Friday, November 7, 2008

GPS: Garmin Nuvi 260

I bought this as a birthday gift for my son. This is the first time I have hands-on experience with a GPS and I am very impressed with the design of it. The overall design is very well thought out:

1. Size and weight: it is about 2/3 the size of a PDA, as light as a calculator, and does not have any protruding antenna. It does not require a special charger; it just uses a USB port which is almost ubiquitous nowadays.

2. Performance: The touch screen is very responsive. The screen is bright enough to use in bright daylight. Screen resolution is clear and appears more pleasing than other brands in similar price range. The in-built speaker is loud and clear and the volume can be easily accessed on the touchscreen menu. The soft buttons respond well and the pages open up quickly. The battery is specified to last 5 hrs, which is exceptionally high among its peers.

3. Features: The touch "buttons" are very simple to navigate. On the home screen, you just choose if you want to go somewhere, or simply look at the map to see where you are. No need to sweat over an array of choices. This model is a dedicated tool for GPS purposes and is not integrated with a camera, music player, etc., which is the way I like. You can set it to automobile, bicycle, or pedestrian mode, depending on how you move about. I took it to Jell's Park for a walk and it worked just fine, showing you all the trails in the park. When I drove home, I placed it backwards on the passenger seat and it calls out the directions with no problem (not that I expected any). Best of all, I like the fact that it calls out street names. Finally it has a picture viewer; not a fancy one, but it is good to have. I can imagine how useful it would be when going on a trip. It would be useful as a do-all note keeper: say a picture of your packing list, picture of someone you are supposed to pick up at the airport, a place you are supposed to look for, etc, etc.

This is a great gadget to have. It is not a "must-have" item, but it is great to have it around. At $242, I think it is at a decent price point where it will find its way into many pockets, homes and hearts.

1 comment:

Vincent Chin said...

Sounds good. Time to upgrade my Tom-Tom, it's been pointing me to the wrong direction recently.