General Question

tranquilsea's avatar

Looking for GPS and leaning towards Garmin?

Asked by tranquilsea (17756points) May 1st, 2010

We are soon embarking on a trip across Canada and the Northern U.S.A. We are in the market for a gps but after searching and searching I’m going a little cross eyed but I think I have narrowed it down to Garmin over TomTom or Magellan. The models I’m looking at are the Garmin Nuvi 1490T or the Nuvi 1390T. Does anyone have any experience with Garmin and these models? And if so, what are your experiences? And if anyone loves their TomTom or Magellan why?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

12 Answers

El_Cadejo's avatar

I dont have experience with those models, but I have a garmin nuvi 100. I absolutely love it.

I’ve never used a magellan gps, but my girlfriend had a TomTom. We both liked the garmin much better.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

My husband rents a lot of cars when he travels for work, and the one he likes best is the Magellan Roadmate 1212. He does better with few features that work really well, than a lot of bells and whistles. When I gave it to him, he thought it was a dumb gift, but he uses it all the time, and never travels without it. The display is easy to see, and it saves locations. He’s driving by himself, so he needed something that didn’t take a lot of fiddling with.

jerv's avatar

The Garmin is ssslllooowwww to calculate a route or update after a missed turn. By comparison, my Magellan Roadmate often updates by the time I make it through the intersection. If you drive anywhere with traffic, that alone is worth tossing the Garmin in the trash. There are certain roads I avoid because I know things that most GPS units don’t.

TomTom is annoying as hell but Magellan gets it done with no muss, no fuss, and no urge to throw it out the window then drive off the road to crush it wherever it lands. The controls are simpler, things are more self-explanatory, and you don’t have to dig through sub-menus.

iam2smart99037's avatar

I haven’t used either of those specific models, but I do own a couple of older Garmins, and I say Garmin all the way! I just like them, plain and simple.

Supacase's avatar

We have a Garmin and my husband loves it. Not only does it help with getting us to new places, it keeps track of the new fishing spots he finds – if it’s a good one, he saves it. I’m sure all of them can do that, though.

Seriously, my friend’s husband has one, my husband’s friend has one and we have one. All were bought at different times without consulting the others; we all did our own research, all came to the same conclusion and are all happy with our decision.

Rarebear's avatar

I’ve used a Magellin and Garmin. Both seemed fine.

SABOTEUR's avatar

I’ve had 3 TomToms over the years, my latest being the GO 740 LIVE.

I guess which model you select depends upon what you want in a GPS. I like the ability to customize my GPS so I’ve never considered using anything other than TomTom.

UScitizen's avatar

I have a 2009 vintage c5 series Garmin. Nice device, works well. I like it. The down side, Garmin map updates are TOO DAMN EXPENSIVE. I suggest, that which ever device you choose, look to the future. It’s like an inkjet printer. What are the future costs?

SABOTEUR's avatar

After gathering your info online, you might want to “test drive” a few models. Most stores that sell auto GPS usually have a few demo models on display. If you’re still indecisive at the point of purchase, a hands on examination may help you make a decision.

tranquilsea's avatar

The big problem with this search is that there are so many models available. I honestly didn’t think it was going to take this much time researching. The prevailing attitude in the comment sections of product reviews is that Garmin is the way to go. Although you can read other comments on other products that say that TomTom is the way to go. I take comments with a grain of salt as I know company hacks comment to give their company a boost.

We need to get something soon so we can use it for a good portion of time before we actually leave. We really need something that is not going to die on us on the road as we’ll be gone for a month through provinces, states and cities that are wholly unfamiliar to us. Of course we’ll take paper maps as back up, but really, having a gps will be a lot easier.

Thanks to @SABOTEUR for the suggestion of test driving a few models. I hope that some retailer will allow me to do that.

SABOTEUR's avatar

I don’t know what part of the world you live in, @tranquilsea, but perhaps there’s a Best Buy near you. I know for certain they carry a fair selection (Garmin included) and always have a few models activated for demonstration. (Their electronics people are fairly knowledgeable too!)

For the most part, even the most entry level gps will get you from point A to point B without you worrying about it dying on you, regardless of what brand it is. And like you said, what one considers a better buy is largely a matter of personal preference. Heck, my first gps was made by Cobra (the radar people). The graphics sucked but they were the only company (at the time) whose gps included red light/speed camera detection software. That model has been thoroughly panned online, yet it never failed to get me where I needed to go.

I guess my final advice would be to temporarily ignore any particular name brand. Make yourself a list of questions that’ll help you decide what’s best for your particular purposes.

How much are you willing to spend?

What features do you require?

What features can do without?

Is customization important?

Is customer service important?

Add as many (or as few) questions as you can think of. Then select the brand/model that most closely matches your list of requirements.

tranquilsea's avatar

@SABOTEUR That’s a good list. Thank you.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther