GPS Roundup: A New Era

Everyone does a lot of traveling over the holidays, and likely realized that “Over the river and through the wood” aren’t the best directions to Grandmother’s house; however, with the advent of things like Google Maps, obscure directions are becoming less and less necessary. But even with Google Maps, you still have to write down or print out the directions. That is, unless you have a GPS.

2011 will likely be the year that the GPS becomes a fairly standard device to have, whether it’s a dedicated GPS unit, or a Smartphone with GPS built-in. Pretty soon, people will be simply giving you an address, rather than telling you to look for the “House with the green Station Wagon in the driveway.”

So here we have our GPS Roundup; the top GPS units you can find on alaTest.

Top GPS Devices:

Garmin Nuvi 3790T

The Nuvi 3790T is a stylish, feature rich GPS. It has a large, color screen, excellent hands-free voice recognition, and Bluetooth capabilities for phone calls. Built with portability in mind, it’s amazingly thin and has a multi-touch sensitive display for easy zooming in and out. It even includes free real time traffic data.

Garmin Nuvi 1695 NuLink

The Nuvi 1695 is similar to the Nuvi 3790 in that it has most of the same features, such as a large display, Bluetooth, and touch sensitive interface. It doesn’t, however, have the fancy voice recognition. Instead, it makes up for it with Garmin’s NuLink service. Just $5 per month gets you up to date maps and traffic data, as well as instant search capabilities, gas prices, and etc.

Tomtom Go 2505

This is the direct competitor to Garmin’s Nuvi 3790T. The Tomtom Go has Tomtom’s own data link service providing real time traffic data, as well as all of the features of the Nuvi 3790T; however, the Go 2505’s voice recognition isn’t quite as polished as Garmin’s.

Garmin Nuvi 1690

The Nuvi 1690 is a cheaper alternative to the Nuvi 1695. It doesn’t quite perform as well as the more expensive models, but it does include free access to Garmin’s NuLink service (although with the occasional pop-up ad). Even with the ads though, the Nuvi 1690 is easily one of the best buys at its price.

GPS Enabled Smartphones

The line between a dedicated GPS unit and a GPS Enabled Smartphone is becoming quite blurred. While a dedicated GPS unit will be more accurate and reliable than a Smartphone, the multi-functionality and constant data connection of a Smartphone make for a worthy tradeoff. Devices like the iPhone4 have several GPS applications available, and Android devices, such as the Nexus S and Desire HD, make especially good use of Google Maps.

There are, of course, plenty of excellent GPS devices to choose from to best suit your budget and needs. Just browse out GPS Section to find your perfect fit.

Editor in Chief alaTest.com : Arie Struik

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