Priest in the Church of England. Father, husband, son. Keen biker.

Garmin Zumo – Initial Review

I promised a short review of the new Garmin Zumo after my visit to the NEC and the 2006 Motorcycle and Scooter show.

Garmin Zumo at NEC

I was really looking forward to getting my hands on this device, not least because I was expecting something special – a year after Tom Tom released the Rider Garmin had the perfect opportunity to pick up on the bad points of the Rider (bad mount) and release something that was sturdy, had even better mapping, and more intuitive interface.

They’ve failed on all but one account. The mount for the Zumo is great – it’s strong, lockable and I can’t see if releasing the Zumo without a fight – and that’s great – something the TomTom Rider falls down on badly. But then you look beyond the build quality and realise that it’s totally un-usable. The ‘glove friendly’ interface is a pain in the bum – it’s very slow to use and in most cases offers no better usability than the Tom Tom.

It has a silly slider system, as you can see above, for inserting addresses etc – it’s slow, difficult to use, and is not sufficiently big to adapt to my winter gloves… TomTom addressed this by ignoring it – they put in a standard on screen keyboard that unless you’re wearing the smallest of summer gloves you have to remove your gloves to use – but made everything else work perfectly with even the thickest winter gloves – in other words – when I’m setting off, before I put my gloves on I put in my destination (or itinerary) then when I pull off, every function is a nice big button towards the centre of the screen.

Which brings me to my next point – interface design – without being unkind… did they get a 3 year old in to do it? It looks like my nephews first attempt at building a GPS unit…

I don’t want to be ‘down’ on this unit before I actually use it – so I’ll stop now –  but my view at the moment is that if you’re looking for a GPS unit for the bike – go for the TomTom Rider or if you really want Garmin go for the Quest2 and get a mount from TouraTech.

1 Comment

  1. Nath

    Have a closer look at the Zumo functions as you can change the keyboard setting no problem. If you actually take full advantage of the Garmin functions & mapsource etc you will find the Zumo far more useful for the adventure motorcyclist.