Garmin – Who are they?
Garmin is the largest consumer GPS manufacturer and has become almost synonymous with “GPS”. Garmin was started in 1989 and has a history of producing leading GPS products and they have sold millions of GPS receivers. The have a nice line of Automotive GPS units.
Garmin StreetPilot c340 –
The Garmin StreetPilot c340 is in the middle of the “c” series. The big advantage it has over the c330 is text to speech. This means that instead of the voice prompts saying things like “turn left in 100 meters” it will say “turn left on Main Steet”. This can really be an asset when driving city streets and you don’t want to look over at the GPS screen to confirm which turn to take.
Additionally, the c340 can be upgraded with an optional FM TMC traffic receiver. This means that live traffic information can be sent to your StreetPilot to alert you of accidents, construction, or simply rush hour traffic. When applicable the c340 could then route you around that traffic if a faster route can be established.
If you want to save a little bit of cash, you can opt for the c330 if you don’t mind not having text-to-speech nor want the optional traffic receiver. Otherwise, this is a good pick for the feature mix and price point.
Garmin Nuvi 250 –
Garmin has announced the Nuvi 250 which is in the middle of the entry level Nuvi 200 series. The Nuvi 250 is designed to be an extremely simple device, without many of the advanced options many people never use. I often get feedback from readers that a particular device would be a good match for them, but the price was a little high and they felt like they were paying for features they really didn’t need. The Garmin Nuvi 250 might be a perfect fit for them.
One of the changes for the Nuvi 200 series is that the flip-up antenna is apparently gone, replaced by an internal antenna. I’ve never been a fan for the flip-up antenna design so this is a welcome change.
Many of the PDA features in the rest of the Nuvi lineup have remained in the Nuvi 250 such as the world clock, calculator, unit converter, and the picture viewer. You can also load up Garmin’s additional paid content such as the Savers Guide and Travel Guide products.
The Garmin Nuvi 250 comes with a 3.5″ display, which is the standard among the entry level GPS devices, but still provides enough of a screen to ensure ease of navigation. There is an SD card slot for loading additional products and maps.
So, no Bluetooth, no traffic, no MP3 player, no FM transmitter, no widescreen display. However most people can probably get by just fine without those features. However there is something else that you might just want that is missing, text-to-speech. You will need to move up to the 300 or 600 series Nuvi to get that feature. If Garmin had included text-to-speech with the 250, this device would be untouchable in the entry level category, but it would have also likely cannibalized sales for the still popular 300 series. And most people will get by just fine without text-to-speech.