EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Member Gear Reviews › Review: Garmin Nuvi 200w GPS
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Review: Garmin Nuvi 200w GPS

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 



There usually is a couple of threads a year from people asking about GPS's. Yes many manufacturers are offering OEM GPS's but IMHO not even the best ones (Honda for example) are worth their $1,500-2,000 premium. I never really had much of a use for a GPS, I tended to know where I was going, but now I am traveling more, having one is useful.
I did a bit of research comparing Garmin, Tomtom and Magellan. I settled on this particular 200w for a few reasons.

Price: I wanted something in the $200-250 range. I shopped around a bit but Costco had it for $199. With $199 being the lowest price and with their return policy, it was an easy decision where to buy it.

Ease of use: Word on the GPS forums, the Tomtom was not the most intuitive to use. There was nothing about the Magellan that was standing out

Size: I liked the widescreen display and that the unit is less than 1/2" thick.

After about a month of use, I am very happy with the purchase. I have found the information stored is very up to date including some new developments I have been in and new roads. I like the automatic night mode, where it switches from a white background to black, this is much less straining on your eyes. I also like the "birds eye" view where you are looking forward vs. straight down at the map.

On my Wild West Tour, I initially rented a car that had a Hertz NEverlost. I wasn't sure if it would have a GPS in the car, so I brought along my Nuvi along. The NEverlost (by Magellan) was so un intuitive in use. We were looking for the nearest Costco and it gave us one over 200 miles away, when we could actually see one from the highway and were looking for the way to get there. I was glad I bought my Nuvi along. I shut off the NEverLost and hooked the Nuvi up. It is also nice that a $200.00 has maps and info for the whole U.S. where not to log ago GPS's were limited to "sections' of the country.

I tried to read the manual to see of there were any "easter eggs" of features, but this unit is so easy to use just from the screen, it is "plug & play" at its best.

Side Features: You can put up your own "wallpaper" via a SD slot. There is a bumch of "trip" features inc. top speed, ave speed and compass. Calculator and currency converter are also in there too. Plus many more.

Downsides: I find looking for a store/hotel/ect is better than plugging in an exact address. Sometimes an address puts me on the wrong side of the street (as it actually does with my house), where the location brings me right there. Also choosing the shorted time will sometimes put me on a secondary road when I *know* there is a shorter time way to get somewhere.

Overall: ****(1/2)/5.
post #2 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post

Side Features: You can put up your own "wallpaper" via a SD slot. There is a bumch of "trip" features inc. top speed, ave speed and compass. Calculator and currency converter are also in there too. Plus many more.
I was kinda waiting for their Nuvi phone to come out.

On the GPS, my prime interest would be bookmark/proximity tracking.

FWIW, I had some trouble driving with the Garmin bird's eye feature in east TX: it would show a minor intersection nearby and mask the major intersection just beyond it. A changeable perspective scale would be something I would certainly look for.
post #3 of 15
Nice review Phil. I was thinking of buying a GPS unit for my wife; I may run by Costco today. Thanks.
post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ldrjax View Post
Nice review Phil. I was thinking of buying a GPS unit for my wife; I may run by Costco today. Thanks.
This one was not in the store..I had to buy it from Costco on line.
post #5 of 15
But if it claims you hit 52 mph on skis, and you cite it as a reliable source, will you still incite a flame war?
post #6 of 15
I have the regular Nuvi 200 and love it. It's probably the most useful Christmas present I have gotten from my in-laws.
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post
FWIW, I had some trouble driving with the Garmin bird's eye feature in east TX: it would show a minor intersection nearby and mask the major intersection just beyond it. A changeable perspective scale would be something I would certainly look for.
I have the Garmin 2720 and Garmin 650 and you have a choice of three vantage points with them. I'm pretty sure that you can do the same with the 200 - you may want to check. I found the bird's eye view (3-D) difficult to follow when coming to irregular intersections. I like the 2-D view the best.
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog View Post
But if it claims you hit 52 mph on skis, and you cite it as a reliable source, will you still incite a flame war?
Only if you claim you did it using Marker bindings.
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by quickk9 View Post
I have the Garmin 2720 and Garmin 650 and you have a choice of three vantage points with them. I'm pretty sure that you can do the same with the 200 - you may want to check. I found the bird's eye view (3-D) difficult to follow when coming to irregular intersections. I like the 2-D view the best.

