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Small wonder returns

Just before 11pm yesterday I picked up Sis from TPA. She arrived safe albeit a little weary from the trip. We (Pop, Sis and myself) will be heading to Disney early next week.

Before sis came here I told her to bring her Garmin StreetPilot i3 with her. Yes, the same one I originally paid $400 for when it first came to market (and was worth every penny in my opinion). That lil' GPS still runs astonishingly well. Granted, it's taken dives off the windshield more times than I have fingers and toes (those who have i3's know exactly what I'm talking about) but keeps going and going.

I have updated map software back at home so I'll be taking the i3 back to Tampa to update it. Before I started writing this I updated the system software. It was way behind at version 2.10 (the latest version is 3.40), so that should help it along quite a bit.

The i3, even though it does not have a touchscreen, really works well for what it is. It's tiny, has a true daylight-readable screen, is fairly audible, routes quickly and does the job it was designed to do. And the best part is that it runs on 2 plain ol' alkaline AA batteries. No StreetPilot since the i series is able to do that.

The i3 was originally billed as "a small wonder in car navigation" and it truly is. Even though it's discontinued now it still proves itself in performance again and again. I'd say it's biggest drawback is the fact it can't fit the entire USA in its small storage medium (even though I purchased a 256MB card for it a while back).

Still, this was the first StreetPilot I ever owned. And it still works. To have any electronic device with a backlighted screen last this long is amazing in its own right. Put it this way, Pop's 2720 has already had the touchscreen replaced - twice. But for the i3, it's a little trooper and thensome.

My c580 StreetPilot is obviously better in every way compared to the i3, but as I drive home in the wee hours of the morn' (it's 3:35am as I write this) I'll be using the i3 to get home today. Part of me does it for nostalgic reasons, the other to enjoy the wonderment that a device that small actually works as a real-deal mobile GPS unit.

I dunno, there's just something very James Bond about it. It's one of those super-cool things you never thought would exist, yet it does - and it works. 🙂


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