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Dash Express

Mar
27
2008

How much fun is your daily commute? If it ranks right up there with a trip to the dentist, the Dash Express might be your best friend along the way. Thanks to other Dash Express users on the road ahead, Dash knows more about traffic than any other GPS currently on the market. Combine live traffic data gathered by road sensors and commercial fleets, live traffic data direct from other Dash Express users on the road ahead, and historical traffic data for the times you drive… and what do you get? The smartest GPS out there when it comes to traffic.

All of that data flying back and forth between your GPS and the network does come at a cost though… Actually two costs. First, this GPS is one of the largest GPS devices out there, so it isn’t something you will slip into your pocket and take with you when you leave the car. Second, the data service for all of that great traffic information does carry a monthly fee. But for hard-core commuters, those costs could be tiny compared to the amount of time saved when the GPS routes you around traffic while your co-workers sit in the crawl.

102 Responses


  1. So, will it have built in wifi in addition to internet over bluetooth?

    Also, traffic based on the Dash network is going to fail. They need to work on a standard format of data for device based traffic conditions that all gps makers can agree on.

    Tim Hibbard - September 26th, 2006
  2. It will have some other form of Internet connection other than via a Bluetooth phone, however I don’t think they have disclosed yet exactly what they will use for the connection.

    I’ve heard a rumor (don’t know if it is true) that they will be augmenting their own traffic data with other sources to begin with since having only a handful of initial customers won’t provide enough data.

    GPS Review - September 27th, 2006
  3. I would love this unit to be successful. I’ve owned 3 Garmins. While Navagation is quite good there traffic stinks.

    My concern about Dash is will there be enough customers to be able to preform the up to the min traffic. A lot of people are not going to want to pay the monthly subcription (which I think is reasonable) But in todays age nobody likes to pay for anything.

    I got burned with Garmin twice with there traffic so I will wait to see how this unit pans out

    Greg Ross - January 3rd, 2008
  4. Greg – Dash will be relying on outside traffic services to supplement their own driver network to get better traffic data.

    Tim - January 3rd, 2008
  5. My understanding is that it will have both cellular and wifi built-in.
    I do have the same concerns about lack of drivers initially, and especially coverage. I would like something that will work virtually anywhere, not just around metro areas. There always seems to be a big push for traffic info for commuters. I commuted for many years and a GPS would have been of very little use. You already know the patterns, the roads, and local radio stations have current traffic info. The real need is for traffic in areas you’re unfamiliar with. Of course, that does include metro areas, so if you’re passing through it may be of help. But I want something that helps me when travelling outside of the metro areas (I understand coverage may be limited in the middle of nowhere) where it is the unexpected (accidents, construction) that can seriously delay an otherwise pleasant daytrip or vacation. I’ve been told that there will be coverage in remoter areas, but I’m not sure how good it will be, so I’m hesitant about getting onboard, at least initially.

    George - January 28th, 2008
  6. As far as traffic coverage goes, I am almost sure they are expanding as nessasary beyond metro areas. I pre-ordered a dash, and then found out that my region was outside of the coverage area. I emailed dash, and I initially became very concerned when they said “it was coming soon, but they would look into it” as we all know this device itself is about a year late from its initial release date. I was very happy when they came back about a week later and told me that coverage was now available in my area. I haven’t received my device yet, but so far I am impressed with their problem resolutions.

    dburr - January 29th, 2008
  7. dburr,
    Have you looked into how the device connects with their service? I sent an email to Dash on this subject, particularly how it connects to their service, and whether I was going to have to purchase cellular service, or anything else. They basically said that everything was built-in and all that was required was to pay for their service, nothing else is required. I was wondering if that was your understanding. I’m not sure I understand it all so I wonder if I’m asking them the right questions.

    George - January 29th, 2008
  8. George – they are correct. All you need to do is pay for their service. Please go to their page and make sure service is available in the areas you travel in.

    dburr - February 20th, 2008
  9. I did look at the service coverage map. I’m in VA, a little south of Washington, DC. The coverage seems a bit sparse for the east coast, but I guess it’s coming. I find it interesting that the best coverage seems to be right in the mid-section of the country, at least it looks better that either coast. I wonder if it was just easier to get it up and running those areas.

    George - February 20th, 2008
  10. Remember they are piggybacking on GPRS connections so they are using the AT&T and T-Mobile networks primarily for their coverage.

    Tim - February 20th, 2008
  11. Tim,
    Does that mean those networks have better coverage in the US mid-section? Is the AT&T network the same as that for cell service? If that’s the case, I don’t really anticipate any real problems because I have AT&T cell service and it’s worked fine just about everyplace I’ve been.

    Also, has anyone heard/seen whether Dash is still on schedule for the release of Dash Express. I didn’t see any indication on the website one way or the other.

    George - February 20th, 2008
  12. George, if you have good AT&T coverage where you normally go then you should have good service through Dash.

