Review: Garmin nüvi Perfect For GPS Newbie

Written by Matthew Lentini     15/03/2011 | 23:16 | Category name i.e.AUTOMOTIVE

The Garmin nüvi 2360LT is the perfect, extra-portable GPS companion, even if you don't have a car.


The nüvi is part of Garmin's new range of GPS navigators, with the 2360LT mixing simplicity and portability with all the bells and whistles of a good GPS device to suit most users.

While it'd still fair well as a top GPS for cars, this nüvi shines as a pedestrian navigator. The Garmin shapes up to be around the size of a thicker smartphone, measuring up to 12.1 x 7.6 x 1.5 cm, and is only 142g. In other words, it's a GPS that you could actually consider taking around with you on foot.

Like a smartphone, it has a dual orientation screen to display a landscape or portrait user interface without any lag when changing. The main plus for portrait viewing is when you're navigating on foot, where the map gives a preview of what's coming down the road from a bird's eye view (plus, it feels more natural holding the GPS with one hand in portrait).

This GPS supports cityXplorer, which is Garmin's in-depth map viewer for metropolitan areas, covering a wide array of points of interest as well as detailed public transport info for pedestrian navigators. For around $20, users download a map of their city (so far limited to Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and Newcastle) that directs users who aren't driving.

The 10.9cm touchscreen is pressure-sensitive, but is surprisingly responsive to slight touches and subtle moves, making it a breeze to scroll through. The screen loses its charm in the sun when glare makes the screen hard to read, even if the brightness is turned to full.

There are two modes for map browsing and navigation - by car or by foot - and it handles both great. Routes are calculated relatively quickly, are rerouted in case of detours in the click of a button and can be customised with stop-offs with the Trip Planner function.

Users can also save journeys in the in the Trip Planner, while the Garmin myTrends software learns users' common destinations that are saved in Favourites and predicts destinations when the navigator isn't preset, displaying travel info like traffic predictions and ETA.

Users can browse the map mid-navigation and click any given point and find directions for it. For quick navigation, the Garmin remembers past searches to replay directions. It also includes voice-activated navigation and hands-free calling.

Annoyingly, the 2360LT is inept at finding train stations (which is a bit of a bummer for those banking on the public transport support) and the User Agreement has a tendency of coming up many times on power-on even after you've clicked accept. Also, some searches can take quite a while when the unit isn't sure what point of interest you're looking for.

EcoRoute's allows users looking to save on petrol to program their car's fuel economy into the unit and find suitable routes according to their car type.

It lasts up to 2.5 hours on a single charge and can be charged with either the typical car charger or by USB in a computer. It takes microSD cards for stored images and map updates, while otherwise updating via USB.

An extra option that doesn't serve too much of a purpose for a GPS device is the picture viewer function that lets you store images on the unit while also letting users take screenshots (possibly handy if you wanted to save a map or a junction view for someone else, but otherwise a little bit of an odd feature).

All the features you don't need have been shredded or simplified in the 2360LT, leaving only two main Where To? and View Map button on the main screen, adorned by four little buttons below. All the other stock functions are easy to find, and the map is easily customisable with labels like distance, time and speed being interchangeable on the interface.

Whether you're driving or walking, this Garmin nüvi 2360LT is a good option for navigation in one of its simplest forms. Even if you hadn't used a GPS before, you'd probably fall right into it with this. It'll suit driving fine, but it's even better for walking.

The Garmin nüvi 2360LT is available for the slightly high mid-range RRP of $349.

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Pros & Cons

Pros:

sensitive touchscreen; compact for a GPS; good for pedestrians

Cons:

prone to screen glare from sun; bit pricey for simplified GPS