Garmin Nuvi 3760 review: Garmin Nuvi 3760

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CNET Editors' Rating

4 stars Excellent
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Stunning looks. Responsive high-res screen. Terrain view. Easy to use.

The Bad TrafficTrends routing too smart for its own good (can be switched off). Glass screen catches reflections. Missed out on the brilliant voice recognition system of the Nuvi 3790T.

The Bottom Line Thin, light and clad in metal and glass, the Nuvi 3760 is the first portable nav device that's tugged on our heart as well as our mind. If you can, make the financial stretch to the 3790T as that model offers a brilliant voice recognition system.

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Editor's note: We reviewed the Garmin Nuvi 3790T, which has more features than the otherwise identical 3760. The review below is an amended version of the 3790T's.

Design

At the launch of the Nuvi 3700 series, the team from Garmin Australia brought a StreetPilot III model from 2001 for show and tell. Its roast beef-sized body, natty colour screen, scattershot approach to button placement and the new-found ability to discern roads from, well, everything else sat in stark contrast from the lithe and lovely Nuvi 3760.

We thought that the Navman MY500XT and the S300t before that were good-looking portable nav units, but the 3790T and its identical twin the 3760 socks it to them like a 29th second knock-out punch. The body is made from machined metal and not only feels fantastic to touch and hold but, weighing just 113g, somehow marries both lightness and rock-solid sturdiness.

With its 4.3-inch touchscreen, the 3760 is wider and taller than popular smartphones, such as the HTC Desire and Apple iPhone 4 — designs which, in many ways, it resembles. Without any cellular technology on-board, though, the 3760 is waif thin at 8.95mm.

As the 3760's touchscreen is capacitive in nature, it responds accurately to both presses and swipes, as well as multi-touch zoom. Graced with almost triple the number of pixels of a standard 4.3-inch GPS unit, the 800x480-pixel screen is not left wanting for sharpness and clarity, making it the second portable nav we've used that almost justifies itself inclusion of a picture viewing app. While its glossy glass screen makes colours pop, it is a magnet for both reflections and fingerprints, requiring both care with viewing angle and the cleaning cloth.

An accelerometer allows the unit to flip the screen between portrait and landscape modes, so you could conceivably use it on foot. There's a suitably loud but tinny speaker on the unit itself, as well as a powered speaker on the windscreen mount that's both loud and clear. It's a shame that although the mount does its job well, it's pretty much a standard ball-jointed Garmin affair and lacks the flair of the device itself.

Garmin's simple-to-use interface is largely unchanged: two large icons (Where To? and View Map) dominate the main menu and are underscored by smaller icons for settings, volume, Bluetooth phone connectivity and route modification. The map screen is clear and crisp, and thanks to a more powerful than usual brain animations are smooth and the map redraws quickly in nice little chunks. Neatly, the unit zooms out and changes perspective for distant manoeuvres and zooms back in for nearby turns.

Features

As Garmin's flagship GPS units for 2010, the Nuvi 3760 and 3790T come well specified. Common features include text-to-speech for spoken street names, lane guidance, junction view, Bluetooth hands-free, speed and red-light camera alerts, lane guidance, speed limit display, historical traffic information, and maps for both Australia (Whereis) and New Zealand.

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Where to Buy

Garmin Nuvi 3760

Part Number: CNETGarmin Nuvi 3760

Typical Price: $449.00

See manufacturer website for availability.