Consumers today can find portable GPS navigation systems of all sizes, quality, and price points. This is good news, of course. More choice is always good. However, it is possible for consumers to get a bit overwhelmed by the sheer number of portable GPS units on the market.
That’s why it’s important to consider the most important features of any portable GPS system and whether they rank as must-haves for you. So next time you’re in the market for a new portable GPS system, consider the features below to help you narrow down your choices:
- Screen size: In general, the more expensive the portable GPS system, the larger its video screen. Of course, larger video screens are important if you’re driving a car. You don’t want to be squinting to find a street only to end up rear-ending the driver in front of you. Some models, most notably those produced by Garmin, boast touch screen sizes of 7 inches. That might be a bit excessive. Screen sizes in the 4-inch range are usually more than adequate for most drivers.
- Text-to-speech capability: Most inexpensive portable GPS systems won’t utter specific street names. If a turn is coming in, they’ll instead say something like, “Right turn in 2 miles.” However, pricier portable GPS systems with text-to-speech capabilities will actually speak real street names. You might hear such a GPS unit say something like, “Left turn at California Avenue in 1 mile.”
- Real-time traffic data: The industry’s top-line portable GPS systems come with an amazing feature: They receive real-time traffic data. They can then warn drivers of upcoming traffic jams, road construction zones, or delay-producing accidents. These systems can then calculate a new route that drives can use to avoid these problems.
- Price: Finally, don’t forget to consider the price. In general, portable GPS systems that boast text-to-speech capability, real-time traffic information, and large screens, cost more. You’ll have to determine for yourself exactly how much you’re willing to pay for these extra features.
Today’s portable GPS units come with price tags to fit almost any budget. But the saying, “You get what you pay for,” is generally true in the GPS industry.
Portable GPS Systems Aren’t Only For Cars
When you think of portable GPS navigation systems, what do you picture? If you’re like most people, you imagine a Garmin, Magellan, or TomTom navigational system attached to the dashboard of a car.
But in reality, portable GPS systems aren’t only for motorists. These days, motorcyclists, bicyclists, hikers, and pedestrians are all relying on portable GPS systems to help them get where they’re going.
Part of the reason for this is the fact that portable GPS systems have gotten less expensive over the years. It’s no longer an expensive luxury for bicyclists to rely on a portable GPS system as he or she rides along an unfamiliar route.
Secondly, many GPS systems are so small that they are easy to tote from place to place. This is especially important for pedestrians, who can’t be expected to lug around heavy GPS systems as they walk their city’s streets.
Many GPS systems are actually designed for either pedestrians or cyclists. These usually come with smaller screens than models designed for use by motorists. For example, some of the smallest screens on portable GPS systems measure no more than 2.1 inches. It’s difficult for a motorist to see this size screen clearly. For a pedestrian, though, it’s no problem.
The best news is that there is a wide range of choices for anyone – driver, cyclist, hiker, or pedestrian – who is interested in purchasing a portable GPS system. Simply take a trip to your local home-electronics store and you’ll find an incredible variety of GPS systems for sale.
If you want to find, even more, run a simple Internet search for “portable GPS systems.” You’ll be amazed when page after page of GPS systems pop up. There are a seemingly infinite number of online retailers selling portable GPS systems of all sizes, quality, and price ranges.
Conclusion on portable GPS navigation system
So whether you’re driving a cross-country trip, riding your bike through the local forest preserve, or taking a long walk, you might consider investing in a portable GPS system. They say the journey is half the fun. But that doesn’t really hold true if you get lost, does it?