DeLorme is announcing the PN-40 handheld GPS today. Scheduled for release this fall, the PN-40 appears to be something akin to the PN-20 on steroids. Slow map redraws on the PN-20 were a common complaint, which has been addressed somewhat with new firmware, but the PN-40 is slated to have a dual-core processor for rapid screen re-draws. Here’s what Chip Noble, who manages DeLorme’s User Interface Design department, has to say about it:
The multi-core processor is really quite impressive. I’ve evaluated lots of devices over the years and am excited to say that I haven’t seen one pan and zoom the map as quickly as the PN-40. Map redraws really are instantaneous.
As an example, I’ve been driving with high resolution color aerial imagery displayed on my device and have been tracking at a scale of 80 ft (very high detail) and haven’t noticed any lag time in map redraws… and that was traveling over 40 mph.
Granted that is coming from a DeLorme employee, but this baby sounds fast. Here are some more new features not found on the PN-20:
- Super high-sensitivity 32-channel Cartesio chipset by STMicroelectronics delivers near-instantaneous signal acquisition and ConstantLock™ satellite retention
- 500 MB of onboard Flash memory
- 3-axis electronic compass with included accelerometer performs when held in any position—while in motion or standing still
- Sensitive barometric altimeter for reliably accurate altitude readings
- Supports SDHC high-capacity SD cards—32 GB or higher
- Fast USB 2.0 data transfer to internal memory or SD card in device
- More detailed onboard base map data for the U.S., now with secondary and connector roads (along with major highways and thoroughfares for the entire world)
We’ll have to wait on the full specs to verify this, but it appears that the PN-40 will have the same small 2.2″ display found on the PN-20. If so, that is unfortunate. It may be one of the few drawbacks to this receiver. Regardless, you can bet I’ll try to get a hands on review posted as soon as the PN-40 become available.