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Navman GPS m Series review:

Navman GPS m Series

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The Good Accurate GPS tracking; strong receiver; includes vehicle-mounting accessories.

The Bad Lacks GPS utilities; cannot create routes on the PDA; short battery life.

The Bottom Line Though a decent in-car navigational tool, the Navman is hampered by a lack of utilities and short battery life.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

CNET Editors' Rating

6.3 Overall

The Navman GPS m series claims to get you moving anywhere you want to go, but you'll have to stay close to a power source to get there. While the GPS receiver is accurate, it draws power from the PDA, which will drain your Palm's battery quickly.

We have to give credit to Navman for designing a GPS device that complements the sleek lines of the Palm m series. The 12-channel snap-on receiver weighs just 3.4 ounces and measures 4.75 by 3.0 by 0.5 inches, not including the 1.8-inch helix antenna. It also comes with a 5.25-inch flexible arm and a lever-activated suction cup that attaches to a dashboard.

Along with the GPS receiver and the mounting bracket, Navman GPS includes a 12-volt PDA/GPS charger. Unlike the Magellan GPS Companion, the Navman doesn't include a GPS utility for monitoring signal strength, speed, or heading. Yet like the Magellan, the Navman is bundled with Rand McNally StreetFinder Deluxe, which is better suited to trip planning on a desktop than a handheld. While StreetFinder is packed with street and highway maps and a huge database of points of interests, you'll have to plan your trip on your PC, then transfer your map, route, and other data to the Palm. And while you can download only a limited amount of street-level data per map, StreetFinder displays accurate color maps, as well as precise, turn-by-turn, text-based driving directions.

The Navman acquired its initial satellite fix surprisingly quickly at 1.5 minutes. While we were navigating on foot, the Navman held the signal well, but it depleted the Palm's internal battery after 3.25 hours of use. In a car, this wasn't an issue, thanks to the 12-volt PDA charger.

If you're looking to turn your Palm m-series PDA into an in-car GPS system, the Navman will suffice and is relatively affordable at $200. However, you'll be sacrificing real-time navigation features, such as on-the-fly route planning, speed and direction status, and large-area-mapping capabilities. Also, if you plan to hit the trails or tour the streets on foot, you want to look elsewhere. Three hours of battery life just doesn't cut it in the great outdoors.

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