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LG Electronics LN790

At a Glance
  • LG Electronics LG LN790 GPS 4.3" Screen Portable Navigation Device

    PCWorld Rating

    Maps on this GPS device are easy to use, but suggested routes are not always the best.

A newcomer in the high-end GPS market is LG Electronics' LN790, with an average retail price of $600. It has a bright 4.3-inch screen and includes a media player for audio, image, and video files. But the LN790 can't match the performance of devices like the Garmin Nuvi 360, priced at almost $200 less.

The 3D and 2D maps in­ cluded with the device cover all 50 U.S. states and Canada. It's easy to track your progress as you travel, and your next turn is easy to anticipate because you'll see the street name and turn direction on the screen. You'll also hear street names pronounced. Though the LN790 lacks an FM transmitter for listening through your car stereo, LG says that it has a headphone jack that outputs to many new car audio systems that have an MP3 player input. You can choose from ten languages--with three different accents available in English, French, and Spanish, though only one of each vocalizes the street names.

When I tried to enter destination addresses, the LN790 offered me the option of entering the street name before the city--but when I tried to do this, the database couldn't find the street. When I entered the city first and then the street, however, it found the location and was ready to direct me there. Also, the type-ahead feature is so slow that I frequently entered the wrong key, leading the device to present me with the wrong choices, which in turn required me to hit the back button and start over.

Like most other GPS devices, the LN790 lets you choose between the shortest route and the fastest one; however, the routes that the device suggested led me straight into the heart of the city rather than directing me to byways that were longer but faster.  More important, navigators such as the Garmin Nuvi 360 and the Mio DigiWalker C720 suggested routes by default that avoided areas of traffic congestion, even with no traffic service enabled. The LN790 lacks a pedestrian mode as well.

Though the LN790 offers easy-to-read maps, and its GPS transceiver does a good job of keeping pace as you travel, the device's clunky interface and questionable routes put it a couple of notches below the best devices that I tested for "GPS Devices: Road Tested and Reviewed."

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    Maps on this GPS device are easy to use, but suggested routes are not always the best.

    Pros

    • Plenty of language and voice options
    • Bluetooth connectivity

    Cons

    • Short battery life
    • Questionable route selection
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