December 6, 2006

Review: Mio C310x Review by GPS Lodge


Update: Mio Has Announced a Map Update for the Mio C310X!

Update: Catch all the info on the Mio C310x at GPSLodge.

I wanted to get a review of the Mio C310x up for all the folks still considering buying this unit. Mio had the C310 out earlier this year (see my review) and up versioned the unit by putting in a better set of navigation software that is based on iGo software from PDAMill. The software has a nice interface and on the C310x, a fairly straightforward layout that allows the user to navigate quickly and easily without jumping through too many hoops. The unit is small and thin enough to fit in my shirt pocket, and is a generally well-designed GPS. It’s flat and less than an inch thick, has a set of buttons down the right side that instill confidence due to the rubberized texture, and a slight bulge out the top signaling the inclusion of the SiRF Star III chipset under the hood. In my use, the unit is good, and when balanced against the rock bottom price, is a great value. There are a few things that I’d like to fix, but on balance I am pretty happy with the Mio C310x. I think that Black Friday was Mio’s coming out party, and I’d like to welcome them to the big time of GPS models on the market.

Straight away, the Mio C310X has 1 GB internal ROM memory, which is almost exclusively used for maps. (It also has 64MB of RAM memory for normal operating system purposes.) It has an MP3 player that you can use with your MP3’s when loaded onto an optional SD card and placed in the Mio C310x’s SD card slot located on the top of the unit. The Mio C310x comes with an AC adapter, a 12volt plug and a mini USB cable that all plug into the mini USB outlet on the bottom of the unit.

Update: The Mio C310x will not come with an AC charger going forward. The inclusion of the charger was a, um, mistake on the factory's part, and won't be included in the future. No big loss in my mind. Note that the box does not show an AC charger as coming with the unit. See My Mio C310x Update post.

The unit is based on a 3.5 inch touchscreen and down the right side of the unit it has four rubberized buttons: on/off, menu, volume up and volume down. The unit has an external antenna port, and comes with an internal battery. I’ve gotten several hours of use out of the Mio unplugged, but haven’t clocked its capabilities. The mount, easily attaches to the windshield and the Mio C310X easily snaps into the holder, with one handed operation. The unit ships with a Map and transfer utility disk which requires a PC and DVD ROM drive to read. Of course it comes with a windshield mount and a disk to adhere it to your dash if that's what you like, or are required to do by law.

The SiRF star III chipset pulled in satellites fairly well, and locked onto them without issue while I have been using the Mio C310x. I do wish that the time to first fix was a bit faster when I come out in the morning, but I find a brief wait while punching up a route in the morning takes care of the time lag that the Mio needs to find the satellites.

Overall, navigating with the Mio C310x is pretty solid. You can see some caveats below on TeleAtlas Maps and Routing. I still think that for the majority of navigation that this unit gets you there with confidence. There are faults that I am willing to forgive and will be able to deal with them while going on the road. The navigation software is essentially the same as the Mio H610 unit I recently reviewed.

You are able to navigate to addresses, Points of Interest, and coordinates, which should get you just about anywhere you want to go. When you tap on the screen, a menu bar pops up from the bottom of the screen to allow you to pick from several options: Route To, Add as A Via in the middle of a trip, Continue to this location after the current destination is reached, Add a speed camera to the database, and Add a custom POI to your database. This is a lot of functionality in a little space with a simple action; I like it.

Through the menus you can also program multi-point destinations and the unit offers clear spoken directions through its small but very loud speaker on the backside of the unit. There is a mute icon on the screen. The screen-based icons are small but very functional, including zoom, satellite status and what I'll call view. By toggling through this icon you get direction of travel up, north up and then "airplane" view which gives you a customizable birds eye view of your route or general area. It's nice to have this ability on the main screen so that you can flip between your main navigation and an overview of your area or route. This really helps to get your bearings when you are traveling a route. The icons are on the small side, so tapping them can be a little tricky.

When navigating I liked to hit the menu button on the right side of the unit that comes back to a navigation system menu. You can quickly tap the Cockpit icon on the bottom right to bring up this useful navigation routing “Cockpit View.” This view is a nice navigation view that shows you data fields on the left side which are programmable. The display shows the upcoming road, as well as things like speed, time to destination, etc. At the left top of the cockpit view, you get a turn indicator for the next turn (left, right, bear left, etc), as well as turn countdown bar that goes vertically down the left side of the screen.

When not in the Cockpit view mode, a the top left of the screen you can tap the "Route" icon which brings up a routing menu allowing you to edit the route as needed, or view an overview of the route as needed.
There is a ton of flexibility to the system and how it is displayed. You have the usual routing options of fastest, shortest, etc. but you also have the ability to show speed limits (mostly for highways, which I found semi-accurate), and the ability to sound an alarm when you exceed the limit by an amount that you set (either as a percentage of the speed limit or a hard number of MPH over the limit). In a nice move, they have included the ability to record a track, essentially a breadcrumb trail for where you go. This allows you to see it on the map, and then export it as a GPX file that can be displayed on a lot of free or inexpensive GPS software. Some will convert this file into a KML file for use in Google Earth. You can then send to friends and show them where you traveled to.

Setting Favorites
You can program two “Favorites” that come set up as “Home” and “Work”. Off the main menu, you can easily tap these and then “Route to” to get brought home or to work. You can also re-name these into things like “Home” and “Hell” or something similar, depending on what you think of your work, or program it to some other location altogether. To set these, you hit the menu button on the side of the unit, then the “Tools” icon in the upper right corner, then while at the General Settings page, click on “Set Favorite Destinations” where you’ll be able to change the location and the name of the “favorite”. In this General Settings page, you’ll be able to turn on “Automatic Night colors”, warn when speeding, and enable safety cameras, as well as setting if you want the Mio C310x to automatically recalculate a route if you take a wrong turn. I would recommend that you leave this set to automatic as this will let the Mio quickly recalculate a route based on your current location if you make a wrong turn.

Viewing Points of Interest (POI) on the Map
The Mio C310x allows you to see Points of Interest on the screen. Some people like this, others don’t. I think it unfortunately serves as a reminder of the sometimes inaccuracies associated with POI. Anyway, you can get there from the main menu, by clicking on the lower left “menu Icon” then on the Gear “settings”, then on “Manage POI”. In this menu you can select which POI to show and which not to show. When you go back to the map, these icons will show up as you pass them.

