Which GARMIN the Nuvi 500 or Oregon 300

Communication & Navigation Equipment: VHF, UHF, GPS, Satellite phones ETC.
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Jules
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Which GARMIN the Nuvi 500 or Oregon 300

Post by Jules » 13 Oct 2009 08:09

Morning all, I am in the market to buy a GPS. Anybody on the forum have any of these two and what are the pro's and con's on them in your experience. I am wheighing the the cost between a GPS and a fridge/freezer but the GPS seems to be something one will use more often.

Groete
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Re: Which GARMIN the Nuvi 500 or Oregon 300

Post by Gerrit Loubser » 13 Oct 2009 09:07

Jules, what are your requirements?

I don't own either, but my impression of the two units is the following:

nüvi 500

The nüvi 500 is more of an all-rounder. It is a more trail nav biased interpretation of the nüvi recipe, but the nüvi concept remains focussed at the needs of street navigation. As such it is very good in this role and has voice prompted turn-by-turn instructions. It is very user-friendly, as all nüvis are and also has some other interesting nüvi functionality (e.g. bluetooth to enable interfacing with mobile phones).

It is OK in the off-road navigation application too. It can log tracks and you can track back along them, but the level of control over the track logging is not the same as in the case of the Oregon 300. It has a compass page for what it is worth.

Very little customisation of the on-screen layout and information displays is possible.

Because it is a Garmin, it is possible to use Tracks-4-Africa mapsets and it really does just about everything most non-specialized/professional users need it to do off the beaten track.

The nüvi 500 is also designed to use the Garmin BlueChart marine maps. It has a boating mode to do this.

It has an easily replaceable rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack for hand held use.

The nüvi 500 is rated to be waterproof to the same extent as the Oregon (IPX7).

Data is stored on a microSD card.

The nüvi 500 comes with a windscreen suction cup mount for car use.


Oregon 300

The Oregon is a modernised version of the classical Garmin trail navigator. It has much more trail navigation functionality than any nüvi, but is less accomplished in street navigation. For example, it has quite powerful track log management fuctionality and can calculate the area enclosed by a track around its perimeter. One can easily access sun and moon phase data. Quite a bit of customisation of things like the data fields shown on the screen, is possible. The Oregon 300 has a barometric altimeter.

It can still do turn-by-turn navigation, albeit without any voice prompting.

The Oregon also has a marine mode for use with BlueCharts.

The Oregon is designed to be quite rugged and is powered by two AA batteries, so it is ideally suited to hand held use where it needs to operate for extended periods away from another electrical power source. The two little AAs will last about twice as long as the charge in the nüvi's battery pack.

The Oregon 300 has a slightly larger screen than the nüvi 500, but it is designed to be used in the "portrait" orientation, rather than the nüvi's "landscape". This is optimal for hand held use, but perhaps less ideal on the dashboard of a car.

Data is stored on an internal microSD card.



So there you have it. Garmin have been careful to spec their units such that there is no trail navigator that does street nav as well as a street nav unit and no street nav unit that has as much trail functionality as a proper trail navigator.

If your application includes a lot of street nav, I think the nüvi 500 will be the way to go. If you need a hand held navigator often, the Oregon 300 might be the answer. Either one will be sufficiently versatile to function reasonably in the domain of the other.

I own an older nüvi 710 and am very happy with it. It is sufficiently rugged and the functionality suits me fine and the nüvi 500 is more trail oriented than mine. My requirements are not specialized enough to miss the trail functionality that I don't have.
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Re: Which GARMIN the Nuvi 500 or Oregon 300

Post by Jules » 13 Oct 2009 11:39

Thanks Gerrit , I want a unit my wife can use if she goes to Dbn and one I can use when I travel all parts of RSA and neighbouring countries, Mozambique, Lesotho, Namibie and Western Province. So that is in a nutshell it must also have the breadcrumb facility so one can backtrack.

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Re: Which GARMIN the Nuvi 500 or Oregon 300

Post by JohnBoyZA » 13 Oct 2009 11:56

Jules, even though the 276C is so called discontinued - most are a few months after being released ;-) - I think it is still King for 4x4 use and can be bought almost anywhere (I bought mine fron GPS City).
Why?
1. Not tough screen, so sweaty fingers and dusty screen no problem.
2. The screen is as big as most Nuvis.
3. Robust.
4. Great for tracks, Routes and waypoints.

IMHO
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Re: Which GARMIN the Nuvi 500 or Oregon 300

Post by Gerrit Loubser » 13 Oct 2009 12:20

Jules, as John says, the old 276 is a fantastic piece of equipment. It is very powerful and very flexible, but it is also an older generation design, has a fiddly user interface and uses expensive proprietary memory cards that come in small sizes. For the professional user, it is probably still the ultimate, but one has to ask whether you really need all that power and flexibility and whether you really want the fiddly user interface and expensive memory cards.

