Specific GPS Recommendations Needed
May 20, 2011 6:39 AM   Subscribe

I have been tasked by my wife to buy her a GPS. Help me unlock this marital achievement.

I need recommendations for a GPS with some specific criteria:

- The maps must be updateable.
- Device must speak clearly and loudly
- Features that are not germane to navigation (i.e. Bluetooth, photos, etc.) are a negative and it would be great if the unit I choose did not have them.
- Simple interface

Thank you. :)
posted by DWRoelands to Technology (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
is there a price point? and most GPS's are updateable, but at a cost....
All Garmin's come with a one time free update then charge after that... is that a factor?
posted by fozzie33 at 6:41 AM on May 20, 2011

Get her a smart phone with android? The free GPS app has been very good to me, and it's google maps, so updates are free. Though I guess it goes against your 3rd point.
posted by Grither at 6:45 AM on May 20, 2011

I think you'll be hard-pressed to find a GPS that does *not* match criteria 1, 2, and 4. I think they pretty much all have updateable maps (some for free, some for a fee), are all reasonably easy to use, and all speak clearly. They cost around $100 at the low-end these days. And the low-end ones will have fewer features, satisfying criterion 3. People seem to like Garmin a lot. That's what I use, though I haven't used other brands to compare.
posted by ManInSuit at 6:50 AM on May 20, 2011

three best with lifetime maps...

TomTom 340 w/ lifetime maps and traffic @ $116

Magellan RoadMate 1424 w/ lifetime maps @ $146

Garmin Nuvi 1300 w/ lifetime maps @ $124

I think all of them come with the "travelers convenience package's" that include jpg viewer, etc... but those aren't easily accessible, i never use them myself...
posted by fozzie33 at 6:50 AM on May 20, 2011

Look into the Garmin Nuvi line. I've had 2 and have been extremely happy with them. Simple interface, easy to save locations as favorites, very clear default voice. My model has bluetooth, but if you never turn it on, it's as if it doesn't exist. You get one free map update, but they cost after that.
posted by The Deej at 6:50 AM on May 20, 2011

I have a Garmin Nuvi and I think it's great. I turned it on out of the box and then took a road trip from NJ to TX with it. I haven't tried any other GPSs but I like this one.
posted by raccoon409 at 6:58 AM on May 20, 2011

I have a Garmin Nuvi 755 that pretty much meets all of your requirements, but I regret to say is does a really piss-poor job of navigating Boston. Which is to say, it will get you there, but 60% of the time by the least efficient route possible (yes, I know there are different mapping profiles (least gas, shortest time, scenic route)--they don't get me any better directions).

Mine still works fine, but we're looking to replace it for a model with better wayfinding. Your mileage (gettit?!?) may vary where you live; obviously, Boston is a very complicated place to drive.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 6:58 AM on May 20, 2011

Based on these recommendations, I checked out the Nuvi line, spoke to a Garmin support rep, and felt comfortable making the call on the Nuvi 1300LM. Thank you!
posted by DWRoelands at 7:11 AM on May 20, 2011

The Nuvi does have that extra junk (it was one of the original selling points of that line), but it's tucked away and the main screen just has two options that are named something like "Go Somewhere" and "See the Map".
posted by smackfu at 8:07 AM on May 20, 2011

I like my Nuvi as well - some of the newer models apparently have free lifetime map updates, which is really worth looking into. The model I have would cost about $59 to update, I think, and that is maddenly close to making it a better idea to replace it (which I'm sure is their entire point).

There are two limitations of the google navigation deal, even though it works well on my Droid smartphone - it requires a data connection, and it doesn't give you (last I noticed) a key thing I want in a navigation app - an ETA so I know whether I'm on schedule to get where I'm going. (if this has changed ,someone let me know).
posted by randomkeystrike at 2:25 PM on May 20, 2011

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