May 13, 2009

Mio S401 and S501 GPS - Big Screens and Slim Look


Mio is announcing their S401 and S501 GPS units for the US today, that bring a light, slim look to the market and a super sized 4.7-inch screen in the S501 that will certainly offer easier viewing and data input while on your way. As GPS units and LCD screens come down in price, I would expect to see more of the 4.7-inch screens and larger making their way to the market to help make the experience better for those who could use the extra real estate.

Mio is working on making search better here too; shown above, you can touch on an area on the map and you will see what Points of Interest (POI) are in the surrounding areas. Also, they are offering key word search for POI targeting the shortcomings of searching for a POI by title only.

The Mio S401 will list for $179 and the Mio S501 will list for $199; both will be available in June.

Full press release follows......

Mio, a leading maker of PNDs (Portable Navigation Devices), announced they are introducing two new S-series models for the U.S. market in June. Both the new arrivals, the Mio Moov S401 and S501, are fully-featured and will include the all new Mio Spirit navigation software.

The new Spirit software features bold and intuitive new menu screens, clear, uncluttered map views for easier reading on the go and enhanced search capabilities for fewer taps and clicks to find your destination. In addition, the newly designed screen navigation allows the user to conveniently dock POI searches and menus to the side of the viewing area to expose the real-time maps which can be returned to center screen with a tap. The new software also gives users a host of useful functions for more easily exploring their surroundings. Samuel Wang, President of Mio Technology Corp. said: "In the two years of research and development for Spirit, Mio found that users were looking for an easier way to interact with their GPS device and take advantage of its capabilities. Spirit is Mio's response providing a unique and improved overall user experience."

The Moov S501 features a 4.7"display and ultra slim body, Mio's thinnest design ever. The entry level Moov S401 comes with a 4.3" display. Both sleek and stylish models feature a rubberized, non-skid bezel for easy handling; large, widescreen, anti-glare, touchscreen displays and convenient Home Button for instantly returning to the Main Menu.

The Mio S-series provides a complete navigation experience with new ways to plan trips and explore along the way as well as at the destination. The user can plan ahead with the Google™ Send-to-GPS function by sending locations from Google Maps. NavPix™ lets users navigate to geo-coded photos. Unlike traditional POI searches, Mio's Explore 360° provides an expanded, easy to read view of surrounding POIs by simply clicking any spot on the map. The new, intuitive Keyword Search allows users to input keywords, partial words, or even combine keywords (like place and city names) for more specific search results. And, the exclusive Mio Capture function allows users to save favorite places and routes to share and re-visit later with family and friends.

For help in these economic times Mio has included money saving features as well. The Economical
Routing function saves fuel by selecting more efficient routes with fewer turns and stops while Local Gas Price Search finds the lowest fuel prices in the area. Additionally, the MioMore 2 Desktop, the PC companion software for the S-Series, can help the consumer calculate mileage and fuel economy.

For safety and confidence on the road, the S-Series features Text-to-Speech (spoken street names) pre-loaded in three languages, Lane Guidance which prepares drivers to be in the proper lane for turns and Speed Limit Alerts.

The S401 comes pre-loaded with 4 Million POIs and US maps (50 states and Puerto Rico). The S501 is preloaded with 12 Million POIs and North American maps (US and Canada). Both are ready to go straight out of the box with no computer set-up required.

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Posted by Scott Martin at May 13, 2009 8:27 AM

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