June 8, 2008

Father's Day GPS Recommendations - GPS Sales

A lot of people are emailing with requests for what to buy their Dad in their lives, so I thought I would put together a recommendations list. It's not comprehensive, but it will get a lot of folks taken care of. Part of this is to get you the most for your budget; a good value. To be a good value, you need to be able to use the unit and appreciate the features. If Dad can't figure it out; it's not money well spent.

There are a couple of things I recommend spending money on Text to Speech and Widescreen units if you can afford it. Text to Speech will say the road name ahead, and widescreen units allow you to see more of the map and it makes tapping out letters on the keyboard a lot easier.

Entry Level GPS Units - No Text to Speech or Widescreen

Text to Speech - No Widescreen

  • Garmin Nuvi 260 at Amazon - $223 Text to Speech, Maps of North America, solid interface. Same quality routing as Nuvi 200, just adds more maps and text to speech. At this point, I am recommending the Nuvi 260 with its updated interface, and newer design even though the Nuvi 350 is $199 this week; for more see: Compare the Nuvi 260 vs. the Nuvi 350.

  • TomTom ONE 130S - The upgrade to the TomTom ONE 130 that adds Text to Speech - pretty easy.

Widescreen AND Text to Speech

  • Garmin Nuvi 260W - $269 at Amazon; down $80 in the last few weeks; Text to Speech and a dead easy interface.
  • TomTom ONE 330S - Adds Text to Speech in a widescreen model. Now only a few dollars more than the non-text to speech widescreen TomTom ONE 330; a definite bargain.

And a few units for specific needs of features I like......

  • Garmin Nuvi 780 - $529 - Has MSN Direct, which is a service (with a annual fee of about $50) that allows you to get traffic and GAS PRICES feeds through the FM airwaves. Limited coverage to cities, but with Gas prices these days, you can save a bundle with this. I saw a dime or more difference before gas prices got out of control. Read my Full Review on the Garmin Nuvi 780 for more information.
  • Dash GPS - $299 ($100 off the regular price) - Connected to the internet while you drive. The Dash is unique right now that it has the ability to be connected to the internet while you are driving, which allows for a LOT of functionality that allows for better traffic reporting, better search and some features that just can't be accommodated without a data connection. It comes with a monthly fee of about $10-$12, which pays for the data and the cellular connection. Read my First Impressions Review of the Dash Express for More. Finally, the unit is not a flat unit; with all of those electronics in there, it is a larger unit.
  • TomTom GO 730 or GO 930 - these units add a fun feature that would allow Dad to record the kid's voices (or someone else's voice) for turn prompts. It's a lot of fun to get these recordings instead of some computer voice. Launched with the GO 730/920 series, it was one of the under rated features in my mind. See the "Custom Voices" section in my GO 720 Review for more information on this feature.

Most of these have a GPS case of some sort - leather, or hard sided, which can be a nice touch for those dads who need to pack the unit in luggage. There is usually a link right off the main product page at Amazon for a suitable case.

Finally, if you live in MN or CA, you need to have a dash mount for a GPS. All of these units come with an adhesive disk (permanent) that can help mount the GPS. I would recommend friction style mount - there are a couple of options in this post on Friction Mounts.

Read More in: GPS Buying Guides | GPS Rebates and Sales

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Posted by Scott Martin at June 8, 2008 7:29 PM

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