December 7, 2007
Dear CNET members,
Happy Friday! The hustle and bustle of the holiday shopping season surrounds us once again. And I haven't even begun my shopping! But my list is ready (thanks to the CNET holiday gift guide) and I'm hoping to get down and dirty this coming weekend and not wait till the last minute like I always do. Are you ready? Well, if you aren't, be sure to check out the CNET holiday gift guide, as our editors have rounded up some great gift ideas just to make it bit easier for you this holiday shopping season. The guide even includes an ultimate luxuries list. It's much too fancy for my wallet, but if you have that money tree in your backyard, dig in. Good luck out there, folks! Now let's get started on giving Mary Jane some directions to buying her and her sister the right portable GPS.
As always, a lot of great information came from our members this week about portable GPS devices, and the first thing to clear up is the brand name TomTom. Despite its strange name, many members brought up the fact that TomTom is a well-known and reputable brand, but I'll let you read more on that in our members' answers.
Now a few things to establish why there are such a big cost differences between portable GPS models. Now Mary Jane and others, as you read through our members' advice, most of us would probably all agree that more or less, all portable GPS devices do the same thing: give you directions. But it's all about how they deliver those directions and how many added features you tack on that will start incurring more cost on the device. Just like any electronic devices, more features mean more money. And for GPS devices, it's things like larger screen size, traffic alerts, memory-expansion slots, Bluetooth for ease of updating firmware or maps, text-to-speech (the ability for the device to tell you when turn rather than having to read it on the screen) functions, and some even offer MP3 players built right in. The bottom line is that it's all about what you want in a GPS. So without further ado, I give you all a few selected answers to start on. There a lot of great information provided, so read through the entire thread to be completely informed. I think that once you've all gone through our members' answers, you will all have a very good idea of what features are important to you to make the right buying decision for you or your loved one. Thanks everyone for the awesome and well-informed answers. Have a great weekend!
Member Question of the Week
I went out shopping the day after Thanksgiving and saw that
many stores had advertised portable GPS devices on sale for
cheap (I really had no idea they were so inexpensive). Since
they were so cheap, I thought about buying one for myself and
my sister, who has no sense of direction. The couple that I
saw advertised were by Magellan and TomTom (strange name, if
you ask me) and they cost a little over $100. Well, when I
went to check them out they were all sold out, of course, so
I looked at other models, and to my surprise most of the
other models cost over $250 dollars and some up to $400. So
what is the difference between the less expensive one and
more expensive ones? Don't GPS devices essentially do the
same thing? I would really like to buy a couple of these as a
present to myself and my sister for Christmas, but I really
want to get the whole picture before buying one. Would I be
in a world of regret if I went with a cheaper model? Do name
brands make a difference? I've heard of Magellan and Garmin,
but TomTom sounds more like a toy. Some pointers would help
me greatly! Happy holidays to you!
Mary Jane H.
Vote for the most helpful answer
Below are the answers we've selected for you to vote on. Click on the title to read the answer by the member.
Here are the selected submissions grouped in one post.
Vote for answer by Brad Hansen
Time to vote! Now that you've read our members' answers, which would you consider the most helpful? Click on the button to weigh in on the decision.
(Note: Below is the section to vote, please read the individual answers above before casting your vote below.)
Vote for answer by twyrick
Vote for answer by ladderless
Vote for answer by rsberstein
Vote for answer by it7276
Vote for answer by darrenforster99
Vote for answer by ackmondual
For the member whose answer was voted the
most helpful by our community, we will send
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Previous week's Q&AThe votes are in! Below is the answer voted most helpful by our community to last week's question.
I never thought in my wildest dreams I would be considering
a MP3 player for myself, but here I am asking for advice on
one. Every where I go, I can't help but see ads for the
iPods, and I'm very curious if this is the right MP3 player
for me. I don't want to buy an iPod just because it is the
trend as I want to buy something that will last me in the
long run. Is the iPod really that popular that it is a must
buy? Forgive me, as I'm completely new to this type of gadget
and I want something simple to use and has a low learning
curve. Can you suggest a MP3 player that will be small enough
for me to carry when I go for my daily walks? I also would
like something with a screen that will allow me to store
pictures of my kids, and one that has enough storage space
for my entire Beatles and Elvis CD collections. What are some
things that are a must to look for in a MP3 player, and of
course what are things I should avoid or be aware of when I
buy a MP3 player? Any advice and recommendation will be
helpful. Thank you.
Nancy, selecting a MP3 player can be a daunting task in today's market. The choices are staggering and it can lead to quite a bit of mental overload as one tries to wade through the myriad of options. I myself have been through the process of purchasing a MP3 player three times in the past three years and hope that some of my experiences will help you...
CNET member: forkboy
Congratulations to the winner!
Each week we take a look at topics discussed in the forums.
Have fun and enjoy!
More from the forums
Check out next week's question:
My 12-year-old son has been begging my husband and I for a Nintendo Wii this entire year. And as part of an agreement with him, we said we would consider it, only if he received good grades in school. So far he has been keeping up his end of the bargain. Christmas is approaching fast and we would like to buy one of these for him, but when I spoke to my brother-in-law, he threw me a curve ball saying that he may quickly grow out of the Wii and should consider buying him a Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 instead. He says that while the Wii is fun, the game titles are less mainstream for the adolescences and more for younger ones and the older generation. I don't pay much attention to this gaming stuff, but this is of a concern for us. I know my son wants one, but is the Wii a right fit for him or should I take my brother-in-law's advice and consider a PlayStation or Xbox where it may not be so susceptible to sitting there to collecting dust after a while? What are the differences? I also have heard many people also say the Wii is fun for all ages and while that sounds great, the game console would be for my son. Please help me out in this dilemma.
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