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A message to my Garmin Street Pilot.........
A long lasting, rewarding relationship with a very loyal partner recently ended and it was all my fault. I have to take all the blame and accept full responsibility. So to my Garmin Street Pilot Sat Nav, that has been by my side on all my travels, please forgive me for leaving you in a hire car and I really hope you enjoyed your trip to Aberdeen with your new owner.
As a result I have therefore been in the market for a new bit of stuff and playing the field certainly brings back memories of my yoof. The Tom Tom drums were sounding and drawing me in but I hope that you understand and forgive me for starting a new relationship with your younger but much more adventurous sister, the Garmin NÜVI 310.
I must say she is a sleek, slim little thing, an almost fashionable size zero weighing in at only 145 gramms and with her black leather case, she is not much bigger than a cigarette packet and so is very easy for me to take around everywhere. A very impressive accompaniment wherever I go. In fact, the blokes with the black & white striped shirts and swag bags keep casting envious glances my way. I am sure they will do everything they can to tempt her away and take her off my hands. It is therefore very pleasing to see she is a mobile little mover that I can slip into my pocket every time I leave the car. Even if one of the bad men come and take her away they won't get past first base with her as I have the keys to her chastity belt. Oh yes, without my PIN code she is useless to anyone else.
It was pleasing that I didn't have to train her either. She was locked and loaded from the off, a nice off the shelf beauty that I simply plugged in and played with. A little touch screen that allows me to explore, with simple, obvious headings enabling me to find what I want very quickly. She's a right little go-er but only if you touch the right buttons. She's no slouch in the reception department either and is quick to latch on to the weakest of signals.
She provides three options upon turning on: Where to?, View Map and Travel Kit. Where to? Is the most used and enables you to search for an address with either the address or postcode. It also has various sub options to find things directly such as recent finds, food, lodging, fuel, attractions, shopping etc. She particularly likes the shopping. View Map is what it says - she lets you view the map where you presently are. Travel Kit includes travel/language guides as well as allowing you to play audio books/MP3s which need to be downloaded.
She has an absolute hatred of speed cameras so we share a common thread. As soon as I go anywhere near one she lets me know in no uncertain terms.
There are a few added extras that she offers. Bluetooth connectivity enables hands free calls through her although given I already have a hands free kit fitted I do not use this. In addition, she will gladly update you with travel information through a Traffic Message Channel (TMC) via a Garmin GTM 12, which can be bought as an extra for around £45.
I think she has been around a bit as well for one so young. She is totally familiar with everywhere in the UK & Ireland but in the standard package this is the only area she is familiar with. You can however buy her a passport and use her in many other countries by purchasing a pre loaded SD memory card which expands her horizons massively. She will then also allow you to convert your currency or see what time it is in Tokyo or wherever whilst stuck in a traffic jam. You can also purchase both language and travel guides which provide fascinating facts on thousands of points of interest throughout the world.
However, she is far from perfect. She speaks in monotone and is quick to criticize any wrong doings. "Turn left" she says sharply but she would be better suited by saying the street name also. She is a terrible back seat driver. Her virtues as an MP3 & Audio Book player also leave a lot to be desired holding around 3 albums. Whilst transfer of files is a simple drag & drop whilst the unit is connected to your computer as a separate drive, the tinny noise from her speakers makes her sound like a cheap imitation but other than that I can find no fault.
So Garmin Street Pilot, you served me well but all good things come to an end. You were my first love but I have now swapped you for a younger model. At least I kept it in the family.
***Where to Buy***
I bought from Ebay for £159 including postage which was the best deal I could find. Also available on Amazon for £160 plus postage (but this is just for the unit - you do not get the in car charger and suction cup).
Car Charger, Car Mounting Kit, Expandable Memory, Live Map Display, Multiple Route Suggestion, Post Code Support, Touch Screen Interface, Bluetooth
* Receiver: high-sensitivity WAAS-capable GPS receiver by SiRF
* Display: 2.8" W x 2.1" H (3.5" diag.), 320 x 240 pixels; bright, TFT display, 64K colors, with white backlight and touch screen
* Unit dimensions: 3.87" W x 2.91" H x 0.87" D (98.3 mm x 73.9 mm x 22.1 mm)
* Weight: 5.1 ounces (144.6 grams)
* Battery: built-in lithium ion battery - between 4-8 hours of battery life depending on use
* Bluetooth wireless technology for hands-free calling
* Includes Garmin LockTM, an anti-theft feature
* Supports FM TMC traffic alerting
* Preloaded maps for one European region
* Fingertip touch-screen interface
* Look up addresses and points of interest
* optional 2D or 3D map perspective
* Upload custom Points of Interest
* Built in Travel Kit includes MP3 player with sample MPs, audio books, picture viewer, world clock, currency and measurement converters, calculator and more
* SD memory card expansion slot
* USB interface for loading data
Being a first time SAT NAV user I found both the Price and the ease of use to be amazing.
I tried the Garmin nuvi 310 in my local Staples store, and the manager allowed me to enter post codes to search by, and get a true feel for the product.
When you submit the post code / address you want to go, you can press the 'detor' option, incase of road problems and it gives your a secondary route (if avaliable).
As with all SAT NAV's it gives you the average speed and the estimated time it thinks you will be at your destination.
You can download a 90 day free version of the 'Speed Camera' locations, this will alert you and notify you of the speed limit in the area your are passing.
Optional extra is the FM traffic reciever, which gives you details on where there are traffic black spots.
It also has an SD memory card slot, which you can load music on and use it as an MP3 player.
All in all, this is an excellent product, and very durable.
Navigator. Translator. Entertainer. Tour Guide. Garmin's nüvi 310 is one versatile little GPS. This pocket-sized Personal Travel Assistant comes with hands-free Bluetooth wireless technology in addition to the popular features offered in the nüvi 300 - making it the go-anywhere travel companion.
The nüvi 310 integrates wireless technology with a microphone and speaker that lets you make hands-free mobile phone calls. Simply dial numbers with the nüvi's touch screen keypad to make a call on a compatible Bluetooth phone. To answer calls, just tap nüvi's screen and speak directly into its built in microphone.
In addition, easily look-up and dial numbers from your personalized phone book or from your phone's call history log. Don't know the phone number for your destination? Simply find and dial it from nüvi's extensive points of interest database - including hotels, restaurants, stores, and attractions.