Why I bought a Garmin Portable GPS system instead of a Tom Tom GPS or Magellan GPS

Summary: While this isn’t a complete GPS review, I compared a Garmin GPS, Magellan GPS and Tom Tom GPS systems and I chose the Garmin C320 based on prices and features.

I’m in Orlando now.  I borrowed my wife’s Garmin C320 GPS system and I’m using it in my rental car. I’ve used it to find a post office and an obscure address for hotel supplies that is 40 minutes away and a steak house.

I’ve really come to depend on it.

My wife, Barb, used her Garmin GPS to find a local library with Internet access when she was recently in an unfamiliar town.

Almost every GPS system has a million or more “points of interest” preprogrammed, so you can do a text search for “Bill’s Steak House in Orlando, and it will not only show you the address, but also the phone number so you can call for reservations. Aother cool feature is that a GPS system will calculates the arrival time, and depending on traffic, it’s surprisingly accurate.

After researching what was available, I bought my wife a Garmin c320. At the time, it was hundreds of dollars less than a comparable Tom Tom.
I bought the Garmin GPS system for the following reasons:

1) Garmin has been a long time leader in GPS technology. The new consumer GPS devices from Garmin have gotten mostly good reviews.

2) The Garmin c320 uses a standard SD memory card, all 50 states will fit on a 1GB SD card (about $20 these days) I use a 256 card and it currently has Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Florida, Nevada, and Colorado loaded on it.

3) Because the c320 uses SD memory, the battery life is longer than the c330, which is more expensive and uses an internal hard drive.

4) The c320 has a color touch screen like the TomTom. Garmin also sells an I2 model that uses the same exact software but the color touchscreen is replaced by a scroll wheel for navigation and a non-touchscreen monochrome screen. The I2 is $150 less than the c320.

The Garmin c320 is about the size of a softball and I wish it was smaller so that I could carry it in my pocket. Garmin recently started selling a pocket model called the NUMI, but it’s much more expensive.

Click here to see the Garmin c320 at Amazon

Click here to see the Pocket sized Garmin Nuvi

Good luck with your purchase.

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