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nuvi 205 on the way

An accident happened with my Garmin nüvi 270 last night where it got doused in carpet cleaner. It would take too long to explain how it happened but let's just say the solvent got inside the unit. I was absolutely 100% positive the unit was dead as a doorknob but surprisingly it lives. There are now splotches on the screen from the solvent but shockingly the unit still works. And when I say "works" I mean everything is still working. The touchscreen is fine, all the functions work, the signal acquisition is fine, etc. If that isn't a testament to Garmin build quality I don't know what is. If this were any other electronic device that solvent would have absolutely killed it almost instantly.

Even though the 270 still works I'm pretty sure something inside of it will corrode due to that accidental dousing of carpet cleaner (and the fact I don't want to use a GPS with a splotchy screen), so I ordered up a nüvi 205; it will arrive later in the week. The price I paid was a flat $139 including shipping and that's about as good as it gets right now for the price.

Here's the stuff the 205 has that the 270 doesn't:

Photo Navigation

I can load in photos that are geotagged and the 205 will navigate to them. The easiest software I've found to geotag photos with is Picasa.

Where Am I?

I've been wanting this feature ever since I started using GPS in 2005. You tap "Tools" then "Where Am I?" and it tells you the closest known address from your current position (as well as closest police/fire stations, etc.)

Calculating gas mileage

The 205 has this thing called "ecoRoute" which will calculate your gas mileage for you and even includes something called a "Driving Challenge" to help you get the best miles-per-gallon by rating your driving habits. None of this is direct-linked to the car but rather based on the way you drive that the GPS "knows" about, such as how fast you accelerate, how fast you've driven and so on. I personally think this is really cool.

"Less fuel" route calculate option

In a nüvi you can calculate a route by "faster time", "shorter distance" or "off road", but with this one is a new option, "less fuel". Once you've calibrated the unit for your fuel consumption it should always take you on the route that uses the least fuel. Don't know how well this would work but I'll give it a shot.

~ ~ ~

So anyway, hopefully the nüvi 205 will arrive safe and sound and work out of the box with no issues. I'm also hoping it will have 2009 maps preloaded so I don't have to do that massive several-gigabyte download for the map set. Granted, the one-time map upgrade is free but it takes forever to download it.

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