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Review - Pretec CF GPS LP (Short Form)
Posté le 28 novembre 2002 à 09:57:14 par gpspassion.

Pretec CF GPS LP (Short Form)


This will be the first "short-form" GpsPasSion review. Time is of the essence, so I can't review in detail all products I'm sent, especially those that don't perform very well. However I believe the information should still be shared, so I'll do short-form reviews for such products.

Decoding the LP (Low Power) Claim:
This was the first LP (Low Power) CF GPS to be announced around September 2002 and it raised quite some expectations as it could be believed that it would be using the remarkable SiRF IIe/LP chipset only available on the Bluetooth GPS at the time. The 40mA claim though was lower than the 75mA rating of the IIe/LP chipset.

Unfortunately, it's not the case as it turns out this GPS receiver achieves its "LP" rating by using the PocketPCs processing power, thus being the first "Soft GPS" of sorts...The good news is that I didn't notice any "slowing down" of my iPaq. The bad news is that this trick pretty much negates the low power consumption of the unit itself and puts it a a level similar to the IIe/LP GPS receivers. Still a good performance, but not as good as the 40mA rating had us believe.

That's really where they dropped the ball. It's already pretty bad that you have to go through the extra step of launching a "server application" on the PPC to activate the (soft) GPS, but the worse part is when it comes to maintaining a fix. Contrary to any of the GPS receivers I'd tested previously, on all my test runs, the Pretec kept losing and having to reacquire a fix while driving, even when given a clear view of the skies (other CF GPS receivers still worked when st lying on the passenger seat). Now there is an antenna connection, so that might have helped, but it's a proprietary connector so none of my antennas worked.

- Price is slightly lower than other receivers at about $155
- Has great difficulty in tracking a position in good conditions
- Achieves LP by using a trick (uses PocketPC's CPU)
- Not very easy to use (server application)

Overall evaluation:
Not Recommended

Questions, comments? You can use this thread in the forums

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