Magellan GPS for m500 Series Now Available
After first announcing it back in January, Thales Navigation has finally introduced the GPS Companion for Palm m500 Series, a GPS receiver and software combination capable of giving the user turn-by-turn directions. It is bundled with Rand McNally's StreetFinder Deluxe software and is available now for $200.
StreetFinder Deluxe connects to the Internet to let users create custom maps and driving routes on their PC that can then be exported to their Palm.
It has street-level maps of the United States (excluding Alaska), address lookup and route calculation. StreetFinder Deluxe also has more than one million business listings and points of interest, including dry cleaners, banks and museums, and Mobil Travel Guide rated hotels and restaurants.
Maps are matched with satellite navigation information from the GPS receiver to show the user's position on a map that shows the real-time movement of the user. The users gets in-route audio alerts to signal the next step in the directions, as well as a text version of the complete list of directions.
The Magellan GPS Companion features a 12-parallel-channel GPS receiver that attaches to the back of the Palm handheld for fast position acquisition and satellite tracking, even in cities or under trees. The additional use of Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) satellite correction signals helps ensure the most accurate position fixes possible so users can know their location within as little as 3 meters.
The receiver is 6.13 by 2.7 by .9 inches and weighs 3.9 ounces. It connects with the handheld through the HotSync port, leaving the expansion card slot available for map downloads. Two AAA batteries provide 12 hours of operation without drawing power from the Palm handheld's internal battery. For extended use, an optional 12V power cable is available.
Magellan's own NAV Companion software provides comprehensive navigation information so Palm users can turn their handheld into a traditional GPS receiver for finding their way in off-road areas. It provides an analog speedometer, a digital compass, and waypoint and route management capabilities so users can store location information and find their way to and from a destination that doesn't appear on conventional maps.
This isn't the first GPS receiver for the m500 series. Rand McNally's software will also be shipping with the Navman GPS, which costs $200.
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