The Garmin Nuvi series has proven to be a great success for the veteran navigation manufacturer. The Garmin Nuvi 350 impressed us not only with its solid performance but also with its travel-friendly features, and it consistently ranks up there as one of our readers' favorite GPS devices. Armed with navigation tools, travel guides, and multimedia capabilities, it is the ultimate travel companion. Now, the company's latest model in the series, the Gamin Nuvi 660, adds even more improvements, such as integrated Bluetooth and a larger screen, all while delivering solid performance. Now, here's the bad news. It costs a whopping $1,076.91, and you have to fork over even more cash if you want the expanded travel tools. If you don't need all that functionality, the Nuvi 350 is a solid alternative, or take a look at the HP iPaq rx5900 series.
At 4.9x2.9by0.9 inches and 6.2 ounces, the Garmin Nuvi 660 is slightly bigger and heavier than its predecessor but it's still an ultraportable and sleek device that you can use in and out of the car. Plus, the extra size is for a good reason. The Nuvi 660 now boasts a larger, 4.3-inch display compared to the Nuvi 350's 3.5-inch screen. The touch screen has an impressive 480x272 pixel resolution that made maps look extrasharp and colorful. It's also still readable in direct sunlight.
You can access all the Nuvi 660's tools and enter information via the touch screen. The interface is clean, and the menus are clearly identified and intuitive, so there isn't a steep learning curve to operate the device. In fact, it's so easy to use that we didn't even have to crack open the user's manual once. In addition, the icons and onscreen keyboard are large, so we didn't have any problems with pressing the wrong buttons.
With everything handled via the touch screen, the Nuvi 660 can have a minimalist design, which we like. There's a sole power on/off button on the top of the unit, while there's an SD expansion slot, a mini USB port, and a headphone jack on the right spine. Finally, there is a flip-up patch antenna on the back that stores flush with the unit's surface in its closed state, so it doesn't add any extra bulk. Our only wish would be for external volume controls, but if you give the power button a quick press, it brings up a Quick Settings page where you can adjust the sound and screen brightness.
Garmin packages the Nuvi 660 with a vehicle mount (windshield and dash), an AC adapter, a car charger with an integrated FM traffic receiver, a USB cable, a carrying case, and reference material.