Car GPS Systems
In recent years the popularity of Car GPS has skyrocketed, and today few, if any, models are sold without the option of a built-in navigational system. Nothing can be more frustrating than driving around in an unfamiliar area searching for a specific destination. Automobile navigation systems eliminate the possibility of drivers losing their way by plotting a course from one destination to another in advance. The majority of models also give audible voice prompts which guide drivers and instantly correct them in the event that they steer off course at any stage.
In-dash systems are sophisticated and well integrated, but unfortunately also highly priced. For those who are unwilling to outlay what it costs to install an in-dash system, portable in-car versions which can be mounted to the windshield or dashboard are a cost effective alternative. Like in-dash systems, most portable in-car models are equipped with large visual screens, extensive memory space and built-in text or voice direction. The majority are also able to plot multiple routes which can be especially handy when one is busy planning a vacation.
There are a number of manufacturers which specialize in the production of mountable car GPS systems. As is the case with other types of GPS systems, Garmin and Magellan once again feature strongly. The Magallan Roadmate has an oversized hard drive which allows for all maps required by the driver to be stored on the unit itself, while the Magellan 750 NAV offers turn-by-turn voice prompting and automatic course correction.
The Garmin Street Pilot units are known for being both user friendly and accurate. Features differ from model to model, so it is advisable to investigate the range fully before making a purchase. The Street Pilot Colormap, for example, features comprehensive and colorful maps, but is lacking audible voice prompts which many drivers view as an essential characteristic.
When it comes to value for money, consumers and experts are in agreement that the TomTom Go portable GPS navigation system comes out tops. The unit features a touch screen, text and voice prompting and has a battery life of approximately 10 hours. All in all it is equipped with all the features of other models at a fraction of the price.