GPSMAP 640 released--276C et al replacement.

Discussion in 'Mapping & Navigation' started by v8dave, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. v8dave

    v8dave Wizard

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    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.:eek1
    #1
  2. BlueLghtning

    BlueLghtning Riding is my passion

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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...14893&compareProduct=14898&compareProduct=402

    [​IMG]

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

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

    Atleast it uses an SD card.

    They did similar things to the new Zumo 660 also.
    #2
  3. v8dave

    v8dave Wizard

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    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 :huh 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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  4. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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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?
    #4
  5. 9Dave

    9Dave Bazinga!

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    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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  6. Gerg

    Gerg Cupcake

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    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.
    #6
  7. BlueLghtning

    BlueLghtning Riding is my passion

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    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.
    #7
  8. AugustFalcon

    AugustFalcon Long timer

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    So where does it say this POS is a replacement for the 276C or 478? :eek1

    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. :ear
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  9. Countdown

    Countdown Long timer

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    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?
    #9
  10. EmmEff

    EmmEff Long timer

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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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  11. Gros Buck

    Gros Buck Beef = Packed Vegetables

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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 !!!

    Paul Jr
    #11
  12. Beemermcr

    Beemermcr Big, Dumb, Happy!

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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!
    Paul
    #12
  13. Dolly Sod

    Dolly Sod Red Clay Halo

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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.
    #13
  14. 9Dave

    9Dave Bazinga!

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    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
    #14
  15. Ozz

    Ozz Been here awhile

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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!
    #15
  16. Dolly Sod

    Dolly Sod Red Clay Halo

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    I don't get why the new zumo has such poor resolution. Bigger screen than a 478 but worse resolution. :dunno
    #16
  17. EmmEff

    EmmEff Long timer

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    And a handheld for your off-road motorcycle :)

    I agree that's why they've done it, but with the single unit price of the 660 being $0.75k (list), I think many will expect it to be a "one size fits all" unit.

    This strategy will backfire on Garmin when another brand comes out with the full-functioned unit that handles on-road routing, tracks, etc. with equivalence at the same price point.
    #17
  18. JimC

    JimC Long timer

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    Yup, that's what we've been saying for about 5 years now, we're still waiting. I wish someone else would make a better all around GPS for the Adventure community just so I wouldn't have to listen to everyone bitch about Garmin :lol3

    Jim in Sacramento
    #18
  19. emelgee

    emelgee Been here awhile

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    Looks like I'll be hanging on to my 276c for the time being.
    As far as I can see all they need to do is update the 276 derived models with a couple of extra features:
    - Use standard SD cards, and have the ability to transfer tracks and routes to/from the card so there's no limit to your tracklog storage.
    - internal aerial
    - more up to date user interface.

    The Zumo 550 does most of want I need, but I won't buy one cos the high-res screen on the 276 is so much better.
    I like the idea of the large touch screen on the 640, but if they've removed a lot of the routing and tracklogging options then it's a case of one step forwards, three steps back.
    I guess we'll have to wait until an independent reviewer gets their hands on one to find out the full spec.
    #19
  20. mcnut

    mcnut Long timer

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    Seems to me Garmin has lost potential sales in the X76 market segment by ignoring it for so long.

    I believe many if not most 276c (now 5yrs old?) owners would have already upgraded at least once and some twice if there had been new generation units with the functionality they desire. I suspect some may have been forced to replaced older units that have died with the same thing as nothing newer was available.

    I know many in the handheld segment have upgraded several times. Not the same price point I know, but I my self have owned 3-4 different Garmin handhelds during the run of the 276 form factor.

    Bruce
    #20