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Dell Mini 10 netbook gets GPS
Marvin Hlavac
Dell's mini-laptop Dell Mini 10 is available now with a built-in GPS receiver, and it even comes with pre-installed ALK CoPilot GPS navigation software for USA and Canada.

Quote:
The hardware part is an internal GPS card with built-in Wi-Fi locationing. These two technologies work in tandem, which means the technology works both indoors and out. In other words, it can calculate your position using Wi-Fi access points or using GPS satellites.
It is nice to see Dell offering a netbook with GPS hardware and software.

"We're betting that location services will be a hit in netbooks" said Dell in a blog post on their Direct2Dell website.
dtong22
Cost and usage may likely be prohibitive. And if you are out of town or in the States expect to pay high roaming cost. A simple standalone GPS now costs less than $100. Really it has no market indeed.

Daniel, Toronto
Marvin Hlavac
Daniel, what roaming fee? GPS functionality doesn't require access to the telephone network, or access to the Internet, so I'm not sure what you have in mind. There is no difference in this, whether the GPS receiver and its antenna is built into a laptop PC or it is on the outside.

If you opt to use your laptop to access the Internet while on the road, then yes, you may need to pay to your Internet service provider, if you have one. But the GPS functianality doesn't in any way depend on mobile Internet acess.
tcassidy
The write up is somewhat confusing, inferring at one point that the location is sensed from wifi or cellular. What I don't like about the 10 is Dell couldn't even manage 600 pixels height and had to settle for 576.

Terry
dtong22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin Hlavac
Daniel, what roaming fee? GPS functionality doesn't require access to the telephone network, or access to the Internet, so I'm not sure what you have in mind. There is no difference in this, whether the GPS receiver and its antenna is built into a laptop PC or it is on the outside.
Come On. You are 20x better informed than me

The Dell specifies that "The hardware part is an internal GPS card with built-in Wi-Fi locationing. " It does require WiFi network

In Canada I think only area around Toronto or major cities maybe ok. Once outside I have no clue even if 3G works . In the US it is only starting in the big cities


Daniel
Ken in Regina
Quote:
Originally Posted by dtong22
Come On. You are 20x better informed than me

The Dell specifies that "The hardware part is an internal GPS card with built-in Wi-Fi locationing. " It does require WiFi network
Hi Daniel,

It does not require a WiFi network. You just need to read the rest of that paragraph you quoted from. Two sentences further is this statement: "In other words, it can calculate your position using Wi-Fi access points or using GPS satellites."

The rest of the description supports this idea that the two technologies are installed to complement each other. That is, there are multiple statements that the GPS is for outdoor positioning and the WiFi Positioning System is for indoor positioning.

...ken...
Marvin Hlavac


Daniel, I ignore the WiFi feature Dell is talking about. I'm not interested in that particular feature. I would only use the GPS functionality.

The 'WiFi positioning' uses a database of known WiFi networks to triangulate your approximate location. But if the database contains no WiFi networks in your area, then you will not be able to use that functionality. The accuracy and the availability of GPS service is far superior to 'WiFi positioning'. They say that GPS inside buildings doesn't work, and that's where WiFi positioning could work, but I personally have no need for GPS indoor. And I do not believe they have managed to even map significantly large areas, so I personally doubt WiFi positioning has any practical use for us. But I don't think you pay for it any monthly fee.

Users of an older version of Microsoft Streets and Trips few years ago were able to test such functionality. It was an interesting example of new technology, but it just didn't have practical use because few people I know ever found themselves in an area that had WiFi networks in its database. There was no fee for it. Streets & Trips installation program installed a file on your computer that contained a list of a few hundreds of thousands of known WiFi networks. When you started S&T, if this feature was enabled, S&T would compare Mac addresses of networks in the database with Mac addresses of any available WiFi networks your laptop could see. Not a single time I tested the feature the feature detected where I was via WiFi positioning. My USB GPS receiver connected to my laptop and S&T worked flawlessly, though.

To be fair, the technology might have improved over the past couple of years, so I shouldn't make any judgements before I try it. But honestly, if I were to buy this new Dell Mini 10, I would only be interested in the GPS, not the Wifi positioning.
Ken in Regina
In fairness, the description on Dell's site isn't very forthcoming on what sorts of things you might be charged for. Many of the things they mention could have charges associated with them because they sound like they will be subscription-based. It's not clear whether it's something you can refuse to sign up for or if some sort of contract is an automatic part of the purchase.

Given the sleezy sales tactics of many dealers today, I think Daniel is right to be suspicious and anyone considering this device should be sure to ask questions about this. But the technology does not require any subscription-based services for the GPS to function.

...ken...
mr2
Quote:
Originally Posted by tcassidy
The write up is somewhat confusing, inferring at one point that the location is sensed from wifi or cellular. What I don't like about the 10 is Dell couldn't even manage 600 pixels height and had to settle for 576.

Terry
Actually the Dell Mini 10 can be had with an optional resolution upgrade. The 10v is limited to 576.

The mini 10 and 10v (v=value. i.e. less cost) are two different machines.

Leave it to Dell to make things confusing.
tcassidy
Thanks mr2, for that information. I had quit looking at this netbook in the emails I get from Dell because of the resolution. I'll pay more attention next time.

Terry
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