Monday, May 29, 2006

GPS Review: Mio C310 arrives for Review at the GPS Lodge

location based services

We just recieved the Mio C310 GPS at the GPS Lodge for review. It is a personal GPS that can fit into your pocket and travel with you as you take to the road on your travels. The unit comes with the now popular MP3 playing capability, a touchscreen, on-board battery, built in maps of North America, and the ability to give directions in English, French and Spanish. The unit also has the highly sensitive SiRF star III GPS module which allows it to be ultra sensitive, locking onto satellites in tough conditions. The unit is small and less than an inch thick (measureing about 4.3" x 3" x 0.78"), and pocketable, nice to take with you.
Overall the unit is impressive out of the box, and is easy to get going. The unit powered up in no time, figured out where I was and the interface was relatively simple to understand; clean and efficient. Mio has done a better job of most in the design of the unit and in its functionality. The unit is elegant, if I can say that about a GPS, with a nice design touch and feel. There are four rubberized buttons down the right side for power, main menu, volume up and volume down. The slight nub on top of the unit that says "GPS", houses the SiRF antenna that is very good at picking up satellite signals.
Right out of the box, I was able to power up, and go for a ride using the unit to navigate to work and back home. The navigation is logical and good, and uses TeleAtlas maps as its base map in the US. We've had some trouble with the TeleAtlas maps in the past on a TomTom review when they didn't have my street on the maps (It's two years old), and this unit still doesn't. Minor issue, and it will be there for the next data update I am assured (another story for another time).
What's in the box? The box comes stuffed with all kinds of things. Since it runs on Windows CE, it comes equipped to sync up with outlook for your contacts, it comes with a map CD, a quick start guide, a car power adapter that runs into the USB connector on the GPS, a USB cable for connecting to your computer, a wall power adapter, a suction cup mount for the car, and of course the GPS. The mount is easy to use and the adapter has a nice and easy clip system to pop the GPS into the mount and out; very nice and very easy to do one handed.
I have to admit that I didn't expect such a well put together GPS but so far so good. It's nicely designed, navigates accurately and has a decent layout for its menus. We haven't dug through everything yet and we'll be driving around for the next few weeks using the Mio C310 to check it out on a long term test and we'll report back on its performance.
Read More in: Automotive GPS GPS Reviews Handheld GPS Reviews Mio GPS News Mio GPS Review

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