yes, the factory loaded software is pretty vague, better on some lakes than others. The SD card has a lot more data and is specific to a region. The navionics upgrade card is great as you can download specific lakes as needed without downloading everything and slowing your graph. It lets you update daily for a year and you can download sonar charts and community edits....
The catch here is that you need a card already that HAS NOT BEEN USED TO ACTIVATE AN UPDATE CARD BEFORE in order to activate this card in order to get the lower priced update card....I believe you can buy the fulled activated card at a higher price. The card that you use to activate it is still useable but can't be used to activate another one....If your friends Navionics south card has not been used to activate an updates card and he isn't planning to use it to activate one you could use it to activate your cheaper update card and give it back to him for regular use, then you would have an updateable card with 1 years worth of updates. The card is activated on a PC so his full size card will activate the new updates card which is a micro SD in a full size adapter.
The updates card has more detail and community edits add structure making it a lot easier and faster.
That is outdated info. The blank 2GB Navionics+ and blank 2GB Navionics Update cards were discontinued about a year ago. The Hotmaps Premium regional cards were discontinued around the end of 2015.
ALL cards are preloaded with maps now. The current Navionics Update cards are still the same price and still take a card to activate them as before.
The newest cards are Navionics+ Regional cards with the same coverage areas as the discontinued Hotmaps Premium and current Hotmaps Platinum.
Refer to the Navionics website for current products.
While you are there, look at the Web App. Those maps are current as of today and what you would get with a new purchase that is updated today.