Mio 269 GPS
The Mitac Mio 269 GPS in-car Satellite Navigation system is the big-brother of the 268 - indentical in function, with an added 2.5 gb hard-drive, with maps of Western Europe as standard!
The unit comes with integrated GPS reciever, mount, power-leads, discs, etc, everything to get you started. As stated in the 268 review, the 269 is now obsolete, with old maps and old operating system, but if you do get a new unit from a retailor that still has stocks it should come with a DVD of the latest maps - thety get them free from Mio.
The Mio 269 uses a stylus with a touch-screen, and navigations buttons for inputting your destination. Alas no full Post-Code look-up, so its town, road name, but this only takes a few seconds longer that its full pist-code cousins from Tom Tom. But is the 269 worth a bargain buy?
The operating system offers all the usual options, 3d maps, voice guidance, POIs, favourites, recent destination, etc, and if you dig deeper you can find area avoidance and other useful options. The user interface is a little old-fashioned, and it has to be saud, slow. Maybe because the 269 GPS is acessing the hard-drive for information, the 268 (which uses a SD card) seemed a lot quicker when navigating through the menus.
When actually driving, the 269 performed adequately. The 3d maps are easy to read, and the voice guidance comes in a timely fashion. The unit delt with diversions and "accidental" wrong turns with ease, and always had a strong GPS signal in my vehicle.
It has to be noted that I do not think this is a "seemless" navigation device for Western-Europe. As far as I can tell, when changing from one country to another you have to tell it to acess a different set of maps from the hard-drive, so I guess you have to know which way roughly you'll be travelling, so you go to the right ferry terminal / border crossing, then change the map when you reach the next country.
As an old device, is the Mio 269 still relevant and a good purchase? I guess the answer is that it depends on how much you get it for. A GPS unit with full Western European maps for under £200 is a bargain, and for the Trans-European traveller on a budget, this could be the in-car device for you.
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