Garmin's Nüvi Is Overpriced And Unhelpful (GRMN)

Dec.26.05 | About: Garmin Ltd. (GRMN)

So says Wall St. Journal personal technology columnist Walter Mossberg in his review of Garmin's (NASDAQ:GRMN) high-end handheld GPS device. The company is hoping the Nüvi will break into the elusive mainstream consumer market for GPS, but from the look of things, it's unlikely to do that, or improve upon Garmin's disappointing guidance for 2006. Key excerpts from Mossberg's review:

"On the plus side, it's really well designed and has a good, simple user interface. It does what it promises for the most part, and requires no setup or technical knowledge.

"But at $900, the Nüvi costs as much as a decent laptop, and more than double that of such established portable prodigies as Palm's Treo smart phone or Apple's top-of-the-line iPod... And the Nüvi's core function, GPS navigation, is still too crude and clumsy to command such a high price from a mainstream, casual user.

"This is a problem with every GPS receiver I've tested, not just the Nüvi. Too often, all of them suggest routes that a savvy local driver would immediately recognize as too long or too slow or too likely to place you into heavy traffic... $900 is a lot to pay for roundabout directions. My favorite example was when it tried to put me on the notorious Washington Beltway, and then a second freeway, at rush hour to get me to a point I could have reached in five minutes via a local street that was maybe 200 yards past the freeway entrance."

[Full Mossberg review]