LOS ANGELES -- Vacations should be fun and peaceful, not haphazard and stressful -- nothing kills a ski trip like being stuck with a wrong-fit slope. Plot your own course with the Satski GPS. These two GPS gadgets, found by your favorite Gadget Grrl, will let you hop from slope to slope and coast to coast with peace of mind.
Upside: Track ski adventures
Mobile executives who are headed to the slopes might like this new Satski GPS device. Not only can skiers find the best slopes, they can also find slopes that correspond to their skill levels and abilities.
The real news here is the capability of the device to plot a course using the navigating feature. And if you find yourself stuck or too tired to continue, just pop out the Satski in order to locate your position and adjust the run accordingly.
So, for example, you could reply where you have already skiied and access whether you want to repeat that run or take out some of the more difficult spots. On the right hand side of the screen you'll see all the live stats calculating the distance of the run as well as the average length of time needed to finish it.
Apres ski, you can record and track your speeds, distance traveled and altitudes,which is a great way to plot your progress. It comes with software that enables all this data to be re-played on your PC or it can even be shared with friends, family or co-workers by uploading it to Google Earth. When you come down from the slopes there is a built-in MP3 player, but don't throw away your iPod.
Only you can decide if the price is right on this but for the super ski buffs, this might be just the ticket.
Pharos Traveler GPS 525
Downside: SD card required
Back out in the real world, mobile executives might like the Pharos Traveler GPS 525.Tiny in size at 2.3" x 07" x 4.3", this GPS/PDA combo device comes loaded with WiFi, Bluetooth and Microsoft Windows Mobile 5.0.
The screen might be too small to refer to in a car so the voice commands would work better there; however, the slim design makes this an easy-to-carry GPS, especially in greater metropolitan areas.
The trade-off of the slim design is the fact that you have to download maps to an SD card. If you travel to 50 of the U.S. largest cities, this won't be an issue, but if your road trips involve different remote locations and you have to download different maps, this may not work for you.
What's most important on any GPS is the fix and this one got a fix in 30 seconds in both urban and rural (Calif.) locales. Another nice aspect is the lack of a visible antenna. We got about 5.5 hours of battery juice on this model, enough to get you from here to there and back.
Site to See
For real map geeks this is the site for just about everything on the U.S. map. Print outsinclude, presidential elections, time zones, satellite views or even West Nile Virus mapsin case mosquito surveillance is something you need to know before you go.
Diana Forbes is a Los Angeles-based writer and media personality. Her "Gadget Grrl" reviews appear in various national print and online publications, and she demonstrates consumer products on national and local television shows. Click
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