Medion GoPal E3230 from Aldi Sun Nov 16, 2008 5:00 pm
I just bought the Medion GoPal E3230 Nav System for my wife for a Christmas present - I've never owned one, and have never used one, but my wife needs one badly (she doesn't have a very good sense of direction). I bought this model primarily on the advice of my sister - she works at a local Aldi store, and they do offer some very good products at a low price.
I don't see any posts about this unit - I know they're popular in Europe (Aldi's is based in Germany, I believe) and was wondering if anyone has any experience with this brand. If not, could you let me know what is a comparable brand and model? It has a 3.5" touch screeen, 2GB memory, PIN code security, free lifetime traffic monitoring, and SiRF InstantFix II.
Here is what I know about Medion GPS units, they are pretty nice, feature rich GPS units, however it seems as if Medion rushes them to the US market without testing them properly first, which is really odd because Europe always gets them first, so it would seem as if they would have time to work all the bugs out before sending them here. I think what the problem is that there are so few people here buying them that they don't spend much time in converting them to the US market, which is a shame because if they were to send fully functional units here they would probably sell well (especially if you could buy them somewhere other than Aldi). I had the previous one sold by Aldi, which I bought for the free traffic updates. I really liked the unit itself, it was very responsive, and had the loudest, clearest TTS voice of any GPS I've tried. The unit had many flaws though, for one it wasn't consistent about getting the traffic updates, and even when it would get one along the route it wouldn't notify the user, other than a small yellow triangle, which would sometimes not be visible if the screen was zoomed out, which it automatically does when on a long stretch of road. Also it would not work out a detour, even though it was clearly advertised as having that capability. So when I noticed Aldi had a new model, I took the old one back with the receipt and told them about the problem, and they exchanged it for the new model. When I first turned it on, I was really impressed with it, the screen was very nice to look at, and the layout was very well thought out. The 3230 added the ability to easily add stops along a route, and the traffic updates seem to be working much better, plus the POI's are very impressive. But then I went for a drive, and noticed no TTS! Looked on the box, and didn't see anything about it having TTS, which I found odd considering that even the cheapest of GPS have it nowadays.
So I called tech support, which is another plus for Medion, the toll free number goes strait to Britain, and the people there answer the phone quickly and are very nice to talk to. But after spending hours on the phone with them, it was determined that the TTS is disabled for the US version! They promised to fix this, but considering that I never saw an update for my old Medion, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting. I was able to get the TTS to work however by choosing the British English in Language, but it is far from perfect, the street names are not spoken correctly, and it seems to prefer to speak a route number rather than a street name. Plus it announces distance in yards rather than feet, and rather than saying to bear right, it says to make a half right. Plus the British voice is more distorted than the US voice, which is clear as a bell.
I was willing to overlook the TTS problem, but now I am noticing other shortcomings as well, such as the buttons are not as responsive as the old model. I have had to wait up to 3 seconds for a button press on the screen to register. And it sometimes takes an extra long time to recalculate the route. All these problems could probably be fixed with a software update, but considering how Medion treats it's US customers I really don't think that will happen. I have decided to return this unit and get my money back and buy a Garmin 265t instead, the price isn't all that much more and at least Garmin constantly updates their units. If Medion would get their act together and start treating it's US customers as well as their European customers, and give us the same variety of models (they are currently selling one in Europe that even has fingerprint security!) I would definitely consider buying another Medion GPS.
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