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Garmin nüvi 255W 4.3-Inch Portable GPS Navigator
The nüvi 255W is a widescreen navigator comes with voice-prompted turn-by-turn directions that speak street names and optional MSN Direct® services. It includes many travel tools including JPEG picture viewer, world travel clock with time zones, currency converter, measurement converter and calculator.
4.3 Inch Auto Navigator with Anti Theft Feature
Voice Prompted Turn by Turn Directions
With HotFix, It Calculates Your Position Faster to Get You There Quicker
Compatible with Optional Enhanced MSN Direct Content
JPEG Picture Viewer, World Travel Clock, Currency Converter, Calculator and More
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Average Customer Review:
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3044 of 3059 found the following review helpful:
Garmin Nuvi 255wJul 01, 2008
I actually could not decide between the Garmin Nuvi 255w or the 750 model, so I decided to buy them both for comparison. I mounted them both to my car windshield and gave them various addresses to find together. I found that both models took the same routes and announced upcoming turns and street names at practically the same time. One thing I noticed about the 255w was that it was updating my position on the road more often, I'd say about 3 times as often as the 750. This made for smoother graphics on the 255w of the vehicle moving along displayed roads, where the 750's display was more of a "jerky" movement. I also found that the display on the 255w was a bit brighter, clearer, and more vivid than on the 750 in both daylight and at night. Another feature I like on the 255w is the graphic turn indicator in the upper left corner, which the 750 lacks. This is a small arrow which shows upcoming turns and the distance to that turn. It also show things like a fork in the road, (ie: a Y intersection), and which fork you will be taking. The 750 just displays text on the top line for upcoming turns without the arrow. It's just a little extra feature on the 255w which I happened to really like. The 255 also automatically adjusts the font size of displayed text so that even lengthy text will fit.
Another feature on the 255w is a display of the posted speed limit on the road which you are currently on right above your current displayed speed. I found myself not even looking at my car speedometer as I could easily see my current speed and the speed limit of my route at a glance. The 750 doesn't have this feature. I also like how they moved the zoom in (+) and zoom out (-) buttons on the 255w to the same side of the screen which makes it a bit easier. On the 750 the zoom buttons are on opposite sides of the screen.
Now there are some features on the 750 that the 255w does not have. The 750 can broadcast it's sound over your FM radio with the supplied cigarette lighter cable, and it has a headphone jack, which I found to be nice features. The 750 also has an MP3 player and an Audio-book player, which the 255w does not. Another really nice feature of the 750 is the car locater. This is a great feature if you are parking in a really big lot, such as at an amusement park or a fair. The 750 marks your location when you remove it from the car, then you take it with you and it remembers where you parked and takes you right back to your car. The 255w doesn't have the car locater.
I also thought the the voice prompts of the 750 where more pleasant sounding than the 255w's. The 750 sounds more like a real female voice, where the 255w sounds more robotic.
Another thing to consider was that I paid $50 less for the 750 and it came with the FM transmitter cable and a USB cord to connect it to your computer for updates and downloads.
My final decision was to keep the 255w and return the 750 because I really liked the graphic turn indicator and the posted speed limit and current speed indicators. I didn't find a need for the 750's MP3 player and Audio book player, but that is up to personal preference. Since the USB cable was not included with the 255w, I purchased it on this site for $10. I also intend to purchase the MSN direct cable when it is available in August 2008.
517 of 525 found the following review helpful:
Best In Its Class - Great For TravelingAug 07, 2008
If you spend much time driving in unfamiliar territory, especially if you rent cars in big cities, a good portable GPS makes an amazing difference. And the Garmin 255W is the best one I could find in the $250 - $350 range.
First this thing just plain works. I haven't had any issues with mine. It was easy to set up and figure out right out of the box, and it's easy to use. It never has had trouble getting sufficient signal unlike earlier and cheaper models.
