I already have a Garmin Streetpilot I5 that works well for roads and city use. But I'd like to step up to something that will do topo, altitude, lat/long readout and generally give me a bigger and more useful display. I don't want to spend a bunch of money for a new unit. And here's the thing: I have 3 laptops- one new, one 2 years old, and one 6 years old, the latter just gathering dust.
Can I simply load up software on one of them, plug in a USB antenna, strap the whole thing into the passenger seat and go? Topo USA is cheap enough ($50, western states) and seems to have all the detail I'll need.
Garmin also has software that seems to do the same thing. Does anyone have a preference for one or the other?
Is it feasible to simply use a laptop as a really big GPS- one that functions like a standalone unit with a big honking screen?
I know I'm light years behind some of you guys, but I couldn't quickly find answers to this stuff. Thanks in advance.