Stolen TomTom and Escort replacement

I’m so depressed. I must have left the car unlocked, but got back and the glove compartment was missing my TomTom 720 and Escort 9500i. So sad! But, I can’t prove it was stolen, maybe I’m just absent minded. I need both in this car, so what is the state of the art. Well, quite a bit has changed in the last 2 years:

In GPS, the big news is that Magellan is out of the business and now all the big guys have a GPS Map Subscription so that you can now for about $4/month get updated maps. Really welcome.

The second is that the latest ones have a cellular modem builtin, so you can get real time traffic updates, you can use a real search engine like Google. And you can go on the web, find something and then send it to your GPS. So you have the really cutting edge and cheap in the TeleNav, the more expensive but cutting edge with cellular interconnection in the 740 LIVE and then the polished 855T with MSN Direct and not cellular so less of a growth path.

TomTom 740 LIVE vs TeleNav Shotgun are the two with them. The TomTom GO 740 LIVE Review has a user interface I like, but of course it is the most expensive. You pay $10/month for the traffic and then about $4/month for the GPS map updates. Plus $400 for the base unit. They have figured out how to get into the subscription business. The best choice for ease of use. It also has this feature called IQ Routes which uses the real world estimated speeds. Won the Best of CES 2009 because of its interconnection.

The TeleNav Shotgun is hardware that comes directly from the map vendor. Kind of continues the trend where the actual content people are building hardware like Amazon is with the Kindle. It is risky in that it is version one, but it is much cheaper. $300 direct from Telenav but most importantly map updates are free and the traffic service is $12/month ($10/month for two years). However in terms of usability, it certainly is version one. GPS Magazine sums it up well by saying it is slow to update

GPS Magazine really likes Garmin. It has the Nuvi 885T which has voice recognition that apparently really works. Nuvi 765T is best all around (775T doesn’t have bluetooth hands-free, personally, I’ve found hands-free to not work well, too noisy). Its biggest deal is a lifetime udpate for maps. 4 times per year for a single price. Cool. They have a ton of models, but the high end ones are 7x5Ts. It doesn’t have an internet connected device, but the Nuvi 880for instance is more polished in terms of user interface, etc. It is also brighter than the TomTom. Also the TomTom’s routing engine was worst compared with the nuvi 780. Garmin BTW uses MSN special traffic service instead of a general mobile phone connection.

Radartest Things are little easier with radar detectors as they are evolving less slowly. The big change is the move to having a database of speed cameras so you can get alerts and also noticing point sources that are falsing all the time. The 9500i got phenomenal reviews, now the 9500 ix seems just as good particularly with Southern car parts mount. I’ve found the suction cups are really bad on this thing. They have a bundle for $500 that include all this stuff. BTW if you have a 9500i (still!), Veilguy says for $90 you can upgrade it.

And if you are worried about laser, which is too fast, then you can get Veil to reduce reflections on your license plate and headlights or you can even get a …New Escort Passport 9500ix

The Blinder Xtreme units have proven to me to be an extremely reliable and dependable protection. The latest J16 versions of the M25 family have only improved over the original M10s and M20s and are very reasonably priced, IMO.

If you wish to have direct integration into your existing Passport 9500ix, perhaps you would be well to consider the Laser Shifter ZR4 [which also adds a rear shifter (ie; laser jammer head]. This unit is also reasonably priced and if its reliability proves similar to its predecessor, the Shifter ZR3, you won’t be disappointed, either.

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