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View Full Version : Best GPS for the $ ??


DizneyLizzy
07-19-2011, 07:31 PM
About four or five years ago my mom got me a Magellan GPS system from Costco...it was a really good deal in theory but in reality it didn't work nearly as well as my sister's pricier Garmin. This was a long time ago in technology years, and now I'm in the market for a new GPS and wondering if anyone has any insight into the best brand for the $, and the best place to buy one. I've been pricing some at Best Buy, Amazon, and Target but the prices seem all over the map. I don't need anything fancy like bluetooth, traffic updates, etc...just a security blanket for those long road trips in case I get lost.

Thanks!

Muushka
07-19-2011, 07:45 PM
I am in the market also. I had a Garmin Nuvi 265 WT that, I am ashamed to say, I lost (how do you lose a GPS!!!???).

Anywhoo, the model I had took forever to look things in that I typed in by name. I used a friend's 1490 and it was nice and fast, so I am looking for something comparable to that. Also, I want lifetime maps, that would be nice. I would also love an intuitive keyboard, but looks like Nuvi doesn't do that.

Anyone have one that you love? Thanks OP!

tjs198
07-19-2011, 07:50 PM
check slickdeals.net - they had a tomtom today for a very good price. love my tomtom

momof1princess
07-19-2011, 08:52 PM
i've been looking too, and found a garmin nuvi 1300 at walmart.com for $128.00 with lifetime maps. we used a friend's garmin last month for a trip to south alabama, and it took us exactly where we needed to go! we had NO clue how to get where we were going, and DD's BFF and her family were going too-they had no GPS, and spent 1/2 an hour wandering around looking for the address once they got into the town. they passed us before we made it out of our hometown, but we got to the destination 40 minutes before they did. we'd have been lost too, if not for the GPS. that made my DH a believer!

DizneyLizzy
07-19-2011, 08:58 PM
Founds this one on sale at Best Buy...seems to good to be true...any thoughts?? $79 for a Garmin.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Garmin+-+n%26%23252%3Bvi+1250T+GPS/9333054.p?id=1218086485900&skuId=9333054&st=OnlineMidnightSale_GPSAccessories_20110719&cp=1&lp=1

sherry7
07-19-2011, 09:08 PM
Keep in mind that many of the less expensive GPS units don't speak the actual street name. For example, you want it to say "in 100 feet turn right on Main Street", instead of "in 100 feet turn right on Street". I've used one without that feature before, and it was very frustrating.

I bought a new GPS recently, after I broke my old one. I liked the Garmin brand already, so I wanted another one. Lifetime map updates were an important feature to me. I also got one with lifetime traffic updates, but I'm so convinced that is helpful where I live. Maybe it will prove to be valuable on trips. Here is the one I bought: http://www.amazon.com/Garmin-1350LMT-Navigator-Lifetime-Traffic/dp/B003ZX8B0U/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1311127428&sr=1-1

puffkin
07-20-2011, 07:26 AM
We just got the Garmin Nuvi 1350LM. Previously we were just using my iphone but the map feature could get frustrating at times (ok in a pinch, but not for longer trips). I much prefer the dedicated GPS unit. So far it works great, very quick to input and calculate your route. We have been playing with it a lot around home and it recalculates quickly if we go off their suggested route. It speaks road names (my husband likes the Australian voice and some of her pronunciations are funny though :))

I did a lot of research before buying it. This seemed like a great middle of the road unit. I decided on just getting the unit with the lifetime map updates as the traffic updates got pretty poor reviews as being inaccurate and I didn't think it was worth the extra money. I spent $120 on it through Amazon...it was a bundle deal with the weighted dashboard mount and carrying case as well (since we move it between cars and will take it to Disney for our rental).

brymolmom
07-20-2011, 07:46 AM
Keep in mind that many of the less expensive GPS units don't speak the actual street name. For example, you want it to say "in 100 feet turn right on Main Street", instead of "in 100 feet turn right on Street". I've used one without that feature before, and it was very frustrating.

I bought a new GPS recently, after I broke my old one. I liked the Garmin brand already, so I wanted another one. Lifetime map updates were an important feature to me. I also got one with lifetime traffic updates, but I'm so convinced that is helpful where I live. Maybe it will prove to be valuable on trips. Here is the one I bought: http://www.amazon.com/Garmin-1350LMT-Navigator-Lifetime-Traffic/dp/B003ZX8B0U/ref=sr_1_1?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1311127428&sr=1-1

We have a Garmin...sorry don't know model number - but ours does NOT announce the street name and honestly I have no issue with that whatsoever. I think the only time I would want to upgrade to that is if I do a bunch of business traveling by myself.

