My colleagues nicknamed me "Gadget Man", knowing that I love to toy around with gadgets. I am also invited for the latest S-Class UI LG Arena launch and will be one of the reviewer for the latest LG flagship phone.
My gadgets parade (L-R): LG Prada 2, Apple 2G iPod Touch 32GB & the latest MARSHAL 4.3" Navigator
Let's not sway into LG Arena today, I wanna introduce a happy addition to my gadgets today, the MARSHAL Navigation System. The most well known navigation system in Malaysia now is certainly under the brand name Garmin. However a 4.3" Garmin navigation system is retailing at about RM999 and the price is pretty steep for a navigation system especially when most of the PDAs now in the market are GPS-enabled.
I got hold of my toy today. It is new in the market, specially custom-made GPS navigation system on Mapking platform. Mapking is popular among PDA users using Windows Mobile OS. It is fully custom made and manufactured in China and do not be judgemental on the quality of the product as it comes with a one(1) year warranty and three(3) months one-to-one exchange warranty policy. And mind you, my ipod touch is also manufactured in China. Most importantly is that this gadget is a good bargain especially during this time of recession where we want to stretch our every dollars & cents.
So what is in the box?
1. MARSHAL Portable Navigation Device
2. AC Adapter
3. Car mount system
4. User Manual
5. USB Cable (for charging via USB)
6. In car charger
7. 2GB SD Memory Card
8. Carrying pouch
9. Screen protector
10. Ear piece
11. Warranty card
For half the price you are paying for Garmin, it is definitely a value buy as it has multimedia functions which I will explain later with more photos. IMHO, the design is pretty sleek and slim. The buttons shown here is the on-off button and the menu button.
On the left side of the device, you will find the SD Card slot, small pin hole for master reset, AV in which allow other devices with AV out such as portable DVD player to hook it up, earphone jack in that allow you to listen to your favourite MP3s & watching movies and lastly the mini USB for charging purposes.
Let's look into the main menu of this device. The main menu is pretty interactive and this navigation system comes with 2 different models, one with bluetooth and another one is non-bluetooth (I will explain later on the bluetooth function). Once you are in the main menu, you will be greeted with the colorful interface with smaller function tabs on the bottom panel of the screen. On the top panel, you will see smaller icons lining up, starting with power indicator, GPS satellites status, bluetooth, microphone, speaker & time.
Let's start from the first tab, the GPS. Double click on it will execute the Mapking software. Once you are in the Mapking menu, you can select to navigate, select route, find locations by landmarks or road names, settings, etc which I will not elaborate further. As per the screen shot, the map is showing my last stop route which is in Selayang.
As for the second tab on the main menu will be the music function. Load in your favourite songs in MP3, WMA & WAV file format and enjoy the song from the device itself. Play your music at its best with the equalizer function included. The device also supports WMV, ASF & AVI video file format so you can load your favourite movies onto the SD card and watch from the same screen itself. You can also download e-book in txt file format and do your reading there. It also play flash file & most of the photo file formats.
To make this device even more interactive, it comes with a pre-loaded games. Games that may be lame but can be really good to kill time.
All the above functions are both available on bluetooth & non-bluetooth models. What I had with me now is the bluetooth unit. So what is the bluetooth function all about? I will not go into detail on this but basically the bluetooth unit allows you to pair with your bluetooth enabled phone and once it is successfully paired, the device will act like the screen of your phone so you can in fact do the dialing & receiving calls from the device. The bluetooth unit comes with a built-in microphone so it is pretty convenient while you are on the wheel. I have not fully played with the device as I had just got it today and I will share the in depth once I am hands on this device.
On top of all this, the settings menu allow you to select the default language & volume. Plus it has a FM transmitter function so that in the event that you feel the built-in speaker is not loud enough, you can always transmit the audio via your car stereo system using the FM transmitter.
Pretty cool isn't it? Anyway, the only down point that I have to be frank will be the battery life of this device but heck care when you are equipped with the in-car charger provided in the package. Product brochure as follow, click for larger view.
Interested? As of today, I am already sold out of the non-bluetooth unit. What is available now will be the bluetooth units which are limited. The next shipment will be in 20 days from now. I can assure you that the price will be a killer. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for serious buyer and I will reply accordingly. Trading will be by COD in Klang Valley & Melaka only. I have not been thinking of shipping to other states as yet but it can be arranged.
So place your order now!