Dual Electronics introduces XGPS300

This week at CES 2010, Dual Electronics has introduced the XGPS300 GPS Navigation and Battery Cradle for the iPod Touch.

The XGPS300 features a built-in GPS unit and recharageable battery. Because the XGPS300 has its own battery that means that the unit does not leech power from the iPod, and when the GPS unit is not being used, there is a switch on the back of the unit which will allow the unit’s battery to be used to charge the iPod touch.

The unit, according to Dual, will work with most apps that have location based services and features.

Unlike competing devices where the GPS unit has to be purchased for one price and the iPod app has to be purchased for another price, Dual provides the navigation app for free. There are no subscription fees or other fees to buy or use the app.

Mapping data will be provided for the US and Canada at launch. No word on when or if other locations will be made available.

Company: Dual Electronics (http://gpscradle.dualav.com)

Pricing: Pricing has not yet been announced, however, according to representatives from Dual, they are saying “look for the device to be somewhere in the $200 range.”

Availability: February 2010

Tom’s rating: 4 out of 5 stars – I think no matter how the XGPS300 is priced, Dual has a strong contender in the mobile navigation market. Dual has a great feature set, good design, and their navigation app is easy to use. My only real concern, which I’m sure will be addressed in the coming months is that the unit only provides maps for the US and Canada.

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