I chose the 255W for several reasons: It uses some of the newest and best maps available. It has one of the more usable touch screens for entering destinations. It's fast to acquire satellites. And Garmin almost always comes out on top in reviews--especially in routing.
Ultimately, you buy a car GPS to get you from Point A to Point B as easily and efficiently as possible. And that's what the 255W does best. If you've ever had a "Brand X" GPS take you on some strange route that adds 20 minutes to your trip, has you turn the wrong way down a one way road, tell you to turn AFTER you've passed the street, frequently loses the satellite signal, or has old maps missing streets, you know how important this stuff is.
The 255W has a really clear display that's easy to see in any light. It's small enough to use on foot. The windshield mount works great and it's easy to toss in the glovebox when you park. It even tells you the speed limit on most roads. The "points of interest" feature works very well to find places to eat by type of cuisine, gas stations, etc.
The difference between the 255W and 205W is the 255 speaks street names and includes Alaska and Canada. The 205 and 205W will tell you to "turn right in 500 feet" which isn't as helpful or obvious as "turn right on Ivy Street in 500 feet". The "W" models are widescreen which makes entering destinations easier due to having a bigger "keyboard" and also lets you see more map area while driving.
All in all this isn't the cheapest GPS in its class but it's one of the best. My only gripe is you need an expensive add-on to get live traffic data--something that's included with the Magellan Roadmate 1430 which is close to the same price. But the Garmin 255W is a better GPS in every other way.
263 of 266 found the following review helpful:
LOVE the Garmin Nuvi 255WJun 29, 2008
By L. Smith
I received this GPS system about a week ago, and I haven't found one thing to complain about yet. The features are great, and all entirely user friendly. No need to read the manual, just plug it in and go! The Garmin Nuvi 255W connects to satellites extremely fast--So when I get in my car and turn it on, we're pretty much ready to go immediately. The new display posts speed limit signs of major roads flush left on the screen, which is a new feature that is also really helpful, if you're driving in an unfamiliar area. The widescreen display makes it possible to view the names of roads that you are passing on the screen--which makes it much easier to differentiate between which road to turn on when there are two streets on your right (not clearly labeled) that are only one house apart...which has happened to me twice... Also, the fact that the Garmin Nuvi 255W speaks street names is also helpful in times like these. In addition, another feature I find to be immensely helpful is how fast the Nuvi 255W recalculates your position if you do miss a turn. I love the detour feature, it saved me a ton of time when I heard there was an accident on the highway and took back roads that I would have never known existed! I would recommend the Garmin Nuvi 255W to anyone looking for a fast, reliable, and easy to use GPS system.
128 of 130 found the following review helpful:
Great product- very happyJul 27, 2008
By Chuck T. Moser
I've never owned a GPS personally, but have had the occasional opportunity to use friends and family's GPS that comes with the cars, most notably the ones in Honda's CRV's... and have wanted one ever since.
After picking up the Nuvi 255w, I gotta say, this comes pretty darn close to the experience with the expensive factory-installed units... only smaller. In short, I can't think of much I don't like about it.
It picks up the satellites quickly (I've never noticed a lag), routes fast, has good animation (maybe 6-8 frames a second?), and is very, very accurate. The preloaded maps don't include some of the roads that have been built in our town in the last year (which is to be expected), but does include our street, which isn't even available on Google Maps yet. (Go figure) It's light, looks good and comes with everything you need EXCEPT the USB cable to hook it to the computer. If you don't have this, the only way to charge it is to use the cigarette lighter adapter that comes in the box. I just used the one that came with my digital camera, and it works fine. The screen is easily readable in the sun, and I love how it automatically dims to 20% at night.
One purpose this can be used for, which I never thought of before, is a portable yellow pages. Not only does it give you the address of the business, it also gives the phone number. Pretty cool. I didn't have the problems with the sounds of the voices like others have. They sound good to me... a little mechanical, but good.
