Microsoft Streets & Trips 2010 with GPS Locator

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For review today I’ve got two products. You can buy Microsoft Streets and Trips 2010 by itself or few a few dollars more you can get a GPS receiver with it. Today I have the bundle for review. Streets and Trips by itself is a great program for helping you find places and get directions, but if you pair it with a GPS receiver you will turn your computer into a full fledged navigation system that will help you do more than just get from point A to point B. I’ve installed the software and hooked up the GPS to my netbook and took it for spin, so read on to learn more..


Microsoft Streets & Trips with GPS Locator 2010 comes in a box as you might expect. The front opens up to show you more information about it.

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Inside you’ll find the GPS receiver along with the software.

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The GPS receiver itself looks just like a flash drive, the cap comes off, and included is a USB cable as well.

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Specifications:

Microsoft Streets & Trips with GPS Locator 2010

Microsoft Streets & Trips with GPS Locator pairs the trip-planning features of Streets & Trips software with a compact, cable-free Global Positioning System (GPS) receiver. This device plugs directly into your laptop and when used with Streets & Trips gives you spoken driving guidance plus automatic rerouting if you miss a turn, making it easier to navigate with confidence.

Price: $69.95 ERP

More Ways to Customize Your Travel
Streets & Trips can calculate your mileage, time, and fuel expenses in advance so you know when you will arrive and how much it will cost you to get there. Set your driving preferences— such as how frequently you want to make a rest stop, what hours you want to drive, or even if you want to avoid driving on busy interstates—to create your ultimate trip.

Make Your Trip Your Own
Plan your perfect trip including multiple destinations, rest stops, scenic detours, fuel stops, and more. Personalize your maps with comments, phone numbers, and notes about planned stops for easy reference. With one click, you can optimize your route to save time and money.


For my testing of the GPS and the software I installed it on my OCZ Neutrino netbook. It’s small and portable so I thought that would make the perfect choice.

Installation is easy, just follow the prompts and you’re done.

One I got everything up and running I ran into my first problem with the GPS device itself. The netbook had to sit on the passenger seat of my car and the supplied USB cable in only about two feet long, nowhere near long enough to reach the dashboard from the seat in my 2009 Subaru Forester. The design though of my car has the window actually going farther back over the seat so the seat is under the part of the window so the GPS can be exposed, but the connectivity is spotty this way as it only leaves a small  view of the sky. To solve this I just grabbed another USB extension cable and connected them together, problem solved, or so I thought. Now the GPS receiver does reach the dashboard but it slides around and eventually just falls off the dash onto the floor losing the GPS signal. Getting a third USB cable solves the problem by allowing me to wedge the receiver between the window and the dashboard, not a very elegant solution but it works, at least for me. Microsoft would wise to include some sort of holder or maybe just a suction cup attachment for the GPS receiver.

Since my netbook sits on the passenger seat it’s rather difficult to see the screen while driving, you’ll have to take our eyes off of the road to check the make or to look for your next turn. Taking your eyes off of the road is not recommended. Luckily though in Streets and Trips 2010 you do get voice navigation with spoken directions. if you can deal with only listening to the directions then you’ll be fine. Using this type of navigation is much different if you’ve ever something like a TomTom or Garmin that get affixed to your dashboard or window.

You can configure the GPS window in several ways by adding or removing panes. Here’s a basic view, without the text directions which you can make viewable. The map can also be zoomed in and out as well if you wish to get a closer view. Under the map is your directions or turns you’ll need to make, it’s in text and there’s an arrow pointing in the direction you’ll need to turn, beneath that arrow is how far until the turn. At the bottom of the interface is a progress bar that lets you know how long visually until the next turn, beside that is Driving Time, Next Stop, and Distance to End. To the left side is GPS information like speed and altitude, longitude and latitude, along with a compass.

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The Map view has four different modes, Road Map, Terrain Map, Political Map and a Night Map. Personally I don’t get why there’s a political map there?!? No, it’s not really a Political map in the way we think of politics, it just shows you boundaries of cities, counties, state and national boundaries as well as borders.

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The map also can you lots of information like Points of Interest and can be zoomed in to street level if need be.  On the top bar is an icon that looks like a map with a green pin stuck in it, that icon will allow you to automatically connect to the internet and show your place on Bing maps, which is a nice touch really.

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Here’s a couple example of a route I planned for going from New York to Pittsburgh:

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You might notice also that you can have your route adjusted for construction delays as well, which is a nice feature but you’ll have to be able to access the internet to get the information.

While planning your trip you’ve also got a few other options, or things you can factor in to your trip expenses. Under Route Options you’ll find choices for Profile, Driving Speeds, Fuel, Costs and Segments.

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Here’s the drop down menu options, there’s choices for File, Edit, View, Data, Route, Tools and Help.

