Our built in GPS is becoming unreliable. Probably because I've never updated it. They want about $200.00 to do that. I figure I can get a hand held for less and use it any where. So is there any significant differences between Garmin and Tom Tom? And, are these things cash cows where they will become obsolete if I don't keep paying them? If I purchased one, what updates do I have to pay for?
I use Garmin and once you plug it in it catches signal super fast! I used to own a Tom Tom but didn't like it because it was taking forever to catch the signal and when I was driving at downtown around the big buildings it would lose signal! So in my opinion go with Garmin!
Every company will charge you for upgrades later but there are people who buy the upgrade and they share it on those torrent sites so if you are lucky you may find it for free!
After a year or something, your GPS will tell you that it has to be upgraded! It will say that a year has passed and there are new updates for the gps!
Mine is 2 years old and it tells me once in a while todo an upgrade but I don't bother doing it! Nothing has changed here in chicago that much and everything it gets me on the right place so I guess you don't have to worry about the updates plus to update it, you will have to pay so forget it!
I agree with dakatabg about the updates. My Garmin is almost four years old now and I've never updated it. I guess if you were living or travelling in a place where there was significant growth you might want to upgrade the maps. But in four years of not upgrading, I figure that I've saved enough to buy a new one if I needed more recent maps.
If you go to Best Buy or some place like that, you can buy them both and try them out and then return the one that you don't want. I've used both the TomTom (briefly) and the Garmin. They both do the same thing, but the software is different and how they display directions is different.
At the time that I bought mine, I preferred the Tomtom software and I liked the way it displayed the directions better. But it had a crappy suction cup and wouldn't stay stuck to my window. Every time I hit a bump in the road, it fell off. So I ended up with a Garmin, which I've been very happy with.
Department of Heuristics and Research on Material Applications
I have a Tomtom in our Honda and a Garmin in our Nissan. I prefer the TomTom. I find it easier to read, has a better update system, and starting sometime this year will have lifetime map updates - which might make it worthwhile to hold off purchasing for awhile.
In terms of performance, I have found the TomTom a bit slower to find satellites at times. Not a big deal, maybe another 30 seconds or so. Once they both synch up they seem to be about as reliable though.
I would probably pick according to price today, but the prospect of lifetime map updates might change that if TomTom does in fact follow through. Maybe Garmin's got the same thing coming down the pipeline?
Thanks for all the info. Amazon has a Garmin 285WT on a Gold box special for $99.99 today. It looks as if I don't find a good reason this will be the choice. I figure for that price it's a good way to get my feet wet, so to speak This unit comes with that MSN traffic option but I probably wont' keep it after the free trial, it's expensive and if I did like it MSN is turning it off in 2012. I just really need basic features at this point.