“ Manufacturer: Garmin / GPS Type: Automobile / Form Factor: Fixed / Map capabilities: Internal, Map cartridges / Data cards / Input Method: Touch Screen, Keyboard / Display Size: 3.81 in. x 2.25 in. / Display Type: LCD TFT Display / Resolutions: 480 x 272 / Special Features: JPEG Image Viewer, Converter, Calculator / Included Software/Maps: USA Maps, Canada Maps, Europe Maps / PC Interface: USB / Expansion Slot Type: SD (Secure Digital) Card Slot / Antenna: Built-in / Waypoints: 1000 / Plug-in Interface: Secure Digital (SD) / Compatible PDA OS: Windows 2000 / Compatible Devices: Notebook / Battery Type and Quantity: Rechargeable Li-Ion Battery / Battery Life: 4 Hours / Height: 7.4 cm / Width: 12.2 cm / Depth: 2 cm / Weight: 0.15 kg / „
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I received this Garmin Nuvi Satellite Navigation (Sat-Nav for short!) as a Christmas gift from my brother around 7 months ago. When he found out that I was learning to drive, he bought it for me as a motivation of sorts....'you can't use this unless you have a car!'. Luckily, I passed my test soon after and I have been driving ever since and this piece of equipment has come in very handy!
As I do a fair amount of driving for work and I go around different places everyday, I find that the Sat-Nav works really well. I didn't grow up in the area where I work, so I don't know the roads that well at all. I would probably be completely lost without it!
The box itself is pretty nifty and it contains the Sat-Nav itself, an instruction leaflet, a connection cable for charging it (this goes into your cigarette lighter in your car and attaches to the back of the sat nav), paraphenilia for mounting the Sat Nav onto your car window or dashboard and some other stuff including a warning from the Police about how to protect your car from Sat-Nav thieves, which I thought was a nice touch.
The Sat-Nav itself is fairly easy to use. You start by seeing a big screen saying 'Where to?' and you go in an choose your country (the basic maps set include Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales - you must pay more to get other maps!) You can either key in an address or postcode and the Sat Nav calculates the journey for you and gets you on your way.
One of the best things about this Sat-Nav is the features that are available. I will now explain some of the best features and their benefits:-
1) Warnings for speed cameras (fixed and mobile).
I have never been one to speed on the roads but these warnings are a great addition to the Sat-Nav technology. It beeps as you approach either a fixed camera or a mobile camera area. You can obviously tailor your speed appropriately if your are that way inclined to speed. Whilst I find that I don't often need to pay attention to the beeping due to the fact that I stick to the speed limits, there is no denying its usefulness. One drawback, however, is that if you don't update your maps regularly you might NOT have the up-to-date speed camera information on your Sat-Nav. You have been warned!
2) Settings for route.
There are some great settings in this section. You can set it up to either travel the quickest route or the shortest distance, you can choose to avoid motorways, you can even choose to go through certain areas along the way. Your choice for the route is widespread. I find that sometimes I want to avoid certain junctions or strips of motorway for one reason or another. This Sat-Nav allows that. Excellent feature.
3) Local amenities information.
If you park up in area that you are unfamiliar with, the Sat-Nav contains all sorts of info on your nearest restaurants, hotels, petrol stations, airports etc. You name it, the Sat-Nav has info on it. I found it particularly useful when I was on holiday in the UK and I had nearly ran out of petrol in an unknown area. I just clicked on the nearest petrol station and it took me right to the nearest one - something like 1.5 miles away. I would never have found it without this application. Genius! It also contains local places of interest if you are looking for something to do.
4) 'Favourites' address book.
You can save your favourite routes to your friends, family and places of interest into an address book. This actually saves you from the hassle of inputting their postode every time you want to travel to these places. A really excellent setting that saves loads of time.
As you can see, the Sat-Nav has so much to it. There are some drawbacks however. Sometimes the Sat-Nav can lead you astray - a Sat-Nav will never beat local knowledge. More often that not though, you get from A to B without a hitch. The voice also gets quite annoying, and I find it galling that you have to pay to get more voices.
People should also pay close attention to the police notice inside the box. Sat-Nav crime in cars is what car radio crime used to be. The suctioned window mount for the Sat-Nav leaves a very distinct marking on your windscreen and it is quite obvious to thieves that a Sat-Nav has been used in the car, making you vulnerable to crime. Just carry a damp and dry cloth in your boot or glove box and wipe down the window after every use. It is worth it to be vigilant.
This Sat-Nav retails in at around £100 (not sure the exact amount as it was a gift). I personally thinks it is great value as I get the use from it and also use all of the extra features described above. I would recommend anyone looking for a Sat-Nav to go with Garmin as their products are quality, easy-to-use and full of extras. My Dad has one that has lasted well into its third year, so there is proven longevity there too.
Get your Garmin and get Sat-Naving (if that is even a phrase!)
My mum bought me this sat nav for Christmas last year and I must say it has proved very useful. I have used it a few times and so far have not gone wrong. It has good volume and bright screen; it is fairly simple to use, with few frills. It plugs into your car cigarette lighter to charge and run, which is supplied, along with a detachable sucker arm that attaches to your window. (The arm itself is good, by the way: it holds it tight, stays on the window, but has a quick release tab and is easily positioned.) It includes a favourites section, recently found, an address input, which works really well. It also has a 'points of interest' function that tells you nearest food vendors by category and petrol stations. The 'home' function makes for a quick getaway as for the homeward journey you have simply to hit it, instead of going through your address list to find your own. As this is low-frills and so does not include Europe, optional voices or any other fluff that may come with a pricier model. I think for general use, this is all you really need.
I would recommend keeping an eye on the road signs as well, because although I trust this Gavi to get me around, with all sat navs you never know and it pays to be vigilant!
ps I looked on Amazon just now and they had it for £91