Mio uses TeleAtlas maps on the unit, and it comes with the US maps only, not with Canadian maps as previously mentioned here and in several other spots on the internet. The maps are old, and they ship with circa 2005 maps from TeleAtlas, which may make you think that the maps aren’t so out of date, but alas, they are. I am not overly concerned, as I personally think that TeleAtlas is on the move to fix these outages, and I think that we are about to reap the benefits of their actions in the coming months. I write more about this topic in my post on TeleAtlas Maps and Where They are Going. Expect Mio to release an update in the coming months for the maps on the Mio C310x. Just know that you’ll need to muddle through it for a few months with these maps. For the bargain price I paid for my C310x, I don’t mind.

The routing on the Mio GPS is good, not terrific, but good. Taking a step back, I have to say that GPS units are not yet able to route you locally as well as you can route yourself around your home town. I think that GPS units with user feedback on routing are right around the corner, or at least I hope that it is and I’ll leave it there. Right now, GPS navigation systems are designed to get you from here to there in a reasonably good manner with clear prompts. They are not designed to give you the back road shortcut behind the Mall, taking the road next to the dumpster and hopping the curb at the Denny’s onto Maple Street missing the traffic lights in the middle of town. Only a seasoned local knows that trick! With that said, I think that the routing is good, but I find that it’s a bit weighted towards traveling on highways versus traveling on some local roads to go shorter distances. I have also heard from some readers that the unit has trouble with exit ramps going onto other divided roads. The Mio may give you the wrong exit and ask you to then make a “U-turn” on the divided roadway at the next light to go the correct direction. I have not confirmed this, but in I’ll let you know that this question is out there.

MP3 Player
The MP3 Player in the Mio C310x is a nice little extra that can fulfill the need in a pinch. I am not a huge fan of MP3 players in a GPS, because I think that there are other excellent options out there to help you along. The Mio C310X allows you to put MP3’s onto your own SD card and plug it in to listen wither through the speaker or through the headphone jack. The unit will allow you to play music while driving. The control icon buttons are on the small side here.

Review Summary Mio Digiwalker C310x
The Mio C310x has really burst onto the scene this holiday season and has introduced a lot of non-GPS users to the world of GPS navigation. I think that Mio has done a great job at getting a good set of navigation tools into a smart, flat pocketable size that allows you to get from here to there with a few little things you can watch out for. I am perfectly happy to grant Mio a little leeway when they work to bring us a capable navigation system at such unbelievably low prices. There will be some clean up to be done in terms of getting the maps squared away, and potentially improving the routing system to deal with some idiosyncratic behavior on the rare occasion, but overall I am happy with the Mio C310x.

I'll finish with a note about the fact that the Mio C310x is based on WinCE platform, and as such can creatively altered and customized if you wish. This includes some very easy hacks to add Canadian maps, or others to get at the WinCE base and install other items like other voices, other programs like contact managers, etc. ReadMore for a link. You're on your own with this, and I can't help you if you kill your Mio C310x.

Even MORE Information on the Mio C310x.

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Posted by Scott Martin at December 6, 2006 10:17 AM

Recent Comments

The C310x is nice hardware for the price, but Mio's customer service leaves a bit to be desired. I checked for updates for months, found nothing, then stopped looking for a while. When I finally do check again, I find that I've missed their introductory rate of $15 for the update and they want me to pay a whopping $70 now! That's a third the price of a new one! Bad form, Mio.

Posted by: Ben Eldred at November 13, 2007 6:19 PM

Just spoke with a MioTech Cust. service rep.

The test version of the updated US maps have a glitch hence the delayed release. It's expected to be released aroung June 20, 2007 on a DVD.

Don't know the pricing yet!

The Canadian map update is also expected to be released Later (~2months?) after the US map update release but will need to be put on the SD card!!

It's Terrible how it's NOT integrated with the US Maps as a combined North American map like the Navteq North American map!!

MioTech Customer Support line, 866-646-4477

Posted by: Anonymous at May 17, 2007 11:25 AM

Just spoke with a MioTech Cust. service rep.

The test version of the updated US maps have a glitch hence the delayed release. It's expected to be released aroung June 20, 2007 on a DVD.

Don't know the pricing yet!

The Canadian map update is also expected to be released Later (~2months?) after the US map update release but will need to be put on the SD card!!

It's Terrible how it's NOT integrated with the US Maps as a combined North American map like the Navteq North American map!!

MioTech Customer Support line, 866-646-4477

Posted by: Anonymous at May 17, 2007 11:25 AM

Anyone received any New word from Mio-tech re: C310x Map updates?

The company REFUSES to answer any emails and TeleAtlas emailed me stating the company gives out all new mapping info to their vendors so it's really Mio-tech's responsibility now to provide the updates!

Anyone feel that they've bee ripped off with an Outdated GPS equipment that may or may be Updated???

Thank you!

Posted by: Michael at May 6, 2007 2:42 PM

No problem using the RAZR V3 charger. You can also use the Mio's car charger to charge the RAZR. Very convenient. Love the thing, especially for the price.

Posted by: Chris at May 3, 2007 1:31 PM

I just used one of these on Amtrak CA to DC to FL then by car back to CA. A friend bought it just before the trip, so we took it along. I have an older Garmin (StreetPilot 2620, close to $1000 when I got it) that I have used for several hundred thousand miles all over the country.

The Garmin definitely has better maps and does better routing. For instance, it can tell whether I'm on the freeway or an exit. It also "obeys" my setup to avoid U-turns. It doesn't tell me to turn left at places where that isn't legal. The Garmin also is more accurate for determining arrival time. (I use the routing even for places I know how to get to like my mother's house 500 miles away, so I can call and say when I'll arrive.)

However, the C310x was MUCH easier to learn to use out of the box. I was able to find most of the setup things I wanted by browsing the menu system one long night. It always eventually got us where we wanted to go (I just ignored those U-turn directions, went straight, and let it catch up on the next block with a new route). It also has a larger database of points of interest.

The C310x also calculates significantly faster than my old Garmin. This is why I'm looking at upgrading, and considering other features I'll want the next time (like Bluetooth or XM for routing around traffic).

