We are not paid by any manufacturer for reviewing their products. The units we have reviewed were chosen based mostly on their popularity.
The Garmin eTrex is a basic receiver, being the bottom of the eTrex line. The eTrex line also includes the Camo, Summit, Venture, Vista, Vista C, Legend, and Legend C. All 8 eTrex units are in similar cases but vary in color. The eTrex is small and it has only five buttons on the sides of the unit for easy operation and unobstructed view of the screen.
With the eTrex Legend, Garmin has loaded a full basemap of North and South America into one small unit. The Legend is also designed to provide precise GPS positioning using correction data obtained from the Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS). This product will provide position accuracy to less than three meters when receiving WAAS corrections. The eTrex Legend has map support for Garmin's MapSource CDs.
The eTrex Summit is small and it has only five buttons on the sides of the unit for easy operation and unobstructed view of the screen. The eTrex line also includes the basic eTrex, Camo, Venture, Vista, Vista C, Legend, and Legend C. All 8 eTrex units are in similar cases but vary in color. The eTrex Summit has map support for Garmin's MapSource CDs.
The eTrex Vista is small and it has only five buttons on the sides of the unit plus a 'Click Stick' button on the face for easy operation. This unit is packed with features. The eTrex line also includes the basic eTrex, Camo, Venture, Summit, Vista C, Legend, and Legend C. All 8 eTrex units are in similar cases but vary in color. The eTrex Vista has map support for Garmin's MapSource CDs.
The Garmin Geko 101 GPS receiver is one of the least expensive handheld units available. The Geko line of receivers was introduced in the Spring of 2003 and includes the 101, 201, and the 301. The bright-yellow 101 is quite small, but don't let that fool you. This model is still a serious navigation tool.
The Garmin Geko 201 GPS receiver is one of the least expensive handheld units available. The Geko line of receivers was introduced in the Spring of 2003 and includes the 101, 201, and the 301. The lime-green 201 is quite small, but it gives you a lot of bang for the buck.
The GPSMAP 60C is a new all-purpose unit with many new features and sporting a 256-color, highly reflective display. This transreflective TFT technology provides excellent viewing while maximizing battery life (30 hours, typical use). It also makes for easy viewing in almost any lighting condition. Extra features include rapid automatic route calculation, an integrated outdoor calendar, a dedicated geocaching mode, and a bunch of indoor/outdoor GPS games.
For the devoted mariner or serious outdoor enthusiast, the GPSMAP 76S is one to consider. The "S" in the product name stands for "sensors", because the GPSMAP 76S incorporates a GPS receiver, barometric altimeter, and an electronic compass that deliver precise location, elevation, and bearing information. The unit also contains a basemap of North and South America, including major highways, thoroughfares, rivers, lakes, and borders, with plenty of memory (24 MB) for downloading MapSource data.
The iQue 3600® is the first PDA to include integrated GPS technology. The integrated software not only allows you to look up appointments or contacts, but also locates and routes you to them with voice-guidance commands. The Que technology delivers location awareness, electronic mapping, automatic route calculation, turn-by-turn voice guidance, and map data interface to the iQue. Que technology enables you to see where you are, find a street address, know where the next turn is via visual and voice guidance, get back on track when you’ve strayed off course, and navigate efficiently to your desired destination.
Featuring the latest Microsoft® Pocket PC software, Windows Mobile™ 2003 Second Edition, the iQue M5 supports portrait/landscape screen orientation for easy viewing of documents, videos, and web content. The embedded Bluetooth® transceiver allows the user to establish a personal-area network with computer systems and Bluetooth-enabled devices such as mobile phones, other PDAs, and printers. The flip-up antenna is adjustable for best GPS reception. The MapSource City Select CD-ROM includes more than five million points of interest (POIs) in the U.S. and Canada.
The Garmin Quest is a very compact automobile navigation system that can also easily be carried if you're on foot. It has automatic routing with turn-by-turn directions and voice guidance and with 115 MB of storage, there is quite a bit of room for maps.
For in-vehicle use, the StreetPilot 2610 has automatic route capability, voice prompts and a large color display at a reasonable price. The touch screen and remote control allow for easy entering and retrieving information. The 2610 also features a large, easy-to-read screen, built-in maps, and everything needed to download additional map detail and look up points of interest and addresses. Select maps and transfer data directly to the unit through a USB connection and onto a standard CompactFlash® memory card. The 2650 has the same features as the 2610 except it includes dead reckoning capabilities and must be installed by an authorized Garmin installation dealer.
Not only a full-featured automobile navigation system with turn-by-turn voice guidance, the StreetPilot 2730 offers real-time XM NavTraffic, XM WX Weather, and XM Radio capabilities (subscription required). It comes ready to go with no need to download maps from your PC. The StreetPilot 2730 uses the traffic data to automatically calculate and suggest faster alternative routes long before traffic starts backing up (this service requires an XM NavTraffic subscription). Users can send XM and navigation audio to their car stereo. The StreetPilot 2730 also comes equipped with an MP3 and works as an audio book player.
The StreetPilot c340 is a medium-sized navigation solution meant to be simple to use right out of the box. The unit tells you the name of the street, when and in what direction to turn. The optional FM TMC receiver lets you avoid traffic delays by telling the c340 to calculate a new route.
