"Geat feature set"on by klrja
Pros loud voice, good routing, intuitive, qwerty keyboard, fast lock on, TTS, great price
Cons Limited POI database
Summary This unit is a great buy. I really wonder how many folks use bluetooth, MP3 player, etc; I wouldn't. The biggest selling point for me was low price, readable screen, and TTS. The routing is good so you don't have to spend a lot of time looking at the screen. I very much like the qwerty keyboard, and the search results are nicely filtered as more letters are entered; enter th, and a whole lot of non sensical letters are greyed out. This makes entering addresses very easy. It's also very easy to avoid roads through preset conditions, or on the fly. The smart zoom is nice, and minimal interaction is necessary when navigating. The POI database is somewhat limited, but they tried to keep things to the groups that you'd really need in a pinch. For example, Starbucks is not there, but how many times do you really need a gps to find a Starbucks? There's an SD slot, and GPSPassion has lots of free POI databases available for download. For 199 bucks, I cannot imagine a better buy. I played with the garmin 660, and the range of customization available on the 230 is incredible. I've read reports where others thought the user manual was too big, but it takes 92 pages to adequately describe how this thing works. The directions (not available online in the US; try a foreign site to see what you'd be getting) are very well written and seemed to anticipate my every question. After about 1 day, it's all very very intuitive. The mount is solid too; no slippage after two weeks. Finally, the unit is hackable to unearth a whole lot of additional functionality ala other MIO units.
Now, when I refuse to ask for directions; I'll finally have a good reason for not doing so.Updated
I bought a 2 gig SD card and added POIs using the loader available from the site; no problems, even though the 230 is not listed as a supported device (yet). I believe the device also supports a higher density card.
Not sure if this is unique to the MIO device... but after adding the POIs to the SD card, any search done where access to the SD card occurs becomes pretty slow. If you pick a category that's on the internal flash and search, things stay very quick. But, if you are not really sure what category something is in and search from the top level, the search will obviously need to go to the SD card, and it becomes slow. Before I bought the card, I'd often use search at the highest level. Now, I need to be more "category aware" to avoid unnecessary accesses to the SD card.
I have not looked at the file structure of the internal flash to see how/if csv based POI files could be added there. One mechanism might be use the POI loader normally, but then move the file from the SD card to the internal flash, perhaps in a category/subcategory or the Custom POI area. I'd think that pretty soon I'd run out of physical space on the internal flash, so the size of the flash is driving things. Again, all GPS may exhibit this behavior (not sure) or perhaps a higher speed SD card could help; I bought a standard Sandisk.
Hope this helps
Pros Voice to Speech
Cons Maps not as current as C720T
Summary I was in Best Buy about to buy this GPS unit but, since I live in a new subdivision, I searched for my own address to see how current the map info is. My address is not in this unit's map database. I put it down and picked up the more expensive Mio C720T expecting the same result. After all, they are made by the same company. To my surpise, my subdivision IS in the C720T. When I asked about this I was told that you have to buy the more expensive model to get the most current map data. I thought this couldn't possibly be right so I came home and called Mio support, and sure enough, you DO have to buy the more expensive model to get the most recent map data. I knew there would be differences in the POIs and that the unit would lack other features such as Bluetooth, etc., but I never dreamed they would skimp on the actual map data. I was under the impression that all units made by the same manufacturer would have the same map data across the board. Unfortunately that's not the case with Mio.
Pros Pocket size, TTS, Via Points, Advance heads-up
Cons Very Little POI's, No Automatic Shut-off
Summary I have the Mio C230 for two months now. I have to say it was not very easy to use at first, but after a couple of hours, I was able to find my way around it. The Manual is 92 pages, and I think it can use some improvements. This is my third GPS, I have a Garmin C340 for almost two years, and a Nuvi 370 for about eight months; so I can say that I have a bit of experience with the Garmin products which considered to be one of the best GPS in the market. The only reason I got the Mio is the ability to add multiple stops to your final destination (Via Points), and the Mio's ability to optimize the route for you, a feature not available in the Garmin products. My girlfriend is a realtor, and she makes numerous stops to show houses to her clients; with the Garmin, she had to enter one stop at the time, which means that she might be going back and forth or zig zaging around; with the Mio, all she has to do is to input as many addresses as she needs to, and then the Mio will optimize the route and guide her around, cool.
You can enter address either by state / city / street; or you can use zip code / street; very nice feature. Any address you input will be automatically stored in the history and you can retrieve it at any time; you can also copy everything to the SD card and store it in your computer or use the data in another Mio, cool. If you don't have the address but know where your destination is on the map, you can touch that point on the map, and the Mio will take you there. During navigation, the unit will tell you the next manuver well in advance, and it will repeat it three times as you get closer, so you will have time to get ready for it. If you still miss the turn, the unit will recalculate in seconds and you are back on track.
There is also an icon for "Home" where you can store your home address, by clicking it, the Mio will take you home, a similar one is for "work". You can rename both if needed.
The detailed information available on the screen in "cockpit mode" is impressive, on the upper left corner it shows the next maneuver (an arrow going right or left), below that it shows the distance to that maneuver and the estimated time of arrival to your final destination. Next to that you have four icons to zoom in and out on the map, and to change the view from 2 to 3 dimensions and vise versa. Another nice feature is the pedestrian mode, in that mode; the Mio will take you thru the shortest route ignoring the traffic direction of one way streets. You can customize the Mio for brighter screen or to get louder if you reach a specific speed; routing can be customized to shortest, fastest or economical. You can avoid Toll roads, U turns, unpaved roads, Highways, etc.
The Text to Speech feature is also a definite plus. The only thing that I really don't like in the Mio C230 is the very limited number of POI's (about 900K), you will hardly be able to find anything in there, Mio needs to do something about that limitation. However, you can add you own POI's to the data base if you know the address. Also, the unit will not shut-off with the ignition, no big deal.
In short, if you don't need the MP3/Photo player, or the blue tooth; then the Mio C230 is the one for you. It is a great basic GPS, loaded with features that may not be available on other big name brands. Impressive signal reception, bright screen, clear TTS voice, nice design, pocket size, at an unbeatable price.
Pros Text to speech, display, accuracy, PRICE!
Cons Less than 1 million POI.
Summary This GPS is really fantastic for the price. If it had more memory for the POI (like its previous model), it would be a 10 of 10.
The text to speech is great. A friend has a Tomtom One XL and was surprised this had text to speech capability at about 1/2 the price he paid.
It has a selection for fastest, shortest or most economical route. You can also select walking routes (great for NYC) and to avoid certain areas. The display is easy to customize and the voice prompts are quite tolerable.
I've read that the keyboard is cramped but I don't have problems and have paws. You don't type that much as it narrows the choices quickly so you only make a few keystrokes.
It takes a little getting used to but after you go through the menus a few times, it's pretty intuitive.
I got it from Costco.com for $180 + $10 shipping. It's a great basic GPS and perfect for my use. For $200 with tax, I don't need to get lost any longer.
Pros Clear display, easy-to-navigate menus
Cons Inaccurate distances, slow response
Summary Very inaccurate distances. Would say I was as much as 300 yards away from an intersection when I was actually at the intersection. It wouldn't notice that I had failed to turn until a block or 2 later. If I changed the route (as I often did since it would suggest some really bizarre routes) it would recalculate and try to send me through convoluted paths to return to its original route. Basically, I found it useless.