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GPS advise please

Dori

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I would like to buy DH a GPS for his birthday next month, and would appreciate your input as to what to get. It doesn't have to be really fancy, just get us where we are going without a lot of tricky options.

thanks!

Dori
 

TUGBrian

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getting the obvious questions out of the way =)

1. what is he going to use it for?
2. what style do you want? handheld? car mounted?
3. looking for one that can load maps, plot charts, etc etc? or just barebones?
 

laxmom

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I bought one for Laxdad for Christmas. I wanted one that would announce the streets because in some of the bigger cities, the streets are so close together that it is easy to make a wrong turn. That was my only requirement. Bought him a Garmin Nuvi and have been really pleased. You can go to their website and compare all their models side by side.
 

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well, let me preface this by saying this is JMO...
i own a garmin nuvi for which i spent $$$ i find that most of the time the navigation system with my cell phone(verizon wireless) works at least as well if not better than my garmin. wish i had known this before i spent $$$ on the garmin...could have saved my self a bundle.
 

AwayWeGo

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[triennial - points]
TomTom 1

We never figured out how to work our Garmin iQue portable GPS navigation system that came built into a Palm Pilot. We gave up on it & put it back in the box it came in & that was that. The problem is with us, not with the technology. That is, we never figured out how to work Palm Pilot as an ordinary PDA, much less as a Garmin GPS uint.

We borrowed our son's Garmin non-iQue unit a couple of times, & pretty much got the hang of that on a couple of car trips.

Then last Christmas our son & daughter-in-law gave us a TomTom One that's ever so easy to use. We caught on to how it works right away & we use it with the greatest of ease.

It's not top of the line -- e.g., when it tells us to turn, it just says when to do it & it gives the direction; the little voice inside the unit does not say the name of the street, so we don't hear "Turn right on Park Avenue."

BTW, if we disregard the TomTom navigational directions & go our own way for a mile or so, the GPS unit takes it in stride. It just quietly maps out a revised route & keeps on navigating. By contrast, the Garmin unit we borrowed from our son seems to get an attitude if we go our own way in disregard of all its spoken cues. That is, we detect an edge in the little voice that, whenever we ignore an instruction, says, "Recalculating ! "

However that may be, the TomTom suits us fine. We like it so well, in fact, that we gave similar TomTom One GPS units as gifts to our other son & to The Chief Of Staff's sister.

As the radio commercial says, Tom Tom -- The Number Number One One GPS Unit Unit In The World World.

-- Alan Cole, McLean (Fairfax County), Virginia, USA.​
 
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Passepartout

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Tom-Tom 1 and Garmin Nuvi series came well recommended by Consumers Reports. My experience with a cheapie I got on Woot and the one built-in to DW's Toyota and the testing I did on a commercial satellite based system is: You are paying fairly large $ for convenience. If the thing isn't easy- read: intuitive- and the maps aren't upgradable and available for where you want to go ie: Europe, Hawaii, Asia, Mexico or Caribbean islands, you are better off with a shoebox full of paper maps. Cheap, reliable, available for anywhere, and not a target for thieves.

Jim Ricks
 

"Roger"

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I am totally pleased with a Garmin Nuvi (one that announces the streets).

Some advantages over maps...

Driving at night in a residential area, the Garmin shows us where we are and when to turn. The map leaves us ... in the dark.

I like coming to a turn onto (or off) a limited access road and knowing whether I need to be in the right or left lane. Maps don't do that.

When looking for an address on a busy road, I don't have to worry about whether it is on the right or the left, two hundred feet ahead of me or a quarter a mile. The Garmin tells me.

In England, the maps show a lot of roads, but many of the secondary roads are not numbered. So, you don't know exactly what you are supposed to look for.

Many times finding the rental return at an airport is harrowing. No problem with the Garmin. You just tell to go to the Avis drop off at the airport.

(I could go on. My point is that I am an excellent map reader. I still find the Garmin a very useful tool.)
 

Jestjoan

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www.gpsreview.net

We really love our Garmin Nuvi 750 which we got at a terrific price from HSN on one of their specials. I looked at the old thread and it was just under $300.

DD's fiance' loves his fancy Magellan that gives traffic reports.
 
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Dori

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Wow! Thanks so much, everyone! I'll check these out and go from there.

Brian, we are looking for one that is easy to use, easy to read and is dash-mounted. We will be using it primarily when we travel through the US. Oh, and we would like one that "speaks " to you, telling you when to turn, etc.

What size screen is good to look ofr? I see some are 3.5 inches and some others are 4. something. The bigger the better?

TUGgers are the best!

Dori
 

tompalm

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Garmin Nuvi wins hands down in GPS magazine and Consumer Reports magazine. The question is which one to get. I like the Nuvi 650 because it is all you need and less than $250 online. It says the street names, easy to use, the screen is bright and the processor is fast. You can pay more for blue-tooth and other features, but I don't think that it is worth it. I have a Magellan and a Garmin Nuvi and the Garmin is a lot easier to use. Both will get you there and I haven't looked at a map in two years. The new 200 series is out for $150 and is all you need with a smaller screen, but they don't say the street names like the 650 does.
 

ricoba

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We just got a Magellan 3250 from HSN this past spring for just under $200, which I thought was a pretty good deal.

It comes with 6 million points of interest and AAA ratings and guides. Since we are AAA members we were able to get a two year warranty over the standard warranty. AAA & Magellan have teamed up, so if AAA is important to you it may be a brand you want to look at.

It also has a bluetooth connection, so we can do hands free calling from the car. It's not as good as our hands free bluetooth in the radio of our other car, but it works in a pinch. It also has the text to speech which tells the street names.

