maps of the entire US, and would like it to include info on restaurants, etc. I would also like to have a decent sized, high legibility screen, as I am farsighted and have trouble reading tiny stuff.

I haven't really researched enough to know what else I want in it.

Please help out a fellow fester so that my wife gets the best bang for her buck.

She's already printed out web pages for the Magellen Road Mate 700 and Garmin Street Pilot c330. I'm looking at the Garmin Street Pilot 2620. Thoughts?

Thanks. :)
The Garmin StreetPilot 2620 and the Magellan Roadmate 700 are direct competitors. Both have hard drive, which eliminates having to download detail maps. There are good and bad points about each. Here they are:

Engineering quality: Garmin, period.
Quality of maps: Garmin, period.
Touch screen quality: Garmin
Features: Garmin many more engineering type features, many of astronamical types.
User unique settings: Magellan 3, Garmin 1
Stored point of interest: Magellan 600 total, 200 each user. Garmin, much less.
Language in voice prompt: Magellan 7 with both male and female, Garmin 1, I think.
Easy to use: Magellan, ease of functions allow making while driving.
Screen size: Both about the same, but have a slight different aspect ratio
Brightness of display: Magellan very bright TFT 16 colors screen
Colors: Magellan, very brillant TFT screen
Quality of voice prompt: Magellan, no comparison.
Usefulness of voice directions: Magellan. I don't like the Garmin distance countdown to 500 ft, 300 ft, 100 ft. to a turn. Magellan tells you .5 mile, .1 mile, approaching turn, ding dong. The timing of the ding dong is a function of your speed to the turn. Good idea.
Packaging design" Magellan, very slim. Garmin is very bulky and much heavier

Power cord: Magellan. Garmin has speaker attached to the cigarette power cord.
Both cost abaout the same right now. $850 +/-

The Garmin C320 or C330 (hard drive) are downgrades to compete with the Magellan Roadmate 300. Again the comparison are very similar to the 2620 vs 700.

I have the Magellan 300 (less than $500 on the internet). The C320 and C330 are new, released in March, but still not available in most places. Asking price is around $700, much too high for the units. Given the choice I would buy the 2620 over the C330 or the C320.

C320 vs Roadmate 300
memory: Roadmate up to 1 gig SD card. C320 128 mb generic card, way too small. You can almost load the entire USA on 1 gag SD card in the Roadmate, but the maps SUCK. Did I make myself clear? The labeling (horizontally instead of labeling along the street) of the streets SUCK. At 0.8 mile scale every road except the major interstates are not displayed. Given the choice between the 300 and the C320, hard decision. The 300 does have advantages except when it comes to the quality and the detail display of the maps. I can go on and on with the camparisons. If I were to do it over again, I would get the Magellan Roadmate 700. It is still a little more expensive than the Garmin 2620. Then, the Magellan does not have the sold quility look of the 2620. It is way too bulky. It is like comparing a LCD TV with the old CRT TV. Now, which do you want?

OK, between the Roadmate 700 vs the Garmin C330, released 3/05, but still very expensive for what you get. No comparison here 700 win by a landslide. Go for it. The C330 is an entry level unit, simple to use without the bells and whistles to compete with the Roadmate 300 (similiar to Hertz's Magellan never get lost), which was released 11/04. A lot of people like the 2620 because it looks like a quality unit. I didn't like it because of its bulky size, very difficult to intergrate the unit into your car. Heavy, got to sit on the dash. Here is a website you may want to check out. It talks about the Tom Tom also, a Brit design :tsk:
http://www.tomshardware.com/mobile/20050404/gps-02.html
http://www.gpspassion.com/forumsen/default.asp?group=2
 

