Which GPS to buy ?

Old Aug 12th, 2007, 02:56 PM
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Which GPS to buy ?

I would like to buy an auto routing GPS device that can be attached to a windshield, with good coverage of both US and Europe. It should have voice prompts that warn about turns etc in advance. What model should I chose ?

Another question - how could I test a European map software before going there ? I have a friend who bought TomTom and a European software, just to find that it did not work (for some reason) after he arrived to Italy.
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Old Aug 12th, 2007, 03:10 PM
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I heartily endorse the Garmin Nuvi 370. It comes preloaded with US and Europe maps.

I spent 30 days with it in London, Paris, Switizerland, Italy, Austria, Croatia and Greece and can tell you that it works amazingly well.

The main use it got in Europe was while I was on foot in the various cities I was in and it was very useful. I have had other GPS receivers and I was impressed with how well and how quickly the 370 connected to satellites compared to my other receivers.

I have also used it in the US for my travels and am just as impressed.

I'm not sure where you are going but there is very good coverage for Western Europe and for Athens and general coverage for other places. The Garmin web site can give you the details.

As for testing the map software, I'm not sure how you would do that. All I know is that the Gamin map software is well-tested and reliable.
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Old Aug 12th, 2007, 03:21 PM
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We purchased the
Garmin 670 from us1camera online -great deal and fast shipping.

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Old Aug 12th, 2007, 04:12 PM
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I can vouch for the Garmin software. It's very reliable both in the US and Europe. We downloaded the software from a CD onto our computer. It allowed us to zoom in and pin point various points of interest (POI) of places we knew we were going to be visiting and then download the POI's to the GPS. I don't leave home without it.
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Old Aug 12th, 2007, 05:32 PM
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I can really use this info. Thanks for posting the question igorek.

To Garmin fans: How did you recharge the batteries? I see it comes with an AC charger and a vehicle power cable. I assume while overseas that you plugged the cable into the cigarette lighter in the car? With the AC charger for use indoors, do you need to bring a converter or will just an adapter do the trick?

Thanks in advance.....
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Old Aug 12th, 2007, 06:24 PM
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The Garmin 670 comes with adapters for Italy and France.
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Old Aug 12th, 2007, 06:58 PM
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After reading your comments here I have been surfing the web for GPS units and it looks like the Garmin units get really high marks. They do say they come loaded with US map. How do you get the European maps into it?
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Old Aug 12th, 2007, 07:20 PM
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AisleSeat, you can get Garmin Nuvi's with just the US and Canada maps preloaded or you can get them with the US, Canada and Europe preloaded. It depends on the Model. We have the Garmin Nuvi 670 (has a larger screen than the 370 -- 4.3" vs. 3.5") which includes the European maps. We used ours on our Canada trip in May and it worked great.

I would suggest that if you will be using it overseas in a rental car, that you look into getting the "bean bag" mount which is what we bought. It just sits on the dashboard and can be put under the seat or in the glove box when you park the car so any potential thieves won't think you have a GPS in the car. The Nuvi went with us in my purse or in my husband's pocket. I was worried that it might slide around on the dashboard, but it never moved. Very secure.
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Old Aug 12th, 2007, 07:34 PM
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I got the Garmin wide screen Nuvi 660 but it is only North America

great deal at Sam's Club

http://www.gpsreview.net/

I used this website a lot and can't recall the other one..just google gps reviews
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Old Aug 12th, 2007, 08:30 PM
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Thanks for all your suggestions, Nuvi 370 (and especially 660) look like a good choice. There is only one problem with them - price, as they are loaded with tons of features (like MP3) that nobody really needs; I would prefer to pay less for just pure GPSing.
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Old Aug 13th, 2007, 01:43 AM
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Pilates, the Garmin charges continuously with the AC adapter in the car (cigarette lighter). It also comes with a USB connection to charge it on your computer. No converter needed as there is no plug into the wall socket connection - just car cig lighter or USB port to your computer.
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Old Aug 13th, 2007, 02:48 AM
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What makes the Garmin 270, 370 and 670 so expensive is that they come with both Europe and NA map sets. You can buy another cheaper model and then buy the map sets and upload them to the device (if there is sufficient memory). But the map sets are very expensive.