The interface is a seller for me. Keep in mind that I don't really have much experience to compare it to, but it's obvious they've put some thought into it. The icons are a bit garish and cartoony, though... it's no iPhone.
The cons: The documentation sucks. Not that you really need it... the directions didn't tell me anything I didn't already know after fiddling with it for 10 minutes.
It doesn't ALWAYS speak the street names... most of the time, though.
Some of the voices are annoying. The British accent seems to talk in slow motion, but I think it's the easiest to understand.
I think they could work a little harder on the interface from a design standpoint. Nothing major, just a few tweaks here and there could really make it shine.
The Mac support is little lacking.
All in all, I'd buy another one in a heartbeat. It truly is a great value, and I have no regrets. My only advice to Garmin is to reduce the number of different models by more than half. It's a nightmare to try and make a confident decision with the sheer amount of choices and features that seem to make little sense as to why some are more expensive than others.
1013 of 1085 found the following review helpful:
Not a bad little unit, but a few quirksJul 03, 2008
By Erin S. Contour
I purchased the Nuvi for my Jeep Wrangler. I had a factory GPS unit in my Toyota 4Runner that I loved... the Nuvi 255W appealed due the size of the unit and one's ability to remove it from the car and carry it around as a hand held if walking city streets. It was also appealing because it offered 'elevation contours' at higher zoom levels so you got some feeling of the lay of the land rather than the flat depictions you get on a lot of automotive GPS units.
This review is heavily weighted text wise on the negative. That does not mean I think this is a bad unit... it is fine for around town and certainly a good unit to pick for your first GPS. I do have to say, that comparing it to my old GPS (factory unit in my 2004 4Runner), this unit is not as good. My old GPS has more useful mapping features and routes more reliably.
It is, however, good to be aware that no GPS is perfect and understanding going in where the quirks are with this one will lessen any frustration you might feel in finding them later.
The good - it's a cute little unit, simple, easy to operate, easy to install and does... as promised... update and reroute much _more_ quickly than my other GPS (no, I don't know the manufacturer Toyota uses). Have to give Garmin kuddos on that it's pretty awesome in comparison to other units I've tried. Actually real impressed with that. The batteries last a good long time. I haven't actually measured the time, but a guess says that it's close to the 4 hours spec'd.
The bad - My unit only displays elevation contours at zoom levels of 20 miles or higher. Basically, that's a completely useless feature albeit slightly interesting. I had understood that one could view the elevation contours at zoom levels of 5 miles or higher, later read 8 miles or higher - both of which are close to useless but OK... better than not having it at all. Involved in a conversation with Garmin product support at the moment on that. I'm not clear whether my unit is operating correctly or not. The positive, Garmin product support is responsive.
UPDATE ON THIS - It finally turned out that to see the elevation contours at lower zoom levels (you can see them at zoom levels as low as 2 miles) you have to reduce the amount of detail displayed. Go into Tools-Settings-Map-Map Detail and set the level down (it is set to 'more' by default') to normal, less or least and you will start to see the contours at lower zoom levels. This is a fault with their included (and web) documentation.
The text-to-speech (TTS), not so good. It's very tinny sounding... I've got the unit set to American English - Samantha. I can understand it in my 4Runner. I have difficulty understanding it in my Jeep Wrangler (hard top) which is clearly noisier. My understanding is that Garmin really compressed the voice in this unit, far more than in previous units... and yeah, it sounds like it. I like my older unit better - better voice quality and it simply tells you how far to the next turn and what direction to turn.
The TTS is quirky, not really ready for prime time yet. It seems to do well with English sounding street names like 'Questhaven'... does NOT do well with Spanish based street names (which if you live in So Cal as I do, is an issue). San Elijo is pronounced 'san' 'eli-joe' as a simple example. Via de la Valle is both 'SR 6 Via-de-lane-val' (I listened intently, it did pronounce 'la' as lane... then it occurred to me there must be some translation of an abbreviation for lane, which is truly odd but OK I could see that makes some vague sense in software programming land) and then, surprisingly, the actual correct Spanish pronunciation when I got off on the exit. Apparently the street was in the database twice? Who knows!? A programming 'feature'. A street called Olivenhain was pronouced 'O-lee-ven-tian' (it's actually pronounced 'O-lee-van-hain'. The TTS is definitely seeming more of a toy/curiosity to me than a "can't be without it" feature. I'd not be buying a unit thinking this was an critical part of the decision but it's nice.
