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Garmin IQUE M4 or M5


Tenevda
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Has anyone (who geocaches) had a chance to see how the Garmin IPAQ M4 (available), or the M5 (discontinued but available to buy) PDA's w/ built-in GPS perform as a geocaching grade GPS? None of the online ads i've looked at mention being able to enter Lat & Long. Or do they mention their performance compaired to a regular GPS like a eTrex.

 

I've been toying with the idea of a all-in-one box. GPS, PDA (for CacheMate), WiFi & Bluetooth for internet connection to Geocaching.com. As well as the usual address /calendar / contact / todo lists / MP3 player items of todays PDA's.

 

Anyway in a crowded situation w/ muggles roaming around most folks would hardly bat an eye w/ someone carrying a PDA & earphones. But if they see a GPS the questions start flying..

 

The only down side is that the units are not waterproof as a normal GPS. They're setup for buisness folks.

So i would have to get a flexable waterproof cover such as REI sells for PDA/MPS/cells.

 

Tenevda

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Other downsides of using a PDA besides lack of waterproofness are that they are not as rugged as dedicated handheld units and the battery life is very poor.

I agree with last poster, my Dad has had an iQue for about three years now and he complains about it not holding the charge, works great plugged into car great map features talks to him too. However, we are buying him an etrex for when he goes away from the car and off road.

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Other downsides of using a PDA besides lack of waterproofness are that they are not as rugged as dedicated handheld units and the battery life is very poor.

 

Yes. I've manage to baby an early Palm IIIxe for 6 years, & newer HP rx3115 for two years, for "other" daily projects w/o any breakage. But it wouldn't take much to damage them. (Mostly the display from what I've seen of other's damaged units.)

 

I guess buisness folks are not that active with a suit, tie, and wingtips on. Oh ok. Let's be fair. Pantsuits and flats on. (I wanted to say skirts & high heals but someone's looking over my shoulder & my ribs are still sore from the last time...)

 

There are "armor" cases out there that can help protect PDA's, but at a cost of a thicker unit, & a thinner wallet. I've got both a Body Glove soft case for the Palm and a Rhino Skin hard case for the HP w/o any failure. I like the soft case better myself.

 

As for battery life, 5-9 hours of run time between charges is fine with me. Most of the time I'm driving between groups of caches anyway & I'll use the dash GPS in the truck for that travel time. The pocketPC PDA stays off time I get to the site and on the ground. Heck I could be recharging as I drive.

 

But I do like the idea of a single unit that does it all. Internet Wi-Fi, GPS/Mapping, Data Logging, MP3 Player, Excel. Word, Calendar, Contact lists. If it only had a beer tap too.

 

Tenevda

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