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  1. #1

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    Default GPS Recommendations

    Just felt like I never needed one, but after bad experience with online maps, ready to give it a shot.

    Looking for something on the cheaper side, say less than 150.00. Any references
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  2. #2

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    Tiger Direct has many refurbished units for under $100. I've had a few and you can't tell from new.
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  3. #3

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    I've always loved the Garmin Nuvi's interface, and they're pretty cheap too. The other day Newegg had one for like 80 bucks. Served me well driving to and fro and back to Chicago from Southern CA.

    Served me well again when I drove back to Northern CA lol.
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    Any clue how to use the internet? Found it in about 10 sec.

  4. #4

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    Anything from Garmin. Magellan units were just as good but I don't see them much anymore.
    You're just jealous 'cause the voices don't talk to you!

  5. #5

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    excellent... thx for the info

  6. #6

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    Garmin Nuvi has been the best for me. Bought the fiance a magellan a while back and it sucked the big one. Promptly returned it for a Garmin similar to mine and haven't had an issue with either of them.
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  7. #7

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    TomTom is the one for me. right now they have a special on lifetime traffic and map updates. they are very quick to reroute you in case you miss a turn, lots of voice options to choose from along with lots of color maps to choose from..I love mine :)
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  8. #8

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    Tom Tom One. It is cheap (you can find them from 125-150) not huge and works quite well.

    I have had mine for the past 4-5yrs and never take a trip without it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Timothy Smith View Post
    WOW!

    That's like working your way through Katie Perry in order to get to Rosie O'Donnell.

  9. #9

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    I personally use the GPS on my cell phone. I have a Blackberry through Sprint and have been very impressed with the sprint navigation feature. May be worth looking into depending on what phone/service you have.
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  10. #10

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    There are pros/cons for all the big three, but I would stick with one of them. By big three, I mean Garmin, Magellan, or TomTom. I prefer the Garmin (we have a Nuvi 760) but it is often slow to acquire satellites and it sometimes sends us on questionable routes. Map/POI updates are not as good as I had hoped either. I find many of the points (restaurants in particular) are outdated.

    As with any piece of technology, they are a tool to help you, but I would never rely purely on a GPS. I always keep maps and look over the routes before hand so that I have a general idea of where I am going.

  11. #11

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    I too would cast a vote for Garmin....can't beat their forums and support, and most would view the Navteq maps superior to the Tom Tom Tele Atlas.

    My experience has been the maps are always outdated no matter what their date, which is a big problem in fast changing urban areas. I reverted back to Google maps for a restaurant location in Orlando just last night because it wasn't to be found on my 2010 map database....even Google showed it as a vacant lot....but at least it did allow me to navigate to the vacant lot where the restaurant is and opened in Apr 2010.

    I did find in interesting that the requirement for GPS was not mentioned in the initial post, and everyone has assumed (probably correctly) that the GPS is for automobile navigation.

    Garmin makes units for sports & Geo Caching too. I love the motivation the virtual partner gives you with their sports models to "pick up the pace".
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  12. #12

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    I have a Tom Tom, and it works great for me.
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  13. #13

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    I too own a Nuvi. It is very fast in aquiring and the traffic feature really works. The model I purchased came with free traffic updates for life.
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  14. #14

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    Default Personal experience ...

    I own an older Garmin StreetPilot (an expensive high and model at the time), and a newer TomTom with Live Services traffic and IQ Routes technology. I have been using Garmin for several years, and TomTom for about six months. Both have been used for intensive city driving, long distance driving, and remote rural area navigation. There are advantages for either brand, and both have a loyal following in a Mac vs. PC, Windows vs. Linux kind of way:

    1. The Garmin is a far more polished execution that TomTom. They have done their homework and what it does, it does very well IMO.
    2. Garmin traffic is almost useless in Los Angeles. If a traffic situation means you will be diverted off the freeway, the unit cannot find a timely route, and you will be hopelessly late almost every time, possibly even more so that if you had stayed on the freeway with the traffic.
    3. TomTom mostly works just as well as the Garmin, but it has some idiotic quirks (such as very poor pronunciation of obvious names, like Los An-hell-ess ... or maybe that was on purpose, to make a statement of what they thought of the place!). None of these defects will make it a bad purchase, but for seasoned Garmin users, it will be an annoyance.
    4. The TomTom, with traffic services and IQ Routes, is vastly superior to the Garmin in every way possible when it comes to avoiding traffic delays and side street routing. Arrival times are far more accurate when avoiding traffic than Garmin, and the avoidance routes offered are far more pertinent.
    5. I have NOT found any significant difference between Garmin/Navteq accuracy vs. TomTom Tele Atlas accuracy.

