Well, I try to only lurk here and keep in touch with some of the old gang that hasn't made it back to i-bmw.com, but, I feel a real need to add some comments here!
Originally Posted by Motorwerk
Thank you so much for taking the time to explain this in detail. I really appreciate the effort.
I've only been considering the 378 for the built-in map so as not to have to worry about the required memory card(s).
I agree, a very nice write-up and his decison makes sense for HIM. For ME the 378 is a clear winner over the 376c IF you travel on longer trips. Being able to load full detailed maps for all of North America into the unit is very nice. If you start purchasing larger/additional data cards, any $$ savings will go away quickly since these are proprietary Garmin cards. Plus, they don't even make one large enough to hold everything the 378 holds internally.
If you only ride in your own area, then loading the more detailed maps of your area once will suffice. For trips that fit, I too would be loading from my PC anyway. The key is "for trips that fit".
Originally Posted by Motorwerk
I’m summarizing that with the 378 it will route but the same map data is not available on the PC and the T&W Manager has limited functionality creating the routes. And to get most out of the unit you want the same map data in both the PC and GPS, which of course all makes sense now. It seems City Select can be compared to something like Microsoft Streets & Trips with auto routing while the other packages do not have this capability or level of detail. Also, MapSource is the interface to all the different levels of map data. Correct?
I would also like to have the data on the PC as well. If the 378 is already loaded with City Select why is it not available for the PC and they give you T&W Manager instead? And not just that how would it even be able to be updated if there is nothing to update it with?
So, what’s really the point of the 378 except for having all the map data loaded in the unit?
Even if I want the best of both worlds with a 378 and City Select according to Garmin’s site it doesn't look like they are compatible. Only City Navigator can be used with it. And I'm assuming a memory card would be required as well.
Your comments were a little confussing to me (I think you are confussed too!) but let me try to summarize things this way:
Mapsource is Garmin's "umbrella" marketing name for all of their software. City Navigator, City Navigator NT and City Select are all basically the same thing, very much like Streets and Trips, but made specifically for Garmin units. I have been told that City Select does not have the same details as the City Navigator but have not verified with Garmin. The ONLY difference between City Navigator and City Navigator NT is the data compression scheme and, with versions before 8.0, they are NOT interchangeable (they only work with specific models).
Garmin sent me this info in an email (this is NOT a direct quote because I deleted the email, but is what they said to the best of my recollection):
Garmin has realized all of this is confussing, and, with the NEW City Navigator NT 8.0 release (June 2006), there are not any future updates planned for City Navigator or City Select. This new version of NT is compatible with all current and MOST old Garmin units. Putting this functionality into one software package not only makes it less confussing to customers, but easier for Garmin to support and update.
BOTH the 376c and the 378 require you to purchace the corresponding DVD if you want to do any route planning on your PC. This is because they are MARINE units with auto capabilites, so why make everyone pay (increased price) for something many of these will never need? The auto kit is the best value for the 376c if you are also going to use the unit in your car anyway. Same kit; same price for the 378 but is less of a value since you don't really need that 128mb memory card. They are supposed to start offering the City Navigator NT 8.0 as a standalone purchase soon and the target price is $150 ($85 for upgrades).
The 376c uses memory cards and has no internal memory. The 378 has internal memory and can hold the ENTIRE City Navigator NT without the use of memory cards.
It DOES have a memory card slot, but that is intended for use with Garmin's BlueChart g2 cards which allow the unit to have the same coastal waterways data that the 478 has (just not built-in and on several memory cards) OR to add foreign coastal charts.
Originally Posted by Motorwerk
So it looks like yours was the wise choice with the 376. Thanks again for all the useful info.
If you don't travel outside your regular area often OR don't mind taking along some extra memory cards to change to as you leave the area that is on the one plugged into the unit AND you don't care about either inland lake info (378) OR coastal charts (478) AND you have ruled out the other offerings, then it is a wise choice and a very nice unit!
I also have a boat. Couple that to me not wanting to mess with keeping up with memory cards or pulling over to change it to another one, I would choose the 378 over the 376c in a heart beat....the $200 savings would not be a factor for me.
I went through the same delima, but decided on a different choice....the 2820. Why?
I like music when I ride. I have done the iPod thing with the shuffle and even installed and AirClick RF Remote to give me SOME control. This works but I have more needs. The 2820 music interface with XM Radio, MP3 and ebooks does it for me (same GUI as the 2730) and is what finally sold me on it. The XM Radio interface on the 376c/378/478 is an after thought and is terrible!
I also like the idea of integrating my phone. I can't count how many times I was meeting a friend somewhere and one of us was running late and we played cell phone tag - I would stop and leave him a message, get back on my bike and ride. He would stop and get my message and call me (even if I put my phone on vibrate so I know a call is coming in, I get enough calls that I would never get anywhere if I stopped to look at my phone for every one of them!) but I don't get his message until my next stop. Sure you can "plan" a call stop for a specific time, but, seeing the number pop up on a large display is very intriquing to me! I also like the idea of my phone book being on that same display, so now I can simply pull over and choose who to call without taking my gloves off, etc. I wouldn't get any of this with the Autocom Bluetooth adapter (which seems to be vaporware in the US anyway!).
The ONLY thing that kept bringing me back to the 378 was NEXRAD radar....I really like the idea of it, however I started thinking about the way I ride. I typically have a planned destination and somewhat of a schedule. Using simple forecasts, NOAA and the Weather Channel typically is sufficient for when I leave for a trip since I will alter my plans if it looks like the weather will be bad the entire time. Coming home is a different factor...usually I don't have as much flexibility in my schedule.....I am getting home rain or shine (unless there are dangerous winds or lots of lightening forecast). In most cases where I ride, there aren't many alternative ways to get home, so how will this info really help me anyway?
Yes, you can argue that it may keep one from riding into a bad storm and I will give it that, but, generally, I can see the weather ahead and know when to pull over and take a break. I also avoid the coastal areas during hurricanes and check out NOAA for the really bad thunderstorms.
So, NEXRAD will let me see what I am heading into, but I will be heading into it anyway. Is it worth losing a great music GUI, more music options and the great phone GUI...things I will use every ride...vs. knowing where the rain is when I get caught in it? Also, is it worth $36/month when it probably won't alter my plans much, if any? Probably not.
Pricing for the 376c + the Auto Kit is similar to the 2820 + the GXM-20 (I have been told tha the CN 8.0 DVD and unlock codes are included with the 2820...mine arrives next week...I will find out for sure then!). Substituting the 378 adds about $200.
I would still love to have a unit that offered it ALL so I could choose, but this is MY rationalization for ME to justify going ahead and getting a unit before my big trip this month!! (MOA in VT. and on to Nova Scotia!).