Sunday, March 18, 2012

About my GPS reviews

I thought it might be a good time to update the “about my GPS reviews” post, since these reviews have evolved quite a bit. First of all, a disclaimer — while many of these posts are hands on reviews, not all are. But I do try to compare units to closely related models that I have used, and I post links to as many independent reviews as I can find, be they positive or negative.

Also, I often recommend Garmin units, because they are intuitive and high-quality, but lest you think I’m too biased, check out this independent survey of GPS service and reliability. I don’t shy away from recommending other units when they fit the bill.

My reviews offer lots of other resources as well, consolidating all the information you need when making such an important decision. Along the way, you’ll see links to Amazon, price comparison tools, and ads for the receivers being reviewed. These are all here to help you find the best price (and they help pay the hosting bills too!).

Links to my GPS reviews

About Rich Owings

Rich is the owner, editor and chief bottle-washer for GPS Tracklog. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.


  1. Jack Bowers says:

    I’m looking for a unit that can be used for mostly highway travel but also for off-road. I have a Jeep and am considering Garmin Nuvi 660, Lowrance iWay 600C, and others. Would like text-to-speech, mapping, transportability, POI, etc. Any thoughts?

  2. Hard to say. The 660 is really great. It will be intuitive and you should be able to send topo maps to it (I’ll have to verify from home later today). The Lowrance will allow you to use aerial photos, but only for metro areas. Given that you can’t load aerials of most off-road areas, I’d go with the Garmin.

  3. David Maddry says:

    I purchased the Golf Logix in April 2008. The unit works well for 3 to 4 rounds of golf then it will lock up and cannot be used till you go back home, hook it up to your computer, then reload all the pre stored courses. It is very frustrating but not as frustrating as trying to make contact with the Golf Logiix Customer Support. Its does not exist as far as I am concerned. I have attempted to contact them via E-mail as many as 4 times and all I get is a prompt auto reply saying that they are very interested in helping me with my problem and someone will call soon. Don’t hold your breath on that one. I had no luck either when I called the 800 number used to place a order. They have no problem taking orders but not providing service to existing customers. It is a shame when it works it really improves your play. I am down to rebooting it after each round to insure that it will not hang me out on the next round.

  4. David,
    Have you tried a firmware update? Is one available? Or perhaps a hard reset. Has it always done this?

  5. I recently bought the Garmin 1300 and already owned the Garmin 200. I am a little disapointed with the new 1300. The wider screen is better but I updated the maps and it still takes forever and thius time I had to download an additional software just so my Mac would complete the process. Also my 1300 has a security function that seems to work about 50-70% of the time. Last the voice pronounces some street names with a strange pronouncitation, e.g. Tri is pronounced Tre. For the price I recommend looking for something else.

  6. Ian Grout says:

    I am looking to buy a Garmin Etrex H and have some questions about getting data to and from my Mac Book Pro (it’s running OSX 10:5:8)

    What I want to be able to do is run Ordanance Survey map software 1:50,000/1:25,00 on my mac lap top – plan routes – print them out and down load the waypoint information to the Garmin Etrex H

    I know I need two cables to connect the Garmin Etrex H to a USB port on my computer

    The questions I have are:

    What is the best ordinance survey mapping software for macs that will interface with the Garmin Etrex H?

    What other bits of software do I need to download the waypoints from my mac to the Garmin Etrex H


  7. Since Washington State requires hand free driving, having a GPS unit with clear Bluetooth capabilities is very important. I am considering the Garmin 265WT and the Magellan 3550-MU mainly because the have many of the other features I’m looking for. Your review on the Magellan mentions the bluetooth receptio as ‘not the worste but not the best’ while your Garmin review mentioned how “tunneling” the reception sounded. What units provide the “best” bluetooth reception?

  8. I’m looking for my 1st GPS device. I ran across your site and it is full of great information. It’s very hard to decide on what I need. I will be using it a little in the car. But would actually like to take it with me on my motorcycle. I won’t mount it on the bike but carry it in my pocket or saddle back to use when I stop. I don’t like trying to look at a small screen while riding a bike…too much else going on.

    I do like the 265W..265WT and the 1300LMT or 1350LMT. Some questions.
    1. looks like the 1300 series has newer software and a little different menu? Is it any better than the 2×5 series?

    2. Is it worth paying more for the lifetime maps? I’ve read the lifetime traffic isn’t so hot since only 50 cities.

    3. Should I consider a different model? Looks like you favor Garmin. I looked at both Garmin and TomTom in a local store. For carrying the device in my pocket the Garmin looks much slimmer. It doesn’t have that anoying bump in the back like the TomTom.

    4. I’d like to keep the price between $100-$150 if possible.

    Any help would be appreciated.

    • 1. There are a lot of improvements in the 1xxx series. The 1350 models (but not the 1300s) have lane assist, probably the best new feature. For any of the 1300s, you can add more data fields by shifting them to the right side of the screen (probably the next best feature).
      2. The traffic has since been expanded to more cities…
      Lifetime maps are very nice, but not critical if you aren’t in a fast growing metro area. The added cost is usually very little.
      3/4. Those are all good models. I think you’d be happy with any of them.

      Hope this helps!

  9. Was wondering if someone could give me some advice..just want an inexpensive gps..anyone know difference or preference on Garmin 255 or 1200
    just want for backup for sporting events
    thank you

  10. Hi,

    I want to get the reference document about how to calculate area by Garmin Etrex 10. Who can help me to get it? thanks in advance!

    Best Regards

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