Good, cheap, GPS system

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Telp, May 18, 2008.

  1. Telp macrumors 68040


    Feb 6, 2007
    As the title says, I am looking for a good cheap GPS system. What do you think of the Garmin 330c? Any suggestions or reviews would be very helpful. Thank you very much.

  2. Lyle macrumors 68000


    Jun 11, 2003
    Madison, Alabama
    I bought a Garmin nuvi 200W (their low-end widescreen model) and recently reviewed it here. Not sure what the MSRP is but I got it for less than $200 at Office Depot, and I'm sure there are even better deals online. Bottom line is that it was easy to set up and works really well.
  3. NightFlight macrumors 6502


    Feb 25, 2007
    Northern Virginia
    Stay away from anything that is TomTom. :mad::mad::mad:

    They have the worst customer service I have ever encountered, faulty products, and unreliable mapping software.
  4. Roger1 macrumors 65816


    Jun 3, 2002
    Gee thanks. I just bought my wife one of these this past week. :p
  5. Mike Teezie macrumors 68020

    Mike Teezie

    Nov 20, 2002
    I really enjoy my Garmin 250w. I have absolutely zero complaints.
  6. corywoolf macrumors 65816


    Jun 28, 2004
    TomTom is the best, they are the Apple of the GPS world. I didn't have to even look at the manual to set it up, it's very easy to use and reliable.
  7. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    May 29, 2007
    +1, many times over

    I had a TomTom. It was a constant source of frustration with it's crappy maps leading me wrong all the time. It got to the point where I always had to print out backup maps for trips because I couldn't rely on the TomTom, even though I kept the TomTom maps up to date every year. The dumb part too is that TomTom map updates (when I had mine) weren't available to US customers until after the vacation season. TomTom customer service is hideous. They wouldn't even honor their offer to send a free accessory for registering, even after I lodged a complaint about never getting it.

    I used the damn thing for 2.5 years before giving up on it. By then the touchscreen had mostly given out anyway and stopped working correctly. I spent the last year using it by entering destinations via the computer and hoping I wouldn't have to make changes on the road.

    Now I have a Garmin Nuvi 760, and am much, much happier. The maps are way more reliable and the map upgrades come out in Spring so you have the newest for summer traveling.

    The TomTom is not the Apple of GPS...nowhere even close. Easy set up means nothing if it doesn't work well. I would call TomTom the Vista of the GPS world.

    Garmin Nuvi setup was as easy -- if not easier -- by the way.
  8. Gray-Wolf macrumors 68030


    Apr 19, 2008
    Pandora, Home Tree
    Apologies up front, no intentions of hijacking a thread, but as my question is similar, and rather than creating an new thread...

    Is there a relatively inexpensive GPS device, that you can use with a macbook with maps, and by this I mean the GPS display, is on the macbook, not a separate little screen devise. I had a LT-20 that I use to use on a PC, but it won't work with Mac. And, I have Leopard on the machine. Looking for something that is in use by someone, versus just a reviewed item. Reality of use is more compelling.

    I prefer it displayed on the comp, as my eyes aren't what they use to be ;)
  9. cycocelica macrumors 68000


    Apr 28, 2005
    Redmond, WA
  10. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    You might want to check out They have in-depth reviews of many gps systems.

    Good luck.
  11. 0098386 Suspended


    Jan 18, 2005
    Same here, fantastic device. By far the best GPS I've used.

    Anyroad, what kind of GPS are you after? You can get quite cheap "walker" GPS systems. Much cheaper than the large car ones but they can really chew through batteries. I don't have much info on these though, ComputerActive recently ran an article about them.
  12. localoid macrumors 68020


    Feb 20, 2007
    America's Third World
    I've been using James Associates' MacGPS Pro software, along with an inexpensive (~$25) GPS (NMEA) receiver, on a Macbook. It works fine for my purposes, but then I'm not using this for driving directions. ;)
  13. Evangelion macrumors 68040

    Jan 10, 2005
    How about saving some money and not getting GPS at all? I mean, do you really need it or is it something that you simply want? last year I thought about getting a GPS. But then I realized that I practically never drive around in places that are foreign to me. so what's the point?

