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Dash first impressions(updated 3x/final)

Kayrac 0 Points
Okay so i just got my dash about 2hrs ago, these are my initial impressions, and i will be doing a more indepth review after i get some more time to know the device

Initially!, the thing doesn't look that big, obviously bigger than most gps's, but not to big........that setiment was lost when put into my car, it's a beast, however with some playing with position, it fits very nicely touching my dash, and no longer looks huge, you cannot mount this like other gps's up higher, it really needs to be lower or it just looks funny

The buttons, at first seem a little annoying, and i still have problems finding the power button quickly, but were talking 1-2secs of feeling, not a huge issue but, the volume/menu buttons again, when first using seem a bit strange, however once you've used them once or twice you figure out the correct pressure they need to activate, i did accidently hit menu while adjusting the suction mount, but i couldn't see it becomming an issue at all, it would be hard to accidently press

Volume wise, i find i need it at 11, however i am young, like loud music, and am a smoker, so my window is part way down almost 100% of the time

The traffic while i had no experience obviously, did update and show green lines where i was driving, and were irinx has data(the major highway near me) was a dotted green line, and traffic was slightly heavy but no slowdowns at all :)

Now into the software itself, the inital bootup did seem to take some time, however after leaving plugged in, boots were very fast.....sat aquisition was very fast, even the first time, and i have had no problems what so ever with it

Having used a garmin and tomtom before, i found the menu a bit bulky/hard to navigate, but this was more previous knowledge wise, after using it became very easy as you can imagine.........ALSO to note, a slightly weird thing that i did like, was certain menu's called 'geek screen' and 'legal stuff' while the stuff was useless to me i do like how relaxed they make me feel, like the people creating this are not completely uptight and still like to have some fun, i am a very relaxed guy and at 23, i am far from 'professional', even in my job i can't stand calling people 'sir' or 'mam', often times i just talk as if customers were my friends, i feel they enjoy it, and it'nice to see a company that also seems relaxed........this may not be the case, but

WIFI and gprs connected quickly and timely, no issues there, and thanks to 'mikeandsherrie' i have wireless internet near me :), i did however find searching with yahoo quite cumbersum, as you can not abbreviate, for instance in looking for wal-mart, i tried "walmart", "wal", before realizing i needed to do "wal mart" these are minor things and are really tied more into Yahoo than dash i think, but typing exactly on a gps screen gets annoying, however thats life i suppose, i'd hate to try and type out a japanese restaurants name ;)

Routing this is what i am seiked about, although i really gave it no challenge, i did try a route to wisconsin to my moms place, and it gave about the same distance/time as my garmin..........but what really seiked me, was otw home from mcdonalds(what i was hungry!), it gave me 2 routes, 1 i usually take, and 1 using a backroad that i've never seen any other gps take, it's shorter but takes a few minutes longer, it selected the faster route as the 'optimal' route, and gave me the back road as a second option, i've used lots of gps's and never seen a single one even consider that road before, however it is a nice little road :)

But i worked all night and waited all day for my gps and am now extremely tired, so i will leave this off here for now, and will pickup when i get some more time with it, will be testing gas prices tomorrow, and possibly some more routing around!

Hope this is helpfull and i look forward to comments/questions

-Brian

Comments

  • Cool deal. I'd like to hear more impressions.
  • Kayrac 0 Points
    further along, the yahoo searching is very nice, HOWEVER if you live in a non-rural area like i do, searching yahoo can be tedius, the closest city is a ways away, and searching 'nearby' doesn't bring up actual near movie theatres, among other things, i often had to change the city to search, this could be considered a hassel but

    another thing i forgot was no auto-zoom when turns arrive, perhaps this is just because i have used a tomtom/garmin before but i am REALLY missing this feature, hopefully it will be added

    the general cpu does seem to run slow, but it could just be from how everything is programmed, menu's move fast, but redrawing and what not can be somewhat slow, it's not a huge problem but can be annoying waiting that 5seconds for it to draw

    movie times were spot on, as was gas prices

    basically the main thing that sold me on this, and what really has me liking it, it is the GPRS, as i said i do not live in a rural area, i have had tmc traffic before, but it only got traffic and honestly wasn't very good, but it did work

