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Help me decide... Netbook or handheld GPS..

Discussion in 'General EDC Discussion' started by hannism, Nov 7, 2010.

  1. hannism

    hannism Loaded Pockets

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    Well, I'm planning to go to New York City. I am torn between buying a netbook or a GPS.

    Here are the pros and the cons for me. I already have a desktop and a large laptop. The laptop I have was given to me; it does everything I need it to do, but it's big. Hence, I don't use it at home, and primarily use the desktop.

    If I get the GPS, I'm thinking to get the Garmin GPSMAP 60CSX, which I can get off Amazon for around $240 new. While in NYC, I hope it'll help me keep tabs on places I want to go. I plan on using the subway, so I don't know how useful the GPS will be.

    On the other hand, if I get the netbook, since it is small enough, maybe I would use while in bed. Also, I have the added advantage of having a small, portable computer for trips.

    For the GPS, the 60CSX is obsolete, but it was a great GPS. It probably has more features than I could use. I could have a device that I could use on hikes (rarely hike, but it's a possibility), and could use it on future trips where we might walk a lot (Europe). One other possibility is that I maybe able to use the Garmin as my car's GPS to navigate as well.

    I'm kinda on the fence here. This is one of those times where get both don't apply.

    Thanks for the responses.
     
  2. CDavisJK

    CDavisJK Loaded Pockets

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    Do you already have a smartphone? If not, have you looked into getting one? You can probably get an Android phone or similar in that price range and it will have GPS functionality and can be used for web browsing like a netbook. It's sort of an inbetween solution, but I use my Nokia for everything.
     
  3. jehan60188

    jehan60188 Loaded Pockets

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    for purely navigation purposes, i suggest getting a smart phone. then download google maps, and it will provide all the navigation you need.
    with a gps unit, there are issues such as tall buildings, clouds, etc. that make reception difficult. cell-phone based navigation will work anywhere you have a decent signal

    if you insist on choosing between the two, i suggest neither. get a paper map and button compass, and you'll be fine (using a paper map vs laptop vs gps will make you look equally like a tourist/target).

    if you have to pick one or the other, i suggest the netbook. it'll have more functionality, and the GPS will get outdated if you don't update the software. even if the maps are outdated, the laptop will still be useful for other stuff
     
  4. jflook

    jflook Loaded Pockets

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    I would completely agree with CDavisJK and jehan60188..the smart phone is the way to go. If you have an android , iphone or an ipod touch I would definitely download the NYCMate application from the app store, the app has from what I can tell, all the subway, railroad, LIRR, bus routes in Manhattan (http://www.nycmate.com/). If you don't like nycmate there probably are other apps out there to do the same type of thing but I have used NYCmate in NYC and it worked out very well.

    Also something I picked up was the Moleskine New York City book, neat idea with printed maps and lots of other cool things. (http://www.moleskine.com/catalogue/city_notebook/america/city_notebook_new_york.php)
     
  5. DaPro

    DaPro Loaded Pockets

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    DROID..........buy one for $149 and get a 2nd phone free...

    DROID and IPhone both have WiFi.......
     
  6. God.loves.ugly

    God.loves.ugly Empty Pockets

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    I love my netbook for all sorts of uses, in home, on trips, at a coffee shop. whatever.. it's compact and works well. I do not own a gps unit but I do have a smartphone with gps I use it from time to time especially if I'm in an unfamiliar city. I think the netbook would be more useful overall but a gps might be more useful while in new york, so my answer is......... Netbook. and a map.
     
  7. enki_ck

    enki_ck Loaded Pockets

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    Netbook for sure. You'll get a lot more use out of it then any GPS unit. You could use a GPS sometimes, but you'll use your netbook every day. If you plan to take a trip to Europe, here a lot of caffe's, hotels and hostels offer free wi-fi, and you can get a pre-paid data SIM card in most of the countries for wireless UMTS browsing. For instance in Croatia, where I'm from, you get 1,5GB of 3G traffic for $15 (that's the biggest package). I have an Asus eee 1000HG with built in 3G modem, wi-fi, 5 hours autonomy (really) ... and it's the most used computer I own (I have 4). It take it to work, on trips, when I'm home, it goes on my nightstand to get charged and a movie or some browsing in bed.
     
  8. hannism

    hannism Loaded Pockets

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    After a lot of thinking, I'm probably going to go with the Iphone 4. Everyone here gave great opinions, and I learned quite a bit. I decided against the GPS, b/c in the larger cities the taller buildings might block out the signals. If I was deciding between only the GPS and netbook, I would go with the netbook.

    I started thinking about the Iphone 4, and I can keep email, web browser, calendar, mp3 player all in one device, and have cool apps like weather channel and nycmate. Looks like I'm going with the Iphone. Thanks again everyone for taking time to post.
     
  9. CDavisJK

    CDavisJK Loaded Pockets

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    Awesome! I feel that my Smartphone is probably my most important EDC after wallet & keys.

    The solutions to many problems are just a google search away. It's also nice to do a quick price check on NewEgg or Amazon before I buy something I see in person.

    I'm not really sure if I followed you, but definitely look into GPS for your smartphone. Usually you can use GPS to find your spot within 5-20meters or use cellphone tower triangulation to get your position within 500-1000 meters, which is definitely good enough to help you find your way.
     
  10. hannism

    hannism Loaded Pockets

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    Nah, sometimes I ramble, and can be unclear.

    Anyways, this was a pretty easy sale to the wife. I pitched it well, so looks like we are both getting Iphone 4's this weekend. But, having the GPS in the smartphone is just another reason I went this route. Thanks.
     
  11. spaceman

    spaceman Loaded Pockets

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    My wife has an iphone and I have an android phone. I think the android is better for GPS functionality because google navigator gives you, without additional cost, turn by turn directions with voice prompts.
     
  12. bigfoot

    bigfoot Loaded Pockets

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    Congrats -- you both will love you new iPhone 4's! There are many third-party iPhone GPS apps available -- the "MotionX" app allows you to save & use maps offline when not connected to a cell tower or WiFi. (Costs about $2.99 if I remember correctly.) The GPS chip performance is far better than the older iPhone 3G. Plus the e-mail, web access, etc. is more icing on the cake. Enjoy your trip!
     
  13. Kuso

    Kuso Empty Pockets

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    If you're going to use the iPhone in NYC, the standard Google Maps app is fantastic for the subway. Simply enter the destination and set your mode of transportation to public. Then it tells you where the station is, which train to get on, and when it departs. It works with trains and busses in all cities.