>> Antuan Goodwin: Want to add GPS navigation to your iPod Touch but don't want to make the jump to a full blown iPhone? Dual Electronics think they might just have the product for you. I'm Antuan Goodwin at CNET.com. Let's take a look at the Dual XGPS 300 and find out if they actually do. The Dual XGPS 300 consists of two parts, the first part is sort of a backpack shell that snaps firmly onto your iPod Touch. This is, coincidentally or not, a dual use product. It serves as a GPS receiver giving the iPod location awareness and as a battery backup boosting the iPod's use time. It isn't, however, both at the same time as users will have to choose between the two functions using a switch located on the back of the device or just turn the whole thing off. Also on the back is a four LED battery meter and the device's speaker. Because the shell covers the iPod's headphone jack and dock connecter, the shell replicates them with a headphone port and mini USB on the bottom for charging. Back on the front is a pair of volume buttons that are much easier to hit than the iPod's rocker while driving.
The second part of the kit is the car cradle that the iPod and shell snap into when in the vehicle. The cradle features a suction cup mount, a 12 volt charger and yet, another headphone pass through for connecting to your car's auxiliary input. If you thought the Tom Tom Magellan car kit was pricey at about $80 bucks a piece, you're going to flip at the Dual cradle's $200 MSRP. We drew a little bit of comfort for the fact that this does include a free download of the NavAtlas nav app and the battery backup, but it's still a hard pill to swallow. The whole cradle within a cradle setup is quite bulky and cumbersome, but we sort of like the concept of getting some use out of the shell battery backup when you're not using it for navigation. However, the fact that we have to manually switch between the modes frustrated us on more than one occasion when we forgot to turn on GPS before getting everything snapped into place and firing up the navigation app. For more information about the Dual XGPS 300, including how it actually behaved on the road, check out the full review at CNET.com. Until then, I'm Antuan Goodwin giving you a first look at the Dual XGPS 300 GPS navigation and battery cradle for iPod Touch.