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REVIEW COMMENTS: Garmin iQue 3600

 
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PocketGPSTeam
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2003 7:44 am    Post subject: REVIEW COMMENTS: Garmin iQue 3600 Reply with quote

We have now finished our very in-depth review of the new Garmin iQue 3600 integrated Palm PDA and GPS System. This is the first completely integrated PDA and GPS System on the market, see how well it stacked up in our review. We have also been talking with Garmin on the roundabout issues, and also have some great news for UK iQue users out there, a map fix for this will be available shortly, for more information, please read the Garmin iQue Review.
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Pc-Mobile
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2003 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I do not see any mention of voice navigation and how it performs.
This is supposed to be the biggest feature that enables it to compete with PPC.

Or is NOT there ?!?!
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Dave
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2003 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good spotting Ronald Laughing You know, not one of at least eight people who previewed the review picked up on that.

To be honest, there's nothing special to shout about. Voice Navigation is becoming widely available on the Palm platform, the iQue certainly does have voice navigation and it's very similar to what you hear on Pocket PC systems like "In 200 feet turn left" and "Drive 2 miles then turn right". I have added a small section on the review to cover this.

One feature I do like about the iQue, and thought has been put into this is the demo mode, the amount of products on the market place today that do not have some kind of demo mode where you can plot and drive a route in offline mode, the iQue has this just like TomTom Navigator 2 and is a nice and welcome feature. I guess the one thing that I see is missing from the iQue 3600 is 3D maps, some like 3D maps, some don't. If you have used a Street Pilot III then you will be at home with an iQue 3600, the Palm interface is very easy to get used to, I'd say probably a little bit easier on the learning curve compared to the Pocket PC.
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missing_user



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2003 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for a very comprehensive and fair review of the iQue.

I would like clarification on some points:-

1-Map Installation—‘You don't run City Select like you would with other MapSource CD's’

I found the installation onto the PC was exactly the same as MetroGuide V5. However, the installation from PC to iQue had to be completed through Palm Desktop[Map Install]


2-Garmin MapSource City Select Maps---‘The closer you get, the more POI's you will see depending on the POI's you have selected’

Could you tell me where to find the ability to select more or less POI’s?

3- Garmin MapSource City Select Maps---‘One thing you do lose with City Select over City Navigator is the ability to have the maps loaded on the PC and being able to look at the maps, zoom in. This is a shame, as I liked using City Navigator on the PC, and it's a pity Garmin have excluded this from the iQue bundle.’

I cannot understand this point as it was the initial part of the iQue setup to install the Countries needed [or all] from the CD and onto the PC!
Without installing the maps onto the PC, how can you return from your navigation/visit and view your ‘tracks’. This is an important feature of iQue [or eMap]

4- Plotting a Route---- ‘Plotting a route is extremely easy’

Plotting the route on the iQue is not that easy! If you wish to deviate from the iQue computed route, you are then working from the small screen of the iQue rather than a PC monitor. It was so much easier using a PC to plot/compute routes for the eMap and then transferring them!

5- Battery Performance----The iQue will automatically power itself down after a set period of time 30 seconds, 1 minute, 2 minutes or 3 minutes. Now this became quite annoying as I kept having to switch the iQue back on to see where I was, until I decided to leave it off for a little while and I noticed something magical happen. The iQue was off, apart from a blinking green power light now and again. Garmin have made the unit battery friendly, when you approach a junction or a turn where you need voice navigation or a map, the iQue wakes up and powers itself back on.

I found that the ‘powering off’ of the unit was very irritating, and the report of [it powers itself back on] only works if you are navigating a set route! When using the iQue [or other GPS units] in new towns/areas, I like to see my surroundings rather than navigating to a set point. To facilitate the iQue staying ‘live’ permanently [on 12 volt charger], I have found the following method satisfactory.

In the security section:-
Set the password/security code, ASSIGNED
Set the period to NEVER

In the preference [buttons] section:-
Select the feature PEN and chose to ‘lock and turn off’ when you drag your stylus/pen from the writing area to the top of the screen!

In the preference [General] section:- Select ‘Stay on in Cradle’

You will, I hope, find that the iQue remains on permanently on cradle or 12 volt charger until you choose to draw the stylus upwards across the screen and completely close and protect the unit. Your password will be needed to reopen the unit

As well as the new update to CitySelect due out shortly, there have already been updates on the Garmin website for:-
Track conduit
Map Install
Revision 1 and 2 for the iQue
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Dave
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 09, 2003 5:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sure, here goes...

1) This is exactly the point I'm making, transferring of maps IS different compared to regular MapSource CD's. The part of Installing the maps to the PC is the same, but installing them to the iQue are not in comparison to how you would usually install the maps to a regular handheld or Street Pilot III. This is all part of the Map Installation.

