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What You Must Know About Car GPS Navigation Systems

Aug 30, 2008
Car GPS navigation systems are probably one of the hottest electronic gadgets to come to market in the past few years! It's no wonder why! These compact devices can do everything from tell you how to drive cross-country to let you know how to detour a traffic jam on the freeway.

Prices have dropped considerably in the past 18 months. Now, you can get a basic GPS system for around $150! If you want a more fully featured model, you can get that for $250 to $350, according to the model and the exact features.

That's not a bad price for never having to be lost again!

The problem with buying a car GPS navigation system is there are so many manufacturers, and so many models to choose from. Unless you're a GPS aficionado like me, you're might be put off by all of the new technologies these things bring together and all of the buzz words you need to know to even understand what you're buying.

Not to worry!

This little article is going to straighten you out!

Although there are tons of manufacturers of these things, there are only three major players, Garmin, Tom Tom, and Magellan. Gamin sells 70% of the car GPS systems sold; Tom Tom has a really great product at great prices; and Magellan is one of the main pioneers of the whole industry.

All three companies make excellent products at very competitive prices. You can certainly buy a GPS system from anyone you choose. I just like to stay with the big companies. It's a personal decision. I want to make sure my device will be supported in the future.

To make things really much simpler, it's good to know that all GPS navigation systems do essentially the same things. As a matter of fact, they all do the following:

* Tell you where you are
* Tell you how to get to where you want to go with spoken directions
* Let you enter information and make choices via a touch screen interface
* Have a large database of destinations already programmed into the device (called Points of Interest, or POI's)
* Come pre-loaded with maps (older models you have to download the maps)
* auto-calculate the shortest or fastest route

You can get all of this for around $150. The Garmin nuvi 200, the Tom Tom One, or the Magellan Maestro 3100 can do all of this and more for about that price.

You would be pleasantly surprised, however, at how much more you can get for another $100 to $200!

That will buy you a car GPS navigation system that:

* Comes with maps of Canada, Europe, and/or Mexico
* Let's you use it in conjunction with your cell phone using Bluetooth technology
* Tells you traffic and weather in real time
* Plays music, and serves as an audio book reader
* And, let's you hear everything through your car's own stereo system

That's a lot of features for the money!

We're not done, however! There's plenty more these nifty devices can do.

As you go up in price you get things like bigger screens and multiple routing capability. At higher price points each manufacturer starts to really distinguish themselves with proprietary features--like Tom Tom's POI database where users can actually make changes to reflect current road conditions. (Tom Tom makes those changes available for everyone to see!)

What you need to do next is to start browsing around an informative website where you can read about specific models and check their prices.
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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