Wednesday, December 20, 2006
i.Trek M5 & Odyssey V4
Posted by Steve Sharp in "HARDWARE" @ 09:00 AM
Figure 1: Odyssey map software offers easy to read, 3D maps.
Taking on the Big Boys
I’ve long been an admirer of those navigation systems with their snazzy displays that sit on the dash of a car, with their colorful maps, guiding happy motorists to their destinations. If you’ve watched TV for more than two hours in the past year, you’ve certainly seen these ads for GPS systems. The sad truth, however, is that for me and many other people, staring at a starting price of about $400 for a low-end system makes these system cost prohibitive.
Smart retailers, such as the folks at Semsons & Co., Inc. who kindly provided me with this bundle of goodies for review, have identified the potential market for a GPS navigation system among Pocket PC users. The idea is simple: Make use of the Pocket PC that people already own in order to significantly reduce the cost of a GPS navigation system. So, the Garmins and TomToms of the GPS world now have some serious competition with these GPS systems that cost less than half the price of many of their systems.
Figure 2: Odyssey software is highly configurable and easy to set up.
What Do I Get?
When opening the box of bundled goodies, I found a GPS receiver, a powered cradle that plugs into the cigarette lighter in the car, a USB/mini USB retractable cable for charging the i.Trek from a computer, a flexible arm with a suction cup for mounting to the car on one end, and tabs to hold the cradle on the other end, a smooth plastic disk to provide a suitable surface to attach the suction cup, a power adapter that mates with the cigarette lighter power outlet, and an optional vent mount for the cradle and Pocket PC. Everything was well packaged and fairly self-explanatory; however, an instruction sheet accompanied the accessories. I received the InfoGation Odyssey V4 software separately because it was not originally going to be included in this review. I would, however, like to offer a sincere thank you to Mr. Carlon Tsai at Semsons and Mr. Kent Pu at InfoGation for all their help and professionalism in assisting me with the items needed for this review; it was a pleasure working with them.