Tell me why I should use your brand of GPS system.

Why? Because I asked.

Oh, why did I ask? Because I’m about to buy one?

Oh, why am I just now buying one? Because I’m a Luddite. I’m thinking of upgrading from a 14.4 modem next.

Oh, why did I type “GPS system” when the s in GPS stands for system? Obviously, because I’m stupid. :wink:

Whichever one you get, I recommend the super lane assist/lane guidance feature. It really makes it clear which lane you need to be in at complicated interchanges. And get lifetime maps, as it costs a small fortune to update the maps if you don’t buy it up front.

When I got mine, I tried out three different successive brands at Costco until I figured out what I liked and didn’t like. It’s really personal preference. Most people really love their Garmins, but I didn’t. I prefer TomTom and Magellan, but Tomtom has its quirks. One very annoying feature, and I don’t know if others have it as well, is that say you enter “John Doe”'s address. Then it asks for you to give it a name, so rather than have 12345 Garden Highway, Miami, FL displayed, you name it John Doe. But once you turn onto Garden Highway and get near his place, you need to know what the street address is as the GPS only approximates the address, but all the display shows is “John Doe”, so you have to go back into the settings to see the actual address again.

Tomtom - Has an annoying way of entering addresses - first the city, then the street name, then the street address. I’d rather enter it the way I say it, street address before street name.

Garmin - Everytime you deviate from your route, the thing says “recalculating” with exasperated undertones until you want to throw it out the window. The model I had was fairly worthless in that if I knew of a particular road or obstruction I wanted to avoid, I couldn’t tell it that. I could only choose a general “find alternate route” which usually still included the part I needed to avoid. The Tomtom lets me avoid any particular spot or area on the route. So did the Magellan. Try your model out to see if it lets you do this.

Magellan - Had a really intuitive menu with fast access to your favorite favorites. I got it as a bargain basement GPS for my daughter, but I ended up preferring it because of its lack of annoyances.

First question - do you need a dedicated GPS, or will a phone based solution do?
Phone solutions are data intensive…which matters to some people.

Second question - do you want added features such as traffic information?

Third question - how much will you pay each of us for answering?

My personal recommendation is “buy a smartphone - comes with”.

Ditto. I don’t use a GPS very often, and the one I got as a present was never in my car when I wanted it. My Droid one is always there, is always up to date, has Google streetview, and can be used walking in strange cities also. And it costs nothing extra.

As I pointed out above…smartphone is a good solution for some. But if you have an expensive data plan…it doesn’t work well.

For instance - I travel to Canada quite a bit. The data roaming gets very expensive.
Alternatively, I could take a GPS that has Canadian maps available. No added cost.
Of course, in my case, work tends to give me a Rogers SIM card, so it’s not much of an issue…but no everyone gets that.

Skald, are you paying for each answer we post, or just once per person?


I travel a lot.
Have owned 8 or 10.
None of them are horrible.
I don’t pay for traffic because it doesn’t help me.
I don’t pay for lifetime maps because I’d rather get a new GPS.

This is the one I have now. (Gamin 1490T)

I like Garmins over TomToms.
I’m too cheap to buy new if I can find refurbished.
Don’t spend over $150.
The 5" screens are nice.

What do you mean by GPS?

Is this to help you drive? Or walk around cities? Or hike through the woods?

When I hear “GPS” I assume something like this.

If you mean something like this(for the car) then that’s usually a Sat Nav.

Smartphones are great but I’d be reluctant to rely on them if you’re hiking - better to get a rugged standalone unit.

Hit up the deal sites, i.e. One Sale A Day or Woot or any of the others and at least once a month they’ll have a GPS unit on sale for less than $50. I got my Magellan for $30 and while it’s small it does the trick just fine. Get a really cheap one so that you can see what you like and don’t like about them and then if you feel you need another one go ahead and buy a nicer unit for more money.

We started off with a TomTom and loved it. The menus were easy enough to navigate. It crapped out when I was backing up the card and it required a new update on the computer and it wiped the backup and the card.

We tried a Magellan and took it back the next day. I don’t recall the reason for our distaste, but agreed that it wasn’t nice.

We’ve got a Garmin now and it is passable. I think the menu navigation is a pain to get through and the keyboard won’t switch to QWERTY so I am hunting down the letters. It’s nice that it tracks our recent journeys. I changed the voice to British female to get away from the ‘:rolleyes:recalculating’ tone.

If we had extra money on available and someone to pass the Garmin on to, we’d be getting a TomTom again. You can customize it with updates from their website, and even record your own instructions.