Road Trippin’

Let the most effective GPS keep you on track during your summer road trip

Reviews. The Navigon has lots going for it, in addition to its great looks. It features a really smart interface that lets you locate nearby points of interest such as gas stations and restaurants. We discovered two new dining spots that we typically missed on a daily GPS-less route; the device also comes with the DirectHelp feature, which instantly locates and directs you to emergency assistance (police, hospitals, pharmacies, etc.).

The 2100 Max’s text-to-speech directions were crystal clear, even with the stereo blasting or speeding along the highway (within the law, of course). Additionally, predictive input means that we simply typed in a couple of letters before we were presented with location options. Although we wished for a QWERTY keyboard for input, the predictive text feature worked well.

Like the phone-based GPS’s we tested, the Navigon 2100 Max feels light in the hands and the sleek surface made it much easier to handle (though it’s obviously not as light as, say, the Blackberry Pearl running Verizon’s VZ Navigator—see below for review). We plotted the same routes as we did on the iPaq Companion, missing the same turns. The Max recalculated quickly; however, unlike the Companion, it did not differentiate between a “veer” and a “turn” (they were all turns to the Max).

And the Max put us about 700 feet off our final destination, advising us to turn left in a one-car garage. And while this isn’t a huge deal given the device’s capabilities, it’s slightly annoying. Despite our penchant for going off course, the Max easily kept pace. You can also plan you trip before you leave, although the iPaq Companion does a better job and is more user-friendly.

Key Features: Automatic speed warnings, nice add-ons

Road block: Expensive add-ons Road block: Small phone screen

EDITOR’S CHOICE:

Verizon’s VZ Navigator Verizon’s VZ Navigator loads onto mobile handsets and turns you phone into a high-end GPS navigator. If you don’t mind the small screen (B.E. tested the service on a Blackberry Pearl 8130), you get clear visual and voice directions in a compact package. These days, size has its advantages, particularly if you want to ditch the car and a bulky GPS system (if not pre-installed) for, say, a biking tour or a city walk. Verizon’s VZ Navigator tops our list of GPS products tested for a number of reasons; and given the Apple iPhone’s recent 3G iteration, which features GPS in a smaller, lighter form factor than current devices, we think this is where the GPS market’s headed. Taking advantage of Verizon’s impressive and widespread network, the Navigator provides clear and audible turn-by-turn directions, and is really easy to use.

 

verizonnavigator

 

 

Despite its small size, the Pearl 8130’s screen was sharp and bright. The GPS located us in a matter of a few seconds and we easily plotted our course using the predictive text. As usual, we missed our turns, but Navigator got us back on track, with no funky

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