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Comments on: Garmin Announces the iQue 3200 PDA with GPS

Garmin today introduced the iQue 3200, which joins the award-winning iQue 3600 as the only Palm Powered personal digital assistants that offer fully integrated Global Positioning System (GPS) technology. These products combine the portability of a PDA and the utility of an automotive navigation system in a sleek, lightweight design. The iQue 3200 is the lower cost sibling to the 3600, with a smaller price tag and a 320x320 pixel display.
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Has anyone seen one used?

mikecane @ 7/23/2004 4:12:30 PM #
That, and is anyone here using one?

RE: Has anyone seen one used?
scoT1753 @ 7/23/2004 6:35:24 PM #
I know a land surveyor that got a 3600 for Christmas.

RE: Has anyone seen one used?
JonathanChoo @ 7/23/2004 9:42:49 PM #
I have seen 2 American tourists using the iQue 3600 in London.

--
Psion 5> Vx > m505 > N770C > T625C > NR70V > e310 > T/T > HP h2210 > T/T3 & h4150
StarTac 75 > T28m > T39m > T68m > T610 > T630
RE: Has anyone seen one used?
mikemusick @ 7/24/2004 1:01:00 AM #
I have an i3600 which I use every day. I also write applications for it, although Garmin doesn't make that an easy job sometimes.

The i3200 is an "It's about time!". Ignoring that CompUSA and the big-box office supply are asking full list for the i3600, Garmin products are heavily discounted - their list prices are hopeless exaggerations. The i3600 is available, right now, at gps4fun.com for $449 (vs $549 list).

What this means is that the i3200 will quickly drift to well under $400 street. That is significant, and is going to smoke Navman's equivalent PocketPC device.

The loss of the DIA (dynamic input area - soft Graffiti pad) with 320x320 is not all that significant to the mapping display. If the i3600 had a landscape mode it would be different, but since portrait was and is "it", the smaller live display area is a shoulder-shrug.

If it's Directions You Want?

LiveFaith @ 7/23/2004 5:06:40 PM #
If it's directions that you want, is screen real estate not at a premium? Reducing the screen size by 1/3 will aid in that weak battery, but it's a pretty high price if GPS is a real need. But, the more options in the Palm world the merrier.

Pat Horne; www.churchoflivingfaith.com
RE: If it's Directions You Want?
Strider_mt2k @ 7/23/2004 6:19:24 PM #
I have to agree to both.

The lack of a headphone jack won't go well with integrators either.

I still wish them the best of luck though.
We need more players.


Still too expensive

vesther @ 7/23/2004 6:46:06 PM #
Still overpriced due to the GPS. If you want GPS integrated on your handheld, stick with the basic i3600. $539.99 MSRP US is just too scary IMO. With that price, I can actually pay about $50 more for an iQue with better screen resolution.

Intel PXA27X, Motorola's ARM Processor, or Texas Instruments OMAP? Pick one Palm Enthusiasts, the choice should be yours. When handheld makers make you choose the ARM Processor, you win.
Ummm....
orb2069 @ 7/25/2004 1:42:37 PM #
But then you'd have an iQue.

The only thing worse than spending a fortune is spending a fortune and getting junk in return.

RE: Still too expensive
vesther @ 7/25/2004 3:30:26 PM #
I guess you're right in that case. I'm just gonna have to avoid the iQue nonetheless. I'm just afraid of having to run into the same trap I did during my Tungsten T3 days.

A GPS-enabled PDA is fine, but I'd rather have GPS Add-Ins instead, since PDAs aren't too perfect.

Intel PXA27X, Motorola's ARM Processor, or Texas Instruments OMAP? Pick one Palm Enthusiasts, the choice should be yours. When handheld makers make you choose the ARM Processor, you win.

RE: Still too expensive
hkklife @ 7/26/2004 9:48:02 AM #
Does anyone know any details on the PalmOne-branded BT GPS bundle that you can get on their website? It sounds to be pretty decent for the $--at least if you own a T3. Anyone have any firsthand experience with it and/or seen it in action or know who manufactures the actual GPS hardware that PalmOne rebrands?

I'd love to see a super-detailed review of this thing on PIC!



RE: Still too expensive
RhinoSteve @ 7/26/2004 2:28:06 PM #
This is good and classical marketing on part of Garmin. Make the first unit in a new product paradigm very expensive. Those that only really need it, want it and thus cares a lot about this will buy it and the customers pay for your product engineering somewhat. Those users will tolerate but most of all complan about problems to the manufactuer. You then fix the problems and come out with a cheaper and more reliable unit marketed to less tolerant and thus cheaper customers.

