November 25, 2005
Sometimes it's hard to navigate the world of GPS receivers and find what the best GPS is, so we thought we'd put together a list of GPS units we like, for you to consider. We took a look at a lot of different types of GPS receivers and broke things down to categories so you'd be able to better target the right GPS for that special someone this holiday season. See our review section for our opinion on a lot of these models.
Entry Level Automotive GPS
Garmin StreetPilot i3 - This is a great little unit that helps get you from here to there. Impressive performance for such a low price. It has a small screen that allows you to clearly see where you are going and where you want to go. It's easy to use, and is tightly designed. It's an impressive unit with a color screen and comes with maps of the US that you download to a flash card. If you can spend a little more, you can buy the Garmin StreetPilot i5which is essentially the StreetPilot i3, that has the entire US and millions of Points of interest pre-loaded.
Mid Tier Automotive GPS
Sorry I can't decide so I thought I would offer two:
TomTom GO 300 - is a great mid-tier car GPS that comes to us from Europe. The design is great, and offers the added feature of connecting through your Bluetooth mobile phone to download traffic and weather updates. This is a unique feature at this price level. It comes with a big SD flash card that you download maps onto - allowing you to carry around the entire US, with a limited set of Points of Interest (POI's). Cost $591 after $50 rebate and FREE SHIPPING form Amazon.
Garmin Streetpilot C330 - is another great mid-tier car GPS that is easy to use with the highly accurate NAVTEQ base maps, the most up-to-date maps of the continental US. It includes a touch screen and millions of points of interest pre-loaded. If you want to upgrade to be traffic ready consider the Garmin StreetPilot C340 , which has the ability to accept the GTM-10 an add-on antenna that receives FM traffic feeds to help you route around traffic before you get there. Cost is $540 with FREE SHIPPING from Amazon. We are currently reviewing the StreetPilot C340, see our preview. I personally LOVE this GPS, and is a great product. If you don't need high end features and huge screens, this is a great buy.
High End Automotive GPS
Magellan RoadMate 760 - A tried and true road warrior that has lots of positive reviews online. It has a lot of features and is very easy to use. This is the model that helps drivers at Hertz - the Neverlost model. Cost is $850 with FREE SHIPPING from Amazon.
Garmin StreetPilot 2720 - a good solid high end automotive GPS that offers loads of features including the ability to add the GTM - 10 antenna to receive FM based traffic feeds. Easy navigation and the ability to route you around traffic. Cost is $760 + $199 (for the FM antenna ) = $959 with FREE SHIPPING from Amazon.
Entry Level Handheld GPS
Garmin eTrex Legend - This is a good entry level monochrome handheld GPS that offers a base map and can accept the optional detailed maps. In our opinion, you should really get a GPS with mapping capability because for an extra $30, you can navigate across a map instead of some white space. Cost is $132 with FREE SHIPPING form Amazon.
Mid-Tier Handheld GPS
Garmin eTrex Vista C - The Vista C adds several key features like an altimeter and an electronic compass. The color screen is bright and because it is a newer generation, the battery life is much longer on the two "AA" batteries. It comes with a base map and can accept detailed maps through its fast USB connection. Cost is $240 with FREE SHIPPING form Amazon.
High End Handheld GPS
Garmin GPSMAP 60CS - The GPSMap 60CS is a bigger handheld that offers a big screen and s full compliment of features that you would expect to see in a high end handheld. It offers a reasonable memory that accepts detailed street or Topo maps. Cost is $360 with FREE SHIPPING at Amazon.
Garmin Forerunner 201 - For the runner in your household there is the Forerunner 201, a wrist mounted GPS trainer that allows you to track your pace, and then download the data onto your PC to see both the route and chart your results; showing you your pace versus altitude, etc. We have been using one for a couple of months and really like it. The Forerunner 201 is $113 with FREE SHIPPING from Amazon.
Funky New Traveling GPS
Need a great new gift for the traveler? The Garmin Nuvi is a great device and is potentially the hottest GPS for the this season that can help you navigate in the car, as well as offer translation of words into different languages and a currency converter. Bored? It can also play MP3's and audio books. Cost is $899 with FREE SHIPPING at Amazon.
