December 21, 2006

Rumors: Mio C310x Deal/Sales

Coming into the final weekend before Christmas, I have heard some rumors from readers that there will be some deals put up on the Mio C310x. No word on price, or which retailers, but the sales would most likely be short lead time items, like Manager's Specials, or 3 day blow outs, or something like that. Not something published in circulars that were planned and printed in advance.

Look for retailers to move inventory (if they have any) out the door before Christmas. We've been seeing the units on sale at Staples for $199 this past week, which is about the best price we've seen ($198 at Fry's too), since Black Friday. I would expect a similar price on any sales. One reader wrote in to not trust the internet "Sold Out" markings for local store inventories. Call the stores to ask if they have any; sometimes the internet and the store inventory amounts don't match.

If ANYONE hears of such a sale/deal on Mio's this weekend, let me know, or post a comment.

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

December 17, 2006

Mio C310x Updates; Map Fixes and more

MioC310GPS.JPG

Update: Mio Has Announced a Map Update for the Mio C310X! - 6/29/07

Update: The Washington DC Mio Routing Issue Fix is now posted at the Mio Site

I had the opportunity to talk with Mio the other day in a wide-ranging conversation that helped me understand a lot about where things are at with the Mio C310x and where they are going with some of the key concerns that I (and a lot of my readers) have about the unit. Specifically, I spoke with the product manager Isabella Hoogland at Mio. The bottom line is that I get the sense that they are working hard to fix outages and make sure that their new found popularity is a positive experience for their customers. They have added support people to help handle the surge of comment and questions, and are dealing with some big issues head-on.

ArrowContinue reading: "Mio C310x Updates; Map Fixes and more"

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (48) | social bookmarking

November 30, 2006

The Trouble with TeleAtlas Maps and What's the Future Direction

teleatlaslogo.jpg

I wanted to get this up and posted about what my opinions are on TeleAtlas, and where I think things are going. Many people familiar with the GPS world have come across the dialog that TeleAtlas maps in the US are not as accurate, or are not as up to date as people think they should be. Me included.

From what I have seen, the GPS units that have used NAVTEQ maps are more up to date versus those that use TeleAtlas. I think that TeleAtlas is changing and is on the move to update their maps quickly, making step changes in their accomplishments, and not just small mediocre incremental changes. Why do I think this?

ArrowContinue reading: "The Trouble with TeleAtlas Maps and What's the Future Direction"

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (3) | social bookmarking

November 27, 2006

Inexpensive GPS Buying Options

christmas_bow.jpg C310x for $200 or less. The other deals that I would recommend are simply low priced Garmin C-series products.

mioc310xsm.jpgMio C310x – Many people went out to the stores on Black Friday and bought this for $149, but don’t worry, you can still pick this up at Comp USA for $199 now. Even at $199, this is still a great deal. It’s got some issues, but most people are happy, or even thrilled with its performance. The interface is good, not great but good, and offers a lot of nice navigation features. The Issue: Maps. There is ONLY US maps on the device, no Canadian maps as previously mentioned or discussed. The maps are also in need of updating. This sits on both Mio and TeleAtlas’ shoulders,but there should be an update to the maps in the next 6-9 months. See my post on TeleAtlas Maps and why I think that things are set to improve. These can be serious issues if they bug you, move on, if you can put up with it, enjoy the bargain. See info on the Mio C310x.

GarminC320sm.jpgGarmin C320 + 1GB SD Card – This combination will cost around $300 and the device will be rock solid. The unit comes with North American (yes, Canada too), maps that you can download once onto the SD card and you now have a fully functional maps loaded GPS (Note: Get a 2GB card if you want both US and Canada on the device, as US will fit on 1GB card). The included NAVTEQ maps are more up to date than the TeleAtlas maps on the Mio. The interface is easier than the Mio, and I have no issues recommending this unit. Check out walmart.com and Amazon– Both are moving prices around a lot these days, so check both out.

garminC330sm.jpgGarmin StreetPilot C330 – If you don’t want to deal with transferring maps yourself, buy this. It's a bit over $300. It will navigate right out of the box, and has all of North America pre-loaded.


Skip the Garmin I-series – Don’t get me wrong, I think that the Garmin I-series is a good little navigator, but for a little bit more money, you can move up to the C-series and its touchscreen navigation on a 3.5 inch screen. The ability to use a touchscreen is a big difference that’s well worth the money.

For more GPS Buying information see our
Holiday GPS Buying Guide


Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (3) | social bookmarking

Mio C310x – Canadian Maps, Hacks and More….

With upwards to 100,000 Mio C310x units sold this past weekend, there has been a lot of traffic and questions about the Mio C310x, covering Canadian maps, adding video playback support, adding other voices, accessing the Windows CE core, and just plain digging like people have fun doing. I thought I would pass this along, but I haven’t done any of this, and you’re on your own to play; I can’t help you here.

Update: Mio Has Announced a Map Update for the Mio C310X! - 6/29/07

Update: See our Review of the new Mio C310x GPS
Update: I talked with Mio and got an update on Map fixes and more. See the post.

Maps of Canada
Update: some things have been updated, and there is an easy way to add the Canadian maps to an SD card.
Essentially you need to get (?steal; I don't know here?) the map file from another place on the internet, and then place it on an SD card (the file is about 54MB; need a 64MB+ sized card) in a specific directory structure. See the Fat Wallet Forums link below.

New Voices
Similar thing here. Get the voice files, use a hack to drop it into the right file folder on the Mio.

Adding video and more…. All similar processes.

I haven’t done any of this, so you’re on your own. I know some people who have commented here about the unit have done this with some success. You’re on your own, good luck.

