Ugh. I cannot believe people are making such a hoopla about the omission of a $3 USB cable. I realize that whole $3 argument works both ways, but why in the world people are making such a big deal out of it, is beyond me. I mean you barely USE the dang thing, not to mention the fact that you probably have one around the house already! I sometimes think people just LOOK for a reason to complain.
Anyway, on to the review:
First of all, I have the 1300T, which is identical except it includes lifetime traffic. That being said, I have had this going on a month now and find it to be one of the best, if not THE best GPS Vehicle Nav I have come across. I have several handhelds of various names, but in sticking with the scope of this review, I will only mention my previous experience with the vehicle GPS units.
I've had just about every brand name of GPS unit in search of the "perfect" one. Up until now, the closest I came was with a Nuvi 350 when it was first released in 05, which I foolishly sold as I wasn't using it as much as I had originally thought. Back then, GPS Nav was a nicety and not nearly as "big" as it is today. Since then, I've had units from Magellan, Cobra, Finedrive (Ugh!), Whistler, TomTom, Mio(My favorite TeleAtlas based brand) and Navigon. All had their plusses and minuses but, never really hit that sweet spot. With the exception of one small detail, the 1300 FINALLY gets it.
I can't tell you how happy I am to be back to a Navtech based device. While TeleAtlas certainlny has come a long way, it's still not as accurate as Navtech. I still have two of my TeleAtlas based units(Mio and TomTom) and have done a series of comparisons between the 1300 and the others, with the 1300 being the most accurate. The Navigon actually has free map updates and is running the very latest maps, but still falls short in comparison.
The routing alogarythim is also much better in this unit than with rest. With the exception of the Nuvi 350, of course, which routes very similar to the 1300. That's not to say, there are no routing flaws. All GPSes have flaws, and this is no different. However, the strange routes are far less than with my previous units.
And last, but not least: Appearance. Good lord this thing is gorgeous! The map display is top notch and looks great scrolling through whatever road I may be on. I know this doesn't really matter to some, but for those who like good looking graphics, this is the unit for you!
Also, I HIGHLY suggest looking for the 1300T, or ponying up for the add-on lifetime traffic kit for the base 1300. That is if you live in an urban area and are affected by traffic on your commute. This has saved me TONS of time, as people around here can't seem to drive through a simple tunnel without crashing daily! I will point out, however, the free lifetime traffic does come at a small cost. There are unobtrusive ads(hotels mostly) at the bottom of the screen when on the traffic menu. These only show when not moving and are quite small. Definitely not something to get in a fuss over, but thought I'd point it out.
The only thing I would change about this model(and the whole Garmin vehicle line) is the ability to better control your detours. On my previous TomTom, Magellan, Navigon and Cobra, I could tell it how far to reroute and in some instances, choose the route. Garmin just gives you one Detour and that's it. Sometimes even putting you back on the same road a few miles up. This isn't as much of a problem with the traffic module, as it automagically routes you around the traffic. But it would still be nice to have more tweakability.