Intro When the rumour of a Toshiba PocketPC with a VGA screen surfaced during the summer, it was welcomed with the usual excitement and "naysaying". To our credit, we'd just witnessed the release of Windows Mobile 2003, an "engine" rather than feature update. Others pointed out that Toshiba had declared the PocketPC Platform "dead" although sources were lacking...anyway there was confusion in the air! Caution was advised and time would tell...and as often in the PocketPC world, this rumour came true and the Toshiba E800/E805 is here, so it's time to see what this first "HiRes" PocketPC can offer in terms of GPS Assisted Navigation!
"Non O/S Native" VGA Modes None of this would be possible without the superb work of a Brightand poster called Deez who's come up with a way to "extract" VGA resolutions (both in portrait and landscape modes) directly from the ATI graphic chipset, therefore ensuring that the display is perfectly "fluid". The utility he wrote is called ResFix with v1 being free but "non-rotating" and v2 available for a low $10 and allowing rotation. To be complete on the subject I recommend the use of the free Undead Hack v2.1 to get access to the "home" button area of the screen.
In Action Resized to 256x342 to match their physical size on my laptop's screen (1024x768 on 12"). If you want to resize them for your screen, the width of the E800's screen is 6.2cm.
Road Navigation non-optimized - TomTom Navigator 2 Simlutaneous captures made on an iPAQ 3630 and an E800(click to enlarge)
Much more real estate!
Now for a few screens where the VGA mode is not always useful ;-)
Landscape Mode - 640x480
All Terrain Navigation non-optimized - OziCE Feels like using an expensive chartplotter"!
Conclusion These first comparisons show how much can be gained from a VGA screen for GPS Assisted Navigation even with unoptimized programs. Probably a "taster" of what's coming in 2004 with the next generation of Windows Mobile!