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Garmin nĘ╣vi 255 3.5-Inch Portable GPS Navigator
List Price: $249.99

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Product Description

Garmin's nĘ╣vi 255 improves upon its 200-series predecessors by adding top-of-the-line features such as FM traffic updates or MSN Direct content to an entry-level line. But Garmin is also introducing some significant improvements with this new series, like a predictive technology that provides faster satellite lock, a redesigned screen with more information, terrain maps, and an exciting new photo navigation feature. The 255 adds complete maps for North America and Text-to-Speech, so you get turn by turn spoken directions with the real names of streets (e.g. "turn left in 50 feet at Nebraska Way", rather than merely "turn left in 50 feet").

The nĘ╣vi 2x5 models all sport the slim design that Garmin introduced with the 200-series last year, so they all fit comfortably in your pocket or purse, and a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that makes them convenient for navigation by car or foot.All of the models include useful travel tools like a JPEG picture viewer, world travel clock with time zones, currency converter, measurement converter, calculator and more.

Key Features/Benefits for all 2x5 Series Navigators

  • New -- HotFix (Long Term Ephemeris Prediction) finds satellites faster (Learn more)
  • New -- Digital Elevation Model (DEM) Basemap shows 3D shaded terrain features (Learn more)
  • New -- Faster 333 Mhz processor offers faster, smoother map drawing and vehicle icon motion through turns
  • New -- Redesigned user interface offers more information (Learn more)
  • New -- Photo Navigation lets you upload geo-coded photos from a phone, geo-coding camera or photo site and navigate to them. (Learn more)
  • New -- Add Enhanced MSN Traffic and Content with the optional GDB 55 antenna and charger (Learn more)
  • New -- Send addresses directly to your Garmin from Google Maps or Mapquest (Learn more)
  • New -- Automatic Time Zone Transition
  • Text-to-Speech gives directions with real street names
  • Memory Card Slots so you can add maps and travel guides, or store photos (MicroSD card slot on 3.5-inch units; SD card slot on 4.3-inch units)
  • Preloaded Maps with Navteq data of North America + Hawaii + Puerto Rico, including 6.5 million searchable points of interest (Learn more)
  • Rechargeable lithium-ion battery for easy portability (up to 4 hours per charge)
  • Custom Vehicle Icons let you personalize your navigator (Learn more)
  • Integrated Antenna for a slim form factor
  • Where Am I? -- instantly shows you all of the emergency services nearby (Learn More)

Which nĘ╣vi is Best for You?:
Click here to see a quick, simple comparison of features for all Garmin nuvi GPS navigators

Learn More


New -- Improved Interface

One of Garmin's key product philosophies is to make extremely complex technology easy to use for anyone right out of the box, and perhaps nowhere is that better exemplified than in the user interface for Garmin's portable navigation devices.

Garmin's interface is a key to their success part of what makes their devices such a pleasure to use. Simple controls and sub-screens make it easy to enter or search for destinations and get data about your trip. Simply touch the color screen to enter a destination, and nĘ╣vi takes you there with turn-by-turn voice directions, 2-D or 3-D maps and smooth map updates as you navigate.

This year, Garmin has redesigned its interface to include much more useful information.

Old Interface

200 series ui

New Interface

2x5 Series UI


New -- HotFix™ - aka: Satellite Ephemeris Data Prediction

hotfix
Your GPS device locks onto transmissions from a dedicated network of Satellites in order to determine its position. Until the device gets a "lock" on three satellites, it can't effectively navigate, so decreasing the time it takes for your device to get "satellite lock" is always a goal of GPS manufacturers. With Garmin's new HotFix technology, your Garmin GPS remembers the position of all satellites it is tracking when you turn it off, and calculates their movements in order to predict where they should be the next time you turn it on. This gives the device an idea of where it should look for satellites, and dramatically decreases the time it takes for your Garmin to get its position and start navigating. HotFix can predict satellite positions for up to 3 days after the device was last turned off.

Using Garmin's unique Web site — Garmin Connect Photos — users can choose from millions of geo-located photos provided by Google's Panoramio photo sharing community and download them to the nĘ╣vi for a richer navigation experience using pictures as a guide.

New -- Navigate by Photo


Using Garmin's unique Web site — Garmin Connect Photos — users can choose from millions of geo-located photos provided by Google's Panoramio photo sharing community and download them to the nĘ╣vi for a richer navigation experience using pictures as a guide.
  • Choose from Panoramio's collection of photos from around the world.
  • Easy to use interface displays photos on Google Maps.
  • Search for photos by location name or map area boundary.
  • Transfer photos directly from Garmin Connect to device with the Garmin Communicator.
  • View photos in Google Earth.
  • Supports Internet Explorer 6+, Firefox 2+, Safari 3+ on Windows and Mac.



