Saturday, June 16, 2007

Magellan RoadMate 3050T Vs. Garmin nüvi 350

Over the last several months Em and I have had two different vehicle navigation systems while looking at houses in Maryland. We started out with the Magellan RoadMate 3050 from Costco and nicknamed Dolly by Carol, after her aunt. Dolly had a nice big screen and auto dimmed at night. She was usually quite accurate about when to turn and where to stop. Her best feature was her voice, she is very very easy to understand and usually gets pronunciations correctly. Dolly's biggest problems were all the buttons around the outside edge of the case. Any time you try to pick her up or pull her off the windshield some random button gets pushed, putting her in some random screen that you would then have to get out of. The only other major problem with Dolly is that she had a problem with locking up while being used (she ran windows). At times this would leave you driving several miles past a turn before realizing she locked up and then having to reboot her and wait for her to recalculate. We had two units and had taken the first one back because it locked up too often but found the second one had the same problem. Eventually we took Dolly back for a refund (isn't Costco wonderful!).

For our next trip we bought the Garmin nüvi 350, initially called nüvi but eventually renamed to Dolly. This Dolly is much smaller so she doesn't block as much of the view out the front window, doesn't crash, and has a touch screen so there are no side buttons to accidentally bump, and has most of the features of the old Dolly. Yay! The only big problem with this new Dolly is that she doesn't say the name of the street that you are going to turn on so you end up having to look at the screen for clarification while driving.

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