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Choosing a Handheld GPS

All In One

More GPS units are adding entertainment features.

If you want your GPS to earn its keep during the whole journey, look for a model like the Axion Geo-320 or the Garmin nüvi 660, which play MP3s and display photos. Or try a Windows Mobile Pocket PC with GPS like the HP Mobile Messenger, iPAQ Travel Companion, Mio A701 or HTC P3300. Benefon's TWIG Discovery is a mobile phone with built-in GPS, which makes it a little chunky, but it's robust enough to travel.

The TWIG discovery looks like an old-style mobile phone, but it has a good set of navigation tools and built-in GPS.

Expect to see more combined devices and more units based on PDA operating systems rather than proprietary software. The Pocket LOOX and IPAQ Travel Companion are good examples; they're both based on Windows CE, though you can't tell on the LOOX because it's a custom version. The iPAQ Travel Companion has all the features of a good GPS, and it even gets a signal inside some buildings. It's laid out like a GPS with a landscape screen and standard navigation buttons. But you can close the navigation software and run any Pocket PC software you want or browse the Web over Wi-Fi. It's the best of both worlds.

Browse restaurants or Websites, get a route or play games and music; the iPAQ Travel Companion lives up to its name.

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