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Manufacturers have been cramming GPS technology into everything from phones to bike computers. But too often these devices are clunky, complicated, or both. Times have changed. You no longer have to be a tech-savvy early adopter to use sleek and intuitive GPS-enabled devices like the ones here. Nothing demonstrates this navigational fact of modern life better than this year's Gear of the Year winner, the Magellan Crossover. Whichjust like you, undoubtedlyis equally at home on highways and hiking trails.
Magellan CrossoverGPS (8.5 oz) $549 magellangps.com
1. Eliminate extra gadgets: The Crossover is the first unit on the market with outdoor, marine, and advanced vehicle capabilities all crammed into a single lightweight unit. Even with the broad functions, the Crossover is simple to use, thanks to an intuitive, icon-based menu system paired with one of the largest (3.5 inches) and clearest screens we've seen. In other words, the do-it-all age has finally arrived.
2. Menu navigation works directly through the touch screen, so there's no need to remember which button does what. We found our way through several cities before we even bothered to crack the owner's manual. There's a detour feature that helps you re-route around traffic jams andour favoritea simulator mode that lets you plug in departure and destination info, and then preview the route being "driven" onscreen.
3. Off the dashboard, the Crossover is up for mellow backcountry trips, thanks to wilderness-friendly features like eight to ten hours of battery life, a simple backtrack function, and a 1.5GB internal memory loaded with North American topo (and street) maps. Plus, with its media-specific SD memory-card slot (cards sold separately) and earphone jack, it doubles as a digital audio player and portable photo album.