Mio DigiWalker 268
- Ease of use, all accessories are included in the package, fast location acquisition
- Poor customisation, only basic MP3/calendar functions, very annoying audio notifications
A good GPS receiver, but the irritating audio notifications and lack of advanced customisation features mean this isn't the device to take on long drives.
Price$ 899.00 (AUD)
As a standalone GPS unit, the Mio 268 does the job, but a series of minor bugs and lack of customisation options should compel you to consider other brands. One of problems that we have experienced with GPS units is the satellite acquisition times. On turning on, it may take GPS units a few minutes to determine its current location. Not so the Mio 268. As soon as it is switched on, it takes only 10 to 15 seconds for the current location to be displayed, meaning it can be used immediately. We experienced no problems at all with GPS reception--even indoors.
The Mio 268 (one of the Mio DigiWalker line of portables) uses a program called Destinator 4, which uses Sensis maps. To get a route, users simply click on Address Search, search for a destination or Point of Interest and then click Go--at which point voice instructions are provided. Searching for a location very easy and Mio has developed an innovative way of filtering cities, suburbs and streets using an on-screen keyboard. For example, when you select a suburb, only street names for that particular suburb are displayed and only those selected keys on the keyboard are activated.
The Destinator 4 software supports POI (points of interest), a favourites list, storing recent routes and searching by coordinates. Users can also preset home and office locations, and the unit can conveniently auto-calculate routes from anywhere else to these locations. You can instruct the unit to bypass tolls or not. The unit also comes with safety features. For example, the Mio 268 can notify you when your speed exceeds the speed limit or when it detects speed cameras or red light cameras in the area.
The visual notifications on this device are well done, with four different options as to how directions are presented. For example, you can view the next three upcoming turns, be notified by voice within 200m of a turning point, or just be presented with a list of all the directions on the screen without using the map interface at all. The Mio 268 also has Trip Demo feature that allows you to preview your trip on-screen before you actually take it. Voice modes can be changed to either male or female, but not much else about the navigation can be customised.
The map display is somewhat cluttered, showing the vehicles current speed, location, compass and map scale. Mapping is detailed and comprehensive and the map can be zoomed into 15m or zoomed out to 400km. You can also view the map in 2D or 3D modes, or choose between night and day modes. One area where the unit can be improved is its audio notifications. Unlike the gentle tones of other units, like the GARMIN StreetPilot c320, we found the audio tones of the Mio 268 jarring and annoying.
The Mio 268 comes with a 3.5", 320 x 240 touchscreen LCD. We found the screen to be clear, bright and readable both night and day. The buttons on the unit are well laid out, clearly labelled, easy to use and we got the hang of using them very quickly. The Mio 268 has an SD/MMC slot at the top, a headphone jack at the side, and a miniUSB port underneath.
The key strength of this unit is ease of use. From installation, to navigation, users at all levels will have no problems after a quick read of the manual. Installation is simply a matter of slotting in the included 512MB SD card (with pre-installed maps) into the device and turning it on. The Mio 268 ships with a mountable car kit and charger. Vehicle installation takes only a few minutes, and an included suction pad and holder can be secured to the windscreen. A remote control is also included.
A very basic calendar and contacts application is included with the Mio 268, and data is entered by using an on-screen keyboard. It can be synchronised with Microsoft Outlook, using the USB connection on the Mio 268. The Mio 268 can also be used as a player of both MP3 and WAV format songs. The music features are just the basics, supporting the creation of playlists as well as repeat functions. There are no earphones included in the package. Music files cannot be dragged and dropped onto the player, but have to be transferred using ActiveSync software on a PC. The Mio is charged from mains power or using the in-car kit. The battery lasts for about 4 hours with the GPS turned on.
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