GPS navigation units more popular as prices fall

This Magellan unit also includes premium features typically found in pricier models, including spoken directions that include street names (example: "Turn left in 200 feet on Bonaventure Avenue"), AAA TourBook info (providing ratings and descriptions on AAA-approved places to eat and sleep) and a OneTouch menu that provides instant access to bookmarks of favorite places.

As with the Garmin model, the RoadMate 1440 includes an SD memory card slot in case you want to use the GPS unit's speakers to listen to music, audio books or podcasts.

Screen dream

For drivers who prefer a larger view, the Navigon 8100T ($599; navigonusa.com) has a 4.8-inch touch-screen and an exclusive Panorama View 3D feature — using NASA terrain data to provide elevation imagery, such as rolling hills and steep drops — as well as photorealistic "reality view" with actual road signs and lane guidance for highways.

For those who like to talk instead of tap, the Navigon 8100T lets you speak a destination address into the GPS unit instead of typing it in.

Often found in premium GPS units, the 8100T also includes free traffic updates for life, Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free calls, text-to-speech (for spoken street names) and more.

Some points of interest include Zagat ratings and reviews for suggested places to wine, dine and unwind.

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