Packard Bell Compasseo 500 full review

When a navigation device that's available for just £110 landed on PC Advisor's review desk, we weren't expecting a lot. And not a lot is exactly what we got.

This is surprising, since the Compasseo features the same Navteq UK and Ireland maps and the same Destinator software that have proven popular in the GPS market and scored highly in our reviews. Packard Bell has also blended decent software with an attractive black-and-silver casing and a 3.5in TFT LCD. It's even thrown in an (admittedly not brilliant) MP3 player and photo viewer, and it's included basic speed-camera detection software. So it's too bad that Packard Bell left the Compasseo 500 slightly undercooked.

On the face of it, the Compasseo has everything you need for navigation. While there's no TMC (traffic message channel), you get a good selection of POIs (points of interest), multistop planning, the ability to avoid roads and overview your route on the map or as a turn-by-turn list. There's a good selection of information onscreen, including ETA, speed and road names.

You even have a choice of day and night, 2D and 3D, car and pedestrian modes, and you can search for addresses by street and house number or full postcode. But beware - the screen sometimes goes to sleep mid-journey, and you don't want to be fiddling with it on the move.

Plus, our test model crashed several times during route-planning, and we found the touchscreen unresponsive, slow and easily confused; with no stylus or buttons, our reliance on this screen was unnerving. And while the Compasseo managed to retain a strong signal on the move, it took a good five minutes to find it at startup.


Packard Bell Compasseo 500: Specs

  • Samsung 266Mhz processor
  • SiRF StarIII
  • Destinator software
  • Navteq UK/Ireland maps
  • 64MB SDRAM
  • 3.5in TFT LCD
  • 3-4 hours life
  • USB/car charger
  • SD/MMC
  • MP3 player
  • photo viewer
  • 94x74x18mm
  • 166g