Experts say MSN Direct is a good reason to spend extra money on the Garmin nuvi 780, but some consumers aren't so sure. MSN Direct is a service that provides traffic alerts, weather, local gas prices, movie times and more. Experts especially like the traffic alerts and gas prices, but consumer reviews are mixed. Some users say they've gotten outdated traffic information and gas prices, but others report no problems. Reviews note that MSN Direct isn't available everywhere (visit MSNDirect.com for a coverage map before buying), and it costs extra after the three-month trial period.
Few reviewers have thoroughly tested the enhanced MSN Direct features that make the nuvi 780 different. GPSMagazine.com and GPSLodge.com cover most MSN Direct features fairly well in their thorough road tests of the nuvi 780. CNNMoney.com's review doesn't mention MSN Direct at all, but it is helpful because it judges the nuvi 780's basic navigation and usability head-to-head against four competitors. About.com's review refers briefly to some limited testing. GPSTracklog.com does not conduct a full road test. Consumers who post at Amazon.com have detected some problems that didn't show up in expert tests of the nuvi 780.
This website publishes extremely comprehensive reviews, and it is one of the most reliable sources for GPS information we've found. The lengthy review is lavishly illustrated with photos and screen shots, and it analyzes every feature of the nuvi 780, including MSN Direct.
Review: Garmin Nuvi 780 GPS Review, Fletcher Previn, April 19, 2008
Scott Martin drops the Garmin nuvi 780 from his latest holiday gift guide, but he does still recommend the nuvi 780 as "a good GPS" in this complete review, which covers all of the unit's major features.
Review: Garmin Nuvi 780 Full Review -- MSN Direct 2, Scott Martin, Feb. 24, 2008
Charles Passy tests five GPS models from five manufacturers. The Garmin nuvi 780 wins, due to its superior navigation and usability. Passy lists each model's key features and price and assigns it a letter grade. The review is comparative and balanced, but it provides far fewer details than other reviews.
Review: GPS That Puts You in the Fast Lane, Charles Passy, May 2, 2008
About.com's GPS guide Fred Zahradnik awards the Garmin nuvi 780 four stars (out of five) in this easy-to-read review. Zahradnik lists the nuvi 780's pros and cons and briefly refers to tests he conducted on several of the unit's features. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation.)
Review: Garmin Nuvi 780: Advanced Navigation Plus MSN Direct, Fred Zahradnik
5. GPS Tracklog
This is another site that has dropped the Garmin nuvi 780 from its buyer's guide. This dedicated nuvi 780 page lists the unit's features and links to reviews from outside sources.
Review: Garmin Nuvi 780 Review, Rich Owings, Feb. 23, 2008
The Garmin nuvi 780 gets an average four stars (out of five) from consumers at Amazon.com, with more than 125 reviews posted. Several users have found shortcomings, especially with MSN Direct.
Review: Garmin Nuvi 780, Contributors to Amazon.com