Garmin GPS10 Bluetooth GPS Receiver with Mount and Software
List Price: $267.99

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Product Description

At last - no more cables, plugin receivers, and paper maps! Now you can add full GPS navigation capabilities to your Pocket PC or PC laptop with the Garmin GPS 10, a Bluetooth -enabled wireless GPS receiver. Wherever you're going, the GPS 10 Deluxe package provides wireless mapping and navigation to deliver you directly to the front door. Talk about mobile. Traveling has never been easier thanks to the GPS 10 Deluxe's innovative features: Compact and lightweight - convenient to carry and mount discreetly in your car; Magnetic and velcro mounts - make it a snap to install; Waterproof - so it can be mounted outside the car for a clear view of the sky; Integrated, wireless GPS receiver and transceiver with Bluetooth technology - for strong reception and data transmission of up to 30 feet; Long battery life - rechargeable lithium ion batteries for up to 12 hours of use and a 12-volt adapter for added flexibility; Detailed, accurate mapping software - provides map data for the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico; Intuitive navigation applications for Pocket PC and PC laptops - deliver address lookup, turn-by-turn navigation, and more.The GPS 10 Deluxe comes with a fully unlocked Mapsource City Select North America CD and two easy-to-use navigation applications for a Windows Mobile device and PC laptop. Combined, this software provides seamless navigation to your destination. City Select North America puts over 5 million points of interest and detailed street-level map data for the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico at your fingertips. Garmin nRoute software for use on your Bluetooth-enabled laptop and Que software for use with a Bluetooth-enabled Pocket PC turn these mobile devices into a fully functional navigation system. Easily look up addresses, restaurants and other services. Select a destination and get automatic routing, turn-by-turn directions, off route recalculation and voice prompts as you drive.

Garmin jumps on the wireless bandwagon with its GPS 10 Deluxe, a GPS receiver that communicates with Bluetooth-enabled Pocket PCs and PC laptops to allow easy, intuitive navigating. Unlike GPS devices with built-in screens, the GPS 10 Deluxe displays its mapping and navigational data on your mobile computer's monitor, ensuring superior close-up detail, more memory storage, and faster operation than with traditional navigators. And because it's wireless, users won't have to futz with cumbersome cables that get in the way each time they need to move the laptop or reposition the receiver. The cable-free solution is ideal for cars and trucks, as the device installs via the included magnetic or Velcro mounts, or even outside the vehicle should users need a clear path to the satellites. It's also waterproof, so it can withstand nasty weather and poor conditions.

The GPS 10 Deluxe comes with a fully unlocked MapSource City Select North America CD, which includes detailed maps of the U.S., Canada, and Puerto Rico, with more than five million points of interest and intensive street-level map data. In addition, the package boasts two easy-to-use navigation applications: nRoute, which installs on a Bluetooth-enabled laptop, and Que, a Pocket PC program. The applications turn both mobile devices into fully functioning navigators. Users can easily look up addresses, restaurants, and services, or they can select a destination and receive automatic routing, turn-by-turn directions, off-route recalculation, and voice prompts as they drive.

The Bluetooth communication works at distances of up to 30 feet, adding to the unit's versatility. Additional features include rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that power your GPS receiver for up to a dozen hours at a time and a 12-volt power adapter that connects to your cigarette lighter. The GPS 10 Deluxe measures 1.77 by 3.46 by 0.75 inches (W x H x D) and is covered by a one-year warranty.

What's in the Box
GPS 10 wireless receiver, Mapsource City Select North America CD-ROM, nRoute PC laptop software, Que Pocket PC software, integrated magnetic mount, Velcro mounting patch, 12-volt adapter cable, setup guide, user's manual.

  • Receiver: WAAS-enabled; 12 parallel channel GPS receiver
  • Waterproof: IEC 60529 IPX7 standards (submersible in one meter of water for up to 30 mins.)
  • Battery life: up to 12 hours (typical use); rechargeable lithium ion batteries
  • Included nRoute and Que navigation software turns mobile PC devices into fully functioning navigators
  • Measures 1.77 by 3.46 by 0.75 inches (W x H x D); 1-year warranty
Customer Reviews:
  • Nice unit
    This GPS unit is very nice and simple. The unit actually arrived DOA aka broken but Garmin technical support was very helpful and was prompt to turn me around a new working unit (I think the defective one was just a fluke). I will mention that Garmin has limited support for using a computers built in Bluetooth with this GPS unit. I ended up having to purchase a cheap external usb bluetooth dongle to make it work with my PC. The unit pairs and works fine with the bluetooth built into my Blackberry Curve (T-Mobile version) however. The precision of the unit is very good for the price point, being WAAS enabled the unit returns a quite accurate location. All in all a very nice device.

