The Panasonic Strada CN-NVD905U is an in-dash model for those who want an all-in-one aftermarket solution for navigation and entertainment. The CN-NVD905U offers decent GPS navigation and a 7-inch color touch screen, and plays DVD movies and audio CDs, among other things.
There are a variety of uses for GPS devices--in the car, on a boat, on foot, geocaching--but it's rare to find one device that can do it all. The Magellan CrossoverGPS is one of the first portable navigation systems we've seen to tackle all modes of transport. The device sports a rubber sport guard for outdoor use, but we think serious hikers and boaters will be better served by a dedicated device.
Though a bit older, the Garmin Nuvi 350 has quickly become one of the most popular GPS devices on the market today. The ultraportable model aims to be the ultimate travel companion, acting as a GPS navigator, a personal traveling assistant, and a digital entertainment center. It's a great option for frequent travelers, and comes in various models.
For the first-time buyer or technophobe, GPS technology can seem intimidating--but there's nothing to be afraid of here. A lot of today's systems and plug-and-play solutions come with maps and everything you need preloaded on the device. The TomTom One is a good choice for GPS newbies; it offers just the basics for getting from Point A to Point B and is easy to use.
Hey, drivers aren't the only ones who need navigation help. The Garmin Zumo 550 is a motorcycle-specific portable navigation system that comes with a bike mount, route guidance, and integrated Bluetooth. TomTom also makes a solution for motorcycles called the TomTom Rider.
The Mio H610 is a hybrid navigation and entertainment gadget. It has an ultraportable design that makes it great for on-the-go use, and the unit's multimedia functions aren't half-bad; but the compact size also makes it less than ideal for in-car navigation. However, for city dwellers, the H610 makes a nice walking companion.
Another multifunctional device is the HP iPaq rx5900 Travel Companion. Perhaps best-suited for on-the-go professionals, the rx5900 is a PDA/GPS combo that provides tools for organization, travel, and entertainment. It comes with TomTom navigation software and all the fixings of Windows Mobile 5.
The face of GPS is transforming as we speak. More and more cell phone manufacturers are exploring the option of integrating a GPS radio into handsets, and it certainly makes sense. After all, almost everyone carries a cell phone or smart phone these days. The Nokia N95 is one of the few smart phones to have full GPS functionality.
If you already own a smart phone and cell phone, there are optional accessories and software that you can get to turn your mobile into a navigator. Pictured here is the Palm GPS Navigator Car Kit, which works with the Treo 680 and Treo 700p. The kit includes a car mount with an integrated GPS receiver and speaker, as well as a 1GB miniSD card preloaded with nav software and maps.