I also liked how easy it was to add our own points-of-interest of places we wanted to easily go back to.

The Garmin can't be used away from AC or DC (no battery), but the C310x can be used AC (Use an Ipod AC-to-USB converter) or DC or battery. Battery is also on my list for next time.

My advice, for $200 get the unit and use it. There is no way to tell what features you'll want until you've used one for a while. If you upgrade to something more expensive, give it to a relative who is always getting lost, or refuses to ask for instructions, or who can't read a map, or who has trouble reading streetsigns, or who is always getting nagged by a back-seat-driver, or who is a back-seat-driver, or who needs a nifty passenger-entertainment-system ... you get the idea.

A GPS is a really handy tool for anyone who spends time in a car. I got mine before a trip with my elderly mother who likes to navigate but can't since a stroke. I didn't want her to feel bad. So I made up a clipboard of highlighted maps for her, but programmed the GPS each night for the route I wanted and all of our stops. It works very well for travel with her, and I've found tons of other ways a GPS is safer and more convenient than maps.

As has been said before, you get what you pay for. The C310x is a good entry-level GPS at a superb price, and is probably plenty for most people.

Posted by: Alice at April 23, 2007 6:43 AM

Great reviews and great input. I looked at the C310X, but I ended up buying a Garmin Nuvi 360. I need to have street names narrated to me instead of 500 feet, 100 yds etc. and the bluetooth feature is irreplacable. However, it does cost twice as much, but the accuracy is perfect and the maps are always up to date.
IMHO, you get what you pay for.
But with that said, the C310X is a great unit for the money. I just wanted more.

Posted by: tom at April 16, 2007 7:10 PM

Unable to download user manual for C310X

Posted by: Pat at April 12, 2007 7:59 AM

can you display JPG pictures on the unit that are loaded onto the SD card?


Posted by: jerry at April 5, 2007 7:47 PM

I bought this unit at Staples for their advertised price of $199.99. I used the Compusa add to get the unit at their sale price $149.99 from Staples. Compusa had sold out of there units the same day of there add.

I have a high end Lowarence unit and bought this unit for my second car. I am really impressed with this unit as it is really easy to use as compared with the Lowarence, plus it is portable and can be used for camping and hiking.

I have had a few issues with my unit. Sometimes the unit will not turn on and I have to use the main power on switch on the bottom of the unit(off then on) to get it to work again. This happened one time, but I only have had the unit for two days. Other than that it is a great little unit and recommend it to anybody looking for an inexpensive GPS under $200.00.


Posted by: Bill at March 24, 2007 1:03 PM

I bought a c310x about a week ago at Fry's for about $200. It works well and I have had no problems. The sound is much better than my friend's Garmin Nuvi. Every street I've checked has been correct. This includes many streets in the SF Bay Area and certain small streets I know in small towns in Oregon. It even keeps tracking logs, which the Nuvi does not have.

Overall a very nice purchase considering the price. Now I just hope I can add a bulk POI database to the SD card. I've read that it should be possible, just requires a bit of work.

Posted by: Roger at March 6, 2007 8:29 PM

Hi Everybody,

I bought my C310X 20 days ago,only tested at home for a few days and then put in the drawer since I do not own a car but I am planning on renting one in the next few days.
I left it in the drawer for 10 days circa, today I connect it to the charger and not only it would not complete the charge after 9 hours on the AC but it wouldn't turn on at all either!!!
I called customer support and they told me to send it to get fixed.
Anybody same problem? Any quick fix before I send it?



Posted by: Luca at March 1, 2007 5:56 PM

Hi Scott,
Thanks for your review.

I am planning to buy a GPS and have the following criteria:
1. GPS must be as reliable as possible in San Francisco and the bay area - from reading the reviews and comments here, it seems that this meeans that the GPS I buy should use SIRF III.
2. GPS must be hazard-free - not ask me to enter wrong one-ways / take u-turns where not allowed. Here it seems that I should go with a GPS using Navteq and not TeleAtlas maps.

I have shortlisted the following and would appreciate your comments on them:
1. Garmin C530 -
Meets both the criteria very well.
Expensive (about $380)

2. TomTom One
Uses SIRF III (though I read somewhere that they may be moving to some other technology)
Uses uses updated TeleAtlas maps (updated in 2007). I am thinking that they will be as good as NavTeq, though I am not sure.
Costs about $100 less than Garmin C530
Cannot be mount on dashboard (as is required by CA law). I have not been able to find a dashboard mount for this system anywhere (tomtom's website doesnt have it either)

3. Mio C310X
Price - Cheapest of all. May get it for $200.
Not bulky.
Uses outdated TeleAtlas maps - not sure when the new maps will be released. Not sure how much they will cost and how good they will be. I have read too many reviews by users complaining of incorrect turns, POI etc.

What I want to understand is - is there really such a huge difference between TeleAtlas old, TeleAtlas 2007, and NavTeq maps? Specifically, are these differences mainly valid for country roads, or are they valid even for San Francisco and the bay area? Also, is the difference mainly in terms of the POI data, or are the roads themselves incorrect?

I am not looking for any add-on capabilities (bluetooth, text-to-speech, mp3 etc.) and I am a price sensitive customer.
What do you recommend among the above three? Is there any other GPS I should consider?


Posted by: Rahul at February 25, 2007 9:49 PM

Paul, Sorry. I got a wrong information from my friend who told me the GPS in her Acura SUV can tell the street name from the voice instructions. But her husband said no. So, I don't think currently there is a GPS navigation system that can tell the street name from the voice instructions.

Posted by: Jimmy at February 25, 2007 1:12 AM

Hi Scott,

Thanks for the great review.

I am deciding between Garmin C530 and Mio C310X. For me, the main concern is that the GPS must be dependable (as dependable as it can be) at all times - 1. Not losing signal in city (surrounded by highrises in San Francisco) and 2. Not asking me to get int0 wrong directions / make illegal u-turns.

I don't care much about add-ons such as MP3 or photos or even text to speech. I am willing to spend 150 extra bucks on Garmin C530 if it is truly better than Mio C310X for my requirements.

What do you recommend - Mio C310x or Garmin C530 or any other?


Posted by: Anon at February 24, 2007 3:50 AM

"text-to-voice" seem a feature of the GPS unit or its navigation s/w? however some other people seem suggest lack of this is result of using TeleAtlas map rather than NavTeq. which one is true in the case of c310x?

