GPS – Garmin Nuvi 250


I have been meaning to write about the Global Positioning System, otherwise known as GPS, that “Santa gave us” this past Christmas.

A GPS is a portable travelling device for your vehicle, while on foot, or even during your bike ride in the trails. It is compact enough to fit in your hand. The GPS communicates with satellites and guides you to your location. Whether it’s local or global, it can get you there, as long as you have the required model. Basically, it’s like having Mapquest available to you at all times without having to print out your directions, plus more!

My husband had always wanted one, and with me not being very familiar with these gadgets, I thought it as “Just boys and their toys”. After doing much research, we decided on purchasing a Garmin Nuvi 250 over the TomTom One. Just a quick comparison, TomTom One did not seem too user friendly, in addition, it had too much on the screen. In some cases it can get confusing while driving when you have too much to look at. Where as the Garmin is nice and simple, first point of screen tells you what you want to know and if you would like to know about additional information such as: your speed, distance, etc, then a simple touch screen button can take you there. Also, TomTom uses TeleAtlas maps that are intended for European navigating. Garmin, in my opinion, is more users friendly over the TomTom, and it uses Navteq mapping, intended more for North America.

The Nuvi 250 is one of the lower models and it doesn’t have all the bells and whistles. It does your basic navigating and just a little bit more. We got ours for roughly $330.00 (in 2007); this includes taxes and a two-year warranty. Included in the box along with the device are the instructions, car charger, and a mount for attaching it to your dashboard or front window shield while driving. The Nuvi is also ready to use straight from the box as is. No pre-charging needed, just plug the charger into the lighter outlet and you’re set. We also purchased a simple case for $29.99 to protect the screen, since it is touch sensitive. This can be found at Best Buy. It’s a good idea to maintain your device if you plan to invest a few hundred dollars.

Surprisingly, I too use it, probably more often than he does! The Garmin Nuvi 250 is great to use locally, for long driving trips, and any other types of travelling. You have the option of setting the mapping to automobile, bike, or on foot. Using this GPS saves so much more time because you don’t have to worry about getting lost. It calculates the amount of time it will take to get you to your destination. If you bump into any traffic it re-calculates your estimated arrival time. Even if you miss your turn, it will automatically re-calculate your trip and provide you with a detour. This particular model tells you how long you have until you make your next turn and which side your destination will be, whether it’s left or right. For example, it will say, “turn right in 300 meters”, “arriving at destination on right, in 100 meters”, and on top of the screen itself, it will let you know what the name of the street is. You can also change the voice of the commentator from an American to British accent. We have ours as British to add some spunk! Higher models will actually say the street name as opposed to just saying the distance. We didn’t find this to useful for us; we thought we could take a quick look at the screen if we need to know what the street name is. For an extra hundred dollars it wasn’t worth the spend.

If you have the extra two to three hundred bucks to spend, you can expect additional features like MP3, Blue Tooth Technology, added memory, and traffic updates. Keeping in mind, that a GPS is intended to guide you with your travels, not music. A security feature that I found quite interesting was, when an access code is applied, the device will ask you to hold up the GPS outside in order for it to search the satellites and this becomes your security identity location. In other words, if you are at a restaurant and so happen to forget your access code or you end up blocking it, you must go to your security location and it will unlock it for you there. If you had been at a friends’ house when you applied this code that would have been your security location. The only downside to this is, having to drive out of the way to unlock it. Then again, no one else would be able to use your GPS if it becomes lost or stolen, unless they know your security location.

Garmin provides you with thousands of points of interests (POS). This is my favourite part of the GPS. All you need to do is enter what you are searching for and it gives you a list of items. In my case, I love to enter “shopping” and it shows me a list of merchants that are nearby. This is particularly great when we’re out of town and I’m not too familiar with the area. Along with shopping centres, are restaurants and foods; there are hundreds of options to choose from! There are plenty more of POS, these are just the ones that I use a lot. For those who need it, the Nuvi 250 can also store pre-set routes. When you have a certain route everyday, just select your favourite route and you’re on your way! Other features consist of an SD card slot for downloading additional maps from the Internet or for viewing a slideshow of pictures. Personally, I don’t understand why they would have a feature to view pictures but it’s there.

The only negative thing that I can think of, in my case anyway, is that I rely too much on the GPS that I don’t get to know the streets and figure it out for myself. So, when there comes a time that I won’t have my navigator on hand, I’ll be completely lost! Otherwise, I’m so glad my husband wanted one, because I benefit from it too! Of course, this is just my opinion; you’ll have to try it out for yourselves.

I would recommend the Garmin Navigator to anyone who is interested in purchasing a GPS.

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