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Could Navman's S100 GPS Beat Archos PMPs and Apple's iPod Touch?

Although it is marketed "only" as a GPS device, Navman's new Satnav could possibly be one of the first models to match (and beat) the likes of the Archos Portable Media Player when it comes to sheer functionality and user friendliness.

The Spirit S100 is only 13.5mm thick, comes with a stylish aluminium case and a flat 4.3-inch screen with no bevel which is the perfect match for Navman's new "Glide touch" User interface and MIO's new Spirit software.

Amongst the other features that's worth spending money on, we have noted upgraded 3D Maps navigation, the NavPix photo Navigation - which gives you access to over one million geo-tagged photos on Flickr - as well as a fivefold improvement in the speed GPS data is delivered to the device thanks to the SirfStar's InstaFix.

And there's also the new touch and glide navigation which mimicks the iPhone's UI and presages the possible integration of telephony.

Satnav manufacturers have more experience when it comes to Touchscreen user experience than all the lot out there; a whopping 14 million motorists use Satnav, more than half of Britain's drivers and manufacturers are keen to exploit this competitive edge to their advantage.

With a screen area larger than Apple's portable media players, the S100 has the potential to match them if it is capable of playing movies and comes with a memory card reader.

Garmin had already announced at the beginning of the year that it was going to release the Nuvifone touchscreen smartphone in Q3 2008, something that we're still waiting for.

The S100 will on sale as from next month for £199.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.