I am planning on driving to Orlando next week for Convergence. I have a Garmin GPS that I have had for several years and it has worked very good. There are a few features that I would like that it doesn’t have plus it is fairly large and hard to keep positioned on my dash. So I have been looking around for a newer model. Tom has a TomTom unit that we used on another trip, but I didn’t like it and switched back to my Garmin unit in the middle of the trip. 

For the past several days I have been reading up on the various Garmin units and checking prices. I finally decided that I liked the features and price of the Garmin 1490T. Costco has it on sale for $199, which is $100 below retail and $50 less than most other places that have that model. So I went out and got one on Friday. Spent a long time Friday night playing with it and programming Favorites. You can download your own Points of Interest and I found a site with lots of POI available. There are a couple of restaurant chains that I like while traveling so I downloaded those and installed them. The unit has internal POI available for search, so most of the ones that I downloaded are probably already there, but the custom ones make it easier to search for a particular restaurant while traveling.

I programmed about 15 favorite locations into the unit but don’t like the way they are stored. They are sorted in order entered (or reverse order). Then I realized they were stored in a file that I could copy to my PC and load as a custom POI. I downloaded Extra_POI_Editor that allows me to edit any custom POI. The editor allows me to rearrange the sort order most any way that I want the list organized. I can also add additional information to the POI like phone numbers and comments. The 1490T has bluetooth so that I can set up hands free operation with my cell phone and thus dial numbers stored in the POI.

My old GPS could only save routes not favorite points. The new one can store a few routes and a lot of favorites. Favorites are better as routes can be calculated quickly by selecting a favorite. It make take a while to organize my favorites as POI in several list, but eventually I will have it set up to quickly find any place that I normally want to go without having to scroll through long lists.