Get A Laptop GPS Receiver

laptop gps receiver

A laptop gps receiver becomes a better companion than the regular handheld gps receiver especially if you’re a businessman or someone who doesn’t go anyplace without your laptop. With the handheld or wrist type gps receivers, the monitors are really small you have to have really good eyesight to see the displayed information and sometimes you need to be technically savvy to interpret the gibberish in there. But with a laptop gps receiver, the display is way larger inasmuch as you’re going to be using the whole screen of your laptop to view the maps and data returned by the gps system.


Global Positioning System

For those who need catching up with this technology, GPS, or Global Positioning System, is a technology that was developed around 1973 to provide better accuracy than the ground based positioning system used at the time. GPS involves several satellites speeding around the earth’s upper atmosphere broadcasting at fixed intervals data such as the time, the satellite’s orbital location, almanac, etc. GPS receivers on earth get this messages and make lightning fast calculations to get the receiver’s position. Depending on the receiver, exact time as well as the speed of a moving receiver can also be acquired.

Initially used only by the US Military and select agencies, the use of GPS was later made available to the public worldwide by Presidents Reagan and Clinton.

To read more about GPS technology, refer to this wiki page.

Why A Laptop GPS Receiver?

For the ultimate in portability, the handheld ones (e.g. Garmin eTrex Venture HC GPS Receiver, or the Nüvi 1350LMT) or the ones which can be strapped on the wrist like the Garmin forerunner 305 are hands down best without question. However, if you want the ultimate in flexibility and still have portability, the laptop GPS Receiver comes out on top. As mentioned above, most of us carry our laptops with us almost everywhere we go anyway. A businessman carries it with him whether he’s in his New York office or flying to meet a prospect client in Paris. A blogger may even lug his laptop with him even when vacationing in, say, Pahoa, Hawaii.

By flexibility, it means having the advantage of playing with a lot more types of data than just your location. You can install more robust laptop gps software or applications that can display more accurate and detailed maps, allow importing or exporting of data, spoken data (information and reminders that you can just listen to), route assistance, etc. Even some wrist-strapped gps receivers that can also tell you your heart rate and blood pressure (e.g. Garmin forerunner 305 or 310XT) or expensive car gps systems don’t give you this much information.

GPS Receiver for Laptop Available Today

Garmin 18x PC GPS Navigator Unit

laptop gps receiver garmin 18x
Garmin 18x PC GPS Navigator: a GPS sensor targeted to OEM clients ideal for use in automotive, fleet vehicle, and electronics applications where a small, highly accurate GPS receiver is needed. This laptop GPS receiver which has 12 parallel channel -WAAS enabled GPS receiver is available in either CMOS level serial or USB 2.0 full speed versions, and comes with an integrated magnetic base. Very space friendly in that the puck like receiver is only 2.4 inches in diameter and is very light. Comes with 12 volt cigarette lighter adapter /PC, or bare wire /LVC. All three versions of the GPS 18 come complete with non volatile memory for storage of configuration information, a real time clock, and raw measurement output data for sophisticated customer applications. The LVC version additionally provides a pulse per second logic level output whose rising edge is aligned to the UTC second within 1 microsecond. The USB 2.0 full speed version of the GPS18 is also compatible with USB 1.1 full speed hosts.
“…I decided to buy a Asus laptop and the Garmin GPS 18X USB, with mapsource and nroute and you dont need anything else; perfect combination! You obtain a good GPS with lots of features …”

“I am on the road a lot… I use Mobile PC with my Garmin USB attached to my Dell laptop …Don’t leave home without it! ”


GPS Receiver: Microsoft Pharos GPS-500 III GPS Receiver

microsoft pharos laptop gps receiver
This slender and very sensitive GPS receiver can (Microsoft Pharos GPS-500 III) connect to either PC or Mac using the USB cable included with the product. Using software like Microsoft Streets & Trips, the Microsoft Pharos iGPS-500 will give in real time your accurate location through your notebook’s screen, tablet, or handheld PCs.
“I needed a GPS solution that didn’t break the bank… The versatility of the chipset allows me to use a variety of F/OSS applications that fulfill most if not all of my GPS needs.”

