So as an early birthday present, my wife took me to Sam's and allowed me to choose a GPS device. There were two models in stock to choose from: the Garmin 750 and the TomTom GO 720. Back in January I bought and reluctantly returned a TomTom GO 720 to use on a road trip that never took place. I enjoyed the experience with the TomTom but decided to give Garmin a shot this time around and see what all the fuss is about. I had the Garmin for about a week before I decided to go back to the TomTom.\r\n\r\nThese two units have the same basic features except that the TomTom 720 features bluetooth connectivity and several TomTom-specific options. Both feature FM transmitters, have the ability to get traffic and weather information over the air (with paid subscription to MSNdirect for Garmin or through TomTom with the TomTom GO 720, and have built-in media (mp3, audiobook,jpeg) players. Both units are available for less than 0 from Sam's, with the TomTom Go 720 being about .00 less expensive than the Garmin 750.\r\n\r\nMy initial opinion on the Garmin was that it was a very well designed piece of equipment. Aesthetically it was simple and its operation was intuitive. All you need to do is flip the power button and set your language and then you're off and running. The menu is simple providing you with two options: one sets a destination and the other allows you to view the map. There are also two smaller icons that allow you to control the volume and to access the settings menu.\r\n\r\nNavigation is simple and fast. Just follow the prompts and you'll have a route calculated in less than a minute. The map view is by default a 3D view. I found that, while the lines on the map were smooth, the update frequency of the map was rather slow. The Garmin would take several seconds to refresh the map to show that I had taken a turn. On the TomTom, on the other hand, I would be able to follow myself through the entire turn without any sudden jumps. Some people attribute this more rapid map refreshes to the fact that the TomTom does not utilized antialaising. This is supposed to make the Garmin maps easier to read, but personally I would prefer to have a map that refreshes my position more frequently than an image of a map that is more "smooth."\r\n\r\nLike the TomTom GO 720, the Garmin has an FM transmitter. I do not like this feature on the Garmin as much as I do on the TomTom for the simple fact that you are not able to save certain frequencies to quickly change to. On the TomTom, selecting the transmission frequency is done by typing out the frequency on a number pad, similar to what you would see on a telephone keypad. The TomTom also allows you to save two frequencies as presets so you don't have to reenter the channel. The Garmin, however, requires that you scroll to your desired frequency and provides no option to save a preset frequency. This, I think, is an important feature because the urban environment often has radio frequencies that are highly congested and occasionally overlap. In my area, the two empty frequencies are 94.5 FM and 103.5 FM, but depending upon my location in the city, one frequency may develop static requiring me to change channels on the transmitter. The TomTom's ability to save presets make this a quick task whereas the Garmin requires me to physically press down on the screen until the channel moves from 94.5 to 103.5. not the safest thing to be doing as you drive a car.\r\n\r\nMuch discussion is made about the quality of Garmin's NAVTAQ maps versus TomTom's TeleAtlas maps. In my experience with the two units, I found no appreciable difference. The Garmin actually mis-routed me to a POI by having me take a highway exit that enters the access road precisely next to the store I was wanting to get to. That was hardly enough time for me to make it across the 3 lanes of access road in traffic in order to get into the store's parking lot. One feature about the TomTom that I really like is the MapShare feature. MapShare allows TomTom users to report and share with others any mistakes that they find on their travels. For example, if your TomTom routes you down a one-way street that has changed directions, then you can mark the map error and then go to the Map Corrections menu and tell your TomTom that the street has changed directions. Your TomTom will then no longer attempt to route you down that street in the incorrect direction AND when you connect your TomTom to the HOME software, you can send this corrected error to TomTom and other TomTom users.\r\n\r\nOne frustrating thing I found with the Garmin was adding new points of interest (POI). Both Garmin and TomTom provide GPSr with pre-installed POIs. Garmin boasts over 6 million and TomTom advertises theirs as several million. Of course, no unit can have all businesses and hospitals stored in their memory, so it is helpful to be able to add your own custom POI. POI are different from "favorite" locations because POIs are searchable by category whereas favorites must be selected from a list. I became frustrated with adding a POI to the Garmin. You can't do it directly on the GPS unit itself. Instead, you must connect your unit to the computer, download software from Garmin to upload POI onto the unit, find some other software to create POI files (of which there are several different file types), and then use some other software such as Google Maps to get the location coordinates for each POI. That's a lot of work to add a missing restaurant to your list of POIs. TomTom, on the other hand, implements the entire process on the GPS unit itself. You tell the TomTom that you want to make a map correction, that your map correction is a missing POI, and then you select the location of the POI, place the POI into an appropriate category, and provide a name and an optional phone number. You can even then use MapShare to share this new POI with all TomTom users. I spent two hours trying to get one new POI installed on the Garmin. The same act took me 3 minutes on the TomTom.\r\n\r\nAnother thing that I noticed about the Garmin was its lack of customizability. The Garmin is, for all intents and purposes, uncustomizable. You can change the car icon on the map, but that is about it. On the TomTom, everything is customizable. Want to change the color scheme of your maps? You can do it. Want to record your own voice to tell you when to turn? You can do it. There are so many options on the TomTom that it is possible to get lost. And this can be a bad thing or a good thing. I prefer to have complete control over my equipment so I appreciate the things the TomTom allows you to do. Others might find this to be a bit daunting and just want a GPSr to get them from Point A to Point B without anything that needs to be changed or customized.\r\n\r\nOverall, both units performed their functions well. I chose to return my new Garmin 750 and get the TomTom 720 again for the increased customization, the ease of adding custom POIs, and the MapShare feature. I preferred the Garmin's in-car mount over the GO 720 mount, but I also appreciated the fact that TomTom provides an actual PC mount to hold the unit when it is connected to the computer. Garmin's screen is bright and the TomTom's could be hard to see in some high-glare environments, but I found the TomTom maintained better image representation at different viewing angles. In the end, both units do their main job of navigating well.