2) Maybe I haven't explained this too well, but the more you zoom out, the less POI's you see, the more you zoom in, the more POI's you see. This is the same with most mapping products, but some don't do this, and it is worth mentioning.

3) I think you have missed the point here. MapSource CD's allow you to have the maps installed to the PC and be able to use these like you would with AutoRoute for instance (but without GPS Support). So you can use it as a full mapping program, which includes planning routes, checking distances, creating waypoints, routes and tracks. CitySelect for the iQue does not allow this, what it gives you is a map installer. You can zoom in but you don't get anywhere near the clarity of maps, POI's etc than you would with say MetroGuide for instance on the PC. Take a look at these two screenshots. The first is from the iQue CitySelect, the second from MapSource MetroGuide.





4) Plotting a route is extremely easy, you just search for the address, and add it as a destination. Nothing could be more simplar than this. If you compare it with other products like TomTom Navigator 2, you will find that the address lookup actually works where as TomTom's doesn't. Also if you deviate from the route, allow it to re-route you by re-calculating the route from where you are, I don't see anything difficult about that ? This is how all in-car navigation systems work. Maybe I have missed something here ? I agree it's easy to work from a PC monitor, and like I said in Point 3, this is lacking in the iQue City Select, but at the end of the day everyone uses small PDA screens without major issues. If you don't like the size of the PDA screen, then there are laptop packages available that give you full screen access on a laptop. Personally I find laptops too large and difficult to use in-car without touch screens (and laptops and tablets white out in sunlight)

5) The powering off was a pain if you didn't have the automotive kit (as explained in the review), but it's not actually powering itself off, it's just going down to a low battery state, it's still working away with routing algorithms in the background, you just don't see a map on screen. This is a little worrying when you've used another navigation product and expect the map to be on screen all the time, but I like the way Garmin have implemented this, you don't need to have a map up on screen all the time, most of the time it's a distraction and if you do want to pop the map back up, you can press a key to bring it back on (if you don't have the automotive kit).

The biggest problem I found was the roundabout support, which should be addressed in Jan 2004, and make it a lot more usable. I think the iQue will do a lot for the Palm community and will probably stifle the flow of deserting Palm users to Pocket PC's because they want a better Street Navigation product.

How do you find the stylus on screen ? Do you find dragging across the screen quite rubbery ?
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missing_user



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 10, 2003 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you for your anwers to my previous points.

In answer to your question:- 'How do you find the stylus on screen ? Do you find dragging across the screen quite rubbery ?'

Yes the screen is 'rubbery' and I have to frequently re-visit the WELCOME section to renew the stylus operation. Do you suggest screen covers/films, and if so, where from?
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Tony Bond
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2003 2:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Clarification of a couple of points, please, would be appreciated:

1. Does one have to use the stylus? Sounds like an awkward thing to do whilst a vehicle is in motion. Is it not possible to touch the screen with the finger as with, say, Tom Tom ?

2. Is the Ique effective in-vehicle without an external arial and does the unit have to be located especially close to the windscreen ?

Thanks,

Tony
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Dave
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PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2003 7:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Strumble, I personally wouldn't recommend any screen filters, anything that adds a film to the screen is going to make it even less responsive to the tap and drag of the stylus. I am assured by Garmin that not all models have the rubbery feel and this does decrease over use.

1. Tony, the stylus is more difficult to use when driving, but due to the iQue's screen where it isn't as sensative as say a Pocket PC screen, it's a lot more difficult to use fingers over stylus.

2. The iQue works well without an external antenna providing you don't have a UV protected windscreen. I had the iQue sitting in an Arkon vent mount cradle and this was positioned next to the drivers window and this had no problem whatsoever in obtaining and maintaining a signal.

A good little stylus I use in-car a lot is the Finger Stylus. We have a review at http://www.pocketgpsworld.com/stinger.php

This just wraps around and clicks into place around the tip of your finger and allows you to just point at the screen. It makes it a little easier to use than a stylus, but it does take a lot of getting used to.
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Laze
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 02, 2003 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have not had any of the screen problems you mention. I find it quite possible to tap the screen with a finger while on the road, I just wish there was a way to get large icons. Getting the aim correct in a moving car is a problem !

Does anyone know if there is a way to get "Detour 5 miles" on a one tap short cut. I would love to be able to do this rather than fiddle with tiny icons when I hear on the RDS that the road ahead is blocked !

One handy function that I discovered (but did not see in the manual) is if you press the the jog wheel on the left site creates a waypoint at your current position. Great when you spot that previously unknown speed camera Smile
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habot
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2003 2:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FYI, read on GPSInformation.Net : iQue 3600 FAQ
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Dave
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 31, 2003 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now that's cool, I like the way they've formatted the FAQ for PDA's so they can be downloaded and taken offline.
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missing_user



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PostPosted: Sat Jan 31, 2004 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Update CD-City Select Europe v6 is now available for iQue owners -Free
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