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.

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Fall 2007 GPS introductions

You may have noticed that last Friday was a busy day here at GPS Tracklog, as we reported on a dozen new units from Garmin, Magellan and TomTom. These manufacturers used Berlin’s IFA consumer electronics show as a chance to announce a fall 2007 lineup, ahead of the holiday shopping season. Now that the dust has settled, let’s look at some details that escaped notice Friday, and take a quick look at market niches and innovations as well.

Nuvi 700 series to include tracklogs and MSN Direct option

While I reported that the nuvi 700 series specs include multi-destination routing, I should have read the product description more closely. Under "plan ahead" it states "a trip log provides an electronic bread crumb trail of up to 10,000 points, so you can see where you’ve been on the map." A little further down it cites  MSN® Direct as an option. One other note — they tackle the traveling salesman problem — the nuvi 700 series "automatically sorts multiple destinations to provide an efficient route for errands, deliveries or sales calls."

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Mio C220 review


UPDATE: This model has been discontinued. For current recommendations, please refer to our auto GPS buyers guide or check out our other Mio GPS reviews.

I’ve been trying out the Mio C220 for the past couple of weeks, and I am convinced that it is a great value. Currently available for around $185 $165 (and the price may drop even more between now and the holidays), this unit will likely be one of the market leaders in terms of budget car navigation systems.

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Should you get a nuvi or a Mio

Miodigiwalkerc520EDIT: While this post originally focused on the Mio C520, the points are generally true for the Mio C220 too. Its not quite as complex, but it is still not as simple to operate as a nuvi.

Following my review of the Mio C520, I wanted to delve a little more deeply into why you might buy a Mio or a Garmin nuvi. I’m a big fan of Garmin; they rock — intuitive menus, great customer service and quality products. But Mio really grabbed my attention with the C520.

So let’s say you’re in the market for an auto navigation GPS. Which do you buy — a nuvi or a Mio?

Reasons to get a Mio C520

  • Price – At a list price of $399.95, and with it discounted more and more as the weeks go by, you’ll get a lot of bang for your buck.
  • The geek factor – Do you like tech toys with lots of menus that you can tweak and get them to do just what you want? If so, buy this and not a nuvi.
  • You’ve got a human navigator too – The Mio C520 has complex menus and you don’t want to be distracted using them while driving. If you’re usually the passenger, or you’ve got a co-pilot that also likes tech toys, this could be the perfect unit for you.

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Mio C520 review


UPDATE: This model has been discontinued. For current recommendations, please refer to our auto GPS buyers guide or check out our other Mio GPS reviews.

I’ve spent the last ten days or so trying out the Mio C520, also known as the Mio DigiWalker C520. This one is going to give Garmin a run for their money. I was impressed from the moment I took the unit out of the box – this GPS receiver looks great and feels great. It offers high-end features at a very reasonable price point.

Before we get into the details, lets talk about the basic feature set. The Mio C520 comes pre-loaded with TeleAtlas maps of the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico. It has a thin, flat form factor, 4.3" wide touch screen, SiRFstar III chipset, 6 million POIs, an MP3 player, Bluetooth for hands free cell phone use, and can be upgraded for live traffic. The C520 features text-to-speech, so you’ll get "turn left on Highway 128" instead of just "turn left." Heck, this device can even play videos! If you don’t want all those bells and whistles, be sure to check out the budget-priced Mio C220. To see how the Mio C520 compares to other units, check out my Mio GPS comparison chart.

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Our GPS Reviews

Listed below are links to all the GPS reviews I've written on GPS Tracklog. The list is kept up to date and there is a link to it on the sidebar labeled "Our GPS Reviews." If this long list is overwhelming, be sure to check out our Auto GPS buyers guide and Handheld GPS buyers guide.

Jump to:

DeLorme Handheld GPS reviews

Garmin Auto GPS reviews

A note about discontinued Garmin auto units:

Most Garmin auto units without the flat form factor have been discontinued, as have older nuvis. In most cases, a newer Garmin nuvi is the best choice rather than one of these older units.

Garmin Fitness GPS reviews

Garmin Handheld GPS reviews

Garmin Marine GPS reviews

Lowrance Auto GPS reviews

Lowrance Handheld GPS reviews

Magellan Auto GPS reviews

Magellan Handheld GPS reviews

Mio Auto GPS reviews

Navigon Auto GPS reviews

TomTom Auto GPS reviews

Other GPS reviews

Mobile phone reviews