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USB GPS Receiver turns your laptop into a fancy satnav device


It’s ridiculous how quickly GPS satellite navigation has become indispensable for many people. Nowadays a huge chunk of the population find their way around via some form of satnav, whether it’s on their phone or a standalone car model which they use instead of maps. Remember maps? Quaint paper things which ripped and loved chocolate stains and were always stored under the seat in some totally awkward and inaccessible place.

Well now you can turn your laptop into a GPS powered map replacement, save the money you would spend on a dedicated car satnav and get to see those maps in glorious large screen-o-vision. This USB GPS Receiver plugs into a USB port (of course), and features all the usual cool stuff you’d expect, like fast 29 sec cold start satellite acquisition and positional accuracy down to 1 meter.


You will need to invest in some full blown turn by turn navigation software if you want to use it to actually guide you to a location (as opposed to simply displaying your position on a map), but there are freeware programs around like Map Monkey you can use at a pinch. Priced at $23.94/£15.25.

Nigel is the managing editor of the Red Ferret, as well as a freelance columnist for the Sunday Times newspaper in London. Loves tech and fancies himself as a bit of a futurist, but then don’t we all?

Nigel – who has written posts on The Red Ferret Journal.


  • It would be interesting to see an explanation of this product as to what it DOES NOT have that a standalone GPS DOES HAVE.

    • I believe it has everything a conventional standalone GPS unit has except the software. So as I said in the post, you need to supply the navigation software for full turn by turn goodness.

    • It may be useful to have the option of using a larger screen than an standalone GPS, assuming you're using a tablet/netbook/laptop with the GPS dongle. You would also have the option (or chore!) of choosing between different satnav programs. I guess there are disadvantages as well.

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