Just four rubberized buttons are on the right spine: power on/off, main menu, volume up, and volume down. You can access the rest of the C710's functions via the 3.5-inch, 65,000-color display. The touch screen is responsive, and text and images are clear and sharp. In addition, the menu icons are large and easy to understand. But it's not a complete lovefest, as we had a couple of complaints. First, the C710 is barely readable in sunlight. We had a really hard time viewing maps as we drove around on a sunny day in San Francisco, even after we adjusted the angle of the device. Viewing videos and pictures outdoors in a park was also abysmal. Our second gripe was that the virtual keyboard was on the cramped side. We had to pay particular attention as were inputting addresses; still, we had numerous mistakes. Users with larger digits will definitely want to test this feature out before committing to the purchase.
There's an SD/MMC card expansion slot on the top of the Mio C710 for carrying extra media, such as music and video. On the bottom of the device, you'll find a mini USB port, a reset hole, and a 3.5mm headphone jack (accepts Walkman-style headphones) that also doubles as the traffic antenna jack. There are two small LEDs to the upper left of the screen; the first illuminates orange while the battery charges and the bottom one blinks blue when Bluetooth is ready for use. Finally, the speaker is located on the back along with a port for attaching an external antenna for better satellite reception.
Mio packages the C710 with all the necessary accessories to get you started. Aside from the aforementioned protective case, you get a windshield mount, a car charger, an AC adapter, a USB cable, a TMC (Traffic Message Channel) antenna, an application CD, and a map DVD. The Mio C710 uses a 20 SiRFstarIII, WAAS-enabled GPS receiver and comes with maps of North America preloaded on the device's 2GB of ROM, so you don't have to deal with any time-consuming map transfers from your PC and it's ready to go right out of the box. You get the standard text- and voice-guided turn-by-turn directions. The C710 does not, however, feature text-to-speech functionality, which speaks actual street names; instead, you'll get generic directions, such as "Turn left in 100 feet." The Settings menu allows you to customize the C710 to your liking. You can choose to get directions by the quickest or shortest route, in English, Spanish, or French, or enable/disable various voice prompts, such as speed and unreliable GPS connection warnings. You can also tell the C710 to avoid certain roads, but interestingly, only toll roads are included as part of the default list, not highways. You can, however, manually input them. Maps are presented in 2D or 3D mode, and a Night Mode changes the color scheme of the maps for better nighttime viewing.
For route creation, you can enter a specific address, an intersection, or select a destination from your My Favorites list. The C710 also saves your recently visited locations, so you can choose from that list as well. If you need to make a pit stop during your trip, the unit has a 5 million points-of-interest (POI) database with entries for main attractions, such as gas stations, restaurants by type, shopping centers, and lodging, down to specialized interests, such as casinos, golf courses, and nightlife.