Sunday, March 18, 2012

New Mio units target low and high ends of market


UPDATE: Read our Mio C230 review and Mio C720t review.

I wasn’t going to post this weekend, but after a couple of days in the city testing GPS receivers with traffic data, there’s at least one newsworthy item that beckons.

Mio has announced two new units — the Mio C230 and Mio C720t, targeting the low and high ends of the GPS marketplace.

Mio DigiWalker C720t

There are several interesting things to note about this model (pictured above), which clearly tackles the high end of the market. The feature garnering hype and headlines is the integrated 2 MP camera, allowing you to navigate back to the photographed location, ala NavMan (which was recently acquired by Mio parent corporation Mitac). I’m sorry, but I just don’t see how this will integrate well into an intuitive interface. Guess I’ll have to get one and try it out!

The bigger news, in my mind, is the announced 12 million POIs. Wow, I’ve never seen a GPS with more than half that! Heck, at this rate, they’ll have every backyard cabinet maker in the database.

The Mio C720t comes with a traffic receiver and 3 month TMC subscription. In addition to full maps of the U.S. and Canada, the C720t has additional map information for Mexico City, Guadalajara, Aguascalientes and major roads throughout Mexico. And of course you get Bluetooth, text-to-speech and a 4.3" touch screen. The C720t is available immediately from Best Buy and other select electronics retailers at a suggested retail price of $599.95.

I was really impressed with the Mio C520 and can’t wait to try this one out.

Mio DigiWalker C230

UPDATE: Read our Mio C230 review

As the C720t tackles the high-end of the market, the C230 looks to the low-end. This unit updates the Mio C220 by adding text-to-speech, so you’ll get "turn left in 500 feet on Highway 101," instead of just "turn left in 500 feet."

Unfortunately, its paltry one million POIs is going to keep it from garnering a strong recommendation from this writer. The C230, which has a 3.5" touch screen and SiRFstar III chipset, is due to be available in October 2007 at a suggested retail price of $249.95.

About Rich Owings

Rich is the owner, editor and chief bottle-washer for GPS Tracklog. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.

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