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CNET First Look
PC Miler 450 GPS for Truck DriversIsn't about time someone designed a GPS device specifically for truckers?
-The car tech guy is here at CNET and a good deal of time on the road every week testing the latest cars, GPS devices, and in-car gadgets. But you know who puts us to shame when it comes to raw seat time? That's right, truckers. Isn't it about time somebody designs from Car Tech specifically for these masters of the road? Enter the PC*Miler Navigator 450 GPS for truck drivers. The PC*Miler looks like your average consumer GPS device. It's got a 4.3-inch touchscreen, a mini-USB connection for charging, and an SD card slot for loading data and maps. Going a step further, this unit also features a headphone jack and a TMC antenna input for an external traffic receiver. There's also an input for the included magnetic external GPS antenna that increases positioning accuracy when the unit is mounted in a compromise position. Of course, there's also the internal GPS antenna if you don't wanna fool around with routing the cable for this guy. Powering up the PC*Miler reveals that this is no typical in-car navigator. Running a version of the CoPilot 8 Navigation software that's specific to trucks, the PC*Miler has a host of features that make it useful to big rig drivers. Users can input the height, length, width, weight, and weight per axle of their truck to receive truck-specific routings. Users can also save multiple routing profiles to hold these presets for later retrieval. Presumably, after inputting this data, the PC*Miler won't try to send you under low overpasses or across bridges that won't support your payloads weight. The unit also features state mileage logs which is quite useful for independent operators for billing purposes. The CoPilot software is very flexible with routing presets for automobiles, motorcycles, bicycles, and RVs, as well as walking direction so you can even use the PC*Miler outside of your truck. However, there are a few things that we don't really like about it. From a software standpoint, the CoPilot software can be a bit too complex and tricky to use. When I adjust the volume, good luck finding that on your fist attempt. The hardware also suffers from a tricky car cradle that makes it difficult to adjust and tricky to connect the external GPS antenna. So do the advantages of the truck-specific hardware and software outweigh our picks about the interface and cradle design, check out the full review at cnet.com to find out. I'm Antuan Goodwin. This has been your first look at the PC*Miler 450 GPS for truck drivers.