Garmin nuvi 3790T GPS unit
The Garmin nuvi 3790T is without doubt the sexiest, sleekest and best-looking GPS unit we've ever seen.
- Design and build quality, capacitive touchscreen, simple and effective UI, voice commands, traffic updates, safety alerts, lane guidance
- Expensive, glossy screen, no ambient light sensor, slightly slower at getting a GPS fix and rerouting than other Garmin satnavs
The Garmin nuvi 3790T is drop-dead gorgeous. If you're willing to pay its premium price you'll get a navigation device that not only looks good, but offers excellent build quality, a great screen and what we think is the best overall navigational experience of any GPS unit on the market.
Price$ 549.00 (AUD)
Most GPS units have employed a similar form factor for a number of years — generally housing a resistive touchscreen in a bulky plastic case. Garmin has gone against the grain with the nuvi 3790T, banking on an ultra-thin design and a high resolution capacitive touchscreen to win over consumers.
According to Garmin, the nuvi 3790T is the slimmest GPS in the world. Measuring just 8.7mm thick and built with brushed aluminium and stylish chrome edges, it's without doubt the sexiest, sleekest and best-looking GPS unit we've ever seen. Despite the thin design, it feels solid and there are no rattles or creaks. Much the same way the Apple is viewed as the leader in smartphone build quality and design thanks to the iPhone, we think Garmin may now win similar accolades in the GPS space, especially if the company uses this design is more products.
The design of the Garmin nuvi 3790T GPS unit lends itself to being stored in a pocket, making it the first satnav that is ideal for pedestrian use. The nuvi 3790T includes a dedicated pedestrian mode and can be used in both portrait and landscape modes. For in-car use, the included car window mount features an external speaker that provides a welcome boost to the nuvi 3790T's regular audio volume. Whenever you remove the nuvi 3790T from its in-car cradle, Park Position Recall saves your parking spot automatically, allowing you to navigate back to it in pedestrian mode if desired.
Aside from its diminutive dimensions, the best feature of the Garmin nuvi 3790T is a glass, capacitive touchscreen that supports multitouch, meaning you can use pinch gestures on the screen to zoom in and out of maps. The process isn't as silky smooth as it is on the iPhone or many Android smartphones, but it works reasonably well. The screen is also the brightest and sharpest we've seen on a GPS unit to date, though the lack of ambient light sensor and its propensity to attract fingerprints are annoying. Garmin isn't the first to include a capacitive touchscreen on a GPS unit — that honour went to Navman's S300T.
When it comes to user experience, the nuvi 3790T is similar to most Garmin GPS units. A simple and effective interface is supported by a clear and straightforward map screen and large, clearly labelled icons in all menus. The bright screen does spruce up the maps, but if you've used a recent Garmin GPS device then it will largely be a familiar experience — and that is definitely a good thing. One feature we love is the snappy accelerometer, allowing the unit to be used in portrait or landscape modes. You can also customise wallpaper on the lock screen.
Voice commands are a feature new to the Garmin nuvi 3790T, allowing you to start a route by simply speaking to the unit. Use the default "voice command" phrase (which is customisable) to initiate the feature and the nuvi 3790T will display a clear list of command options on the screen. Employing the feature to find a specific address is a rather drawn out process, but it is reasonably accurate and effective for simpler destinations, such as saved home address or recently found locations.
Maps are clear and display surrounding street names, safety alerts (red light cameras, speed cameras, safety cameras and school zones) are preloaded and the nuvi 3790T includes a lifetime subscription to the SUNA Traffic Channel. Unfortunately, the slim build of the nuvi 3790T means that you need to have the bulky in-car charger plugged in to receive traffic updates (it doubles as the FM receiver required for traffic updates). A cool feature is 3D city modelling and terrain, while built-in Bluetooth means you can pair with your phone for hands-free calling. Like most GPS units, though, the built-in microphone has questionable quality for phone calls.
Garmin's Real View Advanced Lane Guidance is once again included, displaying an image of the road and its surroundings, along with road signs identical to those used in the real world. This feature is especially useful on busy freeway and motorway junctions. The nuvi 3790T also offers two new routing features — trafficTrends and myTrends. trafficTrends is similar to TomTom's IQ Routes technology and calculates routes based on historical traffic data, while myTrends remembers your most frequently entered destinations and will automatically predict your arrival time and the most efficient route without the user entering a destination.
We found the nuvi 3790T preferred to calculate routes using main roads rather than backstreets that are often slightly quicker. We also noted that both route calculation and the time it takes to gain and maintain a GPS signal is slightly slower than other Garmin units we've tested. We don't know if this is due to the constraints involved in trying to fit a GPS chip inside such a thin device. It doesn't have a huge impact on the overall experience.
The Garmin nuvi 3790T also provides the "ecoRoute" feature. This function can display a fuel report and choose an economical route. After entering the cost of fuel and your car's rated fuel economy, the nuvi 3790T presents a report detailing the cost of fuel used, the carbon footprint and your average fuel economy based on your trips. When in use, ecoRoute will also preview your route before it begins by displaying the total fuel cost — this information is calculated based on the fuel price, type and fuel economy entered into the vehicle profile menu. ecoRoute also has a "Driving Challenge" feature that tests your driving habits, in particular your ability to smoothly accelerate and decelerate. For business users, a mileage report is great for keeping a record for tax purposes.
Become a fan of GoodGearGuide on Facebook
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide
Stay up to date with the latest reviews. Sign up to GoodGearGuide’s Gear Daily newsletters
Join the newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei P30 Pro review: A photography powerhouse that leans into and elevates its natural strengths
- 2 HP Envy x360 13 (Ryzen): Full, in-depth review
- 3 Dell G5 review: Easy to live with
- 4 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 5 Ring Video Doorbell review
Latest News Articles
- Exciting New Aussie Dash-Cams Unveiled Ahead of Holiday Road Trip Season
- Latest Spartan sports watches hit the scene
- Early iPhone 7 reviews: You'll miss the headphone jack, but the camera and battery life are tops
- Watch out: iOS 10 install is reportedly bricking some iPhones
- Google's Pixel Launcher leak hints at the demise of the Nexus brand
PCW Evaluation Team
As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.
The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.
This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
- Google Pixel 3a review: Less is more
- Huawei P30 Pro: Australian review
- Samsung Galaxy S10 review: Messy decisions mar smart evolutions
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies