It doesn't have four wheels, needs no gasoline, requires little
maintenance, and you can park it just about anywhere, but a laptop
computer could be one of your best "automotive" buys.
With a laptop you can go just about anywhere, and while it will
never replace the car, it could save you money on your next car
The laptop has come a long way in features, size, and price. A
feature packed, powerful laptop costs less than $2,000, with many
available in the $1,000 price range -- less, if you don't need high-
So, what does a laptop have to do with driving or purchasing a
car? Among the newest features of some luxury cars is a high-tech
navigation system. These systems cost $2,000 or more as an option.
However, if you have a laptop, you can buy navigation software for
little as $150, plus you'll have a system that can do a whole lot
more than just navigate.
With a modem-equipped laptop, you can connect to the Internet
world of car buying. There are a number of online services that
offer the latest pricing information. You can also make quick
vehicle comparisons. Using Autosite's service, for example, you can
make a side-by-side comparison of any two vehicles. With this
information, you might save enough on the purchase of your next car
to pay for the new laptop.
Ah, but the fun doesn't stop there. There are easy-to-use,
inexpensive programs that can help you plan a vacation, or find a
street, even the exact address you want.
TravRoute's Door-to-Door CoPilot not only tracks your position on
an electronic map, but guides you turn-by-turn to any address in the
United States. It even offers voice prompts to help you make those
turns, etc. Should you make a mistake, the program will quickly re-
route you to your destination. The system uses Global Positioning
System technology tied into software that covers the continental
United States on one compact disc. It sells for about $350 and is
available by calling 1-888-872-8768.
TravRoute also produces Door-to-Door ($49.95) that will provide
directions to any address in the United States. It provides printed
directions with every turn documented, and a map of your route. New
this year is an Internet GeoBrowser that offers instant access to
restaurants, accommodations, weather conditions, and construction
DeLorme, the Maine mapmaker, offers a variety of products
including Tripmate GPSReceiver ($159), which uses a Global
Positioning System device along with information from DeLorme's
Street Altas USA to show just where you are at all times. …