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Shopping for a GPS


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#1 Dan Coplan

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 10:00 PM

I've been using VZ Navigator on my Verizon phone - a cool and very good GPS that's subscription based. Then I found out it was burning all my minutes. They hide that info deep in some crevice of text nobody ever reads. So now I'm shopping for a standalone unit.

Just curious if anyone out there has a GPS they really like, which ones to avoid...what about the ones that offer live traffic updating?

Dan
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#2 JimBartell

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 10:11 PM

I've been using VZ Navigator on my Verizon phone - a cool and very good GPS that's subscription based. Then I found out it was burning all my minutes. They hide that info deep in some crevice of text nobody ever reads. So now I'm shopping for a standalone unit.

Just curious if anyone out there has a GPS they really like, which ones to avoid...what about the ones that offer live traffic updating?

Dan

Dan,

I bought my wife a Garmin Nuvi 350 for Christmas. Very sweet, small and super easy to use. Even pronounces street names as it tells you where to turn, although we alaways chuckle as it pronounces Redondo as "Red Ondo".

You can get the traffic as an add-on or buy the Nuvi 660 with it built in.

Jim "man with happy wife" Bartell
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#3 geoff shotz

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 10:29 PM

dan- i love my portable, water resistant (read- dunkable) garmin etrex 60csx. it's tiny and easy, but does not give you audible directions. i throw it in my outrigger canoe now and in the car and i'm taking it with me on the next location job so any rental car will have it. it really saved my ass in baja when my built in gps ran out of known road maps. but, if you just want one for the car only, the nuvi and the tom tom are the 2 most recommended. good luck navigating through all the available features for them though.

geoff
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#4 Afton Grant

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 10:39 PM

I'll submit an endorsement for the TomTom. It offers a traffic service ($5/mo, I believe). I bought the PDA/Smartphone version to work with my Palm Treo. I love it. Especially since I did not have to clutter my dashboard with another device (already have the satellite radio). One cool thing about the PDA version, is the receiver is a tiny box about the size of a pack of Trident gum. It has a built in LiOn battery and can be carried around, making it useful anywhere you can carry your phone (bicycling, hiking, etc) with no need for extra installations. The PDA version is also a couple hundred bucks cheaper than the self-contained dash version.

Let me know if you want more details.

Good luck,
Afton
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#5 jay kilroy

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 04:08 AM

Dan,

I have the Magellan 2200 T, my wife got it for me as a Christmas present last month. I love it, I have nothing to compare it to, but I love it. Easy to use and understand and from the looks of the website it is upgradable to your needs. Let me know what you think.

jay kilroy
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#6 Robert Starling SOC

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 10:13 AM

I'll submit an endorsement for the TomTom.


Hi Afton, you might want to check yesterday's article on CNET.com about the TomTom shipping from the factory loaded with viruses. I think you're Mac but FYI !!!

From CNET:
"Satellite navigation company TomTom has admitted that it shipped two viruses on a number of its devices.

According to the company, a "small number" of TomTom GO 910 satellite navigation devices were shipped last year with malicious software preinstalled."

http://news.com.com/..._3-6154198.html

Robert
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#7 Afton Grant

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 11:43 AM

Hi Afton, you might want to check yesterday's article on CNET.com about the TomTom shipping from the factory loaded with viruses. I think you're Mac but FYI !!!


Yikes! Maybe that's why I've been bleeding from my eyes.

Fortunately, I have the Navigator 6 version for PDAs, not the infected GO 910. Either way, that's definitely not a bit of good press for the company. I still remain complaint free, although perhaps a bit more cautious.

Thanks for the tip,
Afton
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#8 Jason Torbitt

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 04:32 PM

I also use the Garmin. I couldn't do without it now. It worked out quite cheap to buy, and does a blinding job, especially good to climb in the van in a strange city after an exhausting day like today, and just tap 'Go Home' and the rest is a breeze - which I find especially useful to get out of the black holes this country has, i.e. within the London inner ring road
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#9 Afton Grant

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 09:47 PM

I couldn't do without it now. It worked out quite cheap to buy, and does a blinding job, especially good to climb in the van in a strange city after an exhausting day like today, and just tap 'Go Home' and the rest is a breeze


You're absolutely right, Jason. I thought I'd add one more observation. When I first got mine and took my first few trips, I noticed something interesting.

Let me start by taking us all back to the 1980's. Before cellular phones, before digital cordless phones, before speed dials, before even touch-tone was the premium service of the time. It was the time of the rotary and pulse dial telephones. It was a time when we needed to place a call, we dialed the number. How did we know the number? We remembered it! Probably the two dozen most common numbers anyway, were committed straight to memory.

Nowadays, I'll be darned if I can remember my mother's phone number. It's a dial by name society.