The StreetPilot c340 comes preprogrammed with detailed City Navigator® NT street data of the entire United States, Canada, and Puerto Rico and has almost six million points of interest. It has a 3.5-inch diagonal, TFT display with touchscreen and dual integrated speakers. It also has an internal lithium-ion battery for out-of-car route planning.
The Garmin StreetPilot i3 is a very small, inexpensive automotive GPS that will appeal to the first-time navigation system user. It's about the size of a baseball, perhaps slightly smaller.
The only controls on the i3 are a power button, a click-to-enter scroll wheel, and a “back” button. It provides voice-guided, turn-by-turn directions through its built-in speaker, and the unit easily moves from vehicle to vehicle. It mounts to the windshield or any smooth surface with a suction cup mount or the supplied adhesive mount disc.
Portable color GPS + WAAS navigation system with touch-screen display and voice and visual guidance. Large 20GB internal hard drive, with 10GB allocated to built-in, high detail mapping and 10GB reserved for MP3 music storage to be used with the built-in MP3 player.
The pocket-sized eXplorist 100 recreational GPS receiver is rugged and affordable. The eXplorist 100 features TrueFix technology which takes advantage of 14 parallel channels, supported by WAAS and EGNOS for fast signal acquisition, minimal signal loss and reliable accuracy to within 3 meters. Save up to 3 track log files, 500 points of interest and 20 routes to guide you back to your favorite spots or your starting point.
The eXplorist 210 is the third in its line, improving on the 200 in several ways: It has more available memory (22 MB), USB connectivity, and support for maps. Aslo included is a simple file memory system that makes it easy to download and manage coordinates and other information from the Internet. Advanced features include an area calculator to instantly see the distance and area between any points, and a vertical profile screen to see an elevation graph for the path ahead.
With a high-speed USB data port and unlimited data storage capacity via secure digital (SD) card expandability, you can add detailed street maps, topo or lake maps from optional Magellan MapSend software. eXplorist 500 is lightweight and pocket-sized so you can take it with you everywhere. The Magellan Geocache Manager enables you to download caches directly to your eXplorist 500 and the PC-style file system helps you to easily manage all of your data. It has 8 MB of built-in maps. You can save 5 track log files, 20 routes and 500 points of interest to the 8 MB of additional internal memory, but store as many as you want on optional SD cards.
The Magellan Meridian Color is the top of the Meridian line of GPS receivers. It features the industry's first outdoor-viewable 16 color LCD screen in a handheld GPS. The Meridian Color comes preprogrammed with a 16 MB map including highways, major roads, parks, waterways, airports, cities and more.
The Magellan Meridian Platinum features a 3-axis electronic compass that provides valid readings regardless of how you hold the unit. A built-in barometer gives you advance notice on the weather, and a 16 MB, built-in mapping database shows your position to within 3 meters. The map database includes highways, major roads, parks, waterways, airports, and cities.
The Magellan RoadMate 500 portable auto navigation system has voice prompting, turn-by-turn guidance and touch screen technology. It calculates your route and automatically updates your directions when you decide to take a detour. Easily download the regions you travel in (up to 100 MB file size) to the included memory card, from 4 CD ROMs containing advanced mapping of the entire U.S. and Canada. Freely download and overwrite new maps before traveling to new regions. A comprehensive list of points of interest in your selected area makes it easy to choose your destination quickly. Search by name or category for gas stations, restaurants, hotels, ATMs, sights, amusements and more.
The Magellan SporTrak is the most basic of the SporTrak range of GPS receivers. It supports WAAS technology for accuracy to within 3 meters. It comes loaded with a database of over 11,000 worldwide cities and thousands of points of interest can be loaded from the optional DataSend CD.
The Magellan SporTrak Map features a 2 MB North American mapping database. The database includes interstates, highways, major roads, waterways, city locations, and airports. It has 6 MB free memory for downloading street-level maps and seven large graphic navigation displays. The customizable displays show a map, compass, speedometer, and text readouts of heading, bearing, speed, direction, ETA, and more. Choose from 12 built-in coordinate systems and 76 datums.
The Magellan SporTrak Topo has built-in nationwide (except for 20% of Alaska) topography, major roads, waterways, and more. It comes pre-loaded with just about everything needed to find your way in the backcountry. Hikers, hunters, freshwater fishermen, mountain bikers, and other outdoor adventurers find it very useful when navigating the backcountry of the U. S. (It's available in the U. S. only). It's a medium size and of moderate weight, and appears to be a rugged design. It has 108 MB of built-in, interactive, nationwide topographic maps.
The Navman iCN 630 is a stand-alone in-car navigation system. Somewhat compact, it has 64MB of map memory which can be limiting. It has very good sound and display quality, but was not without a few problems.
The TomTom Go is an all-in-one car navigation system with software, maps, GPS and car mount that works straight out of the box. 3D or 2D views with day and night variations, touch-screen with intuitive interface, and clear spoken instructions in many languages. It is also easy to fit and remove, has 1000s of points of interests, and has a long-life rechargeable battery.
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