“What more can you ask for? Plug it into a Win7 laptop and the laptop immediately sees the GPS… the GPS locks onto 3 satellites …. I was deciding between the BU353 and this GPS and I couldn’t be happier. ”

“…use with CANape to get vehicle location and speed information for development work. They interface well with CANape. Win XP pro has all the drivers already. CANape picked the GPS up without any trouble.”

“I am a trucker and this is a fine accurate receiver for my laptop Streets and Trips program.”

GlobalSat BU-353 Waterproof USB GPS Receiver

globalsat bu 353 waterproof usb gps receiver
The GlobalSat BU-353 is considered as the first SiRF Star III based Serial GPS receiver with WAAS/EGNOS support to enhance position accuracy. It’s water-proof (and very small) and is powered by SiRF Star III chipset, a new-generation GPS chipset that has extremely high sensitivity, lower power usage and more rapid time-to-fix, and thus supports high accuracy. The receiver works even in locations where satellite line of sight is compromised or has weak signal tracking such as traveling in highly urbanized areas with tall buildings. It has a magnetic mounting that allows easy mounting on the car’s roof. It finds ideal use in marine environments, aviation, as well as commercial use such as for fire trucks, police cars, utility vehicles and buses. This receiver is deemed to be one of the most sensitive and accurate GPS receivers on the market today. Note: Check first to see if WAAS/EGNOS is available in your location.
“This GPS is awesome!!!… I live aboard a sailboat in the Caribbean using navigation software to plan my passages…(with) this new GPS (I) couldn’t be happier with it’s ease of installation and awesome performance. It picks up the signal below at my nav station, aquires quickly and performs without causing any problems with my computer. I have tried several systems and this unit outperforms them and I cannot recommend this unit highly enough, you will not be sorry… ”

“This is a full 20 channel GPS receiver… even comes complete with Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) for aircraft as well… works well with both boat and van navigation software… no more need for multiplexers to get the information to the laptop from the large GPS receiver on the boat. Just plug in the USB, put the small antenna somewhere where it can ‘see’ the sky and start up your charting or mapping software…”

“…uses a very powerfull GPS module, and I’m using it for marine navigation through a laptop. Fast, with all the required NMEA sentences to please the navigation software I use. It … Feed through USB port, so no battery to replace, and perfectly waterproof… and small!. Satellites acquisition is realy fast, and it fact it beats in all domains my $300 active GPS module from Raymarine expensive chart plotter!.. it does the job, is precise, fast, inexpensive and very reliable...

For more selections of laptop gps receivers, click here.

Thinking of a laptop gps receiver, don’t you think these are the best?


  1. Hi James, you would have to agree that it’s not the sort of thing a backpacker would use? 😉

    I can see other great uses for it though. You could even use it to keep the kids quiet in the back seat by getting them more involved in their drive by holiday.

    1. Yeah, that’s why I mentioned here that for the ultimate in portability, nothing can beat the handheld ones (the ones that fit in your palm or wraps around your wrist). But if you want more flexible features, e.g. bigger screen views, more detailed maps, spoken directions and suggestions, robust gps software/applications, etc., then the laptops gps receiver is the one to go for.

      My kids? A screen containing maps certainly won’t interest them unless there’s a button that says ‘press to shoot’ and ‘change weapons’. 🙂

      1. OK, maybe not for the whole trip, but I’m sure it would hold their attention for at least a couple of minutes 😀

  2. You’re right many businesses would profit from a laptop GPS if they serve a large metropolitan area.

    This may be a new niche market I could offer to certain clients in the greater Los Angeles area. Many already have GPS in their cars.

    However, this may bear further investigation.

    John Winston
    No Sweat !!! Computer Consultants
    Computer Repair|Santa Monica|Los Angeles´s latest blog post .."Computer Repair Los Angeles|Santa Monica- How to Find It?"

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