This is one of the first satnavs to enter the market and so it is no wonder that now it is beginning to look outdated and many other sat navs are taking over. In appearance it is pretty much the same as TomTom's one and so already this has some positive points for the Garmin StreetPilot.
The screen itself is touch screen, adding to ease of use and the LCD screen is 320x240, giving it a respectable screen size, allowing for use by all generations. It is also very bright, so allows for easy use when driving, making routes far easier to take. The menu system also means that getting started is quick and easy, so doesn't delay your start time of your journey. The cradle system holds the device steadily and so there is no worry of the sat nav falling off the windscreen whilst you are driving.
The maps have been loaded onto an SD card, so there is no need to do this yourself. Unfortunately, the voice commands are always early, so you may find yourself turning down the wrong road. They are also very quiet, even on the loudest voice setting. The commands are not repeated, so you have to listen carefully the entire journey as you only have one shot to get it right and it takes far too long to re-calibrate a route for your convenience.
Unfortunately in today's market, this sat nav is slowly slipping down the rankings and you should definitely consider a newer model, even if it is more expensive
We've had this sat nav for at least 6 years, probably longer. I know at the time it was the only reasonably priced one available, Tom Tom sat navs were well out of our price range but we definitely needed one as we were due to go one a long trip and Mark didn't fancy my map reading all the way from Birmingham to the South coast!
I realised it wasn't the best buy when I plugged it into the PC to update (as advised) and it stuck halfway through. Then the computer wouldn't let me remove the Garmin software! Eventually we got our brainy neighbour to sort it out but we've never been able to update properly on this sat nav.
The Streetpilot C310 is a lot bulkier than the sat navs you buy now, we've just upgraded actually and I was surprised at how flat and slimline our new sat nav is. You can take it on and off the arm which holds it to the window, in theory anyway because about 12 months after we first bought it the unit decided it wasn't going to come off the arm at all so they have been attached ever since. Makes it kinda bulky for storage but saves risking snapping anything!
The sat nav is quite easy to programme. We spent a while sorting out the best settings when we first got it and haven't really touched them since. Sometimes Mark will change it from Shortest Distance to Fastest Route but that doesn't seem to make a blind bit of difference to the route the sat nav decides to take us, so I do think you're best off to just keep the settings as they are once you find some that work for you.
To get directions you can either put the postcode into the sat nav, or physically type in the town and name of the road. I find it doesn't always recognise the long way of doi ng it so usually find out the postcode before we set off from royalmail.com. This will give you a more accurate point of destination and where you end up is usually spot on as the sat nav will also ask for a door number as you're programming it. If you don't have a door number you just leave that part blank and the sat nav will take you to the edge of that postcode area.
The sat nav has a touch screen, this isn't always as responsive as it should be but I haven't had any major problems with it. The map is supposedly in 3D but I don't know how they can call it that as I can't see what's 3D about it at all, apart from one of the lines (the one you're travelling down) being darker in colour than the rest! 3D, my arse!
There's a bit of information on the screen that you will need to familiarise yourself with. Pressing the top bar will bring you to a screen showing step by step written directions, and the two bottom corners both have a purpose but not very helpfully I can't quite remember what they do at the moment. Oh yeah, one of them gives you your estimated time of arrival and I think the other tells you your speed or some guff like that.
The volume is easy to control with a dial on the side of the sat nav, and the voice isn't too irritating. Well, it is but not as irritating as other sat nav voices I've heard. I want one that has either Brian Blessed directing me (rooooar, you need to turn right you foolish codswallop) or that Cockney from the old 90's Ebeneezer Goode track (take the first left for your Vera's... laaaaavely!). Anything different! Haha!
There's a section dedicated to Points of Interest (or POI in sat nav speak). Well, they might as well have left it off this model because it doesn't work! In Northampton and looking for your nearest Indian restaurant, that'll be 100 miles away in London thanks. McDonalds in Birmingham (there are hundreds of the bloody things), can't find any but take your first right and I'll direct you across the channel to France. Seriously, that did happen and the very amusing thing was that I was actually sitting in McDonalds car park in Birmingham when it told me the nearest was in Calais!
I look on this sat nav as a prototype or at the very least an antique. It has done the job and taken Mark in particular all around the country for work, I use it here and there but as we're usually together when it comes to a longish journey then I haven't had the bother and stress of figuring it out too much.
Was £100 when new, but I think you'd probably pick one up for about 20 quid these days. Or better still, buy a more up to date one!