I said I’d never buy a GPS unit…

But I was wrong.

I’ve just purchased a Garmin Nuvi 270. It is part of the entry level range of Garmin devices. No bluetooth, fm transmitter, traffic data, teasmaid or any other superfluous features. It just does a good job of directing me from point a to point b. It is also very small and unobtrusive.

What’s more it works in most of Europe and the US/Canada as well thanks to the built in maps of both continents, something you don’t get on TomTom save for the top of the range 930. US coverage is very useful given the fact we are currently on holiday in New England, in Washington DC in December and I also have the odd work trip out here. Garmin’s Irish mapping is also meant to be much more up to date than TomTom’s and they have loads of Mac friendly software for playing around with.

So, why did I get one after previously saying I wouldn’t? Well mainly because I have come to find them useful outside of the UK or Ireland. We’ve had Hertz Neverlost a few times in the US and mainland Europe and it is very useful for finding your way around somewhere strange. The ability to find points of interest is also useful.

I really can’t see me using it much at home as I can always pull out the iPhone with Google Maps there to so some quick route planning. However given that the iPhone doesn’t do turn by turn and data access whilst roaming is an expensive no-go, having a full fledged GPS unit for travel is worthwhile.

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