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Garmin nüvi 200W Sat-Nav - Garmin nüvi 200W
It is, of course, possible to find fault with the directions and route-finding, as with any sat-nav system. Voice instructions are not always accurate. For instance, "Bear left" instructions are often straightforward turnings. And route-finding can occasionally go awry. In Hertfordshire on the way to a wedding reception the 200W seemed a touch too keen to route me around the narrow back roads when the main roads would have got me there just as quick. But thankfully it never veers into Mr Clumsy territory. Instances of "what the ..." are thankfully few and far between and the automatic recalculation of routes works very quickly and smoothly if you do decide to ignore the instructions given to you.
But there are a few areas where Garmin could be accused of having been a bit Mr Forgetful with the 200W. There's no way of displaying certain categories of points of interest on the map as you drive, despite the fact that you can load custom POIs in and display those on the map. There's no route overview function – instead you have to tap the map to switch to 2D view and manually zoom out to see everything at once. There's also no way to add traffic information as there is with most of the mid to high-end TomToms, and it isn't compatible with the FM-transmitted TMC system either.
Neither is it particularly strong on the PC integration front, at least compared to TomTom's devices. In fact there's no dedicated software included in the box on a CD – if you want to load up your own POIs you have to download the free software utility from the Garmin website and upload your compatible CSV or GPX files from there. It's hardly elegant, although it does mean you can upload third party speed camera databases and the like, most of which are either free or a lot cheaper than Garmin's extortionate £39 per year charge (and that's just for the UK).
Despite these weaknesses, Garmin has produced a sound navigation product in the nüvi 200W. The maps are very clear, routing is competent and disaster free, while audio instructions are mostly reliable. More importantly it's extremely easy to use and most of the significant functions are very obvious and simple to access – it's almost worth having for that detour function alone.
And though there is no facility to add traffic updates, it scores well with its £169.99 price tag, which though not quite as good value as Mio's well-performing C220, is cheaper than a TomTom One XL and represents a very good price for a sat-nav with widescreen. It's certainly worth a look, Mr Nosey.
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