2012 GPS Black Friday Buying Guide

Introduction

Unlike laptops and video games, not much has changed in the last few years in the world of GPS devices. The good thing, though, is that GPS devices continue to drop in price, making them more and more affordable for those who would like a helping hand arriving at their final destination. As an added bonus, these handy little electronic wonders also help you navigate the open road using satellites without any service or activation fees.

There are a few things to keep in mind when reading through our Black Friday picks. First, a quick tip on deciphering the model numbers used on GPS devices: for one reason or another, all GPS manufacturers have adopted the same model numbering scheme. When you see a GPS model number, it will end with letters that signify certain features:

  • M= Maps
  • T= Traffic
  • L= Lifetime

For example, if the model number ends with LTM, that GPS dvicel includes Lifetime Map and Traffic updates. On the other hand, if a model number ends with just LM, you will get only Lifetime Maps. Be cautious when you see a model number that does not include the L – that which means you’ll have to pay for maps down the line.

That actually brings us to the second point you should remember when reading this guide: we have eliminated any GPS that doesn’t include a lifetime map feature. The prices for GPS devices have dropped so low that it seems appalling that manufactures are still offering models that don’t include lifetime maps, especially since these map updates, when bought separately, can cost more than the device itself.

Our advice: If it doesn’t offer lifetime maps, steer clear.

With that said, read on for our GPS picks.

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November 19, 2012
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