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Mio Digiwalker 720t Review


The 720t has a nice touch screen display for playing videos, taking pics and or course displaying directions. The voice prompts are clear and the device has plenty of volume as long as you're not driving with the windows down. For walking around town we really didn't need the voice prompts at all. Simply using the 710t as a digital map worked great. In fact, we think it's aptly named 'Digital Walker' because that's where it seems to work best.

We'd like more information with the Point of Interest (POI) because not only do we want to know where stuff is we need to know if it's any good. But still it's a really cool device to have in your pocket when walking around town. And you'll need big pockets, preferably the inside pocket of a jacket because you can cram it in your jeans but it might not be comfortable.

We drove around comparing the built in navigation that came with our Acura vehicle to using the 720t mounted in the car. For destinations, the Acura unit seemed to give us more pinpoint accurate information more readily. For example, while approaching a destination the 720t would alert us that we had 100 yards to go as we were pulling into the driveway. That's a little late. The Acura unit usually told us 50 yards early that we had arrived. We prefer early to late.

Power management and the way the devices turns on and off could be more intuitive. Since it's a dedicated device you would think by simply pressing the power button on and off that the device would be on or off. Instead it requires that you hold the power button until a screen much like a PC screen pops up with the 'shut down' prompt. Since it runs on Windows CE you have to deal with OS hiccups like that. This should be transparent to the user, especially since failing to shut down the device properly will quickly gobble up power. The response time to commands is not as fast as we would like either.

The interface has other quirks too. For example, there's a battery power icon that you click on to display how much battery life is left. Why not just make the icon dynamic so it reflects the actual battery power left' Or forget the icon and have a dedicated area of the display for power status that you can simply toggle on or off.

The Mio is very useful once you get used to it but can be a bit confusing at first because the GUI changes and the navigation between menus is not consistent. For example, sometimes to exit a screen you tap an arrow pointing to the left in the top right corner of the screen. Other times you tap the icon of a little book. What' The initial screen is very attractive with large multicolor icons and some of the subsequent screens look like Windows 3.l in the early 90s. Now, we can deal with an ugly GUI as long as getting around the devices is consistent. It's ironic when you think that this is a state of the art navigation device but it's not very easy to navigate the interface, at first anyway.

The 720t is so packed with features and we would just to see them more readily accessible. For example, the GPS enabled camera will allow you to Geotag photographs with location coordinates. This allows you to navigate back to locations shown in 'PhotoPOIs' as they're called. This is really cool for sharing destinations you've been to with others. Unless we found this tidbit in the marketing materials we might not have been aware of this capability.

The Mio Digital Walker 720t does its core job well. It can help you get from point A to point B with no problems and has a variety of diversions to keep you busy along they way. If you buy one make sure you take the time to get intimate with its operation before hitting the road. As Mio refines its lineup we expect great things from portable devices like the 720t.

Visit Mio Technology for more information.

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