Finding a good aftermarket global positioning system for a car that delivers the performance of a built-in system can be tough. Garmin ‘s popular StreetPilot III certainly fits the bill, but with a suggested retail price of $1,200, that bill is a little high.
But Garmin , ever-attentive to many product niches and subniches, has a less-pricey alternative that fits perfect on any dashboard, mounts on a motorcycle or bicycle or boat. It’s the GPS V and, at with a suggested retail price of about $535, delivers excellent performance at a reasonable price.
Weighing only 9 ounces, it’s significantly smaller than the StreetPilot III (which we reviewed here last May), and while that makes the screen a lot smaller–it’s 2.2 inches wide by 1.5 inches high, compared to 3.4 inches by 1.8 inches for the StreetPilot’s screen–that turns out to be an advantage. The GPS V will deliver point-to-point directions and the same location and navigation as the StreetPilot, but it’s small enough to be used like a handheld GPS unit. The words “best of both worlds” do come to mind.
And while the GPS V’s grayscale screen isn’t as beautiful as that of the StreetPilot’s brilliant color display, it does have its own cool feature. It can be switched from a horizontal orientation, which is right for when the unit is mounted on the dashboard, to a vertical orientation for use while walking. And like any other handheld GPS unit, it’s perfectly waterproof.