    So here is my opinion (you can have it for free, and it's worthless):

    If you need the most effective traffic avoidance, get a TomTom with traffic and IQ Routes. If you don't need traffic avoidance capability, get a Garmin.

    Note: The traffic service I use is subscription based, $10 per month, and includes Live Services (via AT&T) such as fuel prices and Google search. There is a different traffic service available which can be free for the lifetime of the unit, but it is based on different data, similar to what Garmin offers through Navteq. It is possible that TomTom lifetime traffic with IQ Routes technology would be almost as good as Live Services traffic (with a subscription), and it should still be vastly superior to Garmin traffic avoidance (because of IQ Routes).
    Last edited by Kex; 06-18-2010 at 01:58 PM. Reason: I saw a pink piglet at the ballet!
    Alea jacta est!

  15. #15

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    Kex,
    Many of the newer Garmin units have lifetime traffic service included. Any of the models ending in 'T' have this feature. Ours had traffic service for the first 3 months, but I didn't see it as being that useful. I still use the Garmin's 'detour' feature which will calculate a different route if you hit a road closure or bad traffic. I've found it to be pretty accurate with respect to time and route.
    Last edited by billbillw; 06-18-2010 at 02:59 PM.

  16. #16

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    Billbillw: yes, I understand that Garmin do have lifetime traffic too, and good detour options from a software point of view. That's not my issue. The problem is that FM radio based traffic information only includes information for freeways and highways, not side streets. TomTom lifetime traffic offers a similar type of service. Subscription traffic from TomTom, for $10 a month, gives access to Live Services, with not only every single point of interest you can search on Google, but traffic information from other services, including AT&T cell phone data. This information is updated differently, and may be more accurate (or not!).

    However, the issue here is not TomTom traffic information accuracy vs. Garmin. Both have their limits and flaws and neither can ever be 100% dependable. The most important thing seems to be the inclusion of IQ Routes technology, which uses historic data to attempt to estimate travel times on various routes (not just freeways and highways) according to the time of day and day of week of travel. Garmin are working on something similar, AFIK, but are not anywhere nearly as far advanced along this path and it just doesn't seem to be working to the same extent at this point. What this means is that when the Garmin sends you off the freeway or highway because of heavy traffic, you waste time on side streets because of traffic lights, busy streets (at certain times of day especially), all way stops, left turns accross busy junctions, etc. etc. None of these delays are anticipated by the Garmin software calculation of expected time of travel on side streets when a detour is suggested as a better option. This leaves the Garmin completely incapable of calculating accurate estimated travel times in these daily "commute traffic" situations, whereas the TomTom has proven time and time again to be accurate to within just one to three minutes when faced with a major side street detour situation. It also seems to learn new side street routes constantly over time, finding alternate routes that would take years of experience of normal driving to discover for the average driver (in a major city such as downtown Los Angeles).

    We allowed the three month subscription to TomTom Live Services included with the new device to expire for three weeks, but it became very obvious that IQ Routes TOGETHER WITH Live Services traffic was the secret behind the magic. As a result, the Garmin is NEVER used in a traffic situation any more, and is never even turned on in such circumstances (since we know the way by now, without a GPS), but the TomTom is in constant use, every day, at least twice a day. Of course, the wifey stole the TomTom, and I get to keep the Garmin ... but such is the way of things! :D

    Other than traffic, though, both Garmin or TomTom will perform admirably and will certainly suffice for the average user in almost any circumstance IMO, and I wouldn't hesitate an instant to own either, since they both have their strengths and are very compelling navigation aids from my point of view.
    Alea jacta est!