New -- 3D Terrain Maps

Shaded relief terrain maps show you when to expect hills, mountains, forests and other natural features. Topographic terrain maps are viewable when using the 2D "birds-eye" view.




New -- Send Addresses Directly from Google Maps or Mapquest

tching to try out a new restaurant, or setting off on a road trip to locate the best toffee apples on the east coast? Now, it's easy to search for locations on Google Maps or Mapquest, then transfer the addresses directly to your Garmin GPS navigator.
  1. Hook up your Garmin to the computer via it's USB port
  2. Search for the location you want
  3. Click the Send link in the info window for the address. That will bring up a popup "Send to" form.
  4. Pick GPS, then pick Garmin and hit the "Send" button.
The address will instantly transfer to your Garmin device, The point will be saved as one of your favorites, and you can navigate to it or view it on a map just like with any other favorite.

The process does require a small plugin, which you can get at Garmin's website at http://www8.garmin.com/support/download_details.jsp?id=3739. You can send business addresses to your Garmin device from these countries: Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States.

Search for the location you want.


Pick "Send to GPS".


Go!



Traffic-Capable for Either FM Traffic or Enhanced MSN Direct Content

MSN Direct Enhanced Traffic and Content

traffic reports With an optional receiver, you can access enhanced dynamic content from the MSN Direct service. Check the weather, avoid traffic backups, compare local gas prices, get enhanced movie listings, stock information, news and local events when you travel with your unit. Even plan trips from the convenience of your computer, via Windows Live Local, and wirelessly send custom to your nĘ╣vi.

Check out a full description of MSN Direct content features, or a coverage map for MSN Direct services.

A 3-month subscription to MSN Direct is included with the receiver. After that, subscription fees are $49.95 per year, or $129.95 for a lifetime subscription.

FM Traffic
TMC traffic service coverage map
With an optional receiver, you can get alerts from TMC Clear Channel about traffic tie-ups and road construction that might lie ahead on your route. All you have to do is simply touch the screen to view traffic details and you'll be ready to detour around any problem area. And if you end up missing a turn, or you're forced into a detour that is not relayed through the traffic receiver, the nĘ╣vi's sophisticated automatic routing will get you back on track in no time.

In most areas, TMC Clear Channel traffic broadcasts are continuous — there's no waiting for scheduled traffic news updates or random alerts. Because traffic broadcasts are received via a "silent" FM data channel, you can still listen to music or news programming on your car radio without interference from incoming FM traffic data transmissions.

A 3-month subscription to TMC Clear Channel's Total Traffic Network is included with the receiver. For more information on subscription fees, coverage in individual cities, and traffic data networks in the United Kingdom and Europe, check the Garmin website.


Where Am I?

On any nĘ╣vi (including this one), you can just tap "Where Am I?" to find the closest hospitals, police stations, fuel stations, nearest address and intersection. Also see your exact latitude and longitude coordinates.


First-Rate Map Data


nĘ╣vi accepts custom points of interest (POIs). View larger.
The nĘ╣vi comes ready to go right out of the box with preloaded City Navigator NT street maps for all of North America, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico, including a hefty POI database with hotels, restaurants, fuel, ATMs and more. Simply touch the color screen to enter a destination, and nĘ╣vi takes you there with 2D or 3D maps and turn-by-turn voice directions. Garmin gets its map data from NAVTEQ, a world leader in premium-quality mapping.

In addition, nĘ╣vi accepts custom points of interest (POIs), such as school zones and safety cameras and lets you set proximity alerts to warn you of upcoming POIs

Important note about map updates: Due to our high volume of sales, almost every Garmin portable GPS navigator sold by Amazon.com will come with the most recent map version. If you ever do need a map update, you can purchase one from Amazon.com at our Garmin Store.


Garmin Lock

Garmin's patent pending theft prevention system that disables the unit from performing any functions until the user types in a specific 4-digit PIN or takes the unit to a predetermined secure location


Beyond Navigation

Browse your stored pictures with an easy-to-use JPEG viewer.


Navigation is just the beginning. The nĘ╣vi 2x5 models features travel tools including a JPEG picture viewer, world travel clock with time zones, currency converter, measurement converter, calculator and more.

This device is compatible with optional content plug-ins available via microSD card, such as the Garmin Travel Guides and Garmin SaversGuide provide detailed data for attractions and information on nearby merchants offering discounts, so you can customize nĘ╣vi for your travel needs. For Accessory Map Cards and Travel Guides the Units Feature: a MicroSD Card Slot on the 3.5 inch Units, and an SD Card Slot on the 4.3 inch Units.

