May 23, 2007

TomTom ONE XL Arrives for Review


UPDATE: I have posted my Review of the TomTom ONE XL

So with the new wider TomTom ONE XL sporting a widescreen and the new TeleAtlas maps, I thought I had to give the unit a try, and try it right away. I liked the TomTom ONE when I reviewed it last year, and only had a few minor complaints besides the lack of accurate maps. The TeleAtlas map issue has been broadly fixed in my point of view, having used the Mio C220 for the last couple of weeks which is loaded with the new maps.

The 4.3 inch screen should give a better overview of the road ahead with more streets and information on display. The TomTom ONE XL is also traffic ready and can receive traffic feeds via the TomTom PLUS services via your Bluetooth phone. It features QuickFix technology that allows it to find satellites fast (as long as you connect it to your computer once per week).

I look forward to checking this unit out over the next few weeks. Stay tuned for more impressions on the TomTom ONE XL.

more follows...

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May 21, 2007

Review: Mio C220 Review


CNet has a review up of the Mio C220, the latest from Mio and a unit clearly set at the value end of the market. It will essentially replacing the Mio C310x at the $200 price point (list price is higher, street prices can be lower). The unit is a small, flat form factor unit that has US maps pre-loaded from TeleAtlas. I am happy to say that the maps are updated and don’t appear to have any big outages (I am also using the Mio C220 for a review).

Right out of the gate, Bonnie Cha of CNet offers praise for the features and price for the Mio C220, but admits that they can’t recommend it due to the low screen brightness. I’ll tell you that the screen is not as bright or rather vivid as the Mio C310x, but I would have to disagree with Bonnie Cha on this one, and say that for the price, the unit is a good value. I see it this way. For about $200, you can buy the C220 and get a solid unit with up to date maps and an interface that is very easy to navigate once you familiarize yourself with it. The unit acquires satellites fast and gives good navigation cues that are easy to follow. The screen is not as vivid as I would like, but that is only a problem in bright sunlight directly on the unit. For 50% more (an extra $100), you can move up to the TomTom ONE, but I recognize that $299 not in a lot of people’s price range. In the end, the C220 is a very good entry level GPS.

Read Bonnie Cha’s full review at CNet for more information on the Mio C220. Look for my review of the C220 in the coming days.

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May 18, 2007

Magellan RoadMate 2000 Review


So while Magellan has released their Maestro line, I had the opportunity to take a look at the Magellan RoadMate 2000 for a few weeks and I thought that it was still worth taking a look at the not terribly old RoadMate 2000 that is still kicking around at some bargain prices, vying for your business. It’s well known that Magellan is one of the pioneers in the GPS arena and while they hit some low points while under the ownership of Thales, they are under new management and seem to be on a resurgence. The RoadMate 2000 was released in September 2006 as an update to the well-known RoadMate line. The RoadMate 2000 series had some good things going for it, SiRF star III chipset and a flat form factor. Not exactly pocketable, but certainly a smaller footprint to allow for easy storage. After using the RoadMate 2000 for two weeks, and many trips, I can say there are some bright spots still in there signaling a whole lot of quality design experience, but that the unit is unfortunately saddled by a cartoonish interface and tough set of menus that make it a hard unit to appreciate the quality thinking underneath.

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May 13, 2007

Garmin Nuvi 360 Review


- Hands on Review by -

The Garmin Nuvi 360 has been out on the market for a while, actually quite a while, but I wanted to get you a first hand review of the product including its Bluetooth Handsfree capability considering that this unit is one of the lowest priced units where you can get a solid map set, optional traffic capabilities and handsfree Bluetooth features. The downward trend in pricing on GPS systems has this unit priced right in the middle of the pack, and increasingly affordable for the mass market. The Garmin Nuvi 360 is an excellent choice for people who are considering models in this price range.

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May 2, 2007

Magellan Maestro 4040 Review


PC Mag has a review up on the Magellan Maestro 4040, the new middle of the Series 4000 line of widescreen GPS navigation systems from Magellan. They redesigned the interface, which was very much needed, as the older units looked like they were a bit cartoonish, and pixelated; way to out of date. The sad thing is the underlying system was pretty solid and offered a lot. Anyway, the Magellan Maestro 4040 comes with maps preloaded, a SiRF star III chipset, text-to-speech (TTS) capability and Bluetooth pairing to for handsfree phone calls. Not bad.