  17. #17

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    Garmin

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kex View Post
    However, the issue here is not TomTom traffic information accuracy vs. Garmin. Both have their limits and flaws and neither can ever be 100% dependable. The most important thing seems to be the inclusion of IQ Routes technology, which uses historic data to attempt to estimate travel times on various routes (not just freeways and highways) according to the time of day and day of week of travel. Garmin are working on something similar, AFIK, but are not anywhere nearly as far advanced along this path and it just doesn't seem to be working to the same extent at this point. What this means is that when the Garmin sends you off the freeway or highway because of heavy traffic, you waste time on side streets because of traffic lights, busy streets (at certain times of day especially), all way stops, left turns accross busy junctions, etc. etc. None of these delays are anticipated by the Garmin software calculation of expected time of travel on side streets when a detour is suggested as a better option. This leaves the Garmin completely incapable of calculating accurate estimated travel times in these daily "commute traffic" situations, whereas the TomTom has proven time and time again to be accurate to within just one to three minutes when faced with a major side street detour situation. It also seems to learn new side street routes constantly over time, finding alternate routes that would take years of experience of normal driving to discover for the average driver (in a major city such as downtown Los Angeles).
    That is a good explanation of the technology differences. I've never really looked closely at TomToms and I had no idea that they were so advanced in that dept.

  19. #19

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    tomtom 340s for $98 at RadioShack this week.

    http://www.radioshack.com/product/in...ductId=3633189

    Great GPS for an excellent price
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  20. #20

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    Default Other Considerations ...

    That same price is available from Amazon.com, with free shipping. There are also Garmin alternatives in the $100 range (although mostly smaller screens or refurbished units). For TomTom shopping:

    - A "Live" enabled unit (there are only a few of these) means Live Services included for three months with your purchase, and $10 per month afterwards (if desired).
    - Units with T have lifetime traffic, but NOT the same as Live Services traffic, included for life (similar to Garmin). This traffic information is free.
    - Units with M have lifetime map updates included. Some units have TM, so both lifetime map updates and traffic (but not Live Services traffic) are included.
    - XL units have a 4.3" screen.
    - XXL units have a 5" screen.

    Similarly, Garmin units followed by W or T will have a (larger) widescreen format, and/or lifetime traffic.

    Be advised, however, that Garmin screens are generally far better than TomTom screens. Our TomTom XL 340S Live has a good screen, but it's still not as good as the much older StreetPilot screen ... and the newest Garmin units are even better than that! Many of the TomTom models may become almost impossible to read when subjected to direct sunlight from certain angles.

    Some things to consider for both Garmin and TomTom are:

    - Bluetooth: if you want to use it as a bluetooth speakerphone. I do NOT recommend this, since there are other, better options, that will not require you to have a GPS navigator installed on your dash every single time you drive to use bluetooth hands free.
    - Junction View: a simulated view of upcoming junctions, like a virtual photo, to help you choose the right lane to be in when in unfamiliar locations (very nice indeed, but not essential).
    - Lane Assist: a graphic indication of the lanes to choose for an upcoming turn, available on many junctions where Junction View is not available. This will not appear as a virtual photo, but will appear as different arrows indicating how many lanes are present, and which ones will take you on the desired route (again, very nice indeed when navigating unfamiliar locations, but not essential).
    - Universal Friction Mounts: allow you to easily locate any unit on your dashboard. This not only makes it much easier to transfer them from one vehicle to another, but it also eliminates the obvious windshield marks for potential thieves that a GPS device may be hidden in the glove compartment. A few states also forbid/restrict windshield mounted devices, so this solves that issue as well.

    Quote Originally Posted by billbillw View Post
    That is a good explanation of the technology differences. I've never really looked closely at TomToms and I had no idea that they were so advanced in that dept.
    It may be more or less successful depending on where it is used (the amount of data available to provide historic data for IQ Routes, or Live Services traffic), but it does seem far more compelling here in Los Angeles than Garmin traffic.
    Last edited by Kex; 06-18-2010 at 10:11 PM. Reason: Aw Dang!
    Alea jacta est!

  21. #21

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    Garmin Nuvi 1370T. It's the new technology so it's fast, thin and has a large screen (4.3"). It has traffic, lane assist and no BT. Sells for around 160$ USD. Also has good suction mount for windshield. Solid unit.

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