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Need help deciding what system to buy

dmt 0 Points
edited November -1 in GPS Recommendations
I recently bought and returned a Navman after being thoroughly disappointed with its performance. I like the idea of a GPS system and would like to buy a new one, but I'm not sure what to get. I was hoping someone could help advise me. I want something simple to get me from point A to point B - memory space, MP3 players, photo viewers, all that stuff are not particularly important, but I had some specific problems with my old system that I would like to fix with a new one. Here's what I'm looking for

1) I live in the DC Metro area which means that about 90% of the time I'm parking in concrete parking structures. My Navman wouldn't let me program it while in a parking structure, nor while moving because it was unable to locate a satellite signal, so I basically couldn't program it unless I pulled off to the side of the road. I would like to get a GPS system that allows me to program it while in a parking lot or moving and is most likely to work in a metro area like DC which has a lot of tall buildings.

2) My Navman required about 8 steps to program it (state, then city, then street name, then street number, etc.). This was really problematic especially since I ended up having to program it while driving because of the aforementioned concrete parking structure problem. I would like to get a GPS system that requires the minimal # of steps to program a new destination.

3) My Navman also had a lot of trouble with the fact that a lot of the streets in the DC area are N. Main Street or Main Street, NW. I usually had to try 3 or 4 combinations of "N. Main Street", "N Main St" or "North Main St" or "North Main Street" etc. before it would recognize where I wanted to go (further lengthening the number of steps needed to program it). I would like to get a new system that doesn't have this problem, if one exists.

4) I also would like a system that says street names outloud rather than "turn left in 1.2 miles"

5) Obviously, up-to-date maps would be nice.

6) I only have one car, so I don't need to move it, but because I'm constantly parking in public parking lots, it would be nice to be able to put it in the glove compartment so it doesn't get stolen.

7) Finally, my Navman didn't stay on my dashboard very well and came flying at me when I took turns on bridges or flyovers. Having a GPS system that doesn't endanger my life would be a definite plus.

Basically, I'm looking for something simple that I can program in a few steps and just go. I don't mind having to program it while driving because I understand that its hard for any system to get GPS signal in a concrete parking lot, but if I have to, I'd rather do it in a step or two than 8 or 9. What, if any, systems match the most of these requests? I know its probably impossible to find all of this in one system, but any advice on where to start would be much appreciated!

Comments

  • Tim 1480 Points
    1) You might want to consider something with the SiRFstarIII chipset to get around the tall building issue. Most of the more popular GPS devices (Garmin, TomTom, etc) allow you to enter a destination before a GPS signal is acquired.

    2) You will find a similar entry procedure for most devices. Personally I like the way TomTom sets up their address entry screens as it seems to be "smarter" about finding matches. But most all of them will require a number, street, city, state.

    3) I've seen that with many GPS devices. This is part of why I like the entry screen on the TomTom (and other devices too). You can start typing in the specific part of the street name ("Main" in your example) and then the device will narrow down the list of streets to streets that matched what you have typed in with all of the N, W, S, E variations.

    4) This is commonly known as "text-to-speech".

    5) If considering a Garmin, look for "v8 maps" or get the v8 upgrade. TomTom just released a new map update.

    7) There were some initial problems with the mount on the TomTom 910 and 510, but those issues have been fixed now. Other than that most mounts seem to do their job okay.

    Based on what you have mentioned, I would start by looking at these five. From that page you can click on the device name at the top to see more details about each device as well as reader comments. There is also a link on each of them to compare "street" prices for those devices since the retail price is rarely seen on store shelves.
  • dmt 0 Points
    Thanks so much!
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