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What are the Best GPS Devices?

written by: KennethSleight•edited by: Tricia Goss•updated: 3/11/2011

The best GPS devices are different for different people. What is best for the average consumer is not so much for the motorcycle enthusiast or over the road hauler and the hiker has different needs than the fisherman. This guide offers the best for all worlds.

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    Garmin Nuvi 2360LMT

    Nuvi 

    The Garmin Nuvi 2360LMT is the absolute best all-around GPS system on the market today. For $259.99, you get a 4.3-inch touchscreen display with both landscape and portrait modes, Bluetooth communication for hands-free calling when paired with a compatible cell phone and free lifetime updates for mapping and traffic applications. The navigation system offers voice-activated navigation, turn-by-turn directions, lane assist, fuel-saving ecoRoute technology and the ability to view map contours for more accurate visual assistance. The unit is small enough to be used in any vehicle without special installation or interfering with the driver’s vision.

    The unit is extremely accurate and allows a driver to use the voice activation controls to interact with the unit without having to look away from the road.

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    Cobra 7750 PRO

    Cobra 

    The Cobra 7750 PRO was designed with the over-the-road truck driver in mind. The seven-inch display offers room for much more information than a standard 4.3-inch model. The junction mode and truck driver route mode give the most efficient routes and visual mapping of junctions up to a mile ahead of time. The unit has a state mileage log and an hours of service log as well as the AURA system that alerts drivers to fixed speed and red light cameras, dangerous intersections and known hazard database speed traps. The turn-by-turn directions can be heard even over the loudest engine noise and the screen is viewable even in direct sunlight. The $499.00 price tag will pay for itself the first time it notifies the driver of a speed trap. The Cobra is the best GPS unit for anyone who spends a great deal of time travelling the country.

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    Garmin Zumo 500

    Zumo 

    The Zumo 550 is the best GPS device available for motorcycles. The 3.5-inch screen fits perfectly into the cycle dash and is easily viewable even in heavy rain. The unit comes with a hard drive full of maps and an open SD slot for additional ones if necessary. This unit is strictly for use with a motorcycle and this is evident by the lack of an external speaker. One of the best features is the ability to sync the unit with Google Earth to obtain slick views of the area. The price is a bit excessive at $589.90 but that is really the only drawback to this one.

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    Garmin GPSMAP 536s

    Garmin 

    If you are a fisherman or avid boater, the Garmin GPSMAP 536s is the GPS for you. For $809.99 the Garmin comes complete with maps of 14,000 U.S. waterways and has an open SD slot for adding additional maps as needed. The display is simply gorgeous giving an artistically rendered 3D route combined with a virtual sonar picture giving exceptional views of shallows, sandbars and other underwater hazards. The only requirements for this unit are a starting point and a destination. It does the rest.

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    Magellan eXplorist Hiking Waterproof GPS

    magellan 

    The Magellan eXplorist Hiking GPS is great for any avid outdoorsman. Hikers, geocachers, hunters, urban explorers and naturalists of all types will benefit from the built in camera and voice recording system that allows the taking of notes during a trip. Not only will you have a reference point on your GPS but a picture too. The three inch touchscreen is one of the larger available on a handheld unit and the one touch interface gives instant access to many of your favorite locations including the home, favorites and navigation bars. It has a 16-hour battery life and on top of everything else, this unit is waterproof. This is quite possibly the best GPS device on the list and it is only $504.90. If not, it is a close second.

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    References

    Images courtesy of Amazon.com