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Freedom Input mini GPS
- Compact and lightweight, reasonable performance, SiRF Star III chip
- Slightly sluggish to lock onto satellites, no included AC charger or suction cap, no auto power off feature
Freedom's mini GPS is a solid GPS receiver in a compact package that works with most hardware and software combinations.
Price$ 189.99 (AUD)
Small and light enough to use as a key ring, but powerful enough to track up to 20 GPS satellites, Freedom's mini GPS is a compact, convenient and simple GPS receiver that is compatible with most Bluetooth devices and navigation software packages.
The mini GPS has a fairly straightforward design. Its dark grey colour scheme is hardly awe inspiring, but the key feature here is size. Weighing just 30g and small enough to use as a key ring, the mini GPS appeals because of its portability — despite the small size, the unit is good enough to use as your primary means of navigation.
The mini GPS has just a single switch to power on as well as a standard mini-USB port for charging, the latter concealed by a rubber flap. An indicator status light displays Bluetooth status, GPS reception and a battery level warning when needed. Perhaps the only thing missing in the package is a suction cap to stick to a window when using the unit in a car, as all GPS receivers require a clear view of the sky when in operation.
The mini GPS uses the popular SiRF Star III GPS receiver found in most portable GPS units and receivers. Pairing is as simple as turning the unit on, whereby it automatically enters pairing mode. Once paired, it managed to lock onto a GPS signal in about two minutes. It's not a fantastic result, but keeping in mind the size of the unit we can't complain too much. We tested the mini GPS with HP's iPAQ 212 with CoPilot Live 7 software installed and we didn't experience any issues.
An important point is that although the mini GPS only has 20 channels compared to many other receivers boasting 32 channels, this isn't really an issue. There are only 24 GPS satellites in total and a unit can only connect up to 12 at one time.
Freedom claims the mini GPS provides up to nine hours of operating time from a full charge, but the battery isn't removable and it doesn't automatically power off if left idle for a period of time. Included in the sales package is both a car charger and a USB cable, but there is no AC adapter.
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