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Consider these five GPS units under $200

Jul. 9, 2009 - 01:30PM   |   Last Updated: Jul. 9, 2009 - 01:30PM  |  
The nuvi 265T ($180) features a 3.5-inch screen and Bluetooth functionality.
The nuvi 265T ($180) features a 3.5-inch screen and Bluetooth functionality. (GARMIN)
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The TomTom One 140 S ($170) has a 3.5-inch screen. Maps cover all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Canada and Mexico, and more than 7 million points of interest. (TOMTOM)
The Mio Moov ($140) boasts a 4.3-inch screen, which makes it easier to see and operate, but the unit skimps on other features. (MIO)

Garmin nuvi 265T

The nuvi 265T ($180) features a 3.5-inch screen and Bluetooth functionality. It includes maps for all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Canada, with more than 6 million points of interest. You'll get turn-by-turn, text-to-speech directions using street names.

The real draw is free, lifetime real-time traffic updates. You may see small, unobtrusive ads for businesses along your route, but routes are not altered to take you past advertisers.

You can send addresses to the unit from sites like Google Maps. And it has a photo navigation feature: Upload a photo tagged with location coordinates and the unit plots a route to the location.

TomTom One 140 S

The TomTom One 140 S ($170) has a 3.5-inch screen. Maps cover all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Canada and Mexico, and more than 7 million points of interest.

It features text-to-speech for turn-by-turn directions using street names. There's also multidestination routing, but the unit won't optimize multidestination routes for efficiency.

You'll need a separate receiver ($100) for real-time traffic updates. The first year of updates is free; it's $60 yearly thereafter. But MapShare lets you modify and add information as well as download maps created by others.

Other nice features: Lane guidance will help with multilane exits; routes are calculated using your actual average speeds; and the Help Me! feature locates local emergency providers.

Magellan Maestro 3250

The Magellan Maestro 3250 ($180) has a 3.5-inch screen. Maps cover all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Canada, and 6 million POIs.

The unit features text-to-speech for turn-by-turn directions using street names. It also features voice command so that you can tell the device to direct you home, for example.

Bluetooth is included, as is a traffic receiver. Traffic service is free for three months. Thereafter, you pay $40 yearly.

The 3250 provides access to AAA's TourBooks, which include ratings on lodgings and restaurants and helps you with AAA roadside assistance.

One nice feature is multidestination routing with route optimization — it automatically calculates the fastest route when multiple stops are involved.

Mio Moov 300

The Mio Moov ($140) boasts a 4.3-inch screen, which makes it easier to see and operate, but the unit skimps on other features.

It includes maps for all 50 states, as well as Puerto Rico. The POI database includes only 3.5 million entries.

You'll get text-to-speech navigation and the turn-by-turn feature announces directions using actual street names.

The unit provides multistop trip planning. However, there is no route optimization to find the most efficient route. This is typically reserved for Mio's pricier models.

You can add a traffic receiver for $100. The first year is free; it's $60 annually thereafter.

Garmin nuvi 205

Garmin's nuvi 205 ($120) features a 3.5-inch screen. The maps cover 49 states and Puerto Rico. Alaska is omitted.

There are 6.5 million POIs. But you can add more POIs or buy add-on travel guides.

You'll get turn-by-turn directions but not text-to-speech announcing street names.

As with the 265T, you get photo navigation. You also get the ability to upload maps from Google.

If you want traffic information, you'll need to buy an optional receiver ($120). With the receiver comes free lifetime traffic updates.

———

http://www.komando.com/">Kim Komando hosts a talk radio show about computers and the Internet.

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