I was concerned about the 3.5", since I too thought a 4.5" would be better, but it has worked out OK so far, though the onscreen buttons are a bit small.

Someone who is a GPS expert may explain the difference say between a Garmin and Magellan over a Tom Tom. My understanding is that some people believe the mapping technology in the Garmin and Magellan is better than the Tom Tom. I don't know, but I know some people comment on this on other forums or guides.

Good luck :)
 

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I just had to replace my original GPS (Lowrance iway) as the cost to send it out for repair just seemed silly with the prices having come down so much. I didn't want to spend a lot, so when I came across a Tom Tom on sale at Circuit City for $179 (less than the cost of repairing the Lowrance) I grabbed it. Office Max had a Garmin basic model for $159 but they were all gone.

I put the new Tom Tom through a baptism by fire--I drove to NJ, lol, and it got me there and back just fine. It doesn't announce the street names, but they appear at the bottom of the screen. My first one didn't do that either, so I was used to it, and it doesn't bother me.

The only negative thing is that the voice sounded a bit muffled compared to my other unit at first, and the volume doesn't go as high--I can't really have the radio on or the windows open on a highway.
 

dougp26364

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well, let me preface this by saying this is JMO...
i own a garmin nuvi for which i spent $$$ i find that most of the time the navigation system with my cell phone(verizon wireless) works at least as well if not better than my garmin. wish i had known this before i spent $$$ on the garmin...could have saved my self a bundle.
We had Verizon's service and then we purchased a Garmin Nuvi 260. The Garmin was a one time fee, Verizon charges a monthly fee. Verizon occasionally dropped signal and, out here in KS it doesn't work everywhere. If we get past Newton KS it's not good until we get to Kansas City or Denver, depending on which direction we're traveling. The Garmin works from point A to Point B without dropping signal.

Since I was paying a monthly fee for Verizon's service, I've essentially paid for the Nuvi at this point. Verizon will let you purchase unlimited service for a monthly fee, which is what we had, or, you can pay on an as needed basis, which might have worked better for us.

At any rate, the screen on the Garmin Nuvi 260 is considerably larger and easier to see than looking at my Verizon phone. The Garmin also comes loaded with points of interest (gas stations, shopping, dining et....) that are much easier IMO than trying to do a search function on the Verizon phone. I know that the Nuvi's screen is large enough that I don't have an issue reading it like I did with my Verizon phone.
 

lll1929

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I purchased the Garmin nuvi 650 off ebay for $211. I have had no problems with the unit. I truly enjoy the unit. It's easy to use and easy to install.
 

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beachsands

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Map Updates

Are there any GPS companies that offer free mapping updates?

How often is it necessary to update? Is updating required to keep unit working?

Seems like every electronic gadget has updates or monthly fees that have to be paid.


Joel
 

tompalm

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Are there any GPS companies that offer free mapping updates?

How often is it necessary to update? Is updating required to keep unit working?

Seems like every electronic gadget has updates or monthly fees that have to be paid.


Joel
I think they all charge for the updates. However, you don't really need to update the maps. I was driving through the mid west and they built a new Highway next to the old one. The GPS kept telling me to get back on the highway and actually showed me driving in the dirt, but I was on the new highway. Also, the points of interest will be out of date, but there might be a way to update that without paying for the new map update. Garmin charges $75 for the updated maps. One big point to look at is which maps are installed on the unit you are buying. Gamin's latest version of maps came out in April 2008 with City Navigator North America NT 2009. If you are buying a older unit off the shelf, check to see which maps are on it.

My 2 cents on using cell phones for GPS: It will get you there and save you from having to carry an extra device, but it is not for everyone. I view it as trying to cook a turkey in a toaster oven. It can be done, but not the best way to go. Getting a real GPS is well worth it for most folks. Also, if you have AAA, a Magellan may be a good way to go, but I haven't tried that. You have to get the right Magellan to use AAA.
 

Dori

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Well, I did it! I bought the TomTom. Now I have to plan a trip so we can try it out! Many thanks for all your help and advice.

Dori
 

nightnurse613

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The question about paying for updated maps especially irritated me. I had no idea you had to pay to keep them updated. In any case, my OM said he did see one about two weeks ago that said lifetime updated maps. I'm not sure whose lifetime was involved but I hope I can figure out where he saw it!:shrug:
 

SueDonJ

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It almost seems like electronic stuff has a tendency to become obsolete the minute you take it out of the box! Our daughter's Christmas list has one of these on it, so I'm resurrecting this old (in electronic ages) thread and asking for any updates on likes or dislikes.

... That is, we detect an edge in the little voice that, whenever we ignore an instruction, says, "Recalculating ! " ...


Alan, it's funny how you say this. We call Don's system The Lady of The Car, and tease him about her getting angry with him. It took him so long to get used to waiting for the turns that she gives quarter-mile warnings for, rather than taking the very next turn and hearing "Recalculating" over and over!

Thanks,
Susan
 

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I just cam back from Las Vegas....we wanted to go to the Hofbrauhaus. My Tom Tom directed me to an office park.
 

Sea Six

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Garmin NUVI was the way to go
 

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Sanyo 4730

I picked up a Sanyo 4370 from walmart.com for $198 last week. Here is the link... http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=10269594. Sanyo is the trusted brand in Japan and other US models get consistantly high ratings. What I liked was that this is loaded out with options (4.3", spoken street names, Bluetooth phone capable, can add rear back up camera) for much less than a comparable Garmin model. Plus, if I don't like it I can return it to Walmart. This is a new model and the one customer review isn't flattering but I need more than one to make a decision. I haven't tried this one yet as it is a Christmas present for the wife.
 

Htoo0

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I would just recommend that which ever one buys that it actually tells you the street name rather than "turn in XX feet".
 
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