How Portable GPS Units Compare: Garmin, TomTom, Magellan

Each of the three leading GPS brands — Garmin, TomTom, and Magellan —offer various models. When comparing portable GPS units, consider size and portability, device compatibility, and even the kind of voice you want to hear. You can find a GPS unit available for any budget or lifestyle; there’s even the GPS For Dummies FD-430.

Almost every portable GPS navigator will get you where you want to go. Most GPS navigators offer lane guidance and trip routing. What sets one navigator apart from another are the extra features, which can range from detour routing to 3-D maps to customized voices.

The following table gives you the rundown on the unique features of the best-selling portable GPS units to help you make the right decision for you when comparing navigators.

Feature Garmin Nuvi 1200 TomTom Go 340-S Magellan RoadMate 1400 Garmin Nuvi 1690 TomTom Go 920 Magellan Maestro 4040 GPS For Dummies FD-430
Price $150 $150 $109 $500 $400 $400 $159
Real Time Local Conditions NuLink! Google Local Search X NuLink! Google Local Search X
Bluetooth X X X
What’s Unique Enhanced positioning Predictive Entry Enhanced Positioning, Map Correction AAA-enabled
Screen Size 3.5 in 4.3 in 4.3 in 4.3 in 4.3 in 4.3 in 4.3 in
Spoken Street Names X X X X X X X
Subscription Fees $9.95/m $5/m $9.95/m
Touch Screen X X X X X X
Detour Rerouting X X X X X
Route Options X IQ Routes X X IQ Routes X
Power Supply 4 hr 3 hr 3 hr 3 hr 5 hr 3 hr 4 hr
Mp3 Player X X X
Voice Recognition X X
Photo Viewer X X X X X X