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Should I buy Garmin Mobile PC GPS20x for my Asus Aspire One?
Bennyboy
I'm currently planning a 2,100 mile roundtrip vacation with my Girlfriend that will go through Oregon, California, Nevada, Utah, and Idaho. I was thinking about it and figured it would be a good investment if I acquired a GPS for my laptop, to take along on the trip.

Right now I have a Asus Aspire One

I did my research for a cheap reliable all one package, and found a refurbished Garmin Mobile PC x20 on eBay.

I've read reviews on this site and overall they seem to be pretty positive.

My question is do you think this is a good setup to use? Or would anyone recomend I used another brand?

Because I can't find any other total GPS package for near the price.
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Marvin Hlavac
Hi Bennyboy,

:welcome: to Laptop GPS World.

Garmin Mobile PC (with or w/out GPS 20x) is something many people enjoy on their small laptops, but I'm not much in favor buying a "refurbished" software (or software & hardware). I'm not even sure if Garmin would provide any support, since you are not the original owner.

The product is inexpensive, and I'd rather pay a few dollars more to make sure it is brand new, and it has the newest map data.
Ken in Regina
Marvin,

If the product is genuinely refurbished it should include a new copy of the software. The only thing that's refurbed is the GPS receiver. Typically the refurb market is supported by Garmin -- not to the extent of a warranty but to the extent of allowing registration of the refurbed unit. That is, it will have been de-registered when it was returned to them as defective and so can be re-registered as a "new" unit.

The question I would have for the eBay seller before purchase would be whether the seller can absolutely guarantee that Garmin will allow registration and also guarantee that the unlock key for the refurbed unit will work properly. I would also email Garmin customer support to make sure that the eBay seller is known to them and they allow re-registration of those refurbed units.

Bennyboy,

This is definitely a good setup to use. However, there is too much you haven't told us for us to be able to tell you if this is a good setup for you to use.

1. Do you plan to use it for realtime navigation while driving?

2. What kind of vehicle will you be driving?

3. Do you have plans for a mounting system that will allow you to use it safely?

4. Do you have plans for a mounting system that will not inconvenience your copilot? If you value a longer term relationship with your girlfriend, this might be the most important consideration.

5. If you don't have a mounting system planned, are you planning on your copilot holding the computer while navigating? Forget the previous comment. This might be the most important consideration for the long term relationship if she's not geared up for it and happy to help. Keep in mind that even the little netbooks get quite warm on the bottom and holding a laptop - even one that's not toasting your thighs - is not the most comfortable way to spend a long trip.

All of those considerations are much more important to think about before you decide on what nav software and GPS hardware to use. Depending on your answers, you might be better off just going out and getting a cheap Garmin Nuvi or TomTom that you can stick on the dash and carry around in your pocket, and use Google on the netbook for navigational planning before the trip and in the hotel room along the way.

I'm not trying to talk you into or out of any particular technical solution. I just want you to give really serious consideration to your long term relationship with your Significant Other. Have you discussed it with her? What does she think about the whole thing, especially the part that might include her being the GPS mounting system?

...ken...
Bennyboy
Thanks for the replies Marvin and Ken.

I've contacted several buyers from the ebay seller, they all say the product is packaged like new, comes with all the licensing/key, and other materials; so I'm not too concerned about the refurbished part. A brand new unit and software will cost me around 80$, as aposed to 40$ the refurb is a bargain.

I plan to use the route creation software with mobile Garmin to plan the whole route out. Currently I have the entire rout planed on Streets & Trips 2007, but I would never want to use that software for realtime navigation; Garmin's UI is so much better then Microsoft.

I'm driving a 2006 Honda Element, it's a very spacious boxy car; I'm building a housing unit under the front dash for the power converter so I can have two outlets in the front for the laptop and cell charger.

I'm currently looking for a type of mounting system, besides my Girlfriend Thanks for mentioning that Ken. There is plenty of space in the car to mount my netbook, I plan on having a swivle mount so my girlfriend can mess around on iTunes and Garmin then rotate it back to my field of view for directions.

Another thing to mention, I'm going to install a webcam on the front dash to take a times laps of our entire trip; the camera, plus the GPS, and audio cable to the car's stereo will all hook up to the laptop.

This is kinda off subject, but does anyone know of some timelaps software I could use in conjunction with my usb camera?

Thanks for the advice,

Ben
Ken in Regina
Sounds like you've got it nailed, Ben. In that situation I would agree with your assessment of Mobile PC for the realtime nav ... pretty much just a giant Nuvi in the car.

I'm a Honda guy from way back. I looked really closely at the Element each of my last two purchases but I went for a bit of luxury instead. Bought a CR-V both times ('00 and '07). But I came really close to a 4WD Element the first time. Check out RAM mounts for possible solutions. They have a variety of vehicle-specific stands and a tray that's specifically designed for the little netbooks. There's a discussion thread in here somewhere. It might show up in the list of related threads at the bottom of this page after I enter this message with RAM mounts mentioned in it a couple of times.

There is also a thread about building your own mount from PVC (or ABS?) pipe .. inexpensive and really very functional.

I've managed to stay married coming up 39 years in a month and a half. I'm not the most considerate guy in the world but I try to avoid the really stupid things.

Doesn't your Acer One netbook have a webcam built in? Mine does but I have no clue how to use it. Probably not enough resolution for what you want, I suppose.

EDIT: DOH!! and no flexibility for positioning to get good road shots.

...ken...
Marvin Hlavac
Quote:
Check out RAM mounts for possible solutions. They have a variety of vehicle-specific stands and a tray that's specifically designed for the little netbooks. There's a discussion thread in here somewhere. It might show up in the list of related threads at the bottom of this page after I enter this message with RAM mounts mentioned in it a couple of times.
Ken, I think the 'Similar Threads' feature may only look at the words used in the title. I suspect it doesn't consider the words in the first post, and my guess is that text in posts #2, 3, 4, 5, etc, have no effect on the feature at all. I think the similar threads are 'created' at the time a new thread is created (or very shortly after), and the similar threads don't change later, unless the thread is renamed. The feature is far from perfect, but occasionally it IS useful.

But to bring it back on topic, Ben, here's one of the threads Ken might had in mind (and there are others): http://www.laptopgpsworld.com/1089-opinions-laptop-mounting-systems-vehicles
dtong22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken in Regina
Doesn't your Acer One netbook have a webcam built in? Mine does but I have no clue how to use it. Probably not enough resolution for what you want, I suppose.
...ken...
You may download skype at skype.com to test the video cam function.
The cam works well for its purpose

Daniel
GadgetGirl
Personally, and this is just my opinion, I don't like Mobile PC for long trips. I would much prefer Microsoft Streets & Trips or the discontinued Garmin nRoute for an extensive trip such as this. Mobile PC does not allow much trip planning (see my thread at http://www.laptopgpsworld.com/3106-nroute-vs-streets-trips-vs-mobile-pc )If you just want to turn it on and go to get from Point A to Point B, then Mobile PC is fine.

As far as a laptop navigational system goes, you do run into issues of whether the "significant other" can tolerate navigating. Usually, my husband drives and I am the navigator. (He is more of an "in-dash" Nuvi kinda guy! If your vehicle is large enough, a mounting system is probably required if your girlfriend doesn't want to "navigate". Of course, she can drive and you can navigate!
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