Written on: 15/06/2007 by sjhartland (24 reviews written)
Easy to use.
Lots of facilities and functions.
Decent battery life.
Excellent voice directions.
PC Software good but only after practice!
Lots of data provided (top speed, average speed, moving time, time to destination, etc).
Doesn't seem to be any way to search for a Post Code.
Location 'Find' function doesn't always find what you want
Small Screen compared to some others - but is suitable for use on a motorbike therefore needs to be small.
PC software awkward at first.
Can sometimes send you on smaller back-roads that may technically be quicker but in practice take longer!
Buttons are small (obviously!) which make it hard to use on a bike with gloves, but not impossible.
Overall, the Garmin Quest is an excellent unit.
I bought it to use both on my motorbike and in the car and as the Quest is waterproof it performs well in both scenarios. You need the optional RAM mount to use with a motorbike though. Also to hear the voice prompts on a bike you need an additional wiring kit.
The mapping is excellent, directions are announced clearly and you get plenty of notice of up-coming turns.
Entering and finding your destination on either the unit or the PC can sometimes be awkward, but its usually the user not giving the unit or software enough information (or there are too many results, eg. enter 'South Street' and there are literally hundreds and you need to narrow it down). The PC software is good once you have got used to it, but can cause headaches until you have played with it a bit! Creating routes and 'waypoints' is easy once you have got the hang of it, as is searching for locations or addresses. It's a shame you can't use a post code to search for a location or address, as that would have made it much easier. Once you get the hang of it, its quite easy to choose your start and end points and ask the software to create a route for you. If you don't like the chosen route you can move and change things around to avoid certain roads or towns / areas if you want, though this process can be a bit fiddly. You can also add 'Waypoints' (or 'Via's') in between so if you want to stop off somewhere thats off the main route, it will include these additional waypoints and take you there.
Once you have a route planned, following it is easy. The voice prompts are clear and you normally get 3 warnings of each turn. You can also see the route on the screen, so if you miss the voice telling you which exit to take from a roundabout, you will be able to see on the screen which exit to take. You get a countdown in minutes and distance for each turn.
If you do miss a turn or exit, you can program the unit to either ask you to turn around or re-calculate the route. As turning round is not always easy, I use the re-calculate feature so the unit just takes you onward and makes up another route to get you back on track.
The unit has 3 different main screens, either a map, written instructions, or information. The info screen shows loads of interesting info, such as speed, average speed, moving speed, distance and lots more. You can toggle between these screens at any time, though you shouldn't do it while driving!
There are loads of locations already loaded, such as places of interest etc. If you are in an unknown area, you can quickly find the nearest petrol station, hotel, restaurant, shopping centre etc. (Though it didn't seem to have Citi Europe in France loaded!).
It will follow and record a route as you drive if you want. If you find an interesting point somewhere, you can 'flag' or mark the point in a few seconds and store the location so you can return to it later if you want. The mapping goes right down to very close street level so it's even useful if you are walking / riding a mountain bike and get lost! You don't need that street map anymore.
It's not 100% perfect, but the Quest is definitely a great Sat Nav that I would recommend. It has never failed to get me to my destination though very occasionally it can tell you to take the wrong exit / turn but thats down to the mapping and not the Quest. Also new roads and bypasses may not be known to the Sat Nav but this depends on which version of software and mapping you are using and how up-to-date it is.
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