Global positioning systems (GPS for short) are becoming more and more popular with American travelers. Originally designed for military use, civilians now rely on their GPS to provide quick and easy directions.
And while GPS-enabled smartphones are gaining ground in the navigation market, portable GPS units are still the most reliable option. Today’s Portable Navigation Devices (PNDs) are more sophisticated than ever, providing car rental travelers with tons of advanced features and helpful applications.
Getting from point A to point B quickly and safely has never been easier. The hardest part is figuring out just which PND to purchase! The following are five exceptional models worth looking into before reserving your next car rental.
1) Garmin Nuvi 3790T
If you’re looking for a compact navigational tool, the Garmin Nuvi 3790T is right up your alley. Thin and light, the Nuvi weighs in at 4 ounces and is great for on-the-go vacationers. The voice command feature in this machine is 100% hands-free, so there’s no need to fiddle with buttons while weaving in and out of traffic. The only downside to this PND is the screen. It’s a little glossy, which can often cause a bit of glare if the sun hits it directly.
2) Motorola MotoNav TN765T
Motorola’s first attempt at a PND, the NotoNav TN30 failed miserably. But, instead of throwing in the towel, the company completely retooled their designed in order to create a model that was far superior. The TN76ft completely reimagines the PND onscreen experience, merging maps and menus in order to create a sleek and seamless user interface. The MotoNav TN765t also offers Bluetooth hands-free calling with address book sync and voice dial, text-to-speech, and free FM-traffic reception. The only problem? The MotoNav’s GPS tracking gets a little patchy in skyscraper-dense urban areas.
3) TomTom XL 340 S
TomTom has always been known for ground breaking innovation, as is evident by the new XL 340 S PND model. Car Rental Express customers will enjoy many advanced features with the TomTom, including lane guidance, downloadable fuel prices, and TomTom’s Map Share program. The XL 340 S is also a tad more affordable than other options, which is an added bonus for budget-savvy travelers. As with previous “S” models, the 340 features text-to-speech that reads aloud street and point-of-interest names. The TomTom is slightly bulkier than other models, and the routing can sometimes lag when in a moving vehicle.
4) Magellan RoadMate 1470
The RoadMate 1470 offers a 4.7-inch touch screen, which is one of the largest on the market. The OneTouch menu allows users to put their most commonly accessed destinations and searches upfront for easy access. The only downside? The keyboard is in an alphabetical layout rather than the regular QWERTY design, which can cause some serious frustration.
What to Look For in a Portable Navigation Device
In the market for a new PND? Here are a few things to keep in mind while reviewing your options:
Text- and voice-guided directions keep your hands where they should be – on the wheel.
- Street level maps are the most useful format for car rental travelers. Remember to check and see just how many maps you’re entitled to. Some models will only provide you with local maps for free.
- Test the screen responsiveness of the demo in the store. You’ll want to make sure that the touchscreen is easy to use and offers little distraction.
- Check for glare. Some screens are tough to read in direct sunlight. If possible, ask the store clerk if you can take the demo outside to test this important visibility factor.
Once you’ve found the perfect PND it’s time to find the perfect car rental! Check out the CRX car rental comparison tool to make your reservation today,