Craig Ellison liked the re-designed hardware and software with special notes on the large 4.3-ince screen, the new user interface, and the AAA TourBook integration. He said that while the Bluetooth Phone integration wasn't as good as the current state of the art Garmin systems, that "A large screen, fresh new user interface, AAA's TourBook functionality, and a great price make the Maestro 4040 a compelling in-car navigation device."

ReadMore at PC Mag

Magellan Maestro 4040 at Amazon

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May 1, 2007

Mio C220 Arrives for Review


The new Mio C220 arrived for review at the GPS Lodge, as the new generation of Mio GPS systems are starting to take to the US market. The Mio C220 will follow in the footsteps of the popular Mio C310x that made a splash last year during the holiday shopping season, and continues to be an economical favorite today. The Mio C220 has a lot going for it vs the Mio C310x, as it too is a small, flat form factor, but the C220 comes with the much awaited TeleAtlas map upgrades that fill in a lot of holes in the map set. I’ll tell you already that my street is finally on the GPS unit, after having the conversation a year ago with a gentleman who was driving the TeleAtlas truck, mapping streets in our area.

The Mio C220 comes with a SiRF star III chipset, and a 3.5-inch touchscreen. The mapset is for the entire US, not Canada, and fits nicely on the included SD card. The POI dataset is a decent size, coming in at 3.5 million points. The POI points have phone numbers for the locations, although I noticed already that the Post Offices in the area all have the same fake phone number “xxx-000-1111”. Whoops TeleAtlas. I checked a dozen other local (non-post office) sites and they looked fine. Looking forward to trying this out.

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April 30, 2007

Jensen NVX227 Review by GPSLodge


-Hands On Review by GPSLodge-

As the GPS market matures and expands, more manufacturers are getting into the GPS category from logical jumping off points. Jensen, the long time consumer electronics brand, has come into the market with a series of announcements to offer a line of GPS navigators ranging from the economical to the full featured. I am always interested to see new products in the category, new competition because it drives innovation and growth, with the ultimate benefactors being the consumer. So, today we turn our eyes to the Jensen NVX227, the value model entry from Jensen. The unit uses a SiRF star III chipset, has a 3.5 inch touchscreen and runs a customized version of the iGo software interface which is better known from the Mio line of products where it is customized and billed as the Mio Map interface. The Jensen NVX227 ships with North American maps preloaded on an SD card, and does not have media playing capabilities (not a big miss in my mind).

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April 13, 2007

V7/MyGuide Navigator 1000 Review


The V7/MyGuide 1000 is a value priced GPS that has a good feature set and for those who have seen the Mio C310x the interface will look familiar. The V7/MyGuide 1000 is loaded up with the iGo interface that is also the underlying engine on the Mio systems. The V7/MyGuide 1000 is a compact, thin device that goes easy on the wallet. The unit offers a 3.5-inch touchscreen and solid turn-by-turn directions.

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April 12, 2007

Jensen NVX227 Arrives for Review

The Jensen NVX227 arrived for review at the GPS Lodge, and you can add this unit to the growing number of units that feature the familiar yet customized iGo interface. The overall design of the unit steps out from the usual in that it has a windshield mount that includes a larger (and louder) speaker in the holder/saddle that holds the GPS unit. The power cable plugs into the mount which in turn powers the GPS.

The spoken word directions (not Text to Speech - TTS) that are clear and timely. It includes rechargeable Li-Polymer battery, car adapter and USB cable (battery recharges through the USB or car adapter).

What's in the Box - Jensen NVX227

  • Jensen NVX227 GPS Unit
  • Windshield Mount with internal speaker and mini-USB power connection
  • 12-volt power cord (mini-USB at end)
  • Manual on CD ROM
  • Jensen Quick Start guide
  • SD Card with North American (FULL US + Canada) Maps

    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
  • April 11, 2007

    Magellan Maestro 4000, 4040, 4050 Review

    CNet has a decent review of the new Magellan Maestro line, including the Maestro 4000, Maestro 4040, and the Maestro 4050 (kindof). They also include a brief cool video that walks you through the unit (links below). The line starts with a widescreen format, NAVTEQ maps and a fresh approach to the GPS world with the new ownership of the Magellan company. The Maestro 4000 starts out with a basic widescreen unit that has a thin design, has preloaded maps and a solid operating system. The upgrade to the Maestro 4040 adds text-to-speech (TTS) capability and Bluetooth pairing to for handsfree phone calls. While they didn't get to test the Maestro 4050 specifically, and its voice command features, the rest of the functionality should be the same, so I included it here in the title. The units run with a Sirf Star III chipset. ArrowContinue reading: "Magellan Maestro 4000, 4040, 4050 Review"

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

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