Garmin has also added the ability for customers to add custom points of interest (POI's) from third parties such as school zones and safety cameras.



Trick Your GPS Ride

custom vehicle icons
Custom vehicle icons let you ride in style, at least inside your GPS.
See more icon option
All Garmin nĘ╣vis support configurable vehicle icons. These fun, customized car-shaped icons come in a variety of colors to add a personal touch to your vehicle's position on the map.


Notes

  • Optional software for language translation, detailed travel guides, and savings programs allow you to customize your nĘ╣vi to fit your travel needs
  • Like most USB Mass Storage Devices, the nĘ╣vi is not compatible with Windows 95, Windows 98 or Windows Me.

Which nĘ╣vi is Best for You?

Note: All nĘ╣vis come with detailed NAVTEQ maps containing more than 6 million pre-loaded point of interest locations.




Screen
Size
inches
(w x h)
Included Maps
Text-to-Speech
(Directions in
Real Street
Names)

Traffic
Bluetooth
Media

3D Terrain
Maps
Photo
Navigation
FM Transmitter
(audio through
car stereo
system)
Multi-
Point
Routing

Battery
life
(hours)
Cont. U.S.,
Hawaii, and
Puerto Rico

AK and
Canada

Europe
nĘ╣vi 200 2.8 x 2.1
check




Photos




up to 5
nĘ╣vi 200w 3.81 x 2.25
check




Photos




up to 5
nĘ╣vi 250 2.8 x 2.1
check check



Photos



up to 5
nĘ╣vi 250w 3.81 x 2.25
check check



Photos



up to 5
nĘ╣vi 260 2.8 x 2.1
check check
check

Photos



up to 5
nĘ╣vi 260w 3.81 x 2.25 check check
check

Photos



up to 5
nĘ╣vi 270 2.8 x 2.1
check check check


Photos



up to 5
nĘ╣vi 205 2.8 x 2.1 check


MSN-enhanced
(with optional
receiver);
FM (with opt.
receiver)

Photos check check

up to 4
nĘ╣vi 205W 3.81 x 2.25 check


MSN-enhanced
(with optional
receiver);
FM (with opt.
receiver)

Photos check check

up to 4
nĘ╣vi 255 2.8 x 2.1 check check
check MSN-enhanced
(with optional
receiver);
FM (with opt.
receiver)

Photos check check

up to 4
nĘ╣vi 255W
3.81 x 2.25 check check
check MSN-enhanced
(with optional
receiver);
FM (with opt.
receiver)

Photos check check

up to 4
nĘ╣vi 350 2.8 x 2.1
check check
check FM (with opt.
receiver)

Photos, MP3s




up to 8
nĘ╣vi 360 2.8 x 2.1
check check
check FM (with opt.
receiver)
check Photos, MP3s



up to 8
nĘ╣vi 370 2.8 x 2.1 check check check check FM (receiver
included)
check Photos, MP3s



up to 8
nĘ╣vi 650 3.81 x 2.25
check check
check FM (with opt.
receiver)

Photos, MP3s



up to 7
nĘ╣vi 660
3.81 x 2.25
check check
check FM (receiver
included)
check Photos, MP3s

check
up to 7
nĘ╣vi 670
3.81 x 2.25
check check check check FM (receiver
included)
check Photos, MP3s

check
up to 7
nĘ╣vi 680 3.81 x 2.25
check check
check MSN (receiver
included;
1-year free);
FM (with opt.
receiver)
check Photos, MP3s

check
up to 7
nĘ╣vi 750
3.81 x 2.25
check check
check MSN-enhanced
(with optional
receiver);
FM (with opt.
receiver)

Photos, MP3s

check check up to 5
nĘ╣vi 760 3.81 x 2.25
check check
check MSN-enhanced
(with optional
receiver);
FM (with opt.
receiver)
check Photos, MP3s

check check up to 5
nĘ╣vi 770 3.81 x 2.25
check check check check MSN-enhanced
(with optional
receiver);
FM (with opt.
receiver)
check Photos, MP3s

check check up to 5
nĘ╣vi 780 3.81 x 2.25 check check

MSN-enhanced
(receiver inc.;
3 months free)
receiver);
FM (with opt.
receiver)
check Photos, MP3s

check check up to 5
nĘ╣vi 850
3.81 x 2.25 check check

MSN-enhanced
(with optional
receiver);
FM (with opt.
receiver)

