Pros accurate directions, small size, clear voice prompts
Cons no color or touch screen
Summary I bought a Tomtom Go for my wife last year. It was nearly $700 on sale and has become a invaluable tool for her (and for me on those rare occasions when I get to use it). The i2 was closer to $200 which is why I decided to give it a try. I knew that I was giving up screen size, touch screen, color, and a few features, for a lower price but all I really needed was accurate navigation. The i2 really delivers. I'd recommend it to anyone who just needs nav without the glitz. You don't buy an economy car and then look for the leather seats! If you want nav at the lowest price this is it.
"unacceptable"on by dtt06040
Pros seems simple
Cons doesn't work
Summary Maybe I just got a broken one, but the little scroll wheel is impossible to use, it often gets stuck in the clicked position. Difficult enough to enter addresses sitting at my desk, seems it will be nearly impossible in the car. I had high hopes. But I'm returning it after just a half an hour of fiddling with it. Also, you pretty much have to guess which way to put the batteries in.Updated
The first unit I received was flawed. The wheel didn't function. The replacement unit is pretty much what I expected, and I am pleased.Updated
After about 3 weeks of use I am absolutely thrilled, in love with this thing. I flew into Buffalo today, stouck this on the dah of the rental car, found my mother-in-law's house, then searched for near-by grocery stores so I could bring her a little something, then did a text search for starbucks and found two nearby. The amount of confidence this gives me, driving in a strange town, is worth 5 times what I paid for this thing. I show this little unit to all my friends, and they are impressed. For under $200 from Wallmart, it is just amazing. I just wish there was some way to change the original rating I gave it, because that unit was clearly non-functional.
Pros Great performance at a great price / picks up sat signal quick / performed as well, if not better, than the more expensive Magellan
Cons Screen is a bit too small / Entering data with the wheel is a bit more cumbersome than a touch screen
Summary Overall I'm very pleased with this purchase. I had been using a Magellan Roadmate 760 purchased by my employer, and really liked it. However, I'm changing jobs and moving to a new city, and the new boss won't be providing me a GPS, so I went in search of one to purchase myself.
I decided to try the Garmin i2 solely based on price, thinking I would be making a huge sacrifice. However, I found it to be a couple of small sacrifices, to save a great deal of money. For me the monochrome is not a big deal, the maps are easily readable in that format, and color would not be a big enough advantage to justify an added $100 in price.
Set up was a bit more involved than the RM 760, but not a big deal. I updated the system and mapping software, and that was easy too. The .pdf user’s manual could use a little more detailed explanations of some features, but it definitely provides all the necessary info to set up and use the device.
Unlike the RM 760 you can’t load the whole nation with the included memory card. However I was able to load 8 states worth of data on the 128MB flash card, with room to spare. I have seen 512MB microSD cards advertised for approx $45, so expanding the memory would be cheap, but I don't know if it's necessary, especially if you travel with a laptop.
The only thing that is really a problem is the screen size. A slightly larger screen would make it easier to read the display when driving. However, that is a compromise I decided to live with based on price.
Entering data with the scroll wheel is a bit more cumbersome than the touch screen on the Magellan RM 760, but after a few days I got quicker, and the price increase to get the touch screen on other models is not justified by the minute advantage in data entry.
If you plan on using batteries, rather than the car power adapter make sure you carry spares. I tried it on batteries, and it goes through them quickly.
THE KEY THING THOUGH IS THE PERFORMANCE: The Garmin locates satellites and starts working, in areas of my current city, that the RM 760 was lost. When both are working the Garmin i2 worked just as well, and in a few spots better, than the RM 760.
At a fraction of the cost this is a great unit, if you are willing to put up with the small screen. My girlfriend will be moving too, and I'm going to get her a Garmin i3 for her birthday, since she's worried about getting around in a new city. I would have gotten the i2 also, but the color screen would be a big deal for her.
Pros Small, easy to read screen, intuitive menu system, pretty accurate
Cons Searching for locations can take a long time (sometimes)
Summary I've only had 1 or 2 days with this unit, but it does everything it was intended for.
1. It's small. Sometimes that's a bad thing, here it's not. One can see, read, and hear everything that's necessary for a GPS unit...Oh, and don't believe the reviews that say you can't zoom in or out on a map...when you're navigating, think about another use of the scroll wheel...
2. Intuitive menu. My wife who is technologically challenged was proficiently entering information in this thing in under 10 minutes. 'Nuff said. The scroll and click wheel is a little cumbersome at first, but it is really quick to get used to.
3. It's pretty accurate. There are settings to choose Fastest or Shortest route, and to set various avoidances (toll roads, highways, u-turns, etc.) The only 'problem' is that if it picks a route for you, it's really, really adamant about trying to 'correct' you back to that route if you deviate from it. My advice...ignore your device if you have a different route you'd like to take, eventually it will calculate a new route more or less along the roads you want to travel. Or set up your destination as a Favorite, stop navigation on the first route, start driving on your new route, select your destination from the Where To? menu, and start navigating again. The device does a darn good job of calculating that new route.
4. Black and white screen. Some of you may see this as a problem. You're probably the same folks who think their local news is soooo much better now that it's being broadcast in high-def. Let's face it, it's the same news with a prettier face. Color screens are the same as it relates to GPS navigation. You'll get there in B&W just as easily as you will in Color.
My only problem with the system so far is the horribly slow search results when you try to search for a location. If you want to find an Attraction, let's say, and then you try to use the <Spell> feature instead of scrolling through the list to find Mount Vernon, if you start to spell 'Mount', the i2 will try to find every listing for your loaded map regions (and I have most of the Mid-Atlantic states loaded), and it will match on things like Magic MOUNTain (example, I know there isn't one in NoVA) as well as MOUNT Vernon. And it can sometimes take forever. I'd implore Garmin to look at updating that in their next firmware update (most current is 3.1, available for download on their website. Use the Garmin Webdownloader with your device connected to the computer and it's a breeze...although you will have to reload your maps)
All in all, this is a device specifically designed for the person who doesn't want to plot a 10-waypoint journey across country, do any geocaching, look for the best air route across the arctic circle or try to find the lost treasure of the Incas. It will get you from point A to point B with a great deal of accuracy.
By the way, take the time to read the oh so short 35 page detailed manual that comes on the DVD (another note...the software requires a DVD drive, not a CD-ROM drive. If you don't have one, you will have to invest in one). There are all kinds of little gems that you can find there that some reviewers on other pages thought were unavailable functions (like the Avoidances and the capability to Zoom in/Zoom out on maps). It takes about 15 minutes to read, but it will help you tweak your i2 so much!
Pros Easy to use. Accurate. Useful features. Keeps you on track.
Cons Cord hangs down from windshield if used on windshield
Summary I have always been one of those kinds of guys who could find anything with a map - or so I thought. Now, it's a wonder why I ever held out so long. At $250 on Amazon with no tax and free shipping - it was a no-brainer. This unit is incredible. The "home" function is particularly useful. Also, when looking for restaurants or other businesses, a proximity calculator helps you find what you want and also gives you phone numbers. The unit can also double as a phone book - quite handy for example when you want to order pizza delivery ahead of time so it's at your destination when you arrive. I've named my "Annie" for some reason already.
One thought for a future modification that users might like: It's too bad you can't choose from a menu of male or female voices, in varying levels of attitudes (direct, assertive, passive, or sultry, etc). Sometimes during a long trip, you might like to vary the voice you hear. They could add that option easily on the cd that is used to load the maps. My two cents for what it's worth!