Okay, last month I obtained my driving license, more than half a decade after I was eligible to do so. The main reason for the delay is that I am usually clueless about how to get to various destinations (which would be especially embarrassing when friends ask for a ride back and I cannot even figure out the route to their home using a map).
Lucky for me, GPS technology is available. Before going to a nearby tech store today, I did some online research which indicated that among others, Garmin was a reputable brand for GPS intended for automobile use. At the store, the sales staff member confirmed my research (other brands available were Holux, Shinco and Tibo). A few models were available:
Garmin nüvi 205 (189 SGD; 136 USD)
Garmin nüvi 255W (319 SGD; 229 USD)
Garmin nüvi 500 (489 SGD; 352 USD)
Garmin nüvi 1460 (489 SGD; 352 USD)
Now, have you used a GPS from Garmin's nüvi range? If so, how did you find it? Easy to use in practice? Is the pricing reasonable?
In terms of basic features, I am looking for something easy to use, and which reads out both the directions and the street names; I think street names would be useful since some turns here in Singapore could be potentially so close that just having directions could be confusing. This would rule out the nüvi 205.
I understand that the GPS, when mounted in the car, would make use of the car battery, so battery life is not actually a factor? On the other hand, these models appear to be quite portable, so in theory I could go walking around with them, upon which battery life would matter.
The other features that stand out for me are:
Routes: 500, 1460
Lane assist: 255W, 1460
Qwerty or ABC keyboard: 255W, 1460
I suspect that the "rugged" features of the 500 will be wasted on me, in which case it looks like I should choose between 255W and 1460. Do the extra features of the 1460 sound like they are worth the price difference? I wonder how useful will being able to plan up to 10 routes (and have them automatically sorted for the shortest net route) be in practice, and if the ecoRoute fuel saving route selection feature actually works given that none of these models have access to traffic data.
Any other comments/suggestions?