Photos, MP3s

check check up to 4
nĘ╣vi 880
3.81 x 2.25 check check check
MSN-enhanced
(receiver inc.;
3 months free);
FM (with opt.
receiver)
check Photos, MP3s

check check up to 4
nĘ╣vi 5000
4.5 x 2.7 check check
check MSN-enhanced
(with optional
receiver);
FM (with opt.
receiver)




check check external
battery
only

Basic MSN Direct Content Features
traffic reports Traffic Reports
  • Find the best route through traffic. Your GPS device uses MSN Direct traffic data to select the best route for you to avoid traffic congestion.
  • Check traffic flow. Know at a glance where to expect slowdowns in traffic.
  • Get accident warnings. Receive warnings about accidents, road closures, and construction in the area that may affect you.
Gas Prices Gas Prices
  • Compare local gas prices. See a list of recent gas prices in your area and an indication of how recently the prices were reported.
  • Find your way to the savings. Once you find the best price in your area, use your navigation system to guide you to the gas station.
Weather Reports Weather Reports
  • Stay on top of current conditions. View the current weather conditions in your area, including today's high and low temperatures, chances of precipitation, and more.
  • View the three-day forecast, Plan ahead by checking the three-day weather forecast for your area.
  • Check weather in other cities. See current weather conditions in major cities across the country.
movie times Movie Times
  • Search for a movie. Find the theaters in your coverage area that are showing the movie you want to see.
  • See which movies are playing. View which movies are playing in your coverage area or at your favorite theater.
  • See show times and get directions. Once you find a show you want to see, check the show times and use your GPS device to guide you to the theater.
Enhanced MSN Direct Content
Web Favorites Web Favorites (Send custom destinations to your GPS with Live Search Maps)
  • Powerful trip planning: Use Live Search Maps on your computer to look up an address, search for a business, or plan a trip
  • Choose your favorite location, and then MSN Direct delivers the address, phone number, and more straight to your navigation system.
  • Visit Live Search Maps at http://maps.live.com.
Local Events Local Events
  • See what's happening near you. Find nearby events to see what's happening in your area.
  • Find the events that interest you. Browse events sorted by category.
  • Search for an event. Get details about a particular event.
Stock Quotes Stock Quotes
  • Watch the stocks that interest you. Select stocks that you want to keep an eye on, and then see regularly updated stock prices and daily changes.
  • Get a little more detail. Touch a stock in your list to see daily highs, lows, and trading volume.
News Headlines News Headlines
  • Browse the headlines at a glance. See breaking news and other major news stories of the day.
  • Read more details. Select a headline to read all the details about the news story on your navigation system.


MSN Direct Coverage Map

Get detailed info for your Zip Code at the MSN Direct website
.

MSN Direct Coverage Map


With easy-to-use Touchscreen displays, the nuvi 255 can route to addresses, restaurants, hotels and more with turn-by-turn directions and voice guidance. nuvi 255 will include text-to-speech, which will prompt you to "Turn right on Main Street." New appealing features include MSN Direct compatibility, HotFix, Garmin Connect Photos, digital elevation maps, automatic time zone updates and smoother map updates. nuvi 255 is compatible with an optional MSN Direct receiver (GDB 55). This optional MSN Direct receiver provides premium content such as traffic updates, weather, gas prices, enhanced movie listings, stock info, news, local events and a send-to-GPS feature for trip planning. nuvi 255 has broader map coverage and comes preloaded with City Navigator NT road maps for North America and 6 million points of interest. The map data is provided by NAVTEQ, a world leader in premium-quality mapping. Bright 3.5 diagonal color display; 320 x 240 pixels; QVGA TFT display, with white backlight High-sensitivity GPS receiver for improved performance and reception Trip computer records mileage, max speed, total time and more Built-in travel kit includes features such as picture viewer, world clock, currency and measurement converters and calculator Configurable vehicle icons - allows users to select a fun, customized car-shaped icon; users can download additional choices Offers a three-dimensional mapping perspective or 2D overhead view Built-in lithium-ion battery - lasts up to four hours depending on usage Dimensions - Width 3.8 x Height 2.8 x Depth 0.8 Weight - 5.2 ounces
Features:
  • 3.5-inch Touch Screen Navigation with Turn by Turn spoken Directions
  • Pre-loaded Maps for all North America, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico with 6.5 million searchable points of interest
  • FM Traffic or MSN Direct Traffic/Content compatible (with optional GDB 55 receiver)
  • Easy to Use Interface; slim, pocket-sized form factor; 4-hour rechargeable battery; Video Power cable included;
  • Automatically Adjusts Your Time Zone While Navigating

Customer Reviews:

