The Yinnie's, on Aug 9 2009, 06:38 PM, said:
Searching_ut, on Aug 9 2009, 06:29 PM, said:
So you like the maps on the Dakota better than the -40 but would rather use the -40 for street navigation? And the accuracy and the compass, better, same or worse than the -40? I know you only had it for a very short time.
The map thing does indeed sound pretty contradictory when I read it back, but here is where I see things.
To start with, Maps are regional, so this might not apply to everyone. That said, Iíve found that for just about everywhere Iíve gone, the CN maps are more up to date, and quite a bit more accurate than the street data available in Delormes TOPO product. Routing tends to be better with the Garmin products as well, making it the obvious choice for navigation, with one major exception: If youíre using the Dakota with the maps in a vehicle, accessing that great navigation data is difficult at best. Mounting the Dakota in such a way that I can see it while turning and navigating through variations of lighting is all but impossible. As a result, I lose the ability to see the display without significant difficulty, and turns etc. arenít going to jump out at me immediately so that Iím going to see them. You end up needing to spend too much time staring at the GPS unit and trying to access the data rather than paying attention to the road. Because of the display issue, despite great data, I canít necessarily access it real time, making the device of little use to me for street navigation in a vehicle.
With the PN on the other hand, more often than not a quick glance is all it takes to see the maps when in the vehicle, Thus, while the maps arenít as good, they are at least available to me. My thoughts are that a so so map that is available is better than a good map that isnít. If your dash layout, or eyes are such that you can see the Dakota while driving, It would be a better choice. That said, Iím not planning to use either for street use, and will stick to my Streetpilots and Nuvi. Good maps and voice make things a whole lot better here.
Finally, despite the difficulty with seeing the Dakota in my vehicle, I find I have no problems with it when handheld. Itís kind of like my hand instinctively turns it to where I donít have glare, and the existing light makes the display quite readable. Outdoors, even in mixed lighting the display is actually quite good, itís just that the sweet spot of an angle required to make it viewable isnít very big, and changes with changes to the lighting angle. With the unit in my hand, dealing with the tilt adjustments necessary to allow me to see the display adequately isnít an issue to me. So far, I prefer the Dakota for hand held use, but this is an area where Garmins topo maps arenít necessarily much of an improvement if at all, which means neither unit really has an edge over the other. Itís just a preference thing.
Regarding the compass, both units are much better and more accurate than the 2 axis counterparts in most other units in my opinion. The PN and Dakota compasses seem quite comparable in accuracy to one another, and quite accurate when compared to a magnetic compass, at least when held somewhat level. You do notice a few degrees of variation when you tilt them significantly, but they seem to even handle that pretty well. The Dakota compass appears to be somewhat more filtered, and is very smooth and stable in itís rotation, but not necessarily more accurate from what Iíve seen. The Dakotaís loss of compass calibration issue has me a bit concerned though because I donít know if itís a software or hardware issue.