    ...more info
  • Great!
    This thing is awesome!! And now that it comes with Garmin Mobile XT, it is even better.

    Mine came with an old version of Garmin's software, but the upgrade to XT was free. Now my PDA detects the receiver automatically and easily. In a couple of trips to Dallas/Ft. Worth, Longview, Chicago, and California...this thing has definitely paid for itself!

    I'm so surprised that these things can be so precise.

    ...and keep the charger hole cover in a safe place. Even then, you will lose it....more info
  • Garmin Bluetooth GPS/Software for the Axim X30 PDA
    All I can say regarding this unit/software package is WOW!!! I purchased it for driving directions and also purchased a Bluetooth Speaker Kit for it so I don't have t look at the screen for my position if I need to turn a lot. This unit is well worth the money in that it also allows a topo map capability (Topo Software additional cost but it too it worth it if you hunt or hike very much). This unit is easy to set up, locks in rapidly, is small and with the built in magnetic mount with the vecro tape capabiliy is very versatile. In summary, it has to be seen to be believed. I use mine wih a Dell Axim X30 PDA and have the 2000 Mha extended battery so there is no problem with a full day's use and no recharge. The only advice I might give (for hiking and so on) is to make sre you have the DC (Cigarett Lighter) adapter for it. If you are handy in electronics, you can even make a beltpack for it via the Cigarette Lighter adaper should you need a longer battery life.

    ...more info
  • Want grief? Buy Garmin
    If you like hassle with a capital H, buy a Garmin. Unlocking maps, product registration and a website that will not provide a simple e-mail link to contact support all contribute to make using a Garmin a major pain in the behind. They way they act, you'd think they were licensing nuclear technology. We sold our GPS10 and bought Microsoft Streets and Trips 2007 with GPS receiver. What a difference. MS treets and Trips works without a lot of hassle. It's easy to install and use. The receiver works when you want it to, not when it feels like it. No company's maps are up to date and Microsoft's are no worse than Garmins. Probably better. We learned the hard way. Do yourself a very big favor and look elsewhere when buying a GPS device. Under no circumstances will we ever buy anything Garmin again. ...more info
  • Fun to Use - Difficult to set up
    The only trouble is using the software on the CD which came with the unit. It would not properly interface with my "Windows Mobile" handheld. However, after contacting Garmin the had an updated download available from their web site.

    Now it works great. Very good battery life and very fasst satellite aquisition. Unfortunately, my wife does not like the voice commands - its hard to make everyone happy!

    I recommend it....more info
  • This is really a good solution
    I am rarely impressed with this type of technology. There are always some arcane functions/restrictions that almost defeat the entire purpose of the solution. Of course this solution is not without those same quirks. Garmin's whole approach to "protecting" its maps and unlocking them is maddening at best. The maps seriously need updating in some areas. And the worst problem is that the instructions that are available for implementing this are fundamentally useless - if not downright damaging. However if you suffer through this set of problems and the time to get it working, with heavy use of the web to find folks who have encounterd and answered most of the questions, it is actually very useful.

    I bought this for use with my Cingular 8525 "smart phone". This is the first nav system I have put on the phone but I have a built in one in a Honda I own and have had one on my laptop for a few years. I loaded the maps and applicaiton onto the phone's micro SD card. The end result actually works well. Much better then the "built in" nav system in the Honda. Actually nearly as well as the Garmin system I had on my laptop in terms of recalculation speed and routing calculation time.

    The reveiver has a magnetic mount and is waterproof so it can be put on the car roof for better satellite reception but I get quite good reception with it on my dashboard. Also the receiver is small and easy to carry around so that is a help. Battery life seems to be OK but I haven't really stressed that part yet.