    I can’t imagine the silence from Dash is good news although they do indicate they will be sending out an email to all pre-order customers in the next day or so. I suppose we will know more then.

    Tim - February 20th, 2008
  13. Well mark from dash finally responded today – although we still don’t have the information that we need – “when is this device shipping”. At this point, they are either shipping this month or not. Given that there are only a few shipping days remaining in this month how come a date has not been penpointed yet? As far as the coverage, I had to call them to specifically ask them to turn on coverage in my area.

    dburr - February 21st, 2008
  14. i just got the email. here are the deets:
    We’re setting a firm ship date of March 27th, 2008

    dburr - February 21st, 2008
  15. Dash Delays Ship Date.

    Tim - February 21st, 2008
  16. I hope those of you who receive the first units will let us know what you think. The GPS functionality is important, of course, but I am particularly interested in the connectivity aspects, traffic info, etc.

    George - March 5th, 2008
  17. For those of you subscribed to this post, we have now published our full review of the Dash Express on this page.

    Tim - March 27th, 2008
  18. This unit really looks like it has some potential. What I like is that the Inrix data comes in via GPRS. I’ve noticed that with a TomTom for example, the data that comes in over the Plus GPRS connection is much more complete than the RDS supplied data. I’m going to assume the same will be true of Dash.

    For me there are a few issues stopping me from buying one immediately.

    1. Low WAF (Wife Approval Factor)
    2. I doubt they’ll sell many of these in my area to start so some of the traffic features will be useless. It would be better if they could somehow collect traffic info from all AT&T cell phone users anonymously. Relying on the 3 geeks who buy a dash may not help me much.

    3. I need European maps as an option, even if the fancy GPRS features don’t work.

    4. Is this TeleAtlas maps based? If so I’ll hold off for IQ routing on TomTom. With a much larger installed user base, I think it has potential to work better, faster.

    I think I’ll wait for a year or so and then re-evaluate what DASH brings to the table.

    Lordhamster - March 27th, 2008
  19. Great review. Sounds interesting, but the reference to “hard-core commuter” mentioned a couple times in the review is what I’ve been concerned about what some time, that this is not the best device for traveling, which may be confirmed by the lack of some routing customization. I will be interested to hear what others have to say once they have them. The connectivity, especially the traffic info, sounds pretty neat, but is it enough to buy this particular device?

    George - March 27th, 2008
  20. First off I want to state that I am not a paid employee of Dash nor have they paid me to make the following statements. I have however been allowed to test drive this device before the general public was able to purchase one.
    After having my dash unit for almost 1 year now I can’t imagine being without it. It allows me a direct connection to information on the Internet.as well as it is portable, and it has never let me down. The fact it will never be out of date like the other thousands of dollars worth in paperweights sitting on my shelf from Garmin, Tom Tom and Magellan is an added plus.
    I have had numerous people in my travels stop me and talk to me about “that thing on my dash” almost every day. But for me that thing was more than a GPS…It’s a dream come true. The conversation usually starts “Is that a GPS on your windshield?” I tell them that it is, but it is also the next level of the future of information delivery in their car and they need “Dash Express.” I have even invited them to take a look at it first hand and show them the numerous bells and whistles like movie times, gas prices and the local weather and Weather Alert rss feed I created myself.. This usually gets them thinking of something they would like to spontaneously look up from the internet while out on the road. like the nearest (Starbucks) I just respond “With a Dash you are only limited to your imagination.”
    I can think of many times Dash has helped me while on the road but the following is an example of one of my favorite Dash moments that stands out.
    For several years I have always kept a laptop in my car with me for emergencies and had a access card for the Internet. This was very difficult to use in the car, internet searches and responses were slow and these requests did not take into count my current location. And this was after waiting 10-20 minutes for it to start-up. Along comes Dash… I have always been impressed with the Internet search ability of “Yahoo local” and Dash, but on one particular day. My family and I were driving to dinner at a brand new restaurant in town . we had decided to leave around 4 to beat the dinner rush when we encountered a bad accident that had just happened right in front of us and were forced to stop on the Highway and wait for the emergency crews to clear the road. We had invited friends to join us and they were in a car right behind us. To make matters worse it was now 4:30pm on a Friday and we knew that by the time we got to the restaurant so would the rest of the working world and it would be at least another hour wait to get a table. My wife and I tried calling information on our cellphones to locate this new restaurant’s number but since the restaurant was so new there was no listing yet. Just for giggles I checked Dash. typing in the restaurants name… Bam there it was and a phone # as well. I called the restaurant and made a reservation for 45 minutes from then. When we arrived there the line outside the door was huge. I heard several people complaining that the wait was going to be 2 hours. I walked up to the receptionist and said I am 5 minutes early , gave my name and asked if they were running on time with reservations. she replied “Right this way I have your table ready” THANKS DASH!!!

    m Bellon - March 27th, 2008
  21. m Bellon,
    Thanks for adding your personal experience. While I don’t doubt that the experience in getting to the restaurant is a great example of the benefits of DASH connectivity, for me it doesn’t really answer the question, how good of a GPS is it? I can probably relate similar experiences with my old Garmin StreetPilot, which doesn’t connect to any service. Granted, I’ve probably learned to “compensate” in some ways for not having the connectivity, but they are minor shortcomings in my opinion. What I’d like to know is how well does the DASH get you from point A to point B, and maybe more importantly to me, assume points A and B are not simply a commute from home to work. What about a cross country trip, a vacation? How did it perform when you’re in an unfamiliar area?

