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Can Dell Mini/GPS be used for backroad navigation
tuxon
I have been dreaming of a system that would allow me to cruise the backroads of the four corners area with tracking data on topo and satellite maps. The day has come. I have been using a 15" laptop with USB GPS which can be quite cumbersome in a Tacoma. I am considering the new Dell but I called customer service twice to ask if the GPS works as a conventional one or based on WiFi. Of course I got the two different answers. Does anyone know if it will work with TOPO and Google Earth? Or would I be better served to buy a GPS(less) netbook and purchase a Bluetooth receiver. Thanks in advance...
Marvin Hlavac
Hi tuxon,

Welcome to Laptop GPS World.

If the Dell people cannot agree on it, who are we to tell you what to do.

If you like the Dell Mini for all the other features (other then the GPS) then I'd say buy it. If you are not happy with the performance if the built-in GPS receiver, then you later buy an inexpensive Bluetooth or USB GPS receiver to use with the Dell Mini.
mr2
Actually Dell is working on a combination GPS/WIFI unit, if my memory serves me correctly, however that isn't likely why you got two different answers. If you had asked three people you would most likely gotten 3 different answers. Also, that combination isn't available yet to my knowledge.

The long and short is they (sales, customer service and even support) just don't know their products that well.

You didn't mention "which" model netbook you were talking about. It coulkd help to know.The models I'm familar with from Dell are conventional.

Generally it has been advised against having the built-in GPS for reception. It will have limitations compared to a USB with extention cord or Bluetooth receiver.

I have set up two Dell mini 9's. One with a bundled MicroSoft Streets & Trips 2009 gps/software and one with Garmin Moble PC 2009 gps/software bundle. Both with corded USB receivers. Both work just fine.

MS S&T requires 1024x800 min. resolution, The Dell mini 9 is 1024x600, however I was able to adjust resolution to 96% of that and it works. This is on my wifes netbook. There is a button that is a bit hard to get at but not impossible.

The Garmin install on the second unit is fine across the board.

A very good forum to check out is http://www.mydellmini.com/forum/

Tell them bunjin sent you. ;-)

Hope this helps.
mr2
I got a bit longwinded and meant to simply second Marvin's suggestion.
tcassidy
MapPoint 2009 opens fine on my ASUS R2h UMPC at 800x480 or 1024x600. I'll admit that the navigation bar at the bottom is huge but I don't seem to have an issue with hidden buttons.

Terry
mr2
Terry,

You have a good point and way more experience.

I sent the netbook with MS 2009 to my wife and didn't have a chance to check out every little detail, thus erroring on the safe side.

I do remember a field that was marginal, which, I can't say at the moment. I still have the trial download on my HP 15" notetbook. I could take a look and see.

In any event I plan on putting MS 2010 on netbook when it is out, along with Garmin, as Each has it's pluses and I also have 2 mini 9's all to myself.
tcassidy
Mobile PC is much more polished in the use of screen real estate. It is very usable on a small screen like my UMPC. It could still save some space in the top header though as iGuidance can show.

It is possible S&T will have reduced the nav bar in the next release. Let us hope!

Terry
mr2
Quote:
Originally Posted by tcassidy
Mobile PC is much more polished in the use of screen real estate. It is very usable on a small screen like my UMPC. It could still save some space in the top header though as iGuidance can show.

It is possible S&T will have reduced the nav bar in the next release. Let us hope!

Terry
I agree. Mobile PC "IS" well suited for netbooks. It stops at "0" mph when vehicle is stopped! Heck it even shows my heading changed just from when I drift backwards a couple of feet at stop lights, etc. (I have a clutch). That threw me for a loop until I figured it out.

Lets hope so. MS could give more real estate. That would be very nice! That's one reason I'm holding out. Not holding my breath mine you though!
SpadesFlush
Quote:
Originally Posted by tuxon
I have been dreaming of a system that would allow me to cruise the backroads of the four corners area with tracking data on topo and satellite maps....
You might want to think about something a little less conventional than the Dell product line and go for something smaller with built-in GPS. Take a look at www.myviliv.com. I have one their S5s which works well on the road.
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