Christmas Gift Guide: GPS

If you’re planning to give a GPS device to a directionally challenged friend or family member as a Christmas gift, here are some of the devices to look out for.

If you’re planning to give a GPS device to a directionally challenged friend or family member as a Christmas gift, here are some of the devices to look out for.

There’s certainly no lack of high-end GPS options, though expect to pay a premium for features like the Traffic Message Channel and Bluetooth capability. Prices tend to vary quite a bit as well, from $549 for the Mio Moov 370 to $849 for TomTom’s GO 930 — you’ll pay even more for the traffic-enabled version. TomTom offers its proprietary Enhanced Positioning Technology (EPT) as well as global mapping — perfect for the jetsetter.

However, if you’re looking for something packed with great features the best bet is Navman’s S300T. Design is clear priority for Navman, and it is certainly a stylish unit. It also has an integrated TMC antenna. Of course, it isn’t all about looks, and the Navman has plenty of functionality packed into it while maintaining a reasonable cost; a key factor in everyone’s Christmas shopping.

When budgets are tight, the best and brightest isn’t always possible. Thankfully there are still plenty of options without the unnecessary frills. Most, like Navigon’s 2150max and Mio’s Moov 300, hover between $350 and $500 in price, offering good value with all the vital features needed for travel. If you want something that’s just that little bit more Australian, however, checking out Laser’s Navig8r M35 is a must; not only is it dirt cheap, but it also offers more detailed mapping than its competitors, though it isn't a good-looking device.

GPS devices aren’t limited to the car these days — even outdoor types get lost every now and then (bar MacGuyver of course). So, with plenty of novice and experienced hikers adopting the technology to aid in their travels, a personal GPS device could be the perfect gift. Again, options are aplenty, with the kings of the hill currently being Garmin’s Oregon 400c and the Magellan Triton 2000. Beware though — the Oregon puts more emphasis on marine mapping than its land-based counterpart, so if the gift recipient prefers the mountains to the sea, the Magellan is definitely the way to go.

With GPS infiltrating every part of consumer electronics, it seemed only a matter of time before photography was affected. These days, there are plenty of DSLR cameras equipped with GPS receivers, and for everyone else there’s the ATP Photo Finder mini. This nifty little device can sync GPS metadata to your photos. Just don't forget to check that your camera's internal clock is correct.

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James Hutchinson

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