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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well I've had my zumo for about a week now and that has given me enough time to play with it a little. So, here's my thoughts on this new GPS:

After owning an iWay the first thing you notice is how small the zumo is. It weighs less than a pound and can easily be carried with you for a short stop at a convience store or such. That is also it's Achiles heel. Let me explain:

It comes with everything you need. Other units require you to spend more than $100 to make them fully functional. This one comes complete with detail maps, software to load on your home computer, two cradles (car and bike), USB cable, 12VDC cigarette lighter adapter, 12VAC adapter and an extra set of caps for the top and bottom.

The bike cradle comes with all the necesary hardware to mount it to any bike. The car cradle is a suction cup unit and comes with a disc to stick to your dash if you don't (or can't legally) want to mount it to your windshield. The car cradle also has a built in speaker so there is no need to run wires to your car's stereo.

As for the unit itself, it's really easy to use. Much easier than the 276C was. The touch screen is well laid out and easy to use even with my winter gloves on.

There are two keyboards; one normal sized one and one designed to be used with gloves. The zumo "knows" which cradle it's in and switches keyboards accordingly.

The processor is faster than my other units. When driving off route, it recalculates about 30% faster than either my iWay or 276C (not really fast enough to be a deal breaker).

It has an auto zoom feature to the map screen when not navigating a route, but it only has two levels; more zoomed in for slower speeds and a larger zoom when traveling faster. While accelerating it switches zoom levels at about 58MPH and when decelerating it switches at about 45MPH. Each of these two levels can be controled. When traveling less than 45MPH set the zoom to a comfortable level and do the same when traveling above 58MPH. It will remember and switch based on what you previously set.

When you are navigating a route it set's the zoom level to get the next turn on the screen. However, it doesn't zoom out further than your high speed setting. I like this better than the way the 276C does it. When traveling accross country every time I would get on the freeway the 276C would zoom out to see the whole country because the next turn wasn't unitl the next state. This is less of an issue with the zumo.

This is where the zumo falls flat; screen size. Well, actually, the screen size would be OK if you could remove the data fields. The 276C has an "Overlay" screen and that would work well with the zumo. As it is the road name field on top is completley useless unless you are navigating a route and you can't get rid of it. You can't customize any of the data fields either. This probably won't be a big deal to most, but to us techno geeks it's a real let down. There is no reason for this shortcoming and Garmin has dropped the ball here.

Also the Trip Information page is weak. There is a lot of room there to display information and they don't use it. If they had used the Trip Computer page from the Quest or the Dashboard page from the 276C it would have been much better.

The fuel gage is a nice feature. The zumo will only update the fuel gage when in the motorcycle cradle so, you can switch between your car and bike and not lose your fuel status for the bike. Of course it's superfluous on the Wing, but it's still a well thought out feature. When you get within 30 miles of an empty tank it displays a fuel icon on the screen that when pressed routes you to the nearest gas station. This feature will take some experimentation because you have to figure out how many miles you can travel on a tank. With enough practice it will work well enough.

I like the MP3 player better than the iWay's. The sound is better and it didn't require any special filters to eliminate any noise. The storage is limited to the size of an SD card, but I have a 1G card in there now and haven't heard the same song twice in a week of riding. That's good enough for me and better than the Wing's CD changer.

The BlueTooth works fine, but I'm still exploring that feature and will have to get back to you on that.

One other nice feature I like is the power sensing. The zumo senses when power is applied and turns itself on. When you shut the bike off it asks if you want to continue on batteries. If you don't answer within 30 seconds, it shuts off.

There's more, but I'm sure you're tired by now. Feel free to ask any questions and I'll do my best to answer.
 

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Very accurate and insightful, Doug.

Did you notice that if you press the 'album art' icon in the MP3 player that you'll get a very detailed description of the song playing and you'll also have the ability to have the album cover displayed in a large format?

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Nope, I haven't seen that, but you can be sure I will be checking that out today.
 

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Everything is relative, I upgraded from an Etrex Vista C, with a very small screen that I used on my ST1300, my car and on the GL1800. I found that even though the screen was small it took me everyplace that I asked it to.

Therefore "for me" the Zumo screen is huge! I actually think that for the motorcycle the size is more appropriate than the Iway (one of my neighbors has the Iway on his GL). Actually the size is fine for me in my car.

Wayne
 

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It's really too bad the Zumo doesn't have as nice a display (2.8"W x 2.1"H (7.2 x 5.4 cm); 320 x 240 pixels) as their new Nuvi 660 (4.3 diagonal, 480 x 272 pixels). One of my sons just purchased the 660 for his vehicle and I was really impressed. Granted it doesn't have the XM cabability as the Zumo and it isn't waterproof, but it's overall size, the display quality and the features it did have were very very impressive. The Bluetooth worked great with my cell phone too and the phone call qualiy was great too.

DaleC
 

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DaleC said:
... Granted it doesn't have the XM cabability as the Zumo and it isn't waterproof, but it's overall size, the display quality and the features it did have were very very impressive...
Primary deal-killer on the Nuvis:
  • Not waterproof
    No multi-point routing
 
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