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Old 01-08-2009, 09:05 PM   #1
v8dave OP
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GPSMAP 640 released--276C et al replacement.

For those who like their 276C/376/378/478 and have been patiently waiting for Garmin's replacement, it's here. Charter plotter GPSMAP 640 will be available first quarter 2009.

Zumo 660 display not big enough, want XM radio and Nexrad weather radar pix as you ride along? Check out the new Garmin GPSMAP 640. It isn't going to be cheap though.
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Old 01-08-2009, 10:17 PM   #2
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Looks nice and pricey, but one glaring detail and a couple other minor ones that would be a deal breaker for me and probably many other adventure riders.

Comparing the 478 to the 620 & 640 version - https://buy.garmin.com/shop/compare....areProduct=402



No saved tracklog capability in Automotive mode? Probably means you can't route an old track either?

The routes cut down from 50 to 10.
Waypoints from 3,000 to 1,000

Atleast it uses an SD card.

They did similar things to the new Zumo 660 also.
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Old 01-08-2009, 11:19 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueLghtning

. . .

No saved tracklog capability in Automotive mode? Probably means you can't route an old track either?

The routes cut down from 50 to 10.
Waypoints from 3,000 to 1,000

At least it uses an SD card.

They did similar things to the new Zumo 660 also.
Yep, first thing I noticed was the cut in routes. Not good for a cross country multiple day trip planning. I suppose if you can save routes to the SD card you could plan several area groupings (segments) on each card.

Then I saw the no tracks we can hope Garmin will update the SW to correct this downgrade.

Only consolation is, as you note, the Zumo 660 isn't any better and it doesn't have Nexrad capability. A couple of years riding in Arizona and New Mexico avoiding the summer thunder storms made me a believer in wanting to see what weather lies ahead.

I was hoping to upgrade from my 276C to something with Nexrad capability. Except for eliminating the new Zumo 660, it looks like the decision is still not going to be an easy one. The display technology is different between the 276C and the GPSMAP 640 and Zumo 660, I wonder if the GPSMAP 640 is going to be as bright as the old 276C? The Zumo 550s I saw weren't as bright as a 276C. Oh well, maybe there will be some additional discounting on the 378/478 and that'll be the way I'll go?
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Old 01-09-2009, 12:21 AM   #4
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276C/376/378/478 replacement is exactly what I have been waiting for. New chip set, touch screen, internal antenna, and all the features of the old units.

But wait, they left out my most important feature "Saved Tracks" in land mode. What the hell are these guys thinking?

Wonder what you see with tracks loaded and in water mode but over land?
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Old 01-09-2009, 02:24 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Countdown
Wonder what you see with tracks loaded and in water mode but over land?
Yep - I wondered the same thing. You can bet though that the Marine routes are just point to point - so that would suck.

I like having my tracks available even when I'm autorouting. I just don't get it.
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Old 01-09-2009, 08:51 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 9Dave
Yep - I wondered the same thing. You can bet though that the Marine routes are just point to point - so that would suck.

I like having my tracks available even when I'm autorouting. I just don't get it.
I wouldn't think so. Marine tracks would have to be bread crum style otherwise you're on the rocks or a sandbar trying to get back to where you came from. I don't think Garmin would do that to Boaters.
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Old 01-09-2009, 10:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerg
I wouldn't think so. Marine tracks would have to be bread crum style otherwise you're on the rocks or a sandbar trying to get back to where you came from. I don't think Garmin would do that to Boaters.
I think the OP meant that the routes would be point to point on the water since there technically isn't any roads to follow if you tried to use the marine mode on land. Your route wouldn't "auto calc".

I would think tracks between Marine & Auto would be the same bread crum trail. There really isn't other way to do that. It doesn't make sense that the Auto mode has different abilities.
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Old 01-09-2009, 06:19 PM   #8
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So where does it say this POS is a replacement for the 276C or 478?

I am praying they can't be that out of touch -- although they seem to be hanging out with Microsoft quite a bit now.

If it is the replacement then we need to hunt down the product manager and set him straight.
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Old 01-09-2009, 07:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 9Dave
Yep - I wondered the same thing. You can bet though that the Marine routes are just point to point - so that would suck.

I like having my tracks available even when I'm autorouting. I just don't get it.
Dave, I am just talking about the plain old "20 saved tracks" that they advertise. Very few dirt riders use track back, they just look at them on the map page. If the Marine map just shows water, docks, and other water service and is just blank on land, my guess it that they did not put in a filter to make sure any saved tracks don't go ashore and that they would just show over a blank map just like any hand held with only base map showing.

That is a problem when you can't see intersections to know exactly which way to turn. I just found this out when I took off on a 4-day trip in eastern Nevada and forgot I didn't have R&R loaded for most of it.

All that said I am not about to spend $1200 for something that may half ass work when a few lines of code would fix the problem.

Any good hackers out there that could reverse engineer their firmware?
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Old 01-09-2009, 09:11 PM   #10
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I cannot fathom how Garmin is removing functionality on these "new" models. What possibly could they be thinking? They must assume their userbase is dumb.
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Old 01-10-2009, 10:45 AM   #11
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Well,

Microsoft have taught Garmin how to make a bloated product nobody wants with features nobody wants and forgot to put features everybody wants, at a price nobody is willing to pay ...

640 and 660 = Vista i.e. crap !!!

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Old 01-10-2009, 11:13 AM   #12
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LD Rider list comments say this unit only has Nexrad in Marine mode, Traffic in Auto mode - no good for weather on land. Ditto the comments on reduced functionality!
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Old 01-10-2009, 11:20 AM   #13
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Nice big screen, and the zumo/nuvi interface that I don't like.

New antenna is good, SD memory card is not so important now that the units come preloaded (both the 478 & 640) with CN.

I'm glad it's out as prices on 276/37x/478 will be coming down. 478 already now listed on Garmin's site at 799$.

If the 620/640 loses much of the customization that the 478 is capable of, it'll be a shame.


EDIT: Wow, just checked Amazon, the 478 is going for less than 600$ now. Before Xmas they were selling at 650-700 typically.
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Old 01-10-2009, 11:58 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gerg
I wouldn't think so. Marine tracks would have to be bread crum style otherwise you're on the rocks or a sandbar trying to get back to where you came from. I don't think Garmin would do that to Boaters.
As BL said - two different issues. They have cut down the number of tracks in the Auto mode to 1. An alternative would be to operate in marine mode, but marine routes don't follow roads - so it is likely they are point to point. I often use autorouting on roads with my 376c, and I like seeing my saved tracks at the same time.

I don't know who the heck is advising Garmin - but I am working to see if we can't get someone from Garmin to comment on the new product line so we don't have to speculate. We'll see if that happens. I hope so.

Dave
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Old 01-10-2009, 02:41 PM   #15
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I think Garmin does not want you to get off your boat and jump on your motorcycle with the same GPS. They want you to buy at least two products: a GPSMAP 640 for your boat and a Zumo 660 for your MC...and why not, maybe a Nuvi for your wife!
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