November 25, 2005
It appears that Garmin will be introducing more product upgrades in the near future that will include the SiRFstarIII chipset, known for its accuracy and low power draw. The big news here is also that Garmin is FINALLY, yes FINALLY going to removable media for added space. They are moving to the very diminutive Trans-Flash (Also known as Micro SD) chips that are not much bigger than your fingertip. I have seen them in sizes up to 512 MB around the web. It's about time.
Continue reading: "More Garmin Upgrades: Vista Cx, Legend Cx, GPSMap 60CSx and 76 CSx"
November 24, 2005
Garmin has been very successful with their Forerunner 201 and Forerunner 301 units, and they look like they are upgrading the line with the latest technology. Apparently the upgraded products will be announced at the CES 2006. The CES Website says, "The Forerunner 305 continuously monitors your heart rate, speed, distance, pace and calories burned so you can train smarter, more effectively." The CES Is January 5-8, 2006 in Vegas.
Continue reading: "New Garmin Forerunner 205 and Forerunner 305 leaked"
These were officially announced on January 3rd. See the Announcement
November 24, 2005
November 22, 2005
Quite possibly the coolest use of GPS technology has come along, and I thought I had to pass this on. So yea, we wade through the dozens of uses for a GPS, mostly centered around tracking sex offenders via GPS, but this one has some pretty cool features that appeal to the techno-freak in me.
Continue reading: "Slope Tracker keeps track of your ski day via GPS"
Looking for the $50 TomTom Rebate for 2006?
TomTom has released a new promotion for the upcoming holiday season with the purchase of any TomTom GO 300/700:
$50 Mail in Rebate and Free TomTom PLUS Traffic updates until 12/31/06
Available at lots retailers, including Best Buy, Circuit City, Comp USA, Fryâ€™s, Micro Center, Sharper Image and Tweeter.
Also available at Amazon - TomTom GO 300 and TomTom GO 700, where there is an additional $50 rebate through the end of November on the TomTom GO 700 (Total $100 off the TomTom GO 700).
Related reading: GPS Review of the TomTom GO 300 from GPS Lodge.
The TomTom ONE was released in the UK today just in time for the holiday season. The TomTom ONE has hit the continent, but TomTom has not announced any plans for a US roll out. The unit is squarely targeted at the entry level automotive GPS segment, with a price lower than the TomTom GO 300. The new TomTom ONE has the now widely used SiRFStar III chipset which is well known for its accuracy and low power draw.
Continue reading: "TomTom ONE released in the UK"
November 19, 2005
We've been sifting around all of the sites for simply the best we could find. With the holiday week coming up here in the US, we're pretty sure you'll need some ideas not just for conversation but also for the gift giving season. Check out some of these other sites and amaze your relatives with a vast array of coffee knowledge, gps insight, cooking grace, wine snobbery, and of course TV chit chat.
GPS Lodge.com: Fine Drive announces the Finedrive 400 and Finedrive 500 - "Hey Fool" you need Mr. T on your GPS - Route 66 Announces the Mobile 7 GPS Package for Mobile Phones - Garmin Fishfinder 340C, 160C, 140 and the 90; Announced
Single Serve Coffee.com: simplehuman Single Cup Pod Brewer $129.99 at Amazon.com - Review: Senseo Forbidden Fruit Raving Reds Coffee Pods - Review: Green Mountain Fair Trade Gingerbread K-Cups from Single Serve Coffee.com - New Melitta One:One Microwaveable Coffee Pod Mug Brewer - New Mr. Coffee® Home Café Single Serve Coffee Maker
Just The Chips.com: The Rise and Fall of Stuey "The Kid" Ungar, The World's Greatest Poker Player - World Poker Tour TV Handheld - XBOX World Championship Poker 2
Kitchen Contraptions.com: Modular Kitchens from Henrybuilt - Panik-Design Oven Gloves - Smell-Away Electric Griller - Thermal Brew Coffee Maker - Digital Dinner Plates
Shaving Stuff.comWhat Would I Look Like If I Shaved My Head? - 20% Off at Sephora - No Minimum - The Conair Chrome Hot Lather Machine - High-End Handles from The Art of Shaving - Get to Know Your T-Zone
TV Snob.com: What's Next? CSI: Las Cruces - Nielsen Media Research Top 10- Broadcast Primetime- Week of Nov. 7-Nov. 13, 2005 - "My Name is Earl" Lives! - I'll Take that Plasma TV on the Wall and a Side of Fries - I Paid My Freakin' Cable Bill, Leave Me the #%^Alone!
