Gone are the days of big, clunky global positioning systems; the new wave of devices are sleek, slim-line affairs with large touchscreens.
It’s tempting to take the Garmin nüvi 1490T out of the box and fire it up straight away but refrain if you can; if it can’t find a satellite signal, it takes a while to get going. The multiple end-user licence agreements are daunting (but who reads those anyway?) and the five-inch screen is easy to see, even in sunlight. Finger marks are a problem, but are easily cleaned.
A nice feature of the nüvi range is its ‘Real View Advanced Lane Guidance’, a Whereis addition that shows drivers a photo of upcoming lanes and intersections as you approach. It’s great for quick lane changes and unfamiliar roads. Other features include text to speech and alerts for most major roads in Australia if you exceed the speed limit. You also have the option to download an application called VoiceStudio, which lets you record your own voice and create customise navigation prompts. It’s part of the Garmin Garage which also includes free vehicle icon downloads.
The 1490T has Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free calling and Points of Interest dialing, giving drivers more freedom to focus on the road. It also includes a pedestrian mode, but it is little more than an add-on — the unit is really designed for driver use. It retails for $399.
- Large screen is good in bright light
- Bluetooth connectivity
- Can take time to find satellite signal