Posted by: eyd at February 23, 2007 3:11 PM

"text-to-voice" seem a feature of the GPS unit or its navigation s/w? however some other people seem suggest lack of this is result of using TeleAtlas map rather than NavTeq. which one is true in the case of c310x?

Posted by: eyd at February 23, 2007 3:10 PM

I have been shopping for a good GPS for some time. My problem is that I tend to over-research products. This is sometimes good, sometimes not so good.
Is this regard it seems good. As many have reported with many other "budget" GPS models are there lack of "text-to-voice".
This is an important feature for me since I drive an E-150 van and would mount the unit on the center console. Great location and not blocking my view. I could look down if needed, but I would more depend on the voice prompts to guide me.
This unit looked perfect and I was ready to pull the trigger when I read the last entry by Jimmy.
My search continues. . . .

Posted by: Paul at February 18, 2007 6:52 PM

Voice instructions of Mio C310x does not tell us the street name and/or south bound of north bound of a highway for the next turn. Is this a limit of Mio C310x ? Or the high end GPS model of Mio has this voice feature.

Posted by: Jimmy at February 12, 2007 9:44 PM

Voice instructions of Mio C310x does not tell us the street name and/or south bound of north bound of a highway for the next turn. Is this a limit of Mio C310x ? Or the high end GPS model of Mio has this voice feature.

Posted by: Jimmy at February 12, 2007 9:44 PM

I heard that this thing does not come with an AC adapter, but i have also heard that you can use the wall adapter that came with the V3 Razr phone. anyone know if there is any truth in that? what are the amp / volts that this unit is supposed to take in? thanks

Posted by: ethan at February 12, 2007 8:22 PM

To get it cheaper:

A good way to get the Mio for cheap now is to try to do a phone purchase price match and an online/phone order coupon.

I got the Mio C310x from Staples and had them price match Circuit City's website ($199). The other cool thing to do is look on eBay for the coupons; I found one that had $30 off any purchase $150 or over. So my total price came out to $169 plus tax and free shipping.

Just a heads-up.

Posted by: Joe at February 9, 2007 12:19 PM

I finally figured out how to see the files on Mio and drag them to my computer. You've got to "unlock" Mio and then use MS ActiveSynch. Some guy named Robin at has the easiest to understand details I have found.

And I successfully changed that annoying "Route Recalculation" phrase! Sadly, I chose the "Gotmail.wav" file from my AOL folder. But it was only a proof of concept test, now I'm going to start attacking Mio's innards in earnest.

Posted by: Appletom at February 7, 2007 3:56 PM

I've been hemming and hawing over getting this since just before Christmas. After researching this site and others, I new it was the unit I wanted. I was just too cheap to go for it until this morning. Fry's in Alpharetta, GA seems to have a steady stream of them for $198. They had a huge display fill of them this morning. I didn't even have to deal with a sales rep trying to upsell me. I grabbed the box without breaking my stride.

I'm currently re-upping the map from the CD in hopes that the fact that my street isn't on the map was just a glitch. The street is 12 years old and other street in the subdivision are on the map.

I did use it on a test run to go 1 mile down the road to pick the kid up from school. Now I ust need to get a chicks voice on this thing!

Thanks for all the hard work Scott!

Posted by: Dwight at February 7, 2007 1:33 PM

Mio and I are having fun. I haven't been able to drive very far yet (I work out of my house), and it is kind of silly to take Mio to the grocery store two miles away, but I do.

Now - I'm hoping someone can help me out. I really want to start trying some of the hacks shown on the website, but I can not see any of the files using Mio Transfer - I've tried everything, but I always have no files listed on the right side of the screen. I know Mio Transfer sees Mio because the screen goes bright and gray as I plug/unplug Mio from the computer. Here's a screenshot -

And if I put an sD card in, I can see those files just fine. Why can't I see the "stuff" inside Mio?

And one other observation - is a great website., where all the FAQ's and downloads live, has to be one of the slowest sites I've ever seen. A 3.37 meg file took over 45 minutes to download - the speed of everything on that site reminds me of the day long ago when I upgraded my 14.4 modem to a 28.8 modem - it's that slow.

Posted by: Appletom at February 7, 2007 9:38 AM

Adding US Maps to an SD card:

Using a PC, simply open the folders on the DVD in Explorer, scroll down to \MioMap\Miomap\MAPS, you'll see all the .fbl files there.

With your SD card in a USB-type card reader on your PC, copy all the .fbl map files you want into a folder on the SD card called MAPS (which you'll have to make yourself, File\New\Folder etc..).

Insert the SD in the C310x, soft reset (paperclip in pinhole near USB port), all the files in \MAPS on the SD card as well as the map(s) internal to the C310x will be available.

This is just the tip of the C310x iceberg. Check out

to see just what REALLY can be done with this neat little widget...

Posted by: Supremo at February 5, 2007 1:21 PM

OK, I've had my Mio for two days now and I've put about 20 miles on it. These are initial thoughts, I will try to post something detailed later.

I was able to take it out of the box in the Circuit City parking lot, plug it in, and enter my home address without reading any portion of the instruction manual or quick start guide.

It does seem to expect you to be on a street, not in a parking lot - I couldn't get directions until I left the parking lot.

The windshield mounting bracket was smarter than I am, I couldn't figure it out without reading the instructions, so I held Mio in my hand all the way home.

Mio wanted to put me on the freeway to get from CC to my house. I knew better so I went over the freeway. It quickly (and I mean QUICKLY!) recalculated and asked me to turn around. I continued straight and it finally decided I wasn't going to turn around. The recalculation of a new route was also FAST. I continued to take 'long' cuts and it rerouted me super fast each time. (I always rent Hertz because of NeverLost (and great service) and I will say Mio recalculates much faster than NeverLost ever has.)

It tells me where to turn three times, I could do without the 100 yard warning. I can see multiple turning point voice commands, but when it tells me to go straight in .4 miles, it doesn't need to tell me to go straight again at 300 yards and again at 100 yards.

It would be very nice if the name of the street you are going to turn on was larger type - since it says "turn right in..." the only piece of data I need is the name of the street. But the street name takes up a tiny piece of real estate on the screen. I wish the street name - of where your next maneuver will be - was about 1/2 inch high.