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Uber Olive Brain
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Dave 330i said:
The Garmin StreetPilot 2620 and the Magellan Roadmate 700 are direct competitors. Both have hard drive, which eliminates having to download detail maps. There are good and bad points about each. Here they are:
You might also want to consider getting the Garmin 2610, which uses removable compact-flash cards. The advantages of this are:
  • No moving parts. An hard disk has moving parts, which are still subject to the vibrations in a moving car. A compact flash card has no moving parts, and is likely to outlive any hard drive.
  • The 2610 comes with a complete map set on CDROM. The 2620 doesn't. You can install/view the (2610) maps on a PC. It may also be easier to upgrade the maps with the 2610 (I have no idea how you upgrade the maps in the 2620). With the 2620, if the hard drive dies, you're probably screwed; with the 2610, if the CF card dies (probably very unlikely), you just get a new CF card and re-download the maps.
  • The cost of a 2610 + 2GB CF card is similar to (or maybe less than) the 2620. Of course, if you want to pay less, you don't need a 2GB card; a 512MB card will hold a significant portion of the US.
Of course, the downside is that you have to install the maps on your PC, and then download the maps into the GPS. But, with a large enough card, you probably won't be doing this often (with a 2GB card, once and then only when you upgrade the maps).

The voice language is also changeable on the 2610 (if you don't like the US voice, you can also switch to the British one).

Edit: just did a quick check on prices: 2610+2GB CF: $620+$145 = $765, 2620: $815. Both prices are before tax and S&H.
 

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The King of Common Sense
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pseto said:
i agree with previous dude, get teh 2610. Mine works excellent as I have a CF for each side of the US on 1GB CF.
After checking out all the units mentioned, I ended up with the Mag 300 because of its ease to use even when driving, exceptional bright screen, clear voice prompt, and very thin package. My 1 gig SD card ($60 after rebate) holds the USA except part of New England. But, I keep hating one thing, the quality of the maps and the labeling of the streets are unacceptable for locating streets near your position. If you use it just to get to your destination, it is great buy. Check out the bright screen during the day and night...
http://pg.photos.yahoo.com/ph/davidleung9/my_photos
 

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Uber Olive Brain
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Dave 330i said:
After checking out all the units mentioned, I ended up with the Mag 300 because of its ease to use even when driving, exceptional bright screen, clear voice prompt, and very thin package. My 1 gig SD card ($60 after rebate) holds the USA except part of New England. But, I keep hating one thing, the quality of the maps and the labeling of the streets are unacceptable for locating streets near your position.
If anyone else is considering the Garmin units, you can check out the map data at:

http://www.garmin.com/cartography/mapSource/citynav.jsp

Click the map viewer link in the box near the upper-right corner. Note that the web page will look different from the GPS display, but this will give you an idea of the map accuracy (data, not how it is shown).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks all for the quick and comprehensive responses.

I'm still considering, maybe the Garmin 26xx or the Magellan, but I'm very intrigued by the Tomtom Go and am starting to think this might be a good choice.

Anyone here using the TomTom Go? How do you like it? Can you compare to the Garmon or Magellan?
 

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dwette said:
Anyone here using the TomTom Go? How do you like it? Can you compare to the Garmon or Magellan?
I've used one briefly and have tried the PDA version of the same... the software is very intuitive, and very mature. I came away very impressed. It is certainly light years ahead of the BMW navigation system.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I had it narrowed down to the Magellan and TomTom. The Garmin has lower resolution (305x160 vs. 320x240) so I elminated it.

It was hard deciding between the Magellan/TomTom, but I ended up getting the TomTom Go (preloaded). I think it looks better, and I like the idea of it supporting battery operation (4-5 hrs) in addition to 12V operation.

There are two models. One has a 256 MG card for maps loaded in regions, and a version with a 1 GB card that has the entire US maps loaded.

I ordered the latter from newgg.com for $809. The other version is $589 at newegg, but I wanted the full maps since I'm in a state that borders states in 2 other map regions, so it's worth having the entire maps loaded together.

TomTom has new models coming (TomTom GO 300, TomTom GO 700) that have faster processors and Bluetooth support, but I decided not to wait for them, and they're likely to sell for full price at first anyway. I don't have a BlueTooth phone anyway.
 
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