Both have thier advantages
by stevesd619 - 1/19/08 5:10 PM
In Reply to: don't by batman823
Now that I own a portable system, and work on a near-daily basis with the OEM In-Car Navigation systems, I can see where both have their advantages. I cannot (nor would I) argue the point of portability or updatability. The cost factor is obvious as well, though if you're an early adopter who snags the latest supa-doopa GPS, you may be paying for the "beta priveledge" if the software is buggy! But to be fair, think of these advantages of In-Dash systems:
1. They are MUCH less likely to be stolen. Thieves all know, it seems, to look for the tell-tale "Suction marks" on your windshield. So keep a towel handy for when you take it down! That's what I've done for the time that I've had my portable system.
2. They are covered by the manufacturer's warranty. In the worst case that I'm aware of, that means at least three years/36,000 miles. Most portable GPS systems that I've seen offer one year (or two if it's a Magellan and you're a AAA member). I realize that there are extended warranties out there for both cars and portable GPS devices, ofcourse, and the ones for the GPS devices are a LOT less money, too.
3. The screens of in-dash GPS systems are almost always larger than those of the portable types - some approaching eight inches. The portable one that I bought has a 3.5" screen, and it's easy to see the difference (sorry, no pun inteded) that a bigger screen makes. Additionally, those screens can also (in many vehicles) double as a movie screen when the car isn't moving, so you can watch a DVD if you like while your spouse or significant other is shopping.
4. Almost every in-dash GPS system that I've worked with in the last four years has voice recognition that can do everything from changing your screen view ("display day mode"), to finding a place to eat ("Navigation Italian food"), to tuning your radio ("Radio 92.5 FM"), to now inputting a street address (part by part) to even rolling up your windows and storing your memory seating position! This technology is JUST making it into portable GPS units now.
5. In-Dash GPS systems will automatically mute or quiet the radio when you give it a command, or when it tells you about an upcoming turn. My portable unit has a medium volume speaker when it's turned all the way up. That becomes irrelevant with an in-dash unit, and it's a nice convenience that I wish my portable unit had.
6. Many consumers like the sheer cool factor of an in-dash navigation system. Y'all may disagree, but I have had many people tell me that they want the in-dash system just because they can have it, and because they like to have a car with "All of the toys". Now, I know that we're not like that, but I wouldn't be writing this if I wasn't a gadget hound, now would I? And you would not be reading this if you weren't one either!
One final note - Many feel that part of the beuaty of in-dash units is that they help control several functions of the car through one (some may think) easy interface. I'd agree with this, if it's done correctly. From my brief experience, some companies have it all wrong (iDrive anyone??), while others have it mostly all right (try a 2008 Cadillac CTS).
By all means, go with what you want, be it in-dash or portable, but both serve a place for many consumers. If I could have had an in-dash unit in my car, I would have loved to. I was not so fortunate, so I went with a portable - and I'm quite pleased overall! I think batman823 says it well - weigh what you want with what's offered by each individual system.
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