For example, the 370 comes with City Navigator Europe NT v9, which sells for $300.

Here's the link to the Garmin page for that Map set: http://tinyurl.com/2va4ym

Does the Garmin come with features I don't use? Yes. But it also has many features I find very useful. I use the world clock, the currency converter and the calculator quite a bit.

As for charging, the 370 comes with a universal charger with plugs that you can change so you can use it in all the major forms of outlets. It also comes with a cigarette charger cord. Oh, and it comes with a suction mount for your windshield.

Incidentally, the biggest difference between those in the 70 series (which come with Europe pre-loaded) is size. The 370 fits in my shirt pocket and the 270 looks even smaller. I think the 670 is used primarily in automobiles, though I have found the 370 big enough to use in my car.
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Old Aug 13th, 2007, 03:00 AM
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I just checked out gpsreview.net and it is very good. Thanks alise007.

I learned there that the 270 has the same screen as the 370 but that it doesn't come with as many bells and whistles. For example: no blue tooth (I don't use my 370 to connect to my cell phone much) and no fm traffic receiver (which give you live traffic informationa and helps you re-route).
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Old Aug 13th, 2007, 04:08 AM
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I didn't realize that it comes with plug in charger. No where does it say that on their website, or I just couldn't find it. Is it 110/220 compatible?
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Old Aug 13th, 2007, 05:31 AM
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SShepard, You said your Garmin 370 worked amazingly well on your trip which included Greece. Did your trip include Crete? We were hoping to take our 370 with us to Crete next spring but Garmin's map indicate only coverage in Athens.
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Old Aug 13th, 2007, 09:25 AM
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> SShepard, You said your Garmin 370
> worked amazingly well on your trip
> which included Greece.

BTW, Garmin Website says that Greece is not covered at all, only Athens are. Did you mean there is a map with Greek coverage now ?
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Old Aug 13th, 2007, 10:55 AM
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I think the more I learn, the less I know. I have surfed the web and gone to Fry's Electronics (where I was ignored by the sales people for 20 minutes before I left). It appears that the high-end gps unit from Garmin and Tom Tom come with US Canada and European maps installed along with other features. They range in price from about $350-$700.

Here's what I am trying to figure out. If you buy a unit that has only US maps, can you get European maps and load them on. Where do you get them and how much do they cost? There has been mention of memory size which may affect the answer to my questions. Can you plug in flash or SD cards to boost the memory? Help!
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Old Aug 13th, 2007, 12:58 PM
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igorek: Athens is covered, which I can attest to. We spent 5 days on Corfu, which is not covered. But I was able to find a map set online for free that covered the roads pretty well. This free set didn't come with voice instructions, though. This map set was for all of Greece. Try searching for Free Garmin Maps Greece in Google. You'll find it and others on the Elsinga Family Page.

Aisleseat: You must have missed my post that explains that you can buy a cheaper GPS (a 360 for example) and then load the European maps. But the maps are expensive. ($300)

What I didn't say is that the 370 comes with a SD slot so you can download map sets onto this. It also has around 2gb of internal memory. I don't think all Garmin GPS are created equal in this regard so you need to make sure you check the specs.
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Old Aug 13th, 2007, 01:06 PM
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I think I'll go for Garmin Nuvi 270 - it has Europe preloaded just like 370 and 670, but does not have MP3 and other features I don't need. The only problem - I don's see an AC adapter coming with it, only an auto charger. Is it even possible ?
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Old Aug 13th, 2007, 01:12 PM
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You'll be fine with the 270 and 5 hour battery charge. Once you get in the car and hook it to the mount and plug it in the cigarette adapter, it stays charged all the time. If you want to charge it in the meantime before you go on travel, use the USB port connection on your computer.
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