Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Not that long ago, I wanted a GPS so that I could track down the coordinates for all the locations in MMW Property and Food.

I was thinking to get a Bluetooth GPS from Garmin, but I would need to bring a long a PocketPC and Notebook, where I don’t have the first one and the later one is too inconvenient. I want something which I will bring it along anytime and any day, like my hand phone.

I found some PocketPCs with built-in GPS (and with Mapping and Navigation software). But these babies are too expensive, costing RM 3-4K. Besides, I just need the coordinates.

Then I found some dedicated GPS device which cost around RM 600, but I still found them too bulky (not pocket friendly), and slightly too expensive in terms of value for money.

Recently I found the ultimate GPS toy, Suunto X9mi GPS watch. It’s lightweight and wearable, with load of outdoor feature such as altimeter (for getting altitude, good for mountain trekking), barometer (pressure), thermometer (temperature), compass (direction) and GPS. It could track speed, set waypoint and route recording (export to Google Earth, excellent!). This toy is way too cool and suitable for me as it is small and outdoor adventure friendly. This baby cost USD 499, and I am very doubtful about the lifespan of the battery. Usually a GPS device should last for 10-15 hours, but nothing is mentioned in the specification. With all the power-packed feature and small size, it could probably last less than 10 hours. It says that it has rechargeable battery (500 charges, factory replaced), and I have no idea what it means (only 500 charge? Then I have order another one from the factory? Can I have another backup battery?). It is still too dodgy, and expensive.

There are other wearable GPS for runner and alike (such as Garmin Foretrex 101 and 201), without those cool outdoor adventure friendly features. These babies cost between USD 138-188, capable of setting waypoint and storing routes. These should be a good choice and have a battery life up to 15 hours. 101 even run of AAA batteries, meaning I could have backup for a few days trip in the mountains.

Lately we have the GPS phone such as NOKIA 6110 (with mapping and navigation software), which should cost around RM 2K. This choice is quite ideal as well, but too bad I already bought a new hand phone not that long ago.

I wonder when I will get a GPS device.

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