Microsoft Streets & Trips 2013 with GPS Locator Review

Microsoft's Streets & Trips 2013 with GPS Locator is the latest edition of a product Microsoft has been selling for years. Basically, it turns your laptop (or tablet) into a GPS system (load the software and plug in the locator), but Streets & Trips 2013 with GPS Locator reviews aren't all pointing in the same direction. An expert at PC Mag says the product works well enough as route planning software and provides a display that dwarfs that of a cell phone, but the software can be tricky to install and the GPS unit he tested was buggy. The product also gets dinged for a cluttered user interface and a comparatively small points-of-interest database.

Users are more receptive, according to Microsoft Streets & Trips 2013 with GPS Locator reviews at Amazon, where they talk up its practicality, accuracy, and quick satellite lock-in. One truck driver keeps an atlas handy but appreciates the real-time data on upcoming turns and his progress en route and another review notes that this product correctly directs you to specific addresses even though the listing of local attractions is thin. Reviewers also value its compatibility with other Microsoft products, such as Excel. On the other hand, some Microsoft Streets & Trips 2013 with GPS Locator reviews posted at Staples grumble that the software is outdated and not user-friendly and the maps are bested by those available through Google and Bing.

Streets & Trips 2013 (starting at $40, Amazon) offers little in the way of features. It contains about 2.5 million points of interest, gives spoken turn-by-turn directions, and automatically recalibrates if you go off course. You can select start and stop times, road preferences, and share your plans with others.

Microsoft produces a version of Streets & Trips that doesn't include the GPS unit, so you can opt for that if you're simply looking for route-planning software. But if you travel with a laptop and you're in the market for a very cheap GPS system, Streets & Trips with GPS Locator will serve that purpose. It's just not as convenient or full-featured as a stand-alone GPS system.

Michael Sweet

Michael Sweet writes about consumer electronics. If something runs on electricity or ones and zeroes, he's interested in it. Sweet has written about PC technology and consumer electronics for 14 years.

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