Laser FD-250 (GPS for Dummies)
Good value portable navigational unit
- Simple UI, decent features list, reasonable navigational performance
- Touch screen's lack of responsiveness, cheap look and feel, below average display
The FD-250 has most of the basics and a few extra features that will serve you well, but the lack of responsiveness of the touch screen is an issue.
Price$ 229.95 (AUD)
Laser's FD-250 is a simple in-car GPS solution designed with convenience and ease of use in mind. Although the user interface is reasonably well designed, the responsiveness of the unit's touch screen is a major issue.
The design of the FD-250 is as simple as they come. The casing is a combination of matte rubber on the front and a black plastic rear. Though we appreciate the design's simplicity, the FD-250 does tend to feel cheap alongside most competitors.
Marketed as a 'GPS for Dummies' device, the FD-250 has a fairly straightforward interface. Unfortunately, the display is somewhat mediocre, with a poor viewing angle and reflectivity in sunlight being two of its issues. However, the main issue is the responsiveness of the touch screen. This is best described as hit and miss — at times, the screen requires a forceful tap to make a selection and this is extremely frustrating.
The issue with touch-screen response is a shame, as the interface lives up to the unit's GPS for Dummies name. In the main navigation menu and most submenus there are large, clearly labelled selection boxes for most options. Searching for an address is effortless, and there are plenty of options in this regard. The FD-250 allows searches by city first, street first, intersections and postcodes. Conveniently, when you select a suburb, the street names are filtered to quickly narrow down your search.
In addition to searching for an address, you can also search for places or points of interest. Options include POIs near your current location and POIs in another city; you can also search these via name using the on-screen keyboard. Once you've entered your destination, you are then able to avoid roads, make a detour, or plan a multi-stop trip.
The general navigational experience of the FD-250 is solid, and we were extremely impressed with start-up times. The unit often took less than 30 seconds to find a GPS signal. Re-routing times are also good, taking just a few seconds in most instances.
Voice commands are reasonable, though volume is an issue — even at its highest setting we would have preferred the volume to be much louder. We liked the text-to-speech technology, although the voice does struggle with long street names. The lack of external volume controls is a slight annoyance, but the volume icon on the map screen somewhat compensates for this.
The FD-250 ships with NAVTEQ Australian maps, which are stored on the unit's 512MB SD card. They can be zoomed in and out of easily using the + and - controls on the touch screen, and you can select either a 3-D or 2-D view. Tapping the bar at the bottom of the map cycles through the displayable options, including the current road, kilometres travelled and current speed. Red light cameras, fixed speed cameras and school zone alerts are all included.
In addition to its navigational capabilities, the FD-250 also includes a multimedia player, eBook reader and photo viewer, with files playable from the SD card. These features are very basic, but the large controls on the touch screen make them relatively straightforward to use.
Join the PC World newsletter!
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
Huawei Mate 9
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Google Daydream VR headset
Acer Swift 7
Lexar® Portable SSD
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
HP Pavilion x360 13”
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Surface Pro 4
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 HTC U Ultra phone full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
Latest News Articles
- Early iPhone 7 reviews: You'll miss the headphone jack, but the camera and battery life are tops
- Watch out: iOS 10 install is reportedly bricking some iPhones
- Google's Pixel Launcher leak hints at the demise of the Nexus brand
- It's official: iOS 10 launches with huge improvements to iMessage, Apple Music, Siri, and more
- Samsung is prepping a software update to cap Note7 charging to 60 percent
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Samsung Galaxy A5 2017 phone: Full, in-depth review
- LG G6: unboxing, hands on review and detail shots
- And the 2017 winner of the Formula 1 Best Pit Lane Boom Gantry is...
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- TPTechnical WriterVIC
- CCFull Stack DeveloperQLD
- FTICT Project ManagerNSW
- TPSenior Communications EngineerWA
- FTETL Informatica DeveloperNSW
- FTDatabase DeveloperVIC
- CCData AnalystNSW
- FTFull Stack Software DeveloperQLD
- CCWintel Engineers - NV1ACT
- CCMicrostrategy DeveloperVIC
- CCSenior Storage System Engineer -NetApp & TSMNSW
- TPAEM DeveloperNSW
- FTTechnical Project Manager ( IT Infrastructure)ACT
- CCSenior Full Stack Web Developer - Port MacquarieNSW
- FTBusiness Analyst (BI / Analytics)NSW
- TPApplication DeveloperACT
- FTLinux System AdminstratorQLD
- CCApplication Support Specialist- Bathurst or Port MacquarieNSW
- CCDeployment GraduatesSA
- TPProject Manager - Digital Banking ProjectQLD
- CCSenior Project ManagerNSW
- FTProject ManagerACT
- FTSenior Network Engineer - Nexus 9k ACINSW