In the right direction


  • TECH
  • Wednesday, 02 Feb 2011

papagocroponline

This stylish and feature-packed GPS will make a cool addition to your car.

Forget boring and boxy GPS devices. Maction Technologies’ Papago! Dream HD H5600 is a slim and stylish device that looks more like a sleek miniature LCD TV than a GPS device.

It is powered by a dual-core SiRf IV chip and comes preinstalled with the company’s improved Reality 7 Navigation software which is faster and has more functions.

The device features a comprehensive library of POIs (points of interests), realistic Junction View mode, and fascinating 3D buildings and monuments for major towns and cities.

It also has an FM transmitter, a port for hooking up a camera and a 3.5mm headphones jack.

There is also a stylus neatly hidden on the back, which makes it easier and more precise to input data. If that’s too tedious, just speak to the device to issue commands and the Voice Command Navigation feature will do the necessary.

As the model name has the word “HD,” you would expect the GPS to have a HD screen but that’s not the case here.

The 5in touchscreen only has a resolution of 800 x 480-pixels which is hardly high-definition.

However, the display is sharper and brighter than the ones found on most GPS units. This is because it has a 300:1 contrast ratio and brightness of 300nits.

A handy guide

The H5600 is bundled with a windshield mount which grips the GPS nicely in place. It usually takes about 30 seconds to power up and another few minutes to get a satellite lock.

The menu interface is fairly straightforward and there is a virtual alphanumeric keyboard for input. There are many ways to search for a destination — you can use the street name or just enter the latitude and longitude coordinates.

The Voice Command Navigation allows you to search by speaking to the GPS but we got more misses than hits when using this function that we decided to let our finger (or the stylus) do the “talking.”

The virtual keyboard is pretty “smart” — when searching for a destination, it will continue to disable letters that can no longer complete the street name. This is really convenient because it helps you type faster and also spot spelling mistakes.

Once the destination is found, the system will also list POIs surrounding it and it’s divided into 19 categories such as petrol stations, banks, parking area and restaurants.

The Route POIs feature will also list all the POIs along this route.

Feature-packed

The device comes preinstalled with maps for five free countries — Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia and Thailand. The maps are from MalFreeMap, Navigasi.Net and Maction Technologies itself.

Initially, we had a problem with the review unit because it failed to locate Negeri Sembilan.

However, we solved the problem by updating to the latest map. So, update the map often to keep the GPS accurate.

The map view is clean and uncluttered with 3D landmarks and buildings for major towns and cities.

The screen is split to several sections with the upper right corner showing the road or junction ahead. This area will switch to the Junction View mode for major exits and ramps to make it easy for you to anticipate upcoming turns.

In the lower right corner, a data field displays distance, estimated time of arrival, speed and more helpful info.

The device offers many choices for the turn-by-turn voice guidance including English, Bahasa Malaysia, Indonesian, Cantonese, Hokkien or Mandarin.

For some language there’s even choice of male and female voices and you can pick whichever you like.

We picked the English female voice because it was the clearest and loudest.

Thanks to the FM Transmitter function, users can also stream the voice to the in-car stereo system for an even better audio experience.

The frequency can be set manually to avoid any interference from local radio station broadcasts. The only drawback to this feature is that you will not be able to listen to your music.

Whenever you miss a turn, the GPS will automatically recalculate the route. The H5600 was reasonably fast at it.

Of course, like most GPS devices today, the H6500 does not only guide user from point A to point B but also doubles up as a portable multimedia device so that they can to listen to their favourite tunes or watch movies.

The multimedia files can be stored on a microSD card and the GPS supports formats such as JPEG, MP3, WAV and WMV.

The battery is rated to last up to two hours under normal usage but this depends on the screen’s brightness. But this is not a problem because the device comes with a car charger.

End of the road

The Papago! Dream HD H5600 helped us get to our destinations fast and with little stress. It has a nice, bright screen, and tons of interesting features and maps. You really can’t ask for more other than a lower price tag :-)

Overall, we found the Papago! Dream HD H5600 a joy to use. Check out this GPS if you are looking for a functional and stylish device.

Pros: Stylish and slim; bright screen; easy to use; FM transmitter; doubles up as a media player.

Cons: Nothing much.

PAPAGO! DREAM HD H5600 (Maction Technologies Inc) GPS car navigation unit GPS CHIPSET: SiRf Atlas IV (500Mhz) dual-core processor DISPLAY: 5in touchscreen (800 × 480-pixels) MEMORY: 2GB STORAGE: MicroSD slot OPERATING SYSTEM: Reality 7 Navigation OTHER FEATURES: FM transmitter, voice activated commands, supports rear camera DIMENSIONS (W x D x H): 132 x 82 x 12.5mm WEIGHT: 168g WEBSITE: www.m3asia.com PRICE: RM799 RATING: 4 Review unit courtesy of M3 Asia Sdn Bhd, 03-7954-8101

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