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Garmin 760 First impressions

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PostPosted: Tue May 06, 2008 11:38 pm    Post subject: Garmin 760 First impressions Reply with quote

Iíve had my Garmin 760 for a week now so thought Iíd put down my first impressions. After a long, interestingly debated thread comparing the 760 to the TT720 I decided to go for the Garmin largely because of comments from a number of people to go with the make I was used to ( I have an i3). At some stage I hope to compare the unit to the TT but as yet my only other experience of SatNav is the i3.

Getting it out of the box my immediate thought was that it is a very smart machine. I remember a comment about the wires being obtrusive in the car. I think that comment was made about an early version of the unit and donít know if improvements have been made but it doesnít seem any worse than the i3 and I would have thought any unit using a lead to the cigarette lighter. The ďTrafficĒ lead could perhaps be considered a pain but certainly around where I live it doesnít even need to be attached to the window for it to work!

When I connected it up it locked onto the satellites almost instantaneously and has continued to do so even if I have moved several miles from where it was last turned on. I had read that it took a long time to connect. That isnít the case in my experience however, I have not yet gone more than about 20 miles from a previous location.

Programming routes is simplicity itself. The ability to add multiple waypoints is very useful. A thing which I have been interested in is the ability to programme in a route you have devised on Google Maps. I have not yet worked out how to do this but have been delighted to discover that you can add waypoints by touching the screen. I donít think this was mentioned in the comparison thread. Being able to put in points by touching the screen is a great facility. (Iím not saying you canít do it on TT as I donít know. Just saying itís a great feature.)

One thing I am not sure about is the relative merits of the written text on the Garmin as opposed to the symbol on TT. I donít have a problem with the text, in fact I rather like it and you have the option to touch the bottom right of the screen for a preview of upcoming turns or touch the text bar and you get completely written directions, touch the directions and you get a map of the next turn plus written directions. The map seems to go far enough ahead to show roundabouts well in advance even without these options so I havenít yet found a problem.

Connecting up my phone, Nokia N73, was straight forward although it took me a while to work out how to transfer my address book. I had to go to the Garmin website and even then it seemed to take a few goes but I think that is more to do with my technological ineptitude than anything else. Having sorted it out it works very well.

The pois are good. Iím not as impressed as I expected to be from what Iíve read but the thing that really blew me away was being able to find my local Indian Restaurant and touch the screen to ring it and order a takeaway on my way home! That has to be a mega feature and Iíd buy it just for that!

The media player seems pretty good. Having worked out how to change itunes setting to MP3 transferring music is simple. I was at first disappointed with the quality of the FM reception for playing music though it was fine for voice directions. I am changing my mind a bit on this. Most of the time it is adequate where I live. There is not too much interference except in a few isolated spots. I think on a longer journey it may be annoying and will consider getting a radio with an aux input to connect it.

Routing has so far been fine and the Traffic facility appears to work well. I donít know how reliable it is on a long journey but today I put in a route when I was very close to the A1 and could see traffic moving at a very slow speed. It did alert me to this delay.

So far so good. It is not all a bed of roses however. A criticism that came up on the discussion referred to the lag on the map. On the 3D map there is certainly a significant delay. At first I thought it shouldnít be a major problem unless you were driving well beyond the speed limit! However, it has confused me on at least one occasion so far. The problem only seems to affect the 3D map as I donít notice it on Track Up. I am using the unit on Track Up now which I find fine but it is a great shame that the delay is so great on 3D. I feel it is worse than the i3. If youíre happy to use Track Up it isnít an issue.

The worst thing though is the voice. I had read about it being reminiscent of Stephen Hawking. Well mine is reminiscent of Stephen Hawking with a stutter! Donít know if this is a particular fault with my unit. At the end of the day you donít miss any directions because of it but it is annoying particularly as last week I connected my i3 to the computer and discovered an update for the voice and the i3 voice is infinitely better that the 760. Hopefully there will be a patch to improve this in the very near future! I also agree to an extent with comments that the volume is too soft. I have the unit on full volume and itís ok but not more. Again the i3 is much better in this respect. Of course you can put it through your stereo and then there is no problem. I havenít tried it yet but maybe the voice will sound better with the unit volume turned down and the stereo up.

All in all I am very pleased with it. It is revolutionary compared to the i3 and I would recommend it to anyone with the above provisos. I feel confident that if the i3 voice can be improved with an update so can the 760 but not sure if they can do the same about the delay.


As a brief update. I thought I was going to have to send this unit back because the stuttering voice was getting beyond a joke, then my 4 gig sd card arrived. I deleted the cd I had loaded onto the internal memory and started loading them onto the sd card. That seems to have solved the stuttering. Still the voice needs improvement and is not as good as the i3 voice but it's much better.

I have loaded cds at 160kbps as suggested elsewhere on the site and have so far put 34 cds on and have used just over half the capacity. That is much better than I expected. The FM link is actually much better than I first thought and has been perfectly adequate though I still haven't tried iton a long trip yet.
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