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Arkon Resources, of Arcadia, California, is one of the leading manufacturers of powered mounts and GPS units for PDA’s. Many months ago, I tested one of their powered mounts with a built in GPS for an earlier Dell Axim model and found it to be the simplest, most reliable GPS unit I had ever tested. Now, a new mount is available for many of the newer PDA’s. I tested it on a brand new Dell Axim x51v. How did it do? Is is a worthy successor to the ‘best’ in car PDA GPS solution? Read on for my thoughts. Overview:

The Arkon powered mount was simple to install. The mount is more rounded and stylish than previous Arkon mounts. It is completely self contained unit with a small ‘flip up’ GPS unit in the back. The mount contains an adjustable cradle for holding the PDA, a power cord for the car lighter/jack, a cable and jack for audio and a suction cup for the windshield. Setup was easy and straightforward and took very little time.

Features:

Noted features as per the Arkon web site are:

  • Integrated GPS receiver
  • Industry’s most powerful speaker
  • High-quality, built-in, hands-free function (with microphone and noise cancellation)

Unlike earlier Arkon mounts, the DM520/521 is designed specifically for the Axim X 50/51. Other mounts are available for popular PDA’s and each has a specific connector which hold the PDA securely in the mount.

There are two ‘Claw’ like arms which retract and tighten to hold the PDA securely in the mount, a volume control on the side and bright LED’s to show that the GPS and powered mount are operating.

Accuracy:

Perhaps the most important feature of a GPS is to locate one’s position quickly and accurately. This has been a mixed bag in my past GPS reviews. The Earlier Arkon was hands down the most accurate GPS I have used to date. Where most other GPS devices put me at least 1/4 mile past or in front of my actual position, the Arkon was maybe 50 yards or less away from my actual position. The DM521 was equally as accurate as its older cousin. There were times when I overshot a side street because it looked like I was approaching it on the GPS while I was passing it in the car. Most times, however, the voice prompts of the software kept me from missing any designated turns.

Appearance:

The Arkon DM521 sports a nice, rounded design. It has a futuristic look to it which helps add to the appeal. It did not look obtrusive and fit in fine with the decor of my ‘high tech’ ride.

Conclusions:

The good folks at Arkon were not sure how well this mount would work with Windows Mobile 5.0. To their surprise and mine, this mount worked flawlessly with the new OS. Once again, this GPS mount coupled with the fabulous MobiNavigator software proved to be a winning combination. There is no longer any excuse for getting lost! If you own a compatible PDA, buy this mount. Period.

Grade: A

Pros:

Ease of use, does just what it is supposed to, nice design, accurate GPS

Cons:

None to speak of.

Available at www.arkon.com for $119.00 without software and $229.00 with the fabulous Mobinavigator software

Written by Gary