Garmin's on the road again with its latest vehicle-navigation system, the StreetPilot 2620, which cruises in style with touch-screen technology and a more compact design. You'll find a trusty copilot in the 2620, with its great accuracy, its text- and voice-guided directions, and its large points of interest (POI) database. The only speed bump is its high $1,516.65 price tag--typical of systems of this kind--but Garmin does throw in a couple of extras, such as a handy remote control. But if you can live without such amenities, take a look at the , which offers plenty of features and accurate guidance for about half the price.
Editor's note: We have changed the rating in this review to reflect recent changes in our rating scale. Click here to find out more.The well-designed Garmin StreetPilot 2620 is more compact (2.0 by 3.2 by 5.6 inches) and lighter (14.9 ounces) than its predecessor, the . And while its 256-color screen is slightly smaller (3.3 by 1.7 inches) than that of its older sibling, the 2620 offers touch-screen technology for easy page and menu selection and an automatic backlight dimmer that adjusts the display according to available light. The crisp, clear display is easily viewed from any angle.
Housed in a metallic-silver casing built to IPX7 standards (which means it can withstand accidental immersion in one meter of water for up to 30 minutes), the 2620 includes an integrated 12-channel WAAS (Wide Area Augmentation System)-enabled receiver and patch antenna, four backlit function buttons (Page, Menu, Find, and Speak) to the right of the display, and a remote-control IR sensor to the left. A power switch is located on the right rear of the unit and a CompactFlash slot, which houses the included 2.2GB Magicstor hard drive, is located behind a flip-up panel on the left rear side. A mini-USB port and an external antenna jack are positioned on the rear beneath a waterproof flap.
We were generally pleased with the bean-bag-style mounting apparatus, which allows you to swivel the unit vertically and horizontally for an optimal viewing angle, although it tends to slide around a bit on a curved dashboard. Adding a few more beans would help stabilize the mount when driving on rough or winding roads. Garmin also includes a dashboard mount, and although we weren't able to test this unit, it provides you with an alternative means of installing the 2620 in your car. In addition to the two mounts, you get a 12-volt power adapter with a built-in speaker and an AC adapter for home use, a USB cable for upgrading firmware (when necessary) and updating the mapping software (via a fee-based CD-ROM) as new maps become available, and a wireless remote unit. The remote is particularly handy, allowing you to scroll through menu screens and perform search functions using the alphanumeric keypad rather than the onscreen touchpad.