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c580 is officially discontinued

In July 2007 I bought a Garmin StreetPilot c580. Today I checked the Garmin web site and the c580 is now officially a discontinued model.

Bleah.

Don't get me wrong, the c580 is an outstanding unit and the best I've ever owned to date - but the discontinued notice means that system updates will be fewer.

For a little while now I've been wanting one of the slim nüvi models. Yeah, the built-in speaker is tinny sounding compared to the larger c580 housing with better speakers, but I really dig the slim style. And there's a few features I like about the nüvi better than the c580.

There are a few things I've come to realize using GPS navigation over the years.

First, spoken street names sound like crap compared to the prerecorded voice. There has not been a single GPS unit ever made (no matter what manufacturer) that has a spoken-street voice that sounds good. All of them sound too "computery". Besides which, all you really want to hear is "turn right", "turn left" or "continue", take a quick glance at the screen and you've got all the info you need.

Second, GPS' primary function is to direct you where to go. My c580 has a bunch of whiz-bang features in it like Bluetooth connectivity to my cell phone and MSN Direct stuff (which I didn't renew), but I barely ever use these features. All I want the GPS unit to do is direct me. That's it. For any new unit I buy in the future, the nav features are my primary concern. Everything else is just fluff.

Third, size matters. My first unit (which I got back recently) was the little baseball-sized StreetPilot i3 - and I still use it from time to time. The c340 I had was a monster in a bad way. It had a horrible mount and the thing was just huge. The c580, while nice, is still bulky. These reasons are why I want to get a nüvi.

So anyway.. hopefully in the near future I can pick up a widescreen nüvi. I want widescreen specifically because you can switch to a QWERTY-style "keyboard" layout. This makes for "typing" easier.

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