Though it has flaws, the Garmin Nuvi 265W also has all features that a GPS unit should offer and throws in a few extras for good measure. It’s easy to install, set up and use, the voice commands are clear – if oddly pronounced – and the large 4.3in 480 x 272 screen can be seen at a glance, without too much trouble.
Mounting the device is as easy as the instructions promise and the Garmin 265W finds a satellite signal within two minutes of being turned on. Any subsequent loss of signal is remedied within seconds. Positioning is accurate and we even found the signal stayed vigilant inside and under cover, where it normally wouldn’t.
The main screen is uncluttered, with easy access to the primary map and address functions. The map screen itself is quite intuitive, with driving logs and traffic conditions just one touch away. Garmin includes fixed camera alerts, too. The voice instructions are clear and even say the name of the streets you’re turning into, rather than just indicating a turn. Of course the pronunciation is somewhat off in just about every case.
The unit can act like a mass storage device and can display photos, either from its own memory or via the SD card slot, allowing users to attach images to points of interest. It can also be used as a hands free kit with Bluetooth enabled phones, thanks to a built-in microphone. Other, less remarkable features include a world clock, a unit converter and a calculator.
The speaker is loud enough, except in a convertible, but distorts at higher volumes. We also found that the microphone and speaker occasionally caused an ear-piercing feedback loop when using the hands-free feature. The keyboard can be set to QWERTY or ABCDE modes, but is a little sluggish to respond either way. We also found that the mapping system made some odd navigation choices and the meagre beep for fixed cameras isn’t as dramatic as it could be.
Overall, however, our experience was good enough to get to the chosen destination with relative ease.
This Review appeared in the January, 2009 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine