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Garmin nuvi 3790T

*Est. $250
Reviewed
October 2011
by ConsumerSearch
Garmin nuvi 3790T

Pros
  • Sleek design
  • Gorgeous multitouch display
  • Learns traffic patterns in your area
  • Free lifetime traffic info
Cons
  • Owners aren't as pleased as experts
  • Voice commands get mixed reviews
  • Poor built-in speaker (mount speaker is fine)
  • Pop-up ads
  • Expensive

Experts are unanimously impressed with the Garmin nuvi 3790T. Reviewers say it looks a lot like an iPhone, with a thin profile, easy-to-use multitouch screen and bright, beautiful maps. It doesn't connect to the Internet like the Garmin nuLink 1695 (*Est. $320) . Instead, the nuvi 3790T has the ability to "learn" the traffic patterns in your area, as well as your own route preferences, which experts say really does make it better at choosing the right routes.

Like many other Garmin nuvi models, the nuvi 3790T includes free FM traffic information for the life of the unit -- supported by pop-up ads, which reviewers say can get annoying considering the steep price you've already paid for the unit. The nuvi 3790T can also understand voice commands, a feature that works well in some tests but not in others. While experts overwhelmingly recommend these newest Garmin models, some owners report various problems. Some say the fancy thin case gets so hot on a sunny windshield that the unit shuts down, while others complain that the unit freezes up or takes too long to lock onto satellites.

We found no shortage of reviews for the Garmin nuvi 3790T. GPSMagazine.com and GPSTracklog.com both do extensive tests and publish lengthy reviews, lavishly illustrated with photos and screen shots. ConsumerReports.org also thoroughly tests the Garmin nuvi 3790T, but it concentrates on ranking the unit against its peers; there is little description here. PCMag.com, CNET and TechRadar.com are all experienced testers of GPS units, with insightful reviews of the nuvi 3790T. We found briefer tests of the nuvi 3790T at About.com and Budget Travel magazine -- the latter a head-to-head test with two other Garmin nuvis. Despite its almost unanimous praise from experts, we found quite a few complaints about this unit from owners at Amazon.com.

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Our Sources

1. GPSMagazine.com

After an extraordinarily thorough test, GPSMagazine.com declares that the Garmin nuvi 3790T "sets the new standard for GPS navigation." But reviewer Fletcher Previn says the question is how many people will spend this much for the absolute best navigation available, and how many will prefer to make do with the GPS software that's already on their smartphones?

Review: Garmin Nuvi 3790T Review, Fletcher Previn, July 24, 2010

2. GPS Tracklog

"The best nuvi yet," the Garmin nuvi 3790T has a gorgeous display and improved routing, thanks to its ability to remember past traffic tie-ups. Rich Owings finds the voice-command feature works well in some ways but not in others.

Review: Garmin Nuvi 3790T Review, Rich Owings, July 20, 2010

3. ConsumerReports.org

ConsumerReports.org subjects the Garmin nuvi 3790T to its usual rigorous testing, along with 136 other GPS units. There's little description of the individual models, but each is rated in several areas of performance and usability. The models are ranked from best to worst based on test results.

Review: GPS Ratings, Editors of ConsumerReports.org

4. PCMag.com

It's pricey, but Jamie Lendino says the Garmin nuvi 3790T "raises the bar" for GPS units with its slim case, sharp, beautiful maps and ability to "learn" about your traffic and driving behavior. It's a PCMag.com Editors' Choice.

Review: Garmin Nuvi 3790T, Jamie Lendino, July 22, 2010

5. CNET

With a rare, nearly perfect rating of 4.5 stars, the Garmin nuvi 3790T tops CNET's Editors' Choice list. Voice command works well, Bluetooth call quality is good and navigation works well in this test.

Review: Garmin Nuvi 3790T, Antuan Goodwin, Aug. 31, 2010

6. TechRadar.com

This U.K. reviewer tests all aspects of the Garmin nuvi 3790T and comes away thoroughly impressed. Despite a poor speaker and strange robotic voice, TechRadar.com says this is "simply the best sat nav currently available."

Review: Garmin Nuvi 3790T Review, Rob Mead, July 9, 2010

7. Budget Travel

The Garmin nuvi 3790T loses this shootout to the less expensive nuvi 3750. Budget Travel magazine says the nuvi 3750 has most of the same features but saves money by omitting voice recognition, a feature of the nuvi 3790T that doesn't work well in the test.

Review: Smackdown: Which Garmin GPS Unit Is Best?, Andrea Minarcek, Sept. 30, 2010

8. About.com

Fred Zahradnik, About.com's guide to GPS, gives the Garmin nuvi 3790T 4.5 stars out of 5, making it his top-rated unit. Unlike the Budget Travel review (above), Zahradnik finds that the nuvi 3790T's voice-command feature works remarkably well. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)

Review: Garmin Nuvi 3790T Review: The Next Generation, Fred Zahradnik

9. Amazon.com

Owners are not as uniformly enthusiastic about the Garmin nuvi 3790T as experts are. With more than 200 customer reviews posted, the Garmin nuvi 1390T averages 3.5 stars out of 5. More than half of reviewers give it 4 or 5 stars, but we found several complaints that the unit runs hot, doesn't always route correctly, and more.

Review: Garmin nuvi 3790T 4.3-Inch Bluetooth Portable GPS Navigator, Contributors to Amazon.com

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