Portable GPS Glossary: 15+ Hardware Phrases You Need to Know

Sep 23


Rose Lee

Rose Lee

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Buying or selling portable GPS units online? It's important to be knowledgeable about the items that you are selling, read this article to learn more about these fascinating devices.

Portable GPS navigational devices have grown so popular in the gadget market. It can give you high levels of mobility while carrying most if not all the features of on-board GPS devices found in car dashboards – and much more.

As a user or reseller,Portable GPS Glossary: 15+ Hardware Phrases You Need to Know Articles you can take full advantage by learning all its features as well as familiarizing yourself from the basic portable GPS hardware phrases you need to know. Equipped with this knowledge, you can make use of all the benefits and features of portable GPS devices – whether it's for your own use or as a selling point for your business. 

** Portable GPS Hardware Phrases **

The following describes some of the basic hardware-related phrases that you need to know as a device user or as a qualified reseller.

* Processor

Just like a computer, the heart of your portable GPS unit is its processor module. The processor receives and calculates satellite signals to determine your exact location and display it on a map.

* Chipset

If the processor is the heart of your portable GPS unit, the chipset is the mind that makes your processor work. These sensitive chips can improve the accuracy and consistency of your device. With good chip sets, your unit can process satellite signals even if your location is quite inaccessible or with several obstructions.


This term means Synchronous Dynamic Access Memory. This may sound Greek to you but the better and higher your SDRAM's capacity is, the faster your portable GPS unit's computing capacity will be.

* SD Card

The navigational and mapping software used for your portable GPS units is delivered through and SD memory card. You can also use this to transfer data like audio and video files from your PC and other devices to your portable GPS unit.

* GPS Antenna

A GPS antenna receives, transmits and amplifies the GPS signals to and from your portable navigational device for processing by the receiver.

* Resistive Touchscreen

Touchscreen technologies began with a resistive format, which works if you apply a pressure on the surface using a stylus or your fingernails. The screen is made up of layers which push against each other when you apply pressure to register an input.

* Capacitive Touchscreen

A capacitive touchscreen on the other hand has a glass screen on the surface where you can make gestures such as swiping, pinching or sliding. The conductive properties of your tool or skin register the input from where the touchscreen would respond to.

* LCD Touchscreen

LCD screens make use of liquid crystal sandwiched in between glass panels. Electrical current passes through the liquid crystal forming light filters that respond when you make gestures on the surface with your fingers or a stylus. 

* Stylus

This is basically a tool used to write on a touchscreen, which you can easily replace with the tip of your fingernails.

* Lithium Battery

Lithium is a silvery metallic element used in batteries like Lithium-Ion or Lithium-Polymer batteries that can enable your portable GPS units to run for hours while on the go.

* 3.5mm Input

Portable GPS units are usually equipped with a 3.5mm stereo plug audio cable input to hook up audio devices or your PC's soundcard to your GPS unit.

* Microphone

Some newer models of portable GPS devices are equipped with voice recognition capabilities, allowing you to voice out commands through a built-in or external microphone.

* mini USB Jack

Standard data connections for your portable GPS units as well as other similar devices like PDAs make use of the mini USB jack format. You can use this to install software as well as transfer data to and from your portable GPS unit.

* AV In Port

Your portable GPS unit has built-in entertainment features such as MP3 or multimedia players which you can hook up to external sources and devices using an AV Port.

* FM Transmitter

Portable GPS units can let you connect with an external media player, phone or PDA and use the speakers of your car stereo to listen to music or talk to someone on the phone hands-free using a built-in FM transmitter.  

* Signal Channel

Your portable GPS navigation device rely on multiple satellite signals to lock in your position by triangulation method. Each individual satellite signal is linked to your handheld unit through a signal channel. Typical units have up to 20 channels available while later models have even more.

There are several other hardware innovations coming up with newer and more advanced portable GPS units. As a user or an entrepreneur, you can learn a great deal about this hardware information which can help you get the most out of portable GPS units – which can be very useful and profitable as well.

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