Over the past six weeks Ihave been traveling with the new HP IPAQ Travel Companion. Which is a GPS, Media Player and Travel Organizer. This review is focusing on the actual GPS functions of the device.
I was pretty lucky in that I had some rental cars with GPS devices in them that I could put this device head to head with commercial GPS devices. Overall the device performed terrific. Routes were calculated accurately. It directed me to gas stations and places to eat.
Programming destinations was very easy and it had even the most remote locations that I visited. The estimated travel times were not always a 100% accurate but I think it bases its initial travel time estimations on the legal speed limit.
The biggest complaint I had with the device is that it is nearly impossible to hear in a car while on the move. The other 2 GPS devices that I ran this head to head with were clearly audible. But the HP IPAQ Travel Companion is severely lacking in its ability to be heard in a car.
The device is relatively small and fits in a pocket unlike the other devices and has a headset jack. It comes with the standard bluetooth paring so that you can paid a headset to it. The device was designed for the person on the go whether you are in your own car, a taxi etc you can use this device in almost any location.
When you do not need it for a GPS you can play media on the device. It uses a standard memory stick to store music and videos I liked this touch and think it really sets this device apart from others.
Battery life was about 90 minutes after a full charge so the device. Another issue I found was that the carrying case the device comes from the manufacture has a tendency to turn the device on when you slide it into the case. This will cause the batteries to drain and several times I had a dead battery when I thought I had a full battery.
Overall even given the low volume I found this a perfect device to travel with. Business travelers will like this device as it will easily fit into a computer bag. My only suggestion to HP is that they should come up with a mini car mount for the device so that one does not need to travel with the larger window mount.
3D Capability this device employs technology from TeleAtlas in that for cities that have been mapped in 3D you will have a super enhanced navigation experience whether on foot or in your car as it will display the actual buildings your are driving by in a 3D Mosiac that looks just like the actual building.
Retail in this unit is $399.00 and is comparably priced. Overall I give this device a score of 4 out of 5 the only reason it did not get a 5 out of 5 was the volume of the speaker of the device.
Disclaimer I have been provided a HP IPAQ Travel Companion by HP to review. As in all of our reviews we actually use the product in a real world environment as we would expect consumers to use the product.