    George - March 27th, 2008
  22. I must say the Dash looks quite intriguing to me! I am curious on a couple of features of the Dash. If anyone can help me it would be appreciated.

    Does the Dash have “speed limit” warnings (alerts if you exceed posted speed limits by a predetermined amount)? Does it show your current speed on display? Is it PC only or can I use Safari for Mac to access MyDash? Can you designate a “home” and “work” destination?

    Jeff - March 27th, 2008
  23. It does not have speed limit warnings. It does not show your current speed. It is not PC only, there is a MyDash Plugin for Safari and the web portal works great on Safari. You can designate home and work as favorites.

    Tim - March 27th, 2008
  24. I’m supposed to have one today but UPS LOST IT@!@!!

    dburr - March 27th, 2008
  25. dburr,
    Hope they find it and you get it soon.

    Interesting, ABC news just did a short story on the DASH. The usual pitch about commuters and traffic. But they also said there are a number of I guess similarly capable GPSs coming soon.

    George - March 27th, 2008
  26. People – If you had any doubts about Dash, please listen to this:
    As you can see by my previous posting, I was pretty bumbbed about not getting my Dash. I ended up calling the Dash cust service just to see if they could do anything. I at least hoped that they would get their shipping fee back from UPS. Dash started a tracer on my package, but to no avail and it looked like I wouldn’t be getting my package anytime soon. Dash said they would call me back if they heard anything about my package. Shortly before I was leaving work for the day, my phone rings. Guess who – Paul Lego the CEO of Dash called me to see if he could help at all. As you could expect I was a little floored that the CEO not only heard about one customers problem, but he actually called me personally. I went through all of the steps with Paul and he stated that he had a few connections that he would try to use. Well to keep a long story from getting longer – guess what showed up at my house a few hours later – I GOT IT!!. Paul even sent a follow-up email stating that he had tracked my package as delivered. I have never experienced this level of customer service before. Dash has made big strides in showing that they care about every customer. So please let people know about this service as I am very proud to spread the word about a company actually caring about their customers instead of seeing them as dollar signs.

    dburr - March 27th, 2008
  27. dburr,
    WOW! That’s great. Thanks for passing along your experience. If it is any indication of their future level of customer service that in itself is a selling point. We all have customer service horror stories we can relate.
    Well, we can pretty much guess what you’ll be doing this weekend. Please let us know your impressions when you can.

    George - March 27th, 2008
  28. M.Bellon, I saw this same post of yours over at Amazon. I realize you like the product, but your announcement that you are not an employee and the tone of your post just smacks of press release. You may want to tone it down a notch. :)

    LordHamster - March 27th, 2008
  29. Jeff, there is a way you can display your current speed, but not on the map display. From the map display click on your car icon, then click on ‘trip info’. Your current speed, distance traveled, elapsed time, average speed, and maximum speed are displayed.

    Tim - March 28th, 2008
  30. What info can displayed on the map screen. I have a Streetpilot 2730 and like how I can set up the map screen to tell me ETA, miles to destination, miles to next turn, time to next turn, ect. Can the Dash do this or does it only show certain info? Thanks

    Cary - April 6th, 2008
  31. It displays the distance to the next turn, the next turn intersection type, and the name of the next street along the top. At the bottom it cycles (via a tap) between arrival time, distance left, and time left.

    Tim - April 6th, 2008
  32. All,

    Thanks for such an informative discussion (and great site Tim). I am especially curious as to dburr’s experience now that he has had it for a couple of weeks. Certainly the customer service story was incredible! And thanks to LordHamster for identifying the employee. That review sounded a little too good to be true.

    My questions are these: is the functional GPS as good as a Garmin or Magellan? I live near Boston and Boston and Cambridge do their best to confuse even the residents by seeming changing the direction of one way streets on a random basis. So having a great point-point solution is priority one.

    Secondly, as a bluetooth device for a phone, do you all find (this and/or other GPS devices) to be highly functional or drowned out by noise from the road? I have a bluetooth earpiece, but often forget to bring/charge it, so having something permanently in my car would be great if it really worked, as I do believe hands-free speaking is safer.

    Thanks again to all. Cheers!

