Garmin nuvi 255W
Entry-level GPS with a widescreen display
- Compact design, ease of use and operation, Where Am I help menu, Australian text-to-speech voices, preloaded speed and red light camera alerts
- No Bluetooth, no FM transmitter, speaker volume lacks punch, unorthodox address input method, sluggish start-up time
While not offering any advanced features like Bluetooth, the nuvi 255W features text-to-speech technology and provides a solid combination of excellent navigation and ease of use.
Price$ 399.00 (AUD)
Garmin's nuvi 255W has a similar design and user interface to most of the company's other GPS units. This is good news for consumers, as the ease of use and simple map display will please most.
The 255W is compact and slim, though there are no real outstanding design features. The window mount follows the same format — a benefit should you use the unit in multiple vehicles. A power slide key is the only button on the unit, with other functions accessed through the touch screen. An SD card slot allows extra maps or other data to be uploaded, and a regular mini-USB connection handles charging and synchronising. A USB cable is included in the sales package.
The W in 255W stands for widescreen and the extra real estate is put to good use with clear maps and a simple but colourful user interface. It's not the best display we have seen, but for the price it is reasonably large and it does perform quite well in direct sunlight.
Garmin units are renowned for their ease of use and the 255W continues this trend. Menu items are accompanied by large boxes with text or clearly labelled icons. The main menu is very straightforward, with large icons for Where To and View Map, in addition to smaller icons for volume and tools.
The nuvi 255W can navigate to a specific address, a Point of Interest (POI), a recent location, a specific junction or your favourites. Like most of the Garmin range, it also allows you to directly input a specific GPS coordinate and features Where Am I — a convenient menu that shows your exact latitude and longitude as well as the nearest junction. You can also quickly find the closest hospitals, police stations and petrol stations in case of emergency.
Navigating to an address is simple, but frustratingly Garmin still hasn't corrected the search order. Searches must be made in order of suburb, street number and then street name, but logic tells us that you should enter the street number after selecting the street and not before.
Despite its entry-level price point, the nuvi 255W includes text-to-speech technology, meaning it reads out street names. Two Australian text-to-speech voices (one male and one female) are included, and both pronounce most street names accurately. The volume is disappointing: the speaker lacks the punch of the speakers on many competing GPS units. Without the built-in FM transmitter seen in other Garmin models there is no real way around this issue.
The nuvi 255W comes preloaded with City Navigator Australia NT and includes more than 600,000 POIs. Speed and red light cameras are preloaded onto the unit, but school zones and other safety alerts have to be downloaded from the Garmin Web site and then uploaded onto the unit. Being an entry-level unit, the 255W lacks Bluetooth connectivity.
The nuvi 255W doesn't use the popular SiRF Star III GPS receiver; Garmin simply lists a receiver without providing further details. Thankfully, the unit's GPS performance is solid and rerouting times are in line with most other units. Our main complaint is reserved for the sluggish start-up time when you turn on the unit, an issue common with recent Garmin models.
Garmin rounds out the package by offering a number of extras, including a picture viewer, calculator, world clock and unit converter; it has no MP3 or video player.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Huawei Mate 9
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Acer Swift 7
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® Portable SSD
Google Daydream VR headset
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Surface Pro 4
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 HTC U Ultra phone full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Venom Blackbook Zero 14 laptop review
Latest News Articles
- Early iPhone 7 reviews: You'll miss the headphone jack, but the camera and battery life are tops
- Watch out: iOS 10 install is reportedly bricking some iPhones
- Google's Pixel Launcher leak hints at the demise of the Nexus brand
- It's official: iOS 10 launches with huge improvements to iMessage, Apple Music, Siri, and more
- Samsung is prepping a software update to cap Note7 charging to 60 percent
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- And the 2017 winner of the Formula 1 Best Pit Lane Boom Gantry is...
- Behind the scenes with Team Walkinshaw at V8 Supercars Melbourne 2017
- First look at the Formula 1 2017 pit lane in Melbourne, Australia
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- FTMS Dynamics DevelopersNSW
- FTResponsive Design Developer, Frontend, PHP, WordpressNSW
- CC.NET Developer!QLD
- TPBusiness AnalystQLD
- FTSenior Technical Consultant - Microsoft / VMWareVIC
- TPOrganisational Change Manager | Office 365QLD
- TPNode JS DeveloperNSW
- FTSecurity Support AnalystNSW
- FTDirector, Centre for Cyber Security SolutionsVIC
- FTTechnical ConsultantACT
- CCSenior Commercial AnalystNSW
- CCAgile CoachNSW
- FTData Centre Technical SpecialistACT
- FTTechnical Consultant - ApplicationsSA
- FTC# (Full Stack) DeveloperNSW
- CCBusiness Implementation Manager - Wealth AdviceNSW
- FTSenior .NET DeveloperVIC
- FTLevel 3 Systems EngineerNSW
- FTSystems AdministratorNSW
- FTTechnical Data Business AnalystNSW
- FTBillings Integration ArchitectVIC
- TPGIS Officer | Map InfoQLD
- TPBusiness Analyst - Infrastructure ProjectQLD
- CCMigration EngineerACT