In today's world of technology, it seems that everyone and their mom has a PDA, portable MP3 player, cell phone, laptop, or GPS device. It's getting so that you can't walk down the street without seeing someone with a PDA or MP3 player. If you don't keep up with current technology, you'll be left behind real fast. PDAs especially have been growing in popularity within the past year or so, and Handspring's Visor series has taken center stage with their infinitely expandable Springboard slot. In continuation of SystemLogic's coverage of Springboard modules, I take a look at the HandyGPS from Nexian. If you're not familiar with it, GPS stands for Global Positioning System. GPS uses satellites to pinpoint your location anywhere on earth. GPS devices are in use in navigation systems on planes, boats, and even cars. There are pretty much countless applications out there for GPS devices. Personal GPS devices have been popular with those that are into wilderness exploring, hiking, or mountain climbing. The HandyGPS from Nexian basically puts all these features into a Springboard module. It even has a map program that makes the HandyGPS useful when not in the wilderness. With a price tag of $149.99, it isn't cheap but it does have many features. The features of the HandyGPS along with the Visor combine for functionality that you can't get with just any GPS device. For the average consumer, a personal GPS device may seem a bit extravagant, but hell, I'm not your average consumer. I love my gadgets, and I just can't get enough of them. So let's see if this little gadget is worth it to you.
|Price and Availability
||$149.99; Available Now
||2.1" x 2.9" x 1.3"
|GPS Receiver Type
||All-in-one 12 channel L1 C/A Receiver & Antenna
||Navicom ASCII Interface Protocol (default)
||UbiGo Mapping Software
- 2 AAA battery operation with maximum 4 hour life
- Power saving mode
- Average 45/180 second warm/cold start TTFF
- Flash ROM Upgradeable integrated software
As you can see, this module is pretty feature filled. Although the module is rather large for my own tastes, it's only about the same size as the Visor modem. It adds a little extra weight, but it's still amazing how they packed so many features into this small a package. The software that's included gives you real-time feedback of incoming GPS information like latitude, longitude, altitude, speed, heading, and atomic time. As if that weren't enough, UbiGo mapping software is also included to add features like landmark tagging, street search, and POI (points of interest) locator. But wait that's not all, other things you can do include:
- Pinpoint your exact coordinates (longitude, latitude, and altitude).
- Use the search function to find unfamiliar street names and locations.
- Locate points of interests like shopping malls, police, schools, etc.
- Check your speed, heading, and elevation.
- Verify directions before embarking on a trip.
- Record memos on map snapshots and save them in files.
- Record several trip paths.
- Customize your own map with markers, linking them to personal notes and descriptions.
This sounds all well and good right? Well in theory everything pretty much works as advertised, but in real life conditions it might not always be smooth sailing. As we all know, what is advertised isn't always what's really delivered. In the case of the HandyGPS, it's a pretty solid performing product except for a few minor things. Let's see what happens during installation.