Shirt Snob.com: Tokyo Pop Embroidered Shirt by 3J Workshop - The Short Sleeve Belted Sweater - The Beaded Butterfly Top by LaROK - Cap Sleeve Sun Top by Lotta Stensson
Liquor Snob.com: Shotgun Party Beer Opener 2.0 Review - Reason #312 to Drink Liquor Straight - Jello Shots Today...Pudding Shots Tomorrow - Reyka Vodka: Tastes Like Iceland - Not To Sound Like Your Mom...
November 18, 2005
We are happy to have yet another automotive GPS for review here at the GPS Lodge. We have been cycling through a few, and this time we get to drive around with the Garmin StreetPilot C340 for a couple of weeks. The StreetPilot C340 is in the upper part of the mid-tier for the automotive segment. The Garmin C-series adds some features above and beyond the lower end i-series that we recently reviewed (see Garmin StreetPilot i3 Review). The StreetPilot C340 most notably adds a larger touchscreen, and the ability to use the GTM-10 antenna to receive FM based traffic feeds.
Check out our Garmin Streetpilot C340 Review.
Shopping for a Gift? See our Holiday Shopping Guide featuring the Garmin C340 GPS!
Continue reading: "Garmin StreetPilot C340 Arrives for Review at GPS Lodge"
Finedrive 400 is a portable GPS navigation system that comes with the latest NAVTEQ mapping data for 48 contiguous United States plus Canada pre-loaded. Finedrive 400 features a bright and vibrant 4" diagonal TFT color touchscreen interface, with automatic route calculation to any destination and turn-by turn voice-prompted directions.
Update: Click HERE for a review on the FineDrive 400
Thinking of buying this unit? Check out the reader comments below!
How are you doing? Check out our Holiday GPS Shopping Guide for some guidance on what GPS is right for you.
The Finedrive 400 and 500 build on the success of the Finedrive 300 that was announced earlier this year. The Finedrive 300 is a solid mid-tier GPS with a nice screen and turn by turn directions.
Continue reading: "Fine Drive announces the Finedrive 400 and Finedrive 500"
Navtones has announced that you will be able to download new voices for your GPS guidance system; much like TomTom has done with John Cleese and their TomTom Go line (read TomTom GO 300 review from GPS Lodge). If you want your directions to be delivered with attitude, why not have Mr. T show you the way? Wanderlust Media is a little vague on which GPS systems support the custom voices, and potential customers are asked to help out by "clicking your navigation manufacturer and sending them a quick note as to why your system deserves special attention." Huh? So I guess they are just dipping their toe in the water after they signed up the talent? Anyway, you are promised Mr. T, Dennis Hopper, and Burt Reynolds.
November 17, 2005
Hey so TomTom has posted an update for their older model the TomTom GO automotive GPS. This updates does several things for the user:
Other improvements/fixes in v5.420 are:
* Traffic trial easier to set-up.
* TomTom Traffic is automatically enabled after set-up.
* Compatible with more mobile phones.
* CDMA is now also supported for connecting to TomTom PLUS (for US Networks).
* Streets with the same name in towns that are close together are not confused in this version.
* The quality of the sound has been optimized when using hands-free calling (GO 500 for Europe and 700).
* Entries in the on your mobile phone are now transferred to the device, no matter where they are stored.
ROUTE 66 announced the launch of ROUTE 66 Mobile 7 that determines its position using an advanced high sensitive wireless GPS receiver, guiding the user with turn-by-turn voice instructions and on-screen directions to its destination. A new navigation display has been developed providing users with all vital travel information on a single clear screen of their mobile phone including 3D map display, turn arrows and navigation guidance, as well as the ability to dial points of interest directly from the map.
In addition, ROUTE 66 Mobile 7 features the latest maps, driving directions enhanced with upcoming exit signs and continued guidance when GPS reception is temporarily lost for example in tunnels through ROUTE 66's new Extrapolated GPS (E-GPS) technology.