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You can access help from the menu options of hit the big blue question mark. There’s quite a bit of information listed in the help file to get you started and navigating.

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One of the strong points of this product is also one that makes it a bit overcomplicated. There’s an abundance of options that makes using it just for GPS a bit overcomplicated. Yes it’s nice to have access to all of that information but for someone who just wants a GPS device for directions, you might be better off with getting a stand alone unit. That’s not saying this is a bad product though, it just can be a bit overwhelming for someone who just wants directions from point A to point B.

As far as the actual GPS receiver it works fine for what you need to do. Acquisition is fairly fast, and it’s able to keep a signal as long as you can keep the receiver in view of the sky.My stand alone TomTom is faster at acquisition but not much really. The GPS tracking works well, it seems just as accurate as my TomTom One Xl-S is, but it seems a bit slower overall in terms of tracking your position.

Getting to and from using Street and trips 2010 is like other GPS devices, it works but it won’t replace your own knowledge of your local streets. What I mean is that it doesn’t know really which time of the day traffic is backed up where, and it doesn’t know when you’re sure to be stuck behind a school bus. This isn’t the fault of this product though, it’s the same with any GPS device.

I checked over at Amazon and found this bundle selling for only $59.99.  Buying Streets and Trips 2010 alone will cost you $37.99, so for less than $20 more you get a GPS receiver as well, not a bad deal really.


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Conclusion:

Streets and Trips 2010 is a feature rich choice for your navigation needs, there’s plenty of options to make your trip easier, more economical and even fun.  Turn by turn navigation is comparable to other GPS devices and the GPS receiver is more than adequate for your navigation needs.

There are two main issues I’ve got with this products, or the GPS receiver actually. The first is the USB cable to way to short to even be usable really. The second problem is that there is nothing included to secure the unit in your car to make sure you’ve got a GPS fix at all times.

8

Pros:
+GPS Receiver works well
+Streets and Trips 2010 is much more than just GPS software
+Can use GPS receiver with other devices
+Affordable

Cons:
-USB cord is short
-Lots of things to do can make it overly complicated for just GPS navigation
-Can’t secure GPS receiver anywhere really

Grades:
Overall score-8-10
Design score-8-10
Performance score-8-10

This product was given to technogog for review by the company for review purposes only, and is not considered by us as payment for the review, we do not, and never will, accept payment from companies to review their products. To learn more about our review policy please visit this page HERE.

  • http://www.mypointsales.com Keith O’Brien

    Hi Kristofer –

    Nice job on this review. You touched on an important point about Streets and Trips – in that if you’re simply looking for a device to give you directions to your destination, S&T is probably a little more complicated than the ‘average’ user is going to want to hassale with. Though at $64 for software + GPS is a phenomenal deal – for maybe twice that, youi can get an excellent quality GPS receiver with a small footprint that sticks to your windshield.

    The real power of Streets and Trips is it’s ability to plan trips, and perform mapping analysis functions that you would find in much more expensive/technical mapping products. S&T makes it very easy for consumer’s to plan travel in ways not possible yet with online products. It’s also great for business as well. I train sales people how to use S&T to maximize sales by most efficient territory planning, Real Estate agents use it, Route delivery companies use it – as well as many other businesses with people on the road.

    With respect to the GPS cable: the previous GPS receiver included with S&T had excellent reception – I can even get a signal with the device sitting on the car floor. S&T GPS devices are designed to be able to plugh right into the laptop – without using the cable. Of course, GPS Reception can be weaker in some areas ( and can be blocked by tall buildings, overhanging trees, etc), hence the cable extender. Sounds like it needs to be a little longer. Previous versions also came with a suction cup to hold the device on the window if you did use the caqble extender.

    Again – thanks for the review!

  • http://www.laptopgpsworld.com/microsoft-streets-trips/2380-review-microsoft-streets-trips.html Streets and Trips

    Wasn’t there a suction cup included in the retail box? If I recall correctly, there should be one. Or at least there used to be one in earlier versions.

    Re: Construction information. There is no need for the Internet connection while driving. Microsoft updates the long-term construction data once per month, so if you update the data in your Streets & Trips once in a few weeks, you will be up-to-date. This is no real-time traffic data, this is long-term road construction, work that is scheduled well in advance, and lasts several months.

    Nice job with the screen shots, Kristofer. Another useful review at TestFreeks.com!

  • farmpuma

    Is the receiver accuracy listed anywhere on the box or in the manual? I’m considering a similar software and receiver package that lists three meters. A basic search of the MS site has not been helpful.

  • Medisoft

    Thanks for the review. My Magellan 3200 battery has been dying (even with it plugged in) so I’ve been looking for a replacement. Was thinking of an Android phone (with GPS), but now the Streets and Trips are looking pretty nice.

