Note: This is the second "short-form" GpsPasSion review. This time it's not because this GPS underperforms, but simply because similar receivers (chipset, form factor) have been reviewed in detail in the past.
Update Fortuna has now released two new PocketTrack versions: - The IIe/LP version that takes care of my previous "complaints" about not using the latest chipset. I have upgraded the rating to an A - Highly Recommended - The HS (High Sensitivity) version based on SiRF's brand new Xtrax software that provides amazing performance. It is too early to rate it but it takes GPS receivers to a whole new level!
Overview: The PocketTrack receiver was designed by Fortuna, a company located in Taiwan. They have a complete line of GPS hardware, including a mouse GPS (the U2). The PocketTrack is not currently being marketed in the US or in Europe, but the company is having discussions to bring it to these markets.
Specs: From Fortuna's site Detailed Specs. Overall, the PocketTrack is a fairly bulky CF GPS with a volume of 124cc (assuming you built a box using the maximum length, width and height). This is not really a bad thing though, because you won't really feel the difference with a smaller unit when using a navigation program in your car, and this has allowed them to build a sturdy and inclined antenna for improved reception (much like on the Transplant CF GPS)
Performance - Sensitivty and Battery Life The PocketTrack offered solid performance, quite comparable to that of the other "bulky" Sirf IIe CF GPS receivers like the PocketMap CF GPS or the Transplant CF GPS. GPS receivers based on the IIe/LP chipset do have the edge thoguh both in terms of sensitivity and battery life.
TTFF (Time to First Fix) was well within the range from both Cold and Hot situations and tracking was good with no lost fix (except under bridges or underpasses of course).
Battery life was also in line with other IIe devices and I must say that with a PocketPC like the iPaq 3670 and its 950mAh battery it seems rather short. On the iPaq 3970 it was much improved of course. It will be interesting to see what newer PPC's like the Dell Axim can achieve in this respect with their larger batteries. Alhtough again, for in car use, a simple car adapter will take care of the problem.
Compatibilty The PocketTrack can be switched between the NMEA and SiRF protocols and set to any bitrate between 4,800 and 57,600bps with Leadtek's CE Monitor (See "download" section for links), thus ensuring it offers the maximum level of compatibilty with "unlocked" navigation programs.
Conclusion: Pros: - Solid performance across the board: - Good sensitivity for SiRF IIe based unit - Strong construction Cons: - Does not use the latest SiRF chipset for improved battery life and sensitivity - Not currently available in the US or Europe
Overall evaluation: B - Recommended
Questions, comments? You can use this thread in the forums