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I recently acquired a second laptop and was thinking about using it for GPS. Anyone else use a laptop or is a handheld a better way to go? I figure laptop based would be easier to upload new maps and upgrade. Right? Wrong? :confused: I've done some searching but I'm more familiar with handheld units. I figure the biggest thing against the laptop would be portability (taking hiking, camping, etc.). Thanks in advance.
 

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AZTaco said:
I recently acquired a second laptop and was thinking about using it for GPS. Anyone else use a laptop or is a handheld a better way to go? I figure laptop based would be easier to upload new maps and upgrade. Right? Wrong? :confused: I've done some searching but I'm more familiar with handheld units. I figure the biggest thing against the laptop would be portability (taking hiking, camping, etc.). Thanks in advance.
Well you don't have to worry about limited space that handhelds have for maps, waypoins, trails, etc. with a laptop. I have a Garmin GPS V and although it's cool for the truck since it mounts in a landscape position it's only got 8MB of memory. I have to skip maps a lot of the times on longer trips. It's annoying because it will get confused, auto-routing, when you go into an area that you don't have the detailed map downloaded to it.

There are better handhelds for sure but I like this one because it's car oriented but not a full blown $1k street pilot unit. If I could afford a laptop for GPS I'd probably use it for the truck then have a handheld for hiking.

Check out the PDAs that are GPS capable as well.
 

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AZTaco said:
I recently acquired a second laptop and was thinking about using it for GPS. Anyone else use a laptop or is a handheld a better way to go? I figure laptop based would be easier to upload new maps and upgrade. Right? Wrong? :confused: I've done some searching but I'm more familiar with handheld units. I figure the biggest thing against the laptop would be portability (taking hiking, camping, etc.). Thanks in advance.
My buddy used to have the DeLorme Earthmate that he let me borrow a couple of times, it was a lot easier to follow where you were and see where you were going because of the larger screen. The only problem is positioning, it's much easier/safer for me to drive and glance at my SporTrak mounted to the a-arm handle than to turn and look at the passenger seat for directions.
 

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if i had a laptop,i would definatly use it in the rig.bigger,color screen,all the options,bigger map area.Mike(antibling) runs one and it is a cool toy.:cool:
AZTaco said:
I recently acquired a second laptop and was thinking about using it for GPS. Anyone else use a laptop or is a handheld a better way to go? I figure laptop based would be easier to upload new maps and upgrade. Right? Wrong? :confused: I've done some searching but I'm more familiar with handheld units. I figure the biggest thing against the laptop would be portability (taking hiking, camping, etc.). Thanks in advance.
 

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You might want to look at Microsoft Streets and Trips. You can get it with or without a USB antenna, or you can use it with your handhelds existing interface. I've used it with the USB antenna and my garmin etrex vista. Works well. Autorouting and other features. I like that it displays altitude as well. Check it out.

C
 

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AZTaco said:
I recently acquired a second laptop and was thinking about using it for GPS. Anyone else use a laptop or is a handheld a better way to go? I figure laptop based would be easier to upload new maps and upgrade. Right? Wrong? :confused: I've done some searching but I'm more familiar with handheld units. I figure the biggest thing against the laptop would be portability (taking hiking, camping, etc.). Thanks in advance.
check out the garmin 2610. awesome awesome unit and very cheap, i got mine for 520 shipped. best 500 bucks i've ever spent.

i used to run the laptop with my old etrex legend but the whole unit is pretty bulky unless you hardmount it to your truck, e.g. laptop mount, power source, etc.

also, the laptop is not as vibration resistant as a regular gps. lastly, a laptop has to power up, find the satellite signal, then load the software. kind of a pain.
 

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I use an old laptop for GPS and music in my work truck. I have both MS Streets and Trips and CoPilot. Both are great in different situations. IMO, the laptop is hard/impossible to use alone while driving. That is why I permanently mounted it under the seat and run a 8" touchscreen monitor mounted on the dash.
 

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shorttaco said:
I use an old laptop for GPS and music in my work truck. I have both MS Streets and Trips and CoPilot. Both are great in different situations. IMO, the laptop is hard/impossible to use alone while driving. That is why I permanently mounted it under the seat and run a 8" touchscreen monitor mounted on the dash.
Interesting. You have any pictures of that?
-Scott
 

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AZTaco said:
I recently acquired a second laptop and was thinking about using it for GPS. Anyone else use a laptop or is a handheld a better way to go? I figure laptop based would be easier to upload new maps and upgrade. Right? Wrong? :confused: I've done some searching but I'm more familiar with handheld units. I figure the biggest thing against the laptop would be portability (taking hiking, camping, etc.). Thanks in advance.

I have a streetpilot, you can push maps, and waypoints to the GPS. I'd rather have a stand alone GPS then a laptop. I think the offroading would be hell on a laptops harddrive.

Just get a GPS that you download waypoints, and tracks to your harddrive.
 

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BOOBANELLI21 said:
I have a laptop and Microsoft Street and Trips, what do I need to use the GPS??

-maybe a dumb question?
Depends on the GPS you have - most you can get either a serial or USB cable to connect to the laptop (sold seperate), then all you have to do is set the software to which one you used, and the type of GPS or just generic NEMA.. but the settings on the GPS and the software have to match.

