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ian wright
(ianwright) - F

Locale: Photo - Mt Everest - 1980
PDA with GPS on 06/26/2008 06:37:13 MDT Print View

I'm interested in getting a PDA and using it when travelling overseas. I like the idea of using it to store travel notes, listen to music and the one I like has GPS.
I've never even held a PDA so I know nearly nothing about them.
All the info on the internet talks about this PDA (Asus A639) having a GPS and being able to store maps but it is never mentioned whether the GPS works without loaded maps or whatever. Like in the old days (a year or two ago!) Like my Garmin Geko. I will get to see it next week but worry that the salesperson won't understand and think I am the dinosaur that I am.

Do these new fangled GPS's now known as satnavs and such work like a 'true' GPS or do they just show you where you are on some map?

Thanks.

Edited by ianwright on 06/26/2008 06:38:15 MDT.

John Carter
(jcarter1)

Locale: Pacific Northwest
re: PDA with GPS on 06/26/2008 09:52:20 MDT Print View

If you can wait a little while longer, there are some new PDA phones coming out that have pretty advanced GPS functionality. The HTC touch diamond will have GPS and you can use your finger rather than a stylus.

Garmin is coming out with the Nuvifone, which promises to be more stable, since the HTC touch uses windows mobile (not known for stability).

And the iPhone 3G is due July 11 with GPS and 3rd party app support. No topo map software has been announced, but many believe it will come soon.

Not very many companies are selling stand-alone PDAs these days; most have moved to PDA/phone combos. Either way, these news PDA phones are leaps above what's currently out there, so it is worth the wait.

Andy Bailey
(AndyBailey) - F

Locale: The Great Plains
PDA / GPS on 06/26/2008 11:11:04 MDT Print View

Carry lots of spare batteries with you, my friend! When you start using your PDA to play music, the battery life goes downhill quickly. I can't even imagine what a GPS would do to it!

ian wright
(ianwright) - F

Locale: Photo - Mt Everest - 1980
PDAs on 06/26/2008 17:10:51 MDT Print View

Thanks for that.
There are so many options including phones that the mind boggles. Some of the ultimate ones get too pricey. I am not in a hurry so things will change again.

I won't be using it on long hikes so can recharge the battery often but most likely will get a second battery anyway. Would get one that has a replaceable battery.

Eric Noble
(ericnoble) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: PDAs on 06/27/2008 09:15:02 MDT Print View

If you are thinking of the iPhone or a future iPod Touch with GPS (one can hope) then I wouldn't worry about a replaceable battery because you can always plug in an external power source (battery pack, solar, etc) on those rare occasions when you need it. For other devices it may be an issue.

Mike W
(skopeo) - F - M

Locale: British Columbia
PDA with GPS... on 06/29/2008 12:56:19 MDT Print View

If you are looking at a phone/GPS combo, you have to be careful to select one that doesn't rely on the phone service for mapping. The maps will have to be stored on the phone (usually on a media card) because if you drop out of the cell phone coverage range you won't get the GPS mapping coverage either.

The problem I have with the PDA/GPS units is battery life and the fragile nature of PDA's. You can get a heavy duty case to protect it but that adds a significant amount of weight and it still might not be waterproof which to me is a big issue.

ian wright
(ianwright) - F

Locale: Photo - Mt Everest - 1980
PDA on 06/30/2008 03:51:35 MDT Print View

Thanks.

I don't really want a phone PDA, plus I won't be using it during any serious hiking. Just want it for overseas travel, it'll have an easy life in my pocket. I think it would be a great device combining GPS, MP3 player and computer for travel notes, diary and other info all in one. Stil wanting to find out if the GPS can be used without loaded maps.

Joe Figura
(GrinchMT) - F

Locale: Big Sky Country
gps on 06/30/2008 07:37:45 MDT Print View

Ian - I recently purchased a used iPaq 3970 and a Bluetooth GPS unit from US Global Sat to do basically the same thing you are describing. I just got the GPS unit on Saturday and have not yet had time to play. However, I will find time this week to mess with it and if successful, I will be glad to tell you how this seems to be working.

--Joe
www.bozemanstoveworks.com

ian wright
(ianwright) - F

Locale: Photo - Mt Everest - 1980
PDAs on 06/30/2008 22:34:54 MDT Print View

Thanks Joe.
I'll be able to do some research in a few days myself. I hope I find a talkative salesperson wanting to tell me everything they know about them!