A search for modern GPS units can leave a shopper confused, frustrated and uncertain about the possibilities for a purchase. Instead of making decisions based on the cheapest option currently available, learning a few key differences between GPS units can help one make a wise, informed decision. As of 2009, Tomtom, Garmin and Navman are three of the top producers of GPS units.
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Size and Look
Navman provides a quality product; however, the design of some models is less appealing than the competition. Garmin has a quality look, and the design seems a bit better than Navman's models. Tomtom's sleek design gives its models a sharper look, though some might consider its shape a bit awkward for carrying.
All models seem to respond reasonably fast to the GPS signal, with slower response in city driving and cloudy conditions than in clear weather. In some tests, Tomtom was a bit slower in response times while moving.
Points of Interest
Garmin's collection is rather comprehensive, and some of its features are rather attractive to customers. Navman also has a good collection, but, as already mentioned, there is a slower market for Navman in North America. Tomtom has many POIs as well, though many of them come in downloadable files from Tomtom's website.
Navman is the most affordable of the three options, but there are fewer Navman products available in North America. The prices of Tomtom and Garmin models are usually competitive with each other, though Tomtom can be cheaper when compared directly with a comparable Garmin model. In addition, Garmin offers several higher end options.
Overall, Navman makes a good product, but the lack of a strong presence in North America might be a drawback for many customers. Tomtom is more established in the American market; its solid product offerings make for a rewarding purchase. However, Garmin's presence in the GPS market is well established, and its products are consistently considered among the best GPS units available. If price is not the most important factor, Garmin might be the best choice for a savvy consumer.
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