Frankly, the fixed screen size is fine for most users. In fact, those bitching on here for years about a software writing area reminds me of those who want a converable rooftop when only hardtops are offered. If something sells well a higher end that is more a luxury than an engineering prototype comes about.

When this hits volume, it will do well. As long as a workalike UC connector is there, this keeps a lot of options still open.
RE: Still too expensive
smiley1081 @ 7/28/2004 12:33:13 AM #
> Frankly, the fixed screen size is fine for most users.
> In fact, those bitching on here for years about a
> software writing area reminds me of those who want a
> converable rooftop when only hardtops are offered. If
> something sells well a higher end that is more a luxury
> than an engineering prototype comes about.

Erm, you never owned a Handera 330, or your opinion would be different, trust me.

I will hate the day my 330 will die...

iQue 3600 -- would not buy again

tompi @ 7/24/2004 4:00:28 AM #
I have an iQue 3600 and it's had lots of problems. Just off the top of my head:


  • Handwriting recognition is slow.
  • The "Find Address" dialog, which you'll be using frequently, is excruciatingly slow: you write a letter and several seconds later, the list of possible cities/streets updates. It can take minutes just to enter the city/street.
  • The user interface is poorly thought out. For example, I haven't been able to find a way to set my current location to a waypoint ("I'm home") for route calculations.
  • The device runs out of battery power easily, and when it does, it loses its memory.
  • Selecting map regions for download to the device uses a small and inconvenient dialog box and is an exercise in frustration.
  • Downloading maps to the device is unreliable. The largest I have been able to get on there is about 250M of map data, even though that fills up the SD card I have only halfway. The exact amount you can transfer has to be determined by trial-and-error.
  • The desktop software worked on a laptop with an older version of XP, but not on two brand-new, up-to-date desktops.
  • In order to install the maps on the handheld, you first need to install them on the desktop, taking up lots of space (problem on the older laptop).

Altogether, the iQue 3600 makes a poor GPS system and an even poorer PDA. Just about the only good thing one can say about it is that it is fairly small, fairly light, and has a nice screen.

Well, another good thing one can say about it is that it is so cumbersome that I only use it when I absolutely have to, which has the advantage (compared to a more functional GPS system) that I'm not forgetting to navigate without GPS assistance.

I can't imagine that the iQue 3200 is going to be any better; the company seems to be incapable of developing decent dektop or handheld software.

RE: iQue 3600 -- would not buy again
Mike_W @ 7/24/2004 10:13:15 AM #
Some of what you say is true, some isn't, some have workarounds. I've been using my iQue 3600 since they came out and have learned a few things about it.

  • Handwriting recognition is slow.

  • Yep, it sure is. That is by far the single most annoying problem with the iQue.

  • The "Find Address" dialog, which you'll be using frequently, is excruciatingly slow: you write a letter and several seconds later, the list of possible cities/streets updates. It can take minutes just to enter the city/street.

  • Interesting facts about this system, many Garmin GPS units use it and it's close to the best on the iQue. If you enter the address faster, it looks up faster. For instance enter "H-i-c-k-m-a-n" without waiting after the H for the list to scroll and it won't scroll to the H, it will scroll directly to whatever letter you pause on. Also, the speed of this is proportional to how much map data you have stored on the memory card.

  • The device runs out of battery power easily, and when it does, it loses its memory.

  • Yep, battery life sucks when using the GPS. Why dont you have it plugged into your car when using it? The battery life is pretty good when not using the GPS. What PalmOS device DOESNT loose its memory when the batteries die?

  • Selecting map regions for download to the device uses a small and inconvenient dialog box and is an exercise in frustration.

  • They fixed that, you can use the full MapSource to install maps now.

  • Downloading maps to the device is unreliable. The largest I have been able to get on there is about 250M of map data, even though that fills up the SD card I have only halfway. The exact amount you can transfer has to be determined by trial-and-error.

  • If youre transferring 250MB of map data to the iQue via HotSync you deserve what youre getting. Generate the map data, use an SD card reader to copy it from the Palm Install directory to the iQue SD card. Its 100,000 times faster.

  • The desktop software worked on a laptop with an older version of XP, but not on two brand-new, up-to-date desktops.

  • They fixed that, updates on their web site.

  • In order to install the maps on the handheld, you first need to install them on the desktop, taking up lots of space (problem on the older laptop).
  • Update your hardware. All Garmin (and Magellen and even Trimble) GPS map sets work that way. I use the MapSource along with the Topographical maps, its annoying that it takes up GB of hard drive space but hardly unexpected.