I use a wireless bluetooth GPS with my laptop, and with my Pocket PC.. no cables at all.. :D
 

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AZTaco said:
I recently acquired a second laptop and was thinking about using it for GPS. Anyone else use a laptop or is a handheld a better way to go? I figure laptop based would be easier to upload new maps and upgrade. Right? Wrong? :confused: I've done some searching but I'm more familiar with handheld units. I figure the biggest thing against the laptop would be portability (taking hiking, camping, etc.). Thanks in advance.
The big advantage of a laptop is the type of mapping software you can use - I use Maptech Topo software on mine, which is way cool and very detailed and accurate - this level of detail would never fit on a hand held (does export to a PDA though!). Plus I can do 3-D views, routes, profiles, etc, etc, using the full power of a laptop.. Down size is the size and weight, and power requirments.. I have an AC adapter for my truck, and then dual batteries which would give me about 6 hours real world usage. I can connect it to any of my GPS's, including my Bluetooth wireless one.

Next is a PDA, I use an IPAQ HX4700, it will run mini versions of most of the popular software, including Maptech.. It's much smaller and easier to cary around, but not as easy to work on and use, or to view as a laptop. For these I'd only pretty much get a unit that has bluetooth, and use a bluetooth GPS with it. The unit is a bit more fragil than a true GPS unit, you might not want to be dropping it or stuff out on the trails.

Then there is the GPS units themselves, they are the smallest and easiest to carry around (car mounted units not included) , but then can be limited on map detail.. I have a Garmin GPSMap 60cs, Garmin has some topo software that can be loaded onto it but it's not as detailed as the full laptop, and it's limited on how much it can hold, but does pretty good for a handheld pocketable unit..

In the end, I find I use the laptop for big trips and trip planning, or trying to find hard to find spots in the field where I need real detailed live updates on where I'm at and going.. the PDA make a nice toy but does neither well, and for everything else I use the GPS unit.
 

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I have the Magellan Meridian Color and it is fantastic. According to many reviews it is one of the best handheld that works for street navigation. the only thing that it doesn't have compared to the bigger GPS models is it doesn't speak to you, it just beeps. I use it all the time to check my speed because my larger tires. The menus and navigation of the software on the handled is easy to use while driving. I think Costco has a very good deal with their coupon. I think $350 (orig. $500) with car adapter, software, and car mounting kit & additional memory chip (32mb i think). Hope this helps. oh and it floats :D
 

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Tankota said:
The big advantage of a laptop is the type of mapping software you can use - I use Maptech Topo software on mine, which is way cool and very detailed and accurate - this level of detail would never fit on a hand held (does export to a PDA though!). Plus I can do 3-D views, routes, profiles, etc, etc, using the full power of a laptop.. Down size is the size and weight, and power requirments.. I have an AC adapter for my truck, and then dual batteries which would give me about 6 hours real world usage. I can connect it to any of my GPS's, including my Bluetooth wireless one.

Next is a PDA, I use an IPAQ HX4700, it will run mini versions of most of the popular software, including Maptech.. It's much smaller and easier to cary around, but not as easy to work on and use, or to view as a laptop. For these I'd only pretty much get a unit that has bluetooth, and use a bluetooth GPS with it. The unit is a bit more fragil than a true GPS unit, you might not want to be dropping it or stuff out on the trails.

Then there is the GPS units themselves, they are the smallest and easiest to carry around (car mounted units not included) , but then can be limited on map detail.. I have a Garmin GPSMap 60cs, Garmin has some topo software that can be loaded onto it but it's not as detailed as the full laptop, and it's limited on how much it can hold, but does pretty good for a handheld pocketable unit..

In the end, I find I use the laptop for big trips and trip planning, or trying to find hard to find spots in the field where I need real detailed live updates on where I'm at and going.. the PDA make a nice toy but does neither well, and for everything else I use the GPS unit.
if you have so many gps units, why didn't you take one out that one time we were lost in ocotillo?????????
 

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Discussion Starter #17
shorttaco said:
I use an old laptop for GPS and music in my work truck. I have both MS Streets and Trips and CoPilot. Both are great in different situations. IMO, the laptop is hard/impossible to use alone while driving. That is why I permanently mounted it under the seat and run a 8" touchscreen monitor mounted on the dash.
Nice!!! :cool:
 

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Discussion Starter #18

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Discussion Starter #19
Blinkin2000 said:
I have the Magellan Meridian Color and it is fantastic. According to many reviews it is one of the best handheld that works for street navigation. the only thing that it doesn't have compared to the bigger GPS models is it doesn't speak to you, it just beeps. I use it all the time to check my speed because my larger tires. The menus and navigation of the software on the handled is easy to use while driving. I think Costco has a very good deal with their coupon. I think $350 (orig. $500) with car adapter, software, and car mounting kit & additional memory chip (32mb i think). Hope this helps. oh and it floats :D
So does shit! :D Thanks, I'll take a look. The more I think about it a $50 antenna and my laptop may be the best fix for now until I really feel the need for a truely portable option. $300+ is kinda steep right now for something I'll use on occasion. Plus I want to lift the truck so that may take most the GPS money. Thanks again.
 

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I second what Peekay331 said about the Garmin 2610. He recommended it to me and I love it. Very easy to use. Although it seems like it may be out of your price range ($520), you might want to think about it and start saving up.
 
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