Will check, thanks.
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by comprex View Post
I was kinda waiting for their Nuvi phone to come out.

On the GPS, my prime interest would be bookmark/proximity tracking.

FWIW, I had some trouble driving with the Garmin bird's eye feature in east TX: it would show a minor intersection nearby and mask the major intersection just beyond it. A changeable perspective scale would be something I would certainly look for.
The Nuvi 200w gives you the choice of views too.
post #11 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog View Post
But if it claims you hit 52 mph on skis, and you cite it as a reliable source, will you still incite a flame war?
Got video?
post #12 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Philpug View Post
Downsides: I find looking for a store/hotel/ect is better than plugging in an exact address. Sometimes an address puts me on the wrong side of the street (as it actually does with my house), where the location brings me right there. Also choosing the shorted time will sometimes put me on a secondary road when I *know* there is a shorter time way to get somewhere.

Overall: ****(1/2)/5.
I have a Garmin as well. Be careful if you ever put it in shortest distance vs time mode. It will have you exit the freeway just to cut a corner on a side street. Overall great stuff. The best feature for me is ETA. It's great to know you'll arrive on time when you've cut it close.

Steve
post #13 of 15
We got the Nuvi 660 in October last year and its been a very appreciated companion for travel and even locally. I think the major difference in the 650 is the bluetooth connection, FM TMC traffic subscription and ability to play voice directions through the radio speakers. The device works great as a hands-free wireless phone. Anytime I am in the car with my phone and the GPS on, it will automatically sync up and my calls can be received through the GPS unit. Sound quality and noise canceling features seem pretty good.

The unit came with the GTM20 traffic antenna, 90 days of free traffic monitoring, then you have to convert to a paid subscription. This feature worked well and provided the locations and estimated delay time for any wrecks, construction or detours in a route. I used the system in Tampa, Ft. Myers, Pittsburgh, and throughout the West in Sacramento, bay area, SLC, Denver. I didn't cough up for the subscription when the free trial expired, but may consider it someday if the price drops. Currently $60 for TTN Clear Channel Traffic. I also wish the unit displayed altitude. Most GPS do have that capability, and it just requires a display.

Navigation in Pittsburgh is extremely difficult, and made more-so by numerous detours, road construction and the fact there is no road grid. Everything is a fork in the road to veer off one direction or another. The Garmin navigation system generally chose the best way between two points and even beat the natives who would comment "I didn't know you could get there this way". Without the GPS I would have probably missed our flight out since we encountered construction detours on our way to the airport. The Garmin got us right back on course.

The 200W and 660 have some things in common that I consider drawbacks. The units only navigate to one destination. You can put a via or stop into the route, but I think it would be nice if it allowed you to organize multiple stops and it would route you to them in a given sequence. You can still program an unlimited number of "favorite" addresses and change as you go. The voice directions are great if you really need help navigating unfamiliar roads. You will get directions like, "in .6 miles take ramp onto I-95, then keep left". The system keeps you moving into the correct lanes to be ready for the next turn. The voice can be a bit of a nag if you don't need it, and the mute button is fortunately only one button push away.

The unit can find ski areas, parks, stores, restaurants, motels. In the Nuvi 660, you can quickly set any location to navigate to and you can also place a call through the hands-free bluetooth to that store/hotel/restaurant in order to place reservations or obtain information. Very useful feature.

How did we ever get by without these things? Oh, and I also prefer the overhead 2D view most of the time.
post #14 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
We got the Nuvi 650 in October last year and its been a very appreciated companion for travel and even locally. I think the major difference in the 650 is the bluetooth connection, FM TMC traffic subscription and ability to play voice directions through the radio speakers.
Hey, Cirquerider, are you sure that you didn't buy the Nuvi 660 or higher. I bought the 650 in December of last year and I don't believe that it has Bluetooth. Have I been overlooking a feature that I have had all this time, or did you buy better GPS than me?
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by quickk9 View Post
Hey, Cirquerider, are you sure that you didn't buy the Nuvi 660 or higher. I bought the 650 in December of last year and I don't believe that it has Bluetooth. Have I been overlooking a feature that I have had all this time, or did you buy better GPS than me?

Yep you're right! Nuvi 660 NA
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Member Gear Reviews
EpicSki › The Barking Bear Forums › On the Snow (Skiing Forums) › Member Gear Reviews › Review: Garmin Nuvi 200w GPS