So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Garmin nuvi 1450T GPS unit
Garmin's latest nuvi GPS has an extra-large 5in display
- Large screen, simple UI and map screen, excellent navigational experience overall, advanced lane guidance, live traffic updates, accurate maps, safety alerts
- Tends to prefer main roads, visual safety alerts are too small, audio could be louder
Garmin's nuvi 1450T continues the fine form of the nuvi range. The extra real estate offered by the 5in screen is well utilised, making this yet another excellent GPS unit from Garmin. Highly recommended.
Price$ 349.00 (AUD)
A larger screened version of the nuvi 1350, Garmin’s nuvi 1450T GPS unit has a 5in display — the largest in its class. Operating almost identically to the rest of the Garmin’s nuvi range, the 1450T includes advanced lane guidance with junction views and provides an excellent navigational experience on the whole.
The Garmin nuvi 1450T GPS unit uses essentially the same design as the rest of the nuvi range. It employs silver plastic, with a thin matte black bezel surrounding the display. The nuvi 1450T is surprisingly thin considering the 5in display, and the compact window mount means it's easy to clip on and off the windshield (this is particularly handy if you use your GPS in more than one vehicle).
We love the GPS units in Garmin’s latest nuvi range primarily because of the simple and effective user interface. Menu items are accompanied by large boxes with text or clearly labelled icons and the resistive touch screen is responsive. Even if you’ve never used a GPS before, you should have no problems navigating with the nuvi 1450T.
The Garmin nuvi 1450T’s map screen is clear and easy to read. Though it lacks a little detail compared to some competitors, this doesn’t impact on the overall navigational experience. You can turn on more detail in the settings menu; this mainly displays more side streets along your route for a clearer overview of your surroundings.
Enabling "more map data" in the settings menu places four boxes on the right side of the map screen that display information about your chosen route, including distance and time to destination, current time, estimated time of arrival and your current speed. The extra real estate of the 5in screen really comes in handy in this regard.
The Garmin nuvi 1450T is a fast GPS unit, both when navigating the menu and when rerouting if you stray off-course. During testing it often rerouted in less than two or three seconds. The Whereis maps are fairly accurate, though like most GPS units the nuvi 1450T tends to prefer main roads over back streets that are often faster. The nuvi 1450T has maps of both Australia and New Zealand preloaded.
Safety alerts, including speed and red light cameras, are also preloaded; they trigger an audible alert and voice warning but the notification on the map screen is a little too small, especially considering the size of the display.
Unlike the nuvi 1350, the Garmin nuvi 1450T includes full advanced lane guidance. In addition to the lane assist feature that displays arrows to direct you into the appropriate lane at a junction, it also shows static images of the road and its surroundings, including signs. We found this extremely useful at large intersections and freeway and motorway junctions.
Bluetooth hands-free isn’t included on the nuvi 1450T, but a lifetime subscription to the SUNA Traffic Channel is part of the package (hence the T in the name).
Voice guidance is excellent and the Garmin nuvi 1450T includes two Australian text-to-speech voices that pronounce most street names accurately. Volume could have been louder, though, as it's especially hard to hear with the driver's window open.
Garmin's "ecoRoute" feature can display a fuel report and choose an economical route. After entering the cost of fuel and your car’s rated fuel economy, the nuvi 1450T presents a report detailing the cost of fuel used, the carbon footprint and your average fuel economy based on your trips. When in use, ecoRoute will also preview your route before it begins by displaying the total fuel cost — this information is calculated based on the fuel price, type and fuel economy entered into the vehicle profile menu. Strangely, you can't select premium unleaded fuel in the fuel type list, though diesel, ethanol and LPG options are available.
ecoRoute also has a "Driving Challenge" feature that tests your driving habits, in particular your ability to smoothly accelerate and decelerate. For business users, a mileage report is great for keeping a record for tax purposes.
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