April 24, 2006

Review: Garmin Forerunner 205 Review by GPS Lodge

Garmin Forerunner 205

Garmin introduced the Forerunner 205 and Forerunner 305 this past January at the CES show, as a big improvement to the category changing Forerunner 101, 201 and 301 personal training aids. With the Forerunner 201 and Forerunner 301 on the market, one has to ask if the new designs are worth the extra money. After using the Forerunner 205 for the past month, I can appreciate the new design features and capabilities, and if it were up to me, I would pay the extra money for the newly upgraded Forerunner 205 and 305 units. If you are value minded, the Forerunner 201 and 301 are not bad units, but I'll walk through a few of the features below that I think make the Forerunner 205 and 305's worthwhile.

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Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

April 20, 2006

GPS Review: Sony Nav-U GPS

The new Sony Nav-u GPS is just hitting the stores now and there’s a review that has popped up indicating that it’s not a bad little GPS. The nav-u features a 3.5-inch (diagonal) touch screen with a special coating to make it both glare- and fingerprint-resistant. It has a built-in light sensor to adjust the screen automatically for optimal viewing in any lighting condition and includes both a day and night mode. Many but not all GPS units feature this, and I think that it’s a big plus when they do. It’s a simple thing, but it makes a difference.

Update: Want another opinion? - see our other Review of the Sony Nav-U GPS

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Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

April 7, 2006

GPS Review: Garmin Streetpilot 7200

The Garmin StreetPilot 7200 is a huge GPS for huge needs, and with its massive 7-inch screen, you'll be able to see a lot of information about where you are going. The TFT touch-screen display automatically adjusts the backlighting level based on current lighting conditions. The screen brightness is excellent, and easily viewable in all lighting conditions—even bright sunlight. It's got a few features to run through that are interesting.

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Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

March 23, 2006

Garmin StreetPilot C340 vs. Lowrance iWay 350c

We have had a lot of requests for a comparison of the Garmin StreetPilot C340 and the Lowrance iWay 350c. Both are mid-tier priced GPS units for the car that are good performers in their own way. We have used them both at the GPS Lodge, and wrote up reviews on them.
Review of Garmin StreetPilot C340 by GPS Lodge, or
Review of the Lowrance iWay 350c by GPS Lodge

Let's take a look at the two GPS units.

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Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

March 18, 2006

GPS Review: Garmin Forerunner 205 Arrives for Review at the GPS Lodge

Garmin Forerunner 205

The Garmin Forerunner 205 arrived for review today at the GPS Lodge, time to put the running shoes on. Garmin announced the upgrade to the popular Forerunner 201 and Forerunner 301 in January at the Consumer Electronics Show. The big change is the shape and the inclusion of the SiRF star III chipset, both targeted at the quality of satellite signal. The wrap around shape helps the unit keep the GPS receiver chip facing the sky for better reception, while the highly sensitive SiRF star III chipset helps keep a lock on the satellite signal (for more information on why the SiRF star III chipset is a big deal – see this article). The shape of the unit also makes it more user friendly and more appealing overall as a training device as it looks more like a watch and less like some techno-gadget.

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Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

February 4, 2006

GPS Review: Microsoft Streets & Trips with GPS

Microsoft is no newcomer to the Streets and Trips world, and that doesn't stop them from added a few new features to keep the product fresh for 2006. So, while the vocabulary is limited, Microsoft Streets & Trips has included voice prompted capability in 2006. It does not do Text to Speech directions (i.e. "Turn right on Maple Street in 200 feet", instead it says "Turn right in 200 feet"). The GPS modiule is provided by Pharos Science and Application Inc. and turns any laptop, Windows Mobile based PDA or Smart phone into an all inclusive GPS tracking device. All you have to do is plug in the GPS Locator via a USB port and you can start using the mapping software in real time.

The folks over at PC Magazine tried out the software and unit and thought things were good, but not great.

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Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

GPS Review: Delorme Earthmate LT-20 with Street Atlas

delorme_earthmate_LT_20

Delorme has been around a long time with their StreetAtlas software, and its was one of the tools I used in the past to help me navigate on long bike trips. I used it to program in routes and then download onto a Garmin eTrex. It's powerful navigation software that also has the ability to listen to a GPS and help you navigate while on the road. The included voice promted can help it act as a full naviational aid with that GPS and your laptop. The Software is loaded with Points of Interest (POI's), and has some nice features that allow you to search for POI's in several ways while on a trip. I like it for the POI Radar tool that allows you to scan for POI's in a radius around your location, or in real time as you go along your route. Overall, I think that it's a better trip navigation tool than an around town navigation tool.

Over at PC Magazine, they recently reviewed the software and the Earthmate LT GPS receiver and thought that it had some great software features, sometimes better than the Microsoft Streets & Trips (see our article covering the Review of MS Streets & Trips) but that GPS accuracy was an issue.

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Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

Review: Lowrance iWay 350c Review by GPS Lodge

Lowrance iWay 350C
The Lowrance iWay 350C is a mid-tier Automotive GPS device that is loaded with features that can blow you away. It’s a nice unit that has an easy to read 3.5” touchscreen, comes pre-loaded with millions of Points of Interest and Maps, as well as added capabilities that make the iWay 350c stand out as something better that a plain vanilla navigation device. It’s impressive to have the MP3 playing capability in a GPS unit integrated with the FM modulator, working seamlessly with the text to voice directions telling you to "Turn Left on Main Street". I think that it’s a strong contender in the mid-tier category. Lowrance did a good job integrating most features, but as a result of the long list of customizations the unit is a bit bogged down trying to jam so much in. It may appeal well to a GPS enthusiast person, and might just be over the head of your non-techie user. I would liken the iWay 350c to a Windows machine with all of its capabilities and customizations it can get hard to navigate, whereas an Apple makes the interface a dream, and makes things so easy your grandmother can figure it out. So, if you don’t mind a few inconveniences the iWay 350c can offer you a lot. If you’re a total novice with little patience, you might want to look elsewhere.

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Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (9) | social bookmarking

January 20, 2006

Review: Garmin Nuvi 350 GPS Review

Garmin nuviGarmin launched the Garmin nuvi last year and broke into small handheld smart GPS devices that marked a bold move to add features that are not commonly found, targeting business travelers. With included MP3 player and the ability to play audiobooks downloaded from Audible.com, it may just help you pass the hours in the airport too.

In their Review of the Garmin Nuvi 350, Businessweek recently called it the Easiest, Smartest GPS yet in a review. They seemed to like it a lot for its GPS capabilities including its fast satellite fix times and its easy intuitive interface.

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Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 15, 2006

GPS Review: Cobra NavOne 4500

Another review has popped up on the Cobra NavOne 4500 over at CNet. We used the Cobra NavOne 4500 for about a month and reviewed it here at the GPS Lodge last November. We liked it for its large screen and the luxury of features that you can put on such a large screen. (Read our review). The size was an issue for us as the unit fell off the windshield one day as I was driving down the road, but Cobra tells me that they are fixing this mount problem. We weren't so impressed with the traffic feeds as they seemed to show things in better light than I thought they should be, but they show promise and I believe that traffic feeds are THE feature of GPS units for the car in the coming years. John Delaney over at CNet wrote in their review that they thought the Cobra NavOne 4500 was excellent and gave it 8.3 out of 10 (Excellent), and said the "Overall the NavOne is a winner."

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Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

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