    Have you ever used a high-end GPS before? I will agree that the PDA side of the 3600 leaves something to be desired, and the entire thing has some rough edges but GPS side is both solid. In my opinion it is the equal to its $1500 gps-only counterparts. You dont get the extreme ruggedness of a StreetPilot but you get all the software functionality.

    I concur.
    mikemusick @ 7/24/2004 10:18:00 AM #
    Your gripes are legitimate and echo my own experience. While I write mapping software that runs on the iQue, it's not consumer software... you thought you didn't like Garmin's interface! I also don't have ready access to the quality of the basic mapping data that Garmin has, nor do I have an army of developers to write the code for a "pretty" display.

    To your list of complaints I will add:

    - Excruciating wait times for large area (multi-state) views.
    - Hopelessly out-of-date business database.
    - GPS will not turn off (and therefore kill the batteries) if you remove 12V power but forget to close the antenna flap, or leave an external antenna connected.

    What tears me up is that I know this stuff, pretty much have an idea how to fix most of it... yet when Garmin was looking for Palm programmers last year I didn't even get the courtesy of a rejection letter after sending my rsum - twice. There seems to be a culture problem in Lenexa, and it shows in the poor implementation.

    RE: iQue 3600 -- would not buy again
    mikemusick @ 7/24/2004 10:31:03 AM #
    Hi, Mike W!

    ;-)

    RE: iQue 3600 -- would not buy again
    Winter_ @ 7/24/2004 3:16:57 PM #
    What PalmOS device DOESN'T loose its memory when the batteries die?

    But perhaps the device could turn itself off before the memory is starved.

    The T3 won't turn itself on at about 15% of battery; and if already on, it will turn itself off (depending on the running app) at about 10%. I was quite annoyed when I discovered this, but after some investigation I found that lithium batteries should never get too depleted (or their lifespan goes down).

    If you're transferring 250MB of map data to the iQue via HotSync you deserve what you're getting.

    I would reword that. "If you're relying on Palm OS technologies to do big transfers to your PDA, you'll deserve what you'll get".
    I sincerely can't understand for the life of me why Hotsync is as slow as it is, and as crippled/crippling as it is.
    And trying to understand how Palm users do accept that as a fact of life is... even damaging.
    My first day with the T3 was a hours long search of troubleshooting instructions. I couldn't believe that Hotsync was supposed to be THAT slow. And when I tried to put arbitrary files on the card... ooh man.
    (yes, I know of a numer of third party apps :P )

    RE: iQue 3600 -- would not buy again
    tompi @ 7/25/2004 9:24:31 AM #
    Why don�t you have it plugged into your car when using it? The battery life is pretty good when not using the GPS. What PalmOS device DOESN�T loose its memory when the batteries die?

    The battery also had died when it was sitting in my car for a couple of weeks, much sooner than other Palms I am using. Moreover, devices like the Clies come with backup-to-flash software out of the box. And the GPS unit apparently doesn't shut off, so if you leave it in the cradle and turn off the car, it dies quickly.

    High quality PDAs actually have a backup battery that keeps memory intact for months, even after the main battery has drained.

    For instance enter "H-i-c-k-m-a-n" without waiting after the H for the list to scroll and it won't scroll to the H, it will scroll directly to whatever letter you pause on.

    Sure it will, but it won't echo. So, you write the street blindly. Then you wait. And wait. And wait a little longer. Then something pops up and you discover that its Graffiti 2 engine misrecognized a bunch of strokes. Then you blindly enter some "delete" strokes and start writing again blindly.

    That's no way to design a UI. At the very least, it should have made echoing characters as I write them the highest priority, searching in the background (and, yes, you can do that even on PalmOS).

    Also, the speed of this is proportional to how much map data you have stored on the memory card.

    I see. So, Garmin's software developers are at the "linear search" stage of their computer science education.

    If you�re transferring 250MB of map data to the iQue via HotSync you deserve what you�re getting. Generate the map data, use an SD card reader to copy it from the Palm Install directory to the iQue SD card. It�s 100,000 times faster.

    Transfer via Hotsync is the documented way of transferring data, so it should work. Also, while it may be slow in terms of real time, it's a lot more efficient in terms of my own time.

    Have you ever used a high-end GPS before?

    I have used built-in car navigation systems, and their UIs are nowhere near as poor (but they weren't made by Garmin either).

