Pros Well made, easy to use, easy interface, great price
Cons Some map clitches, solved with download
Summary If you're looking for an inexpensive, easy to set up, easy to use GPS for the car. BUY the Garmin c320 or c330. I've owned and used both the Garmin c320 and the Navman. While the Garmin unit was more expensive (about $650 at Walmart.com) I found it later on sale at costco.com for only $450 total. I first saw the Navman unit at Fry's electronics, the price is what made it most appealing. Once I purchased the Navman my opinion quickly changed. Out of the box, the unit is simple to assemble and mount, HOWEVER loading the software is complicated, you can only load a few maps so an upgrade from the 128mb SD card is needed. The other issue is that since this is a PDA based unit (looks like a PDA, acts like a PDA) most input must be done by the included stylus. You can imagine trying to do this while the car is moving little alone driving. The Garmin on the other hand has a firm mount, large, simple to understand buttons (on it's touch screen). Although not recommended it's fairly simple to use even while driving. The Navman requires you to OPEN a file like on a computer, load it, then access it, the whole interface is far too complicated. The one negative with the Garmin was the maps, while super easy to load and figure out, some places don't appear that you know are there. For example a store or street. I think this will be solved with map upgrades that you can download today at garmin.com. My wife also complained that it took her routes that she did not want to go. I think this is also something that can be solved.
I returned my Navman which costco.com has on sale for $375 and again purchased the Garmin c320. At $450 it's worth it, normally I lug around my laptop with a plug in GPS sensor. I love the big screen however the small Garmin is great to find restaurants, hotels, postoffices etc. It even finds walmarts and targets while you travel as well as gas stations and campgrounds. A child can figure out the interface and get it working. You only need plug in a USB computer to the unit to upload the needed maps, usually 1 to 2 states will fit on the 128mb scandisk SD card. If you don't want to ever mess with a computer buy the c330, it has all the maps preloaded. ready to run
"It gets me there!"on by brianb131
Pros Small size, fast calculations
Cons Charging cord does not remove from cradle.
Summary I chose the C320 over the C330 because of the lower price. I did not need the hard drive with the entire US map preloaded. The 128mb Flash memory card that came with the unit held the 5 states that I drive to the most. I have read that you can load 20-30 stated in the 1G card. If you have never had a mapping unit, this unit is cross between a GPS cordinate system with Mapquest built in. It knows where you are. It calculates how to get where you are going. It keeps your progress updated, including a good estimate of time of arrival.
The Maps are current.With the exception of roads that I know were built within the last few months, the Garmin maps have been very precise and reliable. The Garmin literally finds the shortest distance between 2 points. The unit came with a USB cable, so as new maps become available, you can just download them. Garmin will give you free maps thru the date you purchase your unit. As the annual update comes out, they charge $75 to get a current download. The voice is clear, with an adjustable volume. If you take a detour, the voice will say "off route", than recalculate a new route. I would recommend to anyone.
Pros Excellent audio clarity and volume control for turn by turn navigation. Menu's are super easy, quick and very intuitive. Built in battery life is excellent and makes trip planning indoors a snap.
Cons Screen brightness and glare
Summary The Garmin C320 is probably the best buy out there in a portable car navigation unit. The unit acquires GPS signals quickly and is ready to go within seconds of powering on. The on screen menus are well organized and easy to use. The unit responds very intuitively to user inputs which greatly cuts down on the amount of actual data entry required by the user to type in address lookups, etc... My only complaint about this unit was that it did not show city names in View Map mode. I contacted Garmin via email to inquire about this omission. I was very surprised at Garmin's quick response which included not only an email, but a telephone call to me from a very knowledgeable tech. He explained to me that this problem had been corrected in the latest firmware, and that even though I had installed this firmware, I needed to do a master reset on the unit to fully implement it. Sure enough upon doing so I had city names displayed in View Map mode. This level of support and responsiveness is rare these days and deserves a lot of kudos. So buy this unit, download the latest firmware, and do a master reset (you can google "master reset Garmin C320"). I also put Fellows screen protector film on my screen and this helped reduce screen glare and protects the screen from scratches.
Pros Screen is clear and easy to use.
Cons navigation can be misleading and dagerous
Summary I like Garmin products, I have owned the StreetPilot III, the 2610, the C320 and C330. The C3XX (c330 and C320) have some major issues which I hope they will fix soon.
Garmin usually is very responsive and does provide updates. The limitation is in looking up addresses, if you do not know the city the Garmin has listed for an address you can not find it. For example, someone may tell you the street you are looking for is in any town, Pennsylvania. The C3XX may know the address as my town Pennsylvania an d you will never find the address unless you enter mytown in the city search. The Garmin allows you to look up an address by all cities but I have found more than not the C3XX will not return the street you are looking for unless you enter mytown. The 2610 and StreetPilot III in addition to the TOMTOM 700 allow you to filter based on Zip code which will return the correct address.
The other problem with the Garmin is with the navigation display. I use the visual indicators to guide me on my turns. While using these indicators I will position myself for a turn only to have the display change as I begin the turn and I am forced to pull back into traffic. I have never had this problem with the StreetPilot III, I hope Garmin can fix this problem soon because I think it could cause a serious accident.
The speakers on the C3XX are load and clear and the unit is small and lightweight so traveling with it is easy. Even if you choose the 320 model the maps load easily onto the SD card, you can purchase a large card and load the entire country a nice change from the proprietary memory cards Garmin used to use.
Over all I prefer this GPS over the other units I have tried so far, If TomTom cleans up some of the limitations they have before Garmin makes their needed changes I may switch units and recommend the TOMTOM 700 over the Garmin C3XX. One other downside to the Garmin series is the update maps are much more expensive than Magellan and TOMTOM.
Pros cheap and reliable. very easy to operate. i chose the 320 over 330 because i have 2 units. therfore i only have to buy 1update to cover both units.
Cons very few times in chicago between tall buildings the signal would get lost. i think this is common to most gps devices.
Summary i liked it so much , i bought a second unit.
garmin allows to update to the latest version if you buy the product after version release date. v7 came out just this summer. i think they release a new version every 2 years.
i prefer this over the i series because of the touch screen.
c320 + 2gb sd card is cheaper than the 330. i like the reliablity of flash drives more than hard drives.