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sith_killer_99
06-10-2008, 10:44 PM
Well, I just bought my early Father's Day present. I always get the coolest stuff. LOL

Anyway, I recently went home to visit a buddy of mine and he had a cool little GPS device sitting on his dash. He used it a few times and I was pretty impressed with how far the technology has come.

Then the other day I saw Radio Shack had some on sale. I went ahead and checked 'em out. I just wanted to get an idea of the features, prices, etc.

Next I went online and did some research. After hours of research and eye strain, I decided to buy a Garmin nuvi 760. MSRP was around $650.00, but Best Buy had it for $350! WOW, what a deal, unfortunately they were out of stock. Circuit City had it for $360 is stock with in store pick-up down the road.

It was actually more than I wanted, but the base model with everything I was looking for was $340, so for just $20 more I got a ton of extra features.

The best thing I liked about the Garmin was the ability to upload POI's (Points Of Interest). There are some great websites with free POI files you can download and add to your GPS. Mine came preloaded with over 6 million POI's, I ended up adding about 150 thousand.

I loaded locations for every one of the following stores within the US:

Toys R Us
Target
K-Mart
Wal-Mart (to include Super Wal-Mart and Sams Club)
Barnes and Nobel
Borders
Best Buy
Big Lots
Circuit City
CompUSA
CostCo
Cold Stone
Fazolis
Hard Rock Cafe
Meijer
Olive Garden
and many many more

Features include:

4.3 inch color touch screes with auto bright adjust
5 hour battery life (plugs into 12v auto outlet)
preloaded maps (free update to 2009 maps)
2GB internal memory (SD slot with SDHC capability)
500 waypoints (programmable)
10 routes (programmable)
voice prompts (speaks the street name)
3D map view
auto sort multiple destinations
auto re-route/route choice (fastest/shortest)/route avoidance (tolls/highways/traffic jams)
Bluetooth hands free calling
FM Traffic compatible
MSN Direct
Where Am I feature
Car locator feature (marks position when removed from windshield mount)
MP3 Audio book player
QWERTY or ABC keyboard
FM transmitter
Headphone jack/audio line out
Garmin lock (anti-theft feature)

Anyway, those are the highlights.

I'm pretty excited about it. I make a lot of road trips and sometimes I wonder if there is a TRU near by, now I will know!

Also, sometimes I visit places and I want to make the rounds (Target, K-Mart, Wal-Mart, TRU, etc.). This will let me plug in all the stores and set up a round trip hitting all the stores I want to as quickly as possible. Hopefully it will also help save gas.

Plus it will be convenient when I go places I don't know and want to find places to eat, historic sites, zoo's for the little one, etc.

Also, my wife is a bad navigator on road trips and I'm always getting frustrated with her and dealing with the map.

Anyway, I think this will be a real help in terms of collecting as well as road trips! I am very excited.

It's funny, I never really thought I would want one of these until about a week and a half ago, when I saw one in action and I started looking into them.

Blue2th
06-11-2008, 02:09 AM
Those sound cool. especially with the store locations. Whenever I'm on a road trip like say to SDCC or anywhere, it would be nice to know where every Walmart and Target etc. is along the way. A lot of stores are right off the interstates and if you know exactly where they are you don't waste time or extra gas like you say.
In the past on many road trips, as far back as Celebration I, I've had to research on the web where the stores were and phisically right them down, so I could hit them on the way.
The GPS would be a lot easier.
I can remember being on vacation in another part of the country, driving around in circles looking for the attractions.

These things are mobil so you can take them with you on your flight and use them in your rental car or wherever I assume?

sith_killer_99
06-11-2008, 03:35 AM
These things are mobil so you can take them with you on your flight and use them in your rental car or wherever I assume?

Yes, it's a little bigger than an ipod and easily removable/transferable. Rental car companies charge about $10-$15 per day for a GPS. With this I can pop it into any vehicle I want, or even carry it with me, it has about a 5 hour battery life.:D

Darth Jax
06-11-2008, 07:19 AM
Like yourself i wasn't all that interested in them initially. i received one as a christmas gift from work last year and now use it all the time. The things really are pretty cool. But they're also becoming quite collectible, leaving it exposed on the dash is just an invitation for a broken window. i read the other day that gps units, even in-dash ones are now more frequently reported stolen than airbags or stereo equipment in major cities.

Exhaust Port
06-12-2008, 11:56 AM
We bought our first handheld gps 2 years ago which was a fairly basic gps that we used for our new hobby of geocaching. Man we used the crap out of that thing. Late last year the gps screen started to act up which worried us as we were approaching our trip to Hawaii. Last thing we wanted was to have our gps give out on the road so we treated ourselves and bought a new, nicer model handheld (Garmin 60CSx). The new chipset is worth every penny. It aquires satillites incredibly fast and really holds on to the signal, even indoors!! Most of our use comes with geocaching but we also use it for navigation on long drives. Finding local POI while on the road is a nice feature when hunting for a type of resturant. We have found that the POI aren't updated as often as one would hope so a good number don't exist anymore. To test this out drive around your home town and see how many stores, resturants, etc. don't exist or have changed. This burned us in Hawaii as we tried to find a museum for an hour. It was in the guide book and gps but it later turned out to have closed in the last year.

My dream is to have a built in version for our crosscountry car. It's frustrating that something that I can buy for $300-400 handheld ends up costing 3-4 times as much if I want to install it in my car's dash. What the heck! When we bought our new vehicle the navigation system was a $2000 upgrade and only available on the more expensive car line. I think we are at a time when gps technology is cheap but car manufacturers are still treating it as a premium item. Too bad the the car makers are 10 years behind the rest of the tech world. When I bought my VW 7 years ago the CD player was an option!!! Even then mp3 players were common yet I couldn't get a CD player for my car.

sith_killer_99
06-12-2008, 12:21 PM
My dream is to have a built in version for our crosscountry car.

To tell you the truth, your probably better off without a built in GPS IMHO.

One of the things I like about my new GPS is that it's dash/window suction cup mounted. Which means that I can transfer it between cars without any hassle. It also has a bunch of features that make it superior to a built in GPS. For example I can plug it into my computer and update maps and add POI's.

Also, it seems to me that with a transferable, movable mount I can place it where it is most comfortable for me to view and adjust is as necessary.

I can easily pop it out of it's docking cradle and carry it with me, one of the features allows you to find your vehicle in a large parking lot by remembering your spot when you unplug it from the cradle! Just turn it on and it will point the war to your car.

Portable vehicle GPS offers many more features and is far more versatile. Plus they are competitively priced. You can find some nice stuff out ther for $250-$350. I got a real deal on my Garmin 760.

Exhaust Port
06-12-2008, 01:58 PM
We use a portable one now as I said. It's nice to have the mobility but there are still limitations. For one the screens are still small and a bit annoying to follow in busy situations. Secondly, I don't want junk stuck to my window. I hate to have things blocking my view of the road.

A good number of the indash models have SD cards that allow you to do quick updates of POI's and maps info just like the mobile units. The screens are much larger and don't require external power for extended use (portables = batteries or power cables). Some even have XM/Sirius so you can incorperate realtime traffic info with your navigation choices.

For us the handheld only makes sense because of geocaching. Beyond that I don't need moble navigation capability, if I'm not in a car I don't need car navigation. Plus we wouldn't need to remember to pack the gps with us as we head out. We've forgotten it a few times. :)