"Good, basic GPS with some shortcomings"3.5 starson by eoyore67
Pros: Low price, text-to-speech capability, multiple via points along route, nice screen and maps, fast recalculation of routes, nice mounting hardware
Cons: Limited POI database, route not always optimized, slow route simulation, UI not initially intuitive
Summary: I had been living with a Garmin Streetpilot III for 4 years and suffering with a bad UI (no touchscreen) and extremely slow recalculation.
The Mio C230 GPS is a joy to use compared to this older model. It has a very compact form factor, nice looking screen, different views that cover every practical view you'd need. With text-to-speech (speaking street names) and a $175 price point, this is a great deal. But it's not perfect.
The biggest practical shortcoming is the limited (<1M) POI database. From what I can tell, it has many smaller, single stores/restaurants, but not many of the big chain franchise stores/shops (Starbucks, Target, Walmart, etc). I knew that going in, and you can compensate by adding POI's as you visit them. In doing this over time, you can effectively have your frequently visited shops in your own datasbase, but if you're in an unfamilar area and looking for the closet Target, you're out of luck.
Other negatives: It can tend to take you through obscure routes locally, through neighborhoods with stop signs versus expressways, etc. So far, I've used this in my familar local area, so I notice this. The bottom-line, you will eventually get there, but you may take the scenic route. As mentioned by another reviewer, the route simulation is SO SLOW, it's useless. Seems like 2x real-time! One more thing: The distance is a bit off. 100 yards seems like 150 feet to me, so you have to be prepared to turn more quickly than the stated guidance. I've found I can easily compensate. Minor quibble: I did need to read parts of the 92 page manual to understand the options - maybe spent an hour. Would've liked for the UI to be intuitive enough to not need the manual for basic operation, but this wasn't the case for me.
Bottom-line: I like it a lot and am willing to accept the compromises associated with a budget GPS in exchange for the low price. I am optimistic that they'll have POI add-on options via the available SD slot.