Garmin Nuvi 3790 GPS
Next time someone tells you to get lost, say “why not?” It’ll give you a great opportunity to bust out the sleek and unbelievably slim Garmin Nuvi 3790 GPS.
When we were asked to review a new GPS device, the first thought we had in mind was “road trip!”
We hopped into our car headed off to random and unfamiliar destinations, and the only companion we had to point us in the right direction was the Garmin nuvi 3790.
It’s a good thing that this incredibly slim, well-designed GPS device works so well — otherwise, we’d have had to write this review while lost in Sandakan or something.
If you’ve ever been in market for a navigational device — and assuming you didn’t get lost on the way to the shop — Garmin’s products would’ve been among the top items on your shopping list.
Garmin’s GPS devices have generally been very reliable and user friendly, and if you’ve actually used a nuvi device recently, you’ll already be familiar with the quality and functionality that the 3790 has to offer.
Like its nuvi siblings, the 3790 comes with a slew of standard but handy features to get you from point A to point B.
This includes a “points of interests” system which marks nearby petrol stations, restaurants and such on the map; a 3D view which shows the map contours (in case you really want to know how the terrain around you looks like); and, our favour- ite, the junction view feature which reduces amibiguity (“which ‘left exit’ are you talking about? There are three!”) by graphically rendering upcoming turns/exits.
That’s all nice and good, but what really sells the 3790 is the sleekness — and slickness — of the package.
The 3790 is an unbelievable 0.89cm thin; combined with its generally smooth, flat and black design, the 3790 could be mistaken at a glance for a rather wide iPhone or iPod.
It’s strange to say, but the new nuvi’s design makes it feel more like an “everyday” device that you’d keep in your back pocket instead of your car, assuming that you don’t mind a voice going “please drive straight and enter tunnel” emanating from your pants.
At a touch
The physical sleekness isn’t the only leaf that Garmin took from the iPhone’s design book, however.
The 3790 also benefits from a highly responsive capacitative touchscreen, multitouch features and the ability to auto rotate the screen when turned horizontally or vertically.
The upshot to these new additions is that this nuvi has a very friendly user interface: Typing an address or navigating through the menus on the 3790’s screen is way easier compared to older models.
Information — such as car speed or time to destination — is quickly accessible from the map screen, which counts for a lot when you’re on the road.
We particularly liked the option to easily switch from seeing the area around us to the road ahead of us by tilting the display from horizontal to vertical.
We think that the nuvi 3790 is an excellent GPS device thanks to its interface, design and solid naviga- tional functionality, but it still has some flaws worth mentioning.
The most prominent one is that — again, like most GPS devices — the robotic english voices can’t pronounce Malaysian names for nuts.
Unlike some devices which only state “turn left in 500m,” the nuvi tries to take it one level up by getting specific with the road names, such as “turn left in 500m into evergreen Terrace.”
Unfortunately, Malaysian names are never that simple, and you’ll realise this when it confusingly says “in 10m turn right into Labour Ayer Persecution” and you miss your turn into Lebuhraya Persekutuan.
Although in our experience the hilarious/frustrating mispronunciations didn’t detract from the naviga- tional experience, (the directions still made sense, and you can choose voice sets that don’t try to read street names anyway) you may be tempted to swear at the device the first time it tries to tell you to go through “Buck It Gel Ill (Bukit Jalil).”
We advise you not to; you might accidentally give it strange commands.
That’s right, this compact device has one more neat feature up its sleeve: It responds to voice commands in case your hands are too busy holding the wheel.
In our experience we stuck to the touchscreen most of the time, but we thought it was cool that we could say “Voice command... find by category... gas station” to get a list of all nearby refuelling places.
Still, while the voice command reacts rather well to common english words, specific Malaysian names are still a problem.
Good luck trying to pronounce “Tay Mann Tonne Der Is Male” in a way that leads you to Taman Tun Dr Ismail.
Despite its quirks, we have to say that overall, we like the Garmin nuvi 3790. It’s got a slick user interface, it’s packed with features that helps us find our way, and, gosh darn it, it looks good.
Whether you’re set for an adventurous road trip or just trying to get to somewhere unfamiliar, the Garmin nuvi 3790 is one of the best companions that you can have on your journey.
Just don’t try to hold a conversation with it.
Pros: excellent GPS in a slim package; friendly interface.
Cons: Voice-activated features can be hilarious.
WheRe to, AGAin?: The Nuvi provides very clear and helpful navigation to the driver, right until the automated name-reading screws up. The driver will then be confused with a “turn right at Kggh-pah” as he passes KGPA.
thin iS in: This Garmin Nuvi is thinner than its predecessors.