Best 6 GPS Devices in 2011
Portable GPS devices are great tools to help you find your way, but many people nowadays opt to just use their GPS-equipped smartphones for directions.
But if you don’t own a smartphone or simply like the idea of having a single device that performs one sole function well, then here are some portable GPS devices to consider, as recommended by London-based Patrick Connolly, an analyst at ABI Research, a technology research firm.
No. 1: TomTom’s Go Live 1005 – This unit, with a 5-inch touch screen, is intended for the European market and lists for a steep 300 pounds (or about $500.) Connolly likes it because it offers connectivity via a subscription service with the first year free, enabling high-quality real-time traffic information, local searching, and local speed camera warnings. The connectivity also offers the potential for future applications.
No. 2: Garmin 3790 LMT – Connolly likes the ergonomics of this device, which has a 4.3-inch screen and is only 9 mm thick (about the same as a pencil.) It lacks connectivity, and you update maps through a computer connection—but you can do that free for life. Otherwise Connolly liked its predictive routing features, and also its lane assist feature (which tells you what lane to be in to make a particular exit.) This unit is made for the continental U.S., and average price is about $375.
No. 3: Magellan RoadMate 9055-LM – This unit (aimed at the US market) has a larger than usual seven-inch screen and Connolly was impressed by the fact that it can be hooked up to video feeds so it can be used with rear-view backup cameras. It receives traffic data and map updates, gives lane assistance, and has tourist information. Thanks to its Bluetooth feature it can be paired with your cell phone for hands-free calling. The average price is about U.S. $250.
No. 4: Garmin Nuvi 3790T – While not one of Connolly’s picks, we’d like to cast our vote for the Garmin Nuvi 3790T as an example of what's new among conventional GPS devices. Garmin crammed just about everything it could into this unit, including a high-resolution 4.3-inch screen display with 800 by 480 pixels (double what you normally get in both directions) plus pinch-and-zoom touch controls. There's also speech recognition, lifetime traffic updates, a Bluetooth interface, and nearly six million points of interest. But the effect is to drive the price up to about $300, when plain-vanilla devices go for half that.
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