For those users bored with carting around a bagful of electronic clutter every time they leave the house or car, Harman/Kardon's new £345 Guide + Play GPS-500 unit is designed to cut down the box count. As well as being a GPS satellite navigation system with pre-installed mapping for the whole of Europe, it can also play MP3, WMA and AAC music files, and display WMV9 and MPEG-4 video on its 10cm widescreen display. Driven by a 300MHz dual core proceesor, the £345 unit contains all its map data on a 2GB internal memory device, and can accept SD cards of up to 4GB via a side-mounted slot. At 7.5cm tall, 12cm wide and 2cm thick, and weighing 201g, it's just about small and light enough to carry around in your pocket. It's powered by a lithium polymer battery good for five hours' use, and has a socket to plug in some headphones when you're taking a stroll, or to feed sound from the unit into the MP3 input sockets being found in increasing numbers of vehicles. It comes complete with the usual charging and file transfer hardware, and full Windows Media Center compatibility should simplify shifting files around. You can see demonstrations online at www.guideandplay.eu
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Andrew has written about audio and video products for the past 20+ years, and been a consumer journalist for more than 30 years, starting his career on camera magazines. Andrew has contributed to titles including What Hi-Fi?, Gramophone, Jazzwise and Hi-Fi Critic, Hi-Fi News & Record Review and Hi-Fi Choice. I’ve also written for a number of non-specialist and overseas magazines.