Garmin NÃ¼vi 3790T
A year ago in this space, we wrote about how smartphones were usurping some of the functions of standalone GPS devices. This year, the Garmin NÃ¼vi 3790T ($450) is as slick-looking as an iPhone. It’s Garmin’s thinnest GPS device, and it features a glass multitouch screen that lets users “pinch zoom” as you can with smartphone navigation apps. The GPS software on this device will be familiar to users of previous Garmin products, only maps load more quickly thanks to an improved processor. Another new feature is hands-free voice command. Reviewers generally thought it worked well, especially for saved destinations. The NÃ¼vi’s size makes it easy to pocket, and it can offer pedestrian and transit directions in addition to driving routes. Also included is Garmin’s EcoRoute application, which suggests fuel-efficient routes and estimates fuel consumption based on your vehicle’s rating.
A group of Las Vegas accountants invented this product after observing clients with error-riddled, incomplete mileage reporting. The idea is to take the hassle out of logging work-related mileage. The $150 box contains a built-in GPS and just two buttons: work and personal. Plug it into your vehicle’s cigarette lighter and push one of the buttons when you start a trip. Then simply plug the box into a computer via USB connection and download an IRS-ready mileage report. We’d be surprised if there weren’t smartphone apps that could do the same chore, but it’s probably tough to beat EasyMile Log for simplicity.