By Ben Ellison
The iQue was a big first for Garmin last year—and is still the only PDA with a built-in GPS—but it’s not particularly at home on a boat. It will plot on BlueCharts but can’t yet display their included tide predictions and is light on conventional marine navigation functions. Plus it’s not waterproof and the normally smooth relationship with Garmin’s PC mapping and routing software had to be awkwardly modified to work around the iQue’s Palm V operating system. On the other hand, the Palm OS means that the iQue can easily synch with your computer’s to-do lists and address book. In fact, this PDA can map such an address with a stylus tap, then route you to it with verbal street turn directions in a wide choice of languages. Perhaps ironically, the $589 iQue also does a good job of running more marine-specific Palm charting programs like Fugawi or Maptech’s Outdoor Navigator. It also has a lovely, if battery-sapping, screen. Note that Garmin regularly posts software updates for all its active products, so my complaints might be history tomorrow.
This article originally appeared in the June 2004 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.