capsule review

Lowrance iWay 350c

At a Glance
  • Lowrance iWAY 350C Compact Automotive GPS System

    PCWorld Rating

Lowrance iWay 350c
Photograph: Rick Rizner

Lowrance made a valiant attempt to pack every possible option into its $500 iWay 350c. It's the only device in our recent roundup of GPS units that has a built-in hard drive (a feature usually found only in more expensive devices), making points-of-interest searches and other data access faster than with flash media-based devices. Other features include an optional QWERTY layout on the alphanumeric entry pad; a trip calculator; and the ability to zoom in on the map by drawing a box with your finger on the 3.5-inch screen. A built-in FM transmitter lets you listen to directions while playing music stored on an SD Card.

Unfortunately, the iWay has a couple of difficult-to-ignore flaws. In my Mazda Miata, with its stiff suspension, the iWay's gooseneck windshield mount jiggled so badly that map reading was impossible most of the time. (This was not a problem in my softer-riding Toyota pickup.) Also, while the deeply layered menus are fairly well organized, entering street and business names took longer and felt more complicated than with other units.

The iWay generally provided accurate directions, although on one trip the map showed one thing and the voice prompt described another. Resetting to factory defaults seemed to correct the problem.

With a more robust mounting bracket and a better-organized menu system, the iWay would be a great buy.

Tracey Capen

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    Pros

    • Many extra features, built-in hard drive

    Cons

    • Jiggly mount, complicated interface
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