    I will agree that the PDA side of the 3600 leaves something to be desired, and the entire thing has some rough edges but GPS side is both solid. In my opinion it is the equal to its $1500 gps-only counterparts. You don�t get the extreme ruggedness of a StreetPilot but you get all the software functionality.

    Are you telling me that other Garmin units have UIs that are as poorly designed as the iQue's? Good to know.

    In any case, all I'm saying is that if with the iQue, you expect to get a PDA with a GPS unit built-in, you will be disappointed: in this case, the total is less than the sum of its parts. Just about any other solution (Bluetooth GPS+PDA, cabled GPS+PDA, dedicated GPS, etc.) is going to be a better choice.



    RE: iQue 3600 -- would not buy again
    Sho-Bud @ 7/26/2004 2:30:46 AM #
    I used a Tungsten T2, T3, and now an Ique 3600.
    I don't recognice your problems and find the Ique an excellent PDA.
    No problems with the desktop software, hotsync of 275 Mb maps takes 20 minutes, since I don't do that every day, it's acceptable I think.When looking up an addres, writing a the first lettter, the result list comes the same instant.
    Of coarse I use the latest versions of the software.

    I would never go back to T3 again.

    RE: iQue 3600 -- would not buy again
    reinbeau @ 7/26/2004 7:51:35 AM #
    I am also a very satisfied iQue 3600 owner, and have none of the problems that were listed, provided I use the iQue how it was intended to be used, that is, plugged into a power source when you're driving, charged in the cradle regularly, backed up onto the PC so you don't lose anything....and many of us who own and are happy with our iQue's also have a card backup program so we can reinstall if there's a problem when we're away from the PC. T-3's have issues, Sony had it's own proprietary issues; my IIIxe had issues, for that matter! You just have to learn how to work around things. I would buy an upgraded unit in a minute, but I wouldn't buy the 3200. I want more bells and whistles, not less.

    **************************************
    Ann - happily using her Garmin iQue3600

    The Problem with Integrated Technologies...

    jdh @ 7/26/2004 4:51:57 PM #
    From the comments here, as well as my own brief experiences with the iQue, this seems to be the problem typical of most integrated technologies... The Smartphone world has been plagued with this for some time now...

    In almost every case where a technology has been integrated, you end up with one device that does two jobs poorly...

    The Treo 600, for instance... Nice combination of a cell phone and PDA, but not up to the standard of a T3 (low-res screen, low memory, etc), and doesn't quite do what most higher-end cell phones do (although this usually isn't a big deal for most).

    Garmin iQue series... Nice combination of a GPS and a PDA (IMHO), but missing many of the capabilities necessary for a PDA power-user (no Bluetooth support, no landscape, etc).

    Personally, I use an Emtac BT GPS received with my T3, and am happy with that combination. The battery life on the Emtac is very good (several hours at least), and the battery life on the T3 is what I've come to expect from a high-end colour PDA (with a Power-to-Go Sled connected to the T3, I can get about five hours, even with the BT GPS constantly connected and the screen contrast turned up).

    The bottom line is that it comes down to expectations... If you're looking for a GPS that has PDA capabilities, the iQue is actually a pretty good choice. If you're looking for a PDA that has GPS capabilities, go buy a Tungsten (or Sony, or whatever) and get an external GPS receiver... You'll probably be much happier.

    (This reminds me of a digital camera that HP and Pentax co-developed... The exact same camera was sold under both brand names... In every case, the HP branded camera got better reviews than the Pentax-branded camera, even though they were the exact same device... The expectations were just different).


    What's with you people?

    Hal2000 @ 7/27/2004 7:38:17 PM #
    It is what it is, but whatever happened to the kind of response that any new model handheld used to bring? Don't tell me its' summer- {cue pin dropping sound}.

    Zodiac2/T616
    1.128 gigs under the hood.
    RE: What's with you people?
    UZI4U182 @ 7/29/2004 7:36:11 PM #
    I think it's because everyone is bummed about Sony pulling out of the handheld market. They always made the coolest devices, and quite frequently at that. Now that other handheld models are out, people seem to have lost interest in them. I'm one of those people.

    I also agree that the price for this device is RIDICULOUSLY high; it should include a 320x480 screen, 400MHz cpu, and at least 64MB memory for that price.

    UZI4U182@suscom.net
    Main PDA: NX70v + WL100
    http://clieflash.shorturl.com

    Update to the palm t|c

    superkid @ 7/28/2004 1:12:20 AM #
    Does any one know when they will be offering the updated palm C2? Will they be including a version with a bigger screen w/o a keyboard? All I wan to buy is Palm with both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, any sugestions?
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