Pros Excellent Interface, Superb Screen, Fast GPS Lock, Fast Rerouting, Text-to Speech, MSN Movietimes, Bluetooth
Cons Inaccurate Maps, Occasionally strange routing, No custom routes, Inaccurate Gas & Traffic Info, Low Volume for Bluetooth
Summary I recently took the plunge and decided to upgrade from my 1-year-old Navman because I wanted something with Text-to-Speech, Bluetooth, and most importantly more accurate up-to-date maps of the S.F. Bay Area.
With that in mind, I was willing to also jump from the $300 GPS market to the $500+ range for my desired additional features. After a lot of research both in-store and online, I finally narrowed it down between the Garmin Nuvi and the new Garmin c580. In the end, having access to the MSN Movietimes was what pushed me to go with the c580.
I've now used it for about 100 miles of driving around the S.F. Bay Area. Here's my laundry list review:
-Excellent User Interface. Much better than other models that I have used and owned previously.
-Screen is very detailed, crisp and completely readable even in bright sunlight.
-GPS Satellite lock took a few minutes on first use but has been almost immediate since then.
-If you take a wrong turn, rerouting takes only about 1-2 seconds.
-Aside from some bizarre pronunciation, Text-to-Speech feature is excellent.
-MSN Movietimes required me to activate online first. You do get 1-year free to start with. Once activated, the built-in receiver in the charger started downloading MSN content and within 10 minutes I had every showtime listing for every theater in the S.F. Bay Area...Very cool feature! Since I see a lot of movies, this is probably my favorite feature.
-MSN content also includes accurate weather info for multi-cities in your area.
-Bluetooth pairing to my Cingular 8125 Pocket PC took a couple tries but finally got it to work. Since then, bluetooth phone calls have worked well aside from some volume issues which I will mention below.
-Since this first & foremost is a GPS and the primary purpose is to give accurate directions...I was very disappointed that the maps on this 2007 Garmin is still out-of-date! Just like my old Navman, the c580 did not even have the newer freeway entrances on the system. In S.F. for example, it still did not have the Octavius freeway entrance to the Bay Bridge/US 101 in its map database. The entrance has been there for over a year!...Get with the program Garmin. I really hope Garmin will provide some sort of free map update very soon.
-The GPS routing software also tends to choose some strange roundabout ways to get to your destination. On top of that, you cannot create custom, more direct routes for the c580 to learn.
-The MSN Movietimes are very cool...but the MSN Gas & Traffic both need work. In S.F. and the Peninsula Bay Area, the c580 provided me with inaccurate gas prices and inaccurate traffic info. The unit has warned me several times of upcoming traffic delays that never seemed to materialize when I was supposed to encounter them.
-Bluetooth conversations have also been plagued by the speaker volume being too low even at the MAX setting. My callers have also complained of a lot of background noise on their end of the conversation. I have a sports car & a SUV and this has been a problem in both cars. So unless you drive a super quiet car, this likely will be an issue.
Well, hope this review is helpful. Overall, I would still say this is a very big upgrade over my last GPS. I personally find the MSN Movietimes & Theater directions to be my personal favorite feature. Considering all the mentioned flaws, I am not sure this balances the $500+ price tag...Guess you have to be the final judge on that.
Pros Good Navigation
Cons MSN Connection is spotty; Machine is bulky
Summary We bought the Garmin 580c after borrowing a friend's Garmin Nuvi. While we love the navigation, the 580c is not worth the extra money.
First, the device has the same navigation as the other Garmin. The step-by-step navigation information is very helpful.
The 580c is not worth the extra $150. First, the device is bulky--nearly twice as big as the Nuvi. This alone makes the 580c not worth it.
We also activated the MSN service and found it to be not very practical. We used the device on multiple occasions in Seattle and Washington DC. We never got useful information -- once, it told us there was heavy traffic -- after we were sitting in traffic for 20 minutes. The traffic receiver failed to tell us about major construction in several instances.
The other features -- gasoline prices -- only provides information about SOME gas stations in the area. The movie ticket information is frankly not that big of a deal.
