On Sunday, DeLorme will release a new Bluetooth GPS, the DeLorme BT-20. The BT-20 is a Bluetooth GPS device, similar to the BlueLogger perviously released. Therefore the device itself doesn’t have a ton of software to talk about on its own, rather the GPS hardware calculates your location and then sends that location to another device such as a laptop, PDA, or some smartphones. But the BT-20 does have one trick up its sleeve.
In addition to Bluetooth, the BT-20 from DeLorme can also communicate via USB. I suspect that this might extend the battery life and also possibly make the transmission of data faster. So the device can be operated in either mode, USB or Bluetooth. Therefore it can work with just about any hardware combination.
The chipset used comes from STMicroelectronics, and in my experience is a very good GPS chip. Expect to get about eight hours of battery life from the Lithium-Ion battery. You can also use a lighter jack in your car to power the device in addition to charging via an AC adapter.
In addition to the GPS hardware, DeLorme’s Street Atlas USA (SA USA) software is also included. This software allows for address to address navigation, anywhere in the USA and Canada. Many software functions found in portable navigation devices are found in SA USA such as looking up POIs, adding “via” points, creating saved routes, and calculating time estimates.
You are probably doing some serious navigation if you are using your laptop in your vehicle to navigate, but for some people having a 15″ screen versus a 3″ screen is worth the extra hassle of having a laptop in your car.
SA USA also provides voice navigation prompts with text-to-speech. There are also 120 million residential and business phone numbers loaded into SA USA, including the associated address listings.
This is a great package if you want to navigate via a laptop, and the MSRP price is $150.