Saturday, December 29, 2007

Goodbye TomTom, hello Garmin

I traded up. I bought the Garmin Nuvi 760. Same basic features as the TomTom unit I returned, much higher price. I'll assume for the moment that the extra price translates into better quality and less hassle.

Obviously, the thing I was most interested in was the process by which you get map updates. Garmin doesn't rely on web downloads - they offer their map updates via (shipped) DVD or SD card, the SD card option supposedly being more efficient in that the moment it gets inserted into the device, the new map is available (no PC required). That sounds great to me. I was able to make a complete backup of the contents of my Nuvi without any additional software installed, as the Nuvi is seen by the PC as just another USB drive. Although support wasn't very clear with me whether my backup is of any real use, it's still nice to know that if any files get corrupted on my Nuvi, I have backup copies.

I will give the departed TomTom one kudo - their interface is better than the Nuvi. The Nuvi doesn't show as much on the map screen while you're driving. But it does offer a lot of extra information on a separate screen that the TomTom didn't have. I like the Nuvi mount a bit better too.

[update] Darlene was impressed by the Nuvi's ability to find the nearest Tim Horton's.

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