Pros Compact, with built in battery; Good interface
Cons Very slow, especially when searching for place names. Screen too small to be useful while driving. No AC charger.
Summary My only other experience with GPS products is the NeverLost devices in Hertz rental cars, which I've used extensively and found to be generally excellent.
I wanted similar functionality, in a portable package. Quest II seemed like a perfect solution - small, built-in battery, the entire US maps loaded, and even waterproof! Bought it from Costco at around $600.
On the positive side, the Quest 2 has a decent interface, clear screen, and is attractively made. In terms of routing to a specific address, it does fine.
On the negative side, however ... First a minor nit: it does not come with an AC charger - for $600 you would think that would be included in a "portable" device?
Most irritating, however, is using the in-built lists of places (e.g., hotels, attractions, etc.). In short: be prepared for a very, very long wait, as even the simplest request seems to completely overwhelm the processer.
1. Searching for Chelsea Piers, the largest sports complex in Manhattan, locked it up for minutes. I tried looking for it under recreation, also tried searching bowling centers, to no avail.
2. Searching for The Cloisters - a huge museum in Manhattan required parking by the side of the road for several minutes while it tried to find it.
It appears that the processor is simply unable to cope with the large amount of data now pre-loaded in the device? (CNET reviews of the Quest 1, with much less memory, do not mention these problems).
The device is also quite slow in updating the screen (certainly compared to Hertz NeverLost) - often the screen goes blank at a crucial moment as it switches to a different display close to a turn-off, leading to plenty of wrong turns when driving in a dense road network.
In summary, this device may be useful for simple, address-based navigation in areas where the road density is low.
However, in New York city is was pretty much useless - too slow in calculating and giving directions when driving, and hopelessly slow when searching by names for specific places.
I would not recommend purchasing this product until it comes out with a much faster processor.
Pros Quest 2 has many features of larger high end units. Small and Portable, plus 20 hr lithium battery.
Cons No 3d view, Screen is a bit small (but very Clear)
Summary I agonized over buying my first car GPS.What sold me on the Garmin Quest2 is that it has most of the features of the larger Car Navigation GPS units. Plus, it is very compact and has a lithium battery that lasts up to 20 hours. That means I can walk around town and use it. Or, from my hotel room I can program a route to a local restaurant or other destination.
My Quest 2 was usable right out of the box. It came pre-loaded with unlocked full coverage maps of US and Canada and Puerto Rico. It took me about 5-10 minutes to start using it, and about another half hour to really get the hang of it.
A note about the screen size and usability - The screen seemed small at first but the quest has a great autozoom feature when navigating. It shows your position on the map with an arrow. It zooms in as you approach a turn, and an arrow shows the direction of the turn, and a text description appears. I found it very easy to see. Also, as you approach a turn, the voice prompt alerts you. After the turn, the unit lets you know the next turn, and of course as you get close it prompts you again.
To make selections there is round rocker pad to hilite letters or menu choices, and an OK button to select. To enter addresses, there is an on screen keypad, and letters are selected by this method.There is a menu button to bring up the menu or function list for the current page. You can also choose from Points of Interest by category, or name. The manual is very clear. There are also a zoom-in, zoom-out, and a find button. it is all reasonablly intuitive.
Calculating a route is easy, but longer routes can take a minute or two. I imaging that a multi state route with many turns may take several minutes. I have been using it locally just to get the feel of it before I take a long road trip, and it has been 100% accurate.
The unit comes with windshied suction cup mount which is amazingly strong and sturdy.
I got this unit brand new for about $550 and if fits my needs very well. It has far more features than the cheaper "entry level" units and almost as many as more expensive models. It was certainly the right choice for me.
The Quest 2 has more features than I can imagine using right now. I will probably end up using them all at some time.
Here is a partial list of features that i find useful -
Pre-loaded full coverage maps of US and Canada and Puerto Rico including nearly 6 million Points of Interst.
(or Europe of you get that version)
140 MB of extra memory for additional map storage.
Internal rechageable Lithium Battery. (Many Car GPS units have no internal Battery).
Automatic Routing: Point to Point, Address to Address, From Current Location Etc.
Choice of Route criteria: Fastest, Shortest Distance.
Detour calculation (to avoid traffic or construction).
Avoidance Areas - Allows you to selt Highways, specific sections of a road, etc. that you want to avoid.
Automatic Voice Guidance - Once a turn has been made, the next turn is identified. The unit prompts again when you are close to the turn.
* * *Note there is no Voice-to-Text feature. The Quest 2 will not say street names, although text prompt appears on screen.
Speak Button - to repeat voice prompt.
Auto Zoom - As you approach a turn, the map progressively zooms in. Zooms out once the turn is complete.
Current Route Page Allows you to scroll through the entire route.
Re-calculates Route if you stray from the current route.
POIs- nearly 6 million pre-loaded.
500 user definable waypoints.
Can store up to 50 Routes.
Via Points - Calculate most efficient Route through Via points. Or you can arrange order.
Where Am I - allows you to find, save, and name your current location.
Track Back - a breadcrumb trail of where you have been allows you to retrace your route.
