Laptop GPS navigation for sales calls

I am new to the world of auto - gps - laptop - navigation.
The intent is to make sales calls to visit my potential clients in several south-eastern states.
I am planning to purchase a small screen laptop and apply the available gps and the navigation software and hardware add-ons to use the system on the road as an interactive nav system ( voice feedback and recognition if possible ) . The laptop is to be used also for my regular communication with the office, etc.

Where would I find the references in your archive library about the latest info on " assembling such systems and making it operational?

Kind regards,

Hi David,

Welcome to the forum!

You have come to the right place as there are many here who can answer any questions you have as you get your system up and running.

There are a few options for available software that will suit your needs. You can search the forum and read reviews and make that choice.

The intent is to make sales calls to visit my potential clients in several south-eastern states.
You may want to check out Keith has put together training videos specifically for sales professionals on how to utilize PC based mapping software (and GPS) to efficiently work sales territories.

He's got a couple of the videos up on YouTube
Marvin Hlavac
Larry, I didn't know Keith had some videos on YouTube. Thanks! I'm going to post them also to

wajn0853, to setup a laptop for GPS navigation is very simple. You need two things; GPS navigation software that includes map data for your geographical area, and you need a USB GPS receiver (or Bluetooth one, or a GPS built into your computer).

* Software - here's a link to various laptop GPS programs. Laptop GPS software costs from around $30 to $90 or more. Price has absolutely nothing to do with usability or quality, though. All the products listed can do the job well - it depends on your particular needs and wants which product will suite you.

* Hardware - USB GPS receivers are very inexpensive these days. They can be purchased for around $30 a piece.

Usually, when you decide which program to buy, you may buy a package that includes the program and a USB GPS receiver. Sometimes you can save a little bit of money by buying it as a package.
Thank you very much for the information regarding the
baby steps in the world of GPS / communication / applications.

I will review the available resources.

Thank you

My Point...Exactly
Hi - Wajn0853

In addition to Marvin's items above, here's a few more 'nice to have' items that can make life as mobile sales guy just a little bit easier. Items described are as shown in picture below:

* Laptop Desk:
Provides a firm footing under laptop. Is designed to make it more comfortable when sitting and typing on your ‘Lap’ top (typically, I’m using it at the airport). This is a good piece of gear for sales. From LapWorks. Check it out at

* Tie Wraps:
Important for neatly securing wires. Radio Shack - wraps&kw=cable+wraps&parentPage=search

* Audio MP3 Cable:
Many new/rental cars now have an MP3 jack either on the dash, or in the center console. Perfect for playing turn by turn directions over the car stereo system. Dynex - 6 foot. Plug one end into headphones jack and the other into car ‘Aux’ jack. 35903&ref=09&loc=01&srccode=cii_5766179&cpncode=17-13643217-2

* External Speaker with volume control (When in a rental without ‘Aux’ jack) Radio Shack. Need MP3 cable noted above to connect speaker to headphone jack on laptop. r+with+volume&kw=speaker+with+volume&parentPage=se arch

* Gear Carrying Case
There's lots of cases out there - I use this one: Cable stable by Skooba Design

* Power Inverter
Shown in the picture is an older modle Xantrex Xpower Pocket Inverter 100. They’ve updated it – here’s a picture latest: <edit>Expired link removed</edit>

There are other ‘slimline’ inverters out there, Kensington provides a few. For me (Mobile Sales) – smaller size is important, as everything needs to fit on my carry-on. Another key for me is getting one with a cable, vice a fixed plug in. I use allot of rental cars, and sometimes the fixed plug in model has a hard time squeezing in to the aux power port space. When choosing a smaller size inverter – you need to make sure it’s rated for your power requirements.

Since choosing the right power inverter is so important – I thought it could use a thread of it’s own. So click below for a new thread on choosing a power inverter:

Choosing a power inverter for your laptop

Thank you very much for these additional pointers.

I do have a 17" Toshiba and this is way too large for the car application.
I was considering Asus units however my gut feeling tells me that it may be underpowered in all aspects for such an application with the GPS Bluetooth, Nav Mapping etc. Any ideas?

Thank you again
My Point...Exactly
My personal experience has been to size the laptop for the sales related business software I've had to use anyway - and these requirements were always fine for running laptop mapping and GPS. Asus makes a great laptop - and anything you buy is most likely going to have 2 Gig memory (you'll need 1 gig min to run most map software) , and a decent processor speed (need something above 1.8 GHz to be happy) that should be fine for your mapping app of choice.

Of course, check manufacturers minimum requirements, but if you're buying a decent business laptop, it should have the power you need.
Marvin Hlavac
If you are always in the same vehicle, you may consider using a RAM mount to accommodate you existing laptop. Ram mounts are not cheap, but they are excellent. They require no drilling, as they use existing screws under your vehicle's seat. A laptop can be removed within 5 seconds, and even the laptop stand can be removed within 5 seconds, if needed (only the base of the stand will stay attached to the floor of your car).
Share one GPS among several applications with Franson GpsGate.

I use Franson GpsGate so I can run iGuidance and Streets &Trips at the same time. About