    Dan - April 9th, 2008
  33. Hi Dan – For the record, I don’t have any specific reason to believe that the “m Bellon” review came from a Dash insider. It could very well be that it was just someone who was happy to have been a beta tester for them and relating their experience. Though it does seem a little over the top and they did copy/paste their comments in a number of places.

    Getting to your questions. Strictly as a GPS system getting you from point A to point B on an unfamiliar road, it doesn’t currently perform as well as some of the bigger names. The map doesn’t zoom in close enough on intersections as you approach them which makes it more difficult to follow. Dash will probably tell you that this is a traffic/commuting system first, and a “get me to an unfamiliar place” device second.

    The Dash Express does not have Bluetooth, so you won’t be doing any hands free calling with it. With most Bluetooth based devices I’ll take a quick call, but the sound quality is rarely good enough that I’d want to carry on an extended conversation. But again, that feature is not on the Dash Express anyway.

    Tim - April 9th, 2008
  34. Tim,
    I haven’t understood the rational to market the Dash as a “commuter” device, leaving out some of the functions we all expect in navigation, as if commuters only need traffic data, not a good GPS. What about when they’re not commuting, and what about the rest of us? I don’t commute, but I want traffic data as much as anyone else. But I also want a good GPS.

    George - April 9th, 2008
  35. I think Dash saw a market opportunity where they think they can provide a better traffic service than anyone else. I think they’ve done that. They also have an infrastructure in place where they can make improvements to the navigation aspects, and push out those changes when they are ready.

    To a large degree I commend them on picking a feature and market segment, and focusing on it without getting distracted by things like photo viewers and MP3 players. The navigation aspects are a little rough right now, but I suspect they will improve and I know they are working on those improvements.

    And that isn’t to say that the Dash is terrible at pure navigation, it just isn’t as good as the big names right now.

    Tim - April 9th, 2008
  36. Tim,
    I understand what you’re saying, but to market a device lacking key GPS functionality because it’s for “commuters”, again, as if commuters don’t need the functionality, is what I’m wondering about. I would have jumped right on it, mainly to get the traffic, if I was hearing more good stuff about the routing. I hope they get there.

    George - April 9th, 2008
  37. If I’m going to an unfamiliar area, yes I’d still rather have a Garmin, TomTom, etc with me. But I’d still get there with the Dash, I just might have to take my eyes off the road a tiny bit longer when consulting the GPS. It sounds like in the current state, the Dash might not be for you.

    Tim - April 9th, 2008
  38. Hello – I have to say I think that overall this device is awesome. I will list some of the pros and cons below.

    pros:
    routing eta – when this device gives you an eta as to when you will be there, it have never been more than 2 min off.

    traffic details – it shows dashed lines when traffic comes from historical or Intrix data. Yesterday I could actually tell that another dash user was driving in front of me because I could see the solid traffic lines he was making.

    traffic avoidance – I love the way it figures out when you have traffic and determines how long you will be in that traffic and offers alternative routes.

    OS – the best feature for me is the operating system, it will definately allow for 3rd party apps. It also is great pulling georss feeds in off of the internet. Right now I am pulling in live weather and also interesting sights near me from the virtualglobetrotting site. I could also pull in stocks, house listings etc.

    dburr - April 10th, 2008
  39. I am very interested in this GPS but may wait until the routing gets a little better. I install tile so I go to different places all the time so need good routing also I do most work in or around the Twin Cities in Minnesota so the traffic part sounds very nice. I use a Garmin Streetpilot 2730 now, it is very good with routing but the Navtraffic is not that great.

    dburr- What kind of info do you get with the live weather. Does it just show like a 5 day forecast?

    Cary - April 10th, 2008
  40. Here are the cons:

    Routing: for some reason, it doesn’t even consider some routes. I have 2 major interstates near me, and it never considers one of them when I am going to work, but if I take it anyways, it does accurately give me traffic and eta info, so I know the DE knows the highway is there – odd!

    traffic details – some of the only traffic information they collect is only historical from only me. In other words, one day I went home a way I usually don’t go, there happened to be an accident and I was stuck for about 10min. Now the DE always assumes that there is traffic in that location even though it was a rare event. I’m sure once I take that way home again with no issues the DE will adjust, but it also will screw up the eta the first time.

    GPRS connectivity – I’m not sure if I’m hitting a lot of bad cell zones or what, but although I do get GPRS connectivity, I get more searches “timing out” than I was expecting. I have no issues with this when using wifi.

    Overall – I would have to say that this is definately a young device and it may not do somethings as well as a device you may already have, but the upside of this device is on another planet. I expect about the time you start complaining about your current device (appox 1-1/2 years after purchase) DE will have 3rd party applications and map updates and OS upgrades.