    The charging system overall is a bit of a drawback. It uses a 2.4mm pin connector that is not too common. I presume it uses this so there is a simple rubber plug (that can be very easily lost) to cover the charger hole for waterproofing. Unfortunately it is used by only one cell phone manufacturer that I'm aware of so it is not a common connector and you will most likely need to have 2 chargers with you. It does, however, charge from a 5 volt source so you can charge it from a USB source if you can find an adapter tip.

    Overall I'd rate this a "buy" if you are looking for a reasonable nav system for your smart phone or your laptop....more info
  • Decent GPS and price. Mediocre software and maps. Absurd installation process
    The GPS 10 is a decent Bluetooth GPS receiver, but the software associated with is obsolete, routes weirdly, and will immediately require an upgrade. Combine this with the torturous installation and upgrade process and despite a good price you're probably better off looking elsewhere. 1.5 stars off for the software and the maps and 1.5 off for the upgrade and installation process lead me to two stars.

    The GPS 10 receiver is the highlight of the package. It took a while to connect with a Palm 700wx via Bluetooth, although that may have been the fault of the 700wx rather than the receiver as the 700wx can be picky about connections. Reception on the unit is ok but not great. You'll not have a problem finding satellites, but periodically you'll find yourself driving in a river rather than next to it. Battery life is also just so-so at 8 hours, but at least it is stable enough to remain on the dashboard without much work and small enough to slip in your pocket when you want to leave your car.

    That was the good part. The bad part is the Que software that is included with this unit for PDA is over 2 years old and is incredibly painful to put on your PDA. You cannot install the Que version sent with the unit to the PDA; you'll need to check the OEM page on Garmin's website to find the GPS 10 and download the newer version of Que before it can be installed. Even updated, in general Que feels like a program dating from the late 1990s and isn't particularly nimble.

    Garmin's free upgrade to XT Mobile helps somewhat. Unfortunately, while it has much better graphics and some useful functions like searching for gas stations and supermarkets and fairly accurate ETAs, the biggest problem with XT Mobile is that it routes bizarrely. You'll be sent on a lot of 2 lane highways and backroads if you allow it to fully control a long trip; for instance, it wanted to send me to San Bernadino via Lancaster while coming from Bakersfield, an addition of 40 minutes and a lot of treacherous driving that made no sense. What's worse is that it will keep trying to reroute you with no real way of forcing your preferred route, and if it loses a signal you have to force it to redraw the map to your preferred size. It also will not share GPS data with other devices, which can be quite aggravating. In general, it's not good software.

    Unfortunately, it gets worse. Garmin makes its money selling maps, not GPS software, and the major point of buying this unit is access to Garmin's Map Installer software with maps to the US, Canada, and Puerto Rico.

    Map Installer is a real pain. Even the most recent version requires selection of each individual state and province, and if you miss one you get to go through the entire process all over. The real issue is that it took me the better part of an hour and two full reinstalls (with no help from customer service) to get Map Installer to recognize my PDA. The trick? Have Que running, or Map Installer won't see the PDA at all. (Same goes for installing XT Mobile). Worse yet, you don't get European or Asian maps. And worst of all? There are updated US maps available - but you get to pay as much for them as for this unit. About the only good news is that a full map install takes about 1.5 GB total, and with 2 and 4 GB SD prices dropping it's affordable and easy to be able to have everything available on one unit.

