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What is best software & hardware for laptop GPS
wellfleetblondie
I am thinking of buying laptop software & GPS receiver but am confused which to get. I want something which is good in US but can also be used in other countries ,I live in Costa Rica most of the year, travel in the western US & want something I can maybe use in Europe & Mexico, Canada. I have been looking at Garmin 10X and Garmin mobile PC. I have an HP TX2Z and an Asus EEE PC 901 & want to use it on both. What do you think? Is there a "best" GPS for this purpose?
tcassidy
I have mobile PC on my HP tx2000. The display, screen usage in portrait and landscape mode and touch friendly interface are very good. If you buy the package including the GPS 10x, you could install it on both computers but only use each computer with that GPS.

The US and Canada Maps are excellent and Garmin offers separate Europe and Mexico maps compatible with Mobile PC. Unfortunately they don't have Costa Rica so you would have to check other sources to see what is available for your area in Garmin format.

Terry
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costa-rica.jpg  
wellfleetblondie
OK Thanks very much. It seems a MUCH better price than buying a GPS for my car. I will give it a try! Thanks again. What do you use for a car mount? I am trying not to spend lots of money. Was looking at the Ram Mount Secure N-Motion but not sure what mount i need beneath that. I just wrote to Ram Mount. Thanks for your help - that was QUICK!
Marvin Hlavac
wellfleetblondie, welcome to the forums. Here's interesting reading: http://www.laptopgpsworld.com/2246-netbook-windshield-mount-14-95-a
tcassidy
I tried the tx2000 in my truck with the RAM Tough Tray II and a simple attachment to the dash. However it is too large to put where I want it. I don't have a netbook but have used a RAM mount with my ASUS UMPC and almost have it located properly.

Terry
wellfleetblondie
Hi Marvin
I saw this mount but thought it might be a little too big for the HP TouchSmart TX2Z- it is 12.1". What do you use it with? It is probably OK for my smaller Asus EEE PC 901 but I like the touchscreen on the HP. I am not sure the the mount has a long enough arm from the windshield not to block view & also the suction cup might not hold the HP.
Marvin Hlavac
I agree, the mount would not be big and strong enough to accommodate the 12 inch laptop. It is designed for netbooks. The best bet is probably to check available RAM Mount products.
winwaed
wellfleetblondie: Did you eventually something suitable for Costa Rica?

Marvin pointed me to the Costa Rica provider at: Third-Party MapSource Developers

I'd be interested in knowing how well it works with Garmin Mobile PC.

I don't think we have any suitable Garmin hardware available but there's a Netbook and I could use an eTrex as an "official Garmin receiver" with it if it would work.

I'm trying to see what my options are for road navigation. I'm under no illusions about the state of CR roads, signs, and maps; but later this year I'll be there for the first time without a guide/driver and we'll probably need some navigation help away from San Jose. At least we should be able to recognise some of the landmarks!


Regards,

Richard
Ken in Regina
Hi Winwaed,

Mobile PC will run fine on the netbook. Whether you can use the eTrex as your GPS receiver for Mobile PC and how easy it will be depends on what model eTrex you have and how it connects to the PC.

If it's one of the older models of eTrex with the serial connector you will have difficulty connecting it to a netbook because they don't have anything but USB connectors on them. If it's an eTrex model that uses a USB cable to connect you should be in business fairly easily.

Alternatively, if you can find some Garmin-compatible street maps for Costa Rica you can just load them on the eTrex and use it. The newer models of eTrex have routing and visual guidance on them. They don't speak the verbal guidance instructions but they beep at two different intervals prior to a turn so you can take a quick peek at the screen to see what action is upcoming.

What model eTrex do you have? E.g. mine is the eTrex Legend HCx.

...ken...
winwaed
Thanks for the quick reply on an older thread!

The eTrex units aren't actually mine, but my wife's work (Univ. Biology Dept). Most are entry level devices that are a few years old, but one of them is fancier. She's going to bring it home so I can have a look. This could be a solution...

Our usual CR trips are taking students and studying a rainforest reforestation project (see: EcoMap Costa Rica ). For the survey work we've used a Trimble field computer, which is a very different kettle of fish, but not much of a route navigator!!


Richard
Ken in Regina
Hi Richard,

Let us know what model the eTrex is when your wife gets it home and we'll see how it can be helpful.

...ken...
winwaed
*finally* have the upmarket GPS. Not an eTrex (the 'student' devices are the etrex units), but a GPSMAP 60CSx.

It is unlikely we'll be able to get maps for the student trip next week (and we've managed okay in the past), but we were thinking of recording the various guide-driven trips. Then when we go back in July and do our own driving, we'll be able to follow these tracks (or they'll be a big clue in our attempts at navigation!).

Richard
Ken in Regina
Quote:
Originally Posted by winwaed
*finally* have the upmarket GPS. Not an eTrex (the 'student' devices are the etrex units), but a GPSMAP 60CSx
Just out of curiousity, what is "upmarket" about the 60CSx versus the eTrex?

I ask because I have an eTrex Legend HCx and the only thing it does not have that the 60CSx has is the electronic compass and electronic barometer (altimeter). If I had wanted those I could have spent the extra money for an eTrex Vista HCx.

I understand the main reasons people normally choose a 60CSx over a Vista HCx ... a larger screen and buttons on the face instead of the sides (an important usability issue for some). But I've never seen anyone who actually compared them directly for features and performance consider them as anything other than equals, overall.

I chose my eTrex Legend HCx over the 60CSx because of size (mountain biking and hiking), form factor (no antenna stub sticking out) and battery life (Garmin's ratings: 25 hrs vs 18 hrs). And over both the eTrex Vista HCx and 60CSx because of price (not paying for the electronic compass and altimeter).

...ken...
tcassidy
I love that stub antenna but the screen size sucks.

Terry
Ken in Regina
Terry, for real handheld use, even the smaller screen of the eTrex is just fine. The antenna stub sux because it's always snagging on stuff. My buddy has a 76CSx and you can always tell by the profanity when he's trying to get it out of his pack.

In side by side comparisons, the stub antenna on his 76CSx doesn't seem to get any better performance than the patch antenna in my Legend HCx.

...ken...
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