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Garmin PDA Includes Handy GPS Features

Handheld IQue combination device offers many capabilities, but is a bit complicated to use.
Yardena Arar
From the May 2005 issue of PC World magazine

Frequent business travelers tired of lugging around both a PDA and a pocket GPS system should check out Garmin's IQue M5, which combines both features in one package. Despite its high price ($750) and occasionally complicated software, I found much to like in this well-appointed device.

The M5 runs Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition on sturdy hardware that includes an Intel 416-MHz PXA272 XScale processor; a sharp, 3.5-inch, 320-by-240-pixel transflective display; 64MB each of RAM and ROM; and a dedicated 48-MHz ARM7 co-processor to handle GPS chores. The unit comes with a Bluetooth adapter for connecting to compatible phones, but Garmin leaves out a Wi-Fi adapter. A car adapter charger prevents you from running out of juice while driving.

You activate the unit's GPS features by popping up the antenna--a hinged square that's ordinarily flush with the back of the case. Satellite acquisition took a minute or two, as is the norm, and once connected the device maintained contact reasonably well in my informal tests.

Using the GPS in combination with the included MapSource software gives you access to a searchable database of lodgings, restaurants, and other useful locations such as ATMs.

The only downside to the M5's many capabilities: Some tasks and features--such as pinpointing specific coordinates on a map or figuring out how to bring up additional map detail--can be frustratingly difficult to master.

That said, for any Windows Mobile fans who'd like some navigation help without having to invest in a dedicated car system, the IQue M5 should make a good passenger.

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