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Satmap Active 10 review | Outdoor GPS

Published on: Tuesday, November 24th 2009                   Written by: Wim de Lange - Photography by: Mark Peters

GPS receiver design

T he exterior of the device makes a fairly decent impression, with only very few protruding parts and a good seal on the USB connector. The battery compartment on the back can easily but solidly be opened and closed. If we are to believe the stories on the website, the device is able to withstand heavy attacks. The removable protective cover seems to be the odd one out, as it is a fairly lightweight construction and I do not quite understand exactly what it does. If I look at the scratch-proof glass of my watch, still without damage after 5 years of daily use, I consider the cover an unnecessary accessory. We need not doubt the waterproof feature either.

Satmap Active 10 review

 

Satmap LCD display in the bus

Satmap LCD display in the bus

Sharpness and visibility of the display

I have mixed feelings about the monitor. It has a lower resolution than some competing models, although its sharpness is more than sufficient. The dimensions provide a large view and it is fine to work with when the weather is slightly on the dark side. However, even when the backlight is set to 100% on a sunny day, you can still hardly make out anything. You will need to provide some shade, one way or another. 40% of backlighting was more than enough for a night walk through the woods. The light was so bright, I no longer needed my flashlight. When the backlight is turned off, you can only view something on the monitor when the light falls on it at a certain angle. In practice, this means you have to keep the backlight on at all times.

Satmap GPS display in the city

Satmap GPS display in the city

Advanced Power Control

The fact that the backlight has to be on continuously, obviously also affects the battery. Fortunately, the Satmap Active 10 features an energy setting called Advanced Power Control. If this mode is enabled, the screen backlight can be turned on up to 80% at the maximum, and the image is refreshed every four beats instead of every second, whilst the map is fixed to North on top instead of rotating along with the walking direction. This works fine for most situations, however; I find it annoying having to use the setting menu to disable the control function. It takes too much time even to adjust the smallest change.

 

Satmap USB cable

Satmap USB cable

Satmap Active 10

Satmap Active 10

Satmap GPS charger

Satmap GPS charger

 
 
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