  • garmin gps
    Product was delivered to my door in just a few days. I probably didn't need to pay the extra for shipping. The product itself is excellent. Probably a little over priced, that is the only reason I gave it 4 stars instead of 5. I actually bought a Garmin 200 as a Christmas gift Dec 07 and paid less than what they were selling for this Christmas....more info
  • Nice upgrade from StreetPilot c340
    My previous experience has been with a StreetPilot C340.
    We are not big-time travelers but everytime we borrowed this unit to go out of town - I was blown away by how useful it was.
    We got the 255 about 3 weeks ago and am impressed with some of the differences. The size is really nice - truly portable. The overall speed of lookups/calculations is noticeably faster. Nice improvements to the interface - I'm still finding little shortcuts they've put in that cut down typing (like the folder icon when entering city name - tap it and a drop-down list will contain the city names you've recently searched).
    Nice display, timely voice prompts, can't really think of anything I wish it did that it doesn't do well....more info
  • Very nice entry-level GPS.
    After spending a few weeks researching this and that, I decided to go with the Nuvi 255. I would have liked a 255W, but just couldn't justify the cost. Besides, the 255 screen is sufficient. I chose it over the 205 for the extra maps and text-to-speech, which is a really nice function.

    PROS:
    The size seems small until you actually mount it on your windshield. Then it's just right. And the GUI is very simple and straightforward. There are a lot of "aftermarket" vehicle icons that can be just dropped onto the unit. It charges relatively quickly through a USB cord. I think with a little ingenuity, I'll be able to mount it to my motorcycle bars too. This thing is half organizer/phone book, half Nav system, which since I don't have an I-Phone is really cool. It's great to be able to look up a phone number and call a restaurant without booting up my PC.

    CONS:
    Even though there's 6 million POI, it's missing some surprising ones (a Walmart and a Lowes plaza, for example) that have been around for a couple of years. So to get there, you have to find something near them and that's a pain. Same with roads I KNOW are there, but not in this 2009 map software. Then there's the town names that seem questionable at times. My only other small gripes are that you can't change the text-to-speech voice...unless you want a lame elf voice or Death or something. And for some reason, mine doesn't want to charge if the unit is in use, which is kind of aggrivating.

    VERDICT:
    Seems solid, easy to use, and a genuinely decent product. Sometimes I know better than the direction engine (I'm sure you get that with any GPS), but if I didn't, I'd trust it. Seems to lack features of an upmodel unit, but for the money, I feel I've gotten a good value....more info
  • Excellent Unit - Here are Answers for "Problems"
    This GPS works exactly as expected. The remote button attaches easily to the steering wheel. Wait until the green indicator shows up on the screen. It has an excellent voice recognition interface, and the advanced GPS features that I want. This is really helpful when you are traveling alone and can't stop. You don't need to use the touch screen
    It reads street, and highway lane names.. The where am I ?, Point of interest (POI) features are very useful. It stores location when you remove it from the vehicle mount. It takes you back to your car in a mall parking lot. It re-routes fast without complaining & asking you to turn around. Easy to add and change order of "via" points. You can pre-program easily at home.

    I suggest that potential buyers & users go to the GPS Magazine site and read the Garmin 885T review with step-by-step photos & examples of its functions. The 855 is the same unit without Blue Tooth & the Microsoft network. Here's the link:

    [...]
    Here's a link to a PDF of the full owner manual

    [...]

    1. The serial number is printed on the outside of the unit box, and in the battery compartment.
    2. Connect on line with USB cable. Register your unit, and then follow instructions to download "plug-in" which identifies your unit, and then updates your software & most recent maps. This took me 20 minutes with a cable modem.
    3. You can charge the battery with the USB cable plugged into your computer. No need for AC charger.
    4. On off switch: . Slide left to turn on, it springs back to center. Slide left again to turn off. Slide right to lock ( prevents accidental activation.)
    5. Volume control. There are 2 separate controls. After you press VOLUME, press MIXER. There are 3 separate volume controls there, VOICE, MEDIA,( PHONE which doesn't function on this unit). My factory setting for voice was 70%. Others might be lower. This should be increased to 100%.
    6. The MEDIA setting is for the micro SD card . You can buy 2 2GB cards & SD card adapter for $19 or less.
    7. The FM link to YOUR CAR RADIO is restricted in power by US law, so that other cars won't get your signal. It varies in effectiveness depending upon where your FM antenna is in your car!
    8. If you want to play recordings on the Micro SD, try using an adapter from Garmin headphone output into your radio. On older radios, a cassette player adapter will work.

    This unit is a great deal, and works well if you read the instructions.
    Try it at home, you can walk outside if you don't get satellite signals. Try all the functions & use the voice commands. Then practice on a familiar route until you get used to the functions.
    ...more info
  • Works well but..
    I bought the Garmin Nuvi 255 primarily as a way to negotiate through urban areas in which I am not too familiar. It worked perfectly as described. When lost it got me back on the correct path very easily and not always with right turns. This was a very calming thing. However, it is not the end all product. You still need to have a sense of where you are as the directions will not always take you the "best" way. The Garmin sometimes directed us through city streets rather than on the freeway. So it works well but look at a street map also....more info
  • Great GPS that's a tiny bit short of awesome
    Invariably, the 200-series will be compared to the super-popular 350, and I can't help but do the same. The 350 was a true pioneer, but I always found myself waiting a half-second for it to get back to me, and overall, the experience was sluggish.