Now - the unit has many, many features I have not figured out how to use. And it isn't intuitive at all - RTFM is going to be the only way to go and there is a significant amount of studying in front of me. I'm guessing four to eight hours until I can figure out everything. But I was able to get from point "A" to point "B" without reading anything. I think I will print out the entire 84 page instruction manual. Oddly enough, there are two quick start guides, each has seven languages. Each of the two guides is 70 pages long, I wish they had the entire manual printed (in English) with the quick start guides on the CD.

Since today is Saturday, I think I will take my new friend for another drive today. I can't wait to use Mio on our road trip at the end of the month.

And - I need a GPS like I need a hole in my head. I work out of my home and average maybe 60 miles of driving a MONTH. I'm going to go through a whole tank of gas just playing around. But I do have to travel about once a month, so I am really looking forward to seeing how Mio behaves inside a Southwest Airlines 737 - I'm one of those window types who can watch the world below for the whole flight. What I would really like to do is mark interesting things, then use Google Earth to see them when I get home.

So far the only thing I don't like is when Mio wanted to take me home the long way (but that would be OK in an unknown city, it was only an extra 1/2 mile) and the fact that Mio talks too much - but I also have only tested close to home, so there were many turns.

Posted by: Appletom at February 3, 2007 11:42 AM

I recently bought a Canadian 310SX, and have no idea how to extraxt the US maps off the DVD and put them on a SD card. I was hoping to get WA & OR on the card, but for the life of me, cannot seem to find any directions on the net or in the instructions on how to do so????????

If anyone has any detailed instructions and is willing to help, it would be MUCH appreciated!

I can be e-mailed at cardinalsinners at hotmail dot com

Posted by: DC at February 2, 2007 3:32 PM

Wow - I've been looking all over for a good site that reviews GPS units. I am very glad I found this website, sorry it took me an entire week to get here.

I just ordered my C310x from Circuit City based on this blog. Thank you very much to the owner of this site and rest assured I will be back often.

Posted by: Appletom at January 31, 2007 1:44 PM

Hat Lau,

I will agree and disagree with you. First, I agree regarding poor mapping in FL. Most mapping in Flordia (including is worthless when it comes to rural routes in FL. Second, I disagree one should make a decision based on this point alone.

Posted by: You Know It! at January 30, 2007 10:58 PM

This is the most poorly designed consumer products I have ever used. If you have problem programming a VCR, forget about this device. If you don't hold a Ph.D in Physics, don't buy this product. Even after many attempts, I still have to look up a menu to do a simple task such as storing an address. Further more, this device cannot locate most of the address in Florida. Florida has hundreds of State Road # and County Road #. This device has none in its memory. As a result, you can't use this GPS in Florida.

Posted by: Hat Lau at January 30, 2007 7:12 PM

I purchased the Mio C310sx from Staples for C$229. I love my Mio and I have added two of the US maps (Washington and Oregon states)to a 2GB card ($30 Future Shop). I have found the telephone service from Mio to be excellent. I was having trouble loading the two maps onto the SD card, so the Mio service department helped me out. I am very impressed with my Mio, especially since my husband gave me a Tom Tom One for Christmas C$495. We ended up saving quite a bit by returning the Tom Tom and purchasing the Mio. Thank you very much to this site for providing such detailed reviews of the Mio. I like the TeleAtlas website, you can send your corrections to them and you receive a thank you acknowledgement. The more we all contribute to TeleAtlas, the more updated our maps will become. I highly recommend the Mio C310, excellent value for the dollar.

Posted by: Sandra at January 24, 2007 10:53 PM

Thanks for the wonderful review and valuable info Scott.It has really helped me decide on the GPS I wanted to buy.I purchased a C310x from fry's and it came with a AC adapter.

Posted by: Raj at January 23, 2007 11:28 PM

Thanks for reading, and glad you liked the review.

Sadly the Mio C310x software does not run on a Mac. The Mio software center will be used to upgrade maps, and add patches to the Mio C310x. They recently released a patch for some errors when routing around Washington DC, and will release a map upgrade in the next few months.

Garmin is starting to release Mac based software, and is committed to do so across their line. See this post on their progress and plans:



Posted by: Scott Martin at January 18, 2007 6:24 PM

Great review! I have a few quick question, mainly, does it support Mac OSX? Is it a PC only based system? Do we really need a computer to set anything up or can it act as a stand-alone product? Thanks a lot for your help.

Posted by: Joe at January 18, 2007 5:17 PM

Just a thought on the software for the Mio C310x:

There are really 2 software involved...

The 2006 software that some people are saying is dated 2006 relates to the Mio software itself.

The MAP software for the various states is dated 2005.2.

The former handles the Mio device itself whereas the latter is the map software for each specific state.

Though it's important that both software work, it's even more important that the Map software be updated More frequently and made current so one does Not get lost or misdirected when traveling!

Posted by: Anonymous at January 9, 2007 9:09 PM

Hi, Great Review.
I live in Los Angeles and have to say that I am not really impressed with the 710x. I've tried it on routes i take daily and the directions it gives are to put it mildly" insane" sometimes! Not at all happy with the s/w. But after hearing from u guys, I'll wait for the s/w update before aI give it to my little brother..he he
Are there any changes i can make on the unit to get better directions..alas..when will google come out with their own gps software!!!

Posted by: bav at January 8, 2007 2:54 PM

Here's an reply that I just received from Mio Tech support re: Map Updates:

Dear customer,

We will be release in spring 2007 available.
But we have no the date information.
If we release it that will provide the information to our web site.

Best regards
Jim@MioSupport Lee

Posted by: Anonymous at January 8, 2007 2:10 PM

I bought this unit at frys few days before christmas for 198$ and it did cane with the aug 2006 maps version. So far the unit has been working great.

Posted by: Fab at January 5, 2007 8:25 PM

Just wanted to add that I ended up getting my 310sx for a Boxing day special of Cdn $195. It seems that the SX version,with the I-Go software, and containing only the Cdn maps, has only 512 mb of flash memory, whereas the X, which has the larger US map, requires the flash rom to be bigger, hence the 1 gig. If I want to add the US map, I will need to use a memory card, and I assume the same goes for adding the Cdn map to the X version. Both map versions are the 2005.2.
Also, the unit WILL definitely charge while plugged to the computer USB port-however, it cannot be used while so connected, other than to transfer. I stand to be corrected.

