March 31, 2007

V7 My Guide in for Review

V7/My Guide unveiled its Navigator 1000 GPS product last year and I recently got one in for review. The unit is targeted at the entry level market. The MyGuide V7 Navigator 1000 comes with many features, including a 3.5-inch TFT LCD screen, 320 x 240 resolution, touch-screen enabled, turn-by-turn voice instruction in 23 languages, SD card technology, expandable storage, picture viewer, MP3-audio and AVI-video capabilities. The unit carries a two-year warranty and includes mounting hardware. The unit uses an iGo software package that is similar to the Mio C310x (and other Mio products) so if you have seen or used those, you'll be in familiar territory. From my playing around with the unit, it is not EXACTLY like the Mio and their Mio Map branded interface, so I'll dig in and understand some of the key differences as I use the unit.

Update: See My Review of the V7/MyGuide Navigator 1000 - 4/13

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March 25, 2007

Garmin Nuvi 200/250/270 Review


-A Hands On Review by

Update: The Garmin Nuvi 200W and 250W WIDESCREEN GPS units are announced!

Update: See my Full Review on the new Nuvi 200W/250W Widescreen units

The Garmin Nuvi 200/250/270 has shown up to extend the Garmin line into the value end of the market just as this end of the market is exploding. Late last year, the holiday shopping spree on value GPS systems blew the doors off the retailers, and catapulted the GPS onto the mainstream stage.

"Garmin has a winner on their hands...solid through and through."
Garmin is too big and too smart to let an opportunity like that slip past. I have been using the Nuvi 250, and from my travels with it, Garmin has a winner on their hands and they will put a lot of pressure on the value end of the market to bring on their “A” game; a demand that a many won’t be up to. Garmin has brought to the market a true Garmin GPS, no big corners cut, no big misses in their design. I am pretty happy to be able to bring the first full review of the unit to you; so let's take a look.

  • Complete information on the Nuvi 200/250/270 at GPSLodge
  • For a full list of my own Hands on Full Reviews of GPS units; Click - Hands On Reviews
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  • March 22, 2007

    Pocket Loox N100 Review


    PC Mag has a new review out on the ultra portable LOOX N100 that joins the Mio Digiwalker H610 in the category, and if you don’t think this is real, there are some older rumors that TomTom is also taking a look at the segment. With that said, I thought that the Mio H610 was a solid little device when I reviewed the H610 late last year, and that the idea of an ultra portable GPS multifunction device is an appealing idea for those who need to be on the move.

    Craig Ellison of PC Mag points out that there are some novel functions on the LOOX N100 that make navigation a different experience. This includes road signs, speed limit signs, lane information and branded POI icons, which I have to think is a sign of things to come. As more and more companies start to recognize the shear reach of a GPS platform, they will start to push their brands into the devices recognizing the power to pull in customers. TeleAtlas recently announced a program to allow companies to insert their locations and one would think eventually their branded icons into the map database.

    While PC Mag doesn’t call it a true winner, but the LOOX N100 has some definite appeal.

    ReadMore at PC Mag

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    March 6, 2007

    Dual NavAtlas XNAV3550 Review


    CNet has a review up of the Dual NavAtlas XNav3550, and they weren't impressed, giving it a 5.6 out of 10 rating. The unit features a 3.5-inch touchscreen, and pre-loaded maps of the US, along with a SiRF star III chipset. The unit has a Navigon navigation software interface, which they found difficult to get around. It is the same software that is used on the Delphi NAV200 - see my review. I think that the software is a bit hard to get around, but in my experience, the unit did a respectable job of navigation.

    Design-wise, the unit has a couple of nubs on each side that are used to give you a visual indication of which way to turn. CNet likes the feature; I am unconvinced until I use it. This could be a major distraction, or a nice help.

    Overall, CNet says that the unit will get you from point A to B without much issue, but thinks that there are some other value plays out there to look for.

    Read the entire Review of the Dual NavAtlas 3550 at CNet

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    February 26, 2007

    TomTom: Compare the TomTom ONE vs. GO 510 vs. GO 910


    A lot of people have been writing in asking about what TomTom they should buy, and asking about the comparison between the TomTom ONE versus the TomTom GO 510 vs the GO 910. The TomTom ONE that was recently released pretty much in time for the holidays last year, is a strong GPS system and is a flat, pocketable device. Overall, I think that it's a very good choice. (You can read my review of the TomTom ONE). The TomTom GO 510 and the Go 910 are not flat, but offer some features you can't find in the TomTom ONE. All come with the SiRF star III chipset for higher accuracy in tough conditions.