Back to the GPS... When I arrived at the destination of my first trip, I sat and thought for a minute. I had NO idea how I had gotten there. The device had made the trip very mindless. Now, I'll quickly admit it beats my former Google Maps printout and scratched down note sheet for directions. However, I personally enjoy traveling. I enjoy learning new areas and expanding the maps installed in my brain. I fear that the GPS, much like the speed dial, will cause my directional muscles to atrophy over time.

As I mentioned, the pros certainly outweigh the cons. If it can get me out of even one traffic jam (which it already has), it's worth the $300. As much as I love gadgetry, I'm always wary about submitting any part of myself over to a machine. God forbid any of them ever fail. I'd still be trying to find my way home from that first trip!

And by the way, I can STILL remember all of my elementary school friend's phone numbers.

Best to all,
Afton
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#10 Charles Papert

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 10:12 PM

I've been a "Tom Tom" guy since the first model came out a couple of years ago--recently upgraded to a 510 because my window was smashed and the Tom Tom stolen. So let that be a lesson to you guys...having a sexy little box like that permanently perched on the dashboard is probably not the best idea. The 510 gets tucked away now when the car is parked on the street.

My other car has the built-in Toyota/Lexus nav and I have to say I much prefer the Tom Tom interface, much easier to work with (the Toyota one is downright infuriating in many ways).

I'm flying back and forth to Albuquerque on a feature at present and it's been great having the 510 with me--no more having to decipher the directions on the call sheet (in a strange city) at 5 a.m. The Bluetooth phone feature is lovely too--hands-free chatting.

Afton, I hear you about the slightly brain-dead-ed-ness that can result, but I wouldn't ever want to go back to the Thomas Guide shuffle (sorry about the LA-centric reference there).
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#11 Imran Naqvi

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 02:14 AM

I've had a Tomtom 500 for about 18 months. I wouldn't give it up without a fight. I think the interface is great, simple easy to use and the bluetooth handsfree calliing made it an obvious choice (the UK is about to make the penalties for even picking up a mobile in a moving car extremely severe).

My GF hates the idea that I'm likely to be losing my ability to self navigate, but frankly my sense of direction was always a bit pants.

I will say that I also have a full UK atlas in the Volvo at all times and if I had to go abroad I would also have a map, because not having a backup is just silly.
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#12 Bryan Fowler

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 10:39 AM

I guess I'll contribute to the "i have" list =)

We got a Garmin c330 before thanksgiving. It's been quite good with directions, and seems to be highly rated. I like how easy it is to remove from the windshield mount, and tuck away out of prying eyes.

It was under $350 dollars, so I liked that part too.
It doesn't speak the road names, and if I were to do it again, I might spend the extra money to get the c340, but I may not. Mine has been great though.
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#13 Rich Cottrell

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Posted 03 August 2007 - 01:20 PM

Well I finally got me GPS too, and now after less then one week I keep asking myself? ?Why the hell did I not get this sooner??

I ended up with a Garmin [a Nuvi 680 for the techno-distructo types].

I really did not consider any other manufactures after seeing a friend's Garmin 350. He travels from Toronto with this baby for HDNet all over the USA and I got a chance to play with it last year in LA.

The Garmin works great for me. The interface thinks like I do for the most part.

My model has real time MSN Direct traffic and weather reports, but I feel you do not need this because so far, in my week of having it here in Philadelphia and Adirondak, NY, it does not work all that great. I would be hitting road construction that MSN did not know existed, or I would be flying through "Slow Ups" that MSN was warning me about.

But everything else about the navigation in my Garmin works great.
I would give it two thumbs up, but I am supposed to keep both hands on the steering wheel.
rich
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#14 David Shawl SOC

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Posted 03 August 2007 - 08:29 PM

I use the Garmin Nuvi 660 and I love it.

I have used in-car GPS from Acura, Lexus, and several 3rd party companies, and some of the portable handhelds before. This is my favorite one to use. I found the interface and ease-of-use to be the best in the Garmin. It's a perfect combination of a large iPhone-like touchscreen display / size with a cost of under $600. It also has other features like weight / measurement calculators, MP3 player, and Photo viewer.

It comes with a great suction cup mount / in-car power setup that lets you remove it / install it quickly. The whole GPS can fit in your backpocket and I often use it for when I'm walking around NYC and gotta walk a complicated route. It also has the live traffic updating built into the device.

-Dave
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#15 Dan Coplan

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Posted 04 August 2007 - 09:12 AM

I ended up getting a Garmin nuvi 350 and it's great. My only complaint is the suction mount keeps un-suctioning. I've had to tie fishing line to it so when it comes undone it doesn't go flying off the dashboard. Any ideas how to keep the mount secure?

Dan
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