Garmin nuvi 1390LMT First Impressions – Routing

I just picked up this unit from Costco. The nuvi 1390 LMT has good reviews everywhere and by and large I agree with most of the positive appraisals of this model.  Here, I’ll just focus on the negatives.

The area where the 1390 (and as I understand it, possibly the entire 13xx model line) falls short is that it does not permit the user to set a start point and end point in advance. Instead, the 1390 expects to navigate from its current physical location. So if for example, you plan to fly somewhere, and you want to plot the route from the Airport to a hotel, you can’t do this easily in advance. It’s not impossible, but to do it you must turn of the GPS receiver,  locate your destination on the map, somehow locate the place you’re interested in,  reset home, that location,  locate an endpoint, then attempt navigation.  I know I missed something here but this is something of the idea.  In short, the interface is not designed to support the use of the device for planning future trips at a far away location.    I understand that other Garmin devices do support this feature.

Another  irritation in the 1390’s user interface is that although it is a touch screen interface, scrolling is unpredictable. It works, but touching the screen and dragging your finger around to pan the map view frequently fails to work as expected. My expectation s are set by such superb interfaces like Google Maps … this devices interface is just not at that level. Is the expectation too high?  Could be… maybe you just need to pay more to get more.

Another area where the software exhibits odd behavior is in inputting an address.  For example, I haven’t yet succeeded in keying in my home address.  Instead the unit picks an address close by.  I can work around this by working from the GPS lat/long position – which is quite acceptable to me but it’s not obvious why an address doesn’t always work.

If all you need to do is get in your car and navigate, this unit will certainly do that, and a lot more.  I’m about to travel so I may have more to say about this GPS later on.

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One Response to “Garmin nuvi 1390LMT First Impressions – Routing”

  1. When driving in Portland, the GPS consistently wanted to route through neighborhoods and not the freeways, which are generally the optimal route. Just read today that this can be manipulated using the fuel optimizer for routing. On my GPS the closest I can get is to use the ecoRoute menu, Set the Vehicle Profile “City Mileage” to 15 and “Highway Mileage” to 40 and select Less Fuel for Route Preference. Gotta try it!

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