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Home > Hardware Reviews > Mobiles

Tuesday, April 11, 2006
Arkon DM520

4. Conclusion

Arkon's DM520 is a combined GPS and PDA holder, designed for car windshield mounting. The device is powered by a SiRF XTrack v2.0, which is rather old, but will do the job for most users. The amplified built-in speaker, although it could be clearer, is a very good addition since our Dell Axim x50V's speaker is rather quiet for car use. There's also no need to worry about your PDA battery running out of juice, since the docking station works as a charger as well. We didn't notice any problems while working and charging our unit at the same time.

The device has a rotating antenna, useful to finding the perfect angle for best reception. The flaps that grip the PDA have plastic pads which protecting your PDA from scratches and hold your PDA securely in position. The included windshield mounting bracket is very sturdy, and very effective. To test out just how well it secures on, we tried prying it off a home window and almost broke the glass.

Overall, we were satisfied with the DM520 PDA/GPS holder. It eliminates the need for an additional GPS module (either CF, SD or BT) and works very well. Of course, we would love to see a DM520 powered by an SiRF III chipset, providing perfect reception levels. But this is something that Arkon is definitely working on. Lastly, don't forget that the device can be powered by the internal battery, with almost 4 hours of stand by time.

The price for the Akron DM520 is around US$139.90 (including battery) which is less than buying a good PDA holder and a BT GPS device.

The Positive

  • Good retail package
  • Good performance
  • Easy installation
  • Solid construction
  • Windshield mount stays locked in position, no matter what!
  • Can be powered by battery
  • Can charge PDA while working

The Negative

  • XTrack v2.0 used chipset is rather old
  • Built-in speaker needs improvement
  • Device cannot switch to SiRF mode




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