Most importantly to get the MSN service to work, you must plug the Garmin into the cigarette lighter of your car.
All in all, not worth the extra money. Buy the Garmin 350 or 360. (The 360 is a 350 with Bluetooth.)
Pros Loads of features, easy to use
Cons Pricey, limited MSN Direct functions
Summary The Garmin Streetpilot c580 is for the GPS navigation fan who wants it all. You get easy-to-use navigation, built-in Bluetooth, traffic alerts and MSN Direct displayed on your screen.
I previously owned a c530 with just the basic GPS features so I was really impressed that I could add these features for about the same price I paid for the c530 just 9 months ago! The StreetPilot 500 series have a brighter screen and faster connectivity to the satellite than previous models.
The Bluetooth is a safety feature if you own a Bluetooth cell phone. This enables you to talk hands-free while you're driving.
The MSN Direct is cool, but limited to only 4 functions: weather, gas prices, movie times and traffic alerts. A minor complaint is that the gas prices have a one or 2-day delay and are not necessarily current. This is OK if you are driving through an unfamiliar area and want to know approximate gas prices. Don't expect current prices for most stations!
The MSN Direct service is free for the first year and $50 for each additional or $130 lifetime. You may receive a prorated refund of the lifetime fee if you cancel before the first 3 years. MSN Direct offers a special $9.95 deal for 6 months after your free period, so owning the c580 will give you your first 18-months for only $9.95. If you go for the lifetime deal, the price is not transferable to another GPS should it become defective or if you upgrade to a newer model.
The StreetPilot c530 is $200 less than the c580. Whether you need all the bells and whistles for $200 is a decision only you can make.
Pros almost everything you want for an automotive gps receiver
Cons Bulky, small screen, msn direct signal requires power cable
Summary Just ordered one after numerous research and compare of garmin and tomtom’s gps line. this is one of only a few that supports MSN Direct service, which gives very usual information on weather, gas price, movie times and traffic updates for great price (first year free, then $40 per year). The nuvi 360 offers similar option in a smaller package but without MSN Direct service. The nuvi 350 offers same function as 360 but without bluetooth. They are all similar but Nuvi series can be carried with you easily. If you are thinking about a product that you could carry around with you when u get off the car, nuvi might be good for you. If you need a dedicated in-car navagation system that offers almost anything you can think of for a gps, c580 should be your top choice. You can get it for less than $430 at a lot of places, just hunt around! Of course if price is not a concern, nuvi 660 (fm traffic about $550) and nuvi 680(MSN Direct about $600) will be your best fit.
I upgraded from garmin streetpilot c320 and the c320 is already a decent gps system, without all the fancy bells and whistles, and it does great job and takes me cross country without any problem. I’m certain that the c580 will exceed my old c320 in every way.
The Tomtom 720 go seems a great choice at first glance but look closely you’ll find the US version of 720 go does not even have voice recognition the European models had, which is a great disappointment. POI of tomtom for US is not quite up-to-date as garmin as well.Updated
I love this GPS, it's got all the necessary functions for me to travel town to town without any trouble.
The plus side: bluetooth integrated, mp3 player, SD card support, nice anti-reflective LCD screen. Grabs satellite quite quick and even in downtown areas.
little annoyances includes the navagation program seems to like to stick to the road, when you go off road, it takes a while for it to figure out that you are actually driving off road. Route calculation is actually a bit slower than the old C320 that I also owned. Accuracy is lower than C320 and map rendering is slower as well.
"A great GPS with awesome features! Invaluable live traffic, weather and gas prices from MSN Direct."on by robinson7220
Pros Live traffic, weather, gas prices. User-friendly GUI. Quick and accurate route calculation.
Cons MSN Direct information can take a while to update; need stylus for "fat fingers"; no AC adapter included
Summary This is an excellent GPS! Fast route calculation, clear and loud voice navigation, Bluetooth speakerphone. The small speaker makes the MP3 feature worthless unless using an audio cable to connect to your car's stereo. It's extremely easy to upload custom POIs. Battery life could be a bit longer, but I can't complain (its never died on me.) I would highly recommend this GPS... it is not lacking a single feature that I can think of!