    The price is right on this and the bluetooth receiver isn't bad, but there are definitely better software packages available. If you're desperately looking for something for cheap, this might be worth a try; otherwise, look elsewhere. ...more info
  • Garmin GPS 10 on Palm TX
    Works like a charm. Easy installation(unlike TomTom). Easy BlueTooth pairing & connection (unlike TomTom). I would like to see more current maps from Garmin. ...more info
  • Works just as advertised
    I am extremely happy with this GPS device and software. I use it with my HP IPAQ 2795 and they work great together. I have used it about a dozen times now and I have had no problem with the GPS. (The pocket PC has a few quirks,though no fault of the Garmin software.) The software was easy to install and setup and the user interface of the Garmin Que software is very good. Thumbs up for this product Garmin!...more info
  • Treo 700P users Beware
    If you own a Treo 700P (Palm based PDA-Phone), be sure to ONLY install Garmins (beta) MOBILE XT software. You have to download this from the Garmin Website. After hours of trying unsuccessfully to install the Deluxe version Que palm setup CD that came with the unit, I finally contacted Garmin, and had them walk me through the Mobile XT intallation. Garmin should at least put a disclaimer in the box for Treo 700P users.
    Now that it is up an running, the Garmin GPS10 works great with my Treo. Also purchased the Heavy duty PDA mount for the phone. I also use a Garmin 60CSX for navigation, topo, and marine use, and the GPS 10 is my favorite for street navigation. The unit seems to reset every once in a while, but overall performs great. I like the 'weather-proof' magnetic mount, and the charge seems to hold the full 12 hours. I can now use my Treo-Garmin in any vehicle, and is extemely easy to transport. I especailly like the capability of using my contact data base, and automatically routing to their address. The software is missing some features and controls that are available in my 60CSX, but overall performs great....more info
  • GPS 10 deluxe with BT/mapping DVD
    I recieved my system in good condition. Loaded it on PC downloaded to PDA with no problem. The software has a free update DVD. At Garmin web site filled out the form to order update. Loaded the one I recieved onto PC/PDA all works excellent.

    James...more info
  • A cheaper alternative to all-in-one GPS unit
    At the outset, this is my first GPS ever. So, I am impressed with the device.

    Software: The package contained an older version of the software which did not pair with my Cingular 8125 very well. However, upon filing request with Garmin they provided me the link to the rev 2.9 which was really smooth in pairing with my Smartphone Cingular 8125.

    Hardware: I like the idea of an independent unit GPS which I can have it for as long as I want. It is very hard to break as it does not have any display or soft switches. I have already dropped it twice on the floor and it works fine. Also, the battery retention of the device is amazing. With the city usage it goes on for a month without recharge. Pretty compact. The magnet is wonderful to snap it to the roof. Already used it on the freeway and it stays put until one snaps it out by hand.

    GPS response: It's initial satellite acquisition is slow. I am not sure if it is due to my 190MHz ARM processor in the phone or the GPS unit by itself. However, after initial pairing and acquisition, it is very smooth in its response to the turns.

    Bottomline: One can own the device for ever or as long as it does not die. The newer one has a replaceable battery. But it is pricey. It works with Palm or Windows mobile device. So, even if I change the phone/PDA I should be able to use the device. I have owned it for three months and have used it in the Bay area,CA and Phoenix,AZ area.

    I did not give it a 4 or 5 stars as I have not owned it for more than three months. I need to see its utility in the long run. I will come back after a year or so to update the review.

    P.S.- I did not want to spend several hundreds of dollars on a stand alone GPS device with display etc. be it any brand. I like it for the time being.
    ...more info
  • Great Bluetooth GPS Receiver
    We were very pleased when we used this unit on our vacation along with DeLorme map software on our laptop. It provided a more consistent signal than the DeLorme GPS receiver. The only improvement that I would make: make it rechargable battery powered to eliminate the additional power cord. The Garmin software is more limited so I would suggest either DeLorme or Microsoft mapping software if using on a laptop. ...more info
  • Very good alternative to a stand alone unit.
    I have been using this GPS receiver with my iPAQ rx3115 and I'm satisfied with the results.
    It might be a little tricky sometimes when you power off / on the iPAQ as I need to reconnect the PDA to the GPS manually (through the Bluetooth device manager menu), but once you know this, there is no problem.
    Maybe this can be avoided somehow, but I haven't had the chance to investigate.
    ...more info
  • Nice product
    Yes, very nice. The only problem is that it's not working if you don't have a clear view of the sky...more info
  • Easy way to know where you are
    The GPS10 in combination with my IPAQ makes for an easy to use help when traveling. Best to have a large memory chip in place to hold a range of maps to cover possible destinations. Tiresome to land in a new place and the map loading software is back home....more info
  • Not road warrior friendly
    The GPS unit is extremely sturdy, the magnetic mount is perfect, and the power adapter plug cover thingy is lost already (I've owned for a month).

    I use the Cingular 8125 smart phone with the device. The GPS is the only bluetooth device I use with the phone. If the phone powers off, or the GPS is powered off, or the phone is taken out of the bluetooth range, the bluetooth partnership is never remembered. If the phone goes to sleep, the partnership is lost. Workaround is to keep the phone plugged in all the time, or turn off sleep mode on the phone.

