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Quick Guide to GPS Systems

Aug 21, 2008
If you've heard of automotive GPS systems, then you've heard of Garmin, Magellan, and Tom Tom. These are the three big companies in the marketplace. And the collectively control about 90% of the market share. Their products all have their strengths and weaknesses, however.

Although Magellan was the original GPS company, Garmin took away a large part of their market share through excellent engineering and a commitment to quality. They've marketed themselves as the high-end company, and the results have paid off. Garmin now owns about 50% of the U. S. market.

Tom Tom, a European company, is a recent arrival on the GPS scene. Just as Garmin did before them, they've taken away market share from Garmin and Magellan. Garmin is still by far the top seller in the U. S., with Tom Tom and Magellan each spliting about 40% of the rest of the market.

So, if you want a GPS, and you want to go with the industry leader, Garmin is the company to choose. Having said that, let's take a brief look at their product line.

What I want to do now, is to give you an overview of their product line, what their systems can do and about how much they cost.

All automotive GPS systems can do the following. They can show you where you are on electronic maps and tell you how to get where you're going with voice prompts. They also have a pre-programmed database of destinations (called Points of Interest), and a few other bells and whistles.

Garmin's entry level device, the nuvi 200, can do all of this and more. What's cool is that at the time of this writing, the nuvi 200 sells for less than $150. Now, the nuvi 200 can do more than just the basics. It can double as a digital picture viewer and an audio book reader, for instance.

A lot of people, however, want more. Let's see what else you can get with a little more money.

Basic GPS systems don't tell you the street names when they tell you where to turn. That takes a more advanced, and more expensive, system. The Garmin nuvi 350 has what's called Text-to-Speech, that is it actually tells you the street name. It also sells for about $200.

Other upgrades you can get are Bluetooth capability, real-time traffic and weather, multi-point routing, and a wider screen. For a few bucks more than the nuvi 350, you can get the nuvi 360, which has Bluetooth. It's got the smaller 3.5-inch screen, however. If you want Bluetooth and the larger screen, you'll have to go with the Garmin nuvi 660.

If you really want to shoot the proverbial moon, then the Garmin 880 might be just the ticket. It's got voice recognition! Which is really cool. It's got a cool price, too. Right now it sells for around $900. But if you want a state of the art GPS, then look no further than the nuvi 880.
About the Author
To read more great GPS Reviews, check out my website.

Lee Cole is a true GPS enthusiast! Take a look at his website to find out more information!
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