"Excellent multi-talented device!"4.0 starson by kc7cbf
Pros: Ease of use, excellent GPS & XM Recievers, XM Weather Radar.
Cons: Maps expensive, screen easily scratched, no readily available external antenna.
Summary: _This is a great all in one GPS system that also serves the purpose of a XM Radio reciever. The Onix 400 is a rugged, solid-feeling unit with a interchangable battery unit. Despite what is sometimes indicated, this unit DOES support removable memory and I am told it supports up to 4gb additional, however I am using a 2gb chip.
_GPS signal reception is fast, and to my surprise- worked even indoors at my house. (I have others that can not.) The XM reception is superior to my other XM radio units, an older SONY XM01, and a Tao unit- the ONIX is regularly able to recieve signal where the others can't.
_Unfortunately, the unit has (what I percieve as) a few drawbacks. The first is the requirement to purchase separately the maps and aerial images. The plans for this service have changed a couple of times, but all I can say is that they are too expensive for the size/resolution that you get. (Not that you can find this out unless you purchase...) there are three sizes of maps available, all with reducing resoluton in relation to increasing size.
_Another annoyance is the lack of an external connector for either GPS or XM. There are some XM antenna headphones available for the unit- but the headband houses the antenna, and doesn't support external placement. (Easily) Also, if you intend to use the unit in a car for XM Radio- keep in mind that the antenna at the top of the unit works best placed almost against the glass for the best reception. However, this happens to be where the earphone jack is- (although recessed) so it poses an additional deterrent to using it in this manner. (I am still happily using this unit in this manner with an additional right angle earphone adaptor.) A single socket-type connector for the ports at the bottom providing a audio, antenna(s), and power connection would simplify things incredibly.
_Battery life is good, with consistently 5 hours of XM use per charge (longer than the Tao) and quick change battery packs making this even more convenient. GPS only (auto update for XM WX data only) stretches usable navigation time to a day's worth of hiking, having gotten 14 hours with the backlight off, and Smart track used intermittently.
_The Weather Quick Radar feature is suprisingly valuable, and I initally only activated it as a novelty. However, I now am hooked on the information provided by the maps, and think that it is well worth the extra few bucks.
_Overall I strongly recommmend this unit for the features it provides, especially since it doubles as an XM Radio, making you much more likely to become familiar with it.