Thoughts on the garmin GPS

alanisOctober 30, 2009

I just bought the Garmin nuvi 255W and am wondering if I shouldn't have spent more money on a different one.

It didn't come with a usb cable for the updates.

Do you update your maps? I heard it's expensive to do so!

I've only used it a few times but it seems like it takes a while to get the info.

It wouldn't bring up a store that was local and had been there for years! Shouldn't it have shown up?

What model is your GPS? Any pros and cons?

Reason I bought it was our daughter just moved to the east coast and I'm not a need all the help I can get when we go to visit!

Do I need other features on the GPS to travel out of state?

Thanks for your input,


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We bought the garmin 265WT about 1.5 months back and it seems to be fine. Think we paid $170 for it from circuit city (yes they are still alive online--another competitor bought the name when the "real" circuit city went bankrupt!!) The 265 comes with free traffic updates via FM, it does an ok job, sometimes there is no traffic when it states there is. Its traffic avoidance is fine. We had some connectivity issues about 2 weeks ago, but with the provided USB cable downloaded the latest update from the internet and it was fine. So no real complaints from us, but we don't use it all that much.

    Bookmark   October 30, 2009 at 4:36PM
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My Garmin came with one "free" update, a "whopper" over 2 Gigabytes in size. Even with a high speed like it took some time to download. I think the idea is that the factory load may be way out of date, lots of time on the shelve, so Garmin provides on free update. That should be good for a couple of years or longer, then one can pay for an update, I think less than $100, don't remember.

I have no idea why you didn't get a USB cable. My Garmin has an unusual (but same as my Palm PDA) physical connector so the cable is special. Check with your store to see if there was a mistake in you not getting a cable.

In my experience the on-board data base was defective so the Garmin didn't work well at all until I downloaded the updated data base, oh yes, I also downloaded some OS updates for the Garmin. You need a computer interface.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2009 at 5:19PM
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My Garmin is pretty well out of date, plus with the way these kinds of things improve, almost anything you buy today will be out of date in a year anyway, but that does not mean it cannot perform the tasks required of it.

Frankly, I love that basic Nuvi (200?) that I have. Now granted it won't come up with every business, that has to do more with the advertising strategies of the businesses than it does Garmin. The first time I was playing with the business search functions and confirmed that my shop was in the data base, I thought that was really cool. My Nuvi is no longer supported, so at times like when I drove over to Penn State it struggled to figure out where I was because the new interstate wasn't in it's data base. That struck me as amusing, rather than as being a problem. Otherwise it's more than 99% effective at assisiting me when I am moving around in different cities for the first time.

I have even taken it with me, and had it in off road mode when I have done some of my solo cross country flights, just in case I suddenly have trouble navigating. While these like anything else aren't perfect, I simply could not imagine life without one for now on.

I use it when I go out on a towing call.
I use it in the airplane, for a back-up strategy.
I use it when I travel to other cities when I am instructing continuing education classes for shops/techs.
I use it to drive cross country and simply get to enjoy the ride instead of blasting past everything unseen while on the interstate.

The one thing it needs is the ability to select different voices for the drivers support. It takes about five minutes of normal use before the desire to mock the regular voices becomes irresistible. I could just imagine someone like George Carlin (rip) giving me directions. Could you imagine him coming on to let me know when I missed my turn? Well he'd probably have to be turned off and another voice on there when the kids were in the car. Maybe Sponge Bob, or NOT! VBG.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2009 at 11:56AM
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Im not sure of the make/model, but with that "one" you can download certain voice personalities!!
maybe this? ?

    Bookmark   November 1, 2009 at 4:24PM
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One of the big uses for GPS units in my town is for geo-caching. The retirees go geo-caching. It gives them the incentive to walk all over town and along a few local trails. It makes the walks more interesting. After one has walked down the same street a couple of times, it gets boring, but looking for a cache adds the spark needed to get the oldsters's body moving again.

So, if you are looking for a birthday gift to give to dad, maybe a GPS unit with instructions for geo-caching might be a hit.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2009 at 4:14PM
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I went for the Garmin nuvi because so many people that travel have recommended it. For my car, I have the nuvi 200 and it's served me as well as any other product could.

Here is a link that might be useful: lax car service

    Bookmark   November 6, 2009 at 4:50AM
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