Check These, Too
Magellan's RoadMate 1445T ($160) offers free lifetime traffic information and directs you to the proper lane for the next turn. TomTom's XL 340S (about $150) features IQ Routes, which uses historical traffic and speed data to calculate an optimal route. To receive live traffic on the XL 340S, however, you must purchase an optional traffic receiver.
Each of those products carries a 4.3-inch screen. Similar products with 3.5-inch screens cost less. Garmin's Nuvi 265T ($160) is identical to the 265WT except for a smaller screen; likewise, the TomTom One 140S ($130) is essentially a 3.5-inch version of the XL 340S. Magellan's RoadMate 1340 ($150) closely resembles the 1445T--and also has a 3.5-inch screen-but lacks a traffic feature.
Two-Way Connected Device
Best for: People who don't have a smartphone but want navigation help, live traffic, weather, and search information. Hardware tested: TomTom XL 340S LivePrice: $240 (street)
A two-way connected GPS--known in the technology industry as a portable navigation device, or PND--makes sense only if you need connected services such as weather data, advanced traffic updates, fuel prices, and Google local search, and if you can't use a smartphone to get the information. Connected GPS units are more expensive initially than other dedicated GPS devices, and they require you to pay for a monthly data subscription.
Standard GPS devices, which get traffic information from signals broadcast by commercial FM stations, can only receive data. Connected GPS models can initiate requests for data as well as receive it. Such two-way communication supports real-time traffic updates, weather information, and local fuel prices. Some two-way products can also identify scheduled movie showtimes at nearby theaters, as well as airline flight arrival and departure information. In addition, you can use Google local search to identify and obtain addresses for restaurants or stores that aren't included in the GPS device's points-of-interest database.