Posted by: Ken at January 1, 2007 10:06 AM

Thanks for the great review and info, Scott, and to all others who have added great info too. I picked up a Canadian version,the 310SX, at Staples for Cdn $269--not quite as good as the US price,but still quite good. The info on the back says 310SX and all the manuals refer to the 310X, and the software seems to be the same as for the X. But there is some doubt about the ROM value. I have read that it may only be 512 MB, like the previous S model was. Can anyone clear up this Canadian edition of what seems like an excellent device?? Thanks

Posted by: Ken at December 29, 2006 9:57 AM

Here's an article I found from re: C310x and Canadian maps (Not sure if it'll actually work with the C310x so use at your own discretion!):
[Here's a copy of the posting found about 1/3 down the screen]

Install Canada map on SD card (courtesy heydin)

In order to add the Canada map it is not necessary to unlock the unit.

Download Canada.fbl map file from Here

Install the Canada.fbl file on an SD card under the following directory structure:

You may have to reboot the C310x but afterwards the Canada data will be available.

Posted by: Anonymous at December 28, 2006 10:54 PM

From Mio website:

How often are map updates made available and when will the next update be offered?
Mio Technology will offer a map update in spring 2007 for our portable navigation devices
We believe the new maps from our partners at Tele Atlas are the best digital maps ever commercially developed and we think our customers will find them reliable, complete and robust.
In order to give our customers the best possible experience getting their Mio DigiWalker™ navigation device updated with this new map data, we are working with our retail partners to create a easy way have your Mio DigiWalker™ updated. Please check our website from time to time for map pricing and availability"

Posted by: chris at December 27, 2006 6:08 PM

Check out this post:

I discuss what's up with map upgrades, etc. They may not be free. the post looks at timing as well.

I would be careful about switching to a different brand in the $200 range, as some products down here are really pretty bad as far as useability goes. I would jump up to a garmin or TomTom from Mio if you wanted to upgrade to a better device.


Posted by: Scott Martin at December 27, 2006 5:49 PM

I bought MIO C310X from Staples for $199 right before Christmas holiday because Staples advertised that this unit was preloaded with US and Canadan maps. In fact, this unit only came with a US map either preloaded or on the DVD. The US map was version 2005.2 (relatively outdated). If we have to pay for a new updated map for the US as well as buy a Canadan map, it may be more expernsive than any other similar competitor's unis that contain Northern American maps (i.e., US and Canada). I am thinking returning this unit. Please advice!

Posted by: ZL at December 26, 2006 11:10 PM

Follow-up on 12-17-2006 post:

The C310x maps provided states Map versions for all states are 2005.2 which would make the maps about 2 years old.

Hopefully, Mio Tech WILL make the Map update CD available SOON and, maybe, affordable!

I have an older Garmin Streetpilot III with City Navigator 7 but have not installed the v.8 update yet. At least Garmin provides a somewhat annual map update CD albeit at about $80. I would rather pay the money instead of complaining about it because it has the latest mapping information.

TeleAtlas sure is taking their sweet time with the new update!!

The GPS cost of $199 when it was on sale at Staples is a very good price considering that most other competitor's units with similar features cost about $100-150 more and without the .mp3 option.

Unfortunately, that price difference is reduced as one must pay for the CD map update when it is available from Mio Tech!

People should write or call the company to get that Map CD update available out for ALL C310x owners, at least for free to those that received the unit around the holidays!

Posted by: Anonymous at December 25, 2006 12:24 AM

Just got my c310x today, Mine came with an ac unit from staples

Posted by: tony at December 22, 2006 9:07 PM


Overall, I think that the Garmin Nuvi would be a better product out of the box. I think that the interface is better and for now, until I see the map updates for the Mio C310x, the NAVTEQ maps are better in the Garmin product. There have been some comments around here about issues when Garmin routes the wrong way down a one way street. I have not seen that, and generally the Garmin routing is very good. As with any GPS, it will not give you routes around your town as good as a seasoned local would.

You need to decide if the price makes the Nuvi 360 or the Mio C310x a better Value.... I think that the C310x is a great value, and offers benefits that so many other economical GPS units can't/don't - good routing, good interface in a nice hardware package. The Nuvi 360 will be better day in and day out, but at a hefty upcharge that only you can decide if it's acceptable.


Posted by: Scott Martin at December 21, 2006 11:57 AM

So which is better? The mio c310x or the nuvi 360 in regards to routing and overall reliability?

Posted by: Larry at December 21, 2006 1:02 AM

Scott, et al
You guys are a 'season's greeting' with your thoughtful and concise reviews/comments! They helped me decide to purchase the C310x today at Staples at their great $200 deal (present for my wife, who has been getting lost as a hint). btw, to find one, don't be discouraged if none show up in Staples inventory check; call various stores to ask for sales managers to check stock -- this worked for me.

Posted by: GoJoWay at December 20, 2006 9:57 PM


You can save an Address as a POI. You can do this by adding the address in and then routing to it. With the Mio C310x in the regular "Map" view mode (NOT the Cockpit Mode), you hit the arrow in the lower right corner, and you can then tap "ADD POI". This gets you into a set of screens where you can add the POI to categories that you set up for yourself.

Alternatively, you can just tap on a place on the map, and the thing will pulse with the address (if it is a real address and not just off in space), and again in the "Map" view you can hit the arrow in the lower right corner to bring up the save POI option.


See above for adding POI's one by one, but right now there is no POI loader as there is in the Garmin world.

Tracks - I don't know off the top of my head what the max number is, but you can "manage" tracks in the Mio, indicating that you can have more than one. I'll see if I can't run a few tomorrow and save them.


Posted by: Scott at December 20, 2006 6:44 PM

Hi, I picked up a Mio C310x from CompUSA a week ago and I think it is a great buy for the functions it offers. I've bought a Magellan 360 on BF and returned it because it has so much glare on the screen and worst of all, the initial GPS pick up takes more than 5 minutes versus in seconds with the Mio. That said, I find a few quirk with the Mio that is annoying. For instance, it does not offer to save an address as a POI. If anyone believe this feature exists I appreciate your posting. Thanks.