    Software on the PDA is fairly decent, but due to the weak processor in my phone (200MHz OMAP), calculating routes can take upwards of 2 minutes sometimes. The phone sometimes generates exceptions on the Que software when it is not even running.

    Worse part of the software is getting maps onto the phone. I live and travel throughout Texas extensively, and about once a month I'll go somewhere outside of the state. I keep all of Texas (about 6 zones) stored on the SD card, but when I want to add say the D.C area, it's a complete reselect of all 6 zones in TX and then the new zones I want, and then the whole thing has to be uploaded through the USB link again. Ideally the software would read what zones you have already, then allow you to add or remove only those you want....more info
  • GPS 10 - Good Unit With Some Shortcomings
    The bluetooth GPS device works well. The fact that it is weather resistant and has a strong magnet for holding it on the roof of your car adds to the versatility. However, the plug which weather proofs the connector socket when it is not being charged is not attached and very easy to lose. Also, the software for use with PDAs and phones does not allow you to plan a trip on your desktop or laptop and then download routes and waypoints to the phone. With that caveat, overall operation is excellent.
    ...more info
  • Worth The money
    I wanted to thank amazon for their quick response to my first order not arriving. within a week they sent me another. I have been using it everyday, and have not gotton lost. I install wood flooring in NJ PA NY, works like a charm. I use it with my palm treo 700P. ...more info
  • Two Units, Both Failed
    I bought a brand new unit directly from Garmin. It worked for about a week, then it would no longer charge. I returned it and got a REFURBISHED UNIT in exchange.

    The refurbished unit did better.. it lasted 3 weeks before failing. To use it, I must use the charger plug constantly, as the unit will not charge.

    Sending it back now to try a third unit....more info
  • GPS 10 Broke shortly after arriving & tech support busy
    I wanted a GPS to use on a road trip to Arizona and ordered a GPS 10 to use with a Dell Axim PDA. Got he GPS 10 at end of April and used a couple of times. It worked as advertised. On the road trip to Arizona I plugged it into the cigeratte lighter to charge the battery. The unit got so hot I could not hold it. After that the GPS 10 would not come back on.

    I have been trying for 3 days to call Garmin tech support and it is almost always busy. I did get thru once after holding for 45 minutes. After listening to the menu I selected the Outdoor option and was on hold some more. Finally someone answered the phone, said I was in the wrong que, tried to transfer me but we got disconnected. Tried calling again and was busy.

    Finally got on the web site and sent a message to tech support. After 36 hrs. I got a response that said send it back for repairs.

    Recieved the new one and got the blue tooth to connect to my PDA (dell axim 51v) but it would not connect to the Garmin Que software. Another call to Garmin (busy, hold, disconnect, busy again) after a week or so finally got thru to Garmin. Seems I needed a new unlock code since I changed units and the software is linked to the GPS unit and they must match. Once you get them all connected it works. But the next time you want to use it you must delete the Bluetooth connection and go thru the Bluetooth setup again.

    If you use it with Microsoft Streets the unit will connect and follow along with little effort. The only problem is that MS streets will only download a small area at a time to the PDA. But it does work if you stay in the small area or load another map set.

    Bottom Line - I've had the system for 4 plus months and haven't got it to work properly in the whole time. Wasn't a good use of a couple hundred bucks

    ...more info
  • 50/50 on the software/hardware combination

    The GPS software is little hard to use because of all the features. But one you master it, the positive greater than the negative.

    The battery does last for long time. At least you can use it for 12 hour of driving.


    Non-removable battery.

    Software can only use with GPS10 and GPS10 only

    Whenever you run iQue as map only, it away search of GPS10 even when you don't want to use GPS10. Very annoying. Can find a way to turn it off until it timeout....more info
  • Works great - but steep learning curve
    I purchased the GPS10 to use with my HP2495 PDA. The GPS technology is great - and still borders on magic - but the setup and use of the Mapsource software that's included with the receiver is a little difficult (at least for a guy like me who hates to read the instructions). Once you get it all figured out and configured correctly, the system does work as advertised. I just completed a trip from OKC to Dallas and I located a half dozen addresses all around the DFW Metroplex with no problem. I would like to see some kind of a battery status indicator on the receiver but since I run mine off my car's power outlet all of the time I guess that it doesn't matter. ...more info
  • Great if it ever ships
    I've been waiting for 3 weeks to get this item and EVERY WEEK it gets delayedby another week. I'm going elswhere for it. And you can count me as a lost Amazon customer FOREVER> ...more info
  • Not too bad...but needs improvements.
    I recently bought this unit thinking that it was from Garmin and so had to be good. Unfortunately, it lacks many features and the accuracy isn't that good.

