Tuesday, July 7, 2009

An experiment of sorts

I've done something recently I would never have done before. You might remember the episode where my GPS was stolen from car in the middle of day on a busy street in Chi-town. I won't provide linkback, the baby is sleeping and I don't want to waste time.

I've looked around for GPS' in stores, but for some reason I am not willing to spend more than a $100 right now. The bottom of the line GPS models for $99 in Walmart i don't really want. I want my gadgets to burst with fun options.

Here comes the Ebay. I actually haven't purchased anything on Ebay in ages. I mean at least 5-6 years, and I don't have an explanation for it. Anyway, I have searched for the same model I had, the auctions always end up way above $100. Then, something caught my eye. A bunch of auctions, always ending up below $100 mark, selling a no-name brand.

Here are the listed features.

CPU: SiRF Atlas 400MHz CPU
GPS module: SiRF ATLAS III Inside (SiRF is the most used and famous GPS technology company brand)
Fingertip Touchscreen:Yes
Display:4.3" TFT True Color LCD Touch Screen
Choose 2D or 3D Map: Yes
Antenna: Built-in patch
Dimensions: (WxHxD) 9.5cmx 9cmx2.5cm
Card slot: MMC/SD card (Product with 1GB free SD card) Max up to 2GB
Video Formats: WMV, AVI, ASF
Audio Formats: WMA, MP3, WAV
Picture Browse:JPG, GIF, BMP, PNG
E-book: Read txt
Cold acquisition time: Approximate 45 seconds
AutoLocate: Approximately 2 minutes
Update rate: Once per second, continuous
GPS accuracy: Position - Less than 10 meters (33 feet), 95% typical velocity - 0.1 meters per second steady state
Routes: Automatically calculated
Voice navigation: Yes
Vehicle power cable: Input 12V Output 5V/1.5A
Languages of the Device Menu:English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Czech, Mungarian, Polish, Romanian, Greek, Dutch, Russian

Looks pretty good. They also preload maps for about 30 different coutries if you choose to do so, and can send you some. They also include a 2GB SD card.

Now, it obviously comes from Hong Kong, where the product in built I can only guess. The guess is China. The payment was asked for in Australian dollars.

One thing about Chinese electronics, and this is my personal opinion, is that it is actually not half bad. They build the stuff designed by US and Japan, and then shamelessly steal it. Another fact that I know, that we don't get HALF the cool toys and gadgets the Pacific Asians get. I mean they have some awesome stuff there. Taht is why I have decided to take a chance.

Anyway, I know that I was buying "a cat in the sack" (if I could use a Russian saying here). But as an experiment I have send $80 hard earned US bucks to see what I get.

They offer a one year warranty, although I doubt i would be shipping anything to Hong Kong. The unit is on it's way, and I'll give you a review upon arrival.

------ UPDATED ------------

At least something is coming, I hope its not avian flu

Detailed Results:

Processed through Sort Facility, July 07, 2009, 11:22 am, JAMAICA, NY 11405
Foreign International Dispatch, July 05, 2009, 2:52 pm, HONG KONG AIR MAIL CENTRE, HONG KONG
Foreign Acceptance, July 03, 2009, 3:18 pm, HONG KONG

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