Some things that set the Quest 2 apart -
With Internal battery you can use the unit while out of the car. It has the option of calculating routes for Pedestrians and Bicycles in addition to Car routes.
Also, you can sit in a park or museum and figure out your next destination. You don't have to go back to the car.
Its VERY Small and Portable -4.5” W x 2.2” H x 0.9” D About the size of a cell phone or a small compact digital camera.
There is no Voice-to-Text feature. The Quest 2 will not say street names, although text prompt appears on screen.
Voice will say "right turn in 500 feet" while text reads "right turn onto oak street 500 feet".
The speaker is not built into the unit itself. It is part of the car adapter assembly. The Quest 2 provides voice promps only when connected to the car adapter.
There is no a/c battery charger included (it can be purchased separately), but the unit charges when attached to the car adapter.
Pros Total stress free navigation
Cons It can be improved on a bit (speed)
Summary I drive all over the place for my daughters sports. This ranges from places close by that I have no idea where they are at to several hours away. I was fed up with map quest and yahoo maps (nothing personal). They get you there but you have to watch for streets and addresses. Great if it's not dark or bad weather.I decided to get a car GPS unit. I chose the Quest 2 for a few reasons. I wanted a rugged unit. The Quest series is hard to beat on this. Waterproof says it all.
Also no internal hard drive as some car only models. The Quest series also has a built in lithium ion battery that recharges for 15+ hours run time away from a power source. The quest 2 has preloaded maps of all of the U.S.,Canada and Puerto Rico. I never plan on driving to Puerto Rico (ha,ha). There is also extra memory to load your own maps in the Quest 2. The standard Quest must be loaded each time because it can only hold a few states of map information. Also the Quest 2 has POI points you can program in your route if you want to find a certain place to stop or you can input speed or red light camera locations and it will alert you ahead of time. The voice actuated speaker for the Quest 2 is built in the AC power (car) adapter. It only talks to you when plugged in the ac adapter power source.If run on batter power the unit beeps to alert you to turn. Turns are displayed on the units screen. The speaker is built in the adapter and not the GPS unit itself (remember waterproof?). So far my unit has been flawless in navigation. It alerts you exactly which way to turn with ample warning ahead of time. It auto recalculates your route if you miss or make a wrong turn. The recalculation time on mine is around 30 seconds. This is pretty quick unless your driving 70 MPH and there are multiple ramps and you need a quick answer. I do not have a problem with this but it would be nice if it were quicker.The other feature that could be improved is searching for things as restaurants in the data base. Sometimes it takes a few (2~3) minutes to locate something by name I input. Most of the time it is quick >1 Min. a couple of time it was several. My only gripe is Garmin does not provide a house AC power adapter with the Quest 2. The Quest 1 it's provided. If you want one hit ebay. For these few minor things I give it a 9 rating.
After having this I can not imagine traveling without one. Also I do not worry if my wife has to drive somewhere. With a press of a button you can find fuel,food and about anything else you need without getting out of your car or asking a stranger. I no longer get a headache knowing I "am close" and not there yet. All I have to do is listen.
"Worth the Try"on by HRMT
Pros Excellent support from garmin, no need for uploading maps, portable
Cons very slow, especially in points of interest find and in recalculating paths.
Summary This is my first try with GPS devices, the good thing about it is that it has North America map preloaded in such a small device. you can remove it easily from the car to avoid theft. it is also useful outside north america throuth maps that can be bought from garmin though expensive maps.
Pros Small, portable.
Cons Slow, no touch screen, cannot find establishments by name, memory is too small, DO NOT UPGRADE TO NEWER MAPSET!!!!, takes forever to get a signal, sometimes loses signal right before the next turn. Unreliable.
Summary I intentionally bought this unit for my motorcycle which has saved me a few times and may keep it for the bike only in emergencies. But for an everyday GPS for the car, I'd chuck it out the window in a heartbeat. A few times the unit locked up on me; a few times too many! Fool me once...... I had to do a factory reset, losing all my saved locations and still no signal! (did this at least 6 times in the past year). When they say have a backup map in your car, they're not kidding. Completely unreliable. This unit will cause anxiety attacks while you drive, especially in the middle on no-where, dark and raining, the unit will start searching for a signal. One day during working hours, the unit looked for signals for over 18 miles. Good thing I did the recommended map printout before I left. Completely useless on a recent business trip to Michigan. On a recent family trip it looked for a signal for 3 hours. (I live in Chicago not Gilligans Island). If you miss a turn, you might as well pull over, 'cause it will take over 60 seconds to re-calculate. Don't be surprised if these units appear on the shelves at the local dollar store. Oh yeah, the flip up antenna will get full of dirt and loose it's connectivity. You'll have to take apart the unit and clean the connections. To me, the Garmin Quest 2 is completely unreliable. Keep in mind this is a 4 year old GPS and the newer GPS units (Garmin, Mio, TomTom) are instantaneous in finding signals, directions and re-calculations. The good thing is that I paid $40 for this unit on eBay. The bad thing is the frustration this unit has caused me is priceless.