Get a 4.3-inch TomTom GPS for $49.99

That's an after-rebate price, but who cares? While you're waiting for your check, you can drive anywhere you like and never worry about getting lost.

For just $50 (after rebate), the TomTom XL 325S gets you where you're going.
For just $50 (after rebate), the TomTom XL 325S gets you where you're going. TomTom

Much as I like some of the nav apps available on smartphones, I'm not really a fan of using my phone as a GPS. You have to buy a special windshield or dashboard mount for it, and it's harder to use for things like phone calls and Pandora when it's pulling navigation duty. Not impossible, mind you, just less convenient.

That's why I remain a fan of the standalone GPS--especially one like this: TigerDirect has the TomTom XL 325S 4.3-inch GPS for $99.99. A $50 mail-in rebate (PDF) brings the price down to $49.99, plus a very reasonable $2.99 for shipping.

That rebate comes in the form of an American Express prepaid card, which is as good as cash. (You can also call the rebate-fulfillment company and request a check instead.) If you'd rather not wait 8-10 weeks, you can opt for the "no-wait rebate" and get it in 5-7 business days--minus a small fee, of course.

Go ahead, storm the comments and tell me how much you hate rebates. But keep in mind that this same GPS sells for the non-rebate price of $99.99 everywhere else. Are you really going to turn down a 50-percent savings?

Anyway, the XL 325S is fairly no-frills, with no lifetime maps or real-time traffic or anything like that. But it does support my favorite GPS feature of all time: celebrity voices. For example, you can download voice files to make your TomTom sound like Darth Vader. Or Homer Simpson. Or Mr. T. ("I pity the fool who don't take the next left!") Here's the full catalog of TomTom-compatible voices.

As with most nav systems, this one comes with a 30-day map guarantee, meaning after you unpack it, you can download the latest map data free of charge. (Future map updates will cost you, natch.)

Because the XL 325S is new, not refurbished (a rarity at this price point), it comes with a full one-year warranty. I own a similar model, and I've been very happy with it.

Bonus deal: I'm not sure how long this will be available (I first noticed it late yesterday), but Wirefly has the Samsung Nexus S 4G Android smartphone for free. That's when you sign up for a two-year Sprint contract (with a service plan starting at $69.99 monthly). I've been test-driving one of these for a few weeks, and it's mighty nice. (Check out CNET's review.) There's no activation fee or shipping charge, and you even get Wirefly's Mobile Backup Service free of charge.

 

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