It seems to me like everyone else has already experienced Sat Nav driving. Most people I talk to already have a unit in the car, and it is an amazing thing that tells you where to go – politely, of course. I haven’t felt like I needed one at all in Australia. However, in the here UK, I thought one might be quite useful, given that I barely know the roads and can’t remember the motorway numbers.
Well, let me tell you, Sat Navs are very difficult products to buy. Not only do you have a range of 3 or 4 key manufacturers to choose from, you also have a myriad different models from each manufacturer. In the end, you are potentially choosing from some 30 to 40 items. My brain went into slight meltdown, and into a “chicks can’t buy Sat Navs” mode. None of their websites were very good at informing, it only served to confuse. All Sat Nav websites were highly product driven, and highly technical in its description. Differences between models were very slight, and you had to read the technical specifications very carefully in order to work out the differences yourself.
How to choose? The only way was elimination.
I chose a manufacturer and refused to look at all else. I came across a review on the Internet that said that the Garmin had a simpler interface as compared to the Tom Tom. That was enough for me. Struggling with technical specifications, I didn’t need another complication in my life.
The Garmin website straddled between interesting and informative but extremely difficult to use. It took me ages to work out what I needed and wanted. Some of their marketing was very good. Like their promotion of the new Garmin Nuvi 1690, designed with constant connectivity in mind with Google Search. It was also top of the line, latest model. I couldn’t go wrong now, could I?
Wrong! The Garmin Nuvi 1690 did not come with the one feature I needed – that was the MP3 player. You see, I had found a UK Heritage Historical Tour from a company called RoadTour, which when loaded onto your Sat Nav will trigger a short commentary on sites of interest within 10 miles of your passing. This I thought might be quite useful and interesting. Given that every point in the country is of historical interest, it might add some colour to an otherwise boring road trip, and also a diversion if needed.
And I wanted this feature. So content driving the decision for hardware, I sadly returned the new fandangled Garmin Nuvi 1690 and went on the hunt for the right Garmin. After another weekend spent reviewing specifications again, I found the right available model. I say this, because I have no idea why Garmin lists products that it no longer sells. Maybe it thinks it still sells them, but when you research on the Internet, it’s simply not available, and eccommerce sites are pointing you to the model up. Grrr! To be honest, if not for the fact that I had already come so far down the road, and the fact that I wanted this audio file from Road Trip, I would have completely abandoned the entire Sat Nav purchasing process.