The nuvi 65 LM is Garmin's latest six-inch widescreen sat-nav from its new Essential series. The Essential series is intended to be simpler and more affordable, and the 65 LM is the top of the range for UK and Republic of Ireland mapping. There is also nuvi 66 LM with European maps for £60 more, but it's otherwise identical. Both come with free lifetime map updates.
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Unlike TomTom, which made a radical change with its latest range of devices, Garmin hasn't radically altered the menu system for its most recent models. The main interface still starts off with two main icons and a selection of smaller ones. The main icons remain Where To? and View Map, with subordinates available to stop navigation, call up installed apps, adjust volume, and configure settings.
The Where To? section includes another array of user-configurable shortcuts, but more importantly there is a search bar at the top. This offers a keyword search across both the address database and the points of interest (POI), and covers an entire country. So you don't need to know which city a particular street or named location is in to find it.
Now that generations are growing up that are used to beginning their digital experiences with a Google search, the Garmin search bar will likely be the first port of call for most new destinations. But if you do want take the more traditional approach, there is an icon available so you can enter an address the traditional way starting with the town or post code and drilling down to the street and house number.
There are also icons leading you to categories of POI, with restaurants, petrol stations and shopping included by default, but you can personalise the options to suit your needs. The right-hand edge is home to three more icons for the full POI category system, as well as accessing saved favourites and the history of recent destinations. There's also an icon for the Home location you set up. However, although you can set routing to calculate via off-road, and take the most fuel-efficient option, annoyingly there's no pedestrian mode available, and Garmin's ecoRoute system isn't included either.
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View Map merely shows you the map of your current location. During navigation, the map shows the usual quasi-3D view, with the next turning described in the top bar. The road name of the turning is included, with a symbol showing the next turning direction and its proximity on the left. The information provided is more minimal than some sat-navs, and there's no indication of the next turn after the most imminent one, but the information is adequate.
The voice commands are clear, and include both the road number and its name, alternating between them if both are available. These will be enough to navigate without having to look at the sat-nav when you would rather keep your eyes on the road. There is also Lane Assist with Junction View available at complex motorway interchanges, providing a clearer realistic view of the signs to look out for and lanes to be in. This pops up on the right-hand side of the screen, taking advantage of the six-inch display, and leaving the map still visible on the left.
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