Did a quick search and didn't see this having been discussed. We recently rented a car with a portable Garmin GPS (not sure of the model). It was lots of fun and very helpful. I was thinking of getting something similar.
I like the portability -- being able to move it from car to car, to a friend's car, a rental car, etc. plus geocaching might be fun to try. Standard screen size seems to be 3.5" which is fine. The spoken directions seem more valuable than trying to read the map on the screen while driving.
Looks like Garmin, Magellan and TomTom are the players. Seems like map data should be updateable via a PC connection. Can this be assumed? Do they all use the same source for map data or does it vary? Can you buy/load European data? Is battery life an issue if not in the car? Are the primary differences between units the usability of the interface? Performance re-calculating routes? What else?
Any info appreciated. Costco.com is selling the TomTom One for $300 which looks like pretty good deal and got me thinking more seriously...
I have the small garmin. It is relatively cheap and quite useful on trips.
Oh, and the voice is fine. Not as good, however, as the system whose voice at the end of the trip, says, "You are at your destination. I did all the work to get here, so don't expect me to carry in your bloody bags. (and the voice is that of John Cleese)
Which small one? There were several here:
I'm a total novice here, but travel enough that a portable one would be nice, and these look much cheaper than I thought they would be. Is there also a monthly fee?
I too have a garmin and like it a lot. As you said it's quite handy in that you can move it from car to car. Also another nice feature is it has a battery that can be charged so it doesn't always need to be plugged into the cigarette lighter to work. I've taken mine on trips to Atlanta and got into a rental car and just turned it on and was ready to navigate to my destination without any hassles. Very handy it's proven to be at times.
My personal favorite is a software product called TeleNav, check out www.telenav.com. You download the software to your cell phone, which is the height of portability!
It's 9.99 a month, which isn't too bad if you travel often... I believe you can also opt for a 2.99 per day of usage on certain carriers as well.