HomeGarmin


Review: Garmin Mobile PC
tcassidy
I just compared some programs on my laptop for finding addresses. And Garmin loses hands down at the number of steps to set up a go to address. Compare it to S&T, iNAV4; possibly even SA2008 if it could find the address. In a keyboard free situation, iNav takes it.

Actually, the purpose of this was to check the routing algorithms. Garmin has always had a problem with understanding that the 4 lane bypass at Nanaimo speeds up reaching 50% of the business addresses at the far end of the town. I was checking it against the other programs I have. Only S&T gets it right. I have v11 on the laptop and 2005 on my main pc. I also have 2007 on the UMPC but didn't bother trying it.

While this may be just a minor bug in the way the roads are identified, it doesn't inspire confidence about areas I might not be familiar with.

Terry
Ken in Regina
Terry,

The routing issue you mentioned can't be just a function of the map data. Navteq supplies the raw data for both S&T USA and Garmin's City Navigator North America. Both should have the same road info about that bypass so I would guess the routing algorithms play a part.

My expectations of nav software have mellowed a litte over the years. My definition of success is that the software gets you where you wanted to go in a reasonable amount of time.

It is guaranteed that you could find a local person (including yourself in your home territory) who can give you a shortcut or two (shucks, ask three locals and you'll get at least five better routes than the software computes!). When I'm in a strange city my only concern is that I get there, not whether I could have shaved five minutes with a better route.

...ken...
tcassidy
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken in Regina
Terry,

My expectations of nav software have mellowed a litte over the years. My definition of success is that the software gets you where you wanted to go in a reasonable amount of time.

...ken...
Ken,
I have to agree. Past experience in an unknown town was just 'get me there' not 'take the best route'. It just irritates me when a program can get something simple right and others haven't a clue.

Terry
Marvin Hlavac
Quote:
Originally Posted by tcassidy
Needless number of key presses to enter the simplest address. Using the Where To is fastest but still takes you through 3 sections before you even enter a number. And that's assuming the unit knows where you are at the time. ...

... Consider this while enroute or with no keyboard, or both. I'm not saying other programs are easier just that there must be an better, more intuitive way. ...
I see what you mean. Perhaps one day users will find a way to overcome this shortcoming, or Garmin may improve this in a future version.

Since I use a keyboard, I would love to have a shortcut key which would close my current route and bring me right to the address entering dialog window. Such hotkey should work in any window of the program - no matter where in the program I may happen to be, that task should be performed.

Over all I'm happy, though. I have not come across an issue (yet) entering addresses or intersections. I can set destinations easily by clicking on the map - even if the destination happens to be a certain point on a highway (I need that feature, too, sometimes). I'm happy with POI search features, too - but I noticed several local car dealerships missing in the database - but I can live with that.

I travelled about 300 kilometers today, and I have no complaints about routing yet. Garmin Mobile PC seems to even be able to route well along Hwy-401 in Toronto - where other mapping products want drivers to go senselessly from express lanes, to collector lanes, and back to express lanes. While it is hard to judge routing from one or two days worth of driving in only one local area, at least I'm happy the first impressions are (more than) good. .

Quote:
Originally Posted by d0tech
have you guys tried this software for keyboard input?
I think I've actually played with it about a year ago. It's quite nice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken in Regina
Terry,

The routing issue you mentioned can't be just a function of the map data. Navteq supplies the raw data for both S&T USA and Garmin's City Navigator North America. Both should have the same road info about that bypass so I would guess the routing algorithms play a part.
Yes, everyone makes its own routing algorithm. Still, though, differences between newer and older Navteq data may account for some of the routing differences, too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken in Regina
My expectations of nav software have mellowed a little over the years. My definition of success is that the software gets you where you wanted to go in a reasonable amount of time.
Ditto.
tcassidy
Marvin,
I am a confirmed Garminaholic and when I plan another long road trip it will be with a Garmin unit - maybe a PND. They appear to still have the best routing algorithms. I will continue to raise issues with them as they appear to be trying to satisy the Canadian market and are easy to talk to.
For route planning and printing, I'll probably stick with S&T v11 until something better comes along. both products have served me well in the past.
Terry
Patriot
I have enjoyed reading as you veterans have anticipated and now have your hands on the new Garmin Mobile PC product. While I have been a computer user for many years, I have not made the plunge into the GPS world because I was not able to justify spending +/- $500 for a one task product. But now things have changed! About a month ago I got my first laptop and being able to add GPS capability for $99 or less is very appealing.

I'm trying to get my hands on a Garmin bundle (010-00685-00) ASAP. I'm leaving on a family trip this coming Friday, 4/25, and it would be exciting to have this to take along. And I think my wife would be impressed with the "Find the cheapest gas" feature which is supposed to be one of the Garmin online features. For over a week now I've had the bundle on order from TigerGPS, buy.com, & LNH Sales for $84.99, $81.99, & $73.33 respectively. I can't find it in stock anywhere and the Customer Services at these three suppliers don't give me much reason to think they will get it in in time to ship it to me by Friday. I've even considered ordering the software and the GPS 20X receiver as separate items which TigerGPS appears to have in stock, but that increases the price to $130 - about $50 more than the bundle.

