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Portable GPS Receiver Buying Guide

Aug 24, 2008
With the rising popularity of GPS receivers, they have almost become a necessity to those that are fed up with getting lost while trying to reach a destination. But GPS (Global Positioning System) receivers do much more than simply letting you know where you are. With many models you can have turn-by-turn voice prompts telling you where to turn, how soon to expect the turn, the angle of the turn, and even which lane you should be in. On some models you also have access to hundreds of thousands of points of interest. Examples of points of interest are restaurants, department stores, gas stations, banks, etc.

There are many other features that are available on today's portable GPS receivers, though knowing what you want before making a purchase will help you decide on which ones are most important to you, and which ones are just added bonuses. Below is a list of things that our product specialists recommend our customers to look for before making a purchasing decision when shopping for portable GPS receivers.

Screen Size: It is important to consider the screen size of a portable GPS receiver because if your not able to see the roads you need to take, there's no point of having GPS. Make sure to get a receiver with a screen that will be large enough for you to be able to see street names with ease. Keep in mind though; there is always the zoom feature which gives you close ups of the map being displayed.

Touch Screen Controls: You should consider a receiver with touch screen controls, which makes it easier for you to input your information, and saves space because there is no need for extra buttons elsewhere.

Voice Prompts: If you plan on using the GPS receiver mainly while driving, it would be best to get one that features turn-by-turn voice prompts so you don't have to take your eyes off the road.

Battery: If you plan on using the GPS system that is not connected to something for power, consider the battery life of the receiver. If the battery doesn't last you long enough, you may just end up lost in the middle of nowhere.

Re-Routing Capabilities: Re-routing capabilities on a GPS receiver is a feature that re-calculates another route for you when you miss a turn. Getting a receiver with re-routing capabilities is important because if you miss a turn and the GPS doesn't automatically re-route, then you will have to go back follow the receivers exact route which can be very inefficient. Most portable GPS receivers designed for use in a car have re-routing capabilities, though some may not so its always good to double check.

Points of Interest: Having a GPS receiver with a high amount of POI (Points of Interest) can be very helpful to you in finding locations that you don't know the exact address to. The points of interest usually include things like gas stations, banks, stores, restaurants, ATM machines, etc.

Included Accessories: Check to see whether the GPS receiver comes with the accessories you need such as an AC/DC adapter, car mount, cables, cases, etc.

GPS: A receiver that calculates its absolute geographic position by determining its relative position to a set of at least three satellites.
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