Medion makes all kinds of electronics products, but you’re most likely to have come across the brand’s PCs and laptops, such as the Akoya E3211. The company also has a small range of sat-nav devices, although we haven’t looked at any since the GoPal E3410 in 2007. We weren’t entirely bowled over back then, but the market has moved on considerably since that time. So can the range-topping Medion GoPal P5235 prove more impressive?
The specs get things off to a good start, and at the top of the list is the screen size. With a 5in diagonal, this is a larger display than most widescreen sat-navs. There’s also full European mapping included, plus a receiver and subscription for RDS-TMC traffic updates. However, the device itself is hardly the most stylish piece of electronics you are likely to own. The rectangular boxy lines are far from attractive, and although the combination of glossy black plastic and brushed metal is a classic look, the fit and finish isn’t perfect.
We’re also not convinced by the screen mounting system. Medion offers a mount with all the connections built in, so you can leave these hooked up and just slide the device in when you’re ready to go. Unfortunately, this is an optional extra and the mount supplied in the box is far more rough and ready. Not only do you have to hook up the mini-USB-based power connection and RDS-TMC aerial minijack separately, but you also have to thread the cables through a hole in the mount first. Not exactly elegant.
However, the edges of the P5235 are brimming with features. A large, convenient power button on the top brings the device in and out of hibernation, whilst a small switch on the left side turns off the power entirely, and is unlikely to be tripped accidentally. Above this is a volume control. There’s an SD memory slot on the right, and along the bottom are the minijacks for RDS-TMC, headphones, mini-USB and the connector for the optional mount.
Most unusual is the fingerprint reader on the top, which can be used to provide security at various levels. Medion argues this will prevent theft, but we consider it highly unlikely a thief will even realise the sat-nav is fingerprint-secured until they are long gone with it in their swag bag. So this is a rather pointless feature, unless you really do feel the need to prevent others from using your satellite navigation device.