First, make sure you read DCannon's review... I couldn't have written a better or more accurate review if I tried- they are 100 percent accurate in everything they wrote and clearly a very detailed review like that deserves some credit- KUDOS to DCannon! More people should be that honest and caring about what they write- it helped me select the c230 and I am thankful to DCannon for their pros and cons and their honesty about this INCREDIBLE GPS unit!!! I also ordered the Nav-Mat already, so i don't have to mount the unit to the windshield and risk having it stolen or my car broken into... and now... on with my ramblings!
So!!! I just bought this little marvel yesterday and am already in love with it! First, let me tell you, I am a HUGE fan of the Verizon VZ Navigator that I subscribe to from Verizon Wireless. It has NEVER steered me wrong yet... There has only been ONE time in all of thetimes I have used the VZ Navigator, that it seemed to get confused and told me to pull into a parking lot, but I realized it was wrong, kept driving and the automatic re-route fixed that problem in 5 seconds flat. Meanwhile, a friend of mine was just given a TomTom GPS (not sure what model, and not the ONE 3rd) But none-the-less, my curiosity finally peaked at these cool little GPS units. I did a little homework and began trying to hunt down a TomTom ONE 3rd Generation, and thanks to the fact that the Christmas rush has cleared them out of almost all shelves within a 100 mile radius of my house, I still hadn't gotten one in my hands. The guy at Radio Shack told me about the c230, that it is a very sturdy, rugged unit compared to others and the simple fact that it has Text-To-Speech (TTS), seemed to interest me. The fact that Radio Shack still had a few left at $149.99 interested me even more. Then I read the online reviews.... you know what I do? I ignore the 'best' and the 'worst' reviews and came up with mostly great things to say about the c230... Simple fact, there is no 'one' perfect GPS unit out there... not one. Someone will always undoubtably be unhappy with their experience with their GPS unit- too quiet, too big, too small, garbled speech, etc, etc, etc... The bottom line is this: YOU GET WHAT YOU PAID FOR, and in the case of the c230, you get quite a bit more! That is what makes the c230 such a great value- The TTS is not great, in that is DOES mispronounce only a FEW street names which are funny to hear... Applegarth Road is pronounced APP-LEE-GURTH ROAD... OK, SO IT'S NOT PERFECT! GET OVER IT! LOL! No matter what, the street names are listed on the GPS unit anyway, so if you have no idea what 'Samantha' is trying to tell you, you can read it at a glance... Yes... Samantha is the only voice that offers the TTS, but she is pleasant to listen to. The other English voices are also ok, but do not speak the name of the street as you approach... Just simply "Prepare to turn right in 500 feet", whereas Samantha says "Prepare to turn right in 500 feet onto Lime Street" If you compare the TomTom One 3rd Generation and the Mitac Mio c230 side by side, you get features you like and dislike about both units- If you shop around, the lowest price is around $150 - $170 for each unit, both have pretty great reviews and both do give you alot. Neither support BlueTooth, play MP3's, or display your digital pictures... but the selling point for me was the TTS of the c230. If you have never had any device that states the street names, both units are fine. But I got accostomed to my VZ Navigator always speaking the street names I was turning onto... so I prefer it.
What's in the box: a very well protected and padded GPS unit, car charger with mini-USB connector, an amazingly well designed sturdy suction cup mount, a permanent mount, the manual on a CD, warranty info, and a quick set-up guide. The suction cup on the mount ALONE was impressive, with its handy lever that REALLY gets a rock-sold grip on a windshield or smooth flat surface (alot of other GPS units have regular suction cup mounts that you simply lick and stick with no precise planning or powerful vacuum)
What's NOT in the box: a mini-USB to standard USB cable to plug into my computer for future uses (that's ok- I already have one at home), a home charger to plug into the wall (that's ok- I can use my laptop to charge the battery at home with the mini-USB cable I already have!), an SD card (the unit has a SD card slot BUT at the moment there is no use for it because the maps are already pre-loaded into the 1 Gig hard drive and being that the unit just came out a few months ago, it has all relatively updated maps), and lastly, there is no STYLUS... (sorta like a pen that can not write)
"I just bought the c230 and secretly walked to my car, beaming with pride at what's in the box inside my Radio Shack bag- now what?" Ok- so you open the box, take the unit out and peel off the display sticker stuck to the face, plug it into your car charger and turn it on. It mentions taking the stylus to calibrate the unit (there is no included stylus, so if you already have one, you can use that and if you don't have one, use a capped pen or just simply your finger!) There will be a + in the center of the center of the screen you touch. It moves and you do the same about 4 more times. Then the screen is calibrated and you can begin using the unit. Make sure you take the time over the next few days playing with all of the features and options to obtain the results that best suit your needs (everyone has different tastes and the c230 does give you alot of options) One cool feature is the 3D version of the navigation. You set your trip and then it gives you three options- overhead like reading a map and flying in an airplane looking down, always-north- where the map always faces north no matter which direction you are traveling in, and the 3D view that as you start your journey you 'float' up to a height high above your car- sort of like taking off in a helicopter- and the whole view- streets and all- right up to the horizon- give you a 3D view like playing a video-game... Don't worry, it won't make you dizzy or fearful of heights! Another cool thing is the automatic dimming of the screen (you set it to do this) that detects when it is dark out and dims the screen to a dim setting that YOU select how dark you need it. The unit also offers Via Points that supposedly allow you to pick places you want to stop at along the way (haven't used that feature yet but I have seen the options pop up for it...) ALSO... everyine seems to gripe about the POIs being limited... that very well may be the case by location and part of the country. Locally, I selected Restaurants and began to type in White C and the list immediately sprang up a listing of restaurants and I found White Castle within a half a second- then I told it to route me there and it's accuracy was perfect...!
As you read other reviews about the c230 (and I suggest you read as much as you can...) Pay attention to what they say and understand that sometimes people are not gadget-freaks like me, so the don't understand how to use menus and sub-menus... and I will admit that this unit might be slightly intimidating AT FIRST, but once you play with all of the options and discover this thing does WAY WAY WAY more than alot of other units for the same and even much higher prices, you will realize that for what it is, what is does, how it operates and how much you can personalize it, it's a really GREAT deal for anyone who wants great value in a great GPS for $150!
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