Portable GPS devices shine vs. in-car versions

Old Guys Rule

I still like in-dash units - but quite mixed opinion

I have a newer car with a built-in dash GPS unit. This has a well integrated large touchscreen and easy to use. Does have silly nag screen and cannot use while driving - silly safety lockout. This was first experience with a "navigating" type GPS and pretty much convinced myself that I would never buy another car without one.

Just purchased a Nuvi 350 for the older car and for traveling. The functionaliy of the Nuvi is more than the built-in GPS and it is portable for traveling. But if I had a choice, I would still want the GPS to be built-in. The cords, the risk of theft, and the ease of integration is worth it in my book.

I probably would still have the Nuvi for traveling though.

I hear ya, but I really love

I hear ya, but I really love the functionality of the portable GPSrs. Also, it seems that option to have an in dash will add $1000 or more to the cost. Dang, I could get a really good GPS and RD for that price.

Charley - Nuvi 350 - Bel STI Driver - Cobra 29 w/ wilson 1000 - AIM: asianfire -

Portable vs On-board

I have a Honda Odyssey and a Nuvi 350 (soon to have a Nuvi 750). A long-time friend has the same vehicle (same year) with the entertainment system and the navigation system. When we compare notes (including cost to upgrade the mapset), and features of the two systems, his on-board is VERY close (feature-wise) to the portable unit. His, however, will not do some things that mine will (accept coordinates for one - which I use A LOT!). The portable units can be a hassle (cord, mounting), but overall, I'm happy with the portable unit and glad that I didn't spend the extra $$ for the two extra add-ons. The entertainment system is mandatory if you get the navigation system, because your map updates come on DVD (same as the portable units). I had the entertainment system in a 1995 Odyssey (totalled in a wreck) that was used twice by my grandson in the 2 years that I had the vehicle. Overall, portables do give you more functionality and flexability, and I think I'll just stick with them.


"Sometimes, when I look at my children, I wish I had remained a virgin". Lillian Carter (Mother of Jimmy Carter)

Car rental

I took my Nuvi 350 for my trip and used it in a rental car. A unit built into my car (if I had one) would've been useless.

nüvi 750 & 760

Yeah, if you travel a lot,

Yeah, if you travel a lot, you have to get a portable one, unless you have the money for both.

Charley - Nuvi 350 - Bel STI Driver - Cobra 29 w/ wilson 1000 - AIM: asianfire -

Portable -vs- Fixed

I have a 2730 & a 7500 and find I use the 2730 90% of the time because of it's smaller size.

The reason I got a portable unit ( 2730 ) was that we have three drivers in the household and we ALL get lost and frequent new places that we have never been too before.

So for $500 we can move the unit from one car to the other very easily.

It's also a LOT easier to upgrade software, voices and maps because we can carry it into the house and hook-up directly to our computer.

In my book, a portable wins hands down.


Portable GPS for Rental Car

Occasionaly for a car rental I would request the GPS option. A few weeks ago while in Washington DC, I took my 660 and used it. Fortunately my wife didn't need it at home. This flexibility would not be available with a built in. Although I do agree that the dash installed models should reduce theft. But radios still get ripped out so a built-in GPS might have the same issue.

Jim Garmin nuvi 660

Price determined it for me

With a Built in at $1800+ vs $500 for a pocket PC with Tom Tom built in, it was a no brainer for me. Used mine in rental cars in Alaska and Mexico as well as the lower 48.


no brainer for me

no brainer for me too.

Portable wins hand down.

They are:
-portable (duh!) can carry to another car or even on hiking trips and geo-caching
-more function/feature
-easier to upgrade (factory installed GPSr sometime requires you to drive your car to dealers to get mapupdate, or to load a different region of map.
-disadvantage, thiefs also love them sad


portable vs built in. when your car is totaled within the first year or even later. the downside is that it goes with the car. you've spent over 1k for a built in that you can't take with you when or if the car is totaled. it's left to the junkyard to part off your car... my 2cents.

Do built-in GPS allow POI input?

Do the factory installed GPS units allow the uploading of POI files as we are all fond of doing here at the POI Factory??

Brent - DriveLuxe 51 LMT-S


According to my friend with the Honda (with factory navigation), the only thing he can load to his is a new mapset. Consequently, I guess they have to live with the factory POIs. Bummer there!


"Sometimes, when I look at my children, I wish I had remained a virgin". Lillian Carter (Mother of Jimmy Carter)