Got a car? If so, in the last year you’ll have been bombarded with information about in-car sat-nav and how you can’t live without it. The catch is, buyng it at point of sale can add £3000 to the price of the car. So, the best option is to go the self-help route and link a GPS module to your Bluetooth-enabled notebook or Pocket PC.
There are a wide variety of similar units on the market but where the Garmin GPS 10 Deluxe stands apart is in the strength of its maps and the power of the signal. As a 12 parallel channel unit, it’s capable of receiving referencing four satellites at any one time for accurate location finding. Once you’ve installed the drivers and map software onto your notebook, you’ll need to set up a Bluetooth pairing.
Once this has been achieved, the GPS module needs to identify its location, which can take up to 30 minutes. On the plus side, this is a once-only operation. The real simplicity of this unit is the maps, supplied by nRoute. At first you’ll think they look a bit basic and the interface is a little basic. However, the in-car directions and instructions are far more impressive.
While most people will opt for simply dropping the receiver onto their dashboard, so they can easily put it back into the glove compartment at journey’s end, the box comes complete with a magnetic mount for affixing it into your car. You’ll also find a 12-volt power adapter to power the module.
Map reading from a notebook may not be the best solution in the world, so Garmin also bundles PDA software. In fact, it’s the same information it offers with its own Que Pocket PC. As the unit will fit neatly into a pocket or bag, you can also opt to use GPS services when on foot. With its own Lithium-Ion battery, you’ll get up to 10 hours of life from the unit - so for navigating around town, there’s more than enough juice to go round.
To do this you’ll need to synchronise the files with a Pocket PC, drivers are supplied so the only difficulty is setting up the pairing, which isn’t as easy as we’d like but this is a flaw in Pocket PC and not the Garmin. You’ll also find that due to the size of the maps, it takes an age to transfer, so it’s best to do this when at home rather than on the fly.
It’s hard to get excited by what amounts to a small block of plastic sitting on the dashboard of your car. Getting the unit set up and running takes the best part of an hour - from installing drivers to getting the module synchronised.
However, what the GPS 10 Deluxe brings is a powerful and cost-effective solution that’ll get you to your destination in the quickest and most convenient fashion.