When portable GPS systems first hit the market, they were quite costly. It was rare to find one that didn’t cost at least $300. Today, though, it’s not that difficult to find several quality GPS systems for under $500.
The question, though, is this: Should you go with an inexpensive GPS system? Or should you invest more in a higher-quality system?
Of course, only you can answer this question, and it requires taking a close look at your own driving habits.
There are several significant differences between expensive and inexpensive GPS systems. For instance, costlier systems boast text-to-speech technology. This means that they will announce important street names as you approach them. If you need to make a turn at Western Avenue, costlier GPS units with text-to-speech capabilities will speak the phrase, “Left turn at Western Avenue in 1 mile.”
Cheaper portable GPS navigation systems don’t have this capability. Instead, they will say something like, “Left turn coming up in 1 mile.” Do you want to pay more for text-to-speech technology? That is a call only you can make.
Costlier GPS units generally feature larger video screens, too. For instance, the Garmin StreetPilot 7200 series boasts an impressive 7-inch screen. The smallest GPS screen sizes are a tiny 2.1 inches. Of course, most screen sizes fall somewhere in between, but, in general, you’ll pay more for larger screen size. Again, you’ll have to decide how large of a screen you want, and how much you’re willing to pay for it.
Cheaper portable GPS systems also require you to load your own maps either directly into them on onto a memory card that you then insert into your unit. This can be a bit of a hassle. More expensive GPS units, though, come pre-loaded with their own maps. This way, you can simply type in the address you are looking for and directions will pop up. Again, you’ll have to decide whether the inconvenience of downloading maps yourself outweighs the money you’ll save by buying a less expensive GPS unit.
If you truly want an affordable GPS unit that comes with the features of a high-end unit, you can always explore buying a used system. These systems often retail at bargain prices. If you’re lucky, they may even come with features such as text-to-speech at reasonable prices.
Is A Portable GPS System For You?
Are you always getting lost when you drive to a new city? Do you routinely arrive at events 30 minutes late because you made a wrong turn or two? If so, you might be the ideal candidate for a portable GPS system.
Portable GPS systems have taken off in popularity during the last few years. These handy little devices, which attach to your car’s dashboard, electronically provide step-by-step directions to your destination. You simply have to enter the address to which you are heading, and the portable GPS system will get you there.
Even better, if you miss a turn, the GPS system will recalculate your route to get you back on track quickly and easily. Advanced portable GPS systems will even help you evade construction areas or traffic jams. With a portable GPS system, then, there’s no reason to be late again.
Of course, while using a portable GPS system is easy, shopping for one can be a bit of a chore. That’s because there are so many models on the market today. And this technology hasn’t yet gotten to the point where GPS systems are cheap. No matter what model you purchase, you can expect to pay at least $100.
That’s why it’s important to find the right model for you. The key to doing this is to look at your own driving habits.
Do you navigate your own city just fine, but struggle to find hotels, movie theaters, and restaurants when you’re in a new metropolitan area on business or vacation? You may be able to get by with a more basic model, perhaps even a refurbished GPS system that you can find for just over $100.
However, if you plan to use your portable GPS system for everyday use, you may want to purchase a more powerful, advanced model. These will cost you more money but might be more likely to prevent you from getting lost.
Start your search for a portable GPS unit at your local electronics store. You’ll no doubt find several models from which to choose. You can also search for these devices online. Several online retailers, in fact, can sell you refurbished GPS units for affordable prices.
Finding Inexpensive Portable GPS systems
If you tried to purchase a portable GPS system even two years ago, you would have struggled to find a quality option for under $600. Today, though, it’s easier than ever to find inexpensive portable GPS systems.
Most forms of technology tend to become less expensive the longer they are on the market. Look at how prices have fallen on personal computers. It’s no surprise, then, that the same thing has happened with portable GPS systems.
This is good news for consumers. After all, portable GPS navigation systems make for great gifts. They are also incredibly handy tools that can help anyone navigate even the most confusing city streets.
If you’re on a budget, though, you don’t want to overspend on a GPS system, no matter how useful it is. Depending on how often you plan on using your GPS, and what features you want, you don’t have to spend much more than $100 on your new system.
Portable GPS systems For Your Different Uses
Higher-end GPS systems include spoken-voice directions, which announce the names of streets as you approach them. Lower-end models will tell you when to turn, but they won’t speak the exact names of streets or interchanges. More costly GPS systems also come with larger screens and extra features.
However, it’s fairly easy these days to find a perfectly acceptable GPS system that doesn’t cost a fortune. You don’t have to spend nearly $500 to find a portable GPS system that helps you get where you’re going.
You might find a bargain-priced system if you’re willing to purchase a used portable GPS system. Like most forms of technology, GPS technology is constantly improving. This means that many GPS users are frequently updating their older models and trading up for more expensive, feature-laden models.
This is good for consumers because it means that there are plenty of used, refurbished GPS navigational devices waiting to be purchased at lower prices. Do some research on the Internet. If you look hard enough, you might find a portable GPS system for under $100.
The days of having to spend a fortune for computerized directions are over. Today’s savvy consumers shouldn’t have to look too hard to find an inexpensive portable GPS system.