Friday, May 26, 2006

The Garmin iQue M4

I have a new best friend and it is my Garmin iQue M4. I call her 'M'. 'M' never tells me that I made a wrong turn, she never critisises me if I don't stop for a bathroom break and, best of all, I never have to stop for directions as 'M' knows exactly where I am going. OK, sometimes 'M' will send me off onto a wrong street or a dead end and once she even tried to send me through a shopping mall in Pretoria but after a little turn here and a u-turn there, she recalculated my route and I was back in action.

Who is 'M' you ask? She is one of the many many voices you can put into the Garmin iQue M4. 'M' can be French, German or even Italian. She can be male or female, American or British. All you really need to know is that 'M' is the voice inside my GPS unit from Garmin and she is mostly right. Not always, as I said, but mostly.

The iQue M4 is a PDA with a GPS inside. The same size as your average Palm but in full colour and with Windows, so everything you have will work without tweeks, changes and conversions.
Using the system is very easy, as soon as I picked it up, it just seemed right. Programming destinations from enetering the address or finding it on the browsable map was simple too. The whole of South Africa is covered but I was based only in Gauteng so I am not sure about detail in the rest of the country.

I would have liked to be able to update the maps off the web. Streets in JHB are changing every day, what with name changes and closures, and being able to simply plug the unit in when I update the calender and mails would have been great.

Speaking of updating. Because the M4 is a PDA, all of your appointments can be put into the unit, including the venue, and the unit directs you there while you are in the car. The unit charges while driving with the charger that is included. USB cable is included as is the map for South Africa.

The best acuracy I got was between 4 and 5 metres, which, I am told, is the GPS fault, not the units.

I love my new Garmin. Now maybe I will change her accent tonight....

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