It's an annoyance that grates on the nerves of many a sat nav buyer but only occasionally gets a mention in the odd car navigation GPS review. I suspect it goes largely unnoticed because reviewers in the course of testing spend only a few hours with a unit unlike buyers who - once they've handed over their cash - are stuck with their purchase for a few years at least. Let me set the scene. You're driving along minding your own business when, for reasons best known to itself your navigator, without warning, suddenly parts company with your windscreen. By the time you look down your costly gizmo is either nestling in the comfort of your lap from where it continues to issue its instructions or it's trying to do so from the dark depths of your foot-well. If it wasn't the first time it probably came as no surprise.
So more than likely you spent the preceding 20 minutes or so getting wound up and distracted waiting for the dreaded moment when you're going to have to pull over and sort the thing out yet again. We're talking here about budget navs in the main but even at the top end there are the occasional horror stories. Plainly, low end navs are built to a price and aimed at buyers on a limited budget. That's fair enough. After all, not everyone can afford to fork out big money for a top of the line bells and whistles job.
The thing is, budget models are an exercise in cost cutting and compromise, meaning your unit will come with the basics but of course, don't expect to find too many of the more desirable features and options you'd get at the top end included. But despite the need to keep costs down, you wouldn't think that manufacturers would compromise on an absolute bare-bones necessity like providing a suction cup that really sucks up, would you? Well, it seems some do and that's why some cheap sat navs literally do suck, or more to the point, don't suck hard enough. So you've made extensive use of the car navigation review search button, read up on loads of sat nav reviews and ended up with a good all rounder that refuses to suck up, now what? First off get practical, make sure it's not your windscreen. Give the area in which you intend your nav to take up residence a good clean and try again. If that doesn't work use a little water to dampen the suction cup and give it another go. If it sticks like super glue all well and good, if not my advice is to do your blood pressure a favour and apply the ultimate cure - shove the thing back in its box and return to sender forthwith.
Now save a few more pennies, hit the car navigation GPS review search button again and go for something that's a little further up the sat nav food chain and less of a compromise in build quality. Copyright (c) 2008 Tony Elliot.
GPS novice? Tony Elliot And Beryl Reid are writers and technology enthusiasts. Download their popular and free 19 page quick study guide here:=> Portable Sat Navs Made Easy