Garmin nüvi 780 4.3-Inch Widescreen Bluetooth Portable GPS Navigator with MSN Direct Service at Amazon for $177.00 & this item ships for FREE with Super Saver Shipping..
I have two and the features of this unit are many...
WoW!-- Hard to believe these once retailed for nearly 700 bucks!! How low can they go??
It's hard to decide when to buy a new unit. Prices are falling and features are ever changing.
There may be some new model announcements at the CES (Consumer Electronics Show) next week. That could have an impact on prices of current models.
OK, before anyone chastises me, I know what the OP had in mind.
But don't we have enough alphabet soup in our lives without people making up model numbers that simply don't exist?
It is bad enough wading through all of these 'best of the decade' articles when the decade isn't even over yet. There's enough trashy information out there that we don't need good samaritans creating even more confusion.
There are a number of excellent reasons to buy a 780. For me the top two are deal-makers:
1. As one of the older generation navigators, it may not have Junction View or Lane Assist, but it does display the upcoming cross street names while driving around in normal mode . . . this is a feature that's been yanked from every new navigator out there and I, for one find it absolutely invaluable.
In fact the lack of this feature alone will be one of two reasons that I will not buy another Garmin navigator.
It is just too clumsy to start messing with zoom levels (especially in units that have autozoom) to look at the map to see the names of those upcoming streets - besides, there is a percentage of street names that NEVER display, no matter how close-in you zoom - and with new, onerous laws that will shortly prevent us from even touching our navigator screens while in motion it will become an impossible situation.
Besides, the display technology makes it somewhat 'iffy' in terms of knowing if you are approaching or have just passed the street in question - the banner box display has always been pretty accurate in my experience with portable navigators over the past 7 or 8 years.
What is the point of the banner box saying continuously that I am 'Driving on Main Street'? Heck I KNOW I'm driving on Main Street! But I'm looking for 10th . . . .
2. For some reason that I simply cannot understand, Garmin has reduced the 'display density' for secondary street display from 1.2 km to 500 meters (that's about 3/4 of a mile to about half a mile).
Don't think that's significant? It really isn't - if you are in an urban center. That's because you can always REDUCE the display details.
But in rural areas that means that you can't zoom out far enough to see what is beyond your field of vision and still see those secondary roads when in the 'best' display detail mode - you will not even see the road you are driving on!!
And that is reason number two why my 780 is the last model I will likely ever purchase from Garmin - unless they get their act together.
3. This third is a bonus, which might be seen as a drawback by some, but really has no significant bearing;
While the MSN Direct service is coming to an end, it DOES include the receiver and a 3 month trial which is of interest to those of us in urban centers. Since MSN switched traffic information providers to Navteq, the quality improved dramatically
However, be aware that by the start of 2012 you will need to get a dedicated traffic receiver (any receiver from any navigator with a lifetime subscription and the right power connector will work) and because Garmin gives those away with navigators when you buy the right models, there should be lots of those floating around in juunk drawers by then.
I can live without the 'fluff', but as I drive along main street, USA I want my navigator to show me the names of upcoming cross streets, so that if I am looking for a store on 10th and main I don't have to squint at street signs - and I don't have to type in the address, which in all likelihood is going to be off by a block or even more anyway.
So get out there and buy the 780, because IMHO it probably represents the best mix of performance and features of the 'current' navigators. It has the quick disconnect (with Garmin Locate) and high sensitivity receiver which has it all over the 200 series units, too.
Just a newbee who doesn't know any better. I'm waiting for the under hundred dollar sale on these.
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