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Unexpected ads ruin a decent GPS
on December 8, 2010
The unexpected on-screen advertising really ruins the experience (pic uploaded). It's unexpected since it's not mentioned anywhere on the packaging. The tiny manual mentions it as a possible cost of "free" traffic info -- maybe it's only in certain regions. In scanning the small-print on the packaging, I noticed that the "lifetime" updates can end at any time depending on their suppliers. Adding insult, after registering my purchase on the Garmin web site, it says I only have 90 days of updates included.
Except for the massively deceptive packaging, the GPS is OK. The maps have been perfect so far. Finding shortest route works well. Finding quickest route is not so good -- it seem's to be biased toward certain classes of roads (maybe state roads over county roads?) even though they're not necessarily faster. The "eco" features seem useless. The turn-by-turn directions are very good. Haven't figured out what "lane assist" is.
After about five weeks of freeway commuting, the traffic feature hasn't really been tested; however, it's flunked the minor tests. So far it's warned of "traffic ahead" 8 times and was correct only once. In addition, there were 3 other times I did encounter traffic delays without getting any warning from the device. With that kind of track record, I can hardly imagine ever acting on its warnings. I can only hope it would do better in a serious traffic jam. Almost comically, it once warned of traffic ahead just as a delay was clearing up.
The device is lightweight and a good size. It should be noted that the connector is in the back (not along the side or bottom), which prevents it from sitting flush against a surface.