Garmin StreetPilot ColorMap Automotive Mountable GPS Receiver Reviews
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Garmin StreetPilot ColorMap Automotive Mountable GPS Receiver

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Good with cars, excellent with MapSource CD

Jul 20, 2000
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Great details with MetroGuide, easy lock on satellites, easy to mount on vehicle

Cons:Battery life, refresh time, price

Someday, I'll have to stop buying toys for my Xterra :)

The Garmin Streetpilot Colormap is designed for use in automobiles, not for hiking, perhaps for boating or flying, but it excels as a car navigation device.

Pros:
- The Streetpilot's horizontal profile allows it to be mounted relatively easily to a car's dashboard without blocking the driver's view of the road. Other GPS units, like the Garmin eMap or GPS-12 are mounted horizontally. Even though this is a minor point, I believe that it is important to consider your safety.

- The Streetpilot is able to maintain a lock on enough satelites to work even if it is not held up against a window. Before I mounted it on my truck's dash, I had my passenger hold it and it was able to maintain a lock throughout my drive. An external anthenna, while a nice option, is not necessary to use the Streetpilot effectively.

- With the Metroguide MapSource CD, you will be able to navigate through almost all roads easily. GPS is surprisingly accurate, able to pinpoint me even when I was driving down a small road near my home. I believe that since SA (Selective Avaliability) has been turned off by the U.S. government, GPS has become a valuable driving tool

- Navigation directions very accurate. With configurable warning times, the system warned me about coming turns and streets before I could actually see the street signs, making navigation very much easier. However, you do need the MetroGuide MapSource CD installed in order to navigate effectively in city streets

Cons:
- Price... The StreetPilot Colormap is expensive (~$550 online price as of 7/00) While this is cheap compared to other GPS systems that are built into the vehicle, it is much more expensive compared to the Garmin eMap, or even the old grayscale StreetPilot.

- Needs to have a MapSource CD to interface with a computer. Even though it comes with a cable to connect to your computer's serial port, the software necessary is distributed with a MapSource CD. I highly recommend that you purchase the MetroGuide MapSource CD with a 8MB or 16MB data cart. The MapSource CDs are expensive, and could run you up to $200+ if you purchase it with a data cart.

- Battery life is not suitable for other needs. If you want to go skiing or hiking with a GPS, I'd recommend you get something else, like the Garmin eTrex which is more portable, and has better battery life. However, as a car navigation system, this isn't even an issue.

- The screen takes a second or so to refresh whenever you either pan to a different section of a map, or change zoom levels. This can get annoying when you're simply trying to look around the map, or plan a route. In order to get around this, I recommend that you plan your routes using the MapSource PC tool, and download the route to your StreetPilot when it is complete. This way, you can work on your routes on your computer's larger screen, and save the batteries on your GPS.

Summary:
The Garmin StreetPilot Colormap is very suited for car navigation. However, to fully use it's potential, I recommend you purchase the MetroGuide MapSource CD as well.



Recommend this product? Yes


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