a different kind of review (for me)  

Thursday, January 11, 2007

I recently had a chance to get my hands on a Street Pilot c330 on loan and I have to say I love it. It's incredibly easy to use.

Once I set a location to "Home", I was able to use the "Go Home" feature that conveniently gets me back out of where I've gone. It also has voice commands that allow me to leave it on the seat and forget about navigating until I hear the friendly reminder that a turn or exit is 0.2 miles ahead.

The navigation is intelligent enough to recalculate when I stop for gas or a store on my way home. Though is it just my imagination that the voice sounds a tad annoyed as it directs me to make a u-turn? It must be me.

It also has a large listing of restaurants and shops nearby that I can select and request diections to. It did not have Jose Peppers though when I tried to show the features off to friends. Oh well, one restaurant out of hundreds missing. Is that anything to complain about?

It automatically tracks my position on the map, even when I'm not using it for directions, and seems to be very accurate. I've also found that the "Detour" option will reroute me when a street is closed or traffic is moving slowly.

I've used it on my everyday routes and it's actually pointed out a turns that are better than the routes I normally take, allowing me to avoid school zones. I'm not sure yet if that was intentional or just coincidental.

One of the best features is the estimated time of arrival, that updates as you drive (if needed). I can turn it on, select my work address, and start driving, knowing just how late I'll be. It's also a handy reminder that today it only took me 12 minutes to get to work despite a slight slow-down at 119th. I must be getting better at this driving crazily in heavy traffic thing.

I've never really thought of owning a GPS before and now I can't imagine living without it. Too bad it's not useful enough in my everyday life to justify the price, but maybe as a luxury someday.

Goodbye, Street Pilot c330. I'll miss you.

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