    The 255 is plenty fast, and brings the GPS interactive experience to a new level. My purchase was based on Consumer Reports' ratings.

    The 200-line is certainly confusing in terms of number increments not matching up to features, but I would strongly recommend the TTS feature, which is only available on the 260/260W/255/255W. Despite the numbering scheme, the 255-line is newer/faster than the 260-line, which is why I chose the 255, though others may have chosen it for the FM/MSN traffic/info features.

    Pros:

    Size/Build:
    Very small. Smaller than a hockey puck, and completely pocketable.

    GUI:
    The interaction with the menu is very fast, and without delay. Searches, map refreshes, etc -- they're all a lot faster and I don't find myself waiting.

    Map:
    The 3D GUI updates at what appears to be 3-4fps, which may not sound like much, but compared to 1fps for older models, this is a significant improvement, and is the difference between missing an exit or not.

    3D Terrain:
    This is surprisingly useful when going up/down hills, as it gives you an idea of not just a left/right turn, but also the incline. Sudden, steep climbs/downturns (think Laguna Seca) were reasonably well-indicated, which allowed me to slow down a bit more than had I assumed it was a level turn.

    Antenna:
    I personally like that the flip-up antenna in the 300-series is gone. It makes it much more usable when holding.

    Display:
    The display packs a ton of information, including next turns, speed limits, and all things that were typically a few clicks away. Surprisingly, it does not seem cramped at all.

    Routing:
    Routing is very fast -- maybe 1-3 seconds? It's fast enough that I don't need to count, sweat, and worry that I won't get directions before the next intersection.

    Re-Routing:
    Most importantly, *re-routing* is fast. If I take an incorrect turn, it will re-route within seconds, and will prompt me with a turn direction half way down the block. In previous models, I would have to slow down or pull over.

    Overall:
    Size, build, battery life, screen, volume, TTS, etc... all wonderful. As a standalone GPS, this is quite impressive.

    Cons: (this is where it gets knocked down to 4 stars)

    Dock:
    The 350's dock housed the power cable, which made it a one-handed motion to get it back in the dock with power. With the 255, you need to plug in the power, then place it in the dock. Not a dealbreaker, but it's too bad they couldn't engineer it like the 350.

    No QWERTY:
    It amazes me that even with a touchscreen, Garmin still can't give me a QWERTY keyboard. It's not as if there are physical key limitations... This makes inputting text considerably slower.

    Shortage of accessories:
    No USB-A to USB-Mini cable, no AC adapter, no case. Not that *I* need any of those things, but someone who's not a computer geek may not have those things handy.

    Average Web Tools/Content, Photo Bookmarking:
    I can see they're trying to beef this up, but as of this writing, the on-line, web tool and photo-based location bookmarker is average, at best. The downloadable content (new vehicle models, and the one custom voice) offers considerably less than the competition (eg: TomTom).

    Other: (Not pros or cons, but FYI)
    - no mp3 playback
    - microSD slot, not SD
    - sorry, no feedback on MSN traffic, as it doesn't fit my usage style...more info
  • Excellent GPS
    This is a great GPS unit for the first-time owner. It is very easy to use!...more info
  • Garmin Beats Usinig a Map
    I would give Garmin 5 stars but it still doesn't find all the best routes.
    Speaking wise it is excellent. Display wise also excellent. Ease of use also excellent. ...more info
  • Like it, but ...
    I like our new Nuvi; works as it should and gets you where you want to go. Bit it seems a bit clumsy in the interfaces. Takes too many moves (not an easily remembered journey) to change things like type of route preferred. Would probably choose something else next time.

