Long weekend tech bargain buys: GPS units

Before you head off on a trip away this long weekend, consider picking up a cheap GPS unit to get you there!
Entry-level GPS units like Garmin's nuvi 1260 are a good option for consumers on a budget.

Entry-level GPS units like Garmin's nuvi 1260 are a good option for consumers on a budget.

Have you ever wondered why many people refuse to ask for directions but are completely at ease with using a GPS navigation device? Is it the fact that a GPS unit won't judge them for not knowing their way around? Is it because a GPS unit won't snigger at their ignorance?

But despite GPS units being marketed to those with a poor sense of direction, newer units can do so much more than just act as a glorified street directory — with live traffic capabilities, lane guidance and Bluetooth hands-free functionality. GPS units with these features have been designed to be used regularly even if you do know your way around.

Personally, I don’t know of too many people who use their GPS if they know exactly where they are going. Often people view GPS units as devices to be used when you're lost or heading into foreign territory — and the Labour Day long weekend in the ACT, South Australia and New South Wales is a great opportunity to get away and give a new satnav a workout.

Whether you are planning a long drive down to the coast, a romantic getaway for the weekend with your partner or a trip to the beach, a GPS unit can get you to your destination sooner and avoid arguments about directions along the way!

Here are five of the best budget GPS units currently on the market:

Garmin nuvi 1260

Price: $349

Budget GPS units like the Garmin's nuvi 1260 generally have smaller displays than more expensive devices. Thanks to its simple interface, though, the nuvi 1260 fares better than many other cheap GPS units. It's the only entry-level model currently on the market with Bluetooth hands-free capabilities, and it also has text-to-speech technology. You can pick it up from Officeworks, which is selling the nuvi 1260 for $344, which is a few dollars less than the RRP.

Mio Moov A350

Price: $199

The Mio Moov A350 is yet another budget GPS unit that sacrifices size for affordability, coming with a rather small 3.5in touch screen. With an RRP of just $199, the Moov A350 is significantly cheaper than most other GPS units on the market, making it an absolute steal. Built-in safety alerts, 1GB of memory and an impressive 2-year warranty make the Moov A350's flaws easy to live with. You can pick it up from Clive Peeters

TomTom ONE 140 IQ Routes Edition

Price: $299

TomTom's ONE 140 is the first entry-level GPS unit from the company to use IQ Routes technology — a route calculator that is based on real-life user data rather than the traditional maximum speed method. The TomTom ONE 140 also boasts advanced lane guidance and the EasyPort mount system. JB Hi-Fi is currently selling the ONE 140 for $267.

Navigon 3300max

Price: $299

Navigon may not be as well known as the likes of TomTom, Garmin and Mio, but this German company knows how to provide good value. The Navigon 3300max offers features like MyRoutes technology, lane assistance, Reality View and real road signs, so it offers excellent bang for your buck. A similar unit to the Navigon 4350max but without Bluetooth hands-free capabilities, you can buy the 3300max from Harvey Norman – Navigon 3300max GPS unit

Navman MY30

Price: $299

Despite the Navman MY30 being an entry-level GPS unit, it includes lane guidance and 3D junction views as standard features. We aren't fans of the overzealous school zone warnings and the small display, but the Navman MY30 is good value.

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