Garmin Nuvi 260

I’ve gone through several Garmin GPS receivers over the years. Always old models, usually discontinued, and each one has been better than the previous. I currently use a “StreetPilot® 2650”: in the truck, and we have been switching it back and forth into the Subaru when we drive it. I like it a lot, the voice navigation is key and it has all the features I need, but the maps are a little out of date and it is large compared to newer units. The size isn’t much of an issue in the truck, but the Subaru doesn’t have much in the way of extra space. I’ve been thinking of getting something a little smaller for the Subaru, and when Circuit City decided to give up, I figured now was my chance.
Since we live in the boonies, I can’t exactly pop around the corner and look, but there is (was) one in Redding, so we stopped on the way to wherever we were going. The first time I went in, there was a folding table completely full of nuvi 260 and nuvi 255W receivers, but the prices hadn’t really dropped yet. I did a little research, and decided that either of these would work great, and I got some ideas of the pricing at “GPS City” so I would know what to expect. The next time I went in, they had discounted prices again, and still had the table full, but the prices were still about what I would pay from GPS City, and they would still be in business later (no wonder Circuit City is gone), so I waited. When went in the next time, it was probably a month later and they had finally dropped their prices low enough for people to buy things. Of course, all the people that live in Redding got there first, so there wasn’t much left. The entire table was gone (probably the table itself, too), and they only had a few display models left. Of the display models, there was one “nüvi® 260”: and I was able to power it up and make sure it worked, so I bought it. It is the best GPS ever. (Of course, it is also now discontinued, so I’m sure there are better ones out there.)
We used it on our trip to my parent’s house in February, and it worked great. It didn’t tell us we were off route when we were on the new sections of the highway and it new where just about everything was, but the absolute best thing about it is the spoken street names. No longer is it just “turn right in 500 feet.” It’s now “turn right in 500 feet on Main street.” I can’t tell you how many times I’ve missed a turn because there were two streets close together and I didn’t know which one it wanted me to turn on. It’s also much smaller, though the display is about the same size, it’s only about .8″ deep, and it weighs almost nothing. It includes a rechargeable battery that lasts for several hours so it doesn’t have to be plugged in all the time if you’re short on lighter sockets, and charges via a standard USB connection, so it can share chargers with some other devices. If the cord is plugged into a lighter socket that switches with the ignition, it powers down 30 seconds after it looses power, unless you tell it otherwise, then powers on when the key is turned back on.
Overall, it’s great, and highly recommended. I’m even tempted to get another one for the truck (but I won’t yet because it lacks some of the advanced technical features that I like to play with.)