Entry Level Vehicle GPS Holiday Gift Guide
Entry Level Runner-up – Mio 136
The Mio 136’s comprehensive route planning is reliable and easy to follow, with point-by-point driving directions conveyed both verbally and visually in real time. Users can view maps in landscape mode on the 3.5-inch TFT touch-screen LCD in either 2D or 3D. Alternately, they can let the audible navigator guide them to their destination. Should they take a wrong turn or experience an unplanned detour, the Mio 136 automatically recalculates the route and delivers new directions in real time. In 3D mode, users will enjoy a safer and better grasp of what lies ahead, including landmarks, road conditions, and points of interest (which include airports, bus/train stations, hospitals, restaurants, and tourist attractions). Additional features include route and trip planning and an easy-to-use interface with large onscreen icons and hot keys/buttons. The Mio 136 also offers an added bonus by doubling as an MP3 media player when not functioning as a GPS receiver.
Entry Level Top Pick – Garmin StreetPilot i3
No larger than a baseball and priced with affordability in mind, the StreetPilot i3 GPS navigation system is a great fit for commuters, college students, and corporate travelers looking to experience the ease and enjoyment of satellite navigation for the first time. Don’t let the small size fool you; the i3 boasts many of the same powerful functions as Garmin’s premium vehicle GPS navigators. The StreetPilot i3 features a unique and convenient click-to-enter scroll wheel and a Back button that makes it easy to select a destination from the unit’s menu-driven interface. It also offers voice-prompted turn-by-turn directions through a built-in speaker, and should you miss a turn, the i3 will automatically recalculate the route to put you back on course. And perhaps most conveniently, the unit moves easily from vehicle to vehicle thanks to the integrated suction cup mount, so you don’t need to go through a cumbersome process each time you change cars.