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Acer P660 Portable Navigator - Acer P660 Portable Navigator
The feature list is reasonable. There’s a list of favourites, and a Return Trip button, which does what it says on the tin and direct you back from where you came, without you having to key in a location.
If you do attempt to route to an address when you’ve not got GPS coverage it asks if you’d like to route from your last location or to wait for a GPS signal. How polite.
A Menu button sits at the bottom left, that then pops up vertically, and gives you access to other functions such as Views. From here you can choose to view 3D modes or itinerary, which lets you see each stage of you journey in text mode and choose to avoid parts of it. Keep delving in here and you’ll find a Mode button that lets you switch between Guidance, Planning and Walking mode.
Unfortunately, I found the Planning mode difficult to use while the Walking mode didn’t really do anything to speak off. It showed the path to where I was going in a large thick pink line but whenever I tested it in this mode my location didn’t change.
The Point of Interest database works in a different way to the ones I’ve used on other devices. Rather that moving exclusively through categories the best way is to search for what you’re looking for and then narrow the search down to looking near a city. There are categories but rather than presenting them all in a drop down menu so you can choose one, you can only see them one at a time, which is very poor. However, with perseverance I did manage to get it to locate all the numerous locations I tried, so I can’t be too critical. It’s all there, it's just a pain to find it.
The other option that many will be looking for is the traffic feature. This is provided by the TMC add on. You plug in the receiver into the bottom of the device and the power cable then goes into that. TMC (Traffic Message Channel) signals are broadcast over FM radio, which the GPS unit can pick up and integrate into your planned route, automatically re-routing you round blockages. It’s sounds great in theory with the advantage over TomTom Traffic in that you don’t have to subscribe to a traffic feed. However, I found two major problems with it. Firstly, as well as requiring the external TMC receiver you also have to run an aerial cable round the edges of your windscreen. Two rather puny suction cups are provided and it’s awkward to fit and frankly unsightly. Secondly, it just doesn’t work that well. I did manage to pick up some reports on the first day I tried it but it failed to pick up other a major incident that was being announced on all the Traffic news reports. On another occasion I was sitting in traffic on the M25 et no traffic blockages were reported. I simple would not trust it to really help me on a long term basis.