Mio, today launched a new GPS PDA model in time for Christmas shoppers still to buy a GPS unit.
The new A201 breaks the mould over supposed other GPS by offering a rotating GPS antenna. This means that users can navigate in both portrait mode, as found on a standard sat-nav PDA, and in landscape mode, as found on a dedicated sat-nav system.
The screen modes can be switched by rotating the antenna or by tapping a button. The rotating antenna ensures that there's no loss of GPS signal quality when the user switches between the two modes.
Mio A201 also offers Bluetooth for wireless file exchange, Outlook synchronisation and as part of a hands-free car kit for Bluetooth-equipped phones. Navigation performance is improved through the addition of a new 312Mhz Intel Bulverde processor and 64MB of RAM, which quicken route planning and calculation.
Building on the Mio 168, the most significant improvement according to Mio is the addition of the latest 20-channel SirfStar III GPS chipset, which enhances GPS satellite signal pick up and reception compared to the previous generation, 12-channel receivers.
Mio is also promising a less reflective screen. As with other GPS device currently launching the Mio A201 is fully compatible with the TMC (Traffic Message Channel) service if the chosen navigation software supports it. This service is freely available across most of Europe, except for the UK and France, and provides constant updates and routing options on nearby traffic problems.
The Mio A201 runs on the Windows Mobile 5 operating system.
The Mio A201 will be available in store from of the middle of December priced at £239 without mapping software.