I have been known to be slightly directionally challenged at times and I had been thinking about getting a GPS navigation system for a while. After a bit of research I decided on the Mio DigiWalker C310x, because of the below $200 price tag, good design/features and the fact that the device has been completely 'hacked' already, enabling me to install my own software on the unit.
The unit comes with street level maps of the entire US preloaded, however, the map data seems to be from 2005 and a new subdivision close to my home does not appear on the maps. The routing is called MioMaps, which seems to be a rebranded iGo software and works great, has a good user interface and fast calculation of routes. The voice prompts are clear and well timed but the unit does not say the actual street names, just the direction ("In 300 ft turn left."). Out of the box the unit has 3 routing options - shortest, fastest and economical. They all work as expected, the shortest route usually requiring you to zig-zug thru residential streets and the fastest trying to get you on the freeway at all cost. The unit has a build in database of points of interests which is basically a searchable yellow pages, type in 'Taco Bell' and the unit shows you a list sorted by distance.
The device also has a build in MP3 player to play MP3s from the SD card slot on the unit. The player sounds good and has a decent feature set including playlists and while the player can be playing in the background while using the routing capabilities (including automatic pausing of music during voice prompts) , once you are in the MioMap application, you are not able to skip songs or control the MP3 player at all.
In regards to the 'hackabiliy' of the unit, I was able to install a media player on the device and enabling it to play video files in virtually any format (including DivX and XviD!). There are also different skins available for the MioMap application and I was able to unlock additional routing options, 'easy' route and more in-depth settings. I was also able to place a map file for Canada on the SD card enabling the unit to route in Canada as well.
Overall I am very pleased with the unit, it works great and has all the features I wanted. The internal battery only runs for 2 - 3 hours while using the GPS, but it did come with a car charger for use while driving. I got the GPS for just under $200 bucks at my local Circuit City.
Here is the manufacturer site.
Here is the Circuit City link.
FAQ on hacking the Mio