Nice quick summary on the front page of what you can do: Read this thread at the FatWallet forums for news on Hacking the Mio C310x.

Another resource is at GPSPassion Forums

Even MORE Information on the Mio C310x.


Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (20) | social bookmarking

November 21, 2006

Mio - Europe's #3 GPS Brand

Reports for third quarter 2006 from international marketing research firms Canalys and IDC show that Mio Technology continues its consistent performance in handheld devices. In Europe , the company maintained its position as the third-largest GPS vendor, and for the first time, was named the world’s #3 PDA vendor.

According to Canalys’ survey of the European market, Mio retained its #3 ranking in mobile GPS navigation devices with a market share of roughly nine percent. The results demonstrate that in an increasingly competitive European market with a growing number of brands, Mio has been able to maintain its leadership position and solid growth.

IDC’s third quarter survey of the global handheld device (PDA product) market found that Mio captured the third position. Despite a global PDA market that has declined in recent years, Mio was able to achieve five percent growth over the previous quarter, attaining a 9.5 percent market share.

With a range of GPS and GPS PDA products launched in Europe in the third quarter, the company anticipates strong sales during the holiday shopping season. I would imagine that the Black Friday deals and the continued improvement in brand recognition in the US will help them gain in market share.

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

November 14, 2006

Mio C310x - the upgrade to the Mio C310

MioC310GPS.JPG

Update: Mio Has Announced a Map Update for the Mio C310X! - 6/29/07

There has been a lot of traffic and news looking at the Black Friday GPS Deals that are coming the day after Thanksgiving, and well Black Friday is here. For breaking news and an update check out Black Friday GPS Mop Up - the Mio C310x Fest.

Update: See our Review of the new Mio C310x GPS
Update: I talked with Mio and got an update on Map fixes and more. See the post.

I used the Mio C310 back in the summer, and liked it a lot. This is not a low quality GPS; these folks are for real. (Read my Review on the Mio C310) I happen to be using the Mio H610 right now (been too busy to announce it), and it is using the Mio branded iGo navigation engine from PDAMill. I will say that I like it a lot, and that the interface is fairly clean and easy to navigate. From what I can remember and from what I can tell from using the Mio H610, I would say that this is a good improvement. Hardware is the same on the two; still SiRF star III chipset with a flat form factor and a decent touchscreen.

Update: I have posted my Review of the Mio H610, which uses the same basic navigation software as the new C310x. Check it out for insight into how this new software performs.

Here are some key changes that will help you compare the Mio C310 vs the Mio C310x:

  • The C310x uses Mio Map mapping software (a Mio-branded version of iGo)—bringing a completely different look & feel to the user interface. The C310x continues to use the same underlying Tele Atlas map database (not quite as good as the NAVTEQ; but getting better).
  • The C310x offers pre-loaded US maps (50 US States + Guam & Puerto Rico), with Canadian maps on an included DVD (We now know that these Canadian maps are not there.
  • The C310x still offers an MP3 player, which can play while navigating
  • The C310x software supports additional viewing modes (horizon tilt, zoom & pan while in 3D mode), pedestrian navigation mode, as well as other UI customization options
  • The Mio C310x does omit the A/C charger in the box, and you’ll have to decide if it’s a big loss. A lot of people who bought the Mio C310X got an AC charger. The data from Mio is mixed if the Mio C310x is supposed to have an AC charger.


    Didn't get what you wanted? Need some guidance on what GPS to buy? - Check out our Holiday GPS Buying Guide

    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (75) | social bookmarking
  • November 6, 2006

    Mio C250

    mio-c250-gps.jpg
    Mio has introduced in the UK, a value priced GPS that has some impressive features at an impressive price. The best feature I see is that it's from Mio, which I believe is one of the second tier GPS brands that's worth watching. I say that because in using the Mio Digiwalker C310 earlier this year, they got a lot right, which is more than I can say for a lot of the brands that don't come out from the GPS Titans. The unit comes with a 400mHz CPU, a 3.5 inch screen and the SiRF star III chipset. It will play MP3's too. It's priced at 170 Pounds or about $325 US. The flat form factor and the SiRF Star III chipset at this price should turn some heads.

    I will say that from the picture, the unit seems to have gone to some well done icon based navigation around the unit's menus, but the bar down the left side along with icons down the right seem to crowd out the map a bit.

    Via

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

    October 23, 2006

    Trouble for Mio GPS?


    Mio GPS units are made by Mitac, its parent company. Mitac also makes GPS units for other manufacturers that are then sold under other brand names. With its booming Mio business, Mitac is starting to wonder if they have a conflict of interest and are potentially losing bids for other GPS manufacturing business. The Digitimes are reporting that Mitac recently lost a bid to make Magellan eXplorist handhelds. Was this conflict of interest a factor? With expectations to make over 4 million GPS units this year, Mitac faces a tough decision, should they stick with their own brand and lose the manufacturing business or quite the Mio brand and just make other brand GPS's?

    ReadMore at Digitimes

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

    October 8, 2006

    Review: Mio P550 PDA/GPS

    mio_p550_gps.jpg

    Nice Review over at Clove on the Mio P550 GPS/PDA system. Overall, the Mio P350 has a windows system that also incorporates the GPS functionality for a smooth transition between applications. Mio is tearing up the GPS world lately with the launch of their Mio H610 GPS, a small pocketable and purse-able GPS that has a lot of people talking. The P550 come fairly well equipped with the SiRF Star III chipset, a 400 Mhz processor and 128MB of memory.

    ArrowContinue reading: "Review: Mio P550 PDA/GPS"

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

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