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Unread 06-06-2007, 09:12 AM
 
Location: North Raleigh
1,205 posts, read 1,453,203 times
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Default GPS Recommendations?

Several people posted how essential a GPS system is in the Triangle. I started looking at them and found a wide variety of brands and prices. Is there an advantage to a more expensive GPS? What would you recommend in terms of brand and price?

Thanks!
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Unread 06-06-2007, 09:24 AM
 
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I recommend Garmin GPS. I have Garmin C340 for about 2-3 years. I am very happy about it. I paid about $500 when I bought it. It's much cheaper now.
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Unread 06-06-2007, 09:30 AM
 
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I recommend a good 'ol fashioned map, for $7.95 at any corner gas station.

Seriously. . . I bought a GPS antenna for $60, along with a SW application that I downloaded onto my cell phone. The antenna is about the size of a box of matches and communicates with my cell phone via the Bluetooth connection. I used it for a few weeks before the novelty wore off and I went back to a map.

When my wife and I are together in the car, I read the map and she drives. When we are alone in the car, we figure out where we want to go before leaving, look at the map, and then refer to it every once in a while enroute.
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Unread 06-06-2007, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Austin TX
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I just got a Garmin Nuvi 350. I went with a Nuvi instead of a Streetpilot despite the fact that I don't foresee needing the international features because it had the best balance of features and price I wanted The Nuvi's are also much slimmer than the Streetpilots so they fit in a pocket (there's a navigate on foot option and the battery supposedly lasts 8 hours). It retails for ~ $500 but I would look around for sales for any gps unit you get.

I highly recommend the garmin-accomodating friction mount. It really does stay put on the dash and is really easy to lift off to hide so it's not obvious you have a gps. They come in other varieties for diff gps types I believe.
Amazon.com: Garmin Portable Friction Mount for Nuvi, StreetPilot I Series & C530, C550 (010-10908-00): Electronics

The #1 feature that interested me in the Nuvi 350 (over cheaper gps systems) was the fact that the navigator tells you the name of the street you will be turning on (rather than just "turn left in 0.2 miles). It has a built in mp3 and audiobook player, and millions of points of interest so you can look up the nearest parks or Mexican restaurants or grocery stores or atm's or libraries, etc etc. Very fun When you select a poi via the nifty touch screen, it pops up the establishment's name and phone number (more expensive gps systems have bluetooth so you can connect to your phone and speak hands free - you can also just push on the poi's phone number and it dials it automatically so you can call ahead to get hours of operation or find out if they carry something). Mine simply has an option to press a button to have the gps navigate you there

PS. I read tons of reviews and Garmin products were over and over said to have the strongest satellite signals.

Last edited by Indigoblue; 06-06-2007 at 10:04 AM..
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Unread 06-06-2007, 09:37 AM
 
Location: Austin TX
956 posts, read 3,054,990 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewUser View Post
I recommend a good 'ol fashioned map, for $7.95 at any corner gas station.

Seriously. . . I bought a GPS antenna for $60, along with a SW application that I downloaded onto my cell phone. The antenna is about the size of a box of matches and communicates with my cell phone via the Bluetooth connection. I used it for a few weeks before the novelty wore off and I went back to a map.

When my wife and I are together in the car, I read the map and she drives. When we are alone in the car, we figure out where we want to go before leaving, look at the map, and then refer to it every once in a while enroute.
I LOVE reading maps and following maps. I can spend an entire long car trip staring at the atlas calling out the names of small towns and creeks and landmarks we're passing. But I found myself getting lost a LOT, particularly when driving in mazelike downtown areas and in a lot of the area's highway networks that change names and directions in completely illogical ways. It's just not practical for me to get lost with little boys and babies in the car, definitely not safe to look at maps while driving, and lets not forget the price of gas if you do get turned around and have to spend more time on the road That said, if Dell hadn't given me a $500 coupon to entice me to keep my laptop that I was thinking about maybe returning...we would have gone for a much more affordable gps system, or not have one at all
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Unread 06-06-2007, 09:41 AM
 
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We also have a Garmin ... perhaps the StreetPilot c310, although I'm not sure off the top of my head. My husband bought it on-line for a little over $200. It has a color, touch screen (the older ones have b&w screens & use some sort of scroll wheel to chose options). It has lots of search features (we can look for restaurants by the type of food we want, for instance). It also allows us to save "favorite" locations (so that we can just tell the GPS to take us "home" wherever we are). The memory is large enough to hold maps for about 4 states, so it's good enough for us. People who travel more extensively might want more than that.

The differences in price depend on the details. For instance, my GPS will tell us how to turn (Ex: "In .3 miles, turn right.") but it will not say out-loud the name of the street. The detailed instuctions are displayed clearly on the screen so that doesn't bother me, but some people are willing to pay the extra money for that feature. Other features include traffic data, multiple languages and larger memory capacity.


ETA: I agree with IndigoBlue about the maps. I still think that maps hold great purpose & I suggest that everyone get an area atlas just to get a better feel for the lay of the land. But the GPS is also an excellent tool - especially when you're driving alone or don't have a human navigator! As I've gotten more comfortable with the area I've found that I don't need to use my GPS nearly as often, but whenever I'm going someplace new or unfamiliar, it's a lifesaver. It was especially helpful when I was looking for houses. I would find a bunch of houses on-line within the same zip code, write down their addresses, & hit the road with my GPS. It made a huge difference!

Last edited by MrsSteel; 06-06-2007 at 10:14 AM..
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Unread 06-06-2007, 10:04 AM
 
Location: Youngsville, NC
560 posts, read 1,808,188 times
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Garmin nuvi 660
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Unread 06-06-2007, 10:37 AM
 
217 posts, read 542,539 times
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We have a Gamin GPSMap 60csx. Now this is not really what you were asking about since it is a handheld gps. We use it for geocaching..but it does do driving directions (but does not say the directions aloud so you still need another person.) The main thing I can say however is Garmin products are the best. They have great customer service too. I would recommend Garmin all the way...we plan on getting an auto one for our car too.
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Unread 06-06-2007, 11:16 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Indigoblue View Post
That said, if Dell hadn't given me a $500 coupon to entice me to keep my laptop that I was thinking about maybe returning...we would have gone for a much more affordable gps system, or not have one at all
I agree! If someone handed me $500 and said "Go buy a GPS" I'd certainly take the gift and enjoy it, but I can't see myself spending that much money on one if it was coming out of my own pocket. Man! $500 is like. . . . what. . . . over 20 cases of really good beer!
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Unread 06-06-2007, 11:23 AM
 
217 posts, read 542,539 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewUser View Post
I agree! If someone handed me $500 and said "Go buy a GPS" I'd certainly take the gift and enjoy it, but I can't see myself spending that much money on one if it was coming out of my own pocket. Man! $500 is like. . . . what. . . . over 20 cases of really good beer!
forget cases...kegger party!
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