  • http://wingzofsteel.wordpress.com Perry Riggins

    I have a Ram mounted floorboard stand for my Samsung Q1 loaded with Streets and Trips. I would recommend such a setup to anyone. But where S&T it really shines, at least the way I use it, is in trip planning. I use the software to locate the coordinates of specific places and then In transfer those coordinates to my Garmin. Unfortunately, S&T has proven to me to be a little unreliable for along trip. That may have something to do with my Samsung Q1 though. It always hangs up during a long trip, and forget about navigating while driving. Too risky. Ultimately, I would love to have an Android Snapdragon net book running S&T, but this is unlikely to happen I suspect.

    • Vanessa

      how do you transfer to your garmin

  • Betty

    I am a truck driver and use streets and trips every day, and love it. You do have to go into options on the route planner and choose which types of roads to use (preferred roads) or it will send you over the river and through the woods, which in an 18 wheeler isn’t good, so I suggest you get familiar with this system before you just plug it in and go. I have bought 2005, 2008 and 2010.
    I have been running into a problem with the GPS locator recently though. I have been getting an error saying that another application is using this port… yada yada… when there is nothing else plugged in. My husband was getting the same error on his laptop, so I know it wasn’t just my computer. This is actually the reason I decided to buy 2010, because this error was popping up constantly on the 2008 version…. which really made me mad because prior to getting that error, streets and trips worked great.
    So I bought 2010, and lo and behold, the same error starts popping up. Not all of the time, but at the most inconvenient time… like when I am in the middle of a city looking for the shipper… The computer almost went flying out the window..lol

    Has anyone else had this problem? I called tech support and they were no help b/c I didn’t have a wifi internet connection available at the time… The tech support guy just couldn’t wrap his mind around it… he kept telling me that I needed to be online so he could get into my computer… hello, I’m in an 18 wheeler, and I don’t have an internet card (yet.. that will be remedied soon).
    But all in all… recent gps problems excluded, Streets and trips has been a good product.

  • Rebecca

    We have used Streets & Trips to navigate since we begain RVing six years ago and were updating annually. Works great with the GPS and a 17″ screen laptop. We do love the features that are available.
    Our one complaint is in the accuracy on locations. Pretty good in the US, but we have been traveling in Canada and find that the campground info is terrible! Searching an area that I knew to be a prime vacation spot, there were no campgrounds appearing. After much searching, I located the campground icons – way out in the water! One major island campground in Quebec, the icon appears across the river on the mainland. Many campgrounds do not appear at all even though we know there are there.
    The Streets & Trips feature where you can notify MS to have them correct the information doesn’t work on the 2008 and 2009 versions and there seems to be no way to contact them to rectify the problem. We have stopped updating -

    • Pamnjim

      How do you update Streets and Trips? We have the 2010 version and don’t know how to update.

  • Ian

    Love the program. One problem I need to overcome is when I upgrade a map to 2010 I get a whole host of an address installed in most existing “Show Places” that does not belong and not removable, even by retyping the correct address. Any ideas?

  • Ed

    I as well like the program but the one annoying problem I have with it is when the GPS loses a signal for an extended length of time a banner comes across the middle of the screen to alert you of this fact and asks do you want it to continue searching. Where the problem is you have to check the box and when you are travelling on the highway this is not what you should be doing. I can think of many solutions to this problem which I think would be very beneficial to its use.

  • Dhruv Kumar

    How to buy it as is not available in INDIA

  • Macpayne

    Like the 2008 version, and plan to upgrade to 2011. However, in unmapped areas, the zoom is limited to about 50%. This reduces the value of the software when trying to keep a record of bush or jungle treks, or map trails in those areas. Wish MS would fix this, or allow an option to bypass the limit. (anyone have any ideas for a hack that would eliminate the zoom limit?) Few other little things here and there that’d make Streets and Trips better, but not gonna hold my breath waiting for MS to call.

  • Plsd

    buy this at your own peril ! in the middle of a 500 mile business trip it crapped out and said i neded to contact tech support. trained monkeys at best… so 45 minutes on the cell phone WITH roaming charges only to be told , oh yes we will send you the reset tool , no problem, what’s your email….. wait a second, i am on the road stupid… no internet available
    3 hours lost 250 miles out of my way $45 phone bill …. i have now exceeded the cost of the product and the crappy thing still did not work.
    you need the reset tool downloaded with internet then when you try to run the tool, guess what, you need the internet AND your key code, so i sure as hell hope that you have the disk in your car…..

    STAY AWAY FROM THIS microsoft is an evil monster that we need to stop feeding
    anyone who buys this really does not need a navigation system that you can rely on, this reset tool is a ploy to make you call them and verify the product is legit and it will cost you dearly in time, fuel, phone bill AND nerves
    happy travelling

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