    Software installation was quite straight forward. I didn't have any problems with this. Software went in the first time without issues. The map loading was somewhat tedious (trying to select all those "squares" for each regions that you want to offload to the pda). The whole north america map is about 1.5 gig. It took quite a while to load all of them up (which I believe is normal with all softwares) and it took a very very long time to split the map into 2 regions so that I can offload to my 2 1gig sd rams. I wish that they would have an option for selecting by States instead of JUST regions of a State at a time (like what they did for Canada).

    The GPS hardware itself is alright. Nothing much to comment on. It comes with a 12DC car charger. The little RUBBER cover thingie to cover the power port gets lost so easily (in fact, I don't even know where mine is!). Awful design there! As for lasting 12 hours?? I am not quite too convinced about that.

    The version that I currently have (v2.70) does NOT say the street names. It does NOT have the split screen features or 3d drawing as in other softwares. It tells you to keep LEFT at all major intersection when it wants you to go straight (while there is a left turning lane). <--- confused me a few times there!

    On my last trip to Michigan from Toronto, it had me going on an inside road while the 401W (highway) was right below it. What was it thinking? I am not sure.

    While I drive on the road, if I happen to turn off the pda (to save power), and then turning it back on, I would have to shut down the Garmin software before the satellite would pick up again. This must be a fault in the software. The bluetooth picked up fine, but it couldn't locate the satellites until I recycled the software.

    Anyhow, I'll give this product a solid 3 as it needs quite a bit of improvements.

    It did however, get me to my destination in the end. So at least I didn't get lost. HOURAY for that!

    Toronto...more info
  • Garmin quality....
    Note When I ordered this, Amazon had the descriptions switched for two similar products. One comes with software, the other does not. The more expensive one comes with software.

    I am using this with my HP IPaq PDA without problems. Routing is very accurate. The software is good and the find feature is like having the yellow pages in your hand as you can search companies, services etc and get their phine number as well as their address...

    Product suggestion, make a small recess to keep the rubber plug that closes the power socket when not in use......more info
  • Decent, but buggy
    I'm glad to see that a few folks got enjoyment out of this package. The GPS 10 unit itself is great. The software, on the other hand, leaves much to be desired. You can't install the software completely to removeable storage, you can't use any other GPS with the package (only the GPS 10 will connect), and the installation is long and tedious. For additional info search Google for GPS 10 review....more info
  • GPS 10 Works Well with a Laptop
    I am an accountant with average PC skills. If you have a laptop with Bluetooth and another person to serve as navigator, the GPS 10 Deluxe is for you.

    Set-up was easy. The n-Route laptop navigation software loaded quickly and easily as did the maps of the US and Canada. (On a laptop, you can load and unlock the maps all in one step.)

    The GPS/software kit price is 5% of an installed navigator on new car while the functionality is comparable, and the laptop screen view and sound are excellent. Documentation of the software and GPS is thorough and easy to follow. The magnetic GPS 10 module clings securely to the hood or roof of your car.

    Turn on your laptop and connect to the GPS 10 with Bluetooth. Then open the n-Route software and the laptop quickly connects with the GPS. You are ready to go (the software permits you to see how many satellites are being used to fix your position).

    Assuming that you have saved your home and destination as "waypoints," you can easily create a route using two waypoints (beginning and end). The software/GPS allows your laptop follow the progress of your vehicle and provides suggested voice and visual directions along the way. Of course, you can chose to go your own way at any point, and the software automatically recalculates your route. At the bottom of the screen you can watch the ever-changing status including your current speed, direction, and time and distance to destination and next maneuver.

    The maps have very good route detail and lots of helpful information regarding retail establishments and other points of interest, with an easy way to find them, especially when you are looking for something while traveling (gas, food, etc.).

