Review: Garmin Nuvi 200W Portable GPS

Just about a month ago, I purchased a Garmin Nuvi 200W 4.3″ widescreen portable GPS system. This GPS system doesn’t have the bells and whistles that a lot of the other Garmin units have, but for basic GPS functionality this unit is a great starter for anybody out there. Some features that this unit doesn’t include: Canada/Mexico maps, bluetooth capability, FM transmitter, mp3 player, and text-to-speech audio. On the other hand, it does come with a nice 4.3″ widescreen and the overall GPS functionality (the basic foundation you need to look for when deciding between a Tom Tom (TOM2.AS), Garmin (GRMN), or Magellan unit) is excellent.

One Minor Flaw

I live in an area that contains many apartment buildings, and when I leave my parking garage, it takes up to 5 minutes for the satellite to acquire. Sometimes I will even drive onto Interstate 5 and it still takes time to acquire signal. This can be troublesome if you don’t know how to start your trip and waiting 5 minutes before being directed in the correct direction can cause problems. The funniest thing is that at times I don’t have signal when I leave my apartment, but when I arrive back from a trip where I’m using the Nuvi 200W, I will have satellite signal around my apartment area.

What Features I Would Pay More For

If I had to purchase another Garmin unit, I would make sure to get the text-to-speech functionality so the portable GPS unit would announce the name of the street to turn on or an exit to turn off from a highway. This is a big upgrade compared to “take a left in .3 miles” or “exit right.” Having the text-to-speech capability allows the driver to keep their focus on the road and not keep shifting their eyes between the streets and the GPS system. At the price I paid for my refurbished unit, it was worth getting the 200W but text-to-speech functionality would be something I would like included in my next GPS unit.

Geocache Add On

By going to the Garmin site, you can load geocaches onto your GPS unit, and you can use your Garmin unit to find objects that other people have hidden in specific locations. All you simply have to do is create a free Garmin account, type in the location you want to look for geocaches, and then just choose what geocaches you want to load into your GPS unit via USB.

Overall Satisfaction: A
Features: B
Signal Quality: A-
Affordability: A

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2 Responses to Review: Garmin Nuvi 200W Portable GPS

  1. Gretchen Frederick says:

    I purchased a Garmin nuvi 200W and have the same problem. However, I have a choice of two bridges I may take to my meetings depending on traffic. I cannot seem to program it so that I have that choice. Nor, am I able to get off of home base. Is there a system out there that allows me to choose my own starting point and my own basic route (which bridge depending on backups)? Something like to: from:?

  2. Manuel Castillo says:

    I am still trying to figure out how to create a route with multiple stops.

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