Garmin added a new page to their PDA playbook today, announcing the iQue M5 GPS Enabled Pocket PC. It doesn’t stop there. Garmin, who is known for innovating on the Palm OS platform is also including integrated Bluetooth as part of this package.
Garmin made a very nice device in the iQue 3600 which runs the Palm OS. They then followed up with a slightly watered down iQue 3200. The iQue M5 markes Garmin’s fisrt, but surely welcome, foray into the Windows Mobile platform.
The important thing is that they’ve recognized that making the device a PDA with GPS capabilities is critical. By including Bluetooth they’re sending a clear message that this mapping PDA means business. Here’s a quick rundown of the specs:
— Operating System: Microsoft Windows Mobile 2003 Second Edition software
— Computing Software: Microsoft Pocket Outlook(R), Internet Explorer,
Word and Excel; Windows Media(R) Player, MSN(R) Messenger Service,
Calculator and ActiveSync(R); Sprite Backup; and BTExplorer
— Processor: 416-MHz Intel(R) PXA 272
— Unit size/weight: 5.0″ x 2.8″ x 0.74″/ 5.2 oz.
— Screen dimensions: 3.5″ diagonal
— Display: 240×320-pixel, transflective TFT with 16-bit color display;
64K colors; bright white LED backlight
— Internal Memory: 64 MB ROM; 64 MB RAM
— Battery: 1,250-mAh replaceable lithium-polymer battery delivering
5-7 hours of continuous PDA/GPS use
— Audio hardware: Microphone, speaker, headphone jack
— Expansion: Secure Digital slot with SDIO compatibility
— Networking: Bluetooth, IrDA, SDIO, USB
Other info from the release:
Featuring a built-in basemap of North and South America, the iQue M5 shows major highways, thoroughfares, railways, lakes, rivers and borders. Garmin includes its MapSource(R) City Select(R) CD as a standard accessory, so users can download detailed street-level map data, look up more than five million points of interest (POIs), and navigate to an address in the U.S. and Canada. World travelers can also add a European or Pacific Rim basemap from the installation CD. International versions of the iQue M5 will feature respective basemaps, mapping software and language support.
The integrated Que applications enable consumers to see where they are on an electronic map, look up a point of interest and route to it — following voice-prompted, turn-by-turn directions to their selected destination. If they miss a turn, the iQue M5 automatically recalculates a new route to get them back on track. Advanced routing features include the ability to specify
roadways to avoid and find POIs near the current route. The iQue M5 even offers intuitive POI searches that are based on user habits. Another distinct benefit of Garmin’s PDA/GPS integration is the patent-pending capability to attach a “location stamp” to a profile in the user’s contact database or appointment calendar and navigate directly to these important business addresses.
The GPS antenna on the iQue M5 folds flush with the back of the unit. The result of this unique design is an aesthetically pleasing look and feel. Garmin has patented the unit’s special antenna release switch that simultaneously powers up the device, initiates the satellite-acquisition sequence and defaults to the QueMap(TM) interface. Once the antenna switch is triggered, the device prepares to navigate. The antenna can also be adjusted for optimal GPS signal reception.
The iQue M5 is due out this month at an MSRP of $750 and will include a USB cradle, car mount, AC wall charger, flip cover and stylus.