    One other thing that is intriging about the device is there appears to be a camera chip on the board according to some specs I have seen. I’m not sure what they are planning for this chip, but with the device having gprs and wifi – it could be something fun.

    dburr - April 10th, 2008
  41. @Cary – I use yahoopipes geofeeds http://pipes.yahoo.com/pipes/search?r=format%3Ageorss
    (Sorry if Im not supposed to post addresses)

    Basically you can plug any of the 1654 feeds already there or make your own. This means you can get a feed for a 5 day forecast if you want or you can get any georss feed into your device how ever you want it. just take a look at yahoopipes and search for geofeeds and you will see all of the feeds you can use as well as making your own

    dburr - April 10th, 2008
  42. dburr,
    It definitely sounds like it needs more data to more accurately represent traffic flows on some roads. I guess that will come with time and additional devices. It always seems to be routing issues that are the downside in the discussions. It is a concern for me since I want it as much for traveling as for around town. Has there been any word from Dash about these issues? Any word about the first updates to the device? I know it is early, but those of us on the fence may not need much to move us to purchase.
    I may have asked this elsewhere, but is $399 what it will be selling for indefinitely, or is it temporary?

    George - April 10th, 2008
  43. @CARY – obviously my last posting didn’t take because I used a web address 0- but the short answer is if you go to yahoopipes and search for georss pipes, you will see 1654 feeds available that you can put in your DE. You can also make your own feeds there. So you can basically input any feed meaning it can be a 5day forcase or any other feed you can dream of.

    dburr - April 10th, 2008
  44. George – Dash has said they are working on the routing issues – but I think that the real issue is that ALL GPS’s use a similar algorithm to route, this is actually one reason as to why I did choose the Dash, because since the OS is over-the-air updateable I at least have hope that I may not be stuck with that same algorithm for the life of the device. The $399 is the price of the device as far as Dash can see into the future from what I’ve been told.

    dburr - April 10th, 2008
  45. I live in one of the states that don’t let you stick a GPS to the windshield. Does anyone know how well the dash mounting is? Just seems because it’s big that it would shake and maybe the dash mounting disc may come loose.

    Cary - April 10th, 2008
  46. dburr,
    Thanks. Your info helps alot.

    There has been discussion about the size? To get a little perspective is there something to compare to? I have a Garmin SP 2610, which is heavy, and big relative to newer devices. In fact, the idea of attaching it to the window always scared me because of its weight. But it isn’t clear to me whether the Dash is just big compared to newer devices, or this thing is huge.

    George - April 10th, 2008
  47. I haven’t seen one in real life but I guess you could use these measurements to help compare, The Express measures 4.8 inches wide, 4.1 inches tall, and 2.8 inches in depth, and creates a device just under one pound in weight.

    I have a garmin 2730 which is the same size as the 2610 and yeah they are kinda big compared to gps’s these days aren’t they.

    Cary - April 10th, 2008
  48. Thanks Cary. I saw the dimensions, guess I was wondering what people’s perspective was, as in was it bigger than they thought. There have been a number of comments (in various forums) commenting on its size. Do they think it is in the way, for example? The size of the 2610 never bothered me, again I always worried more about the weight, so I never attempted to mount it to the windshield.

    George - April 10th, 2008
  49. In reference to the size. IMO – The DE is huge. I really havnen’t seen any photo’s that really show the depth of the size. Luckly, I haven’t had to carry my device too much, but I would say that the only way to take it with you is to carry it as it definately would not fit in a pocket.

    dburr - April 10th, 2008
  50. George – Here are some photos I took a few minutes ago to illustrate the size.

    dash 1
    dash 2
    dash 3

    Tim - April 10th, 2008
  51. Thanks for the photos. As long as it doesn’t cause an obstruction, or somehow affect your field of vision I suppose it is fine.

    George - April 10th, 2008
  52. Sorry for the second post. What I meant to say is as long as it doesn’t obstruct your vision to a serious degree. I know any device would to some extent. In fact, I’m surprised sometimes by how high on the windshield I see GPSs or radios mounted in other vehicles. Guess you wouldn’t do that with this.

    George - April 10th, 2008
  53. I haven’t had a GPS that didn’t include Canada. What do you actually get for Canada, nothing, or only major highways?

    George - April 10th, 2008
  54. Nothing shows for Canada.

    Tim - April 10th, 2008
  55. Thanks. Just wondering. May make a side trip into Canada when we’re in ME end of June.

    George - April 10th, 2008
  56. I know that drive well, George. :)

    Tim - April 10th, 2008
  57. Me too. We’re living in VA, but my wife and I are both from New England. So, every year we’re back there to recharge, ME, MA, VT, primarily. That’s one of the reasons I’ve been so interested in the routing capabilities. While much is familiar we do spend alot of time traveling cross country throughout NE, so having good routes is essential. And the traffic would be handy for avoiding the inevitable slowdowns on the interstate.

    George - April 10th, 2008
  58. I really can’t be sure, but I don’t think this will work at all in Canada. I will ask them today about the map, but I know that none of the other features will work, except the possible exception of wifi.

    dburr - April 11th, 2008
  59. I received email notification that dburr had added a comment, but I don’t see it included on the website. Is there a limit, or another page of comments?

    dburr,
    If you were responding to my question about Canada maps, Tim responded that I would see nothing. But I’m not sure I understand what you mean about it may not work. I assumed it would continue to track me, there just wouldn’t be any roads to route on. Are you saying that it might not work at all?