So, I'm asking for suggestions as to where I might find the bundle in stock NOW. Also, I'm wondering if the bundle has anything in it that the two separate pieces do not. Ordering the software and the GPS 20X now with regular shipping might not be very much more than having to overnight the bundle if it did become available Wednesday.

Your suggestions will be appreciated and I look forward to learning more about Laptop GPS systems as I continue reading posts to this forum.
Ducati
Found it right now on ebay 9 left for sale. I checked the product number to be sure it was the new one.

NEW GARMIN 010-11018-00 Garmin Mobile PC

$49.98 + $8.26 shipping depending how soon you want it.
tcassidy
For anyone interested in transferring waypoints from MapSource to Mobile PC on the same computer;
1. Update MapSource to the latest version (presently 6.13.7)
2. Start Mapsource and open the .gdb file with the information you want.
3. Start Mobile PC and leave it running
4. Return to MapSource and choose 'Send to Device' from the Transfer menu.
5. Make sure 'Garmin Mobile PC' is listed in the Device: dropdown.
6. Check the categories you want to transfer
7. Click on the 'Send' button.

In Mobile PC, Go to Tools/ Manage My Data and check in Favorites for your waypoints and Tracks for your tracks.

I just tried this on my UMPC and it appears to work just fine.
Another problem resolved!!

This information was provided to me by Garmin but it didn't work until I updated MapSource. Obviously a new item added just for this case.
Terry
tcassidy
Marvin,
While updating MapSource and moving contacts, I took the opportunity to look at this program in 3D on my laptop. It looks so good, I want to build a stand in my vehicle. Unfortunately the truck is a floor stick shift so I'd have to mount it on the bench seat.
Oh well!
Terry
Attached Images
laptop3d.jpg  
Marvin Hlavac
Patriot, the package I received came directly from Garmin. It is for review purposes only, and Garmin's policy is that all review products have to be returned. However, even before I laid my hands on Garmin Mobile PC, I knew I would want it, so I ordered it from the first on-line store which had it in stock: TigerGPS. Unfortunately, just because they advertise it as "in-stock" doesn't necessarily mean they have it. I placed my order a week ago on Sunday - it was supposed to be here within three business days, but it never arrived. On Thursday I sent them a quick e-mail asking about it. They responded that it didn't ship yet because they didn't have it. But their site had it marked as "in-stock" all this time - it still is marked as "in-stock"! I replied asking them to cancel my order if at all possible. I haven't yet received their reply to that. If they cancel it, I will then either walk into a local store here to buy it when it becomes available locally, or I will order it from another retailer.

If you need it ASAP, before placing your order do telephone the seller to make certain they really have it in stock and they can in fact get it to you in time for your trip.

Good luck, and keep us posted.
lforbes
Marvin et al:

Thank you for your comments so far. I have been wondering a few things about the new Garmin product however and would appreciate any comments.

First, is the Garmin address lookup better than S&T (which IMO is pretty quirky/flakey at times)?

Also, does it have Favourite Destinations capability (similar to S&T Keys)?

And, is the routing algorithm as good as S&T?

PS, are the maps the latest version?

TIA

Laurie Forbes
tcassidy
Here is the next problem to resolve.

Why doesn't CNNA NT 2009 show in the list of MapSource products when Mobile PC is installed on the same computer?

I have the update on order but don't want to install the map data twice on the laptop and UMPC if I don't have to.

I have emailed Garmin. Hopefully they can shed some light on this.

Terry
Marvin Hlavac
Hi Laurie!

1. Address look up so far managed to let me look up everything I needed to: addresses, intersections. Only several missing POIs I was unable to find. Tell us specific examples of what you would like to test, and I (or anyone else who already received their Garmin Mobile PC) will try to search for it.

2. Yes, favorite destinations can be stored. The function works the same way you are used to in S&T Keys - only the Garmin version looks better .

3. Third day of testing, and so far not a single issue with routing. But routing is something that more users will have to comment on.

4. Map is based on (c) Navteq 2007 data - I don't know which quarter. If you are comparing it to Microsoft Streets & Trips 2008, that was based on Q3-2006 Navteq data, if I recall correctly. And if the past is any indication of the future, then Streets & Trips 2009 may be based on (c) Q3-2007 Navteq data.


Terry - I have no answer for that, but you will very likely get to the bottom of it. Let us know, please.
tcassidy
A couple of observations.
I installed Mobile PC on my main computer and noted the display did not fill the screen. This is a 24" with a wide aspect ratio (1920x1200) and I see an unused portion on the right of the screen. See attached.
I don't know if this is an aspect ratio issue or if I exceeded its display cababilities. Something for someone with a wide aspect laptop to check.

On a UMPC, night mode has the advantage of the top bar being transparent (in day mode its white). This gives an impression of more display area. Important with a 800x600 7" display.

Terry
Attached Images
wide.jpg  
tcassidy
Here are the screen captures for Day and Night mode for my UMPC. Day does seem to have a lot narrower top ribbon now that I see them side by side.
I guess my other comment doesn't fully apply.
Terry
Attached Images
day800x600.jpg   night800x600.jpg  
laptopgpsworld.com About