Garmin Dakota 10 Handheld GPS Receiver Reviews
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Garmin Dakota 10 Handheld GPS Receiver

29 ratings (11 Epinions reviews)
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$179.00
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Adds GPS Capability to Any Bluetooth PDA

Mar 14, 2006 (Updated Oct 2, 2006)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Accurate, easy to use, voice prompts, local information, good battery life

Cons:Possible software compatibility issues leading to my PDA freezing on some occasions

The Bottom Line: This is a very good product, reasonably priced. I use it constantly- this is a great enhancement to any bluetooth PDA.


I've now been using this GPS with my iPAQ for 8 months, and have an update to my original review.

Update:
Some issues have become apparent. I'm not sure if they have to do with my PDA, or with the Garmin software or some combination.

1. My iPAQ rx3715 will power off when using the GPS at irregular intervals. When you turn it back on, it takes a while to recognize the GPS- that is if the GPS hasn't turned itself off. This is a power saving feature of the GPS- if it's not connected (via bluetooth), it powers down after a few minutes. On a lengthy trip, I had to keep tapping the screen every few minutes to make sure the PDA didn't turn off.
2. The Garmin software seems to occasionally make my iPAQ lock up, requiring a soft reset. This will most often happen if I'm running the Garmin Que software in the background, and my iPAQ turns off to conserve power. It will power up, but about 15% of the time it will freeze shortly after that. It doesn't do this when it powers down while the software is active. This is more of a minor annoyance at this point as I have not lost any data because of it.
3. A great feature is the points of interest if you store them on a card that's always used in the PDA (I use about 512MB on my 2GB card for Garmin maps). I end up using the Garmin Que program often to locate places to eat, stores, etc. nearby. It replaces the yellow pages and phone book 90% of the time for me.

This is still a very worthwhile purchase- one that I would recommend to anyone with a bluetooth PDA. Updated Oct. 2,2006

Original Review:

After three months using this with my iPAQ rx3715, one word comes to mind- Outstanding.

We bought a Garmin Street Pilot III for my wife's car, and were very pleased with the functionality, although the user interface is not the easiest. This Garmin 10 eliminates that issue by allowing address inputs using the PDA stylus (or keyboard if you have one) to quickly input letters and digits, and navigate around the screens. Route calculations are 4-5 times faster on my PDA vs. the Street Pilot III, and the data input portion is probably 20 times faster on the PDA vs. the Street Pilot III.

Voice prompts are limited by the volume of the PDA speaker, but are adequate even in my Miata- top up at least. The screen includes distance to the next turn, approximate time to the next turn, and can also display turn-by-turn instructions. The voice prompts are well thought out with the alert based on your speed- at highway speeds, it gives you 2-3 tenths of a mile warning. After a long distance on any road, it first gives you about 1-2 miles warning of the next turn, and then another approximately 15-20 seconds before your turn. Around town, the voice prompt gives you about 400 feet warning- usually the next turn.

Loading the maps onto a memory card is straight forward, although it certainly helps having a desktop PC with built-in card slots. I'm currently using a 512MB SD card for maps, and have all of CA, OR, WA, NJ, CT, MA, RI, and most of NY, DE, MD, and NV loaded onto the one card.

This gives me the ability to look up any address within those regions, find restaurants/stores/services, or places of interest on my PDA anytime I have the memory card installed (which is most of the time). This does not require linking to the Garmin GPS10 by the way.

Software installation was straight forward, and the receiver itself has a built-in battery that provides >8 hours of power on a freshly charged battery (Garmin's rating). I had no problem getting my PDA to recognize the GPS. As for location accuracy, I have never had any issues with this receiver, or our Street Pilot III or my previous eMap. All have been spot on in every situation.


Recommend this product? Yes

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