    George - April 11th, 2008
  60. @george – No what you said was correct. I assume It would still work, there would just be no map.

    dburr - April 11th, 2008
  61. Thanks dburr.

    Your comment that at first didn’t appear on the website showed up after I posted my response to you.

    George - April 11th, 2008
  62. When you say it doesn’t auto-zoom do you mean it doesn’t show you an upcoming turn in a zoomed in view as you approach it, or that it doesn’t zoom in on your route as you get closer to the next turn, or both? I agree that the zoomed in view of the next turn is important, but regarding zooming in on the route I often don’t use the auto-zoom. How tight can you manually zoom in? Alot of times I just stay zoomed in to a few hundred feet. Depends on the route.

    George - April 11th, 2008
  63. George, you can set the zoom level with the zoom buttons on the map, but it doesn’t dynamically update like other GPS devices as you approach intersections or slow down. The furthest zoomed in level shows about 1/2 mile vertically on the screen which I personally don’t think is close enough to get the level of detail you need in more complex intersections.

    Tim - April 11th, 2008
  64. Thanks Tim. My Garmin SP 2610 will go down to at least 200 feet I believe. Dash definitely needs to zoom in more.

    I just reread your review and saw the part about the turn graphic, which was the other thing I was asking about. Does that help much to make up for the lack of auto-zoom or not being able to zoom in closer than 1/2 mile?

    George - April 11th, 2008
  65. I am interested in buying Dash Express

    Manuel Lucero - April 12th, 2008
  66. Well, you can purchase it over here.

    Tim - April 12th, 2008
  67. I know Tim tried the Dash on some trips in New England. I would love to hear more about experiences people have had with the Dash on extended trips of maybe hundreds of miles, on vacation, out on the interstates, middle of nowhere, etc. In particular, how was the routing, did you find the traffic info useful, etc? What about POIs along the way? There are a number of very positive reviews out there, but they deal mostly with local trips, traffic, and connectivity.

    George - April 13th, 2008
  68. I have had the Dash for a few weeks now. This was my first GPS system so I can’t compare it to others. After reading some of the previous posts the Dash sounds like it may be lacking some of the finer navigation features that Garmin and TomTom models currently have. I have been extremely pleased with what the Dash is capable of right now and I am willing to accept some of its shortcomings because I know as time passes the connectivity of the dash will allow it to be updated and improved without me having to by a whole new system. I do realize that comes at a price of $10 a month for the service subscription but I figure I more than save that much every month just using the search for gas stations and their current prices which are updated several times a day. You would be amazed at how much prices vary even when the stations are close to one another. The other day I found a gas station nearby that was 12 cents cheaper than one I would normally go to. That saved me about $2.20 a fill up which I do about 4x a month for 2 cars. Already the Dash is going to save me about $18 this month in gas. I am a fan already and I suspect my fondness will grow even greater as it improves itself over time.

    Dave - April 13th, 2008
  69. Thanks Dave for your feedback. I like to think I know where the best gas prices are in my area. Kind of makes me wonder if there’s one out there I’ve overlooked. My hope is that features, like gas prices, will be just as useful anywhere I go. For example, are gas prices limited to metro areas?. Not knowing how the info is collected, does it have prices for stations located on interstates, for example.

    George - April 14th, 2008
  70. George, I haven’t had to fill up yet while on the interstate, but I know that it has given me prices of stations on the interstate when I have been close to an interstate so I am confident it would be useful anywhere you go. However, I was disappointed once when I went to a station the Dash had listed as the lowest priced and found out when I got there that the price was if you got a car wash with a fill up.

    Dave - April 14th, 2008
  71. Thanks Dave.
    I have a GPS with me all the time, so while it is handy close to home I also do a fair amount of traveling. I don’t commute. At first, I was concerned about how good the unit would be for traveling, but it seems that there are quite a few positives, not the least of which is its potential.
    Hope you didn’t go too far out of your way for the car wash gas. I happen to see a station the other day that advertized .15 cents off each gallon with a car wash. I wonder how that would have looked on the Dash?

    George - April 14th, 2008
  72. I’ve read most of the posts and I’m excited about purchasing a DE. the big thing that is holding me back is that i’m reading about the lag time and also that the devices marker on the map seems to be off by a few blocks, and some people miss turns as a result. does anyone out there know if this is a problem with the hardware or the software? Specifically: is this something that can be fixed by a firmware update somewhere down the road or will we have to wait for the DE2 for this to be fixed?

    drjak - April 14th, 2008
  73. drjak – I’ve probably driven a thousand miles or so with two different Dash devices and haven’t seen any significant lag nor the “marker” off by more than a few feet.