The routing I am still evaluating - in general, the unit seems to route well and quickly. It does, however, do odd things that I have not encountered in the same areas with my older unit (I've been using them simultaneously to test the Garmin unit)... as I was driving out of my driveway after having set a destination it said 'turn right on (my street) to street y'. The problem was that street y didn't connect to my street, it wasn't even in the same town. So yeah, not sure what was up with that. When I routed to a different destination I knew I needed to take street a, turn right to street b, and turn right on street c. The unit told me 'take street a .3 miles and turn right on street c'. It completely lost the intermediate street, which BTW, does show on its map and which has to be taken (streets a and c do not connect). I live in a _very_ urban area, near the 5 fwy in north county San Diego. There are NO new streets in this area, all has been established for over 10 years. My older unit, with probably a 2003 map database in it, does not make these errors in this area. So, not thrilled with the routing. It's definitely making mistakes in this area it shouldn't be making.
There are quite a few features present in my 4Runner's now 4-5 year old GPS system that are not present in the unit. I deeply miss the 'route overview' feature, the Garmin unit does not have that. This allows you to easily review the route the unit set up to a set destination. With the Nuvi, you have to take your finger and scroll to see where it is going to take you. It also does not offer an option to view the route as a series of turn by turn directions. I use that quite a bit and miss it here. Lastly, it does not allow you to put in a series of destinations. My older unit allows you to keep adding destinations to the route. Not here, you get one. Then you can add another after you get there. I also miss the display of how far you have yet to go on your route. My old unit counts this down for you and provides an estimate of ETA on the map display. Not present here.
The menu system is a bit too deep for my tastes. I have to hit too many buttons to get back to the map display when, for example, I am entering POIs. I can do that in one step in the 4Runner unit.
The 'finger scrolling' is not overly responsive and yes, it does better if you use your fingernail rather than fingertip. I didn't mind that too much, but you might wonder initially if the unit does scroll the map... yes, it does... try with your fingernail. The zoom up/down buttons are kinda in a bad spot. I find that if I want to scroll sideways that I hit them accidentally quite a bit.
You will read complaints about the lack of a USB cable with the unit. Personally, I didn't view that as an issue. Garmin uses a standard connector and the cables for both my (Sony and Canon) digital cameras worked fine as did the one for my ScanDisk MP3 player. I'm fine not having an extra identical cable.
The documentation is light and I received a manual for a 205W series unit with the 255W. Yeah, OK they're similar but nevertheless it's a bit disconcerting at first. I'm sure Garmin was in a hurry to ship the new units.
So... all in all... it's not bad, but there are definitely things to be aware of. I don't hate it, I'm not in love with it either. I wish Garmin would spend more time giving us the rich mapping features instead of integrating stuff that IMHO isn't useful and does run up the cost of the unit - like Bluetooth for your phone (the placement of the unit for this is all wrong, you want your Bluetooth close to your head and your GPS at eye level on your dash), audio books (we have MP3 player jacks in our stereos now guys, you cannot compete with the sound quality) etc. I get the photo navigation (but how many of you will use that? it's a curiousity for most of us), traffic and content updates (but I won't use that either since I'd use it rarely and don't want to pay a monthly fee for it). Those are navigation related, the other stuff is redundant and Garmin cannot provide as good a solution as the vendors that specialize in these areas.
For anyone that is researching GPS units, I highly recommend spending some serious time on http://www.gpsreview.net. It's a very informative site and the forums are active.
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