Posted by: garfield at December 20, 2006 5:31 PM

Excellent review. Question in general, I don't see anything about adding custom POI's - can that be done via the SD card? I currently use both Garmin and Magellan and like the look of this unit, but without the ability to import custom POI's, either via SD or pc, wouldn't do me any good. Also, I noticed that you stated the unit will record a track, do you know if it stores more than 1 track? The older Garmins used to store up to 15 and that's one thing I'm looking for.

Posted by: RobinH at December 20, 2006 5:15 PM

I purchased the Mio C310x from Circuit City a few days and am very satisfied with my purchase. This unit works like many of the high end models but for a considerable cheaper price. If you are considering buying a good quality GPS unit, this one is a winner. Thanks to all these great reviews, it helped me make a informed decision.

Posted by: Michael at December 19, 2006 10:14 PM


The Mio C310x that I have will charge through the mini USB plug to my PC. The charging light on the Mio comes on when the Mio is off, but connected to the PC, and when you first turn the Mio C310x on, you see the charging icon over the battery (Battery with a little lightning bolt on it), before the unit flips into the Mio exchange software mode.


Posted by: Scott Martin at December 19, 2006 7:45 PM

The unit I just bought from Staples does not have the AC charger. Anyone knows if we can charge the unit thru USB plugged in computer?

Posted by: bj thomas at December 19, 2006 7:27 PM

I had been considering a GPS unit for my car for a while now. I know my way around pretty well and generally don't find a need for one, but it would be nice when going out of town and I'm a gadget junkie so I knew I would end up with one eventually.

I was looking up something in the Staples ad for work today, noticed this unit, did a quick google search for reviews and found this one. After reading the feedback on the unit here I stopped by Staples after work and picked one up. I was very impressed with it so far, used it driving around town tonight for a couple hours.

My girlfriend received a garmin GPS unit for her car last year at Christmas, which was considerably more expensive than this Mio unit on sale ($199 at Staples), hers does not have a touch screen, the screen itself is smaller and less detailed. Night mode on this was also nice, and it looks like there are some fun settings to play around with in this unit.

As a fan of gadgets in general, I really don't think you can go wrong with this 310x unit for the price.

Posted by: Jason at December 19, 2006 4:45 AM


I don't know that they would offer any improvement, but I have not tested them. I may be wrong but I *think* they are just postings of what we got with the Mio C310x. Keep watching though as there will be true patches posted to deal with routing issues occasionally.


Posted by: Scott at December 18, 2006 7:24 PM

I'm wondering if anyone of you have downloaded any of the updates that are posted on the MIO site.

I just received this unit and would like to know if these updates provide a significant improvement in their respective areas. Thanks.

Posted by: Alex at December 18, 2006 4:44 PM


The unit uses an internal battery pack that is not serviceable by the consumer.


Posted by: Mike at December 18, 2006 3:25 PM

Thank you for the review of the Mio Digiwalker C310x. It has convinced me that my recent purchase ($199 at Staples) was a worthwhile investment. I have just one question. What kind of battery does the unit use? Are they replaceable?

Gene T

Posted by: Gene T at December 18, 2006 3:03 PM

So, Anonymous, can you tell us if the DVD included in the package you bought at Staples has the latest map data?

I'm itching to get my first GPS device, and this one looks sweet...especially for the price! But, I'm hesitant because of the outdated map data. I live in the Atlanta area and there are always new streets popping up. I really want the latest data I can get. I could update next year for a fee, but if these still have the older data, I think I'll just hold off on the purchase until the updated map data is included with the unit. I don't really *need* a GPS device, I've gone this long without one, so I can wait.

Thanks in advance!

Posted by: Big-G at December 17, 2006 6:55 PM

Currently, Staples is having a Sale on the Mio C310x at $199!! Staples sold out on Black Friday and finally got some new shipments before Christmas!

Just went and bought one! Hurray and buy one as it's selling fast! They only had a handful left when I bought mine.

Other local stores in MA have already sold out!

Also, the 1Gb SD card is also currently on sale for $20 so that'll help with future expansion or listening to music on long trips!

Sale in local circular ends on 12/24/2006!

Posted by: Anonymous at December 17, 2006 4:29 PM

Does the map on the DVD contain the same map already loaded on the 310x, or is it more detailed? It says it is 956MB.

Also anyone successfully load "contacts" as it mentions in the manual [vaguely]?

Posted by: Mike Tuck at December 17, 2006 4:10 PM

I too was getting the erroneous ramp entry when I traveled in MD and tried to go into 495. Instead of telling me that I need to do a U-Turn it simply said that I need to make a "sharp left" because there happened to be an opening in between the road divider. Needless to say it ended up to be a U-Turn since I missed the correct entry on the right because I was bearing left.

Posted by: Farid at December 15, 2006 3:01 PM

So, anyone no the chances of getting a c310x with the Aug2006 TeleAtlas?

Posted by: Kevin at December 14, 2006 11:50 AM

I just bought a unit from for 198$ and it took 3 days only.

Posted by: trung at December 11, 2006 2:47 PM

Your review was on Dec 6th, 2006 and you stated that it came with outdated mapping (2005). I bought my unit in October 2006 and it came with the most updated mapping available (Aug 2006) using the TeleAtlas. In my opinion, it leaves the Navteq mapping in the dust. I have experience using the NavTeq and have never been impressed with it. Yes the screen has a mute button for volume but in place of the slider volume control that you mentioned would be nice, it does have a + and - volume control icon just above the mute icon. Accomplishes same thing as a slider control. I travel 40,000 miles a year and have used the Mio C310X on several long trips and have not had the problem of the unit giving me wrong exit numbers or such unless the roads have been completely redone due to "recent" construction and the whole area is completely different which presents a problem with any brand of GPS. The Mio C310X is the best GPS unit currently on the market for the money.

Posted by: Scott at December 10, 2006 4:14 PM

Thanks for the detailed review Scott. I have encountered the entry ramp behaviour a number of times now where it will instruct you to make a u-turn and then take the freeway entry ramp across the street rather than just letting you get on the freeway from the side that you are on (usually a cloverleaf exit on the right.) I've also reported some map errors that seem to be fixed at TeleAtlas, but not in the version that we are currently running on the Mio. I did have a chance at getting my brother a unit recently at Staples but decided to hold off and get him one in the spring after the map update is issued since there seems to be some debate as to whether or not it will be provided to existing customers for free by Mio. I think Mio should be aware that their murky policy on updates is affecting current sales.