    MSN direct only has 3 towers even remotly close to me, manchestor, boston, and maine, neither of which reach my house, or anywhere near the main place i drive, IE portsmouth NH

    the GPRS has worked flawlessly, along with the WIFI, it has had both connected at the same time, and seems to work flawlessly together, have been able to get searches/traffic etc where it was not possible before

    One thing i do miss with dash, that tmc/msn traffic had, was the ability to view the traffic around you, with distances and the issue it was, it often would describe construction in spots i would drive, and i would often use it without making it calculate routes, so just knowing which way to go was nice, however this is minor, and still have not encountered any traffic alerts

    Going to my girlfriends moms today, will be stopping for gas and using Dash's gas prices, prob won't review it, cause it's either right on, close, or way off, but hopefully i will do some driving after i fill up, with some more route testing and what not

    nothing to much new here, but oh well

    EDIT!!!

    the dash forums have had alot of people complaining about routing, but like i said in my original post, having the routing give me the option to use a road i often use, but never seen any gps even consider before, was quite nice......so i have high hopes for the routing, more to come later today on how routing goes though
  • Upacreek 0 Points
    This is great stuff. Thanks. The kind of info I was hoping to get. While reviews are good, I always have questions about specific features that aren't necessarily addressed in the review. Getting experiences from lots of people in a variety of situations really helps. Thanks again.
  • Kayrac 0 Points
    no problem feel free to let me know if you got any questions

    another note, i am loving yahoo local, finds everything i need :), even small pet stores you'd never have in a poi database :)

    btw routing still showing good, however i can't get it to give me 3 routes, most i've had is 2, there good routes though and make sense

    i am waiting for the 'avoid' option they say is coming in an update(no timeline but they've said there working on it), one route wanted to take me on a toll(i hate tolls), however it gave me a second route that was the choice i usually take, was like 2 extra minutes and avoided the tolls, so i took that one :)
  • Upacreek 0 Points
    Thanks again.

    I've read some user comments that say the route can be hard to follow on the screen because of the colors used. Have you found that to be true?

    One of the routing features apparently missing from the Dash is setting a via point. I was wondering if you've missed that feature, if you typically use it? In my experience I rarely use it. Instead, to accomplish basically the same thing I would just set a destination that lies in the direction I want to go, then change it once I got there, eventually reaching my final destination.

    I'm glad they intend to add Avoids. I would also like to see the option of selecting either faster or shorter routes, although, since I don't know how it calculates routes now, and given the fact it uses traffic data, maybe it's already doing it when creating more than one route to choose from.
  • Kayrac 0 Points
    i've found the map very easy to follow, but i use 3d mode, it has big blue arrows when you need to turn or make a maneuver, 2dmode does not have the arrows(that i remember), however 2d mode is still quite easy to follow

    i've actually found i am not missing auto-zoom as much as i would have thought, however my area does not have big citys/hard directions, so once i head into either manchestor or portsmouth more in depth, it may sway my opinion

    i never used waypoints, found it pointless, i just goto 1, then goto the next, not that hard to select a route :)

    and when using multiple route options, it usually gives you fastest/shortest, but please note it doesn't always give you multiple routes, around here there aern't tons of roads like cities, so that may be why, but i often times only get 1 route, 2 at most, i have yet to see 3, however in reality the route it chooses is the only real sane choice, any other option consists of driving for an extra 15min usually atleast, or a minor minor road, that would be pointless to take unless there was an accident
  • Upacreek 0 Points
    Regarding setting a via, or waypoints (not quite sure whether in technical terms they are the same thing or not, but I think I treat them the same) it sounds like you do what I do, so not having the ability to set waypoints or multiple destinations is not a big deal.

    Regarding the autozoom, it makes you wonder, how many times those features really mattered. You may have gotten used to having it but only really needed it on some occassions. Not saying it wouldn't be nice to have it back. BTW, my grandfather lived in Portsmouth.