    If there one amusing sight, is the person driving to work on the same route he always takes, yet he still has GPS running, just so he could see his car moving along the map. He has zero need for route-instructions, but he stsill feels like he NEEDS GPS.
  14. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Jun 20, 2005
    plain and simple: buy a garmin. they seems to be the gps leaders.

    that said, do you have an iphone or are you thinking of buying one? i'm very intrigued by the rumours of a v2 iphone with GPS capabilities. Combining actual GPS with googlemaps would be the almost perfect scenario I believe b/c googlemaps seem to be updated faster than GPS mapping programs.

    Of course, if you're looking for GPS uses such as hunting/fishing/marine, then a pure GPS is the way to go.

    I like Garmin's b/c of their mapping programs, durability and quality of product. I use a 76C for hunting, but the rest of the boys have the Rino which has a 2 way radio. Aside from just the radio, the new mapping features, screen quality and insanely easy of use show how Garmin's making vast improvements.

    good luck,
  15. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    May 29, 2007
    So is your point that we are wasting our money, and that we should be more like you? We can't possibly have legitimate reasons for using a GPS, right? Hell, I guess we might as well just close this thread.

    BTW: I use my GPS for day to day driving, to and from work etc. Why? It gives me POIs, gas prices, weather, traffic alerts, and warnings of red-light cameras (which cause unsafe situations at stops). I can also review where I've been by downloading logs to my computer if I need that information.
  16. Evangelion macrumors 68040

    Jan 10, 2005
    No. Where exactly did I say anything of the sort?

    Where exactly did I make that claim? What I said was that there are loads of people wasting their money on GPS when in reality they have no need for it. Did I claim that the starter of the thread has no need for GPS? No. I did ask that does he really need it, or is it simply something that he wants. Nowhere did I say that "you do not need GPS".

    It seems to me that you should prop up your reading-comprehension a bit.
  17. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    May 29, 2007
    Arguing about this isn't helpful to the thread, but I think you did question the wisdom of buying a GPS because it didn't make sense to you & that doesn't seem helpful. The OP has already decided they want one, and came to ask for suggestions. Whether or not they really need it shouldn't matter. I trust they can figure out on their own whether it provides value.

    I'll leave it at that.
  18. Evangelion macrumors 68040

    Jan 10, 2005
    Well, it is in a sense that it provides another alternative. Just like the person who suggested an atlas did.

    I merely used myself as an example. Nowehere did I claim that "you should not buy GPS because I decided not to buy one!". In my case, I did want an GPS, and I was looking around. But then I realized the fact that 95% of my driving takes place in places that are familiar to me, so the GPS is more or less useless. And realizing that fact saved be 200+ euros, and that's money I can spend on something else.

    Thinkinh about your options is a smart thing to do. And no, your only options are not just "should I choose Brand A or Brand B?".

    I'm not going to deny him a GPS-device if he wants one. It's not my place to tell him what he can and can't buy. My comment was more about the fact that GPS seems to be all the rage these days, and there are loads of people buying them, even when they have no real use for it. There's nothing wrong in asking oneself "do I really need it?", as opposed to simply deciding "I want it, therefore I'm going to buy it". With the latter, you can easily find yourself in a situation, where you have an expensive gizmo, that spends it's time collecting dust, since you have no use for it..
  19. yg17 macrumors G5


    Aug 1, 2004
    St. Louis, MO
    A GPS is more than just maps and directions. I have a Garmin Nuvi 660 (awesome GPS btw) and I can get live traffic reports on it (have to pay for it). If there's a traffic jam up ahead, all I do is hit a button and it reroutes me around the traffic. Also, I live in a fairly large city and don't know how to get everywhere, and with St. Louis's main highway being closed until 2010 (damn you MoDOT) I get even more lost at times when trying to get to places since I have to take weird detours.

    Plus, there are times where I just need to use it for directions to somewhere, even within the city. The other day, I had to drop my brother off at a friend's graduation party. His house was 5 minutes from my house, but he had never been there before, and neither have I, so I didn't know how to get there. Rather than look up directions on the internet and waste paper writing them down, I just put his address into my GPS, and was on my way.
  20. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    May 29, 2007
    +1 on that. I have the MSN Direct receiver on my Garmin and it automatically plans alternate routes around the Hwy 40 closings.

    Another advantage. Bluetooth pairing for iPhone for hands-free operation. Not all GPS units have it, but the added expense of that feature is worth it to me.

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