Garmin adds another battery of incremental changes to its Nuvi line of GPS navigators with the introduction of the Nuvi 765T. This new Nuvi packs useful features, such as text-to-speech and visual lane guidance, but the best trick in its bag is free, lifetime, Navteq traffic updating. In this case "free" means "ad-supported" and you will have to view periodic text-based ads and offers on your Nuvi 765T when traffic reporting is active. But, how intrusive are these ads and is it really worth it for traffic? Let's find out.
The Garmin Nuvi 765T uses the familiar chassis (4.8 inches wide by 3 inches tall by .8 inch thick) used on previous wide-screen Nuvis, but with a new, rubberized, matte finish for the front and back panels. The side panels are finished in a glossy piano black.
The color touch screen measures 4.3 inches (diagonal) with a resolution of 480x272 pixels (WQVGA). An antiglare coating keeps the screen viewable when sunlit and prevents excessive fingerprinting.
Along the top edge of the unit is the power/screen lock slider. The right edge is home to a 1/8-inch headphone jack and an SD-card slot; and the bottom is where you'll find the microUSB port and Garmin's proprietary dock connector. Flanking the touch screen are two tiny microphone holes (for hands-free calling) and the back panel features the monaural speaker and a connector for an external GPS antenna.
The Nuvi 765T ships with a suction cup-mounted car cradle, an adhesive disc for dash mounting, a 12-volt power cable, a microUSB-to-USB sync cable, and a Quickstart Guide.
Because the 765T's traffic antenna includes an integrated FM antenna for receiving traffic data, it does not terminate in a microUSB connector (like Nuvis we've previously tested). Instead, a proprietary connection is used that plugs into the car cradle, onto which the Nuvi is mounted. The Garmin is unable to receive traffic reports without the power cable, and it can't connect to the cable without the dock, so try very hard to not lose them.
The Nuvi 765T's turn-by-turn navigation is supplemented by text-to-speech directions and advanced lane guidance. As you approach a highway junction, lane guidance displays a series of arrows that represent the lanes available. Valid lanes for your route are illuminated and invalid lanes are grayed out. Get closer to the junction and the navigation map is replaced, momentarily, with a graphic representation of the intersection (complete with highway signs) with a large, purple arrow pointing you in the proper direction.
Navteq Traffic data is served via FM radio waves, received by the antenna in the power cable. The Nuvi displays clickable traffic incidents on the map and overlays color-coded flow data onto the street graphics. The unit will attempt to avoid traffic incidents when routing, but if it can't it will display the expected delay time in an icon on the map screen.
EcoRoute is a routing algorithm and software package that takes fuel economy into consideration when planning routes. An ecoRoute icon on the menu allows drivers to create a vehicle profile and track fuel economy and carbon footprint. Driving challenges help to train drivers to drive more frugally.
Bluetooth wireless connectivity for hands-free calling and audio streaming (output) allow the Nuvi to play well with other Bluetooth devices. A built-in FM transmitter allows you to use your vehicle's speakers for audio playback and turn-by-turn directions.
Multimedia features include a photo viewer and a media player that enables the playback of MP3s and Audible.com audiobooks from an SD card.
Oddest of all is the inclusion of the Oxford University Press Language Guide, which translates words and phrases into dozens of languages and reads them aloud using the text-to-speech engine.