Garmin Zumo 590LM Motorcycle GPS Review

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The Zumo 500 series of GPS navigation systems were first released way back in 2006 in which it was designed specifically for motorcycles. The early Zumo navigational systems were already considered advance for their time and some models even had built in digital cameras in which users can instantly tag the pictures that they have taken with their GPS unit with their current location on their route and upload it or even share the data of their waypoints among their friends. As of date, the Zumo 590LM is the latest addition to the already growing product line which has the same features of all other Zumo GPS systems and more. Recent models of the Zumo usually had touch screen sizes of 3.5 to 4.3 inches, which has been well accepted by most people who know how utterly good these GPS systems perform under any circumstances, as they seem to be quite satisfied with every aspect of its features. The best just got better as Garmin has improved a lot of features on the 590LM, one of which that it has a 5 inch resistive touchscreen that allows you to control its interface even if you are wearing gloves, which can be very advantageous, especially if you are driving in cold weather.

Garmin Zumo 590LM Motorcycle GPS

Garmin Zumo 590LM

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As with other Zumo systems, the 590LM also has the same self-adjusting screen brightness that conforms to any lighting condition automatically, along with its anti-glare panel that enables users to view map details without much difficulty whether it be mid-day or sunset. The Zumo is known for being waterproof as it is the first model made by Garmin for motorcycle use, although they had to completely re-design the casing from scratch since it is bigger than most Zumo models before it and that current existing Zumo components will not be adequate as compatible parts for the 590LM. As it turned out, the 590LM is a new line of GPS system that is far better than its previous ancestors since it is technologically advanced in more ways than one. The 590LM is fully integral with current smart phone technologies which are used in iPhones and Android systems.


As far as data synchronization is concerned, the 590LM can easily access multi-media files in your smart phone such as video and music and simultaneously connect to both your smart phone and Bluetooth headset at the same time without disrupting its operation. It has the ability to control and synchronize GPS related applications on your smart phone such as weather and traffic updates and use these data to coordinate with its own to give you an even more precise information of what you expect to encounter along your route. By far, one of its newest features is its ability to use 3D mapping technology that gives you a precise visual representation of your maps to give you an idea of the surrounding topography of your current location. Although these specialized maps are bought as an optional addition to the Zumo 590LM’s built in maps, being able to use this unique map-rendering feature is something that any GPS navigational system user can look forward to.

Design:

Although looking similarly like other previous Zumo models, the 590LM is a lot more different in many aspects. With a measurement of 5.9 inches in length by 3.8 inches in width and with a 1.3 inch thickness, the 590LM is considerably a lot more thinner than previous Zumo models that have protruding battery packs on their back portion, since the 590LM looks more like a smart phone rather than a GPS unit. Weighing in at 13.3 ounces, it is a bit heavier than previous models which is reasonable enough since it is much more bigger than others before it although the shape and its texture is unmistakably that of a Garmin Zumo. Garmin made changes with the battery pack and opted to use flatter Lithium-Ion batteries that will efficiently operate its 5 inch LCD touchscreen. As same with all weatherproof Zumo models, the 590LM uses the same ABS plastic polymer material that resists most corrosive compounds such as oils, acids and fuels that can degrade ordinary plastic casing materials since ABS polymer plastics are specially made to resist cracking and chemicals. Along with being shock and chemically resistant, the Zumo 590LM has been internationally rated of being IPX7 which renders it waterproof to an effective water depth of 1 meter deep for a maximum duration of about 15 minutes.

Features:

One of its most notable features that make it stand out amongst all Zumo models is its full integration with current smart phone technologies, besides Bluetooth. Integration with smart phone applications which can be used to gather GPS data such as current weather and traffic conditions are just some of the newest capabilities that the Zumo 590LM can offer its users. It is very rare to see a GPS system that can use the data of third-party applications such as those used by smart phones and adapt to it without complicating the information that it uses to determine your current location. Fact is, the Zumo 590-LM enhances the data it has received along with the information that it is synchronized with a user’s smart phone and evaluates the information, which it then uses to plot your current position along your route.

Another added feature is its ability to directly access and control media files in your smart phone through its 5 inch LCD touchscreen panel. Besides being Able to answer your phone through Bluetooth, you can also directly listen to your favorite songs while you are driving down the road. One prominent improvement that Garmin made in making the Zumo 590LM is that it uses a fast processor that runs its video rendering capabilities which enables it to use fully compatible 3D maps which gives you a more detailed description on all aspect of terrain, inclination, elevation and topography which you can look at with a 190 degree viewing angle. Added to this feature is the way in which users can quickly switch from either portrait or panoramic viewing angles all just by rotating the Zumo 590LM on a horizontal or vertical angle.

And additional feature you can add, is the Garmin tire pressure monitor system (TPMS). With two sensors you can check your tire pressure on your Zumo 590LM very easily. This great feature is increasing road safety enormously since the only contact with the road are two small areas of your tires.

LCD:

Garmin takes credit for being able to integrate multi-functional LCD touch screens which can be used by people who ride motorcycles, in which wearing gloves provides protection to their hands. But there are some cases in which gloves may not be very helpful when it comes to accessing controls on a touchscreen since you would need to apply adequate pressure on the LCD screen for the GPS system to respond properly. Thanks to Garmin’s design, the Zumo 590LM uses a resistive touchscreen LCD panel that needs little pressure in order for it to respond to your every gesture, regardless if you are wearing gloves or not. Along with this, the Zumo 590LM still inherits the same type of LCD design that previous Zumo models had, enabling it to be readable under any type of lighting condition. It also has the same features of being able to automatically adjust its contrast and brightness according to its environment, making it very readable under any condition. A bigger 5 inch touchscreen will enable those who have poor visual acuity to be able to see things more clearly and it was a good improvement compared to previous Zumo models that only have a 4.3 inch display.

Final Thoughts:

Garmin Zumo 590LM

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Given a chance to choose performance and size, people would obviously choose both and knowing how Garmin makes their products, a $799.99 price tag on the Zumo 590LM is quite reasonable considering that it is a brand new product with great new features and functions in which users will definitely benefit from. Having a 5 inch touchscreen, fully waterproof, ability to use 3D maps and multi media capabilities, along with having a fully compatible system integration with current smart phone features and applications makes the Zumo 590LM the first of its kind to bridge and effectively use third party software applications to its own advantage. Its also good to know that Garmin has also included a complementary motorcycle mounting system for the Zumo 590LM as it usually sells these accessories as an optional separate item. Although it is a bit of a disappointment when it comes to its battery life which can only operate within a 4 hour period, which does not make it an ideal hiking GPS system as you need to constantly charge it. Nevertheless, it is an efficient, all weather GPS system when used on a motorcycle since it has a slimmed down design which eliminates the bulky battery pack which is usually a common feature on all previous Zumo models.