Sunday, February 17, 2008

In Search Of - A GPS Unit

On my last trip I was really pressed for time and I wasted a lot of it trying to find my way around a strange city. Very stressful. On the plane ride home I vowed to get myself a GPS unit. Shortly after getting home I got lost going to a meeting in South Boston and was subsequently late. That sealed the deal.

I went in search of a unit that was small enough to carry around, got good reception, had audible turn by turn directions, a good points of interest database and was cheap. Tall order.

There are tons of GPS units out there with all kinds of bells and whistles, but I don't need bluetooth connectivity with my cell phone or a music player. I just wanted a dependable little device that would get me where I needed to go.

The Garmin nuvi 200 is that device. Small, bright and easily readable screen that auto adjusts to lighting conditions, SD card slot and USB port for updating maps, audible directions and a very deep list of points of interest. Banks, restaurants, gas stations, you name it, there's a listing or 50. You can even search restaurants by cuisine or ethnicity.

Another nice feature is that you can toggle it between street and pedestrian mode, the former takes things like one way streets into consideration, the latter throws caution to the wind.

It comes with a car charger but you'll probably want to get a wall charger and the leather sleeve, both optional, if you plan on traveling with it.

It gets a pretty good review here on CNET. The only down side was that they thought it was over priced at $400, and they were right. But guess what? Less than a year after it's release it's down to around $200. Never be an early adopter.

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