    I often like to take the shorter routes, basically to see the countryside, or at least something different. It has also help discover news ways to go that I probably wouldn't have explored otherwise. I wouldn't necessarily use the shortest route though when I'm trying to make good time. Might not be able to do quite the same thing with the Dash I guess. Sounds like it really just depends on how many routes it comes up with. Maybe it's a good thing it's not creating three routes. It means it's not creating "bad" routes just to come up with three.

    Thanks.
  • The autozoom missing really bothers me. There are so many times when I use a GPS now where there are a lot of small streets or exits right near each other and the auto zoom is the only reason I know which one I'm taking.

    Does anyone know if this is a feature they plan on adding?
  • Tim 1484 Points
    It does sound like this is something they are looking to add.
  • Kayrac 0 Points
    So, i have another update, while driving home from my girls mothers, i decided to change it up, and go another route that takes about the same time, opposed to what it wanted, recalculation was extremely quick, but it wanted me to drive 4.6miles down the road to a road i take home from work(which is all good except coming from work i'm going the opposite way as i am today), and completely skipped over the obvious turn that pops onto my road, 1minute from my place

    slightly weird, also another encounter, otw to work, it always wants me to take a road i really hate driving on, although i think it's faster, it's only 40, lotta cops, and 0 traffic, bad, so i routed it that way, but decided to take that exact same road from above(the one i took, that the gps didn't see/take me to), it recalculated told me to turn left onto the highway, all was well, but then it had a weird left turn about 3.7miles down the road, confused i just followed along, when i arrived at the turn that it wanted me to take from my original route, it had an arrow coming off of my original route, turning left onto the road i was currently on, i got no verbal directions(assuming because i was already on the road), continuing on the highway, the display changed and seemed to fix itself, not really a huge issue, but did seem weird, and if i didn't know where i was going, i would have probably been alright, but seriously confused



    edit!!!

    i also keep reading about how the screen lags behind actual position, i have not encountered that, in my experience it has been dead on, i've used both garmins and tt's and they are easily on par, i actually think my dash recalculates routes much faster than any the others
  • Kayrac 0 Points
    so after using this device for a bit, it does work, traffic is sweet, yahoo searching is amazingly sweet, and more usefull than you might imagine

    the routing while working 95% of the time, has some quirks, especially when re-routing when going off, sometimes it's on the ball, othertimes you think it just spent the night at the bar and is trying to drive home after a few to many, while when you think it's drunk, it will still get you where you need to be, it is quirky, and not all that well off

    I am personally def keeping this device, it has HUGE potential, the team/support is amazing, hell when's the last time you had the staff make a post about whats coming in garmin/tt's updates, and personally answer your questions?, not to mention it gets connectivity in tons of places, most other traffic/extras are dependant on charging money on your own cell phone, or fm receivers that don't always stretch so far for reception

    I really can't recommend this to a newbie, whoms it's going to be there first gps..........would it work for them? probably.........will it get updated/better? probably, but for now it needs alot of work

    However if your a techie, this is quite a nice gps, if you can deal with a few quirks, when this gets updated it has serious potential

    is it worth 400$? eh, yes and no, it seems to be lacking features many gps's have, however some are solved simpler than others, for instance weather forecasts are being hosted by a member(not staff) and work quite well, and updates are coming......so after carefull deliberation is it worth 400$? probably not, but the ability to actually connect/receive traffic/yahoo search, in my hometown where no other gets service, it is extremely worth it for me

    Now having said that i don't think it's worth 400$, theres something to be said about your personal feelings about a device, and my personal feeling is good, excellent overall experience for me so far, even with the few quirks


    take from my review type thing, what you will, but just how i feel :)

    -Brian
  • Upacreek 0 Points
    Brian,
    Thanks for your honest opinion, and for sharing your experiences.

    All GPSs probably have their quirks. The question for me is whether Dash has left out serious routing capabilities/options that would require me to wait until they've done some updates before purchasing, or to dive in now and be one of the first to take advantage of the new technology with the assumption things will be fixed or added later.

    The news about the TomTom 930 has intriqued me. It sounds good. And even though it might be better than Dash for routing (at least for now), I do worry the long term costs with TomTom will be higher without greater benefit. And it may cost more upfront as well.

