PDA GPS Systems Online
PDA GPS receivers turn Portable Digital Assistants into fully functioning GPS units. Some of the most popular PDA GPS receivers currently available include the following:
Arkon BT002 GPS ($200 to $300)
• A sensitive GPS receiver featuring Bluetooth technology and a built-in antenna. Utilizes Space Machine's PocketMap Navigator Software. Compatible with most Bluetooth enabled Pocket PCs such as the Dell Axim, HP iPAQ, iMate and Toshiba. Alternatively, can be combined with Mapopolis Navigator Software and used with Palm OS units.
• Pros: internal antennae allows for signal lock under the toughest of conditions. Sensitivity of receiver delivers a high level of accuracy.
• Cons: Software could be more detailed and sometimes inaccurate.
TomTom Navigator 2004 Bluetooth GPS ($250 to $300)
• A compact PDA GPS receiver that is compatible with PalmOne handheld units. Featuring Bluetooth wireless technology and advanced software that includes 2-D or 3-D views and day/night options.
• Pros: Simple to use with above-average voice prompt clarity.
• Cons: maps of USA and Canada lack detail and are out of date in some cases.
DESTINATOR Personal Navigation System v. 2.0 ($300 to $400)
• A simple to use GPS kit that works with most Bluetooth-enabled Pocket PCs such as Dell, iPAQ and Toshiba. Software features 3-D graphics, extensive maps and voice prompts. Software is compatible with numerous GPS receivers.
• Pros: Extensive points of interest on maps and fast signal lock.
• Cons: maps lack detail especially of small towns and less well-known streets.
Delorme Earthmate GPS ($100 to $300)
• A WAAS-enabled Earthmate receiver with a built in antenna. Comes with Delorme USA Street Atlas software and a suction cup for in vehicle mounting. Satellite lock-on time for the unit is approximately 40 seconds and the receiver is equipped with SIRF FoliageLock for fast lock on when signals are weak.
• Pros: economical, quick lock on time.
• Cons: Cumbersome receiver, accuracy of street atlas is questionable.
Magellan GPS Companion ($100 to $200)
• A lightweight, WAAS-enabled receiver for the Palm m500 series. Features Rand McNally StreetFinder mapping software of the United States with over one million points of interest and turn-by-turn audible and visual directions.
• Pros: economical, quick satellite lock-on time, accurate mapping abilities.
• Cons: battery power is limited to 10 hours, technical support is poor.
Navman M series ($100 to $200)
• A WAAS enabled lightweight receiver with a full color screen. Compatible with the Palm m105, m125, m130 and m500 models. Comes with Rand McNally Streetfinder Deluxe software, but can also be used with other GPS software .
• Pros: accurate, lightweight, includes vehicle mounting bracket.
• Cons: chews battery power, routes cannot be created on the unit.
Garmin iQue 3600 ($400 to 600)
• One of the few combined, single unit PDA and GPS systems. Includes detailed built-in maps, a 3.8 "color, touch screen display and 32MB of RAM.
• Pros: high resolution screen, one compact unit, extensive maps.
• Cons: poor battery life, limited additional software.
EMTAC BT-GPS ($100 to $300)
• A WAAS and EGNOS enabled, receiver designed for use with most PDA systems supporting Bluetooth wireless technology. Can be used with EMTAC navigator software or Socket MyNavigator software.
• Pros: small, lightweight, simple to use.
• Cons: poor battery power, maps utilize a lot of memory space.
Pharos iGPS-360 GPS Receiver ($150 to $300)
• A WAAS and EGNOS enabled receiver that is compatible with the majority of handhelds with a CompactFlash slot. Ostia software features maps of cities throughout the US with visual and voice directions.
• Pros: accurate, simple to use, good customer support.
• Cons: maps need updating.
CoPilot Live ($300 to $400)
• A high-speed, durable receiver that works with most Bluetooth-enabled PDAs running Windows Mobile or Pocket PC 2002 software. Runs with CoPilot GPS software that features voice and visual turn-by-turn directions.
• Pros: excellent reception, simple to use.
• Cons: confusing directions, limited battery life of only 6 hours.