When I was first bitten by the GPS bug, I went immediately to the Internet to see what review sites I could find.
There were a few, but I didn’t find them all that helpful.
Most were way too technical for me! Now, please understand, I’m very comfortable with technical devices. I currently teach mathematics and computer programming.
It’s just that it’s hard to decide if a certain model GPS device is the right one just by looking at technical specifications.
The problem is this: for a given price point nearly all GPS devices do almost exactly the same thing.
All of them find where you are and show you this information on a map. Nearly all the screens are either 3.5-inches or 4.3-inches across. Almost all have turn-by-turn voice prompts. And almost all have a slew of meaningless features like world travel alarm clocks.
The differences between devices in a certain price range are more subtle.
So, I’m going to list some features that are important to me.
When I was deciding what GPS to buy, I was very interested in how much space on my windshield the device was going to take up. To complicate things, I have two cars, one fairly small (Honda Civic) and the other medium sized (a Mercury Grand Marquis).
I didn’t want to buy a GPS unit and just return it the next day because I couldn’t see to drive. So, I did a little experiment. I drove around in each car for a day with a piece of cardboard stuck to my windshield about the size of the GPS I was mainly interested in.
That was great because I learned that the area the device would cover in the windshield didn’t affect my line of sight for driving in either car. (More in the Civic than the Mercury, but not enough to count).
The other thing that was important to me was clarity of voice instructions. For that I combed the reviews at Amazon to see what people were saying about various units sound quality while driving top 10 product review.
Just to save you time, I’ve collected the information I’ve gathered in my GPS review site. You can get to it by clicking on the link below.
But I was happy to see that the unit I was most interested in (the Tom Tom One, 3rd edition) had good reviews when it came to noise interference.
Finally, my main area of interest was ease of use. For that I not only read the reviews, but went to a nearby office supply store where they had various models out and played with them. Again, the Tom Tom did what I needed it to do. (I was very impressed with Garmin’s user interface, too.)