    I've been wondering about what Garmin is up to along the same lines. I know you don't want to discuss here, but it is always in the back of my mind when thinking about which GPS to purchase. I ask myself should I wait.

    The one thing that has been answered about the Dash by you and others, paying for the service is definitely worth it.
  • Kayrac 0 Points
    i don't mind the whole paying thing

    free map updates atleast 2x a year, along with free traffic, yahoo searching, OTA updates, all bring me far past the point of worrying about the monthly

    even though it should be different, it looks ALOT better paying 13, or 10 bucks a month, than paying 60bucks a year for traffic, and 80-100+ a year for maps

    just look at it, it really does look better monthly :)


    plus like i said, NO other service reaches me, except TMC traffic, and even that is somewhat spotty coverage around here, and doesn't include anything cool except traffic, which there is none around here really :P

    so it's dash, or no other cool features for me :)
  • Kayrac 0 Points
    Lemme just speak for myself, not suggesting to anyone else or worrying about anyone else


    My girl hates the dash(don't ask me why, she's a woman)


    BUT DO I LIKE MY DASH?


    i answer........

    Yes i do quite enjoy my dash, it works very well, and i am honestly loving Yahoo search, i have not even received an update yet and i am happy with it :)
  • caryrae 92 Points
    Brian, (aka Kayrac)

    Since you have had your Dash for almost 2 months now. What things, if any, would like to see added in future updates or if it is something that can't updated by downloading, what would you like to see added in a 2nd gen unit? Still waiting for mine, should be here Thursday. The one thing I hope they get in an update soon is the auto zoom.

    I think the monthly service payments are not bad at all for the Dash. I can get XM Navtraffic for my 2730 for $10 a month plus anywhere from $65-$75 for each map update (about 1 a year). So for xm navtraffic and garmin map updates it costs around $170 a year and with dash pay $12.99 a month or around $156 a year for Traffic and map updates.
  • Kayrac 0 Points
    autozoom, and avoid toll roads, i hate tolls :P
  • caryrae 92 Points
    Well I got my Dash today that I bought from Ebay. It looks brand new like they said, one small problem was they did register it even though they said they didn't but Dash was super nice and released the DDN number so I could register it. They were awesome to do that for me. Won't have much chance to try it out today but so far I like it.
  • Upacreek 0 Points
    I am very interested in hearing what you think after you have a chance to try it out. I've been debating whether to purchase a Dash or not. What do you think about the size?
  • caryrae 92 Points
    I am very interested in hearing what you think after you have a chance to try it out. I've been debating whether to purchase a Dash or not. What do you think about the size?
    To me the size is not that bad, probably because I have a Streetpilot 2730 which is not that small compared to new GPS's these days. To me size is not a big deal as long as it works well.
  • Upacreek 0 Points
    I've had an SP 2610 for several years, so I know what you mean about the size, but I don't want one bigger than that. In fact, I had thought about getting one I could finally tote around, but the Dash is not one I would do that with, so that may be something I'd have to give up.

    I've read a few reviews that mention size. If size was the only issue with the Dash I suspect it wouldn't be an issue at all.
  • caryrae 92 Points
    Well so far with the little time I have used the Dash the traffic has been right. The routing does need some work which hopefully will have some fixes at the end of the month. Seems like it likes to route on highways. I put in an address and instead of going the obvious way which is the fastest and shortest it wanted me to use the highways which would have doubled my miles and time of arrival. There was no traffic because the faster way was down a county road, most of the way, which never as traffic and nothing showed on the Dash, so not sure why it didn't use that faster shorter route. Another time it kept wanting to reroute me back to the original route after I choose another way to go. It keep wanting me to make u-turns to get me back to the original route even though when I kept going my way it was faster because when it finally gave into my way the ETA was sooner then if I would have went the Dashes way. Again there was no traffic on the screen (all green) to influence the route.

    One thing it really needs is auto-zoom because when zoomed out some roads disappear and it can be a pain zooming in and watching the road at the same time.
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