The overall score is made up of:
In-car performance: 50% (city 25% / country 25%); Ease of use: 15%; Verbal instructions: 15%; Screen quality: 10%; Points of interest: 10%.
Price Recommended retail, as of October 2009.
ns Not stated.
(A) Can announce when near to schools.
(B) Speed sign alerts.
(C) Speed alerts available via paid subscription.
How we test
City Besides a home address, our tester Scott O'Keefe selects six destinations within Sydney - a railway station, airport, university, medical centre, golf course and sports complex - and starting from the same point, drives the route with all GPS models to see which locates the destinations correctly. He also compares actual travelling times and distances with those predicted by the GPS.
Country He selects a combination of wineries and hotels from the most recent Hunter Valley Tourist Guide to find out if the GPS provides accurate directions. Only locations with a proper street address shown in the guide are selected - that is, house/lot number, street name and town name.
Ease of use Our tester assesses how useful the instructions are, how easy it is to attach and remove the GPS from the windscreen and whether it vibrates during driving. He looks at how easy it is to use the menu structure on the touch screen and, where supplied, if it is necessary to use a stylus to make entries.
Verbal instructions are assessed by listening to the quality of the voice, timing of turn and other instructions, specificity of the instructions, and whether it's possible to rely on verbal instructions alone without looking at the screen.
Screen quality Our tester compares how easy it is to read the map and how clear the picture is in daylight and at night.
Points of interest He selects 20 points of interests, including a hospital, medical centre, airport, police, shopping centre, tourist attraction and so on, and rates the models based on how many POIs are found all over Australia.
Durability He checks the systems after three hours in a temperature-controlled oven at 60§C, to simulate being in a car on a hot summer's day.
Bike testers: Two CHOICE staff motorcyclists assessed ease of aspects of the bike GPS units that were applicable to use on a motorbike.