Consider these 5 GPS units under $200

ByABC News
June 12, 2009, 1:36 PM

— -- Once luxury items, Global Positioning System units are now viewed as a necessity by millions. With GPS devices, keeping your bearings no matter where the road leads is a breeze. Full-featured GPS units can approach $1,000. Fortunately, you'll find excellent units at a fraction of that price.

Here are my top picks for GPS units under $200. These are average prices on the Web.

Garmin nuvi 265T

The nuvi 265T ($180) features a 3.5-inch screen. It includes maps for all 50 states, Puerto Rico and Canada. There are more than 6 million points of interest and Bluetooth functionality.

You'll get turn-by-turn, text-to-speech directions using street names.

The real draw is free, lifetime real-time traffic updates. You may see small, unobtrusive ads for businesses along your route. Routes are not altered to take you past advertisers.

You can send addresses to the unit from sites like Google Maps. And it also features a photo navigation feature. Upload a photo tagged with location coordinates. The unit plots a route to the location.

TomTom One 140 S

The TomTom One 140 S ($170) has a 3.5-inch screen. Maps cover all 50 states and Puerto Rico, Canada and Mexico. There are more than 7 million POIs.

It features text-to-speech for turn-by-turn directions using street names. There's also multidestination routing. But the unit won't optimize multidestination routes for efficiency.

You'll need a separate receiver ($100) for real-time traffic updates. The first year of updates is free; it's $60 yearly thereafter. But, MapShare lets you modify and add information as well as download maps created by others.

Other nice features include lane guidance to help with multilane exits. Routes are calculated using your actual average speeds. And, the Help Me! feature locates local emergency providers.

Magellan Maestro 3250

The Magellan Maestro 3250 ($180) has a 3.5-inch screen. Maps cover all 50 states, in addition to Puerto Rico and Canada. The unit includes 6 million POIs.

The unit features text-to-speech for turn-by-turn directions using street names. It also features voice command, so that you can tell the device to direct you home, for example.