    The Tradeshow CeBit 2007 is coming up in Germany, and if s go as I expect, TomTom will be announcing some new GPS units there, making these very capable units drop in price as we approach the launch of the new GPS units at CeBit 2007.

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    February 18, 2007

    Garmin StreetPilot C580 Review

    The gang over at CNet have given their two cents worth on the new MSN connected Garmin model, this one being the Garmin StreetPilot C580 with MSN Direct. Their review borrows heavily from their original review of the StreetPilot C550, which it should since it shares almost all the same features and performance as the newer C580, except the whole MSN direct thing...

    They liked the StreetPilot C580 and gave it a high rating of 8/10 in their review. I don't blame them, I think that they are spot on, as I liked the C550 when I reviewed it myself, and I liked the Nuvi 680's MSN direct features when I reviewed that. CNet didn't have any trouble pairing the CtreetPilot C580 with their Treo Bluetooth phone, and were able to transfer their contacts to the GPS. As they drove around the SF Bay area, they had solid navigation and good results from the MSN features. I would have liked it if they talked a little bit more about the features, but the bottom line is that they liked the unit and recommended the relatively small upcharge for the C580 over the C550.

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    February 7, 2007

    Mio C310x Review in the Press

    So, it's always good to see your own opinions backed up by other educated GPS users, and writer Don Lindich has taken a look at the Mio C310x with an overall favorable opinion. I happen to think that the Mio C310x is a solid unit, with a few blemishes that need to be acknowledged and then quickly forgiven when you consider the rock bottom pricing. This review takes a look at the Mio C310x and points out that it doesn't have text to speech which is often found in higher priced units, but it is found to be an "Excellent-performing GPS". He goes on to say "I encourage anyone curious about GPS to pick one up and give it a try - I am confident you will be pleased and not want to go back to being without one, especially if you spend a lot of time on the road or enjoy road trips." Worth checking out the rest of his review. ReadMore

    Read My Review of the Mio C310x

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    February 5, 2007

    JVC KDNX5000 Review


    As the GPS space grows, we should see more of these integrated media and navigation hugs for your car. TomTom certainly thinks so, as they backed the Eclipse AVN2210P, and we continue the quickening pace of integrated units coming from the major aftermarket stereo providers. The JVC KD-NX5000 was recently announced at the CES 2007 show with some impressive specs, including a 40GB hard drive that is split between navigation and media storage.

    CNet has posted a good fairly in depth review of the unit, and have rated it “Spectacular – 9 out of 10. GPS-wise, the unit has over 13 million Points of Interest, and maps from NAVTEQ, although they mention that the maps were not as crisp as they would have liked. Not sure if this has to do with the map data, the colors chosen or the screen size/viewing angle. As far as the media functions go, CNet appears to be pretty happy about the whole set-up and thought that the 5,000+ song capacity + video playback were solid, in the end saying that the JVC KD-NX5000 “is about as much car tech per square foot as you can get.”

    Full Review at CNet

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    January 30, 2007

    Review Via Michelin X-980


    The Via Michelin X-980 is widely thought to be coming to the US sometime, and it sells in Europe, where it is the top of the Via Michelin line. What makes this unit interesting is the fact that it comes with content from the Michelin Travel Guides, more widely known in Europe, but still a great information source for the US too.

    The unit has Bluetooth Handsfree capability, a SiRF star III chipset, and a 4.3 inch widescreen formatted touchscreen.

    The Via Michelin X-980 was briefly reviewed in a UK online journal, VNUNet and they applaud the unit for its travel guide content and integration of traffic capabilities, but poke at the usability of the interface.

    ReadMore at VNUNet

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    January 25, 2007

    Garmin Nuvi 680 Full Review


    -A Hands on Review by GPSLodge-

    The recently announced Garmin Nuvi 680 is a widescreen, bright, flat form factor GPS system that is based on one of the best GPS units out there, if not the best, the Nuvi 660. The key difference is that the Nuvi 680 has the capability to get information updates from the MSN Direct service that provides data feeds over the FM band in many major cities across the US.

    "Having the MSN Direct Service onboard the Nuvi 680 is a great addition to an already excellent navigator."
    While these data feeds can be seen in gizmos like this Melitta Coffee Maker, these feeds can also be seen in other useful places like on a GPS on my dashboard! (Let's face it the Melitta wouldn't fit on the dashboard anyway.) For the Nuvi 680, it has the ability to pull down information about weather, movies, traffic and gas prices.

    For a full list of my own Full Reviews of GPS units; Click - Hands On Reviews

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