Gift guide - GPS

Gift guide - GPS

GPS units are now mainstream, and the prices have never been better - the Tomtom One in particular is an incredible bargain, and it's been on our A-list for a full two years. Around Christmas time, it's relatively easy to find deals that include pouches, external antenna, screen protectors and other accessories: shop around before buying.

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Tomtom One – 4th Gen
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Tomtom One – 4th Gen
AUD
$258
from www.ryda.com.au (includes pouch and screen protector)
Tomtom’s One has been our favourite GPS for a long time, and this month is its second anniversary in the A List. On its fourth revision, the One still leads the pack when it comes to budget GPS. The latest revision is similar to the previous generation, but the design is sleeker and the software has been updated to version 8 which now includes map sharing, giving the One access to map corrections and other data when synced to your PC. Operation of the device is simple and for first-time users it’s very friendly, providing tutorials to guide you through the more complex features. It's highly responsive unlike many other devices on the market. Finding a signal took only 14 seconds from power on, and routes complete in less than 5 seconds. The One is fairly Spartan when it comes to extra features such as media players or photo viewers, and Bluetooth is restricted to the higher end models. Overall, the One is a great unit for the price. If you don’t need the extras, the One will serve you well. read buyer's guide
 
Navigon 2150 Max

Navigon 2150 Max

AUD
$445
from www.ryda.com.au (includes external antenna, carry pouch & screen protector)
The 2150 along with its sibling 2110 are relatively new in Australia, and for a new brand, they’ve done fairly well. The interface – while not quite as friendly as a TomTom – is still welcoming to a first time user and there are some very clever design ideas too, but it could use a bit of polish. Unfortunately, the deal breaker is the responsiveness. Key presses take on average half a second to respond and menus are very slow, so it can be very frustrating to use. The maps themselves are easy to read at a glance and the interface doesn’t obscure them which is a plus. While the 2150 isn’t laden with features, it does come with a few useful extras. The most striking is the full-screen lane assist which guides you into motorway intersections. Bluetooth is also included for hands free connection to your mobile, although we did have a little trouble getting it to work. Ultimately, the responsiveness issue was a large cause of concern, but according to Navigon, a software update which may help should be available by the time you are reading this. As it stands, the 2150 is a little underwhelming when you consider the alternatives available, but the Navigon brand will be one to watch as their products mature.
 
TomTom XL
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TomTom XL
AUD
$349
from www.ryda.com.au
The XL is the Tomtom One’s bigger sibling – with a larger 4.3in screen compared to the One’s 3in. Like the One, the software is now the latest version with the same map sharing and synching capability. In addition, the XL has an itinerary planner, which offers multiple destinations with waypoint planning. As with the One, tutorials walk you through the major components of the XL and the interface is responsive and easy to navigate. The XL located a signal rapidly and completed routes just as quickly as its sibling. We would have liked to see a little more for the additonal $100 you pay over and above the One – a larger screen is nice, but the One is perfectly functional as it is, and the only extra feature is the itinerary planner. Having said that, the functionality is excellent and only the lack of Bluetooth drops our score. The price is not as compelling as the One, but if you want a sense of roominess in your GPS, the extra screen width is nice. read buyer's guide
 
Garmin Oregon 400C

Garmin Oregon 400CS

AUD
$595
from www.ryda.com.au
If in-car navigation isn't your style, the hand-held Oregon is capable of guiding you through Sundays in suburbia. Garmin’s Oregon 400c has a tough 3in touchscreen, topographic maps, 3D map view, BlueChart coastal charts, a barometric altimeter and a compass, so we shouldn’t get lost even if we decide to step off the footpath. What’s more, you can wirelessly share routes with other Oregon users, and find a new way to navigate from the house to the office. It even supports geo-caching so that you can upload your excursions for family and friends.
 

This Feature appeared in the December, 2008 issue of PC & Tech Authority Magazine

See more about:  christmas  |  holiday  |  xmas  |  gift  |  guide  |  gps
 
 

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