Portable Gps Units


Old 12-09-06, 12:09 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: NE Conus
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Portable Gps Units

Hi folks;
Looking around for a portable GPS unit to give as a present. Unit will have to be able to be used in a urban as well as country enviroment. Have heard that some units do not seem to work well in city enviroments. I have been looking at the Garmin and Tom Tom units and need some input besides the Madison Ave hype. Anyone familiar with these units? Any input/suggestions appreciated.
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Old 12-09-06, 01:56 PM
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Not sure what you mean by "not work well in the city".

The one to choose for dual purpose use would be the larger portable unit like the Magellan Explorist or Garmin 76 series.
My personal preference is with the Garmin 76cs model that has a color screen.
I own a Magellan Meridian that gave me a bit of trouble and because the monochrome screen was so difficult to see in a vehicle, replaced it with the color Garmin.
These units will give you plenty of road info to get where you are going plus they are very weather resistant.

The model you choose will depend on how much you want to spend.
These units come with a basic map already in the unit but you need to buy their software package to get detailed street maps. You will also have to buy a vehicle mount.
Old 12-10-06, 04:44 AM
Join Date: Aug 2005
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My personal preference is Garmin. I love their products and the company as well. The only issue I can imagine "in the city' is if you're in downtown "Big Apple" (or similar) and the skyscrapers block reception of the satellite signals. For your average city, there should be no issues.
Old 12-10-06, 09:03 AM
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I'll 3rd that, go with a Garmin, color is nice, but gets expensive. I had a Garmin V, and it worked great and was easy to see, even in full sun.
Old 12-22-07, 04:06 PM
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The Garmin c530 is on sale at Sears for $199. It's a discontinued model ONLY because the memory won't hold the 2008 mapsource maps for NA and Canada. There is a way to load the NA map to the unit, and the rest to an SD card.

TomTom is geared for the UK market but with USA maps for here. Not as up-to-date as the Garmin maps are.
Old 12-23-07, 12:29 PM
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: isanti, mn
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I bought the Garmin C330 and it's a nice little unit. I need to get the 2008 maps for it though as some of the places I go or need to go aren't on the 2007 version.

Either way, it's great at navigating, particularly if you want to avoid traffic. It switches the screen depending on the time of day ( switches to daylight, and to dusk modes when needed ) which is really nice. The turn by turn navigation on my unit works well, though sometimes if you are just listening to it and not looking at it, you may hear "1.8 miles" instead of "in point 8 miles" because its playing through relatively small speakers. I can't complain though.

I purchased a Tom Tom for my Dad for Xmas though, partially because I do like the fact that the Tom Tom users can slightly modify the maps by marking Detours and when you hook up to the internet, it will update your maps....something I cannot do with my Garmin.
Old 12-23-07, 07:14 PM
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If you just bought the unit, call Garmin and ask for a free upgrade for the maps.

Also, go to www.garmin.com and get the Webupdate program. It will automatically update your unit to the latest firmware, etc. You need the USB cable to do that.

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