Continue reading: "Route 66 Announces the Mobile 7 GPS Package for Mobile Phones"
November 16, 2005
The folks at TomTom have laid out how to change the splash screen on the TomTom GO 300 and TomTom GO 700 so you can check out your own picture on start up and shut down. This involved swapping out the splash.bmp file in the GPS unit. I saw this file and toyed with the very same idea when I was writing a review on the TomTom GO 300 here at the GPS Lodge (read the review), but thought that I'd better not as it was a loaner unit and I didn't want to sent it back with a picture us here at the GPS Lodge on the thing!
ReadMore at Club TomTom
Magellan has released a new mapping solution for saltwater and major navigable inland waterways, for use the Magellan eXplorist 400, 500, 600 and XL, as well as the Magellan Meridian series. Magellan MapSend BlueNav XL3 delivers advanced marine cartography for GPS handhelds including information on tides, currents, depth contours, navaids, port services and more.
“MapSend Blue Nav XL3 provides a wealth of useful map information to enhance marine navigation for everyone from kayakers to yachtsmen and especially small boaters,” said John Parrott, Product Manager for Magellan content and mapping. “The extensive navigation aids help you explore new waters more confidently, and find your way more easily from a dock to a specific place you want to fish or dive. The software shows where to find moorings, supplies, and services, and helps mariners avoid shipping lanes, restricted areas and obstructions such as shoals, wrecks and other structures. It’s a huge benefit.”
Continue reading: "Magellan MapSend BlueNav XL3 North America"
Garmin announced its new lineup of 2006 fishfinders, packed with features that will excite both the weekend inland angler and the serious offshore salt water fisherman.
"Garmin's new line of sonar devices offer a great combination of features that will satisfy just about any boater"s requirements," said Gary Kelley, Garmin's vice president of marketing. "These units offer the same value, reliability, and innovation that boaters have come to know from Garmin."
Continue reading: "Garmin Fishfinder 340C, 160C, 140 and the 90; Announced"
November 15, 2005
Transplant GPS is launching their EMTAC Bluetooth GPS with a new chip set to improve accuracy; working with up to 20 satellites simultaneously and updating every second, before forwarding the data to your handheld or laptop over Bluetooth. Pretty good as most GPS's use 12 channels now. This should improve reception.
Continue reading: "New EMTAC S3 Bluetooth GPS Module"
November 10, 2005
November 9, 2005
The Cobra NavOne 4500 car GPS arrived for review at the GPS Lodge, and wow is this BIG. It is strikingly huge with its bright 5" screen and is heavy look and feel. The design is somewhat retro with its chrome trim and its sharper defined edges. Kindof cool. I took it for a few tours around town briefly and the featureset is very big also; I feel pampered with the self dimming screen, the voice navigation that warns me with plenty of notice, and then gives a visual countdown to the turn with a little bar chart over on the side of the screen (with so much screen real estate you can afford to do this).
Continue reading: "Cobra NavOne 4500 GPS arrives for Review at the GPS Lodge"
Inrix is taking another big step forward to bring predictive traffic information to a GPS near you with an agreement they inked with ClearChannel, provider of FM based traffic data feeds. This is good news, as both Cobra and Garmin use Clear Channel's data feeds with their higher end units. So instead of seeing that it's raining out and then getting in a traffic jam, with Inrix's predictive technology, the traffic feed looks back at other days that it rained, and figures out that traffic slows way down on specific roads. It then predicts those slow downs and I would assume, feed it to my Car GPS to tell me that there will be a slow down on a certain road. Very cool, very big potential.
See our related article on Inrix working with Tele Atlas, as well as more background on Inrix.
Continue reading: "Inrix Predictive Traffic Teams up with ClearChannel"
See our Preview of the Cobra NavOne 4500 GPS with Traffic Feeds.
November 7, 2005
The Lowrance iWay 350c gets the "Best New Mobile Electronics Entertainment Product for 2006" during SEMA show.