It is also still quite expensive, once specced for typical automotive use. It is actually a marine chart plotter with the versatility to be used on land vehicles as well, so it does not come with a vehicle mount as standard. One needs to buy a RAM mount (or similar). They typically don't come bundled with maps, so this is another added cost and then there are the expensive little Garmin-only memory sticks. The older technology receiver in the 276 might mean that you also need to invest in an external aerial to ensure satisfactory reception in difficult circumstances

My 2c: For your stated objective, I think you will be very happy with the nüvi 500. It will do what you need and it will operate in an unobtrusive and intuitive way, which will mean that it will be used more often than would be the case with a more complicated unit.

In my opinion the 276 has no real life reliability or durability benefits over something like the nüvi 500 or Oregon 300. Touch screens are a matter of personal preference, but they are the enabling technology for the nüvi's simple user interface. I have had no issues with the touch screen in real use.
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Re: Which GARMIN the Nuvi 500 or Oregon 300

Post by Jules » 13 Oct 2009 12:31

Yip Gerrit me agree, the cost of old 276 bit hectic and I want something that SWAMBO can also use with the greatest of ease. Women always work better with something they can touch

Groete
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Re: Which GARMIN the Nuvi 500 or Oregon 300

Post by JohnBoyZA » 13 Oct 2009 13:21

Mmm, quite funny the 3 of us speaking english :-)

An analogy: The 276 is like riding a Patrol for the first time ... you never look back.

But, what Gerrit IS right about is ... um, I forget ... happy hunting Jules and let us know what you buy.

Fyi Rectron now carries a full range of Tom Tom, that is if you're going the Nuvi route.

TOMTOM ONEV4 R 1 199 TOMTOM® ONE™ GPS Device - 3.5" Touch Screen, Plug & Go, Latest Map Guarantee, QuickGPSFix™, TomTom Map Share™ Tech
PIN Lock, Maps For South Africa, 'Help Me!' Menu, EASYPORT™ Mount, Car Charger, TomTom HOME, 1 Year Warranty
TOMTOM XLTTSV2C R 1 899 TOMTOM® NEW XL™ Classic GPS Device - 4.3" Wide Touch Screen, Latest Map Guarantee, QuickGPSFix™, TomTom Map Share™ Tech
PIN Lock, Maps For Southern Africa, 'Help Me!' Menu, Text-To-Speech, EASYPORT™ Mount, Car Charger, TomTom HOME, 1 Year Warr.
TOMTOM GO630 R 2 299 TOMTOM® GO™ 630 GPS Device - 4.3" Wide Touch Screen, Plug & Go, Latest Map Guarantee, QuickGPSFix™, TomTom Map Share™ Tech
PIN Lock, Maps For Southern Africa, Bluetooth, 512MB Memory, 'Help Me!' Menu, Text-To-Speech, Car Charger, IQ Routes™ Tech
Built-In Microphone, EASYPORT™ Mount, TomTom HOME, Windscreen Mount, Hands Free Call (Bluetooth), 1 Year Warr.

Also check Kevins web for comprehensive reviews. Also ask the T4A guys - they know there stuff.
http://www.gpsconsultants.co.za/
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Re: Which GARMIN the Nuvi 500 or Oregon 300

Post by Gerrit Loubser » 13 Oct 2009 13:41

JohnBoyZA wrote:Mmm, quite funny the 3 of us speaking english :-)
:biggrin: :lol:
JohnBoyZA wrote:An analogy: The 276 is like riding a Patrol for the first time ... you never look back.
I think the 276's car analogue would actually be a P38 Range Rover :wink: .

I agree that the nüvi 500 would not be worthy of being called a Patrol analogue either.
Gerrit Loubser

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Re: Which GARMIN the Nuvi 500 or Oregon 300

Post by Jules » 13 Oct 2009 13:47

John I am just a bit wary about TomTom, not yet a proven track record in RSA, maybe with new distributor? Are their products also robust like Garmin to take into the boendoes.

Reason for writting English is that the LC readers on this forum understand us :biggrin: , you know they always have their noses in the air like the British :lol:

Yip I will send an email to Kevin Bolton just wanted to pick the brains of possible users on the forum

Groete
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Re: Which GARMIN the Nuvi 500 or Oregon 300

Post by KOOS BEST » 13 Oct 2009 14:41

Kan julle nie kaart lees nie?
Nogal n vroumens stem wat hul gebruik, het jy nou al ooit n vroumens ontmoet wat n kaart kan lees , nee wat mens kan dit nie trust nie! :wink:

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