GPS units

We are condsidering a gps unit.

what are some to look at?

Garmin has a very reliable and easy to use unit; ours has a 4.25" screem. Panasonic has also come out with a high resolution 5" model. Best Buy is a good place to shop. Make sure you buy one with all the software and maps already in there and no monthly user fee!

Consumer reports had a recent test of various models.

I have a Garmin 276C.

This is actually a marine unit, so it’s waterproof. It’s also small enough and battery powered that I can stuff it in my pocket and take it with me.

I don’t much care for the units with preloaded software because that is all you get is what’s on it. With my 276 Garmin I have a 512 mb card for highways. On it are most all the roads in Ohio, VA, WVA, Kentucky, Tn, NC, SC, Bama, Miss, GA, Fl and some Indiana. I also have topo software for it and on the same card have topo maps for all of Eastern KY, Eastern Tn, some in GA, Some in Fl, some in Alabama, some in NC. When the roads run out in national forests or parks or on strip jobs, the topo maps work pretty well.

I also have another card that I keep maps of all the lakes in Kentucky, TN, Bama, GA, FL, and some others. I’ve got plenty of room to store way points and have over 1000 points in the machine. Some are on land, some on the water. I’ve got everything marked from client’s houses to deer stands, to fishing holes on it.

I’ve had the unit for about 5 years now and every couple of years have bought new software to get updated roads, lakes, etc. The software is on the expensive side, but it’s starting to come down some.

The best place I’ve found to buy GPS products is They have good service and much better than retail prices.



Go to the local bookstore or magazine stand and look for Consumer Reports magazine. This month they tested most if not all brands on the market and have lots of useful data. There are big differences between them.
If you’re looking for a quick answer: the Garmin Nuvi priced at $350 was a best buy.

it depends on how many bells and whistles you want.

a good model (i just bought it last month) is the garmin nuvi 200w. 199 at west marine.

best buy will price match if you bring in the internet page printed with the same model no.

i didnt want all the fancy bluetooth, wireless, and traffic updates, just the map.

you can go up to 600 if you want and get stuff you will probably never figure out.

Another option is to add the Navi feature to your cellphone. The screen is small but it’s always with you. Great if you travel & rent cars a fair amount. It’s $10/month, always updated & works well.

Our Garmin nuvi 200W series has preloaded maps for the US, Canada and Mexico. We can also buy additional detailed maps, if needed. We only use it for driving and it has a convenient suction cup for the windshield.

Some states do not allow windshield mounting, so the Garmin also comes with a dash mounting kit.

Garmin seems to have done a little better on user input. We purchased a Tom Tom based on the CR recommendation, and my wife doesn’t like it as well as my son’s Garmin. She finds it more cumbersome to use than the Garmin.

The Kansas City Cabela’s is selling a Garmin Nuvi 200-series for $139.99 this weekend. Don’t know if other Cabela stores are included in this sale, or not.

I have a Magellan Maestro 4250 that seems to work OK (traffic, voice, bluetooth, etc.), it lists for about $500:

If you already have a laptop computer, you can buy a GPS receiver and road map software from Delorme for $70. When the maps become obsolete, the next version of the software with new maps is $40. The only problem is that each new software version requires better hardware than the last. Eventually, you will be unable to get new maps until you buy a new computer.

As much as I dislike Consumer Reports’ often short sighted view of various products, they have a nice article about GPS units in their June 2008 issue.

I have an older TomTom and love it. The only thing missing is the audio announcement of the upcoming street name.

Different models have slightly different features. Make sure you look at various models from various manufacturers to see what seems to fit your needs. Frankly from what I have seen, they are all very good.

BTW I have found the ability to carry it with me when I am walking around in a unfamiliar city or part of a city very useful. Check out the ability to do that with what you may buy.

I love my Garmin 260W that I picked up a month ago for about $300. If you can live without the wide screen you can can get the 260 for about $225 on right now. Consumer reports liked the 260.

I agree with jayjay47, the cell phone route works great for me.

You can get the 350 from Amazon for that amount…same as the 360, without bluetooth.

We like pour Garmin, and although the graphics are great, we really appreciate the VOICE prompting as to where to turn, etc. Having to look at a screen for every direction is distracting in city traffic.