Acer c510 Pocket PC Travel Companion Review


Key Specifications

  • Review Price: £254.59

If you spend any time travelling up and down motorways in the UK you may well have noticed the steady increase of GPS systems in cars. They’re everywhere it seems, and not just in posh executive cars but family MPVs and small hatchbacks too. Obviously the combination of rapidly improving technology, and rapidly decreasing prices, has made GPS attainable to everyone and not just a select few.

Predictably, this has made the GPS market very competitive and Acer is just one company that has tapped into this market. We’ve reviewed a number of Acer GPS units in the past and Benny reviewed the P660, a dedicated GPS unit with TMC traffic reporting, earlier this month. Indeed, on the surface, the P660 and the c510 share quite a few attributes.

They share the same navigation software, maps and in built GPS receiver, whilst both are also based on Windows Mobile 5. They both have a 1200 mAh Li-ion battery, they both have Bluetooth and they both have a Samsung processor; it wouldn’t be too much of a stretch to say these are nearly the same units in different casings.

That said there are at least some differences. The c510 is also a Pocket PC with full PDA functionality using Windows Mobile 5, and though it lacks the TMC traffic reporting found on the P660, those features weren’t entirely reliable making them rather less valuable than the Pocket PC functionality of the c510.

The c510 also has a smaller but pleasingly bright screen, with a 2.8 inch 320 x 240 QVGA touch screen display, which will rotate to display in portrait or landscape aspect. Acer advertises it as being fingertip friendly and for most part this is true, though you’d still prefer to use the stylus wherever possible.

Internally the c510 sports a 300MHz Samsung S3C2442XL processor, 64MB of system memory and 128MB of internal storage memory in addition to an SD Card slot that supports SDIO for expandable functionality.

The CoPilot navigation software and UK and Ireland maps are included on a 256MB SD Card, whilst European maps are included on CDs. You’ll need to buy a larger memory card to install them, but SD Cards are dirt cheap making it no great burden.

As one ought to expect, Acer provides everything you need to get going straight out of the box. There’s a car-mount kit, stylus, Microsoft ActiveSync 4.0 software, USB cable, AC adapter, car adapter and a smart carry pouch to protect the unit from harm when pocketed.

Speaking of pockets, the c510 is really very small – even smaller than the P660 which was by no means large – weighing just 122 grams with dimensions of 58 x 108 x 16.8mm. This is consistent with the “mobile professional” focus of the c510, and it certainly won’t be difficult to carry it around with you.

The front of the unit is set in shiny black plastic, with a 5-way joystick surrounded by four shortcuts keys for accessing key functions such as Contacts and Calendar. The joystick in particular is nice and responsive reflecting the excellent build quality of the unit in general.

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