Q: 1. Is there any in-car GPS that allows me to review the route from start to finish without driving, once I input destination address in the device? If yes, which portable navigation device (PND) lets me review the route before actually driving? - Wize Chap via e-mail
A: Dear Wize Chap, turns out you have a lot of choices. Most in-car GPS offers route simulation or fly-over simulation (the name varies by manufacturer) that provides a running demo of your route from a bird's-eye view. It's useful in that it gives you an overall idea of what … Read more
This week, not one but two reader questions. Woo--getting crazy up in here. I kid, but hopefully, you're finding these posts helpful, and if you've got a question about your own, feel free to hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org. That said, on with the show.
Q: Starting to look at GPS navigation devices, and don't know much about them. One of the vehicles that I may be using it in, does not have cigarette lighter. Since I have seen handlebar mounts for bicycles, I am wondering if these units are like cell phones and … Read more
Q: I will be going to Italy next month, and I am being told that the Budget Rental Car does not have a GPS option. I am very nervous about not having help on the Italian roads. Can you recommend the right mapping system for Italy? Does the Magellan Maestro 4040 work in Italy? Any help would be appreciated. I only have a very limited budget to purchase a device, and don't need anything fancy. --Michael, via e-mail
A: Hi Michael. Driving in a completely new territory, especially in a foreign country, can definitely be nerve-wracking so I think … Read more
With all the iPhone hysteria, I missed last week's Q&A--shame on me. Fortunately, the dust has mostly settled, so I'm getting back on track. And believe it or not, this week's question isn't about the iPhone 3G and its GPS capabilities--mostly because I haven't had the opportunity to try it out yet--but I could also use the iBreak. So let's get on with it, shall we?
Q: I need a unit that I can plug 10 to 15 addresses into and it will map out a route hitting all the addresses in … Read more
Paper maps are cheap and obviously prices for in-car GPS will never match their low cost. However, the cost for portable navigation systems is dropping considerably and nowadays, you can get your hands on one for $250 or less. Granted, you're only getting the most basic systems at this price but consider that for the money, you're also getting the convenience of having all your maps in one place, visual and voice-guided directions so you're not fiddling with paper while driving; and access to a large database of points of interest. It's a worthy investment if … Read more
At first glance, the Magellan RoadMate 1200 looks to be a good entry-level in-car GPS. It has a compact, no-fuss design that's perfect for first-time buyers, and you get the most essential navigation features for an affordable $199.99. Sounds good, right? Not so fast, once on the road the RoadMate 1200 tells a different story. It's sluggish to perform tasks, such as route recalculation, and lacks some of the functionality that similarly priced systems offer. That said, if you're in the market for a basic portable navigation system, we'd recommend the Mio C230, which also … Read more
One of the benefits of portable navigation systems is voice-guided directions, and if you've got an in-car GPS that has text-to-speech functionality, even better. Continuing along those lines, there's a new technology that's just starting to show up in devices now: voice commands. With this capability, you can perform certain tasks with the sound of your voice. Since this is an emerging trend, there are just a handful of units with this feature, including these three from top manufacturers TomTom, Magellan, and Garmin.
Magellan is bringing its A-game to CES 2008. In addition to several other announcements, including the unveiling of the Magellan Maestro Elite 5340+GPRS, the GPS manufacturer debuted the Magellan Maestro 5310. The portable navigation system was designed to better meet the needs of baby boomers and features a larger 5-inch touch screen to increase map, menu, and image readability by 35 percent. "With 90 million baby boomers in North America representing $2 trillion in annual spending power, developing GPS products geared to their specific needs is critical to expanding the category," said Christian Bubenheim, vice president of … Read more
Well, well, looks who's stepping up its game? Today, GPS manufacturer Magellan announced its most ambitious in-car portable navigation system yet: the Magellan Maestro Elite 5340+GPRS. Scheduled to ship in March, the Maestro Elite 5340 allows you to use a GPRS connection to connect to the Web from the device itself and conduct real-time searches for local businesses, services, and events via Google Local Search. You will also be able to send addresses and notes wirelessly from your PC to the Maestro Elite 5340. Sound a bit familiar? Perhaps it's because it's somewhat similar to the … Read more