    Tim - April 14th, 2008
  74. Tim,

    I think drjak read/saw the same review I did on CNET. There they complained about the issues he mentioned (and I sincerely apologize for any implied disloyalty by being on other sites). They did some test in San Fran and missed street turns and had the device off by a few blocks. Obviously, that is concerning. They also suggested waiting for the D2.

    My thought in reading all of the above is that for a pure GPS, there are probably less expensive options that are better for just getting me from Point A to Point B. I am sure in several years I will buy a GPS with good traffic guidance and routing, but the premium seems extreme right now.

    Finally, thanks again for your feedback on bluetooth through the GPS. Not going for that is going to save me a lot of cash.

    Cheers.

    Dan Davis - April 14th, 2008
  75. I’ve got a lot of respect for CNET, but there is something not fully understood about their issues. I haven’t seen the problems they apparently saw reported by others, nor have I seen it on my devices. Either they got some bad reflection of GPS signals from a building (something that can happen with any GPS), the GPS has a defect, or they misread what the GPS was telling them. That is my guess anyway. What they saw doesn’t seem to be a widespread issue.

    The Dash has some rough edges here and there, but I haven’t seen any of what CNET saw.

    Tim - April 14th, 2008
  76. Tim,
    I read some reviews on Amazon that noted as a Con that it is difficult to tell when/where to turn. In your review you mentioned it had distance to next turn and a turn icon. I seems that at least some of the reviews are referring to experience with a split screen zoomed view of the upcoming turn that apparently Dash does not have. Could you clarify this point? Have you had any problems with when to turn not being clear? Thanks.

    George - April 15th, 2008
  77. Sure, if you search this page for the word “zoom” you will find most of what I’m about to say. Here is how the typical Garmin or TomTom device works. You are driving along on the Interstate with your exit 10 miles ahead. The zoom level will be “out” at about 1/2 – 3/4 of a mile or so. Then as you approach the intersection, say 1/4 mile or so, the GPS will zoom in further so you can see the details of that intersection more closely.

    The Dash’s zoom level doesn’t change from where you set it. The closest zoom level in shows about 1/2 mile of the road ahead. So as you approach confusing intersections with lots of tightly packed roads, it doesn’t provide as detailed (or “tight”) of a picture that other devices do. In many places, this limitation is fine, however when at confusing or densely packed intersections it will cause you to need to stare at the screen longer to figure out where to go, as the details you need to see are smaller on the screen since it doesn’t zoom.

    As you pointed out, it does show the distance to turn and the direction of the turn, but in complicated intersections you really need the map to show you “which right” and the zoom just doesn’t take it far enough.

    Tim - April 15th, 2008
  78. Thanks. My 2610 brings up a split screen detail of the turn as you approach it, that’s in addition to the autozoom feature the device has. It is that split screen feature that I believe some are referring to that is missing from the Dash, but I wasn’t sure what you meant by ““next turn” graphic or intersection icon,” in your review. Is it just an arrow, or something that appears at the top left corner showing you which way to go?

    George - April 15th, 2008
  79. Right, there is no split screen nor autozoom on the Dash. At the very least it needs autozoom. By “next turn graphic”, many devices have something that takes up just a tiny bit of space that shows something slightly more detailed than an arrow… like a round circle for a rotary or an angled arrow that shows just how sharp the turn is.

    The Dash does show something beyond just a left/right arrow, but not enough to replace a good autozoom or splitscreen.

    Tim - April 15th, 2008
  80. I just got a refund for 1 year of service. I was unhappy with many things about the unit. Most of all I am sorry I wasted $400. I could have bought alot of good stuff with that kind of cash. My 4 year old Roadmate is better at most functions and local Yahoo gives you old data. My office moved 5 years ago and Dash sent me to old office. Too much $$$$

    Sam Lewis - April 15th, 2008
  81. The poi’s on all GPS’s are not always accurate it would be no different with yahoo. Things change everyday way to hard to keep up. Alot of places show on my Garmin p.o.i. list that have been gone for a long time even after a few map updates.

    Cary - April 16th, 2008
  82. Indeed, if anything the POIs on the Dash have the possibility of being more up-to-date as the Yahoo listings are updated on a near continual basis rather than waiting for a map update.

    Tim - April 16th, 2008
  83. I’ve used the unit for about a month and am very happy. I especially like the real time notification of problems when there is a problem. I also like being about to find stores by name and ‘nearby’ great for finding a Walmart in an RV.

    Jeri - May 29th, 2008
  84. Will the DASH work in Canada?

    Joe - May 30th, 2008
  85. Does not have Canada maps but they say they are looking into this for the future.

    Cary - May 30th, 2008
  86. Another Dash Express Price Drop.

    Tim - June 20th, 2008
  87. I thought I’d share this: Dash User Satisfaction 70%.

