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GPS Unit Recommendations?

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Yeah, that ought to work. It's a bit big (but not for a tablet), and more expensive than a moderately priced GPS (no contract price $600), but then you can do a whole lot more with it too. All the sales I'm seeing, besides the "international version" on Amazon (more expensive), are tied to a carrier though, even without contract. So I'm not sure if you'd need to sign up "with" a carrier then just not continue service, or what. I haven't looked into it much though. Just make sure you get the 16GB version instead of the 2GB. You'll need the storage space for maps!

- Oshyan
-JavaJones (November 20, 2010, 06:11 PM)
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Good call.  yes, I do want the 16gb space for all those maps.  I'll look into the contract stuff and report back here.  Yes, anyone, please let me know if I am overlooking something about this.  I don't want to spend $600 to find out some little restriction that will make this all impossible.  There's always some little thing about this bullshit contract/hardware/mobile industry that makes things darn near impossible.

The good thing is that I've heard that the Samsung tablet has a pretty great UI and is a well built tablet.

I need to find the best forum for the offline GPS devices.  I'd like to see or hear about the response times, the features, the capabilities of what I'll be able to do.  Could I attach an external antenna to make it lock into the satellite faster?  I know that the lock-in time is going to be one of the "it" factors for me.  I don't want it to take more than a minute to lock in.  I also don't want slow refresh speeds on the screen as I'm driving.  I want it smooth and fast.  And I have reason to believe it can be.  The tablet is more than powerful enough to handle that kind of processing, and having the maps locally stored on the device should make the map movements as snappy as can be expected.  My suspicion is that I'm going to run into issues with the satellite lock-in times.

Satellite lock-in time on my Samsung Epic phone isn't too bad in the car (inside buildings it takes a while, if it works at all). But accuracy in motion can get wonky sometimes (e.g. you're driving down a freeway with a frontage road next to you and it suddenly thinks you're on the frontage road and tries to adjust directions to get you back on the freeway). Then again I've seen the same with real GPS units too (admittedly older ones). Overall I've found the GPS experience on my phone to be very good, and that's with Google's built-in Navigation app, not offline maps. I imagine having all the map data locally would just make it faster. Should be pretty decent.

One other thing to consider is that most carriers should offer some period of money back guarantee, at least they do on cell phones. So you may be able to purchase, evaluate, and return if it doesn't fulfill your needs.

- Oshyan

Thanks Oshyan.  It looks like it's going to be tricky trying to buy a Samsung tablet without the carrier contract.  But I'm not sure on that.  I'll go into the store tomorrow and see.  Such bullshit.  Man, I hate that so much.

I'm really glad to hear your Epic has decent GPS ability.  Could you possibly try it by turning off all the wifi and/or data connections, and tell me if you notice any weirdness?  That would be a really big help for me.  The Epic should be behave essentially the same as the tablet, it's just a matter of screen size, right?


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