TomTom XXL 540 S CNET rating: 3.5 stars

TomTom XXL 540 S

CNET rating: 3.5 stars out of 5 (Very Good)

The good: The TomTom XXL 540 S has advanced features such as lane guidance and user-updated maps from TomTom Map Share. Its huge 5-inch touch screen is easy to read and to input addresses. Text-to-speech enhances the device's safety.

The bad: With a wide 5-inch screen and a thick EasyPort mount, pocketability goes out of the window. Routing from a moving vehicle is considerably slower than from a stationary one.

The cost: 284.99

The bottom line: The TomTom XXL 540 S improves on the TomTom XL line by keeping the features we love while improving screen visibility; but the bigger size comes with compromised portability.

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Top GPS devices with Bluetooth

Ideally, GPS devices increase safety by allowing drivers to focus on the road instead of fumbling with a map. And though most will admit that it's safest to not take phone calls when behind the wheel, it's best to go hands-free if you absolutely must.

Why not hit two birds with one stone by grabbing a GPS device that features a built-in Bluetooth speakerphone?

TomTom XXL 540 S CNET rating: 3.5 stars

TomTom XXL 540 S

CNET rating: 3.5 stars out of 5 (Very Good)

The good: The TomTom XXL 540 S has advanced features such as lane guidance and user-updated maps from TomTom Map Share. Its huge 5-inch touch screen is easy to read and to input addresses. Text-to-speech enhances the device's safety.

The bad: With a wide 5-inch screen and a thick EasyPort mount, pocketability goes out of the window. Routing from a moving vehicle is considerably slower than from a stationary one.

The cost: 284.99

The bottom line: The TomTom XXL 540 S improves on the TomTom XL line by keeping the features we love while improving screen visibility; but the bigger size comes with compromised portability.

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Pioneer AVIC-U310BT CNET rating: 3.5 stars out of

Pioneer AVIC-U310BT

CNET rating: 3.5 stars out of 5 (Very Good)

The good: The Pioneer AVIC-U310BT supports digital audio playback from USB storage devices, MP3 players, and iPods. The hands-free calling feature automatically imports contacts form a paired phone. The touch screen is detachable and powered, for destination entry and trip planning outside of the vehicle.

The bad: The preloaded point-of-interest library is severely limited. Multiple menu sources make it hard to find the parameter you want to change. No video playback options.

The cost: $254.99 - $399.99

The bottom line: The Pioneer AVIC-U310BT isn't perfect, but it meets most people's needs for navigation, hands-free calling, and digital audio playback at a very affordable price.

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Motorola MotoNav TN765t CNET rating: 4 stars out

Motorola MotoNav TN765t

CNET rating: 4 stars out of 5 (Excellent)

The good: The MotoNav TN765t features updated hardware and an innovative new interface that combines the map and the menus. Bluetooth hands-free calling (with address book sync and voice dial), text-to-speech, and free FM-traffic reception are welcome additions to the MotoNav feature set. The MotoExtras service is a clever way to add data connectivity by using a Bluetooth-paired phone's antenna to transmit.

The bad: The MotoExtras data service isn't always on, so it must be manually refreshed for the latest info. GPS tracking in skyscraper-dense urban areas is a bit sketchy.

The cost: $269.99 - $299.99

The bottom line: The MotoNav TN765t has a robust feature set that is on par with that of more-established brands and a beautiful interface that is, in many ways, superior.

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Garmin Nuvi 1690 CNET rating: 4 stars out

Garmin Nuvi 1690

CNET rating: 4 stars out of 5 (Excellent)

The good: The Garmin Nuvi 1690 features free (and ad-supported) access to Garmin's NuLink data service, which provides traffic data, fuel prices, Google Search for points of interest, and a host of other features, including Bluetooth hands-free calling help to keep the driver's hands on the wheel while navigating.

The bad: The move to microSD media renders all old Garmin SD cards obsolete. Touch screen exhibits weird flickering when the data connection is being accessed.

The cost: $338.09 - $474.99

The bottom line: By itself, the Garmin Nuvi 1690 is merely a solidly performing GPS device, but it earns its keep through the free NuLink service, giving users easy access to up-to-the-minute data for safety, convenience, and entertainment.

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