    You may need to change the setting on your firewall to disable the automatic detection of new wireless networks that you will encounter while travelingxx in residential areas, which will distract from your navigating.

    Defining a "waypoint" by using a street address may take a little practice and some trial and error.
    ...more info
  • Good alternative to All-in-one GPS units
    I've been using a Garmin StreetPilot III for 3 years now, for those unfamilar with it, its a all-in-one GPS unit with auto-routing feature and voice prompt. Its a good trusty device, highly rugged and I credit much of my career success in Silicon Valley to it.

    What prompted me to start sourcing for another GPS device is due to the airport hassle we experience these days. I work for the Sales department of a security company and that means frequent travel these days. The StreetPilot III is an excellent device but its a little bulky to fit into my notebook bag.

    Hence enter the Garmin GPS 10. I got mine for $209 from Digitally Unique, they're slow on shipping but the price was good. Get the Deluxe package and not the receiver only one, the Garmin software and maps are worth the money.

    In comparison with the older StreetPilot, advantages are:
    1. Small, light and easily fit into your pocket or laptop bag, easier when passing through airport security.

    2. Integrated magnetic mount allows for mounting outside the rental car, a good solution in case you rented a car with heatsheild on the windscreen that can block GPS signal.

    3. Waterproof, so you can still mount the device outside the car in adverse weather condition.

    4. Software provided for both PocketPC and Windows OS (Mac / Linux users are out of luck here). Most business travellers like myself typically carry a PDA and for sure has a notebook. In case your PDA fails, you'll still have GPS capability using your notebook.

    5. Enhanced software features includes:
    - More customization options
    - Cool transparent setting for indicators and prompts
    - Elevation indicator, nice feature when travelling
    - Easier filter for Waypoints and POI (Points of Interest)

    6. Uses standard SD or Compact flash memory cards supported by your PDA instead of the proprietary flash memory cards from Garmin. Get the Viking 512mb SD card available from Amazon here with rebate, goes nicely if your PDA has a SD slot.

    7. The GPS 10 turns on automatically if it detects power from the 12v cigarette lighter adaptor.

    Disadvantages compared to StreetPilot III:
    1. This could be related to my choice of PDA, I'm using a Dell Axim X5 PocketPC 2003. This PDA does not have an integrated Bluetooth so I use a Anycom Bluetooth CF card. Whenever I turn off the PDA and back on again, I need to re-connect the Bluetooth serial connection. Then I have to stop the Garmin nRoute software from searching the serial port, then reconnect again. A bit of a hassle compared to the StreetPilot III where you simply turn it on.

    2. Routing algorithm not as good as StreetPilot III. The Pocket PC based routing logic seems to be slightly inferior to the one based on SP III (Palm OS based).

    3. Depending on your PDA, the screen could be very difficult to read in the car. The Dell Axim X5 does not do well despite its transreflective LCD. The SP 3 on the other hand is clearly visible under all sorts of condition. Recommend you buy a PDA with a very bright screen.

    4. PDA dependent. The SP 3 is a integrated device and is very rugged, sitting in direct sunlight for 2 years before I finally managed to buy a townhouse with a garage last year. The PDA however, is flimsy in comparison. I would not thing the Dell Axim will hold up being in sunlight all the time for 2 years.

    5. Mounting a hassle. For a semi permanent mount in a car, you'll have to buy a mount either from Seidio or Arkon. However, those mounts are mainly for the PDA and you'll have to mount the GPS 10 seperately.

    1. If you do not travel by air frequently but is looking for a GPS device for use in your car, go with one of those all-in-one devices such as the older Garmin 2610/2620 or the newer Garmin c320/c330. They're much easier to use and mount, and are easier to see in your car.

    2. For frequent travellers by air, get this Garmin GPS 10 and a good PDA. This combo is a lot more portable and works even if you end up renting a car with heatshield on the windscreen. Also, in case the PDA fails, you'll have your notebook to fall back on.

    3. If you decide on the Garmin GPS 10, get a PDA that has the fastest possible processor. The latest Intel XScale running at 624Mhz is a good choice. My Axim X5 running 416Mhz though usable, I sometimes felt a faster processor would be nice when I'm planning a trip and markign waypoints on the PDA....more info