Lowrance today announced that its new, compact, cordless iWay 350c multimedia Automotive GPS Color Portable Automotive GPS won the "Best New Mobile Electronics Entertainment Product for 2006" at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) 2005 Show in Las Vegas, Nevada. The SEMA show, where Lowrance introduced the new iWay 350c, is the premier automotive specialty performance products trade event in the world featuring performance, accessories, restoration and motorsports products. (See our article on the Lowrance iWay 350)
Continue reading: "Lowrance iWay 350c Gets Award at SEMA"
November 6, 2005
Another great review of the Garmin StreetPilot 2720 has surfaced, raising it up as one of the better GPS units out there to consider for the holiday season. The StreetPilot 2720 is a higher end unit that incorporates a sleek touchscreen with advanced GPS features bundled with the optional traffic feed system for a well rounded feature set. The Garmin interface is a pretty well accomplished system, that can be found throughout the Garmin StreetPilot line from the i-series (See our Review) to up through the C-Series and into the successful 2600 and 2700 series.
Continue reading: "Another great review for the Garmin StreetPilot 2720 GPS"
November 5, 2005
Stellus Systems has launched an SDIO GPS that is compatible with the Dell Axim handhelds. StarNet is a GPS accessory that puts navigation and find-and-locate capabilities for home or business addresses, ATMs, restaurants and recreational activities (such as golf, boating and hiking), at your fingertips - a map-in-your-hand that helps you get where you're going. The Pocket PC handheld market is expanding its market share, and with the growing use of Handhelds, Stellus' StarNet SD GPS receiver is poised to enable additional functionality and services.
Continue reading: "New StarNet SDIO GPS for Dell Axims"
November 4, 2005
Mobile Crossing today announced significant upgrades to its WayPoint 100 and WayPoint 200 navigation systems including national maps and numerous new software features, improved user interface, increased performance and upgraded safety features.
Recall, the Waypoint 100 and the Waypoint 200 are Windows Pocket PC based PDA handhelds that offer a CF GPS receiver (WayPoint 100), or an integrated SiRF receiver (Waypoint 200). The Waypoint 200 also comes with integrated Bluetooth that allows for downloading traffic and weather (year one service is free). (See our related article on the Waypoint 200 Release)
Continue reading: "Mobile Crossing upgrades the Waypoint 100 and 200 PDA's"
We have been using the Garmin StreetPilot i3 for this review over the last couple of weeks here at the GPS Lodge, and it has worked very well, never letting us down for getting us from here to there. The StreetPilot i3 is a compact entry level car GPS that is a trusted rock solid performer on the road, with a nice set of features that can be bought for not a lot of money. If that someone special is a gadget hound, it would really make a nice addition to their wish list. Keep in mind that this is a basic car GPS, designed to get you from here to there, and as a result, is lean on the advanced features that come in units that can cost a lot more. (See our Preview Article preparing for this GPS Review on the StreetPilot i3)
Continue reading: "Review: Garmin StreetPilot i3 GPS Review from GPS Lodge"
November 2, 2005
Lowrance is moving into the lower end of car GPS units with the Lowrance iWay 350C. It's a feature packed GPS unit that extends the GPS unit with some great extras like photo viewing, MP3 playback, and FM modulation for facilitating the MP3 playback. All of this fits in a tight bundle of GPS features that makes the Lowrance iWay 350 an appealing product in an ever crowded lower tier of the automotive GPS segment.
See our Review of the Lowrance iWay 350c: GPS Review: Lowrance iWay 350c Review by GPS Lodge
Continue reading: "Lowrance iWay 350C"
November 1, 2005
Pioneer Electronics announced today its most advanced in-car navigation system, the AVIC-Z1, a robust all-in-one navigation system that utilizes a 30-gigabyte hard drive to deliver information, entertainment and convenience to driving commuters. The highly intelligent system features smart routing, enhanced text-to-speech voice guidance, sophisticated voice recognition, traffic information and Bluetooth capability making it the most dynamic route guidance system in the market. Whew! That's a lot of stuff in one unit. One of the coolest features is that it actually learns what routes you like to drive and starts using them in your normal routing.
Continue reading: "Pioneer AVIC-Z1 GPS Unit"
Pharos has launched the Traveler 505, an easy to use all-in-one device that has a wide screen for a handheld, voice prompting and pre-loaded Points of Interest. Take it with you or take it on the road, the Pharos Traveler 505 comes equipped with the SiRF Star III receiver chipset, known for high accuracy and low power consumption.
Continue reading: "Pharos Launches the Traveler GPS 505"