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Around the edge is a matt silver lining, which nicely complements the shiny black facia whilst the back is finished in matt black plastic with a small but sufficiently loud speaker at the top.
On the bottom edge is a mini-USB port that doubles up as a charging port whilst the right edge houses the SD Card slot, which also supports SDIO for expandable functionality, and a recessed reset button just above it. The left edge houses a hold switch, the power button and the GPS receiver with a port for attaching an external GPS antenna – though you’re never likely to want or need one.
Finally, the stylus and headphone jack are located on the top edge, and overall the c510 is a very sleek, well built, unit. You’d be happy leaving it on your desk for colleagues to admire, whilst it’s sturdy enough to resist any minor bumps and scrapes.
As a GPS unit, the c510 is a solid performer. It’s impressively quick to recalculate routes when leaving the designated plan and the software is generally quick and easy to use.
Since it uses the same software as the P660, it does however suffer from the some of the same weaknesses. Although the POI (Points of Interest) system works well enough when left alone, the search function is rather poorly laid out and lacks drop down menus. If you’re planning to use the feature during a trip it’s generally best to configure it before you start; leaving it to suggest diversions as and when they appear.
Another feature that could do with some refinement, or simply updating, is the traffic camera warning system. As an example of its inaccuracy, CoPilot would often warn me about a camera covering the opposite direction of traffic on my way to work but would then fail to warn me again when returning home on the same road.
Other than this, the c510 and CoPilot software offer a solid travel experience and will get you to where you’re going without too much fuss. It’s quick, accurate and has most of features you’d ever want and need from a GPS device. Moreover, it offers plenty of flexibility with several different views and a walking mode should you ever need it.
As a Pocket PC the c510 is also a very able performer, solidifying the impression that it’s a good all rounder. Windows Mobile 5 gives you all the functionality you need on the move enabling you to synchronise your contacts, calendar and e-mail quickly and easily using ActiveSync 4.0.
Battery performance is solid, if unspectacular, with four hours of GPS use and eight hours of MP3 playback (using head/earphones) on a full charge. One can’t imagine a time when you’d need too much more and with the included AC Adapter, Car Adapter and USB cable you have three different ways to charge; meaning you’ll never be short of possible sources of power.
The only thing the c510 lacks, and which is included in the slightly more expensive Acer c530, is support for Wi-Fi. It’s a matter of personal preference whether you’d want and need wireless Internet, but in my opinion the extra £50-70 you’d likely spend on the Wi-Fi enabled c530 would be money well spent. When you consider how prevalent wireless hotspots are these days it seems silly to not at least have the option, and you never know when you might need it urgently.
If you’re in the market for something that does a little bit of almost everything, then Acer’s c510 is an excellent choice. Though it lacks Wi-Fi capability, it is otherwise very well featured and is nicely designed and reasonably priced. If, however, you do want Wi-Fi then the nearly identical Acer c530 is worth serious consideration.
Trusted Reviews is part of the Time Inc. (UK) Ltd Technology Network