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Halfway To Paradise With Mobile Crossing's WayPoint 200 PDA/GPS

On The Road To Malibu With The WayPoint 200

Just as I finished setting up the route, my friend came by the house and off we went to the restaurant in his BMW, with the windows closed and the air conditioning on. As is usually the case with GPS devices, this one had its own idea of how we should proceed to the restaurant in Malibu. Almost immediately the battle began between my friend and the GPS. Both of them wanted to take the Santa Monica Freeway (Route 10). However, the GPS wanted to take certain surface streets. My friend, who has been driving in the area for years, knew that those streets were likely to be crowded at lunch time, and had a different route to the freeway in mind. As soon as my friend got off the GPS's route, the device's very clear and loud voice announced the deviation and tried to get us back onto its route.

My friend stayed on his route, however. We plowed through unexpected traffic and were beginning to wonder if we were going to make it to our appointment on time as the GPS kept trying to reroute us.

Soon we reached the freeway, which made the GPS happy again, as we were now on its intended route once more. I glanced at the WayPoint software's estimated arrival time, which showed that we would make it to the restaurant just barely on time. I wondered how the WayPoint could be so sure, given that, like all US (but not European) GPS units, it lacks ready access to real-time traffic information. It turned out that the software calculated our ETA using preinstalled estimates of travel speed for the remaining segments of the route.

We smoothly transitioned from Route 10 to the northbound side of Pacific Coast Highway (PCH). Soon, we stopped at a red light. About 50 feet to the east and 50 feet above to our right we saw the beautiful palisades park that overlooks PCH and offers knock-'em-dead views of the Pacific Ocean, especially at sunset.

This is WayPoint's view of a segment of Pacific Coast Highway.

Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons having nothing to do with the WayPoint 200 itself (see "GPS Accuracy" at the end of this review), the WayPoint 200 thought we were up on the palisades stopped at a light just before a ramp that goes down to PCH. So it urged us to "turn left here." Of course, had we done so we would have jumped the divider that separates the north and southbound lanes of PCH, crossed over the southbound lanes, hopped a curb and mired ourselves in the sands of beautiful Santa Monica State Beach.

The GPS mistakenly continued trying to get us to change our course. Being a couple of long term residents of Los Angeles, neither my friend nor I was swayed by the device and we kept going north on PCH. After about a mile the GPS concluded that we had, I guess by some miracle beyond its database, returned to PCH, and it stopped nagging us.