Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Mio Auto GPS

I am amazed. I bought an auto GPS on Monday and am in wonder of what it can do. In my business, I am at a different location every day and sometimes several in one day.

I have had a set of maps from Mapopolis on my Palm handheld since 2001. The company hasn’t issued an update since 2005 so on occasion I can’t find a location as it is newer than the map. I couldn’t find a comparable map product since.

I first started looking at an auto GPS about a month ago. I didn’t want to spend a fortune but a must have feature for me was text to speech. This is so the GPS gives the names of the streets and not just “turn right at next intersection.” Most of the cheaper ones don’t have that.

I came across the Mio C230 and found that it had everything I wanted. It normally runs about $200. I saw it on sale at Radio Shack for $150 (till December 24). It’s very easy to use and makes navigation to the most obscure locations a breeze. With what I know now, I wouldn’t hesitate to spend the whole $200 if I had to. You can find them on Amazon for less than $200 as well.

Today I drove about 70 miles, which is much more than normal. I had three locations to go to. If you know the Denver metro area I was in Morrison first, then southeast by Park Meadows then west by Colorado Mills. I know all three areas fairly well but in each case, the exact location where I had to go was a little obscure. The Mio made it easy. Before I left this morning, I entered each address and it took over from there. On Friday I am going to Highlands Ranch and if you have ever navigated there you know a map or exact directions is essential. It will be easy now.

So if you get around a lot, an auto GPS can be an incredible tool. I have mine mounted in my work van but I can pop it out, put it in my shirt pocket and head out. It’s about 3.5 inches square and less than an inch thick. It will also be great for long bike rides next spring. I can see my wife wanting to use it as many times she asks me how to get to some location around town. As easy as it is to use, anyone can pick it up and be an expert navigator.


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