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We review some of the best - and some of the not so best - GPS receivers to help you avoid the bad units and choose the good units.

All reviews are comprehensive and based on extensive hands-on use of the unit being reviewed.

 
 
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GPS Receiver Review Index

Detailed reviews to help you choose the best unit for your needs

GPS receivers come in all shapes and sizes, and at many different price points, from as low as $120 to as high as $1100.

These reviews and related buyers guide tells you what you need to know so you can choose the make and model of GPS receiver that is best suited for your needs and your pocketbook.

Part 3 of our new series on GPS - see links to other articles in the box on the right.

 

 

The old adage - you get what you pay for - is as true with GPS receivers as it is with anything else.

Surprisingly (perhaps) although most GPS receivers use the same receiver chip, and one of two different sources of mapping data, there are wide variations in end user experience, based primarily on how the interface is designed.

Use this series of articles to make a better informed decision about what to expect in a GPS, and use the reviews to choose the model that best meets your needs.


The Reviews

This is a series of GPS reviews we're starting in March 2007.  In time, we hope it will rival our web-leading series of reviews on noise cancelling headphones; please bear with us as we add extra reviews as time and money (for review unit purchases) allows.

Here is a summary list of reviews and comments on what they contain; this will hopefully save you from needing to read through all of them to get to the information you need.

Note that in addition to these product reviews, we have some other very helpful articles about GPS technology in general - an overview/introduction to GPS, a three part Beginner's Guide to GPS, and an article about GPS Data and Location Based Services.

Dash Express

$199 - $299

reviewed Oct 2008

 

A new product from a new company, and offering excellent capabilities and wonderful enhanced services via a built in wireless data connection.  Highly recommended as our current preferred unit.

Garmin Nuvi 660

$860

reviewed June 2007

 

From market leader Garmin, the 4.3" wide screened Nuvi 660 is a fully featured unit with Bluetooth and FM Traffic capabilities, too.

Garmin Nuvi 680

$965

reviewed June 2007

 

Garmin's Nuvi 680 is their current top of the line unit, and upgrades the FM Traffic data service on the Nuvi 660 (reviewed above) with a much better and broader range of data via MSN Direct.  Recommended.

Garmin StreetPilot 7200

$1071

reviewed August 2007

 

The StreetPilot 7200 has a large 7" diagonal screen and very fully featured capabilities, including the ability to solve the 'traveling salesman' puzzle.

On the other hand, the screen is disappointing low resolution, and it lacks Bluetooth connectivity.  Recommended with reservations.

GlobalSat GV-370

$200 or less

reviewed August 2007

 

This unit is similar in size and price to the Via Michelin X-930, but is vastly superior in all respects.

We rate this a 'best buy' for a person looking for a 3.5" screen sized entry level unit.  Recommended.

Hertz NeverLost Portable GPS

$8+/day

reviewed May 2008

 

This is a rebadged Magellan Roadmate 1430.

Useful if you're renting a car internationally, but not such a good idea for rentals in your home country.

Landrover LR3

$n/a

reviewed June 2007

 

Either standard or an option in the 2005 and subsequent year LR3s, this is an excellent unit with a large screen, versatile functionality, and clever extra smarts.  Recommended.

Plenio VXA-3000

$369

reviewed April 2007

 

A huge 7" diagonal screen, but a small price.  This is a good unit - not a great unit, but a good unit, and at the price and considering its features, a good value.

TomTom Go 930

$400

reviewed October 2008

 

An expensive top of the line unit from a respected major manufacturer, but disappointing in almost every respect.

Not recommended.

Trafficgauge Traffic Map

$80

reviewed August 2007

 

Not actually a GPS, but instead a device that displays regional freeway traffic conditions.  Very helpful and more accurate than the traffic data on expensive GPS units.  Recommended.

Via Michelin X-930

$199

reviewed March 2007

 

Small, compact, and cheap; this is the first unit released by Michelin in the US (in Dec 06) but is generally a disappointment in all respects.  Not recommended.

Read more in the GPS articles series

See the links at the top right of the page to visit other articles in our GPS series.

 

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Originally published 30 Mar 2007, last update 02 Jul 2017

You may freely reproduce or distribute this article for noncommercial purposes as long as you give credit to me as original writer.

 
 

GPS Related Articles

About GPS
Beginner's Guide to GPS part 1
Beginner's Guide to GPS part 2
Beginner's Guide to GPS part 3
How to Choose a GPS Navigation Receiver
GPS Receiver Reviews Menu
Enhanced GPS Data services
GPS Based Realtime Gas Prices
Using a GPS internationally
Dash Express review
Garmin Nuvi 660 review
Garmin Nuvi 680 review
Garmin StreetPilot 7200 review
GlobalSat GV-370 review
Hertz NeverLost Portable GPS review
Landrover LR3 built-in GPS review
Plenio VXA-3000 review
TomTom Go 930 GPS review
Trafficgauge Mobile Traffic Map review
Via Michelin X-930 review
 

 


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