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How do I Choose the Best GPS Charger?

Article Details
  • Written By: C. Mitchell
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 17 November 2016
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2016
    Conjecture Corporation
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The majority of global positioning system, or GPS, devices on the market are powered by rechargeable lithium batteries. When the battery dies, all one typically needs to restore the GPS system’s functions is to plug it in to an electrical source. Choosing the best GPS charger depends a lot on circumstance. Factors like how you use the GPS, whether you want the charger to be able to charge numerous devices, whether you need a car adapter, and whether you want the charger to function internationally will all influence the choice.

Most of the time, a GPS system purchased new comes with a GPS charger that is designed specifically for the purchased system. Many of these included chargers work as car adapters, meaning that the GPS system will charge only when plugged into the car, usually through the lighter plug. A GPS charger of this variety converts the electrical power supplied by the car’s battery into the power needed to charge and run the GPS system. A car-based GPS charger typically works well for GPS users who only use their GPS systems for vehicle travel. An owner many need to replace the car charger at some point, or if they may want to use their systems outside of the car, they may also want a more traditional wall plug charger.

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GPS manufactures often sell replacement charger parts for their GPS products, including different charger ad-ons and adapter products. A number of third-party electronics manufacturers also produce GPS chargers, many of which claim to be universal. A universal GPS charger is one that works with a wide variety of GPS systems, and is not specifically tailored to just one brand. When looking for a GPS charger, then, do not feel like you have to purchase one that is made by the manufacturer of your GPS system. Many types of GPS chargers are on the market, and while manufacturer-produced parts may be optimized for your particular product, they are also usually more expensive.

The risk with universal chargers is that they may not, in fact, be truly universal. Before purchasing a so-called universal system, be sure to ascertain whether it will really work with your GPS device. If your device is older, a new universal charger might not fit it. Similarly, if your product receives power through a traditional prong-and-tine jack, a universal GPS charger may not work. Most of the time, the packaging of the universal GPS charger will list the systems with which it is compatible. A sales associate at an electronics store can usually also help determine compatibility.

Much of the uncertainty of which charger to choose can be eliminated by narrowing down what kind of charger you actually need. If you simply want a replacement for your car charger, a charger product that has not only a car charger but also a wall adapter, a USB (universal serial bus) output reader, and swappable plugs for different countries’ outlets may be too much. Should you be planning a trip through Europe with your GPS, however, such a product might be perfect. You may also want to consider an emergency GPS charger, often in the form of a key chain-fitted power stick, if long-distance travel is on your agenda. A lot of the choice necessarily depends on your circumstances, but the right charger for you can be found with just a bit of research.

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