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How to Compare GPS Devices to Get the Best One For You!

Aug 27, 2008
If you're like me, you probably want to compare GPS devices before you actually buy one in order to get the right GPS for you. Although prices have come down quite a lot in the past two years, spending a few hundred dollars and not getting the right device is probably not what you want to do.

Especially if you're buying the GPS unit as a gift, you want to be sure you get the right one.

There are so many features these things have that comparing them can seem a little overwhelming. I think I can make this job a lot easier for you.

All of those confusing features actually break into two groups--features that every GPS unit has and then extra features that are going to cost you more money. Let's look at what features are shared by all GPS devices first.

(I'm talking specifically about after-market, automobile devices, not hiking GPS systems, watch GPS's, or anything else.)

All GPS devices can do the following:

* Figure out where you are and calculate how to get you to where you want to go.
* Show you where you are on a touch screen.
* Tell you how to get where you're going with voice prompts.
* Come pre-loaded with maps (at least regional maps).
* Give you a choice of 3-D or "bird's eye" view of the maps on the screen.
* Come pre-loaded with thousands of destinations, such as gas stations, hotels, and hospitals.

Next, let's talk about the things you have to pay extra for.

Some companies have features that are specific to them. For instance, many Magellan GPS devices come with the AAA Tour Book pre-loaded (for AAA members only). I love AAA, and for me that would surely be a good feature to have.

Some other company specific features are voice commands, coming out soon on Garmin devices, and user-generated content about locations of things and other destinations on Tom Tom's devices.

Extra features you can find through virtually any GPS line are:

* Actually telling you the name of streets instead of just saying "Turn left!".
* Choice of a larger screen--4.3 inches along the diagonal.
* Maps of Alaska, Hawaii, Canada, Mexico, or Europe.
* Ability to integrate with your cell phone via Bluetooth.
* Ability for the user to enter multiple destinations at one time.
* Mp3 capability and also audio-book capability.
* Database of points of interest (POI's) that's in the millions, instead of a few hundred thousand.

When you group the features this way, the problem of comparing GPS devices becomes a lot more manageable.

Now that you are armed with this information, it's time to actually visit some sites and find out which GPS unit is the right one for you.
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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