If you want Garmin's pedestrian feature -- which optimizes routes for walking and public transportation -- the Garmin nuvi 1200 is the cheapest version that includes it. It's a fine car navigator as well, reviewers say, albeit a basic one. There's no widescreen (although reviewers say the small size makes it easy to carry), no Bluetooth and no free traffic information (it's optional and costs extra). The nuvi 1200 does speak street names (i.e. "Turn left on Elm Street in 200 feet" rather than "Turn left in 200 feet"), but one reviewer says the pronunciation isn't as good as with earlier nuvis. Some owners also complain about routing problems. In this price range, reviewers are more likely to recommend the Garmin nuvi 1350T (*Est. $155) , which has a wide screen and free traffic information.
ConsumerReports.org's ratings show how the Garmin nuvi 1200 stacks up against other GPS units, and GPSTracklog.com's more descriptive test explains the nuvi 1200's features in detail. About.com's David Kelly tests the nuvi 1200 from a business traveler's perspective. Users report some problems with the nuvi 1200 at Amazon.com.
The Garmin nuvi 1200 is tested here alongside 136 other GPS navigators. ConsumerReports.org tests each model's routing and usability and then ranks the units from best to worst.
Review: GPS Ratings, Editors of ConsumerReports.org
2. GPS Tracklog
The Garmin nuvi 1200 performs well in this review, but Rich Owings finds "little to recommend the nuvi 1200 over some earlier models" unless you need the pedestrian features. Since then, however, the nuvi 1200 has become a top budget pick on Owings' buyer's guide.
Review: Garmin Nuvi 1200 Review, Rich Owings, Aug. 10, 2009
David Kelly, About.com's guide to business travel, gives the Garmin nuvi 1200 4.5 stars out of 5. He says "It's got all the basics you need for good navigation," and its low price makes it good for business travelers who could lose, break, or have their GPS devices stolen while on a trip. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Review: Nuvi 1200 GPS, David Kelly
With more than 100 owner reviews posted, the Garmin nuvi 1200 averages 3.5 stars out of 5. Most of the reviews are very positive, but we found several complaints that the nuvi 1200 picks poor routes.
Review: Garmin Nuvi 1200 3.5-Inch Portable GPS Navigator, Contributors to Amazon.com