I think Mio's software is pretty good (coming from a PDF and Garmin GPS background). If they could get the exit/entry ramp quirk and some better map data, then they'd be a frontrunner.

Posted by: geoff at December 9, 2006 4:45 PM

Frys is VERY backordered on that price. Just as info.

I finally received a callback from Mio regarding my questions and can resolve some issues:

1) Fast flyover was removed in this version due to some sort of bug / issue.
2) Displaying in meters elevation even though chosen feet/miles he thinks has to do with the GPS signal info themselves (I don't know I quite buy that).
3) Maps will be available in APRIL. Distribution is looking like it will only be via DVD. These maps were released (2006.6) 2 days ago by TeleAtlas. No details available regarding POI numbers, map size changes, etc.
4) Map updates will NOT be free. Rumor is currently "under $100". Best guess? Competing with TomTom, I'd say $49.95 plus the shipping of the DVD. Other than NOT free, the rest is by best available info as this has not been determined.
5) No answer as to how much free space you should leave on the unit to avoid operational problems, particularly of interest to the majority of us with 1 GB units (only people without worry are the lucky previous model with this version software / maps purchasers that got 2 GB).
7) No answer on maximum speed of the SD slot. Trying a 90 MB map file on a 4.8 MB/sec card, I can see definate hiccups on accssing POI info, etc., rather than smooth operation. Was trying to determine if 60x, 130x, 150x spees were supported to lessen those effects, but they aren't up to date on tech specs here yet to tell me.

Posted by: Daren at December 8, 2006 2:35 PM

Call for availability at, they have it for $198.

Posted by: Simon at December 8, 2006 10:02 AM

Thanks for the update Scott. By the way, that CompUSA deal on one of these units that I posted in the link above will be very hard to find. I've inserted various zip codes to check store availability, and all have come back OUT OF STOCK. I guess that I'll have to fall back to my 2nd choice for vendor.

Posted by: Alex at December 7, 2006 6:25 PM

I think I found the issue around the 64KB question.

CompUSA has the unit listed as 64KB of "Installed memory".

Well it has 64MB of RAM (That's MB and not KB), but the unit has 1GB of ROM. The 1GB of ROM has all the maps loaded into it.

So, there is no version out there with only 64MB of memory vs a 1GB version. It's actually the same one: 64MB of RAM and 1GB of ROM.


Posted by: Scott at December 7, 2006 5:17 PM

Hi Scott, thanks for a very detailed review, it is very helpful since I have my sights on this unit after reading your review! I just wanted to post my concern/comment about the "64 kb" models that seem to be out there ,especially at CompUSA since they seem to have the cheapest prices on the net.

I will visit this section frequently to see if anybody else can post real life feedback on this issue.

thanks once again.

Posted by: Alex at December 7, 2006 4:18 PM

Thanks for the informative review,
Is this unit useful for GeoCaching and for hiking? I imagine you can entire a destination by Lat/Long coordinates as well as address for GeoCaching? Can it also track and store waypoints while on the trail? How is the reception in the woods?

Posted by: Greg at December 7, 2006 3:59 PM


I see evidence that there are two versions, I'll call them, of C310X GPS units. From what I can tell there is a 1GB model that seems to be more common, and a 2GB model that is less common. Why is there a 2GB model?; I don't know. This is all a measure of internal memory. All versions have an SD card slot that allows you to add your own additional memory for MP3's.

The 1GB model will hold the maps and Points of Interest for the US, and they are pre-loaded on the unit.

I have not seen or heard of any with memory lower than 1GB (i.e. 64KB). Has anyone else?

In a plug for Mio, I thank them for including the 1GB of internal memory for maps and points of interest. There are some value GPS units that have maps loaded on the SD card, which means that if you want to load MP3's onto the device, you need to get a bigger SD card, re-load the maps onto it and then use the extra space for music. A bit of a chore. So, this approach of Mio's is a plus for users. I'll take it back if there really is a 64KB prodct out there that has maps loaded on an SD card though!


Posted by: Scott at December 7, 2006 8:13 AM

I have found informatin that there might be 2 models of the Mio c310x. One has a 1 gig and a storage slot and the other 64 kg. I don't know a lot about storage capacity. Is there a huge difference? Are there really 2 different Mio c310x models. I noticed that CompUSA has the Mio c310x for $199 that has the 64 kb. Is this the one this website has such great reviews about?

Posted by: Melissa at December 6, 2006 10:36 PM

I can't ever get through to Mio tech support, and my voicemails requesting a call back have gone unanswered.

Have they specifically mentioned to you that the miomap software will also be updated as igo updates their product, and also, any news about a bug fix for the fact that fast flyover mode does NOT work as stated in the Mio manual? In fact, unless you hack the data file and customize it, I see no out of the box option to enable it working.

Posted by: Daren at December 6, 2006 5:00 PM


I agree, I have gotten a lot more information about "non-free" map upgrades recently, than free maps. Originally, I called tech support about a question and in idle talk, the subject came around to map upgrades. This is when the information came out about free upgrades. So, I did post about free map upgrades.

I have time next week with Mio to talk to them about several things, including the plans for the map upgrades. I will confirm their plans then, but for now, I have pulled talk about free upgrades and I'll see what's up next week.

Free map upgrade or not, I still believe that people got a great value in the Mio C310x. The functionality is good, and a lot better than some other value GPS products that are out there. Again, Mio has a decent product here, and there are numerous examples of poor GPS units that you can't even navigate the menus, let alone streets with the things. All GPS units are not created equal; it's easy to make a GPS, but it's hard to make a good one.


Posted by: Scott at December 6, 2006 3:40 PM

Thanks for the review. Regarding the map updates...around BF time, on this site, it was mentioned that MIO would be providing free updates in 6-9 months. That with the price of the unit didn't make me mind buying a new GPS decive with old maps. Now, in different forums and emails from MIO it seems that these updates will not be free. Where did the information about the free updates come from?? Thanks.

Posted by: zo at December 6, 2006 2:41 PM
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