    Dash mount is fabulous, though. Brilliant and just perfect for our new Prius....more info
  • Garmin 255 3.5inch screen
    I bought this GPS system for my 21 yr. old son
    for Christmas. He really likes it, and was very
    surprised with this gift, mainly since he had not
    expressed a desire to own one. I have observed it
    working while riding with him, and the only comment
    I have to make is this: If I ever buy one for myself
    or for my husband, I would definitely get the same
    model with the larger screen. I believe that would
    be a 4.3inch screen. That would work better for my
    50 yr. old eyes!! This price is excellent!! I
    researched the price everywhere, and Amazon was the
    best BY FAR!!!! Buy it... ...more info
  • Garmin 255 GPS
    I purchased the GPS as a birthday gift for my 20 year old daughter. My daughter has used the GPS several times and has told me it's the best. I would highly recommend the Garmin Nuvi 255 GPS....more info
  • Garmin Nuvi 255 review
    I have an older Streetpilot from Garmin. It does a good job, but is a little on the large size. Also it is troubled by glare at times. The Nuvi 255 is a great improvement, being smaller, glare free, and more features. An upgrade for the maps was offered and that is accomplished online. I had so many problems with this that I dread getting any other updates. It took 3 days with Garmin tech staff taking over my computer. Although the staff was wonderful, this is totally unacceptable....more info
  • excellent gps
    I recently had to replace my Streetpilot 2610 and wanted something without some of the new bells and whistles that a lot of the new gps' have. This has all the features I need and not much else.

    I especially like being able to download locations from Google Maps and Mapquest. ...more info
  • Great first GPS unit
    First, all the good parts. Great price, good instruction manual, unit is very intuitive to use. The spoken street names make it worth the extra cost over the Garmin 205. Also Garmin's website is very helpful if you have any problems or questions.
    Now, the bad parts. These are common to most, if not all GPS units, but are worth mentioning for first time buyers. The unit comes with a window suction cup mount, but you really can't use it, because if you leave even just the mount (or the "ring" the suction cups makes) on the window thieves will probably break into your car to see if the GPS is in the console or glove compartment. So figure on some kind of removeable mount (like a vent or cup holder mount) as an added cost.
    Also the unit comes with a car charger cord, but no AC power cord to charge the unit in your home. Another added expense, will probably be a USB cable (some of these will also charge the GPS when connected to your computer)so you can register your unit online with Garmin, and also use Google maps to enter favorite destinations in your home city.
    All of this can add up to another $60 or so on top of the cost of the unit.
    All that being said, the actual cost of the Garmin 255 on Amazon was the best I could find, and even with the above additional expenses, I am very pleased with the purchase of this unit. ...more info
  • Wow. Stunned at how great a GPS is. My first.
    Purchased 2 weeks ago, and used to drive from Ohio to Boston. 1600 miles RT. My first GPS. I was totally blown away with these fantastic devices. Great voice quality, easy to read graphics. Shows shortest and best routes. Mapquest can't compare. I exited an interstate that didn't have a return ramp. The GPS saved me. Back on in 5 minutes. Can't believe how instantaneous the transmission is. It made one mistake (twice), the entire trip. Told me to turn right, when it should have been left. Repeated the mistake on the same off ramp turn, on the return trip. It instantly recognized the error and gave accurate directions to get to my hotel. It gave me the exact speed limit of each road I was traveling. Instantly recognized changes in the speed limit. I passed on the factory Nav on my new Honda Ridgeline, after several friends told me the Garmins are better. One uses a portable Garmin, even though his new BMW has factory Nav. Incredibly easy to program. Thought they were an extravagance, when you can get a mapquest printout for free. Boy, was I wrong. ...more info
  • Fun Little Toy
    My girlfriend bought me this Nuvi for christmas and it has been a fun toy for me to play with. A couple of the features I really like are estimated time to arrival, it shows you posted speed limits, and actual speed (which gives you an idea of how far off the speedometer in your car is). It's search functions are pretty good (searching for locations). I can't say It's been 100% successful in that area, and that definitely has some quirks. And when I've tried it out on trips where I actually know where I'm going, I've found that it doesn't always send you the best route. If I stick to the route I know I can actaully reduce the trip time a few minutes. As a matter of fact several times I've done this, the routes it tried to send me were absolutely ridiculous since it doesn't account for traffic lights... nor does she account for topography. I took her with me to Vermont, and where ever I went she kept trying to send me up access roads to the highway to drive down an exit or two, instead of just keeping me in the same valley I was already in. Therefore we now spend a lot of time messing with her and refer to her as "The Dingbat". Never-the-less when traveling roads I don't know I am very comfident in the Nuvi's ability to get me there in a timely manner, and I usually take her with me even when going places I know (not just to mess with her either). ...more info
  • Very pleased
    I am very challenged when it comes to directions. The product has been very helpful. There were a few newer places that could not be found. No problems finding a satellite and it located most of my places of interests as well as rerouted me when I missed turns (due to my own mistake)....more info
  • nuvi 255
    good unit easy to use fairly quick at picking up satellites some spoken commands are incorrect ( turn right ) when I should have turned (left ) but all in all gets you to the destination with no problems...more info
  • Great little machine
    This little unit is accurate, compact,(fits in the locked glovebox)and is fun to use. Highly recommend this unit. N. Herr...more info
  • excellent product
    I highly recommend the Garmin Nuvi 255. As someone who is directionally-challenged, I have found it to be a true stress reliever. I've used it to drive to places unknown, as well as to overcome traffic jams and find an alternate route. The voice is more than loud enough for me to hear (even over the radio) and the visuals are clear. There are other GPS products for a lot more money, but I find this particular model an excellent value. In fact, I'd loaned it to a colleague who was traveling a long distance to a location to which she'd never traveled. She was so impressed she purchased one for herself a few weeks later. I even purchased one for my equally directionally-challenged son to celebrate his college graduation. So, yes, I recommend this product....more info
  • Be sure to go to garmin.com to update your software
    Download WebUpdater from Garmin and it will update quite a lot of items (as of Dec 08) Particularly, voice quality seems to be better after the update.

