Invariably, the 200-series will be compared to the super-popular 350, and I can't help but do the same. The 350 was a true pioneer, but I always found myself waiting a half-second for it to get back to me, and overall, the experience was sluggish.
The 255 is plenty fast, and brings the GPS interactive experience to a new level. My purchase was based on Consumer Reports' ratings.
The 200-line is certainly confusing in terms of number increments not matching up to features, but I would strongly recommend the TTS feature, which is only available on the 260/260W/255/255W. Despite the numbering scheme, the 255-line is newer/faster than the 260-line, which is why I chose the 255, though others may have chosen it for the FM/MSN traffic/info features.
Very small. Smaller than a hockey puck, and completely pocketable.
The interaction with the menu is very fast, and without delay. Searches, map refreshes, etc -- they're all a lot faster and I don't find myself waiting.
The 3D GUI updates at what appears to be 3-4fps, which may not sound like much, but compared to 1fps for older models, this is a significant improvement, and is the difference between missing an exit or not.
This is surprisingly useful when going up/down hills, as it gives you an idea of not just a left/right turn, but also the incline. Sudden, steep climbs/downturns (think Laguna Seca) were reasonably well-indicated, which allowed me to slow down a bit more than had I assumed it was a level turn.
I personally like that the flip-up antenna in the 300-series is gone. It makes it much more usable when holding.
The display packs a ton of information, including next turns, speed limits, and all things that were typically a few clicks away. Surprisingly, it does not seem cramped at all.
Routing is very fast -- maybe 1-3 seconds? It's fast enough that I don't need to count, sweat, and worry that I won't get directions before the next intersection.
Most importantly, *re-routing* is fast. If I take an incorrect turn, it will re-route within seconds, and will prompt me with a turn direction half way down the block. In previous models, I would have to slow down or pull over.
Size, build, battery life, screen, volume, TTS, etc... all wonderful. As a standalone GPS, this is quite impressive.
Cons: (this is where it gets knocked down to 4 stars)
The 350's dock housed the power cable, which made it a one-handed motion to get it back in the dock with power. With the 255, you need to plug in the power, then place it in the dock. Not a dealbreaker, but it's too bad they couldn't engineer it like the 350.
It amazes me that even with a touchscreen, Garmin still can't give me a QWERTY keyboard. It's not as if there are physical key limitations... This makes inputting text considerably slower.
Shortage of accessories:
No USB-A to USB-Mini cable, no AC adapter, no case. Not that *I* need any of those things, but someone who's not a computer geek may not have those things handy.
Average Web Tools/Content, Photo Bookmarking:
I can see they're trying to beef this up, but as of this writing, the on-line, web tool and photo-based location bookmarker is average, at best. The downloadable content (new vehicle models, and the one custom voice) offers considerably less than the competition (eg: TomTom).
Other: (Not pros or cons, but FYI)
- no mp3 playback
- microSD slot, not SD
- sorry, no feedback on MSN traffic, as it doesn't fit my usage style