Dec. 3, 2008 -- I was so looking forward to trying out Motorola's Motonav TN20 portable GPS device.
But my first experience with the new gadget didn't go exactly as planned.
Although I was only commuting from work to home, I thought it would be fun to punch in my home address and let the feminine voice guide me on the direction I should take (as opposed to the direction I would take).
So, I punched in my home address, being careful to follow the instructions and do everything right. Because my route home is unorthodox, I figured that the "directions babe" would have to keep re-adjusting her directions to keep up with me.
(I love to screw with people, although I know it's wrong. But with a machine, what's the harm?)
One hundred feet out of my parking garage, I expected to hear a voice saying "turn right at the next light."
I turned right but the Global Positioning System was silent. Instead of giving me directions, it gave me an error message and shut down.
The good people at Motorola, however, heard about my plight and sent me another model to test.
I am happy to report that it worked perfectly with no glitches.
One nice feature is that you can control the volume of the "directions babe" or turn her off altogether when you are in familiar territory (kind of like a Stepford wife).
With just a tap at the very responsive 3.5-inch touch-screen, her voice beckons with the right directions. I also appreciated that the device provides different lighting for day or night driving. By dragging your finger across the screen, you can zoom in or out.
The device also comes pre-loaded with more than 1 million points of interest, including local businesses, gas stations and restaurants.
Although we got off to a slow start, I have to say that this is definitely much better than trying to read Mapquest instructions while you're driving.