Sunday, March 18, 2012

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Garmin nuvi 1450T

Garmin-nuvi-1450T-review The Garmin nuvi 1450T is a relatively high-end unit in the 1xxx series line up, offering a luxurious five-inch screen and advanced features such as multi-destination routing, lane assist, junction view and lifetime traffic. The 1450T is also available bundled with lifetime maps.

Introduced in 2009 (here is a list of more recent nuvi introductions), the 1450T also includes speed limit and trip log display, and is compatible with the pedestrian navigation features found in Garmin’s new CityXplorer maps.

Similar units

  • Now available bundled with lifetime map updates as the nuvi 1450LMT
  • Step up to the nuvi 1490T to add Bluetooth for hands free cell phone use
  • Going the other direction, the nuvi 1450 offers the same feature set as the 1450T, minus the lifetime traffic
  • To see how the 1450T stands up to other models, check out my Garmin nuvi comparison chart

Portion of the following were taken from my hands on review of the Garmin nuvi 1490T.

New Garmin interface

There are several changes to the nuvi interface in the 12xx, 13xx and 14xx series. For one, the menu button is gone, replaced by the arrow in the lower left corner.

nuvi 1450T screen shot

 

You can now “slide your finger” to move between screens. This comes in handy when panning the map, allowing you to move more than one screen width. But it pretty much falls into the “bells and whistles” category; I certainly don’t give it many points for usefulness.

These new models also allow you to customize the lower left data field on the map screen, a feature we first saw on the nuvi 7×5 series. Press this field to bring up the options listed below. When not navigating, the options are:

  • Direction of travel (default)
  • Elevation
  • Time of day

When navigating, the options are as follows:

  • Distance to destination
  • Estimated time to destination
  • Estimated time of arrival (default)
  • Direction of travel
  • Elevation
  • Time of day

Also new, your speed changes to red if you are exceeding the speed limit (assuming the unit has the speed limit for the road you are on). This is a nice feature, but I wish Garmin would allow you to customize this to changes colors at 5 or 10 MPH over the limit, so it’s not constantly switching back and forth if you drive right at the limit.

Routing information is now presented in a different manner. When you select a POI, address or favorite, it will show up on the map as shown below.

nuvi-1450T-POI-on-map

I use this screen to verify the location of the destination (so I don’t create a route to the wrong place). Several times during my testing, I found that the information balloon obscured too much of the map for me to be able to do so. When you “press for more,” this is what you get…

nuvi-1450T-POI-details

The most noticeable change is the ability to shift data fields to the right side of the map, as shown below, a feature found only on the 13xx and 14xx series, and not the 12xx series. The top three fields can then be customized with the options discussed previously. This gives you the ability to display two more fields than can be shown in the traditional display mode. nuvi-1450T-custom-fields

Here’s a video showing some of the new interface changes in action on the similarly equipped 1490T:

 

Lane assist and junction view

I’m a big fan of these features, but there’s good and bad here. Let’s start with the good.

Garmin’s junction view, shown below, is the most realistic of any GPS manufacturer. What you see is pretty much what the sign looks like in real-life.

nuvi-1450T-junction-view

The lane assist feature is shown in the upper left corner below. I find this feature even more helpful than junction view, showing you exactly what lane to be in. During my testing, this appeared on surface streets all over the metro Atlanta area, not just on freeways.

nuvi-1450T-lane-assist

While lane assist coverage has expanded significantly since this feature was first introduced, junction view coverage has not. The only place I’ve seen the latter is in the Atlanta area.

Mount

I’m a big fan of powered (AKA active) mounts – where the power lead plugs into the mount, so you don’t have to attach it each time you use the unit. Unfortunately, the nuvi 1450T does not have this feature, so you need to plug in the cable into the the back of the unit each time you connect it.

Garmin nuvi 1450T pros

  • 5” screen
  • Thin design
  • Lifetime traffic
  • Multi-destination routing
  • Lane assist with junction view
  • Speed limit display
  • Trip log display
  • Compatible with CityXplorer maps’ enhanced pedestrian navigation features
  • Customizable fields on map screen
  • Quick access to previously entered cities and street names
  • Visually warns when speeding
  • Includes Garmin’s new ecoRoute feature

Garmin nuvi 1450T cons

  • POI balloon obscures a significant portion of the map
  • Junction View coverage extremely limited
  • Power lead must be plugged directly into unit (does not power the mount)
  • Lifetime traffic is ad-supported (though they are low key and don’t appear very often)

More Garmin nuvi 1450T reviews

I’ll be posting more hands on GPS reviews as they appear, but in the meantime, here are some…

Other Garmin nuvi 1450T resources

Compare prices on the Garmin nuvi 1450T at these merchants:

 

About Rich Owings

Rich is the owner, editor and chief bottle-washer for GPS Tracklog. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.

Comments

  1. So far I am not impressed. I moved up from an old TOMTOM included with my IPAQ handheld but I am not seeing any comparison. My first drive home from work this device tried to direct me to a street that was not right and told me my road was off road and not even there. The display shows the little car all over the place. Why even have it? Just show the arrow that is shown in the middle of the road. Looks like a cheap toy compared to what I am used to. If I can’t find an updated map back it goes and I will keep looking for a better unit. Maybe the new TOMTOM.

    Thumbs down on the Garnmin.

  2. I am comparing the Garmin Nuvi 1450T GPS and the Garmin 1450 LMT GPS. I read that the traffic update features on the 1450T are ad-supported. Is it also true that the lifetime traffic and map features of the Nuvi 1450 LMT are also ad-supported?

  3. BailOutBob says:

    I traded my useless Garmin for the Magellan Roadmate 1700 and couldn’t be happier. Nice large screen, 7 inch, with plenty of voice notification and sounds when to turn. Auto night maps which I like so the guy in back of me won’t follow me home by accident 🙂

    Google shows this device is also a hand held computer that can be used as such by replacing some files. I haven’t tried it yet but if this is true I might just pick up another. $240.00 at Staples, $199.00 at BestBuy and I think somewhere around $156 at Target online order. I took my Staples purchase back and picked one up at BB after a week of trial.

    Thumbs Up on this one.

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