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 PC World 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


Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >


Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >


Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >


Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles


GGG Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

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.

Kathy Cassidy


First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni


For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell


The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi


The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?