Buying guide: GPS units and sat navs

Need help shopping for a GPS unit? Deciding between sat navs from Garmin, TomTom and Navman? Read our handy buying guide

Shopping Checklist: GPS units

• Accessories

Ask what accessories come in the package. An in-car charger and window mount are generally standard. Some GPS units also come with an AC charger, remote control, or a USB cable for transferring multimedia and/or updating maps.

• Touch screen

This allows easy operation. Most GPS units come with a touch screen instead of physical buttons.

• Road safety features

Check if the unit has road safety features. These generally include notification of fixed speed and red light cameras, as well as school zone warnings, accident black spots and railway crossings.

• Battery

A battery life of a few hours is important if you are going to use your GPS when it’s not plugged into the car charger.

• Size

If you want to use the unit in multiple vehicles or carry it around, smaller units are better. On the flip side, a larger unit will come with a bigger screen, which can enhance the overall navigational experience.

• Connection

Check how the unit connects to your computer. Most connect to a PC via a standard mini-USB connection. Connection to a PC can sometimes be required for software and map updates.

• International maps

Going overseas? International maps can generally be purchased, but some GPS units include them as a standard feature.

• Bluetooth

Some GPS units have Bluetooth and can act as a hands-free kit for your mobile phone.

• Additional features

You can view photos, play MP3 files and watch video clips on some GPS units.

• Memory

Most units have a combination of a small amount of internal memory and an SD card slot. However, an extra SD card or microSD card may be needed for storing MP3 files, photos and video clips.

• Map updates

These usually involve an annual fee, which is important when calculating ongoing running costs.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags notebooksbuying guideGPSsat navmobiles phonessmartphones

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

GoodGearGuide Staff

Good Gear Guide
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?