It says 'Turn right in .5 miles' Then 'Turn Right in 100 feet' and so on...so really you don't need to know the street name and it is telling you to turn well before the street name can be seen anyway. AND if you glance at the display it says clearly ' TURN RIGHT ONTO MAIN STREET' - it just doesn't announce it - so if there is a time when there are two turns right next to each other - you can easily see the name of the one you want.

Anyway - just wanted to offer this 2 cents - I would buy the cheaper one again in a heartbeat - don't really feel the need for the computer voice to announce the name of the street and never had a problem with it.

Muushka
07-20-2011, 08:02 AM
Founds this one on sale at Best Buy...seems to good to be true...any thoughts?? $79 for a Garmin.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/Garmin+-+n%26%23252%3Bvi+1250T+GPS/9333054.p?id=1218086485900&skuId=9333054&st=OnlineMidnightSale_GPSAccessories_20110719&cp=1&lp=1

The screen is small, but other than that, looks pretty good.

katrina1122
07-20-2011, 08:09 AM
Alot of Droid phones (my HTC G2 for example) have free Google Navigation which speaks directions with Street Names while showing the map for free. With TMobile I don't pay extra for the use, I don't know about other providers. It updates itself automatically and is tied to Google Maps which is one of the leaders in GPS maps technology. (I know this because I am a Geographer and do GIS...computer mapping for a living).

If you have a smartphone, or are planning to get one, check them out before buying a gps. It will always be with you, no car swapping, and it may be free.

Hoopfamily
07-20-2011, 08:10 AM
I have an older Garmin that is super easy to use, but my new TomTom have free lifetime traffic and 4 times a year I get free map updates. If you can find a Garmin with those features I would do that if not go TomTom.

Swimalie
07-20-2011, 08:58 AM
I have the Garmin 1490 and love it. Costco has it right now for $179. It is well worth it.

JB2K
07-20-2011, 09:21 AM
I've had a couple of Garmins -- they are well-worth the money (and can be found on the cheap at places like HSN, Target, etc.).

Fire14
07-20-2011, 09:35 AM
e have a garmin dad has a tom tom both like them equally. The one tip towards tom tom is it has diff voices in it already at no extra costs. My garmin only has one and there are day's I'd like to ring it's neck. Yes I can PAY for more but that's not in my budget right now.

Muushka
07-20-2011, 10:18 AM
I have the Garmin 1490 and love it. Costco has it right now for $179. It is well worth it.

That is the one that I want. And Costco just sent me my bonus money.....hmmmmmm......

I believe it is the LMT model too!

Fyrefly
07-20-2011, 10:33 AM
We got a TomTom XL, I think it's called. Nice easy to see screen, and more importantly free traffic and map upgrades. Our last one was an early model Garmin and without map upgrades it was out of date and not so useful in about two years. Then you have to start buying maps for outside of its home region (it only came with eastern US), maps to update for changed roads, etc. So rather than spending $100s more on upgrades for the life of the thing, we just got one with free upgrades.

So look into the reoccurring cost of the thing (map upgrades, subscriptions to traffic services, etc.) before you buy it. Otherwise the reasonably priced one may end up being not so reasonable at all! :goodvibes

Swimalie
07-20-2011, 11:05 AM
That is the one that I want. And Costco just sent me my bonus money.....hmmmmmm......

I believe it is the LMT model too!

Get it! We bought the non-lifetime maps but we do have traffic. Now we wish we had held out for the maps. The picture that the 1490 shows you what lane to be in to exit is great. Living near the Beltway and big highways like I do, it's so worth it.

Someone mentioned that their garmin only had 1 voice. Ours has about 20. Right now a nice Australian woman talks to us :)

AmandaRG
07-20-2011, 12:25 PM
We got a TomTom XL, I think it's called. Nice easy to see screen, and more importantly free traffic and map upgrades. Our last one was an early model Garmin and without map upgrades it was out of date and not so useful in about two years. Then you have to start buying maps for outside of its home region (it only came with eastern US), maps to update for changed roads, etc. So rather than spending $100s more on upgrades for the life of the thing, we just got one with free upgrades.

So look into the reoccurring cost of the thing (map upgrades, subscriptions to traffic services, etc.) before you buy it. Otherwise the reasonably priced one may end up being not so reasonable at all! :goodvibes

We LOVE our Tom!

Map updates is definitely something to consider. We bought ours a year ago and have updated it fairly regularly. It has been used several times and only missed the mark once, but in all fairness it was a new area that they must not have received new info on (still under construction in much of the area).