All you need for a good run is a quality pair of sneakers, a dog by your side, and an MP3 player. Now add one more thing: The Motion Lingo Adeo Fitness Companion. This small device (3.0 by 2.0 by 0.6 inches; 2.1 ounces) works with any portable music player or by itself to deliver audio information as you run. With its GPS receiver, it keeps track of where you are, then computes how fast you're going, in addition to other useful information.
You start by loading the included MotionTrak software on your computer; the software keeps a record of your sessions. MotionTrak works on both Windows (2000 or XP) and Mac (OS X 10.2 or higher) systems, but the Windows version has more features, such as a shoe log to keep track of wear and tear. In Windows, you'll also need to load the driver for the device and the Microsoft.Net framework, if you don't already have it. In our testing, the computer still couldn't recognize the Adeo when we connected it, so we had to reinsert the installation disc and let the wizard find the right driver.
Once the Motion Lingo Adeo is installed, you can create up to three workout plans with the software and load them on to the device. You can create plans with time cues (information is given to you at set time intervals) or distance cues (given at set distance intervals) or with those that alert you when you've accomplished a certain goal. You can also create different user accounts so that people can share one Adeo and load their information separately. Unfortunately, the software is more challenging than it needs to be and would benefit from some interface tweaking. It uses unnecessary jargon, such as update mode, and confuses with a dull multipage interface. You should have the user manual nearby to answer any questions. Another bummer: The product doesn't come with a printed manual, so you'll have to download the electronic version from the CD.
Once you hit the pavement with your Motion Lingo Adeo, it needs to lock on to GPS satellites. This took us more than a half hour the first time and varying amounts of time after that (from 2 to 20 minutes). It works faster in clear surroundings, but any wait is a nuisance when you're ready to run.
The interface of the device itself could also use a major overhaul. Buttons are scattered around the shell and are labeled only with unclear icons. There's no screen, unfortunately, so you need to listen to the spoken instructions. Press power, select the option for a timed workout, then push to start your routine. And be sure to hit stop when you're finished.
Depending on what mode you've chosen, audio cues will report your distance, speed, calories burned, elevation, average pace, battery status (the Adeo is rated for 6 hours), and more. When you're finished, you can connect the device to your PC and save or even upload the data to a complimentary Web account and see your route using a Google map. The Motion Lingo Adeo works only outside, so it won't do you any good if you're running on an indoor track or using a stationary cycle. The packages include a belt holder that fits your Adeo and a portable player, although we found it uncomfortable. We stuffed them both in a Marware Sportsuit armband case instead.
If you have problems, the support section of the Web site includes tutorials, FAQs, and an e-mail support form. The company doesn't offer a support phone number. The product comes with a one-year limited warranty.
The Motion Lingo Adeo makes excellent use of GPS data for training and should be a real boon to long-distance athletes. We'd love to see the next version improve the user experience.