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GPS iPAQ - What You Need to Know

HP iPAQ with GPS

   If you want a GPS iPAQ, you have five choices. Those choices depend on your intended use and your budget. (iPAQ, which is a brand of Pocket PC, was formerly made by Compaq. Compaq was merged into Hewlett-Packard in 2002.)

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  • Sleeve
  • Compact Flash
  • Bluetooth
  • Cabled to a handheld GPS receiver
  • Cabled to a car-powered GPS receiver
GPS sleeve

Sleeve - A sleeve is an attachment which wraps around a PDA that adds many different functions to your PDA. A sleeve can add memory, battery power, a camera, a phone, and, of course, GPS ability. Sleeves - HP calls them Expansion Packs - only fit 3000 and 5000 series iPAQs.

An advantage of the sleeve is the fact that it gives you a CF slot that you can use for other things besides the GPS. And, the newer GPS sleeves perform better than the older ones. The performance of a sleeve GPS is about the same as a CF GPS. Most sleeves come with a windshield mount which is a bonus if you plan for in-car use.

compact flash GPS

Compact Flash - Compact Flash (CF) is a standard for PDA attachments that fit into a slot on the PDA or PDA sleeve. For a GPS iPAQ solution, a CF card would be a less expensive (relative to a sleeve) way to go if your iPAQ is one of the few that has an integral CF slot.

bluetooth GPS

Bluetooth - Bluetooth is a technology that allows wireless connections between devices. For instance, you could be holding/wearing a Bluetooth-enabled PDA that is communicating to a GPS device in your backpack.

Bluetooth is also good for in-car use because the GPS receiver can be placed forward on the dash for a better "view" of the sky. In exchange for the flexibility, you're going to pay more for a Bluetooth system for your GPS iPAQ needs. The extra expense is incurred because in addition to the GPS function, it also incorporates the relatively new Bluetooth technology.

Cabled to a handheld GPS receiver - Most handheld GPS receivers will accept an optional cable with which you can connect your iPAQ. If you need an all-purpose GPS unit, this may be the way to consider.

With a handheld GPS receiver, it can be used either for walking/hiking, or in the car. It is also an inexpensive choice. The iPAQ with its display larger than the handheld GPS, is good for viewing maps. And if you choose, you can always use the handheld by itself.

mouse GPS

Cabled to a car-powered GPS receiver - For use with your iPAQ, a mouse-type car-powered GPS receiver is available. I note it as "mouse-type" (it looks like a computer mouse) to differentiate it from the more expensive stand-alone car GPS receivers.

If you're going to use your GPS in the car, then this option is great for a several reasons. First, the mouse is powered from the car, which doesn't drain your PDA's batteries. Second, mouse GPS receivers usually come with a Y-cable that will power the PDA too. Also (and this is a big plus), these mouse-type units are generally the least expensive choice.

See related information at GPS and PCMCIA and

GPS Palm.

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