I have to admit, when the folks from Mobile Action Technology asked me to try out the igotU GT-120 USB GPS Travel Logger, I didn’t have high hopes. Before the communication I hadn’t heard of the company, but I agreed to try it out and ended up pleasantly surprised at its overall performance and functionality.
The igotU GT-120 GPS Travel Logger is a tiny device–small enough to fit in your pocket–that records your travels so you can upload them to your computer. The device is light and water-resistant, and features nothing but an On/Off button and a USB slot.
How Does It Work?
The first thing you’ll need to do before using the igotU GT-120 is install the included @trip mapping software which includes the device drivers. You’ll also need to charge it for roughly 4 hours by plugging it into a USB connection.
The software installation is quick and easy, and while @trip doesn’t have the prettiest user interface I’ve seen, it responds quickly and is very intuitive.
Once the igotU GT-120 is fully charged, you’ll need to press the button on the device until you see a blue LED light flashing on the right side. You’ll definitely need to be outside to get a GPS fix and if the skies aren’t clear you’ll be waiting for awhile. You’ll know a GPS fix has been achieved once a red LED joins the blue and the two flash simultaneously.
That’s it. From here on you just go about your trip and press the button once you’re done to turn the device off.
The @trip software is very easy to use. To upload GPS tracks, you just have to connect the GT-120 to your PC using the included USB cord. On the top left hand side of the @trip window is the Import button. Press it and all of the device data will automatically download to the software and display on the Google Maps interface.
If you’ve taken pictures on your journey, you can add them to the map too. This is done by synchronizing time. The GT-120 records the time of every waypoint it records–roughly every 5 seconds by default–while your digital camera or cellphone adds the time each picture is taken to its metadata. The software will synchronize the times, thereby deducing where the each picture was taken and placing it at the corresponding point on the map.
There are different map interfaces to choose from as well: sport, classic and simple. The classic and simple interfaces are minimalist and similar to each other, while the sport interface adds in a bottom bar with data such as speed, trip time, total distance, and other statistics that bikers, hikers and runners might be interested in. I should also mention that all of your GPS tracking data can be uploaded to 3rd party mapping applications as well. One of my favorite mapping related features is the Google Earth compatibility. If you have the Google Earth plug-in installed you can view your GPS tracks in 3D!
Finally, all of your data can be uploaded to the @trip social network. Once you register, you can create a travel blog with your tracking data and share it with your friends and family. From the @trip network you can also share tracks and pictures via most online social networks such as Digg and Stumbleupon, as well as comment on and favorite other users’ trips.
There are plenty of good things to say about the igotU GT-120 GPS Logger. First of all, it’s simple to use, small, a lightweight 20 grams, and completely unobtrusive. Moreover, the included software is quick, responsive and intuitive. I also like the social networking and sharing features, found online, but accessible directly from the desktop software.
There are two key areas that I think could use some improvement. First, and most importantly, the time to first GPS fix is ridiculously long. While the company claims an average cold start fix of under 35 seconds, I waited almost 4 minutes on a day with clear skies. On a cloudy day it took nearly 20 minutes! At least the GT-120 never lost a GPS fix once it was acquired.
My second issue has to do with the LED brightness. On a bright, sunny day, the flashing LEDs are very hard to see. I had to cup my hands around the tracker in order to shut out enough light to see if I’d been able to acquire a GPS fix. While it might not be as aesthetically pleasing, moving the LEDs out from under the plastic might be a better solution.
The Bottom Line
The igotU GT-120 USB GPS Travel Logger is a worthy GPS tracking solution. Aside from the slow GPS fix time, I was pleased with every feature of the device and the @trip software. If you spend alot of time outdoors or happen to be an athlete, the GT-120 would likely be a welcome addition to your performance gadget roster. In the United States you should be able to buy the GT-120 for around $70. There’s more pictures and screenshots after the cut.
igotU GT-120–>At Amazon