    Tim - June 23rd, 2008
  88. Dash Express June Software Update

    Tim - June 30th, 2008
  89. I am really interested in the “routes” feature, where it gives you (up to) 3 routes to initially choose from. Does any other GPS device do something similar? Doesn’t TomTom have an alternate route option?

    David - August 6th, 2008
  90. The Dash and TomTom methods are different. The Dash method selects one route that it thinks is the fastest, and up to two other alternatives based on where traffic might be a problem (but isn’t at the time of planning.) It doesn’t always generate multiple routes– only when it thinks there might be other viable alternatives.

    The TomTom ‘alternate route’ feature doesn’t look for the next most reasonable route per se. Instead it takes a look at the original route and tries to come up with the best route that avoids as much of the first route as possible. Think of it more like a “scenic route” option. It won’t likely be the next best alternative to the first route– only the next best alternative that uses as little of the first route as possible.

    Tim - August 6th, 2008
  91. Thanks for responding Tim. So, does that mean that Dash Exp is the only GSP that gives you the multiple routes option? Why is this? I believe that I once road in a Lexus car, who’s GSP offered a multiple routes option from the get-go (shortest, fastest, and a 3rd option). I would think this would be a popular option.

    David - August 6th, 2008
  92. Most GPS devices do offer different settings you can establish if you want fastest, shortest, avoiding highways, avoiding tolls, etc. But you generally set your preference ahead of time and leave that setting rather than taxing the GPS to make all of those options available with every route created. Most people set their device to pick the fastest route and go with it. If they don’t like the route they can add a waypoint on most devices to force the route to go through a different location.

    Tim - August 6th, 2008
  93. Just a quick note that the Dash Express is $199 today only at Amazon. Good chance to get in on the deal if you have been on the fence.

    Tim - October 28th, 2008
  94. Hi, I am a truck driver and I was just wondering if this would be a good fit for me? I’m guessing that it wouldn’t I kind of need something that wouldn’t cause me to travel on roads that trucks shouldn’t be on and warn me of low bridges.

    Herman - November 1st, 2008
  95. Correct, the Dash Express would not do that. There are not any good devices on the market that offer commercial truck features like that.

    Tim - November 1st, 2008
  96. Junk product. The routing is poor and worse i have seen in any GPS device. The wirless communication is horrible. The GPRS connection drops in and out and Wireless data can not connect to secure Access Points. Plus lot of $$$… Are these guys kidding? Why would you pay for any bucks for something like this??

    Tony - November 5th, 2008
  97. As I just recently purchased my 8th GARMIN GPS, a 775T model, after immediately returning the Nuvi 880, which I got to experience the Speech To Text feature (which was’nt really working and required another whole piece to activate it), I was quite impressed with the 775T, as it not only has all of Europe included with the US, but features an appearently all new feature, called ‘Lane Assist’, which really is very helpful in n o t missing a Freeway turn, plus they re- ‘Bolded’ up their Font and left it in CAPS ! !, all of which I believe is crucial, for reading and absorbing turn info quicker !…
    Well, a friend of mine showed me his DASH yesterday, in his Mini Cooper, and I was blown away by being presented wit multiple ! ! routing options, and all the traffic alerts etc… As mentioned before, the one thing that I was totally missing, is the ALL BOLD AND CAPS ! ! Fonting of the key infos in the small boxes ! Trust me, the Upper/Lower Case format is not helpful for absorbing data fast, regardless of how good an eyesight you have !..
    I hope my comments are somewhat constructive, and as of right now, I’d love to get a GPS that would combine the DASH’s absolutely beautiful qualities with some of the GARMIN’s good and user-friendly feats, as mentioned, loud and BOLD CAPS info blocks, in particular the squares that give you the prompts for turns etc.

    Thomas Nordegg - November 21st, 2008
  98. Thomas – thanks for the comments. Study after study has shown that writing in all caps is more difficult to read and takes longer to read for most people. Glad to hear the Garmin works well for you and your capitalization preferences, but you are in the minority with that lettering preference.

    Tim - November 22nd, 2008
  99. I pre-ordered one of the Dash Express and loved it so much I bought one for my wife. Well, my car was broken into yesterday and it was stolen. I called Dash to report it stolen and they informed me that they are no longer making their own hardware and will be selling their traffic networking services to mobile devices and car companies. They cited the economy as the major problem. Personally, I think this sucks b/c I loved the device, but thought it important to update this review.

    Don - December 6th, 2008
  100. I have a Garmin 660. I don’t know if I missed a discussion of my topic, but the most annoying feature (or, non-feature) is its inability to let me set a different route. I can put in ONE waypoint, but that’s all. So, if I put in a waypoint that forces the GPS to route me through there, I csn’t do the same thing for the next, or the next, or the next one. From there on, I am forced to follow the GPS route. That’s not a problem when I am driving a route with which I am familiar (and the GPS “Recalculates,” but it is useless if I don’t know the route or know a shorter route that the GPS doesn’t offer me.

    David - February 18th, 2009



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