Which is the more annoying when using mobile navigation software? Hearing the word ‘please’ before every single instruction, or having the location arrow occasionally, and for no apparent reason, decide to place you parallel to, rather than actually on, the road you are travelling along? Don’t worry, you don’t have to choose – with Fujitsu Siemens Pocket LOOX N520 you get the chance to have both.
Actually, maybe that’s unfair. The ‘parallel error’ glitch may well be fixed by the time the Pocket LOOX N520 gets into the shops, but I doubt very much that the very nicely spoken lady who lives inside the device will have stopped being so polite. Nor, I suspect, will she give up saying ‘one miles’. These are the things that irritate those of us who get to see many navigation solutions.
And it’s a pity that my attention is drawn by these minutiae, because Fujitsu Siemens is one of my favourite PDA makers, producing hardware with a likeable mix of design style and features. By and large, the company has performed to its usual high standard with the Pocket LOOX N520.
The Pocket LOOX N520 is small and light at 160g with dimensions of 116 x 71 x 14mm. It’s styled in the same slate grey and silver that followers of the LOOX line will recognise and also continues that line’s use of rectangular shortcut buttons and navigation keys.
Not only do these look nice in themselves, but they’re different from the crowd, and have a rather nice blue light behind the icons.
But the main design feature as far as this particular PDA is concerned is the way the SiRFStar III GPS antenna is buried within the casing. With no hinged antenna to swivel out as required, the back of this casing can be smooth and almost flat. There’s a connector for an external antenna should you need one, and some of the back casing can be removed so you can get at the battery to swap in a spare if you splash out on one.