    Map redraw is slow compared to my old Mio C310. The lack of QWERTY keyboard is a pain....more info
  • Excellent gps
    I have had the 255 for about two months which I switched from a 260 that was not what I had hoped for and have been very pleased by both the features and performance thus far. I really like its portability and compactness to use both in my vehicle and while traveling with others. On a recent trip to Louisville it was very helpful for fuel stops and eating. Also had the oppportunity to use on a bicycle outing with my wife.
    Amazon was very helpful and the shipping time was excellent for the replacement....more info
  • Good, but could be improved
    Pros:
    - Compact
    - Inexpensive
    - Seems to do a good job choosing a route
    - Easy to use touch screen user interface
    - 3D view is well done, with nice fast refresh rate
    - Samantha speaks clearly and does a good job pronouncing most names
    - Mount and power adapter are simple

    Cons:
    - Some of the voices aren't loud enough or cause the speaker to crackle at higher volumes
    - Some of the voices mispronounce "recalculating"
    - Pedestrian mode is hard to access and doesn't automatically change icon
    - Menu system is deep and not all that well organized, but it's small enough that you soon memorize it
    - If you tap one extra time on Back button it cancels your route
    - Small screen means on-screen keyboard can't use QWERTY layout, but its still easy enough to enter text
    - Can be slow to find points of interest
    - Screen can be very hard to see when wearing polarized sunglasses, and washes out badly when viewed off angle
    - Touch screen not as responsive as iPhone
    - Power adapter attaches to device rather than mount, and cable is thick and stiff
    - Dashboard disc uses permanent adhesive
    - Maps and points of interest are both already stale in some areas
    - No traffic info

    Some suggested changes for Garmin programmers:
    - Touching on car icon should give quick access to pedestrian mode
    - Pedestrian mode should have independent setting for vehicle icon
    - Instead of showing "Speed" above your current speed, and displaying the silly "m" over "h" suffix, just display "MPH" above your current speed
    - Display map scale somewhere, even in 3D mode
    - When drawing street names on map, make them line up exactly with the street
    - Support displaying icons for selected points of interest (eg. gas stations) on the main map
    - Tapping on the arrival time does nothing: why not make it display a map centered on your destination?
    - Should be able to tap rather than tap and hold to bring up satellite screen
    - Use blocks rather than miles to describe short distances when driving on surface streets (eg. in 2 blocks turn right on Acorn Place)
    - Provide option to blink speed limit when current speed is well over limit
    - There is plenty of room to display PM rather than P over M at the top right corner of the main menu screen
    - In north up mode, place vehicle near edge of screen rather than the center, so I can see more of what's ahead of me
    - Include camp sites in POI database
    - Only 4 icons are displayed at a time in the settings menu when 6 would fit just fine
    - A bit of rubber trim would make device easier to carry...more info
  • very happy
    I am very happy with this product. This is our third navigator and by far the best.
    Easy to use and understand. This one does not freeze and have to be rebooted, and keeps it's charge much longer.

    I did a lot of research and it has paid off...more info
  • Good deal, good quality
    This is a very good deal, very affordable and good quality.
    Good size (very small, it fits in my pocket), battery lasts long enough, the sound is loud enough. I am glad I got this product....more info
  • Lacks features compared to Tom Tom
    This is the lowest priced unit that also calls out street names but the voice is too animated although speaker is pretty good.
    While using the Tom Tom you could easily remove parts of the route that you knew had construction or congestion and it would recalculate your route. This feature has been in the Tom Tom since the GO came out like 4 years ago.
    Garmin still lacks that feature, they call it Detour in which you have no control at all and the unit decides your alternate route. I know it has the FM traffic update but I am not buying a subscription service for that.
    I think I will stick to Tom Tom it offers better features for the same money....more info
  • Great GPS
    This is the first GPS we have owned. I read so many reviews just to be sure I got it right. The one feature everyone stressed was the text to speech technology and I'm so glad I listened. We've only used it a couple of times, but we're very pleased.
    ...more info